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Steve Jaffe

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Everything posted by Steve Jaffe

  1. Chris, I agree with your observation that the greatest miscalculation made by JFK and RFK was that the true seat of power was necessarily restricted to the presidency. JFK was wrong to so inflexibly take on the top brass of the long-time leaders of the CIA and be so outspoken about ultimate removal of a foreign policy influencing (albeit covert) agency of the federal government. In fact those who ran the intelligence community, such as it was, were far more adept at coups and covert actions than any other part of the government. Add to that the concept of why LBJ was an asset in the 1960
  2. Joe: Julia Ann Mercer, Roger Craig. We definitely took them seriously. Both gave statements under penalty of perjury. Both were extremely detailed in describing what they witnessed. Both were ignored by the Warren Commission.
  3. The more important question is why they used his middle name. Was this common for employees of the TSBD?
  4. In fact, I never read about a time clock. But I definitely read where Oswald left in the middle of the day to go to the movies! We even spoke to several witnesses who saw him leave, one who said he even got a ride from Jack Ruby.
  5. I have to agree with David Andrews about the alleged Oswald paycheck. In 75 years, I have never had a paycheck made out to me using my middle name. Has anyone else? I have often been asked questions about "Lee Harvey Oswald" and I normally ask, "Do you mean Lee Oswald?" That's what we called him in the DA's office. I doubt that the accountant for the TSBD was holding back Oswald's pay for Friday, though it says in the report I read that his check was for 4 days work. Was it because he failed to move the boxes to which he was assigned or did they feel he wasn't entitled to the Friday pay becaus
  6. This is an endless and interesting argument but of the doctors at Parkland who I talked to who saw President Kennedy when he was first brought in, they all referred to the throat wound as an "entrance wound." If one of those Parkland attending physicians changed that view, who was it and where is it written that they said it could have been an exit wound?
  7. Denis: I'm replying to your inquiry though I have not had time to review all these examples of correspondence and evidence. While I recall talking to Sprague by phone and writing a memo or two about our communications to Garrison, I did not keep any of that correspondence (that I know of at this time). I'm still working on my book and digging through old papers. I've seen my name associated with Sprague relative to some references in the National Archives. I am planning to go back there to review the Garrison files later this year. If I find anything, I'll be sure to let you know.
  8. In all my over a half-century of knowing Mark Lane and working with him, I never ceased to be amazed by the fact that he embodied what JFK had said about how one man could make a difference. I'm amazed that his courage was considered so dangerous to those in power that they had him followed, kept detailed records of his public appearances, private meetings and much of what he said, and then stamped it all, "Secret."
  9. I think that most scholars and authors of the assassination of President Kennedy would agree that James Douglass' book, JFK AND THE UNSPEAKABLE - Why He Died & Why It Matters, is one of the most important and enlightening of the well researched books on the case. From the opening chronology to the insights into the powerful, even lethal opposition experienced by both JFK and RFK from CIA and the Joint Chiefs, to the back channels created through the Pope and with author Norman Cousins to Chairman Khrushchev, this well written work merges perfectly with the extraordinary memoir by Robert F.
  10. Jim: I agree. While the cover-up was clearly meant to be used to persuade people that Russia was "behind it" or, at least, that LHO was a Communist, that was simply not true. I think Jim Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable, makes it quite clear that JFK and Khrushchev used their "back channel" to communicate in a very positive dialogue to find ways to reduce nuclear proliferation and pave the way for peace. Dick Russell's work shows how the KGB tried to upset the plot. And the work of those writers and yourself, supports such findings. No one needed to tell LBJ what was going to happen to
  11. Jim: Can you explain what Capote meant and in what context he said this on the Tonight Show?
  12. Paul: I'm writing most of what my assignment was first to Paris and then Geneva because of a French labor strike. That will be in my book rather than here where I'm beginning to feel things get lost. Not that it's a big secret but I want that episode to be fully heard before it's judged. I can just tell you that because of Gen. De Gaulle, we got a bit of help from his government and from Interpole. Some say we were given bad information -- and to some degree there was some of that -- but what we really wanted we received. A very good copy of the Zapruder film which was hand carried to me after
  13. Jim: Lowenstein's words about RFK's murder are particularly affecting. I'll never forget where I was on that day/morning because I was in Geneva on assignment for Garrison with an agent of French intelligence. I had no way of reaching Garrison for fear of being monitored. It was obvious that our fear that RFK might be assassinated by the same forces of the US power structure who killed JFK had come true. What was real to me was that what we expected might happen did happen. Clearly, had RFK been elected president, he would have used his power to prosecute those who murdered his brother. He ha
  14. Vince: I have long admired your work. I wanted to raise a point which you and others have commented on regarding the motorcade route. It has always seemed to me that the planning of the route was actually based on one thing above all else, and that was the selection of the venue for JFK's lunch address. My sources are quite good on that and I've never discussed this, though I plan to write about it in my book. Were it not for the choice of the Trade Mart, the route through Dealey Plaza would not have happened. However, I've always known that the entire plan for the assassination (though there were several) was overseen by the most powerful men in and out of government. Therefore, when I learned of the details of how the Trade Mart was selected, even over the objections of JFK's staffers, I thought that pretty much dictated the route. Once that was set, despite the route that might have been (i.e. from Main to Industrial etc.), it was easy for individuals in key positions (i.e. Secret Service) to make the route work for the ambush. I'd like to know what others think. -- SJ

    1. Vince Palamara

      Vince Palamara

      Thanks so much, Steve! I am looking forward to your book; excellent.

      I agree with your premise...and the fact that the Secret Service would make the route work for the ambush.

  15. David: Thanks for the mention of Executive Action. I was impressed by both Blow-Up and The Parallax View. Warren Beatty has always had a keen understanding of politics and been a fine filmmaker in every respect. I even talked to Antonioni, in 1966 when he was in LA, about considering doing a film on the JFK assassination. He was most interested but shared his reticence about it because he thought it was so much a part of American culture that he thought an American director should do it. EA was on VHS and is now on DVD.
  16. "Executive Action" was produced for a company called National General that made low budget films. Edward Lewis made the deal. I was asked to write a report documenting what was said in the script in order for us to get E&O Insurance which I did. We purposely held back on advance press. We kept the film a secret until days before the openings. I held the ads to a minimum and hoped we could get a good opening based on "word of mouth." We did. We made our money back the first weekend. It helped that we had Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan as stars. They both deferred any salary up front. In
  17. "Executive Action" which I have not seen in many years, was way ahead of it's time. Dalton Trumbo did the shooting script. Just look at the trailer. Those of you in the research community understand that even now, the topic of the JFK assassination is still under the cover of those who planned the murder. The MSM refuses to report important findings. Mark Lane and I made a documentary, not released as yet, narrated by Martin Sheen. In it, Stone, Mark and Robert Tannenbaum have a talk in Stone's office about the incredible resistance they each encountered. Mark wrote a book called, A Citizen's
  18. Time out: I have a question and a request of all who are technically adept at using this forum to communicate. How can we continue this dialogue under a new heading which is not such a continuous slam at such a fine filmmaker and ally as Rob Reiner? Yes, "LBJ" may not have been a box office hit but is that really important to us? I would like to know how we can get rid of this horrible headline that continues the more we converse.
  19. JFK's clothes. His tie and shirt are consistent with the entrance wound in his neck.
  20. Regarding the motorcade route, it seems clear that the Secret Service was in charge, not the White House (see Jerry Bruno's book on "Dallas"). That the actual route was Main St. or Elm was something known internally. Garrison thought it had been known but not published intentionally. It broke all Secret Service rules. Slow down the target for the triangulated crossfire. The removal of agent Lawton from the back of the presidential limo at the airport by Roberts speaks volumes.
  21. Jim: Although I had been Donald Sutherland's rep for pr during the years prior to the making of JFK, I first heard of Stone's plans prior to his shoot. I got a copy of the script from Walter Matthau and read it, elated to know that such a great filmmaker would do Garrison's story. Sutherland is a great guy and deserves credit for his early participation re "Executive Action." The Brando stories are legendary. In a scene with a woman late in his career, he demanded that one of his lines be typed on a tiny piece of paper and stuck to her tongue so he could read it. Sutherland was far better for
  22. ROB REINER'S "LBJ" WAS NOT A FLOP! As someone who has spent five decades in two very relevant areas about films and as a former NOLA DA's assistant I know about this topic. Just because a film doesn't ring the money bell is no reason to call it a flop! Not if you really care about history and truth. Rob Reiner is one of our greatest living filmmakers, and one of the greatest of all time. It's not about the money at the box office. He told a story that had never been told in that way on a big screen. Reiner is developing something now on the subject of JFK's assassination with Paramount Picture
  23. Joe: I'm just getting used to this forum format. I was wondering what "quote" means below your comments with the plus sign in front of it. In any event, I don't have any general comments on the assassination of President John Kennedy other than, as a journalist, I hope history will record the truth and not bury the lead. I hope that Oswald will one day be relegated to his rightful place as "scapegoat" and "patsy" and the real assassins will be put in the books as they should be. As for me, I'll try to finish my book as soon as possible and make my modest contribution to the hi
  24. Garrison's book, Mellen's book and Di Eugenio's book are all extremely accurate on the facts, valuable and informative.
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