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THE AMNESTY PROJECT


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http://www.jfklancer.com/amnesty.html

This link gets you to JFK Lancer's Amnesty Project page -- and press materials that were generated nearly 10 years ago.

Thanks to Debra Conway for the PM of earlier this evening in which she evoked bittersweet memories of that time.

William Xanttopolis, the attorney whose eloquent words appear on the amnesty site, was a key player on that weekend in Dallas. He, George Michael Evica, Debra, and I had brainstormed before and after the public discussion of the plan. If memory serves, Chris Courtwright was involved, but he can check in and clarify the record in this regard.

I recall this small group gathering in one of our hotel rooms; I sat on the floor drafting the press release for the newly created Lancer Independent News Exchange (LINE) as the ideas ricocheted off the walls.

I have not lost faith in the basic wisdom and workability of the idea. Perhaps others in this forum can offer their thoughts.

Charles

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http://www.jfklancer.com/amnesty.html

This link gets you to JFK Lancer's Amnesty Project page -- and press materials that were generated nearly 10 years ago.

Thanks to Debra Conway for the PM of earlier this evening in which she evoked bittersweet memories of that time.

William Xanttopolis, the attorney whose eloquent words appear on the amnesty site, was a key player on that weekend in Dallas. He, George Michael Evica, Debra, and I had brainstormed before and after the public discussion of the plan. If memory serves, Chris Courtwright was involved, but he can check in and clarify the record in this regard.

I recall this small group gathering in one of our hotel rooms; I sat on the floor drafting the press release for the newly created Lancer Independent News Exchange (LINE) as the ideas ricocheted off the walls.

I have not lost faith in the basic wisdom and workability of the idea. Perhaps others in this forum can offer their thoughts.

Charles

Charles,

One of Bugliosi's biggest mistakes is the contention that all "conspiracy theorists" are in the same boat, and that there is a "community" of conspiracy theorists who think alike, work together and live in harmony. What a joke.

Charles, as for your Amnesty Project, I don't see anybody involved in the Kennedy assassination giving a rats ass about amnesty, when there isn't anybody after them. Where's the posse?

Prosecutors in conspiracy cases will tell you that in order to solve such cases you need to target a middle man or someone low in the pecking order, get a strong case against them, threaten them with years in jail and then offer them amnesty to get them to flip in return for court testimony against the higher ups. That's how it works.

But otherwise I don't think those involved in the plot really care what we write about.

After all these years, it's come down to the JFK Act, getting the mandiated oversight hearings in Congress, and then try to convince a DA in a relevant jurisdiction to conveine a grand jury to conduct a proper criminal investigation, as it should have been done all along. That's the way the game is played and that's the way we got to play it.

BK

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Charles, I have to agree with Bill. Amnesty from what? Endless debates on the internet?

An amnesty is not necessary to flush anyone out (even if you assume they're ripe for it after being named as a conspirator on a blog!). As I have said here before, witnesses are being located - including some known at the time, but never interviewed, and others from "outside the box" who may have knowledge - the importance of which they may not even be aware. Even two people who names were misspelled in the records and never found as a result, have now been correctly identified and located. If these people won't appear voluntarily, they can be subpoenaed.

All this case needs is someone to step up and announce the formation of GJ.

But the clock's ticking...

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Gentlemen,

I understand (I think) how an amnesty offer is given teeth: the credible stick alone makes the sweet carrot desirable.

And Bill, you're right; the bad guys don't care what we write about -- unless our words can stimulate threatening actions.

What this all boils down to, for me, is expressed in a simple question: How do we define and effect justice in this case?

I've posed the query from too many podiums and in more than a few published essays. But to date, I have failed to note answers that remotely reflect a concensus.

How on earth can we make progress toward goals which we cannot even agree to pursue?

How much closer to justice are we today than we were when John Kennedy's head exploded?

Charles

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Hello Charles

I agree in general with the comments offered to your post. If this ONLY could be brought before an honest and well screened GJ, the results would lead to the process which would prove conspiracy.

Regarding amnesty....I feel that it may have never worked. I strongly feel that, except at the "highest" level, those within the government, other than a few thugs, truly believed themselves Patriots of the highest order, in their participation in the removal of Kennedy (Kennedys).

I feel that they believed that JFK's removal was absolutely essential to the interests of National Security. These "patriots" would not have sold out!

Charles Black

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Gentlemen,

I understand (I think) how an amnesty offer is given teeth: the credible stick alone makes the sweet carrot desirable.

And Bill, you're right; the bad guys don't care what we write about -- unless our words can stimulate threatening actions.

What this all boils down to, for me, is expressed in a simple question: How do we define and effect justice in this case?

I've posed the query from too many podiums and in more than a few published essays. But to date, I have failed to note answers that remotely reflect a concensus.

How on earth can we make progress toward goals which we cannot even agree to pursue?

How much closer to justice are we today than we were when John Kennedy's head exploded?

Charles

Charles, you have in the past, called this a war. On that, I agree. I know of no precedent for amnesties being offered to war criminals in the middle of a war. The war will be won when an unfettered inquiry is called. If those holding the inquiry see fit to offer amnesties, then I have no objection - despite such an offer by the HSCA to Howard Brennan failing to get him to appear.

Consensus, as nice as it is, is not a prerequisite for success.

In answer to your last question, we are much closer because we know a lot more, and we trust the powers-that-be a lot less.

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Greg,

The final observation in your previous post was well written. Yes, we know more and trust less.

But how does this bring us closer to justice? How do you define justice in this case?

As for our war: I deeply appreciate the fact that you share my understanding of the war in which we're engaged. I would suggest, however, that in many respects it is, if not an unprecedented form of conflict (as the Gracchi brothers might insist), then at least one that boasts unique rules of engagement.

I look forward to your response.

Charles

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Greg,

The final observation in your previous post was well written. Yes, we know more and trust less.

But how does this bring us closer to justice?

Charles, knowledge leads us on the right path. Healthy cynicism stops us buying a bill of goods from blue ribbon committees.

How do you define justice in this case?

By asking me how I define it, you are really looking for a subjective definition. I'd prefer to stick to how it is understood within the context of the society rather than the circumstance. It is not (yet) too late to commence another investigation. Even if those responsible are all dead, justice will have been served by having the historical record amended. It may further be served by compensation given to certain individuals, if that is deemed just and desirable.

As for our war: I deeply appreciate the fact that you share my understanding of the war in which we're engaged. I would suggest, however, that in many respects it is, if not an unprecedented form of conflict (as the Gracchi brothers might insist), then at least one that boasts unique rules of engagement.

This sounds like the same logic that led to "Extraordinary Rendition", torture, Gitmo and Military Tribunals...

You're a highly intelligent guy, Charles. If you and others wish to pursue a particular course of action regarding getting amnesties on the political agenda, then that is what you should do. It's not that I think it's a terrible idea, or that I oppose in moral grounds -- to me, it's simply that it puts the cart before the horse. A JG or congressional inquiry first - then amnesties as one possible tool in the armory.

I look forward to your response.

Charles

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Greg,

The final observation in your previous post was well written. Yes, we know more and trust less.

But how does this bring us closer to justice?

Charles, knowledge leads us on the right path. Healthy cynicism stops us buying a bill of goods from blue ribbon committees.

Agreed on the value of knowledge as a guide to righteousness. But how healthy is a cynicism that does not result in systemic change for the better -- change that, after 44 years of our labors, we have yet to observe, let alone bring about?

How do you define justice in this case?

By asking me how I define it, you are really looking for a subjective definition. I'd prefer to stick to how it is understood within the context of the society rather than the circumstance. It is not (yet) too late to commence another investigation. Even if those responsible are all dead, justice will have been served by having the historical record amended. It may further be served by compensation given to certain individuals, if that is deemed just and desirable.

All of the remedies you suggest are indeed just. But society is an evolving entity -- hardly static, I'm sure you'll agree -- and part of what we can accomplish as we pursue justice in the case is the expansion of our understanding of the objective definition of the word. What gives you hope that yet another investigation -- to be conducted or at least controlled, I assume, by the heirs of the perpetrators of the crime under scrutiny -- will result in any substantive movement of the arc of the universe toward justice? As for the historical record -- or, if you prefer, the target of opportunity for Bugliosi, Posner, and their ilk -- of what is it comprised? Didn't the HSCA amend it by issuing the "probable conspiracy" conclusion?

As for our war: I deeply appreciate the fact that you share my understanding of the war in which we're engaged. I would suggest, however, that in many respects it is, if not an unprecedented form of conflict (as the Gracchi brothers might insist), then at least one that boasts unique rules of engagement.

This sounds like the same logic that led to "Extraordinary Rendition", torture, Gitmo and Military Tribunals...

You're a highly intelligent guy, Charles. If you and others wish to pursue a particular course of action regarding getting amnesties on the political agenda, then that is what you should do. It's not that I think it's a terrible idea, or that I oppose in moral grounds -- to me, it's simply that it puts the cart before the horse. A JG or congressional inquiry first - then amnesties as one possible tool in the armory.

Thanks for pointing out the similarities in my language to the criminal pronouncements of Bush and his masters. Point taken. So permit me to clarify my thoughts in this regard.

My (too?) simple definition of justice in the JFK case: Let us use the truth to make certain that the chances of a similar event taking place -- on and beyond our watch -- are minimized.

As for the grand jury route, I'll do everything I can to help make it so. Such an investigation would stand as a viable "stick" to raise along with the "carrot" of amnesty. From day one I've envisioned the latter, I might add, as but a single tactic in a much broader and more complex strategy.

Charles

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As always, Charles has an excellent memory. He and I were in fact involved in this along with Xanthopolous and George Michael Evica. I guess the thrust of this effort may have best been captured by this particular paragraph:

The initiative is designed to be the logical successor legislation to the historic JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. It is modeled on the South Africa Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, and is intended, in the words of Conference Chair George Michael Evica, "...to make historical sense of the flood of new and important documents made available by the Assassination Records Review Board." Evica added, "We are offering what most likely will be the last opportunity for these witnesses to clear their conscience, serve their country, and tell the truth."

My recollection is that our collective thought process revolved around the fact that the declassified materials were pointing quite definitively towards a conspiracy, as evidenced by the work of John Newman and many others; and that a number of the principal actors who were still alive were not going to be for much longer. If individuals could have been granted a form of immunity for participating in cooking or destroying, for example, relevant Mexico City documents in 1963 in exchange for their finally coming clean, at least we would have been further along in our efforts to punish the appropriate political entities or their successors responsible for the assassination. Charles, does that sort of fit your recollection?

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Chris,

It fits quite neatly.

Other recollections worth noting:

-- The amnesty initiative itself never was intended to be applied in a vacuum, so to speak. It was to be a tactic in a larger strategy that likely would have incorporated grand jury, public relations, and creative media elements.

-- I believe that, at the time, Bill Xanthopolous was a federal employee, and thus he demonstrated no small degree of courage when he stepped forward to help create and implement the amnesty plan. (Of course a much more sinister interpretation of his motives will be forthcoming, one based upon his income source. Wait for it. C'est la vie.)

-- Over a martini or three later that evening, I ventured a guess that an amnesty program would not make the transition from concept to reality. The "I've got some boards, you've got some curtains, let's build a stage and put on a play!" syndrome always has been a part of our so-called community's profile, and I'll include myself at the top of the list of sufferers.

-- Our dear friend Ian Griggs was quite vocal in his opposition to the plan. A copper through and through, he pushed hard against any process that did not include criminal prosecution and severe punishment for the killers. My respect for Ian knows no bounds, then and now, and I warmly recall shaking his hand as we agreed to disagree.

-- Mary Ferrell never ventured a public assessment of the idea (to my knowledge, at least), so I'm obliged to keep confidential her privately offered reactions.

-- The amnesty initiative sprung, at least in good part, from my call for JFK assassination researchers to define justice in this case, at this late date. What will satisfy us? What will send us home? What will constitute victory in our war against the murderers and their murderous hegemony? To date, answers remain, if not elusive, then for me less than satisfying.

Finally, Chris, I apologize for the delay in responding to your most recent PM. Check your home E-mail over the next few days, please.

Charles

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My recollection is that Bill was a recently departed federal employee who had just gone to work in private law practice in Florida. He called me out of the blue about a year or so after the conference to go over some of the latest revelations about the assassination (from the ARRB releases; Doug Horne's work, etc.) I think a local newspaper reporter had contacted him, and he wanted to be up to speed. Haven't talked to him (or seen him at any conferences, etc.) since. But I must say, this implication from Charles is a little troubling.

I believe that, at the time, Bill Xanthopolous was a federal employee, and thus he demonstrated no small degree of courage when he stepped forward to help create and implement the amnesty plan. (Of course a much more sinister interpretation of his motives will be forthcoming, one based upon his income source. Wait for it. C'est la vie.)

Finally, Chris, I apologize for the delay in responding to your most recent PM. Check your home E-mail over the next few days, please.

Will do.

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Chris,

Let me clarify: I am neither making nor inviting the referenced sinister interpretation, but merely suggesting that others will. I think Bill was genuine, committed to the truth, and a most valuable partner in our efforts.

Should a JFK researcher's employment by the federales set off alarm bells? Probably. But sometimes a GS 12 is just a GS 12.

CD

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Charles:

Sorry for sort of jumping the gun w.r.t. what you were saying. (I always struggle with the challenge of reading more carefully.)

I strongly agree with your assessment of Bill. That he was, at least in the late 1990s, genuine and in earnest in his belief in an ongoing conspiracy and the demoralizing impact it had on the health of the nation. I meet a lot of phony b@stards in my line of work, and I place considerably higher stock in my ability to judge people's sincerity than I do in my reading comprehension ability ...

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