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The Media and the Assassination of JFK


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This is a subject that constantly comes up on the Forum. However, I thought it might be worth giving the subject its own thread. This debate usually takes the form of how we can persuade newspapers to provide this information. However, as the Operation Mockingbird thread shows, the CIA still control the publishing industry. This includes the promotion of non-conspiracy books that do not make a profit and preventing the publication of books that would.

The same goes for television. History conspiracy documentaries shown in the UK always gets high viewing figures. Recently, a highly respected television journalist went to the BBC with an excellent proposal for a 2 hour documentary on the latest evidence on the JFK assassination, but was turned down.

Tim Gratz has argued on another thread that we should try and persuade companies to pay for a newspaper supplement on the assassination of JFK.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=10618

If Tim has the energy to do this, fine, but I think he will be wasting his time. Even if he could persuade these corporations to pay out this money, would it make the necessary impact? For example, how much influence has the Paul Kuntzler advert had? When it has been referred to in the mainstream media it has only been to ridicule Paul.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=10609

I am of the opinion that the CIA is still able to block the mainstream media from discussing this subject in a rational way. Even when a good book like David Talbot’s gets through, it is marginalized and does not get anything like the publicity it deserves.

However, this is not a defeatist post, although we cannot influence the mainstream media, we do have power within the alternative media that is growing in importance since the development of the internet. Most young people get their information from the web. Over the next few years this will become true of most people in the Western World. The important media players are now Google, Wikipedia and YouTube, not Fox News, Random House and the New York Times.

It is important that we concentrate on these new forms of communication. What is more, if we organize ourselves properly, we can really influence opinion on the JFK assassination and other important political events.

Most people looking for information about the JFK assassination will type in something like the “assassination of John F. Kennedy” at Google. The first three sites out of 1,580,000 are (1) Wikipedia, (2) John McAdams (3) Spartacus.

It is assumed that anyone really interested in this subject will look at all three websites. Therefore if people use the web to find out about the case, they will be put into contact with the latest information available (my pages on the JFK assassination include a large number of links to the appropriate threads in this forum). In fact, I have now decided to give a link to this thread from my home page (over 50,000 visitors a day).

How did I get into this position at Google? The main reason is the links that you get from other websites. However, getting links from some sites are more important than others. The ranking of the site is also taken into consideration. Therefore a link from Wikipedia, John McAdams or Spartacus is more important than links from other, lower-ranked sites. For example, both Wikipedia and John McAdams link to my website. The system also works in reverse. You also get higher ranking if you link to other high-ranking sites.

On my index page I provide links to all the JFK assassination websites that I am aware of. If your one has been missed out, send me an email about it and I will add your URL to my page (it will also help you if you link back to me).

There is another important factor in website ranking that is not so well-known and so I am unwilling to post details on an open forum. However, if you email me I will send you details.

My website and this forum enable us to communicate with anyone interested in the JFK assassination. Let us use this power to get the truth to the citizens of the world.

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John, I hear what you are saying but if we can accomplish getting a circular inserted in the "USA Today" it will reach 2,200,000 households, which is a far cry more than 50,000.

Obviously any circular would include links to the most important assassination websites, including Spartacus.

You wrote:

"For example, how much influence has the Paul Kuntzler advert had? When it has been referred to in the mainstream media it has only been to ridicule Paul."

John, the ridicule was to be expected due to his wild speculations. I am afraid his two page ad, while no doubt well-intentioned, only plays into the hands of people such as Bugliosi who would characterize assassination researchers as "wacko".

Edited by Tim Gratz
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John wrote:

"I am of the opinion that the CIA is still able to block the mainstream media from discussing this subject in a rational way."

John just how do you suppose the CIA accomplishes this?

Tim, If you're going to indulge in a delightful game of 'wind up' then at least insure that you don't make yourself look pathologically uninformed in the process. Take a few moments to learn about the CIA's Operation Mockingbird, and embrace the reality that the mere exposure of the program in a congressional hearing doesn't mean the program ended.

Armed with that background, and with your razer sharp powers of perception, you should be able of see for yourself that the mainstream media censors whatever the Big Boss tells them to censor.

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Sorry, I do not see Operation Mockingbird (if that indeed was its name) as quite as sinister as most everyone else here seems to. To some extent CIA influence on the press was intended to present a favorable view of the United States and the West and to the extent that was its mission it deserves plaudits not scorn.

I note John has not yet responded to how he thinks the CIA goes about "blocking the mainstream press". If there is such an ongoing operation, certainly the people who are "on to it" must know how it works. Wouldn't you think?

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Sorry, I do not see Operation Mockingbird (if that indeed was its name) as quite as sinister as most everyone else here seems to. To some extent CIA influence on the press was intended to present a favorable view of the United States and the West and to the extent that was its mission it deserves plaudits not scorn.

I note John has not yet responded to how he thinks the CIA goes about "blocking the mainstream press". If there is such an ongoing operation, certainly the people who are "on to it" must know how it works. Wouldn't you think?

Propaganda is inherently sinister.

And I can't speak for John but when someone poses questions designed to wind me up and waste my time, I'll demonstrate my time management skills by ignoring the supposed question.

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"Propoganda" I submit can be a neutral term.

One can use "propoganda" to elucidate the truth.

I would say propoganda is only sinister if it subverts the truth. One can presumably propogate the existence of this Forum. Nothing sinister about that.

No one needs to respond to a question he or she choses not to-- but sometimes a non-response can indicate an inability to support an assertion with evidence.

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No one needs to respond to a question he or she choses not to-- but sometimes a non-response can indicate an inability to support an assertion with evidence.

The reason I have not responded to this question is that we have had this debate several times. You always ignore the evidence I provide. Why should I do it again? Anyway, I have provided this evidence on my Operation Mockingbird webpage, on this forum and on the Wikipedia entry on this subject.

I had an interesting email the other day from your former employer explaining why you have so much time on your hands. He also told me why you are no longer working as an attorney.

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John wrote:

"I am of the opinion that the CIA is still able to block the mainstream media from discussing this subject in a rational way."

John just how do you suppose the CIA accomplishes this?

As I have I said I have made these points many times before. See for example, my page on Operation Mockingbird and the forum thread on this subject.

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

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5142

I also wrote the Wikipedia entry for Operation Mockingbird with a full list of references (it originally said that Operation Mockingbird was an urban myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

However, last night I was reading Ed Haslam's "Dr. Mary's Monkey" and he mentions that because of the Freedom of Information Act he and others have discovered the ways that Alton Ochsner, a CIA asset, helped to smear Mark Lane.

In 1967 Jim Garrison began investigating the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans. Ochsner told a friend that he feared Garrison would order his arrest and the seizure of INCA's corporate records. Ochsner attacked the Garrison investigation as being unpatriotic because it eroded public confidence and threatened the stability of the American government. In his article, Social Origins of Anticommunism: The Information Council of the Americas (Louisiana History, Spring 1989) Arthur Carpenter claimed that Ochsner launched a propaganda campaign against Garrison. This included sending information to a friend who was the publisher of the Nashville Banner.

According to Carpenter, Ochsner also attempted to discredit Mark Lane, who was assisting the Garrison investigation. He told Felix Edward Hebert that Lane was "a professional propagandist of the lunatic left". Ochsner also instructed Herbert to tell Edwin E. Willis (Chairman of the House Committee) to dig up "whatever information you can" on Lane.

Felix Edward Hebert later sent Ochsner a report on Mark Lane extracted from confidential government files. This included "the files of the New York City Police, the FBI, and other security agencies." These files claimed that Lane was "a sadist and masochist, charged on numerous occasions with sodomy". Hebert also supplied Ochsner with a photograph that was supposed to be Lane engaged in a sadomasochistic act with a prostitute.

Mark Lane already knew about this smear campaign. This is what he says about this in his book Plausible Denial (1991):

More than a decade after the assassination, when I won a lawsuit against various police and spy organizations in the United States district court in Washington, D.C., pursuant to the order of the court, I received many long-suppressed documents.

Among them was a top-secret CIA report. It stated that the CIA was deeply troubled by my work in questioning the conclusions of the Warren Report and that polls that had been taken revealed that almost half of the American people believed as I did. The report stated, "Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse, results." This "trend of opinion," the CIA said, "is a matter of concern" to "our organization." To counter developing opinion within the United States, the CIA suggested that steps be taken. It should be emphasized, the CIA said, that "the members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience, and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society.

The purpose of the CIA secret document was apparent. In this instance, there was no need for incisive analysis. The CIA report stated "The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments." The commission had been chosen in such a fashion so that it might subsequently be asserted that those who questioned its finding, by comparing the known facts to the false conclusions offered by the commission, might be said to be subversive.

Who were these people who wished to throw suspicion upon the leaders of the land? The CIA report listed them as Mark Lane, Joachim Joesten, as well as a French writer, Leo Sauvage. Most of the criticism was directed at me. The CIA directed that this matter be discussed with "liaison and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)," instructing these persons "that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition." The CIA continued: "Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation." The CIA was quite specific about the means that should be employed to prevent criticism of the report:

"Employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passage to assets. Our play should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (i) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (ii) politically interested, (iii) financially interested, (iv) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (v) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Edward Jay Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher Knebel article and Spectator piece for background." According to the CIA, my book, Rush to Judgment, was "much more difficult to answer as a whole." The agency document did not list any errors in the book.

Just in case the book reviewers did not get the point, the CIA offered specific language that they might incorporate into their critiques. "Reviewers" of the books "might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the Report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics."

Among those who criticized Rush to Judgment and other books along lines similar to those suggested by the CIA were the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and, especially, Walter Cronkite and CBS. Among those who did not march in lockstep with the intelligence agencies' effort to destroy the First Amendment were the Houston Post; Norman Mailer, who reviewed Rush to Judgment in the United States and Len Deighton, who reviewed it in London.

The question persists, in view of the elaborate and illegal program undertaken by the CIA to malign American citizens and to discourage publishers from printing dissents from the Warren Commission Report, as to the motivation for these efforts. Again, we turn to the CIA dispatch: "Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation." Yes, the CIA was directly involved and it did make its contribution to the investigation. What else the CIA did to constitute its "direct" involvement in the assassination was left unsaid by the authors of its report.

Let us focus at this point upon the information that the CIA contributed. Its major contribution was the presentation of the Mexico City story to Earl Warren. The CIA seemed desperately concerned that its Mexico City story might be questioned. Indeed, it was this aberrant behavior by the CIA with this aspect of the case that led me to focus more intently on the case.

The first book review of Rush to Judgment was never printed in any newspaper or journal, at least not in the form in which the review originally appeared. The book was published in mid-August 1966. Before I saw the printer's proofs, the CIA had obtained a copy. On August 2, 1966, the CIA published a document entitled "Review of Book - Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane." I did not learn the existence of that document for almost a decade. The review centered upon statements I had written about Oswald in Mexico City: "On pages 351 and 352, Lane discusses the photograph of the unknown individual which was taken by the CIA in Mexico City. The photograph was furnished by this Agency to the FBI after the assassination of President Kennedy. The FBI then showed it to Mrs. Marguerite Oswald who later claimed the photograph to be that of lack Ruby. A discussion of the incident, the photograph itself, and related affidavits, all appear in the Commission's Report (Vol. XI, p. 469; Vol. XVI, p. 638). Lane asserts that the photograph was evidently taken in front of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City on 27 September 1963, and that it was furnished to the FBI on the morning of 22 November."

The concern about my relatively nonincriminating disclosure was surprising to me at the time, however, a decade after the assassination it became apparent that the case that the CIA had so painstakingly constructed, placing Oswald in Mexico City at the two embassies, had fallen apart as if it were a house of cards. Not one material bit of evidence remained. It was a new day. The war in Vietnam and crimes committed by authorities, including President Nixon, were beginning to convince the American people that simplistic explanations of past national tragedies might be challenged. Statements by leaders of government or federal police officials were no longer sacrosanct.

Of course, you know all about the way JFK assassination investigators are often smeared as communists. You have done the same about the work of Thomas G. Buchanan and Joachim Joesten.

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  • 2 years later...

As most people know, if one Googles the name Lee Harvey Oswald, the Wikipedia entry comes up first...

Wikipedia is more proof that the New Media is looking a lot like the Old Media. Jimmy Wales is the new David Sarnoff, at least on this case.

When I first discovered the internet in early 1997 I realized that we were about to experience a communication revolution. That in the future, people would get their information from the web. The good thing about this was that it would undermine traditional media that was under the control of the multinational corporations.

I therefore decided to create a website that would provide an anti-establishment view of the past. At the time, very few people were doing this and virtually every time I created a page it went to number one in the search-engines. This situation was reinforced by the arrival of Google, a search-engine that placed the emphasis on the number of links you received from other websites. In fact, when Google first started it paid me to link to their site.

However, the arrival of Wikipedia, knocked me off the top spot. (I am still number two when you type in “Lee Harvey Oswald”). The main problem is that a large percentage of people believe the Wikipedia myth that it is possible to create “objective” history. They are not aware of the struggle that goes on behind the scenes at Wikipedia.

We have now reached the stage in history where if we want to know anything we type it into a Google search-box. It is almost certain that Wikipedia will be at number one. I would like to think that people will also look at other websites but I fear that they only opt to look at Wikipedia’s “objective” account of the subject.

Wikipedia is a major problem. However, sometimes you can have success. For example, the original entry for “Operation Mockingbird” said it was an urban myth. I rewrote it but it was immediately removed. When I complained they said that I had not added references to my article. I did that and it was accepted as being an academic article. This page is now one at Google whereas my Spartacus page on the subject is at number 3. However, I am not complaining as I have been able to get my version of the subject into the public domain.

The real problem with the Google system of search-rankings (all the other search-engines now use the Google model) is that its emphasis on links provides a terrible disadvantage to new websites. For example, if you create a new page on Lee Harvey Oswald, it does not matter how good it is, it will not appear on the first couple of search pages and will not be read unless it is linked via something like this forum.

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Guest Tom Scully

John,

Wikipedia has a relatively new page "wizard" topic creation tool. Using it the other day, I created two new pages.

Use the term, Joseph Graham Davis on google search, and you can see the search placement of the new page. (It is the page ending in Sr.) The result was almost immediate after creating the page. It seems a pretty democratic process,but then you have to fight like hell to keep other wikipedia members from altering and or deleting the key points of your topic.

The point of my wikipedia topic is that there is only one u.s. political party, the status quo maintained by a complicit corporate media responsive only to the agenda of those with the most money.

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Guest Tom Scully

John,

It may also interest you to know that there has been a great effort made by US republicans to portray fascism as a "liberal left" political extreme, and every republican politician and media personality has trained to only refer to the opposition as the "democrat" party, leader, convention, etc. because they have constructed the opinion that democrats do not "deserve" to be called "democratic".

As you can see, wikipedia is abiding none of it, and thus are considered unreliable by many "center" and all right of center politically aware Americans.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Nazi_Party

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_party

This guy's page offers a ripe opportunity for edits with some facts of his conflicted interests on the WC and the circumstance of his appointment to the WC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_E._Jenner,_Jr.

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