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Following John Simkin's piece on McAdams and Kilgallen, I think Garrison deserves equal time B)

My comments in blue are interspersed throughout the article. This however, looks at only a portion of what is a lengthy piece with numerous linked articles. If/when time allows, I may tackle the rest of it.

NEW ORLEANS, AND THE GARRISON INVESTIGATION

It was a three-ring circus. A flamboyant district attorney, with visions of conspiracy, proposing a series of theories, most of them bizarre. What he first called a "homosexual thrill killing" evolved, under the influence of the conspiracy buffs who flocked to New Orleans, into a massive CIA and federal government plot. When push came to shove in the courtroom, a jury took less than an hour to acquit Clay Shaw, the man Garrison put on trial.

In a linked article by David Reitzes, we find that the "Homosexual thrill killing" story comes from James Phelan's book Scandals, Scamps, and Scoundrels in which he quotes a conversation the author alleges he had with Garrison. Phelan's credibility was severely dented however when, after years of denying any involvement with the FBI and/or CIA, documents released under the JFK Act show he was acting as an informant on Garrison for the FBI. One can read all this and more about Phelen in Jim DiEugenio's article on the man.

Reitzes, rather than deal with the evidence of Phelan's connections, deals instead with Phelan's critics by stating "Garrison disciples — fully understanding the silliness of this — have derided Phelan and claimed that this was some sort of disinformation to discredit the DA. But the evidence that Garrison believed it is overwhelming."

So what is the "overwhelming evidence"? As it turns out, it is no more than a few scribbled notes in the diary of Richard Billings.

Or as Reitzes explains: "Much of it comes from Garrison confident and supporter Richard Billings, a Life magazine reporter who was part of Garrison's inner circle and kept a diary of conversations with him. (Billings' notes are written almost entirely with lower case letters and capitalization is corrected throughout this article)."

The first point here is that Reitzes hints that there is in fact more than Billings notes. There isn't. Billings noted: "Search of Shaw home produces whips, chains, robe, etc. . . . Giant now convinced it was a sadist plot . . . Has read Marquis de Sade . . . Says sadists escalate from whipping to killing . . . 'Shaw is a Phi Beta Kappa sadist,' Giant surmises..." That's about it... what Garrison biographer Joan Mellen has described as a few off-the-cuff comments to the all too serious Mr Billings.

But even if the evidence did support McAdams and Reitzes that Garrison theorised about a "homosexual thrill killing", they would still be quite wrong in asserting it was this theory that somehow morphed into "a massive CIA and federal government plot." A trip to Billings diary published on none other than Reitzes' website puts the lie to that, for the very next words from Billings following the above quote read: "...Cuban plot now subsidiary ."

It may also strike some as odd that no one, apart from Phelan and Billings seem to have been privy to this particular theory. Indeed, though Garrison and his team investigated leads generated by the number of homosexuals coming to their attention (and what else would you expect them to do?), no one else seems to have mistaken this investigative work as denoting any particular theory.

How Big a Conspiracy?

Just how many people were involved in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, and then to cover up their deed? Sound logic says that any conspiracy theory, to be credible, must include only a limited number of people. How many people did Garrison believe were involved? Nobody has an exact count, but the list of all the groups and individuals he implicated is pretty long.

Let's look first at what constitutes "sound logic" in the world of John McAdams. In the linked article, McAdams comes up with this incredible bit of "logic" designed especially for those blinded by mathematical equations. Try not to laugh too hard:

A basic principle of conspiracies is that the larger the conspiracy, the less likely it is to be able to cohere and maintain secrecy.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that three people are involved in a conspiracy. They successfully kill JFK and then move on to other pursuits.

Assume, further, that the probability that any single conspirator will "defect" and "blow the whistle" on his fellow conspirators is one in twenty (.05). The probability that he won't defect is therefore .95.

What is the probability then, that none of the three conspirators will defect? It's:

.95 x .95 x .95 = .857

Such a conspiracy would likely be successful. There are a bit under three chances in 20 that one or more of the members would defect.

Now let's suppose that the conspiracy has 20 plotters, each of whom must stay quiet to avoid "blowing the plot." The probability that none of them will do so is:

.9520 = 0.358

In other words, the odds are almost two to one against such a conspiracy "hanging together." If there are 30 members, the probability is:

.9530 = 0.215

I'll let that speak for itself and just add that history shows large scale conspiracies can and do last for many, many years.

I can give one example right from my own back yard. Darwin was bombed iduring WWII by the same Japanese squadron that hit Pearl Harbour. The first raid was on 19 February, 1942. The raids and bombings continued for another 21 months. The number of people killed however was succesfully suppressed for many years by the Australian government - despite holding a Royal Commission into it. Think about it. A whole city destroyed, and the rest of the country was successfully kept in the dark about how many had died...

LBJ, who was in Australia during the commission hearings, almost certainly knew the truth - as would most of the US servicemen out here at the time since some US lives were among those lost in the raids. It is not therefore beyond the realms of possibility that the whole idea of using a President's Commision to help suppress the truth about the assassination came from seeing how a Royal Commission had been used to help fool a nation. The press too, got on board through the invoking of National Security and a (false) idea of massive conflict. Here, the false threat had been that the bombing was a precurser to a Japanese invasion. In reality, the Japenese had no such intentions. They were after Timor and merely wanted to knock out any possibility of Australia coming to the rescue. LBJ's 40,000,000 lives would seem to have some parallels.

Lastly, the notion of performing tasks strictly on a "need to know" basis as part of an organisation, or as an individual favour, or even in the mistaken belief they were aiding "National Security" and therefore performing a patriotic duty, seems to have eluded McAdams and Reitzes. Such people are extremely unlikely to talk afterwards and put their own livelihoods - and perhaps liberty or even life, on the line.

Sinister Connections?

Conspiracy books routinely claim that Oswald had an office at 544 Camp Street in New Orleans, and that this was the "same address" occupied by Guy Banister's detective agency. This, supposedly, is evidence tying Oswald to Banister, Ferrie, and the anti-Castro Cubans. When the House Select Committee examined this issue in the late 70s, they found little solid evidence to place Oswald at that location. More recent research by Dave Reitzes shows that an office at 544 Camp Street was never more than a notion in the head of Lee Harvey Oswald.

I must admit, I have only read a fraction of the books available on the case, but of those I have read, I do not recall any making a claim that Oswald had an office in the building, though one or two may have noted that Jim Arthus, the Janitor, had made a statement to the Secret Service to the effect that someone had tried to rent office space in the building, whilst also noting the number of witnesses to Oswald being in the building.

In the by now, obligatory linked article, we find but one example of the "conspiracy books [that] routinely claim that Oswald had an office at 544 Camp St." This example is buried in the footnotes, and states: Virtually no one takes seriously the notion that Oswald actually did make use of an office at this building, but Ray and Mary Fontaine, authors of Oswald Talked, do. In fact, they go so far as to say that if Oswald didn't use an office at 544 Camp Street, the possibility of linking Oswald to an assassination conspiracy evaporates. Be that as it may, one can find an analysis of their argument here."

So here, we have come full circle... from stating "conspiracy books routinely claim that Oswald had an office at 544 Camp St", to "virtually no one takes seriously the notion that Oswald did make use of an office..." at that address. Why is it, you have to wonder, can't this tag-team manage to make a clean pin on the subject?

Oswald, in a letter to the FPCC, advising he was looking for office space, quoted the going rate for rent as $30.00 per month - which just happened to be the cost of office space at 544 Camp St.

Building owner, Sam Newman denied renting office space to Oswald, but no one asked if he lent office space to our intrepid revolutionary in the same manner he had done for the CRC until they found their financial feet.

The above two points, whilst not proof that Oswald was associated with the address would, to any reasonable observer, be enough to leave it as an open possibility.

Lee Harvey Oswald was in the Civil Air Patrol as a youth in New Orleans. This raises the possibility that David Ferrie knew Oswald. Many conspiracy books imply that some sinister relationship between the two started at this time. The House Select Committee on Assassinations examined this issue, and this is their report. Does it suggest the possibility that Ferrie knew Oswald? Is there any evidence of a close relationship between the two?

I find it a little strange that McAdams relies here on the HSCA report. The report clearly states not only the possibility, but the inevitability of the two knowing each other. The second question is a little more problematic in that, apart from going through the claims made by Jack Martin, the part of the report used by McAdams only looks at the issue of whether Oswald was in the same CAP squadron as Ferrie. The report of course, was written in the late 1970s. Since then, much more evidence has come to light, including a photo showing Oswald and Ferrie at a CAP function.

Though the part of the report quoted by McAdams does not even attempt to address his second question in regard to 1963, it does do two things. Firstly, it shows the inadequacy of the original investigation of a Oswald/Ferrie connection.

The second is that it shows how Ed Voebel was intimidated into modifying his original account.

To quote from the report: "During this first interview with FBI agents, Voebel spoke of his involvement in the CAP with Oswald: Voebel stated that he and Oswald were members of the Civil Air Patrol in New Orleans with Capt. Dave Ferrie during the time they were in school. Voebel at this time seemed to indicate clearly that there had probably been contact between Ferrie and Oswald in the CAP. He became uncertain about such contact during the course of a second interview with FBI agents later that same day, November 25, 1963. Then he stated that he had persuaded Oswald to attend the meetings of his CAP unit at Moisant Airport in 1955. Oswald had 'attended two or three drills and possibly four drills at the most.' Voebel further stated that it was difficult to recall how often Oswald was the CAP meetings because 'Oswald had a knack for being. there and not being noticed.'

So what happened between the two same day interviews to cause Voebel to become so equivocal?

The HSCA again: "The FBI report noted that Voebel received 'a crank-type telephone call' during the course of the interview, and had mentioned that he 'had also been frightened' by a person who came to his home earlier claiming to be a news reporter. This man disturbed him and had 'acted very suspicious' [sic]. An FBI Teletype from the New Orleans office to Director Edgar Hoover on November 26, 1963, summarized that 'Voebel was unable to recall if Oswald attended meetings under command of Ferrie or with previous commander."

Well, at least Hoover was in agreement with McAdams. That's surely something of which he can be proud!

Nevertheless, two days after the FBI interviews, Voebel was interviewed by the NOPD. It seems by then, he had regained some composure... or at least enough to tell the police that he believed Oswald attended a party at Ferrie's place right after the CAP members had received their stripes.

Voebel died in 1971 in what his father considered suspicious circumstances. Fortunately, the HSCA did track down numerous others able to confirm the CAP connection.

Edited by Greg Parker
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Interesting post. I love how McAdams tries to make humans into statistics that he can measure and calculate. I think it is pretty aparent that we can't be judged on what we won't or will do in this way. Reitzes himself as done some dubious research. I quote from another post of mine:

"Reitzes does a lot of questionable things. One of his favorite things to do is to use something to invalidate a witness he doesn't like while using the same thing to promote witnesses he likes. I know that sounds confusing so I have provided an example.

'...polygraphs are a notoriously unreliable indication of dishonesty in the first place, and most courts will not accept polygraph examinations into evidence for precisely that reason. The following is a selection of online articles that might be of interest regarding this topic:...'

http://www.jfk-online.com/rubydef.html

'Prior to Shaw's preliminary hearing, Garrison ordered a polygraph examination for Perry Russo; the test indicated 'deception criteria' when [Perry] Russo claimed to have known Lee Oswald and Clay Shaw.'

http://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100okeefe.html

'In March, Garrison had assigned James Kruebbe to administer a polygraph examination to Bundy. Kruebbe's analysis was that Bundy was lying.'

http://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100bundy.html

In short, Reitzes is a hypocrite. He attacks Perry Russo and Vernon Bundy for failing a polygraph examination while he defends Jack Ruby even though he himself failed exactly the same test."

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What I find particularly interesting about the Garrison investigation is how people have used it over the years to discredit believers in a conspiracy. Garrison is often villified for being open-minded about a variety of conspiracies, as if an investigator has to decide who's guilty before he concludes his investigation. (I will agree that Garrison made a tactical error in speaking publicly about his various suspicions. What many don't realize is that Garrison never thought he'd get the Shaw case to trial and was trying his best to use his public forum to arouse public suspicion of a conspiracy. Perhaps this was unethical, but, in much the same way that Watergate Judge John Sirica's behavior has been excused through the larger scope of the pursuit of truth, I believe history will similarly vindicate Garrison.)

Garrison is also accused of being a tool for the mob, out to embarrass the CIA, evn though the person he used to connect Oswald to the CIA, David Ferrie, was also an employeee of Marcello's.

What is truly important about the Garrison case is that it indisputably revealed an enormous Governmental bias against exposure of the truth. Many aspects of our society, from Ramsey Clark to Ronald Reagan, to NBC, closed ranks and sought to interfere with his investigation. They largely succeeded.

While I believe that many of the turncoats on the Garrison investigation were sincere intitially only to become turned-off by Garrison's sloppiness and desire to exploit the situation in the pursuit of a higher truth, there seems to have been at least one journalist/turncoat who was almost undoubedly working for the government (and/or the actual murderers) the whole time, and that's James Phelan. On pg. 162 in the anti-Garrison but apparently sincere American Grotesque, Phelan acknowledges that he sent the copies of Perry Russo's statements to CIA/Mafia cut-out man Robert Maheu at the Desert Inn, in order to make copies!!! This to me is one heck of a coinky-dink, and one I won't buy

even on sale. Maheu's involvement is to me a smoking gun.

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Paul and Pat,

Thanks for your responses. You both make some valid points.

I'm looking forward to Joan Mellen's book coming out. I'm sure it will have a lot of new information. The fact that she is having difficulty finding a publisher I believe has nothing to do with the quality of the work.

There may be another major development coming down the pike, too. I'm not at liberty to say what that is just yet, but it involves an unsolved murder.

greg

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Paul and Pat,

Thanks for your responses. You both make some valid points.

I'm looking forward to Joan Mellen's book coming out. I'm sure it will have a lot of new information. The fact that she is having difficulty finding a publisher I believe has nothing to do with the quality of the work.

There may be another major development coming down the pike, too. I'm not at liberty to say what that is just yet, but it involves an unsolved murder.

greg

What is Joan Mellen writing? Is it the Jim Garrison biography?

Edited by Paul Kerrigan
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What is Joan Mellen writing? Is it the Jim Garrison biography?

Paul, yes, but it's already written. It was originally set for release last November to coincide with the 40th anniversary, but the publisher pulled the plug. She is now having difficulty in finding another - an absurd situation given her track record, and one that would be inexplicable given any other subject matter she chose to write about, imo.

It was many years in the writing, with over a 1,000 interviews conducted...

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THis is from a 2000 exchange on the newsgroups between "Joe Zircon" and John McAdams. It highlights what I have said in the past: The real problem with McAdams' domination of JFK web searches is that this somehow translates to "expertise" when the media needs a quote on the case.

>Saw you last night on TV. Good job, John.

>

>I guess you're considered an expert on the Garrison case.

>

>Congrats.

>

>

Thanks. It should be obvious to anybody that I'm not as much of an

expert as several other people here, but I think my credentials got me

on the show.

Not that I had much airtime! But given that the producers had a lot

of footage from actual participants in the events in New Orleans, it's

fair enough that they used that and not me commenting on the whole

thing.

.John

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Great posting Greg. David Reitzes is wrong to suggest that Dick Billings was a member of Garrison’s inner-circle.

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

In November 1966 Jim Garrison told a journalist, David Chandler, that he had important information on the case. Chandler told Billings and in January 1967, the Life Magazine reporter arranged a meeting with Garrison. Billings told Garrison that the top management at Life had concluded that Kennedy's assassination had been a conspiracy and that "his investigation was moving in the right direction". Billings suggested that he worked closely with Garrison. According to Garrison "The magazine would be able to provide me with technical assistance, and we could develop a mutual exchange of information".

Garrison agreed to this deal and Billings was introduced to staff member, Tom Bethal. In his diary Bethal reported: "In general, I feel that Billings and I share a similar position about the Warren Report. He does not believe that there was a conspiracy on the part of the government, the Warren Commission or the FBI to conceal the truth, but that a probability exists that they simply did not uncover the whole truth." Billings managed to persuade Bethal that Clay Shaw was innocent. Later it was revealed by W. Penn Jones that "Bethal made the entire trial plan, a complete list of State's witnesses and their expected testimony and other materials available to the Shaw defense team."

In September, 1967, Billings told Jim Garrison that Life Magazine was no longer willing to work with him in the investigation. Billings claimed that this was because he had come to the conclusion that he had links to organized crime. Soon afterwards, Life began a smear campaign against Garrison. It was reported that Garrison had been given money by an unnamed "New Orleans mobster".

Billings had a long record as a CIA disinformation agent. He had close links with William Pawley and the anti-Castro Cuban groups in Florida. He was also part of the Pawley/Bayo mission (Operation Tilt) in 1962. Rip Robertson and John Martino were also aboard Pawley’s boat. Two other figures that crop up several times in the assassination of JFK. Pawley committed suicide a week after he received a letter asking him to be interviewed by Gaeton Fonzi on behalf of the Senate Commission on Assassinations in 1977.

This Senate Commission posed a real threat to the CIA. Billings was recruited by G. Robert Blakey, its chief counsel, as editorial director. The role of Billings and Blakey was to divert attention away from the CIA and to blame the Mafia instead. Later Billings and Blakey were the co-authors of The Plot to Kill the President (1981).

In the book Billings and Blakey argue that there was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy. Billings claims that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved but believes that there was at least one gunman firing from the Grassy Knoll. Billings comes to the conclusion that the Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello, organized the assassination.

David Reitzes and John McAdams seem to have no idea how CIA covert operations worked. In fact, they were based on the way SOE organized resistance to Hitler in occupied Europe. (The early CIA agents had worked closely with the SOE during the war.) SOE agents were organized into small cells. These agents knew nothing about the people in the other cells. These cells were all linked together by one senior agent from London. Those people involved in the assassination who have talked like John Martino have pointed out they only knew the names of the people in their cell. They would also know the person in charge of the operation. However, he would be unlikely to have used his real name (see Antonio Veciana comments to Gaeton Fonzi). Fonzi believes that the agent in control of the operation was David Atlee Phillips. Others think it was David Morales.

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John,

At the risk of sounding pedantic, Operation Tilt was summer of 1963, not 1962. I know that was just a typo.

Speaking of 'Tilt', here are 2 very interesting characters who participated on that infamous operation. Virgilio Gonzalez on the left and Eugenio Martinez on the right. These guys later popped up as Watergate burglars.

James

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  • 4 years later...

I stumbled upon this while looking into McAdams

I'll let that speak for itself and just add that history shows large scale conspiracies can and do last for many, many years.

I can give one example right from my own back yard. Darwin was bombed iduring WWII by the same Japanese squadron that hit Pearl Harbour. The first raid was on 19 February, 1942. The raids and bombings continued for another 21 months. The number of people killed however was succesfully suppressed for many years by the Australian government - despite holding a Royal Commission into it. Think about it. A whole city destroyed, and the rest of the country was successfully kept in the dark about how many had died...

LBJ, who was in Australia during the commission hearings, almost certainly knew the truth - as would most of the US servicemen out here at the time since some US lives were among those lost in the raids. It is not therefore beyond the realms of possibility that the whole idea of using a President's Commision to help suppress the truth about the assassination came from seeing how a Royal Commission had been used to help fool a nation. The press too, got on board through the invoking of National Security and a (false) idea of massive conflict. Here, the false threat had been that the bombing was a precurser to a Japanese invasion. In reality, the Japenese had no such intentions. They were after Timor and merely wanted to knock out any possibility of Australia coming to the rescue. LBJ's 40,000,000 lives would seem to have some parallels.

Lastly, the notion of performing tasks strictly on a "need to know" basis as part of an organisation, or as an individual favour, or even in the mistaken belief they were aiding "National Security" and therefore performing a patriotic duty, seems to have eluded McAdams and Reitzes. Such people are extremely unlikely to talk afterwards and put their own livelihoods - and perhaps liberty or even life, on the line.

Not very accurate. Though there were further attacks the 1st on February 19, 1942 was by far the deadliest, 243 people were killed. Given the dearth of information about the later attacks I doubt their death toll was very high. First reports indicated that only 15 were killed increased to 19 a day later. Initially this wasn’t part of an attempt by the government to deceive but based on inaccurate info sent to Canberra. It didn’t take long for the government to learn the real number which they initially tried to suppress but eventually made public. On March 30, 1942 the Melbourne Herald reported “240 Killed in First Darwin Raid” Though PM Curtin suggested the number might be lower he apologized for the deception citing “the interests of security”

http://tiny.cc/darwin380 pgs 178 – 184

That was 39 days, 1/9 of a year later. Even ignoring that the comparison is not apt. Darwin is closer to Jakarta than it is to Australia’s capital and major population centers, at the time it was a remote outpost with a population of less than 6000 many of whom were Aborigines or non Australians* with few if any ties people in other parts of the country. I presume they didn’t have phone service and the only telegraph facilities were under government control it was wartime and the press was censored.

* http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090816rp.html

By comparison the elapsed time since the assassination is over 400X that, it took place in a major city and presumably much of the plotting took place in Washington DC. Though the US has been involved in several foreign wars enemy forces never poised a threat to country and ostensibly there hasn’t been any censorship. And yet no one has talked. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe like McAdams does that LHO did it all by his lonesome, but unless you can come up with a better example he has a point that a large conspiracy involving many people is unlikely.

The Manhattan Project (which many CT’s cite) isn’t a suitable example either, it was also during wartime and most American’s especially those who passed security clearance would have felt an obligation to keep quite for the war’s duration, the secret did last much beyond its objective being realized. The part about need to know falls apart on that basis, presumably after JFK was killed those in the dark would have figured things out.

Perhaps I’m wrong and the toll from the later less deadly raids “successfully suppressed for many years” after the war’s end “by the Australian government” and many people were “in on” the deception. Do you have any evidence that is the case?

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I stumbled upon this while looking into McAdams
I'll let that speak for itself and just add that history shows large scale conspiracies can and do last for many, many years.

I can give one example right from my own back yard. Darwin was bombed iduring WWII by the same Japanese squadron that hit Pearl Harbour. The first raid was on 19 February, 1942. The raids and bombings continued for another 21 months. The number of people killed however was succesfully suppressed for many years by the Australian government - despite holding a Royal Commission into it. Think about it. A whole city destroyed, and the rest of the country was successfully kept in the dark about how many had died...

LBJ, who was in Australia during the commission hearings, almost certainly knew the truth - as would most of the US servicemen out here at the time since some US lives were among those lost in the raids. It is not therefore beyond the realms of possibility that the whole idea of using a President's Commision to help suppress the truth about the assassination came from seeing how a Royal Commission had been used to help fool a nation. The press too, got on board through the invoking of National Security and a (false) idea of massive conflict. Here, the false threat had been that the bombing was a precurser to a Japanese invasion. In reality, the Japenese had no such intentions. They were after Timor and merely wanted to knock out any possibility of Australia coming to the rescue. LBJ's 40,000,000 lives would seem to have some parallels.

Lastly, the notion of performing tasks strictly on a "need to know" basis as part of an organisation, or as an individual favour, or even in the mistaken belief they were aiding "National Security" and therefore performing a patriotic duty, seems to have eluded McAdams and Reitzes. Such people are extremely unlikely to talk afterwards and put their own livelihoods - and perhaps liberty or even life, on the line.

Not very accurate. Though there were further attacks the 1st on February 19, 1942 was by far the deadliest, 243 people were killed. Given the dearth of information about the later attacks I doubt their death toll was very high. First reports indicated that only 15 were killed increased to 19 a day later. Initially this wasn’t part of an attempt by the government to deceive but based on inaccurate info sent to Canberra. It didn’t take long for the government to learn the real number which they initially tried to suppress but eventually made public. On March 30, 1942 the Melbourne Herald reported “240 Killed in First Darwin Raid” Though PM Curtin suggested the number might be lower he apologized for the deception citing “the interests of security”

http://tiny.cc/darwin380 pgs 178 – 184

That was 39 days, 1/9 of a year later. Even ignoring that the comparison is not apt. Darwin is closer to Jakarta than it is to Australia’s capital and major population centers, at the time it was a remote outpost with a population of less than 6000 many of whom were Aborigines or non Australians* with few if any ties people in other parts of the country. I presume they didn’t have phone service and the only telegraph facilities were under government control it was wartime and the press was censored.

* http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090816rp.html

By comparison the elapsed time since the assassination is over 400X that, it took place in a major city and presumably much of the plotting took place in Washington DC. Though the US has been involved in several foreign wars enemy forces never poised a threat to country and ostensibly there hasn’t been any censorship. And yet no one has talked. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe like McAdams does that LHO did it all by his lonesome, but unless you can come up with a better example he has a point that a large conspiracy involving many people is unlikely.

The Manhattan Project (which many CT’s cite) isn’t a suitable example either, it was also during wartime and most American’s especially those who passed security clearance would have felt an obligation to keep quite for the war’s duration, the secret did last much beyond its objective being realized. The part about need to know falls apart on that basis, presumably after JFK was killed those in the dark would have figured things out.

Perhaps I’m wrong and the toll from the later less deadly raids “successfully suppressed for many years” after the war’s end “by the Australian government” and many people were “in on” the deception. Do you have any evidence that is the case?

Len,

I could not find the the 1942 Melbourne Herald story you mention anywhere in the link you provided.

Yes, of course there are naysayers -- just as there are naysayers regarding the a conspiracy in the assassination. Who cares that you want to side with them. That's hardly a shock.

Here are the facts:

Darwin's World War II history

On a sultry morning we gather next to the Darwin Cenotaph in a park overlooking the city's harbour, listening to a group of World War II veterans recall their experiences of the Darwin bombing.

A chat with the veterans - members of the Darwin Defenders, a non-profit organisation that aims to spread the word about Darwin's real wartime story - is an eye opener. It's not usually part of a tour itinerary but members are keen to talk to anyone interested.

Although the cenotaph is a memorial to the soldiers who fought in World War I, it was here that the guns of the 14th Anti-Aircraft Battery fired the first shots on home soil, during the Japanese air attack on February 19, 1942 - 10 weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Eight of the 45 ships in Darwin harbour were sunk, 34 aircraft destroyed and hundreds of people killed. This attack was followed by 63 further bombing raids before November 12, 1943.

Australia reprises this largely suppressed episode in national history. The group's secretary, Rex Ruwoldt, says the wartime government of Labor prime minister John Curtin downplayed the attack on Darwin in order to cover up the country's inadequate defence. Fearing political backlash, the government imposed strict censorship laws banning all photographs, diaries and letters mentioning enemy action. After the war, official documents relating to the bombing of Darwin were stamped "not to be released until 1995" and references to the Darwin bombings were removed from school history curriculums.

www.smh.com.au/travel/lights-camera-landscape-20081113-5yxn.html

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Sorry I copied the link at the top of the page and thought clicking on it would bring you to it. Find page 183 this is easier if you click on the 'pages' link to sort the results by page number. You should read pages 178 - 84 while you're at it.

Though downplayed the death toll was only kept secret for about 5 weeks

Edited by Len Colby
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Greg - Should I take your failure to reply as tacit acknowledgment you were wrong about the death toll at Darwin being covered up?

If so can you cite any examples of large conspiracies being covered up for decades?

Len, perhaps you're both right. Just because ONE paper printed the correct total five weeks later does not mean it became common knowledge... Cover-ups are rarely one hundred percent successful...but they don't need to be. As far as Greg's basic point--that governments cover-up and lie to protect politicians and that it sometimes takes decades to uncover the truth, how can you argue?

I'll give you my favorite example. The vast majority of Americans STILL believe the United States HAD to drop the bomb on Japan, because the Japanese military had vowed to fight to the last man. Virtually no one knows that Japanese leaders had been trying to negotiate a surrender with Allen Dulles and others in Europe for months before the bomb was dropped. Virtually no one knows that Douglas MacArthur, of all people, said that the battle of Iwo Jima was totally unnecessary. We continued fighting and dropped the bomb because we wanted to assure Japan's UNCONDITIONAL surrender (and perhaps just perhaps send a message to the Russians). But how many Americans knew this? How many soldiers fighting at Iwo Jima were told that the Japanese had already agreed to surrender, and give up all the gains they'd made in the war, but were fighting on because they didn't want us to occupy their homeland? Probably zero. The American people were sold the war under the premise the Germans and Japanese were out to conquer the world; they were not sold the war on the premise we needed to conquer Germany and Japan and rebuild them to suit or economic interests. And so the lie was repeated after the war was over. And repeated and repeated and repeated. Until it became doctrine.

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