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Tink's performance in The New York Times


Guest James H. Fetzer
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According to Witt:

I think I went sort of maybe halfway up the grassy area [on the north side of Elm Street], somewhere in that vicinity. I am pretty sure I sat down. . . . [when the motorcade approached] I think I got up and started fiddling with that umbrella trying to get it open, and at the same time I was walking forward, walking toward the street. . . . Whereas other people I understand saw the President shot and his movements; I did not see this because of this thing [the umbrella] in front of me . . . My view of the car during that length of time was blocked by the umbrella’s being open.

Based on the available photographs made that day, none of Witt’s statements were an accurate account of the actions of the “umbrella man” who stood waiting for the motorcade with his umbrella in the normal over-the-head position and then pumped it in the air as Kennedy passed.

Rosemary redux:

Rosemary Willis...noticed two persons who looked "conspicuous." One was a man near

the curb holding an umbrella, who appeared to be more concerned with opening and closing

the umbrella than dropping to the ground like everyone else at the time of the shots.

Since Witt was focused on his umbrella why should it surprise us that he was still focused on handling the umbrella even after it was in a "normal over-the-head position"?

Yeah, there are eccentric people in the world who will make these exciting connections in their minds and grab an umbrella and go heckle the President over something that happened 25 years earlier, or walk by a Fox News van that may or may not have contained people and shout out 45 year old Bob Dylan lyrics.

The shame of it is that the HSCA used Witt to pooh-pooh blood soluble flechette weaponry even though the autopsy doctors considered such a scenario quite possible. The shame of it is that so many people are eager to hang Witt when it should be apparent to students of the era that if the CIA and Special Forces tested this technology it must have caught the attention of one Mitchell WerBell the 3rd.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=2359

Why aren't we talking about WerBell, instead of Witt?

Well done obfuscation by the HSCA!

Cliff,

If the Fox news van, at the very end of your utterance, suddenly exploded, do you think you'd be able to walk away and not be questioned for 15 years?

Let's say I went down the Mall dressed as Mary Queen of Scots. Queen Elizabeth II rides by in her horse drawn carriage. I wave a pointy stick at her and shout, "Imposter!" and at that exact moment, much to my surprise, her head falls off. You think I would be allowed to quickly leave, go to the nearest pub for a pint of Guinness, return home, put my Mary Queen of Scots outfit in the wardrobe alongside my pointy stick and have not one person come looking for me for 15 years?

I'd hope in either of those circumstances that a sharp-eyed 10 year old could accurately describe our actions in order to dispel these suspicions.

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FWIW, I did a wee bit of digging this morning to see if there's anything I'd missed re Umbrella Man. This immediately popped up. According to this article by Jerry Organ, Witt was not pulled from nowhere and propped up by Blakey as Umbrella Man, but outed by Penn Jones...

Fourth Decade comment on Umbrella Man

If this was indeed the case, then Jones would have to have been duped into outing Witt and IDing him as the Umbrella Man. Does anyone here believe this? Really?

Jerry Organ? The seeker of truth?

Von Pein is more open minded than that guy.

That Witt was outed by Jones and Marrs is confirmed by Marrs in Fetzer's post. This happened, evidently, months after the HSCA published a picture of Umbrella Man and asked him to come forward. If Blakey, or anyone, for that matter, had conspired to push a fake Umbrella Man on the public, it only makes sense that they would have done so at that time. If they were in the business of pushing fakes on the public, moreover, it only makes sense to assume they'd have pushed a fake Mexico City Mystery Man as well. Umbrella Man, after all, was merely a topic of discussion among buffs. The Mexico City Mystery Man, on the other hand, had been the topic of a best-seller.

Pat,

This thing can be argued round in circles until we all fall over.

As far as I 'm concerned this guy was probably 20 feet from JFK when he was hit. He's pumping an umbrella in the air at the moment JFK rides past and the shots begin. He then disappeared for 15 years.

As pointed out by Bernice he was 8 years old when the event he was allegedly protesting occurred.

The photographic record is inconclusive for anyone to say it was definitely him. So all we have is Witt's story and a pile of assumptions that every man and his dog is throwing into the mix.

I'm not really buying into anyone's arguments regarding the HSCA and their possible motives for wheeling this guy out. The Mexico City man is a different kettle of fish in my opinion. Blakey wanted the Mexico City stuff to go away more than the Warren Comission did.

I can't say this is an unimportant sideshow because TUM might not be unimportant. He might not be Witt and if he's not, then what does that mean? In an unsolved case like this why would any of us throw something like this in the trash?

I think dismissing him is equally as stupid as saying he was definitely an assassin.

Lee,

I'm not buying into whether it really was Witt or not, but if Russ Baker is right, Witt was put forward through military connections in the building in which he worked. Phoning Penn Jones to give him the tip on Witt would be sheer genius. The resultant publicity would grab the attention of the HSCA. If this scenario is correct, the HSCA had nothing to do with putting Witt up to the charade. But by the same token, they had no interest in really disputing his story - on the contrary, they'd be relieved to wheel Witt out and put UM to bed with as little fuss as possible.

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I didn't realise Rosemary Willis was in charge of the investigation, Cliff...

I count her as a credible witness. Hell, I count the entire Willis family as THE credible witnesses given their position on Elm St. with excellent views of both JFK in the limo and activity on the knoll area. In an interview given years later Rosemary referred to phony cops in the Plaza. I just don't think they're going to come right out and say "cops shot Kennedy" and still expect to lead normal lives in the state of Texas.

Please understand, Lee, this not about that massive distraction named Louis Witt -- for me, at any rate -- it's about the credibility of Rosemary Willis.

The men don't know what the little girl understands.

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Its the latter point that I think is important. And therefore for anyone to accept Witt at face value must accept what the HSCA did at face value. Which as many others have shown, including me, is not very wise.

We don't have to accept anything at "face value."

Rosemary Willis describes his actions as benign. She in on it, too?

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I gotta admit it feels a little strange to be on the opposite side of an issue from Don Jeffries, Greg Burnham, Robert Charles-Dunne and Jim DiEugenio. I read everything these guys post. Jim D. and I go 'round once in a while, but that doesn't change my high opinion of his over-all work.

In fact, if I had to pick an Ed Forum starting five -- all four of those guys would be on it. B)

Add Michael Hogan and my Ed Forum starting five would be: 1) Hogan, point guard - 2) Burnham, shooting guard - 3) Jeffries, small forward - 4) Charles-Dunne, power forward - (5) DiEugenio, center.

:ice

I attribute my difference of opinion on the credibility of Witt's raison d'etre to pop cultural reasons. I've lived in the Haight Ashbury for 23 years, and before that I was one of the early promoters of American hardcore punk rock.

From where I sit eccentric behavior like that claimed by Louis Witt seems run of the mill and not at all surprising.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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This Umbrella Man thing just became very interesting. Did you miss this part of his testimony, Jim D.? He may have been there, after all. None of what follows was written by me. It all came from Christopher Marlow, who appears to have noticed something that Jim D. seems to have missed.

228.

Christopher Marlow

San Diego, CA

November 22nd, 2011

6:08 pm

After watching this video, I looked up the interview of the "Umbrella Man" for the House Committee on Assassinations. It was very enlightening. The man's name was Louis Steven Witt, a former Dallas insurance salesman. He was questioned by counsel for the committee, Mr. Genzman....

Mr. WITT. Yes. As I moved toward the street, still walking on the grass, I heard the shots that I eventually learned were shots. At the time somehow it didn't register as shots because they were so close together, and it was like hearing a string of firecrackers, or something like that. It didn't at that moment register on me as being shots.

...

Mr. GENZMAN. What do you next recall happening?

Mr. WITT. Let me go back a minute. As I was moving forward I apparently had this umbrella in front of me for some few steps. Whereas other people I understand saw the President shot and his movements; I did not see this because of this thing in front of me, The next thing I saw after I saw the car coming down the street, down the hill to my left, the car was just about at a position like this [indicating] at this angle here. At this time there was the car stopping, the screeching of tires, the jamming on of brakes, [!!!] motorcycle patrolman right there beside one of the cars. One car ran upon the President's car and a man jumped off and jumped on the back. These were the scenes that unfolded as I reached the point to where I was seeing things.

...

---> If you look at the Zapruder film, you will see that the car does not stop. But the Umbrella man and literally dozens of witnesses testified that the presidential limo came to a stop during the assassination.

The Zapruder film has been altered to conceal this and other facts. Any careful examination of the Z film will lead you to this conclusion.

This is one of the more peculiar interchanges I have observed on the London Forum.

First of all, I posted--some days ago--that I had known of Steven Witt's story, decades ago, and back at the time he testified, because I had a Dallas friend who knew Witt's dentist. Consequently, I had heard the whole story of how he ended up in Dealey Plaza, with his umbrella. So, having that "third party corroboration," I never doubted his story. Moreover, although it was interesting that I knew someone who knew the man's dentist, I really didn't think it was necessary to have that information to find Witt's story credible. Also, the notion that Witt was somehow recruited, in 1978, to come forward, identify himself, volunteer to tell a totally false story to a Congressional committee, seemed not just improbable, but just plain ridiculous. He was 53 at the time, had a family, and the whole idea that he would have a congressional investigator come to his home, hold forth with a false story, and then appear under oath, and be cross examined by some five congressman--and all of it to shield those involved in a murder conspiracy in 1963, appeared absurd.

But apparently not to a whole group of JFK researchers, who apparently fell in love with the hypothesis that the man with the umbrella was a crucial functionary in the conspiracy to murder President Kennedy.

Just consider some of the remarks that have been made on this forum, and examine them for logic. Specifically (and quoting now these two quotes from Jim Fetzer's post #65:

ITEM: ". . this person was pumping the umbrella up and down in an apparent signal to "continue firing"

ITEM: "It is far more likely that he was signaling to the assassins that JFK was still alive, which makes sense. . "

Then, pursuing the imposter idea, Fetzer presented as "reasonable identifications" that it was not Witt at all but rather "the Cuban as Felipe Vidal Santiago, a committed anti-Castro Cuba, and. . Roy Hargraves, who fit the photos and the scenario to a "t".

Here's a question I would like to pose: do Fetzer (and some of the others on this board (e.g., DiEugenio) who really haven't reasoned this out thoroughly) realize that they are accusing Steven Witt of murder? (And do they care?) Well, let's put that aside (for the moment). And let's get back to Dealey Plaza. and the supposed "purpose" of this man with the umbrella: "signaling" whether Kennedy is yet dead, or whether more shots should be fired.

The matter of whether Kennedy is (or is not) "dead" ("yet") is an important one. No doubt about it. So let's focus on where responsibility for that "plot function" (assuming there was such a plot) lies.

That is why so much attention has been focused, in the past, on the behavior of the two Secret Service agents in the front seat of the car--Roy Kellerman, who was essentially in charge, and the driver. Going back to the time of the Warren Commission, one can find important memos written by Redlich commenting on (a) the non-reaction of the agents and (b ) the number of times they look back, at Kennedy, while the car is being slowed down (if not stopped, as I am certain it was, based on my own interviews with 5 witnesses--see my essay Pig on a Leash). This matter has been discussed on numerous Internet threads. The testimony of Kellerman and of Greer do not match what is shown on the Z film.

My point is that these two Secret Service agents are the persons responsible for the car being slowed down (if not stopped, momentarily) when the shots were fired. (The action of the Secret Service driver is not the result of some bystander with an umbrella). Furthermore, Kellerman has a microphone in his hand, and is speaking into it, while all this is happening. (This is visible on frames of the Z film, but you need a clear copy). Another point: prior to the head shot, Kellerman is looking off to one side--looking in the right rear view mirror. He's not looking at someone on the sidewalk. He's looking right in the mirror; he's looking at Kennedy, as Kennedy is being shot.

So: all things considered: it is the Secret Service agent in the front right seat of the car, someone who is talking into a microphone, looking towards the rear, crouching down towards the front (in the later frames), who is in charge. So how in the world would (or could) anyone who has given this serious thought--or studied the Z film carefully--ever believe that a bystander with an umbrella, standing nearby, would have that function? How could someone believe that a bystander, on the sidewalk, looking at the car, would have the function of calling in more shots, or making the determination that Kennedy was or was not dead?

Furthermore, for those entertaining such nonsense about Steve Witt, may I also point out that, once the shooting was over, Kellerman actually stood up, radio in his hand, and waved on to the police cruiser in front, to move ahead. Where does this information come from? From the account of AP Reporter Jack Bell, who was in the media car, immediately behind the Mayor Cabell's car (which was behind the LBJ followup car, "Varsity").

Yes, you can read Jack Bell's account in the next day's New York Times, and that's what it says. But, I hasten to add, that is another event that is NOT in the extant Zapruder film: Again, the following is not in the Zapruder film: Kellerman standing up, radio mike in his hand, and waving to the police cruiser to move on. (And so again, we are faced with a choice: either Bell imagined that scene, which he wrote about immediately, and which was in the next day's NY Times) or the Zapruder film was altered. Seriously altered.

But I digress. . . let's return to Jim Fetzer, and (in this case) his supporter, DiEugenio. . .

In post #95, Fetzer says (referring to Witt): "The man is obviously an imposter, but apparently good enough to take in David Lifton."

Oh really now. . well, fasten your seatbelts, because here comes a major reversal on Fetzer's part. and guess why that happened?

FETZER'S REVERSAL ON THE QUESTION OF STEVE WITT

In rereading Steve Witt's testimony, I was reminded that he was a strong car-stop witness. And I said to myself, "I think I'll post that section of the testimony. I wonder what Fetzer will say then, when he is confronted with the fact that Witt --who he has been essentially accusing of being part of a murder plot--is in fact a witness supportive of the Zapruder-film-alteration hypothesis?"

Well, another poster (Mr. Marborough) posted that testimony, and its worth repeating here.

QUOTING FROM HSCA VOLUME 4, and the Steve Witt testimony:

"The next thing I saw after I saw the car coming down the street, down the hill to my left, the car as just about at a position like this [indicating] . . . At this time there was the car stopping, the screeching of tires, the jamming on of brakes, motorcycle patrolman right there beside one of the cars. One car ran upon the President’s car and a man jumped off and jumped on the back. These were the scenes that unfolded as I reached the point to where I was seeing things. (4 HSCA 433)

And then this: “Sometime later after the cars moved out, this is when all this activity in the cars stopping and the cars moved out, I recall a man (433) sitting down to my right and he said something like: “They done shot them folks.”

"The next time I saw the car the car was when this activity of the car stopping, one car rushing up on another the motorcycle patrolman stopping, there was this screeching of tires, this sort of thing." (4 HSCA 440)

Obviously, Steve Witt is a "car-stop" witness--and he wasn't even asked about that specifically. It just poppoed out.

Well now, what does Jim Fetzer say about that?

Guess what? Why that's enough to convince Fetzer that Steve Witt was "really there"!

That pronouncement happens in Fetzer's post #142 on this thread.

Let's do this slowly. . . :

Moving forward on this thread (past post #98, which says, "While we are addressing David Lifton's demonstrated incompetence. . " etc. --this, because I do not believe a missile hit the Pentagon. . .). . . and all the way forward to Fetzer's post # 142 (dated just yesterday, 27 November 2011, at 7:47 AM). and what do we find? Jim Fetzer has just learned that Steve Witt is a car-stop witness!

Oh my gosh. . What does he do now? Well, like a newborn babe just learning that earth rotates on its axis once per day, he now addresses his new found friend, DiEugenio, and I quote:

"This Umbrella Man thing just became very interesting. Did you miss this part of his testimony, Jim D. He may have been there, after all." And Fetzer then proceeds to quote from post #228 (by Christopher Marlow) which contained the car-stop quotes I just cited above.

Notice Fetzer's key quote: "He [steve Witt] may have been there, after all."

In plain English: "I didn't believe any of this before, but now that I see that he is a car-stop witness, and since that is what I personal believe, why he must have been there, after all!"

(Which then led another poster, Cliff Varnell, to post his amusing "Free Louie" item.)

Now really, Jim Fetzer. . is your "reasoning" such that now that you have learned that Steven Witt is a car stop witness, you are now willing to embrace him as an ally, and cease accusing him of being a murderer? (or an imposter, in the furtherance of a murder plot)? Is that the way you function?

And I must ask you this: did it ever occur to you that (falsely) accusing someone like Witt--who is clearly NOT a public figure, in the legal sense--could lead to his filing a lawsuit again you? (Does the University of Minnesota provide you with insurance, so that, in your retirement, you can make reckless and irresponsible charges on the Internet? And accuse innocent people of murder?)

SOME LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

The lesson I draw from this is that this false accusation against Witt was no more carefully thought out--and in fact is just as baseless and irresponsible--as your screwball hypotheses that a missile hit the Pentagon or that no planes hit the World Trade Center, or that the State of Israel was behind 9/11. All of it is pure junk.

And its why I have said--and will repeat again here--that no reporter in the mainstream media is going to take anything you have to say seriously; and that is unfortunate, because I realize you are a supporter of my work, and that of Doug Horne. Unfortunately, you have thrown away your credibility--and you have done it again, in the case of Steve Witt.

The fact that Steve Witt was in Dealey Plaza with his umbrella is a fact, regardless of whether he now is "exonerated" (in your eyes) because he turns out to be a car stop witness.

You had no business making such a false accusation in the first place.

DSL

11/28/11; 8:45 PM PST

Los Angeles, CA

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I didn't realise Rosemary Willis was in charge of the investigation, Cliff...

I count her as a credible witness. Hell, I count the entire Willis family as THE credible witnesses given their position on Elm St. with excellent views of both JFK in the limo and activity on the knoll area. In an interview given years later Rosemary referred to phony cops in the Plaza. I just don't think they're going to come right out and say "cops shot Kennedy" and still expect to lead normal lives in the state of Texas.

Please understand, Lee, this not about that massive distraction named Louis Witt -- for me, at any rate -- it's about the credibility of Rosemary Willis.

The men don't know what the little girl understands.

Cliff, you say no one knows what she "understands"? This was part of her "understanding: She told UPI in 1975 that "I heard three shots and they all came from across the street from the direction of the book depository. Oswald was up there as clear as could be."

You say elsewhere that she described UM's actions as "benign"? Is that her word, or yours? Was she trying to say he wasn't firing a weapon? Or was she ruling out other possibilities as well, such as giving a signal?

What qualifications did she have at 10 to be able to discern a "benign" action from a choreographed one as part of a covert operation?

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Cliff, you say no one knows what she "understands"?

Well, unless you were in Dealey Plaza across the street from the grassy knoll you wouldn't know what she understands, would you?

This was part of her "understanding: She told UPI in 1975 that "I heard three shots and they all came from across the street from the direction of the book depository. Oswald was up there as clear as could be."

Is that what she told the UPI? Funny organization to be granting 100% credibility, don't you think?

You say elsewhere that she described UM's actions as "benign"? Is that her word, or yours?

Mine. The HSCA summary of her remarks goes:

"Rosemary Willis...noticed two persons who looked "conspicuous." One was a man near the curb holding an umbrella, who appeared to be more concerned with opening and closing the umbrella than dropping to the ground like everyone else at the time of the shots.

She describes him as focused on the umbrella; he describes himself as focused on the umbrella; the films and photos show him handling the umbrella.

Could the umbrella have been a weapon? Hell no! They had far better flechette technology than using a device that had no sighting capability and would operate best in close quarters.

Could he have been signaling to the shooters? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, since the shooters would all have spotters, no?

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I feel as strange as Cliff does about our disagreeing on this subject. I thank him kindly for including me with such distinguished company, although I have a feeling we'd probably all be "ball hogs" on the court.

Penn Jones was far from perfect, and was certainly subject to being duped, but if any mainstream journalist had been half as curious about the truth as he was, this case would have been solved long ago. Whatever Jones may have thought initially about Witt, after he appeared before the HSCA, his testimony was lambasted thoroughly in the pages of his newsletter, The Continuing Inquiry.

I find Josiah Thompson's reference to being "delighted" with his interview baffling. Am I the only one who gets the impression that he is more concerned with discrediting CTers he considers "wingnuts" than in exposing the impossible nature of the official story? I think that's a problem with the CT community at large; too many are now so vested in their own personal theories and squabbles that it may be important in their minds to be "right" about specific details than it is for the truth about the JFK assassination to ever be publicly revealed.

David Lifton- are you saying that you never found TUM to be suspicious? And if you (and perhaps others) knew about Witt so long ago, why was this information never circulated throughout the research community at large? By the time I started delving into this subject in the mid-1970s, TUM was considered mysterious and connected in some way to the conspiracy by virtually every Warren Commission critic. But then again, at that time, they all felt there were numerous mysterious deaths connected to the case, that Oswald was quite possibly the figure in the TSBD doorway captured in the Altgens photo, that the Secret Service was negligent, etc. Now. we find an increasing number of alleged believers in conspiracy, including some formerly hardcore CTers, who no longer question these things and call those of us who do "wingnuts" and such.

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Cliff, you say no one knows what she "understands"?

Well, unless you were in Dealey Plaza across the street from the grassy knoll you wouldn't know what she understands, would you?

Sorry, Cliff. It just strikes as a peculiar turn of phrase. How can anyone truly know what anyone else "understands"? What is is important is what she saw and heard - not her understanding/interpretation of it.

The only person claiming any knowledge of what she understood is you.

This was part of her "understanding: She told UPI in 1975 that "I heard three shots and they all came from across the street from the direction of the book depository. Oswald was up there as clear as could be."

Is that what she told the UPI? Funny organization to be granting 100% credibility, don't you think?

They also reported her saying she thought Oswald was up there as a "decoy".

Additionally, she said that she saw two men on a railroad trestle as the shots rang out. She saw them a second time in photos received "within hours" of the assassination by the FBI, but when the photos were returned, the figures were "no longer visible". She also mentioned seeing a man behind "a lattice-type wall".

Yes. I believe they recorded words her as accurately as any interview subject is recorded is by any paper - whether a suburban weekly or daily national.

You say elsewhere that she described UM's actions as "benign"? Is that her word, or yours?

Mine. The HSCA summary of her remarks goes:

"Rosemary Willis...noticed two persons who looked "conspicuous." One was a man near the curb holding an umbrella, who appeared to be more concerned with opening and closing the umbrella than dropping to the ground like everyone else at the time of the shots.

She describes him as focused on the umbrella; he describes himself as focused on the umbrella; the films and photos show him handling the umbrella.

Could the umbrella have been a weapon? Hell no! They had far better flechette technology than using a device that had no sighting capability and would operate best in close quarters.

Could he have been signaling to the shooters? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, since the shooters would all have spotters, no?

Okay. So you claim to know that she "understood" that UM's actions were "benign". But in the end, all it really is, is your interpretation of her description of UM. RW made no such claims herself.

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As I said before, if I ever need someone to distort what I said to the MSM for the 50th, Lifton is the guy.

Let me brief in reply to his rather lengthy post:

1. Unlike Fetzer, I never said that WItt was an imposter. If I did say that, please show me where I did.

2. Therefore, unlike Fetzer, my argument never turned.

3. I have no investment in Z film alteration, period. So it certainly could not have turned on what Fetzer's argument turned on.

Thanks so much David.

Jim:

All your post proves is that you are an expert at gobbldeegook.

You've been derisive and critical of Steve Witt's testimony, and his presence in Dealey Plaza. No, it wasn't a weaponized umbrella, but no, he wasn't there; or (perhaps) yes, he was there, but the story he told was false; or yes, his testimony was a put up job; arranged to cleanse the situation.

So. . which side are you on, Jim? Can you even keep track? Is there a perceivable "audit trail" to your beliefs in this area?

We all know the joke about how many people it takes to screw in a light bulb. How many sides of the mouth is it possible to speak out of, on this issue?

So. . .why don't you lay out your "position," or, as we sometimes describe a politician with constantly changing positions, shall we just call you Jim "Severalsides"?

DSL

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Guest Robert Morrow

I have always thought that the person to focus on is "Dark Complected Man" not Umbrella Man.

Dark Complected Man is the one who is literally standing off the sidewalk, one foot into the street. He is standing across from the 3 freshly painted yellow stripes that were painted on the south side of Elm Street.

At Z 202 he holds has hand in a fist across his stomach. By Z 226 "Dark Complected Man" is holding his arm up in what appears to be a signal to the assassins more so than a wave to JFK.

So many of the witnesses in near the JFK limo have been identified or have come foward. Not so Dark Complected Man. He could very well be a CIA connected anti-Castro Cuban involved in the JFK assassination. A lot of Cubans have African ancestry in them ("black").

Dark Complected Man can ALSO be seen talking into a walkie talkie. CIA operative Frank Sturgis used to say that they often used "walkie talkies" whenever he was running an operation.

I think that Dark Complected Man is either 1) signaling for the limo to slow down or 2) letting a sniper on the Grassy Knoll know that JFK is still alive and that a "head shot" is still needed.

I am pretty much accusing Dark Complected Man of murder. (Not so Umbrella Man. I just don't think the assassins of JFK would place 2 spotters side by side. One is all that is needed. My current thinking is to believe Witt.)

Google "Dark Complected Man walkie talkie" http://www.google.com/search?gcx=w&q=dark+complected+man+walkie+talkie&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1024&bih=667&sei=q5zUTo-bM4OnsALOoJ2CDw#q=dark+complected+man+walkie+talkie&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&tbm=isch&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=f5e8226a89f8cfc4&biw=1280&bih=963

Edited by Robert Morrow
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As I said before, if I ever need someone to distort what I said to the MSM for the 50th, Lifton is the guy.

Let me brief in reply to his rather lengthy post:

1. Unlike Fetzer, I never said that WItt was an imposter. If I did say that, please show me where I did.

2. Therefore, unlike Fetzer, my argument never turned.

3. I have no investment in Z film alteration, period. So it certainly could not have turned on what Fetzer's argument turned on.

Thanks so much David.

Jim:

All your post proves is that you are an expert at gobbldeegook.

You've been derisive and critical of Steve Witt's testimony, and his presence in Dealey Plaza. No, it wasn't a weaponized umbrella, but no, he wasn't there; or (perhaps) yes, he was there, but the story he told was false; or yes, his testimony was a put up job; arranged to cleanse the situation.

So. . which side are you on, Jim? Can you even keep track? Is there a perceivable "audit trail" to your beliefs in this area?

We all know the joke about how many people it takes to screw in a light bulb. How many sides of the mouth is it possible to speak out of, on this issue?

So. . .why don't you lay out your "position," or, as we sometimes describe a politician with constantly changing positions, shall we just call you Jim "Severalsides"?

DSL

I knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy's proctologist...

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I feel as strange as Cliff does about our disagreeing on this subject. I thank him kindly for including me with such distinguished company, although I have a feeling we'd probably all be "ball hogs" on the court.

[snipped to save space]

David Lifton- are you saying that you never found TUM to be suspicious? And if you (and perhaps others) knew about Witt so long ago, why was this information never circulated throughout the research community at large? By the time I started delving into this subject in the mid-1970s, TUM was considered mysterious and connected in some way to the conspiracy by virtually every Warren Commission critic. But then again, at that time, they all felt there were numerous mysterious deaths connected to the case, that Oswald was quite possibly the figure in the TSBD doorway captured in the Altgens photo, that the Secret Service was negligent, etc. Now. we find an increasing number of alleged believers in conspiracy, including some formerly hardcore CTers, who no longer question these things and call those of us who do "wingnuts" and such.

Hello Don:

You very likely won't agree with much of what I write below, but so be it:

Re TUM and the “research community”. . . :

When Tink Thompson first pointed to the Umbrella Man in 1967, did I find him “suspicious”?

I probably did, but certainly I was not focused on the issue. By that time (late 1967), I was developing the evidence that President Kennedy’s wounds had been altered, as central to his murder. This meant that President Kennedy was not only a person to be killed, but his body was a target to be altered, in order to support of a false story of the assassination, pinning the blame on Oswald (and his rifle). Do keep all this in mind. It is all laid out, chapter and verse, in Best Evidence—and the chapters I wrote are footnoted to research and interviews that conducted starting in late 1966, and then in the years following.

So: I never understood why stationing a man with an umbrella made sense; since I understood that if it was planned to kill the president by driving him slowly through a booby-trapped area, murdering him, and then altering his wounds prior to autopsy, then this should be viewed as a staged execution, and the key players had to be the Secret Service agents in his own automobile, and perhaps some in the follow-up car—not to mention other high officials who had to be involved.

The whole thing had the quality of a staged performance, of "producing a movie" and then "selling the story" to the American public.

Of course it would be necessary to "know when he was dead," but whose responsibilty would that be? Surely it would be the "responsibility" of those driving JFK (a dead JFK) away from Dealey Plaza.

Consequently, I knew where the responsibility lay for anything having to do with the custody of the body: with the key secret Service agents involved in planning the trip, and then driving slowly through the area: Roy Kellerman and William Greer (and probably a smattering of other agents as well).

I had spoken to Greer for an hour or more in late 1967, and I had already spoken with Kellerman, too. In 1970 or 1971, I spent about two hours in Greer’s home, meeting with him personally. (And as I left his Maryland home, the last thing he said to me was, "Well, Chief Rowley would certainly like to know what you're working on.")

As to the man with the umbrella: of course he was a “person of interest” (as far as I was concerned). Further, I distinctly remember a lecture at which I ridiculed the Warren Commission’s failure to identify him—saying that had they done so, undoubtedly they would have concluded it was “only raining on him.”

The audience laughed, but it didn’t go much further than that.

Now, does that answer your question? Perhaps not. . . so let’s turn to the “research community” of which you speak, circa 1978, eleven years after the publication of Josiah Thompson's Six Seconds in Dallas. Who do you think was in the “research community” back then? And how do you think we communicated?

THE RESEARCH COMMUNITY, circa 1978

Certainly, there was no Internet, and so the answer to the second question is: by mail. That meant that if I wanted to communicate with Salandria, I had to either pay for a long distance telephone call, or write him a letter; and if I wrote him a letter, and I wanted to communicate also with Sylvia Meagher, and Paul Hoch, then I had to make additional carbon copies, put a stamp on each, and then go and mail all three letters. That was my “net”. Several days letter, they would receive the letters, and perhaps write me back. That was how “we” communicated. There was no Internet, no fax, no email.

Today, you take for granted a most extraordinary luxury: that you can sit at your computer and write thoughts that are, in effect, “broadcast” all around the world. It wasn’t that way back then—and the “research community” of which you speak was much smaller.

In any event, in the 1970’s, I made no secret of my views on Steven Witt, and when he testified in 1978—and because of what I had heard (via the friend who knew the dentist)—I believed him. So I believed the umbrella man was no longer a mystery. However, there were still quite a few "other witnesses" who were NOT identified, and I certainly wanted to know who they were—all of them.

As to the “research community” such as it is today: Jim Fetzer, as I recall, didn’t get involved in JFK research until about 1992—that’s almost 20 years ago—and I have no idea when DiEugenio took a serous interest in these matters. All I do know is that once he did, he was an uncritical mouthpiece of Garrison, and that, in general, he showed no serious comprehension of the problem addressed in my work (and that of Doug Horne): fraud in the evidence, which is the key to this case.

In any event, there was no “Internet” until after 1995.

THE INCOMPLETE FBI INVESTIGATION AND THE NUMEROUS “unidentified witnesses”

Finally, I should like to make one other thing very clear: I find it inexcusable—even absurd—that the FBI investigation was so lax, superficial, or deliberately incomplete (choose your own terminology) that any number of key witnesses, standing right there in the plaza, and near the President’s limousine, were not identified and interviewed. Steven Witt is just one example. There is no excuse for the situation that exists today—that one can view these “bystander” films on YouTube, focus on any one of a number of key individuals, ask “Who’s that?” –and the answer is: “we don’t know.” Or: “He was never identified.”

What kind of investigation is that?

THE PROBLEM OF STEVEN WITT—IN PERSPECTIVE

Steve Witt just happens to be one example of a wider problem. The fact that so many others were unidentified and not interviewed was (and is) a travesty. Its too bad that the focus on Witt (who belatedly came forward, and who was not part of any plot), hides a more serious problem: the numerous witnesses who were obviously present and were never identified.

It would be a shame if the mistaken focus on Witt—and the false and indefensible hypotheses promoted by some who, in fact, are “late comers” to the “assassination research community”—cause us to lose focus on an important fact of this case: that there were perhaps a dozen (or two dozen) witnesses, in Dealey Plaza, close to the motorcade, who were never identified. People who were not just "witnesses" but who may have been "players" in this drama.

THE CAR-STOP WITNESSES

And one other matter, a postscript if you will:

By late 1969, I realized the Zapruder film was very likely altered.

In November, 1971, I went to Dallas, with a reel to reel tape recorder—a SONY TC800 (the same machine Nixon used to record his conversations)—and sat down with five witnesses to the shooting: Mary Moorman (whose husband would not let me use the tape); Mr. and Mrs. William Newman, Jack Franzen, and John Chism. From these interviews, I became convinced that the car stopped during the shooting. Not “slowed down,” but stopped.

From these interviews, and other data, I became convinced that the Zapruder film was altered. Seriously altered.

I didn’t know “how” it had been done; I just knew “that” it had been done—and wrote about it at length, in a 1000 plus word footnote in Best Evidence [see Chapter 24], published in 1981. (For a much more complete description of the path I followed, see my essay "Pig on a Leash.")

THE TWO KEY PIECES OF EVIDENCE: JFK's body, and the Zapruder film

The alteration of the Zapruder film, and the alteration of the President’s body—the two key items in this case—are the key to the Kennedy assassination: first of all, the truth in these two areas would reveal how the shooting actually took place; second, and even more important, the truth would prove that critical evidence was altered--i.e., that there is fraud in the evidence that has been accepted as legitimate. Yet it is precisely here that communication breaks down and certain people (e.g., DiEugenio and folks like him, who would rather promote Garrison, than properly analyze the evidence) reject what is important, and focus on what is often the unimportant, and insignificant.

Consequently, the alteration of the key evidence in this case--which leads to an understanding that there is fraud in the evidence--is beneath the comprehension or understanding of some of those who consider themselves "experts" in the Kennedy assassination. They will carry on endlessly about someone with an umbrella, while ignoring the 500 pound gorilla in the room: the alteration of the body, and, as a consequence, the falsification of the JFK autopsy. They simply don't "get it." They really don't understand how the "Oswald did it" story was constructed. They apparently think it all happened as a consequence of an after-the-fact "cover-up", when in fact it was the result of "intelligent design".

Great trial lawyers, a Stanford professor once said, have an instinct for the jugular. Some of these folks, I'm afraid, have "an instinct for the capillaries."

And so what we end up with is a “fractured” JFK “research community” which focuses on such nonsense as a weaponized umbrella, and the rejection of a valid witness--Witt, who also happens to be an important "car-stop" witness (how ironic)-- and the promulgation of ridiculous theories about how Witt was foisted on a Congressional Committee, all part of “the plot”, while a prominent defender of fraud in the evidence (James Fetzer) has destroyed his own credibility because he happens to also believe that a missile (or some other military aircraft) hit the Pentagon, that the 9/11 hijackers are “still alive” and that “no planes” hit the World Trade Center (and that perhaps that we did not go to the moon).

So, perhaps, you can now understand what the problem with “JFK research” is all about.

If you’re looking for the problem with the “JFK research community,” what I have described above is the problem. (And, unfortunately, its not going away, anytime soon).

DSL

11/29/11; 4 AM PST

Los Angeles, CA

Edited by David Lifton
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