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David Lifton: "I have never understood why so much suspicion is focused on Priscilla Johnson (McMillan)"


Guest Tom Scully
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Guest Tom Scully

Really, David? Do you want to understand, or do you prefer to shoot the messenger?

................

I also find it very interesting--and indeed, most informative--that Korengold and McMillan were together on November 22, 1963, when the news arrived of Oswald being arrested in Dallas--so of course they swapped stories and recollections, and of course they "matched". Remember: they both saw Oswald on the same day (October 31, 1959) and within minutes of one another.

Priscilla's story versus Mosby's Story

Two other things are worth noting (and keep in mind that Priscilla McMillan was deposed as a Warren Commission witness, whereas Aline Mosby was not. In the case of Mosby, there is simply a WC exhibit, of the text of her notes, and draft that she wrote, just after the assassination). But no testimony--which I have always found weird.

(a) The Priscilla Johnson story and the Aline Mosby story are almost line by line similar. So--essentially--Oswald said the same thing to both of these reporters just days apart. And so I have never understood why so much suspicion is focused on Priscilla Johnson (McMillan) --for having once attempted to join the CIA, or whatever the details are--when a nearly identical story was published by Aline Mosby, and no one raises an eyebrow. My point is that Priscilla--imho--has come in for a lot of unjustified criticism and suspicion. As far as I'm concerned, its entirely unwarranted. But. . please do read on, because there's plenty of questions that can be raised about Aline Mosby, and they are potentially far more important.

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I'd sure like to have someone explain that to me.

DSL

5/25/13; 1:20 PM PDT

Los Angeles, California

Well David, I do not understand why you could keep saying "it is entirely unwarranted." Come on over and I will show you why it is warranted and you can explain why you feel so strongly, despite the evidence.

I would enjoy reading David Lifton's explanation for his hostility towards Peter Whitmey and Mr. Lifton's support for the integrity and reliability of Priscilla Mary Post Johnson McMillan ten years ago, and this year. This position, with the pronounced attitude, seems indefensible vs. the accumulation of interesting details in the Johnson McMIllan record.

...........................................................................

Can we at least get you on record, denying or minimizing the significance of every "coincidence" related to Priscilla, as they are served to you in small helpings, or should we start off with the Peter Whitmey treatment? You do not have to talk about this, but I am sick of reading the quote that comprises the title of this thread. Put up, or......!
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Really, David? Do you want to understand, or do you prefer to shoot the messenger?

................

I also find it very interesting--and indeed, most informative--that Korengold and McMillan were together on November 22, 1963, when the news arrived of Oswald being arrested in Dallas--so of course they swapped stories and recollections, and of course they "matched". Remember: they both saw Oswald on the same day (October 31, 1959) and within minutes of one another.

Priscilla's story versus Mosby's Story

Two other things are worth noting (and keep in mind that Priscilla McMillan was deposed as a Warren Commission witness, whereas Aline Mosby was not. In the case of Mosby, there is simply a WC exhibit, of the text of her notes, and draft that she wrote, just after the assassination). But no testimony--which I have always found weird.

(a) The Priscilla Johnson story and the Aline Mosby story are almost line by line similar. So--essentially--Oswald said the same thing to both of these reporters just days apart. And so I have never understood why so much suspicion is focused on Priscilla Johnson (McMillan) --for having once attempted to join the CIA, or whatever the details are--when a nearly identical story was published by Aline Mosby, and no one raises an eyebrow. My point is that Priscilla--imho--has come in for a lot of unjustified criticism and suspicion. As far as I'm concerned, its entirely unwarranted. But. . please do read on, because there's plenty of questions that can be raised about Aline Mosby, and they are potentially far more important.

.....................

I'd sure like to have someone explain that to me.

DSL

5/25/13; 1:20 PM PDT

Los Angeles, California

Well David, I do not understand why you could keep saying "it is entirely unwarranted." Come on over and I will show you why it is warranted and you can explain why you feel so strongly, despite the evidence.

I would enjoy reading David Lifton's explanation for his hostility towards Peter Whitmey and Mr. Lifton's support for the integrity and reliability of Priscilla Mary Post Johnson McMillan ten years ago, and this year. This position, with the pronounced attitude, seems indefensible vs. the accumulation of interesting details in the Johnson McMIllan record.

...........................................................................

Can we at least get you on record, denying or minimizing the significance of every "coincidence" related to Priscilla, as they are served to you in small helpings, or should we start off with the Peter Whitmey treatment? You do not have to talk about this, but I am sick of reading the quote that comprises the title of this thread. Put up, or......!

Tom Scully,

You have the position of "moderator" here on the London Forum. As such, its your job to supervise the discussion, not to mount an attack on a poster. I posted a perfectly reasonable and informative post explaining what my views are, in this area, and why I believe what I believe.

If you wish (and if you are capable of doing so) boil down your views to something that is readable and cogent, and then I will try to reply. But note what I said: "readable and cogent": please do not respond with long-winded and largely irrelevant posts which contains scads of "geneological data" (as to who married who, and when, or who is distantly related to whom, etc.--from which we are supposed to draw inferences).

I've set forth my information and views; now set forth yours.

MY OWN VIEW OF THIS COMPLEX SITUATION

Also, let me spell out one other point: I disagree--as you surely must know--with the view that Oswald shot the President; and, consequently, I (of course) disagree with substantial portions of the "portrait of Oswald" as presented in Marina and Lee. However, Priscilla Johnson McMillan wrote what she did, because that's the information that she was told by Marina, and Marina told her much of what she did, because that's the way Lee Oswald behaved, in front of Marina.

I'm oh so sorry if you don't (or can't) understand that--but that's a fact.

Its also a fact that I met Marina in January, 1981, and, over the following years, had not one, but dozens of lengthy conversations with her. And, while there is no quantitative measure of what happened, I'm sure I helped "de-program" her from the view that she previously had that her husband was (or "must have been") Kennedy's assassin.

That view was not put there (i.e., inside her head) by Priscilla McMillan--who didn't meet Marina until several months after the Kennedy assassination, sometime in the spring of 1964. Then the two started a series of lengthy interviews, and then--in 1977--came Priscilla's book.

MARINA'S PREVIOUS VIEW (AND SUPPORT OF) PRISCILLA McMILLAN

As Marina herself said when she testified before the HSCA (circa 1978) she believed (at the time) tat the book was the truth; and when asked certain number of detailed questions about this or that event, she deferred to Priscilla, who had made careful notes from her many interviews.

So that's the source of the portrait of Lee Oswald in Priscilla's book--it derives from the way Lee acted (when he was with Marina); and from Marina's recounting all those experiences, to Priscilla McMillan.

Then, later--and Marina's November 1988 interview with Myrna Blythe, of the Ladies Home Journal is a good enough (public) starting point--Marina had changed her mind about what all this meant, and said so publicly: loud and clear.

That also marked the beginning of a serious split between Marina and Priscilla McMillan. Because, viewing the whole thing retrospectively, Marina --who apparently set aside the fact that she had thoroughly endorsed the book upon publication, and when she testified before the HSCA--now placed the blame, or some of the blame, a least, on Priscilla.

Be that as it may, and now flashing forward to 1991: when the producers of the movie about Marina (Fatal Deception: The Marina Oswald Story) interviewed Marina, she made clear to them the role I had played in causing her to take a second look at the past, which then--ultimately--resulted in her changing her mind about what happened. (And, FYI, I had quite a few conversations with screenwriter Steve Bello; and, as you may be aware, I was portrayed in the movie.)

WHAT PRISCILLA McMILLAN WROTE IN 1959

Now there are some people who approach this whole situation --i.e., starting with the evening Lee Oswald spent with Priscilla McMillan on Monday, November 16, 1959--and insist on blaming Priscilla McMillan (who later was deposed by the Warren Commission) for what she wrote immediately after that encounter; and which was then published in various newspapers in the U.S., mostly in December, 1959. For example, here is the headline as Priscilla's story ran in the Miami News, in mid-to-late December, 1959: "Defector in Russia, Near to his 'Dream'". And the first paragraph reads: "For two years now, I have been waiting to do this one thing: to dissolve my American citizenship and become a citizen of the Soviet Union" Today, 20 year old Lee Harey Oswald of Fort Worth, Tex., is in Moscow. He hopes he's close to his goal."

Priscilla wrote the article she did based on her interview with Lee Oswald on Monday evening, November 16, 1959. As I pointed out in my post on the other thread--which you have failed to link to--Aline Mosby wrote a thoroughly similar article, which was based on her interview with Lee Oswald on Saturday, November 14, 1959. There's practically no difference between the two articles, because Lee Oswald said essentially the same thing to both ladies, two days apart. (Yet some people attack Priscilla for writing what she did, ignoring the fact that UPI's Aline Mosby wrote a nearly identical story which was distributed nationally by UPI on November 15, 1959).

Now flashing forward to 1963, Lee behaved as he did in front of Marina, and as a consequence, she came to believe --despite her initial disbelief--that Lee was indeed Kennedy's assassin. Here, from the New York Times of January 8, 1964, is what she said, in an interview with reporter Jack Langguth, which ran under the headline: "Oswald's Widow Now Reported Convinced of Husband's Guilt."

Mrs. Lee H. Oswald is convinced that her husband assassinated President Kennedy, her business adviser said today. James H. Martin, the adviser, said her conviction was so strong that even if a jury could find Oswald not guilty her opinion would be unchanged. . . . “She’s convinced that he’s guilty, even though she cared for him.”

And, of course, she testified accordingly; and she spoke similarly to Priscilla McMillan.

In October, 1977, when Marina and Lee was published, Marina stood behind the book, and its author. The New York Times published an article bearing the headline Oswald's Widow Tells of "Very High Level of Anger" at him for Legacy of Shame

As for her view (then) of Lee, she said: "I was so young and immature. . . I didn't realize he had a sick mind. I didn't analyze him or me or our marriage that deeply and seek real help for him. I was too blind."

As to how she viewed Lee at the time, she said: "It's a very strong word to use: hate. Perhaps a very high level of anger is closer," she said. Why? "How dare he ruin my name and that of my children forever? And I do not believe in killing other people." (NYT, 10/13/77)

As I said above, I met Marina in January, 1981, and had dozens of conversations with her, and she definitely changed.

The "revisionist" view of what happened

Now please don't come along today, in 2013, with some oversimplified foolishness and try to tell me that Priscilla McMillan is responsible for Marina's views (as expressed in January, 1964, or before the Warren Commission in February, 1964) or anything of the sort. That's a bunch of hooey. And please don't try to sell me the bill of goods that Priscilla wrote what she did, after she spent several hours interviewing Lee on the evening of Monday, November 16, 1959, because she was somehow "connected" (my quotes) to the CIA--because that, also, is a bunch of hooey.

As I said (and will repeat here): for the most part, the criticism of Priscilla McMillan, for the portrait of Lee Oswald as presented in Marina and Lee, did not come about because she had some kind of sinister and covert connection with the CIA, but because of the way Lee Oswald behaved in front of her on November 16, 1959 (which is also the way he behaved with UPI's Aline Mosby, two days before); and because of the way he behaved during most of his marriage with Marina, and certainly after he returned to the U.S. in mid-June, 1962.

Tom Scully--Moderator, or editorialist with a personal agenda?

Finally, and back to my previous thought: You are (or are supposed to be) a moderator on the London Forum. Please stop attacking me personally, or--as you previously did--tell me that I'm "unrepentent". If you have genuine "evidence," then go present it. (And please don't fill this thread with long geneological posts that wander all over the place, and prove nothing.)

My views are based on my extensive knowledge of the evidence in this case, and the many conversations I had with Marina Oswald Porter starting in January, 1981 (when I met her in Dallas when Best Evidence was published) and which went on for the better part of a decade. These conversations --I believe--probably assisted her in changing her mind (by 1988) about her husband. Certainly, they played a role in making sure that the movie produced by Wolper et al ("Fatal Deception: The Marina Oswald Story", on which I was a consultant, and in connection with which I had many conversations with screenwriter Steve Bello) was reasonably close to the truth, in portraying Marina's complex journey--i.e., her own mind-bending experiences, and the journey Marina took from Leningrad to Minsk, and then to the U.S., where--17 months after her arrival on U.S. soil--her husband became the accused assassin of President Kennedy.

DSL

5/27/13 6 PM PDT

Los Angeles, California

Edited by David Lifton
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David,

Very well said.

Todd

Thanks, Todd.

It took me awhile to compose that post, and I hope people who are reading this thread find it useful.

I think the time has come to distinguish between those who analyze evidence correctly, and those who see everything through a "CIA lens"--e.g., "He (or she) has some peripheral connection to the CIA. . .ergo, everything she wrote is false!" etc etc.

DSL

5/27/13; 6:45 PDT

Los Angeles, California

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Now flashing forward to 1963, Lee behaved as he did in front of Marina, and as a consequence, she came to believe --despite her initial disbelief--that Lee was indeed Kennedy's assassin. Here, from the New York Times of January 8, 1964, is what she said, in an interview with reporter Jack Langguth, which ran under the headline: "Oswald's Widow Now Reported Convinced of Husband's Guilt."

Mrs. Lee H. Oswald is convinced that her husband assassinated President Kennedy, her business adviser said today. James H. Martin, the adviser, said her conviction was so strong that even if a jury could find Oswald not guilty her opinion would be unchanged. . . . “She’s convinced that he’s guilty, even though she cared for him.”

So she was cleverly disguised as her own business manager when this interview took place... the cunning wench...

Tell us, David, did it by any chance take place in a hollow plastic tree?

Edited by Greg Parker
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David,

Very well said.

Todd

Thanks, Todd.

It took me awhile to compose that post, and I hope people who are reading this thread find it useful.

I think the time has come to distinguish between those who analyze evidence correctly, and those who see everything through a "CIA lens"--e.g., "He (or she) has some peripheral connection to the CIA. . .ergo, everything she wrote is false!" etc etc.

DSL

5/27/13; 6:45 PDT

Los Angeles, California

I agree, David. A former member of this forum saw spooks everywhere. I tried to counter his nonsense by mocking it, and admitting that one of my best friends was a Capt. (Now Col.) in U.S. Special Forces, and that the mother of one of my other best friends used to work for the black ops section of the CIA...as a secretary, and typist.

Sure enough, he started a campaign to out me as a spook.

Now, that said, when one looks into McMillan's background, and that of her husband, it seems pretty clear they had a cozy relationship with the CIA. That doesn't mean she was taking orders from them, of course. But a relationship existed, correct?

Edited by Pat Speer
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I would add, Jim, that Whitney points out that she changed what she wrote, relative to Oswald, after the assassination, to make him seem more sinister in retrospect - there are key phrases and language she uses in her re-write to make him seem more threatening, more of a loose political cannon.

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OMG. Just when you think you cannot be shocked...wow.

DSL: As I said (and will repeat here): for the most part, the criticism of Priscilla McMillan, for the portrait of Lee Oswald as presented in Marina and Lee, did not come about because she had some kind of sinister and covert connection with the CIA, but because of the way Lee Oswald behaved in front of her on November 16, 1959 (which is also the way he behaved with UPI's Aline Mosby, two days before); and because of the way he behaved during most of his marriage with Marina, and certainly after he returned to the U.S. in mid-June, 1962.

:please

WOW. And I thought nothing I read here could shock me.

Dawn

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Tom Scully

David, I thought it more appropriate to reply to this, here on this thread.

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.......................................................

Mr. Scully: please understand something else: I’m not only not your personal vehicle for lodging a public complaint: I'm not a public prosecutor. You behave as if somehow I’m beholden to you and should be answering a whole list of questions (about a third person) that are bothering you.

If you have questions about why McMillan’s book was published in 1977, then go and address your questions to Ms. McMillan directly, or to her publisher. (And if she actually said that she suffered from depression, which can be extremely debilitating, and go on for quite some period of time, then its a monument to your insensitivity and lack of judgment that you would cut off such a critical quote, at that point.)

Also, and fyi: The book Marina and Lee, is now being republished. So why don't you go up to the Amazon website and go write a review. It’s a free country, and you’re entitled to your opinion(s). So go post all your “genealogical research” up there, and see how long it remains posted before the Amazon editors scratch their heads and ask (as many do here): What is this fellow Scully talking about?

Frankly, I don’t give a hoot why the book was “delayed”—if it really was. My concern was always why Marina believed what she did, and could she be persuaded to change her views? I tried my best to address that issue.

Whether I agree with your dark view of Priscilla McMillan is quite beside the point. My concern and my focus was always on Marina Oswald Porter, for therein lay the key to the mystery of who Lee Oswald "really was"--and not some conspiracy theory about Priscilla McMillan (which seems to be at the center of your universe).

Try focusing on the message, Tom Scully--and not some conspiracy theory about the messenger.

DSL

6/6/13; 1 pm PDT; edited w/corrections, 6/6/13, 6 pm PDT

Los Angeles, California

If you have not claimed since at least 2003 that there is little or no basis to question the claims of PJM the details in her background running counter to the notion she has long been a witting and an operational intelligence agency asset, I will apologize to you for mistaking you for someone who has made such claims.

If you have made the claims then I do not know what you are talking about.

You attempt to make this a situation that is not about a man of some visibility being challenged to put up or shut up. Support your claims, indicate you read contrary information and consider according to its weight, and alter your own claims if they are eroded by undeniable facts. Tom Scully is a presenter in possession of information running counter to statements you, David Lifton, have made and still stick by. Scully is persistent and patient from a belief in the weight of information running counter to your statements.

Information I have had to work through your objections to present to you invalidates your defense of PJM. This counter information consists of statements of PJM to HSCA and articles published in the NY Times, FBI reports, Princeton Alumni Weekly, Santa Fe New Mexican, and Sam Ballen's book.

It is not about Tom Scully. Your statement and your reply posts are your responsibility. Information from the above sources contradict PJM and your statements in defense of her. Read and consider the counter information. Respond to it. If you have not said what you have said since 2003 your opinions about Priscilla Johnson McMillan would not need defending.

Edited by Tom Scully
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Mark Lane became famous when he was retained to defend Lee Oswald,

but Earl Warren put his foot on the scales of justice, for reasons yet to be discovered.

Lane then wrote a book arguing that Lee Oswald

"may have been part of a conspiracy,"

and he then moved to New Orleans to help Jim Garrison

promote his fraudulent claim that Lee conspired with others to murder JFK

and carried a rifle to work in furtherance of that conspiracy.

Nobody needs a tape recording to realize that Mark Lane

becomes extremely uncomfortable when he is reminded

of his dereliction of duty. If logic had any say, Mark Lane would have faced disciplinary action

for betraying a former client.

I wish I had a video camera that day, but I still have that tape recording

and will release it when I choose.

Nobody except members of the Garrison cult will be surprised.

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I'm surprised that any one would question the reality of the ties between the corporate media and the CIA. While Operation Mockingbird may not be official policy any longer, the recent success of Anderson Cooper (admitted CIA intern) reveals that there are still entangling alliances between the worlds of espionage and "journalism."

I am always intrigued by the posts of David Lifton. I cannot understand how he can continue to trust so blindly in government sources, or dubious witnesses like the Paines, while simultaneously subscribing to the most extreme theories imaginable (body alteration, film alteration). This is not to discredit those theories, since I believe both are quite possible. However, the dichotomy there is startling, and I think it's responsible for most of the criticism David receives on this forum.

And, Ray, just to correct one of your many misstatements about Mark Lane; I think he was one of the first to question the "fact" that Oswald brought a gun to work on the day of the assassination. He certainly never claimed that LHO was carrying a rifle, or defended that aspect of the official story.

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Don Jeffries writes:

And, Ray, just to correct one of your many misstatements about Mark Lane; I think he was one of the first to question the "fact" that Oswald brought a gun to work on the day of the assassination. He certainly never claimed that LHO was carrying a rifle, or defended that aspect of the official story.

Maybe so, Don, but Jim Garrison DID claim, in open court, that Lee Oswald carried a rifle to work that morning.

Mark Lane was seated close by, as a guest of the DA, when Garrison told the court that he would prove

that Lee Oswald carried a rifle to work that morning, and Lane continued to support Garrison.

It is a sticky wicket for Mark Lane, for I have never heard of another case in all of legal history, where a lawyer, hired to defend a man regarding a particular crime, then turned around and became a cheerleader for the prosecution.

The reason I have never heard of a lawyer switching sides like that

is most likely because no other lawyer in history has ever done such a dastardly deed.

If you look at it from Lee Oswald's vantage point.........

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