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Review of Joan Mellen's new book on LBJ


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Doug,

You are a treasure of current important stuff. Thanks so much for that interview of Joan Mellen by Len Osanic, maybe the most knowledgeable interviewer today. Why is it that non-American English-speakers (Canucks, Brits, Aussies) seem to have the best big picture take on Americans?

Early in the interview JM mentions that Robert Caro does not mention either Malcolm Wallace or Billy Sol Estes in his LBJ series; neither appears in any of the indexes. So who walks up to Caro after a talk on his last book-tour and asks him about Mac Wallace? Doug Caddy, who gives RC his card and welcomes him to contact him. Nearly needless to say, DC never heard from RC, and probably still hasn't, right, Doug? Did I get this right -- that Caro claims never to have heard of Mac Wallace?!?!

Ms. Mellen, honest to a fault, admits that she had never heard (or had forgotten) about USS Liberty and the Israeli terrorist attack upon it in early June 1967 during the Six Days War. (Curiously that is a year to the day before RFK assassination.) And that she was told (or reminded) about the Liberty by arch anti-LBJ researcher Robert Morrow. And she went all out researching the Liberty atrocity and is writing a book about it. And Osanic knew so much big stuff about it, off the cuff. Most important to me, he reminded me that it was a Russian trawler in the area that saved Liberty, just by being there, hence witness if the Israeli military kept hitting it with torpedoes, napalm and machine gun fire. Funny to note: Liberty's captain refused the Russians' offer of aid. They waited quite a while to be rescued by the pokey Americans. Russia has come to the aid of America's better angels many times in our short history.

Something I don't get:

That Joan Mellen doesn't think that Lyin' Lyndon was ALL OVER the assassination. Because JM discounts Madeleine Brown, that seems to be end of it for JM. But what about the other ten million pieces of evidence that point at LBJ? Both circumstantial and physical. It's beyond me. This is a problem in JFKA research. If one lone author thinks he/she can't take it to a jury and PROVE beyond an unreasonable doubt...

I read the book review suggested by James DiEugenio, Joseph Green's "A Texan Takes a Look at Nelson," which is uniformly against the thesis of LBJ as Mastermind of JFKA. Okay, how about Prime Mover, as suggested by an administrator at Deep Politics Forum? And as I've been suggesting for years. Was anyone pushing for the coup more than Lyndon?

I don't understand how Mellen, knowing how rotten to the core was LBJ and all the circumstances IN the robber baron state of Texas....

LBJ trying to change the seat arrangements at the last minute, etc. ad infinitum. Mellen knows well how FEARED was LBJ and his criminal machine. That's a large part of the interview.

She does have something I've never seen or heard before: that 11-22-63 Mac Wallace was definitely in California at his job with Ling Electronics. I'll have to check it out, courtroom style.

Edited by Roy Wieselquist
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Roy,

You make some good points, and I feel much the same.

For myself, I've come to the conclusion that it was LBJ. It wasn't just LBJ alone by himself, but LBJ was the lynchpin at the epicenter of other conspirators(Texas Oil, CIA, industrialists/war profiteers) whom he had deep ties to, and whom had a vested interest in JFK being eliminated. LBJ was going to be personally and politically ruined and go to prison. LBJ had Big Oil and MIC money behind him, as well as the Texas political machine. He had deep relations and contacts throughout congress, the state of Texas, industry and commerce, as well as law enforcement to ensure he got off scot-free. I see the who and the why right there. LBJ had a clear motive and wouldn't have any problems finding willing co-conspirators.

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I think it should be quite clear to everybody that it was due to LBJ's Texas/Dallas connections that the DPD cooperated in the cover-up.

My question is, are there things the DPD did to knowingly facilitate the assassination. If the answer to that is yes, then I think that that would implicate LBJ as a co-conspirator.

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I'm with you on this Roger. It was most likely inserted clandestinely so that it would be found and reported later on, just as has happened. It is a form of character assassination post mortem against Darby.

Exactly. Joan and I are speaking again but I do a slow burn when I see references to her character assassination of one of the finest men I have ever been privileged to call a dear friend. As I have posted elsewhere, after I first saw this lie about Nathan Darby not keeping up his certification I double checked with his son. (Nathan had lived, with his Pastor son and daughter in law just a block from me, in an awesome coincidence.). Pastor Darby assured me that his dad HAD kept up his certification. Anyone on here read the book? Does she even bother to mention that Nathan's home was entered- bypassing the security system- in August 03 and all that was taken was the box he kept under his bed containing all his materials related to his work on this case. So IF he was wrong why the theft and who would do it? I like and respect Joan and a lot of her work but she has been taken in before, for example that guy Angelo Murgado in her Garrison book. And her own blindness and hatred of Bobby all but ruined that book for me with her constant cry that Bobby has sent Walter Sheridan to sabotage Garrison. I suppose all biases inform opinion, but to my thinking someone with the level of knowledge she has about the CIA should exercise better discernment in these matters.

That she would discount Clint Peoples is also very troubling for me.

Dawn

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After looking into the Mac Wallace fingerprint issue, I find myself in utter disbelief at Joan Mellen's claim. She said:

The fingerprints used initially to identify Wallace were smeared and taken at the time of the Kinser murder. Photocopies of these prints were used when these conclusions were drawn”, explained Mellen. Prints unavailable to researcher J. Harrison were recently released by the Navy and the author obtained them. “The prints from the Navy in 1939 were clear as a bell”, she continued." [emphases mine]

Well, tell me what you think... anybody. Here is the print used the first time, as examined by Nathan Darby (thanks for that info, Jim):

fingerprints.gif

If you're thinking that the fingerprint on the right is the "smeared" fingerprint Mellen is referring to, think again. That is the print lifted from the TSBD. The so-called "smeared" fingerprint is the one on the LEFT!

What the h*ll is Joan Mellen talking about?? Right now my blood is boiling.

Okay, trying to calm down here.... Maybe by "smeared," Mellen is talking about those tiny areas at the top where the ink does bleed a little between the lines. Maybe hers was an honest description that sounds worse than it should to people like me. (She has a good reputation, doesn't she?) Okay, that is what I'll assume. But If so, I am still a bit surprised. Because what apparently didn't occur to her is the fact that a clearer version of those tiny smudges would have no bearing on the examination anyway, given that the same area on the lifted fingerprint has virtually nothing to compare to!

I can't wait till the "clear as a bell" fingerprints from the Navy are released. Because the one for the finger in question needs to match the (left) one above, and yet at the same time be different! And the only way for that to happen is if -- in one of the little white spaces where there is no print -- itsy bitsy lines are visible on the Navy print that contradict the lifted fingerprint. That should be fun to see.

Anyway, I smell a rat here. And a gullible author.

P.S. I'm assuming that the print from only one finger was lifted. Also, I'm assuming I'm not making a stupid mistake. An assumption that sometimes comes back to bite me in the butt.

OMG now my blood is boiling again. Jay Harrison was one of the most astute researchers I have ever known and he had excellent 1st generation Wallace prints. This is simply another lie and now a smear of my dear friend J. Joan had told me that this book was going to honor Jay and his work and to that end I did all I could to contribute, including legal work for her. And to add insult to injury I have been told that the person who did the Press Conference on the prints and who appeared on The Men who Killed Kennedy along with Nathan, discussing his work and his expertise and certification has since stated that "we knew that then", meaning we- (he and J????) knew Nathan was no longer certified.

It's just so easy to lie about the dead. This person by the way never even had a single conversation, let alone meeting with Nathan Darby. This was told to me by Darby himself.

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From the review: "In a 1998 press conference, researcher John Fraser Harrison would announce the unidentified print from the National Archive was that of Mac Wallace.

Wow. Where do I even begin to address the number of errors in this statement. First of all Jay Harrison never spoke at ANY press conference. Or anywhere else, he was a deep cover researcher and that is why you will find almost nothing on him if you do a search. Walt Brown spoke. And Nathan Darby was not named by Walt. Another researcher who had worked closely with J for several years -Richard Bartholomew- was at this press conference and he inadvertently heard Walt name Darby, as this is what one would expect if you are announcing that a certified latent print examiner has made such a match. So RB emailed John Kelin this information. Two days later at a luncheon with Jay and Walt that was attended by my husband and myself, both J and Walt were beyond angry at RB for naming Nathan. (This never made sense to me or Richard or Nathan). J and and RB would never speak again - Upon Jay's death 5/25/-5 all his research was left to Walt, where it remained unseen until Joan utilized these materials to defame both J and Nathan.

To what end one has to wonder?

What agenda is really occurring here? I have my own opinions but they will remain unwritten.

Dawn

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Jim,

As I said, the copies we see here MUST be worse than what Darby saw. Because we see an area in the latent print that is completely black from which Darby was nonetheless able to match patterns. The obvious reason for this discrepancy is that our copy is worse than his. (Either that or he had serious cognitive problems, something I don't believe for a microsecond.)

Also, as I said, even our copy of Wallace's exemplar (intentional) print is good enough to easily find several unique patterns.

On the other hand, our copy of the latent print is an entirely different story. It is clearly awful. But it is also clearly not what Darby saw.

Now, if it turns out that Darby used a bad copy of the latent print, and that this later examiner, Robert Garrett, had the original from the archives, then I'll concede that Garrett may have found something new. Problem is, there is no way for me to know if what Garrett saw hasn't been tampered with.

But one thing is for sure, and that is that the exemplar print of Wallace's, from the Navy, that Garrett used, MUST have the same patterns that we can easily make out on the copy of Wallace's exemplar print we have here. And therefore MUST have the 14 points of matching patterns Darby found. With this in mind, it seems to me that any significant differences Garrett saw were actually on the latent print lifted from the TSBD, not on the Navy provided prints.

I will wait for the book for final judgement. But as of now I strongly believe that Darby was right. Because I've been studying the case and now I know Darby had a good reputation. To me he is like a mini Jim Garrison who stood up against those who tried to discredit him. My guess is that Garrett is no different than the numerous others who have taken the side of going along with the official story, for whatever reason, perhaps to preserve his reputation. Either that or he was given a copy of the lifted print that has been tampered with.

Sorry to disagree, but that is what my gut tells me. I just don't believe that Darby could have been so wrong. And it is easy for me to believe that his opponents would react the way other WC apologists have when faced with evidence suggesting a conspiracy of government cover-up... things they just cannot accept.

Thank you Sandy. In Oct 03 I held a joint birthday party here for Nathan and myself and Richard brought an excellent print of the known Wallace prints from the Kinsner murder. Nathan had attempted to "show" me the match on many occasions prior to this but I am not adept in this area. However on that day the match just jumped off the pages. Once you see the matches you see them all over. Thank you for defending Nathan here. If you ever met him you would know that such a defense is not only justified but imperative. When J first gave him this job it was presented in Nathan's mind as a possible family matter of Jay's. He had no clue who he was matching. And after he learned he stood by it til his death. Unlike the second certified print examiner located by J. He too made a match but when he learned who it was he and his wife flipped out. And refused to be involved. Of course the story Joan now spins is that he backed off because the prints were copies. easy to lie about the dead.

Just to be clear I do believe Wallace killed many for LBJ but I do not believe JFK was one of them. His print was on the 6th floor for other more dubious reasons, in my mind.

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Roy: Because JM discounts Madeleine Brown, that seems to be end of it for JM. But what about the other ten million pieces of evidence that point at LBJ? Both circumstantial and physical.

Can you please name the ten million pieces of evidence that insinuate LBJ into the plot to kill Kennedy?

​I don't mean the cover up, because everyone and their mother was involved in that exercise.

I mean the assassination itself.

Brown has been discredited. Nelson's "LBJ ducked down in the automobile" has been discredited. The Mac Wallace print has now been rendered dubious.

To pull a Harry Livingstone and say the DPD was working for LBJ is ridiculous. The DPD were the elite of frame ups in felony cases ALL ON THEIR OWN. ​They had it down to a science. What, was LBJ there on weekends to instruct them on this?

Was LBJ tracking Oswald in Mexico City? Was he talking to David Ferrie in New Orleans? Did he pick the pathologists?

Did he instruct DeMohrenshildt to meet Marina Oswald? Did he then meet with the Paines that summer and tell them about the evidence he needed from them?

​Further, what is the evidence that LBJ was in on the WC deliberations? Nor is there anything to show he was involved in the FBI frame up.

So please instruct us all on the ten million pieces of evidence that prove that LBJ killed JFK.

I will settle for five million if you are busy.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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Richard just sent me this article:

I also urge all interested students to read this excellent article by Garrick Alder. http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster68/lob68-mac-wallace.pdf

Dawn,

Thank you for standing up for Nathan Darby. This is a man who did the right thing and stuck to his guns when his reading came under fire. He's the guy we wish everybody would be, putting truth before reputation and politics. And yet here he is being treated with scorn by some of our colleagues because they don't like what he said.

Thanks also for the link to Garrick Alder's article. Anybody wondering why another print examiner might disagree with Darby should read this. For those who don't, allow me to briefly explain the issue.

The FBI requires 14 pattern matches in a latent (lifted) print in order to identify the owner of the print. With 14 matches, the odds of another person also being identified as the owner is extremely small.

Now, imagine that 14 matches are found, but also one discrepancy. Should that single discrepancy invalidate the 14 matches? This is actually a matter of contention among the community of print examiners.

Some examiners say that a single mismatch should invalidate what would otherwise be a positive identification. Others say that mismatches should do no such thing.

It is my opinion that examiners in the former camp are, to put it bluntly, simple minded. They don't appreciate the significance of the statistics involved. And they seem to have no imagination. Something as simple as a scar could result in multiple mismatches, a fact that seems to escape them. Or is too difficult for them to handle. So they throw the baby out with the bath water.

Suppose you saw a picture of your long lost sister. You're sure it is her because her eyes match. Her nose, her chin, her smile... everything matches an old photo you have of her. But then you notice the woman has a broken front tooth. That's odd... she doesn't have a broken tooth in your old photo. Would you conclude, therefore, that the woman is not your sister?

Now let me give an analogy that illustrates the significance of the statistics involved. Suppose a stranger on the sixth floor of the TSBD is walking away after the shooting and drops his wallet. A credit card falls to the ground and an employee memorizes the number on the card before the guy picks it up and runs off. Later a near match is made between that number and Mac Wallace's credit card number. The numbers compare as follows:

3628 7459 8634 1276 Memorized number.

3628 7459 8634 4382 Mac Wallace's Credit Card number.

Of the 16 digits, 12 match and 4 don't. (It doesn't matter which four don't match. I put them all at the end so they'd be easy to spot.)

People who think like the simple-minded print examiners would conclude that the credit cards don't match. Now let's look at how someone with a good feel for statistics would view this.

The odds of finding a credit card where 12 of the 16 digits match is one in 837 million! (See the calculation below.) That means you'd have to gather up every single credit card in America before finding just one where 12 digits match. (This assumes that every adult in America owns 3 1/2 cards.)

The odds are so astronomically slim, that it is far, far, far, far, far more likely that the credit cards are indeed identical, and that there must be some logical reason why the four non-matching digits do not match. In this example, it is far more likely that the person who saw the card either mis-remembered or mis-wrote those four digits.

Now, I don't mean to say or imply that the odds for finding a 14-point match in a latent fingerprint are this slim. Truth is, I don't have the requisite skills to calculate the odds. But make no mistake, the odds are very slim. And so, if a few discrepancies are found, they should be treated as anomalies that can be logically explained.

Calculation of Odds:

n = 16 total number of digits.

k = 12 number of matching digits

p = 1/10 probability of a single digit matching

odds = C(n,k) (p)^k (1 - p)^(n-k)

where:

C(n,k) = n! / (k)!(n - k)! combination of n things taken k at a time

Solving for odds:

odds = 16! /( 12! (16-12)! ) (1/10)^12 (9/10)^(16-12) = 1 / 837,449,400 (rounded off to seven digits)

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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I want to say once again that I don't believe that the presence of Mac Wallace's fingerprint in the sniper's nest proves Mac Wallace was there. It just wouldn't make sense for Johnson to use a guy who, if caught, would lead right directly to him.

Neither do I believe that Mac Wallace's print was in the sniper's nest.

What I do believe is that the report of the print being present was planted by the CIA. Possibly as ammunition against Johnson if he did or didn't do certain things after the assassination. Or, possibly as blackmail designed to force Johnson into facilitating the assassination.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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