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What prevented Dulles & Angleton from destroying the Zapruder film?


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Let’s pretend for one moment that the Z fake really was the proof they hadn’t counted on and really did pose the threat to the conspirators which proponents of its authenticity have long insisted.  Why, then, did Dulles and Angleton not act promptly to destroy it?

Poor pre-planning?

Inability to respond quickly enough?

Intellectual integrity?

Chivalry?

“Company” ethics?

An exaggerated concern for property rights?

Lack of an “in” with Luce’s media empire?

The existence of multiple copies?

Lack of imagination? (Couldn’t concoct a story explaining the destruction of the above…)

A concern not to push absurdity too far?

An absence of technical resources?

A dearth of competent personnel?

The above list is manifestly incomplete, but typed with a straight(-ish) face throughout. I urge potential contributors not to abjure the rich satirical potential the subject offers.

Edited by Paul Rigby
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Good question(s.)  I wonder if there are any extant, classified files on the subject.

Did they think it would be locked away from public view indefinitely?

Were Luce's men at Life magazine reluctant to destroy their valuable property?

Did they think it would arouse more public suspicion to destroy the film?

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Once the first 8mm, 16mm & 35mm (bump) of the in-camera Z-film original are created, there is no need to keep the original around, as I said years ago its probably at the bottom of a landfill somewhere. Was discovery of the Z-film a problem? Maybe... Problems are turned into assets all the time. Just like people...

Authentication and verification of the alleged in-camera original Z-film (at NARA) has never been attempted to the best of my knowledge. Why?

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It would have brought suspicion by doing so, the public critics would have expected it to be the Rosetta stone of evidence to make their case. 
 

With no internet access for the public to understand the nascent video techniques of the early 1960’s, they’d have been reliant on the odd book or Hollywood expert. If you were an expert back then, you may have been useful to the security apparatus, as being able to deceive what human eyes see would be a real asset to the Pentagon etc. If you were an editor of motion pictures back then, would you have come out and screamed fakery when the Z film was finally shown? Or might it have been less injurious to stay quiet about your suspicions? If you add the power of media in the 60’s and 70’s and the public naivety of what could and couldn’t be done in video editing. Plus you have this shaken up old man called Zapruder who hadn’t come out and said he saw something different with his own eyes vs the video, the Dulles/Angleton manipulation of the public would have been child's play. We forget, with no YouTube, how many of us would have watched it hundreds of times looking for glitches or signs of manipulation, most people might have caught a quick clip on TV or stills in a newspaper or magazine (the prominent media of the time).
 

By the time experts here were able to point out multiple possible manipulations, Dulles and Angleton were dead and it was too long after the event to do anything about it. They probably were cognisant that the WC report would crumble in time with enough analysis, as long as they were long gone it would be no problem, as it wouldn’t be in government interests to overturn it, like it still isn’t today. 
 

Just my thoughts anyway.

 

Chris

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11 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Good question(s.)  I wonder if there are any extant, classified files on the subject.

Did they think it would be locked away from public view indefinitely?

Were Luce's men at Life magazine reluctant to destroy their valuable property?

Did they think it would arouse more public suspicion to destroy the film?

I'd imagine no extant files remain, if any might likely heavily redacted.  Will we ever know?  The only copies of the unaltered film were in possession of the cia and ss.  This is detailed in doug hornes recent (?) presentation on the z film.  Which is in a recent related link on the forum I didn't readily find.  

So I googled it.  doug horne zapruder.  It took me to this.

Zapruder’s JFK Assassination Footage Altered by Nefarious Forces | Winter Watch

Which is great but when you click on the hornes article link or google it further takes you to this.

WordPress › Error (assassinationofjfk.net)

As does another search.

Jmo.  Dulles and Angleton saw the unaltered version.

 

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I can't exactly answer the question the OP asked but I do know one thing...........the plotters of the assassination SEVERELY underestimated the response by a small minority of people. Look at it from their perspective.......they controlled the government after the coup was carried out, they controlled the investigation of the crime and they controlled the media. They correctly assumed that the media would fall in line and those who wouldn't could be taken care of. Was just listening to a documentary on the Warren Comission just yesterday and they really thought that no one would really read the Warren Report, and if they did they would never never read the clusterxxxx that was the 26 volumes that followed it. They had CBS do these specials trumpeting the Warren Comission findings. They were mostly right. Most people were sheep who bought the official story hook, line, and sinker. What they didn't count on were the early critics. Civilians. Writing articles and books. They didn't count on anything but maybe a small fringe of the public to actually read these critiques of their findings. They really didn't think anyone would ever see the Zapruder film. It was not a problem for them because they controlled Time/Life. Selected still shots were all that was ever supposed to be seen publicly. The forgeries they did on the Z film were just precautionary procedure just in case. They never intended it to see the light of day.

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14 minutes ago, Jamey Flanagan said:

I can't exactly answer the question the OP asked but I do know one thing...........the plotters of the assassination SEVERELY underestimated the response by a small minority of people. Look at it from their perspective.......they controlled the government after the coup was carried out, they controlled the investigation of the crime and they controlled the media. They correctly assumed that the media would fall in line and those who wouldn't could be taken care of. Was just listening to a documentary on the Warren Comission just yesterday and they really thought that no one would really read the Warren Report, and if they did they would never never read the clusterxxxx that was the 26 volumes that followed it. They had CBS do these specials trumpeting the Warren Comission findings. They were mostly right. Most people were sheep who bought the official story hook, line, and sinker. What they didn't count on were the early critics. Civilians. Writing articles and books. They didn't count on anything but maybe a small fringe of the public to actually read these critiques of their findings. They really didn't think anyone would ever see the Zapruder film. It was not a problem for them because they controlled Time/Life. Selected still shots were all that was ever supposed to be seen publicly. The forgeries they did on the Z film were just precautionary procedure just in case. They never intended it to see the light of day.

It would be hard for anyone to forecast the amount of times the JFK assassination is referenced in film and other media, and how many books have been written. To think almost 60 years on it’s still going on is remarkable.

I think where they were silly was: a plane or chopper crash, a poisoning of JFK’s meds would have probably seen much less suspicion generated in the public domain. That may be the reason in 1965 that constitution was amended to provide other circumstances to remove a sitting president and allow the VP to assume control. The medical grounds / competency argument could have been made on JFK’s health, Dr Max Jacobsen’s injections and JFK’s backing down repeatedly in the eyes of the military hardliners and hawks. I believe another law was passed to prevent presidents appointing their relatives in positions of power. It must have dawned on the powers that be that there could have been 8, 16 or 24 years of Kennedy government. 

The public can’t get away from the fact their leader was shot like a dog while say next to his lovely wife, and was supposed to be protected. That    disturbed the American psyche so deeply and the greater world. There is little that could be more shocking or destabilising, particularly at the height of the cold war where people worried they could be nuked at any time. Sn already hysterical, paranoid public, have their shining hope taken so brutally. I am not surprised so many wanted truth, answers and justice. 
 

The one thing the assassination did do was let any politicians, future candidates or presidents know where the power resides and what can happen if you don’t tow the company line. Some say America lost it’s innocence in that moment, I say it lost it’s democracy. 

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3 hours ago, Chris Barnard said:

It would have brought suspicion by doing so, the public critics would have expected it to be the Rosetta stone of evidence to make their case. 
 

With no internet access for the public to understand the nascent video techniques of the early 1960’s, they’d have been reliant on the odd book or Hollywood expert. If you were an expert back then, you may have been useful to the security apparatus, as being able to deceive what human eyes see would be a real asset to the Pentagon etc. If you were an editor of motion pictures back then, would you have come out and screamed fakery when the Z film was finally shown? Or might it have been less injurious to stay quiet about your suspicions? If you add the power of media in the 60’s and 70’s and the public naivety of what could and couldn’t be done in video editing. Plus you have this shaken up old man called Zapruder who hadn’t come out and said he saw something different with his own eyes vs the video, the Dulles/Angleton manipulation of the public would have been child's play. We forget, with no YouTube, how many of us would have watched it hundreds of times looking for glitches or signs of manipulation, most people might have caught a quick clip on TV or stills in a newspaper or magazine (the prominent media of the time).
 

By the time experts here were able to point out multiple possible manipulations, Dulles and Angleton were dead and it was too long after the event to do anything about it. They probably were cognisant that the WC report would crumble in time with enough analysis, as long as they were long gone it would be no problem, as it wouldn’t be in government interests to overturn it, like it still isn’t today. 
 

Just my thoughts anyway.

 

Chris

some found Doug's Horne's book interesting (5 book series in the release)... he goes into the Zapruder Film alteration issues thoroughly...

https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Assassination-Records-Review-Board/dp/0984314431/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Doug+Horne+Zapruder+film&qid=1619933464&s=books&sr=1-1

 

Edited by David G. Healy
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1 hour ago, David G. Healy said:

some found Doug's Horne's book interesting (5 book series in the release)... he goes into the Zapruder Film alteration issues thoroughly...

https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Assassination-Records-Review-Board/dp/0984314431/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Doug+Horne+Zapruder+film&qid=1619933464&s=books&sr=1-1

 

Thanks David, i’ll certainly take a look. One of the things I do in my spare time is video editing and it’s very hard to imagine what life would have been like without the modern tools we have today that make almost anything possible. 

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1 hour ago, Jamey Flanagan said:

I just listened to 6 hours plus of Doug Horne talking about the assassination and coverup on YouTube earlier today and loved every minute of it, lol! Good stuff!

It’s so addictive on YouTube, so many docs to watch. 

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It has been suggested to me, decidedly tongue-in-cheek, that Dulles & Angleton failed to respond to news of the Z film's existence because they were paralyzed by grief and remorse.

This is so outlandish that I find this explanation to be as persuasive as any other yet offered, and thus conclude that the deadly duo could have acted but chose not to. 

Which then begs the question - why? Was it because the CIA created the film or merely recognized its potential utility?

For the purpose of argument, I'll here the assume latter.

So, what benefits did the film, suitably manipulated, offer to the plotters? Could it be used to neutralise significant and unwelcome facts observed and recalled by eyewitnesses? 

I offer two examples of how the Z fake sought to quash corroborated eyewitness testimony which called into question our understanding of the assassination sequence, timings, and events.

1) The presidential limousine in the left lane of Elm Street (and stopping)

 From in front: 

i.      Railway worker Roy Skelton, who viewed the assassination from the overpass: 

“then the car [the presidential limousine – PR] got in the right hand lane,” 19WCH496. 

ii.      Policeman J.W. Foster, again situated on the overpass:  

“immediately after President Kennedy was struck…the car in which he was riding pulled to the curb,” Warren Commission Document 897, pp.20-21. 

From side on, iii) to the right of the limousine, iv) to the left of it: 

iii.      Policeman James Chaney and other unnamed Dallas officers, as related by fellow motorcycle outrider, Marrion L. Baker:  

“I talked to Jim Chaney…during the time that the Secret Service men were trying to get into the car…from the time the first shot rang out, the car stopped completely, pulled to the left and stopped…I heard several of them say that, Mr. Truly he was standing out there, he said it stopped. Several officers said it stopped completely,” 3WCH265. 

iv.    Jean Hill: “Murder Charge Lodged,” Dallas Times Herald, 23 November 1963, p.8:  

“The President passed directly in front of us on our side of the street,” Mrs. Hill said. 

From the rear: 

v.      TSBD employee Mrs. Donald Baker (Virgie Rachley at time of shooting): 

Mrs. Baker told Warren Commission attorney Wesley Liebeler that the stray bullet struck the middle of the south-most lane on Elm Street just behind the presidential limousine, 7WCH510: 

[Mr. LIEBELER. How close to the curb on Elm Street was this thing you saw (<p509 end; p.510 begins>) hit; do you remember? It would have been on the curb side near the side away from the Texas School Book Depository Building on the opposite side of the street; is that right? 

            Mrs. BAKER. Yes. 

            Mr. LIEBELER. How close to the opposite curb do you think it was?

            Mrs. BAKER. It was approximately in the middle of the lane I couldn't be quite sure, but I thought it was in the middle or somewhere along in there could even be wrong about that but I could have sworn it that day. 

            Mr. LIEBELER. You thought it was sort of toward the middle of the lane?  

            Mrs. BAKER. Toward the middle of the lane. 

            Mr. LIEBELER. Of the left-hand lane going toward the underpass; is that correct? 

            Mrs.  BAKER. Yes.               

vi.      TSBD supervisor & board member Roy Truly, who watched the assassination from in front of the TSBD: 

“I saw the President’s car swerve to the left and stop somewheres down in this area…” 3WCH221. 

2) The length of the pause on Elm Street and Kellerman's post-shooting action

i) Jack Bell, A Shining Light Goes Out, AP, 18 November 1964:

But at almost that instant, a secret service man, riding in the front seat of the presidential limousine, stood up, phone in hand, and waved the preceding police cruiser on.

ii) S. M. Holland, responding to questions from Mark Lane, as reproduced on the LP The Controversy, 1967:

Q: What were the secret service men in the front of the car doing when this happened?

A: Well, he was standing up with his machine gun, pointed in the direction that I saw the smoke come from, and, er, heard the shot come from.

Q: And which way did he look?

A: He was standing up with a sub-machine gun pointed in the direction of the picket fence.

iii)   Hugh Betzner, Jr.'s affadavit, 22 November 1963:

"I also saw a man in either the President's car or the car behind his and someone down in one of those cars pull out what looked like a rifle."

Hugh Betzner, Jr.'s affadavit, 22 November 1963

 

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I think that once the Luce organization (larger than "the Luces") won the bidding war against the other media, the film's existence would be too well known to deny.  Capitalism conquered all, and Dulles couldn't argue that this wasn't big money for the rights holder.  The presentation of the film in Life was certainly massaged into the LN story, if imperfectly.

There were non-complicit entities in government that wanted to scrutinize the film, have briefing boards made (if imperfectly...), etc.  It would be inexplicable to disappoint them.

I don't think Dulles nor Angleton were in positions where they could directly order a policy decision to quickly suppress the Z-film.  They would have had to have worked through Helms and, to a more guarded extent, through McCone.

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15 minutes ago, David Andrews said:

I think that once the Luce organization (larger than "the Luces") won the bidding war against the other media, the film's existence would be too well known to deny.  Capitalism conquered all, and Dulles couldn't argue that this wasn't big money for the rights holder.  The presentation of the film in Life was certainly massaged into the LN story, if imperfectly.

There were non-complicit entities in government that wanted to scrutinize the film, have briefing boards made (if imperfectly...), etc.  It would be inexplicable to disappoint them.

I don't think Dulles nor Angleton were in positions where they could directly order a policy decision to quickly suppress the Z-film.  They would have had to have worked through Helms and, to a more guarded extent, through McCone.

You make some interesting points, none of which I agree with.

The CIA didn't always act to further the interests of its businesses and industries. Far from it. In the cases of, most obviously, the USSR, Eastern Europe and China (post-1949), the agency's extensive programmes of covert action (assassination and sabotage, to be specific) were designed to achieve precisely the opposite - they sought to close markets to Western countries, the better to starve the Communist "beast." 

Then there is the case of Cuba which, after the near-extirpation of the country's Communist Party & trade union leadership in the late 1940s, finds the CIA throwing its weight behind Castro's July 25 movement, subsequently destroying extensive US holdings and investments in the country in preference to destroying detente & bringing the Cold War 90 miles off America's shores. This proved, as intended, a massive boon to the US' military and intelligence "communities" & their suppliers, but not, to name but two, its American sugar and beef producers.

As for the CIA and the Lucepress, the limited revolt of the latter doesn't occur until US bombers begin striking over the Vietnam border into China in late '65 or early '66.

Finally, I really don't believe Helms represented any sort of impediment to Dulles and Angleton - Helms' job was to shield and facilitate them, not impair. McCone, ghastly though he unquestionably proved*, was an irrelevance.

*JFK, in a phone call to RFK in March 1963, dismissed McCone as an arsehole and regretted his appointment.

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3 hours ago, Paul Rigby said:

It has been suggested to me, decidedly tongue-in-cheek, that Dulles & Angleton failed to respond to news of the Z film's existence because they were paralyzed by grief and remorse.

This is so outlandish that I find this explanation to be as persuasive as any other yet offered, and thus conclude that the deadly duo could have acted but chose not to. 

Which then begs the question - why? Was it because the CIA created the film or merely recognized its potential utility?

For the purpose of argument, I'll here the assume latter.

So, what benefits did the film, suitably manipulated, offer to the plotters? Could it be used to neutralise significant and unwelcome facts observed and recalled by eyewitnesses? 

I offer two examples of how the Z fake sought to quash corroborated eyewitness testimony which called into question our understanding of the assassination sequence, timings, and events.

1) The presidential limousine in the left lane of Elm Street (and stopping)

 From in front: 

i.      Railway worker Roy Skelton, who viewed the assassination from the overpass: 

“then the car [the presidential limousine – PR] got in the right hand lane,” 19WCH496. 

ii.      Policeman J.W. Foster, again situated on the overpass:  

“immediately after President Kennedy was struck…the car in which he was riding pulled to the curb,” Warren Commission Document 897, pp.20-21. 

From side on, iii) to the right of the limousine, iv) to the left of it: 

iii.      Policeman James Chaney and other unnamed Dallas officers, as related by fellow motorcycle outrider, Marrion L. Baker:  

“I talked to Jim Chaney…during the time that the Secret Service men were trying to get into the car…from the time the first shot rang out, the car stopped completely, pulled to the left and stopped…I heard several of them say that, Mr. Truly he was standing out there, he said it stopped. Several officers said it stopped completely,” 3WCH265. 

iv.    Jean Hill: “Murder Charge Lodged,” Dallas Times Herald, 23 November 1963, p.8:  

“The President passed directly in front of us on our side of the street,” Mrs. Hill said. 

From the rear: 

v.      TSBD employee Mrs. Donald Baker (Virgie Rachley at time of shooting): 

Mrs. Baker told Warren Commission attorney Wesley Liebeler that the stray bullet struck the middle of the south-most lane on Elm Street just behind the presidential limousine, 7WCH510: 

[Mr. LIEBELER. How close to the curb on Elm Street was this thing you saw (<p509 end; p.510 begins>) hit; do you remember? It would have been on the curb side near the side away from the Texas School Book Depository Building on the opposite side of the street; is that right? 

            Mrs. BAKER. Yes. 

            Mr. LIEBELER. How close to the opposite curb do you think it was?

            Mrs. BAKER. It was approximately in the middle of the lane I couldn't be quite sure, but I thought it was in the middle or somewhere along in there could even be wrong about that but I could have sworn it that day. 

            Mr. LIEBELER. You thought it was sort of toward the middle of the lane?  

            Mrs. BAKER. Toward the middle of the lane. 

            Mr. LIEBELER. Of the left-hand lane going toward the underpass; is that correct? 

            Mrs.  BAKER. Yes.               

vi.      TSBD supervisor & board member Roy Truly, who watched the assassination from in front of the TSBD: 

“I saw the President’s car swerve to the left and stop somewheres down in this area…” 3WCH221. 

2) The length of the pause on Elm Street and Kellerman's post-shooting action

i) Jack Bell, A Shining Light Goes Out, AP, 18 November 1964:

But at almost that instant, a secret service man, riding in the front seat of the presidential limousine, stood up, phone in hand, and waved the preceding police cruiser on.

ii) S. M. Holland, responding to questions from Mark Lane, as reproduced on the LP The Controversy, 1967:

Q: What were the secret service men in the front of the car doing when this happened?

A: Well, he was standing up with his machine gun, pointed in the direction that I saw the smoke come from, and, er, heard the shot come from.

Q: And which way did he look?

A: He was standing up with a sub-machine gun pointed in the direction of the picket fence.

iii)   Hugh Betzner, Jr.'s affadavit, 22 November 1963:

"I also saw a man in either the President's car or the car behind his and someone down in one of those cars pull out what looked like a rifle."

Hugh Betzner, Jr.'s affadavit, 22 November 1963

 

Whatever the genuine reason Abraham Zapruder was there recording, I suspect too many people knew he was and the existence of the film. Not releasing would have been suspicious, so it needed altering. Dulles and Angleton probably did feel slightly uneasy with the way it looked in its original format. But, confident the whole media establishment misdirecting the public would work. The 13 year delay in releasing is highly suspicious by Time / Luce. But, they’ll say it was such a graphic video depicting American’s greatest tragedy, the nation wasn’t ready for it. In reality, it was enough time for public passion to be somewhat diluted. Inconveniently with Vietnam, Nixon etc, public outrage at politicians since left passions very high by the time of the release. But, the campaign was also well under way to sully JFK’s reputation and erode any legacy. 
Helms, I think was well on board. And what McCone didn’t know, didn’t hurt him. 

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