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Ellen Rometsch


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I suspect that by the time the Rometsch affair was known in government circles, and certainly by the time Rometsch was outed in the press, the JFKA plans were long in development, and the assassination was not greenlighted because of the Rometsch dalliance.  Still, good to see this memo as part of the pre-JFKA paper trail.

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How important was Clark Mollenhoff, and his Des Moines, IA, newspaper?  Who leaked the story there in October, and why him?  Rometsch had been secretly deported in August.

From wiki:

The allegations involving Rometsch and her subsequent removal from the U.S., were brought to the public's attention through a front page article written by Clark R. Mollenhoff in the October 26, 1963, issue of the Des Moines Register.[12] Mollenhoff said her circle included "several congressional figures" and "several high executive branch officials" and "moved in a crowd that included some well-known New Frontier figures",[12] and that she led a life that "could not be financed on the pay of a non commissioned West German soldier."[13] A few days later Clark Mollenhoff asked President Kennedy at a live televised press conference if he is fulfilling the requirements of his Code of Ethics. In his response Kennedy seemed to make a veiled reference to the Rometsch story Mollenhoff had just written by saying, "I have always believed that innuendoes should be justified before they are made, either by me and the Congress, or even in the press."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Rometsch

She may be still alive.  Get that woman a membership!

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8503476/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

Edited by David Andrews
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Clark Mollenhoff was a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and Washington Bureau Chief of the "Des Moines Register and Star.

I visited him on several occasions when he was teaching journalism at a university in Virginia in the waning days of the Watergate scandal. He was an extremely bright guy.

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That was back in the day when, thanks to Eisenhower's defense-aiding highway system upgrades, Des Moines had a shot at being a national-level city.  Now no country would ever nuke an Iowa city, and Des Moines has settled into obscurity in an old folks home, feebly playing shuffleboard with Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Why don't our Forever Wars keep us uniformly prosperous, as the Cold War did?

Did Mollenhoff suss out Rometsch's White house connections within the Baker scandal on his own, and did the Register have the juice to publish and be damned?  Or was the story dropped in their laps by the Baker-Johnson crowd, as a shot across Kennedy's bow?

I'm reminded of how, in 1995, a scoop on how the FBI and US Marshals were expecting a terror incident during the trial of the 1993 WTC bombers was obviously leaked to The Newark Star-Ledger and not to a major New York Metro paper.  Somebody in law enforcement wanted that out there, and they dropped it on a thirsty paper no one takes seriously (it was even made fun of on The Sopranos).  Some leaks apparently get a strategic out-of-town tryout before they reach the Great White Way.  Once the leak runs off-Broadway, as it were, the major papers have no kibosh option and are forced to address the issue.

Edited by David Andrews
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