Greg Doudna Posted May 2, 2022 Share Posted May 2, 2022 "There are all kinds of claims and rumors about the Paines but no concrete evidence has ever directly linked them to the CIA" -- Narrator, "The Assassination & Mrs. Paine" "I don't know anybody who thinks that they were part of the plot to kill the president" -- Bill Simpich, "The Assassination & Mrs. Paine" (please think on those two statements for a moment) I have struggled to understand what is going on with the scale of animosity against Ruth Paine in some quarters of this community. I have struggled to understand why. This is a woman for whom to the present day there has not been shown hard evidence that she has ever done anything objectionable rising above what Pat Speer calls the "warts and all" of being human. Never charged or convicted of a crime. No record of violence. No record of attempting to hurt anyone. There is something not right here. For unsubstantiated suspicions about Ruth Paine are considered by perhaps a majority reading these words as if they are bedrock fact, not termed unsubstantiated suspicions as they ought accurately if truth in labeling matters. Are people aware of the mislabeling? It is like something out of the Twilight Zone. All this animosity, even venom, toward a woman with no clear information she ever did anything. Is the “why” because Ruth is blamed for the incrimination of Oswald in the assassination? Many if not most here (I am among this number) believe Oswald was innocent of the JFK assassination. There is a sense, not only of the loss of what President Kennedy represented to America, but the passion of an injustice done to Oswald, an Innocence Project passion to vindicate a wrongful conviction of Oswald. Time after time, like a drumbeat, in book after book, article after article, internet post after internet post, I have seen and felt a perception that Ruth Paine is responsible for that conviction of Oswald, almost a subdued rage at one perceived as playing a leading role in the incrimination of Oswald. But what if that premise never was true? What if all along that supposed verity—that Ruth Paine incriminated Oswald, incriminated an innocent man—has all along has been fundamentally--I mean really fundamentally--mistaken, wrong? What if Ruth Paine never incriminated Oswald of any crime in her Warren Commission testimony? What if Ruth Paine is innocent even of that? I am not talking about she believes today the Warren Commission and Oswald did it. Half of educated America believes that. Just forget that as not the issue here. That belief has no legal significance in incrimination of someone in a crime. From Max Good's "The Assassination & Mrs. Paine": Narrator: Other than Marina, Ruth Paine had been history’s most important witness against Lee Harvey Oswald. Ruth and her garage provided much of the incriminating evidence, and the Walker Note wasn’t the only piece that curiously popped up after the initial police search of Ruth’s house. The infamous Backyard Photos were found in the second police search the day after the assassination. And Ruth later handed over the cameras that had supposedly been overlooked. One was matched to the Backyard Photos. The other was a miniature spy camera which has intrigued researchers for decades. Two weeks after the assassination, as doubts about Oswald’s trip to Mexico were surfacing, Ruth miraculously found several incriminating items sitting in a room where the Oswalds stayed. This which occurs midway during the film is one of the most objectionable passages of this film. Up to that point the presentation has the overt structure of a neutral narrator, a “we report you decide” back and forth between accusations that the woman is a witch, idiomatically put, and the woman’s denials that she is a witch, idiomatically put. The words of the narrator above depart from that overt stance of neutrality and now favor the side of Ruth’s accusers. The manner of expression conveys the narrator’s endorsement of an accusation that Ruth Paine fabricated and/or planted physical evidence in a large-scale way for police to find for the purpose of falsely incriminating Oswald, an accusation for which, it pains me that it is necessary to repeat once again, there is no evidence. Three words of the narrator reveal the departure from neutrality. The first is “curiously” with reference to the finding of the Walker Note. Marina said she hid it in her book seven months earlier, then it is found in Marina's book where she said she left it. Ruth never saw it or touched it before the Secret Service found it in Marina's book. The note is in Oswald's handwriting. There is no evidence Ruth had anything to do with it. Why “curious” and if something is curious what does that have to do with Ruth? The second is “supposedly” as in Ruth handing over cameras to police “supposedly” previously overlooked. The “supposedly” evokes a hint that Ruth’s action is not what it appeared to be. The third is “miraculously” in “Ruth miraculously found several incriminating items sitting in a drawer…” “Miraculous” is language of mockery or incredulity that the named thing can have come about through natural causes. The word suggests that the finding of that physical evidence is impossible to have come about naturally and therefore was forged and/or planted, with the insinuation being that said forgery and/or planting was done, not by the parties usually responsible for planting evidence in cases of police finding planted evidence, namely the police, but instead Ruth Paine. The hapless police and FBI in Dallas in the investigation were fooled by this woman's serial forgery/planting of physical evidence, so evil was she, so the thinking goes. The uses of “curiously”, “supposedly”, and “miraculously” in the narrator’s voice indicate the narrator, not simply interviewees in the film, holds to the allegations implied by the sarcasms. The voices of Ruth’s accusers have entered the voice of the narrator. The allegation to which the narrator has by manner of expression given credence is utterly, utterly outrageous. There is no evidence or reason to suppose Ruth Paine forged or planted physical evidence. Apart from no evidence there is very little sense to this charge. Ruth had no police or spy or military or intelligence training. She never went to forgery school or evidence-planting school. She had no prior record of framing innocent persons, no prior experience in covert operations, never forged or planted evidence in the past, no criminal history. If she had been involved in such a thing it would subject her to serious perjury issues involving risks of multiple and lengthy prison sentences if prosecuted and convicted. What citizen in their right mind would agree to that kind of thing? For what motive? How does that work, if a citizen, asked to do that, after consultation with maybe an attorney asks the government to provide indemnification in writing, a promise to compensate if they end up in the slammer for a few years through some slipup? Is there any reality to these ideas of what Ruth Paine is imagined to have been doing? And why would Ruth want to frame Lee, even posthumously? Is there anything in her life that suggests she would have any desire or willingness to do that? No. The narrator states that Ruth Paine was, next to Marina, “history’s most important witness against Lee Harvey Oswald”. With the possible exception of testifying that Lee had written untrue things in the Soviet embassy letter (not sure if that is a crime, but it is not the best character reference)—with that one minor exception in her voluminous Warren Commission testimony, it is not clear that Ruth Paine gave any incriminating testimony against Oswald at all. She never testified to witnessing a criminal act committed by Oswald, or to having knowledge of a plan or intention on Oswald’s part to commit a criminal act. She had nothing to do with connecting the sixth floor rifle or any other firearm to Oswald. She never claimed to hear Oswald express hatred for Kennedy, or any other motive to kill Kennedy. She never claimed to have seen Oswald be violent, or threaten violence. She gave no testimony incriminating Oswald in the assassination of President Kennedy, the Walker shooting, or the Tippit killing. The characterization that Ruth Paine as the second most important witness in history against Lee Harvey Oswald is a misconstrual of reality of epic proportions. Did she ever incriminate Oswald in any crime at all? There are those who charge Ruth with being responsible for the finding of the Warren Commission that Oswald killed Kennedy, on the grounds that Ruth’s testimony provided the raw material which the Commission used to construct a narrative to convict Oswald in the court of public opinion. That is wrong on so many levels. First of all, the narrative convicting Oswald started Friday afternoon Fri Nov 22 and was embraced by the FBI, the new President, and the major television networks before the weekend was out. Ruth did not cause that. Ruth gave no interview before Oswald's death Sunday morning Nov 24. As for her Warren Commission testimony, the only issue that matters or should matter is was Ruth truthful and accurate in answering questions asked of her, not how that testimony was used by the Commission which was not her doing and over which she had no authority. The Warren Commission had been given authority from Congress to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony. Just as with other witnesses, Ruth did not get to decide which questions she wished to answer, how many, whether she wished to testify. She had no control over what the Warren Commission did with her compelled testimony. The only issue should be was her testimony truthful and accurate. I have heard people blame Ruth, not on issues of what was true or false, but as if Ruth was responsible for how her testimony itself (true or false) was used by the Warren Commission, as if she was personally culpable for the Warren Commission's uses of her testimony, even though her testimony itself never incriminated Oswald. From the film: DiEugenio: Almost from the beginning of this case, Ruth and Michael are always there to discredit Oswald, to caricature Oswald, to say he wanted to be a big man in history, which of course makes no sense at all. Because if that’s what Oswald was doing then he would have admitted that he did it, OK, but he never did. In fact he said just the opposite, that I’m just a patsy. I think it should be considered that the post-assassination comments of Ruth were colored by a belief that he had killed her president. Ruth’s post-assassination descriptions of Oswald, colored by that belief, seem moderate under the circumstances. Michael's were harsher but Michael is not my focus of attention here. And so to the opening question. If Ruth Paine's deepest crime is incrimination of Oswald, where is the incrimination? Where did she? Where in her Warren Commission testimony did she give evidence that, if delivered in court in a trial of Oswald, would have incriminated Oswald of a crime? Some might cite her testimony that she saw a light on Fri morning Nov 22 that had not been on when she went to bed the night before. She concluded from that, though she did not claim to witness it directly, that Oswald may have gone into the garage. That's it. That's what Ruth testified. Was that incriminating? No, because the garage is where Oswald's belongings, his things, were. There could be a hundred reasons why someone would do that, even if the Warren Commission construed that as the time when Oswald retrieved his rifle to take to the TSBD the next morning. Was Ruth a witness "against" Oswald in the sense of incriminating him in anything? Or is that another myth that should be deconstructed? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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