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LBJ/AEC/USIA/Weissman/Schmidt


Greg Parker
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In Death of a President, p868-869 of the paperback edition, Earl Warren is quoted as follows:

"I saw McGeorge Bundy first. He took me in, and the president told me how serious the situation was. He said there had been wild rumours, and that there was the international situation to think of. He said he had just talked to Dean Rusk, who was concerned, and he also mentioned the head of the Atomic Energy Commission, who had told him how many millions of people would be killed in an atomic war. The only way to dispel these rumours, he said, was to have an independent and responsible commission, and there was noone to lead it except the highest judicial officer in the country. I told him how I felt. He said that if the public became aroused against Castro and Khrushchev there might be war..."

Johnson gave credit to RFK and others for the "need" for his immediate sweaing in as President. The fact is though, it was his idea... his desire for it to be done -- regardless of what advice he may have received. It is possible then, that he was doing the same here... crediting Glenn Seaborg with the "millions could die" line. More likley, Johnson merely asked him how many would die in a nuclear war, with Seaborg replying, "millions".  This ruse (of crediting others) got him what he wanted, whilst also shifting responsibility for the ideas. 

It should be well noted at this point that the first person to scream "Commie conspiracy" was LBJ himself. The logic of him doing so in the absence of evidence and in the heart of R-W nut country is non-existent uless you factor in heightened paranoia or the carrying out of a plan to pin it on Communists.

Greg:

My paperback of "TDOAP" is obviously different than yours, because the pagination in mine doesn't go up to 868-869. I've tried finding Warren and Bundy on the same page in the index, but without success.

Hence, a question: does Warren give a time and/or date for the above?

My reason for asking is this: Jack Anderson stated that McCone informed Johnson of the Mexico City LHO caper on 11/23/63. Hence, it should be noted that if "the first person to scream "Commie conspiracy was LBJ himself," it may have been because this is what McCone had just told him, in Bundy's presence. A small point, perhaps, but I'd appreciate any clarification your copy of the book might provide.

A great find re: Bernard Weisman[n], BTW, but I've come to expect nothing less from you, mate.

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Robert,

Nothing bugs me more... than out of synch pagination.

I thought maybe my dyslexic fingers has struck again... but no; there it is on pages 868-9.

The preceding para states inter alia: "The new president having been persuaded that a Texas inquiry would be doomed in advance as a whitewash, Nick Katzenbach and Solicitor General Cox called upon the Chief Justice four days after the funeral and urged him to head a federal commission. warren refused... His visitors left and advised the White House of their failure... The Chief Justice barely had time to relay his decision to two of his colleagues before the phone rang. The President wanted to see him at once..."

Evelyn Lincoln claimed that LBJ was broadcasting his CC theory to anyone he happened to catch in the hallways of Parkland. A similar claim is made. The idea therefore, could not have come from McCone. IMO, He was either suffering severe paranioa, had prior knowledge of a plot which would culminate in an attack on Cuba... or a third possibility I had failed to previously consider: He believed Castro had carried out the threat he'd made a couple of months prior. I believe other evidence supports prior knowledge, but am not entirely willing to dismiss the other possibilities.

Even the opening line in the above para has that familiar ring to it... he was "persuaded by others" that a Texas commission was out of the question... nothing was EVER his idea, apparently.

Can't take credit for the BW find... that belongs to Martha Moyer. Martha quite rightly prides herself on being careful not to make claims which she cannot prove beond doubt. I, on the other hand, suffer no such malady B) My stomach can only take so many coincincences in one sitting. I think enough circumstantially exists to believe it's the same guy -- just a pity no one ever questioned him, or at least dug into it way back when...

I think we both (still) agree that the CC theory was doomed by Oswald's arrest?

Great to see you posting here. There is a lot of good will, as I'm sure you'll find.

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Bernard Wiessman did work at the Nuclear Development Corp as an "experimental machinist" just prior to commencing his military career. And the Nuclear Development Corp did secret work on nuclear weapons for the

AEC.

Weissman associate, Edwin Walker, was well known for his fear of a Chinese invasion -- even claiming they had massed on the beaches of the West Coast ready to invade. "Weisman's" memo would have pleased Walker...

Further, Bernie was stationed in Munich for the bulk of his army career. The USIA was active in Munich.

Additionally, he worked at the carpet company on commission only -- and by his own admission, had made no sales the whole time he worked there. He claimed he survived on savings and a credit card belonging to Schmidt.  The USIA however, employed hundreds of stringers, and it seems his work at the carpet company had no set hours attached... leaving him as much free time as he wanted.

Interesting document Greg. I have always found an interesting character who has clearly been under-researched. Weissman was discharged from the army in August 1963 but was unable to find work. Short of money, Weissman contacted Larrie Schmidt who at that time was living in Dallas. Schmidt told Weissman about his involvement in the attack on the liberal politician, Adlai Stevenson. According to Schmidt, this had been organized by General Edwin Walker. Schmidt added that his brother was working as General Walker's chauffeur and general aide.

Schmidt invited Weissman to Dallas. Weissman later told the Warren Commission that Schmidt argued: "If we are going to take advantage of the situation, or if you are," meaning me, "you better hurry down here and take advantage of the publicity, and at least become known among these various right-wingers, because this is the chance we have been looking for to infiltrate some of these organizations and become known," in other words, go along with the philosophy we had developed in Munich."

Weissman arrived in Dallas on 4th November, 1963. Soon afterwards Weissman joined an organization called the Young Americans for Freedom. Schmidt also invited Weissman to join the John Birch Society but according to his testimony before the Warren Commission he changed his mind when he discovered too many of them were anti-Semitic (Weissman was Jewish). While in Dallas he found work as a carpet salesman.

Larrie Schmidt introduced Weissman to Joe Grinnan of the John Birch Society. Grinnan was involved in organizing protests against the visit of JFK. Grinnan seemed to know about the visit before it was officially announced to the public. Grinnan suggested that they should place a black-bordered advert in the Dallas Morning News on 22nd November, 1963. The advert cost $1,465. Grinnan supplied the money. He claimed that some of this came from Harvey Bright, Edgar R. Crissey and Nelson Bunker Hunt, the son of Haroldson L. Hunt. Weissman was given the task of signing the advert and taking it to the newspaper office.

If Weissman was working for U.S. intelligence, why would he allow himself to be exposed in this way. It seems more like he was being set up.

Weissman told the Warren Commission he was shocked by the assassination of JFK and told Larrie Schmidt he feared he would be accused of being involved in the killing. Weissman suspected that Kennedy had been killed by supporters of General Walker and that as a result he would be implicated in the plot. However, he told the Warren Commission he felt relieved when he discovered that Oswald had been arrested for the murder. The Warren Commission did not ask how he knew that Oswald was not a right-winger. Despite this news, Weissman and Schmidt decided to leave Dallas

Mark Lane testified before that Warren Commission that Thayer Waldo, a journalist on the staff of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, had told him that Weissman was involved in a two-hour meeting with Jack Ruby and J. D. Tippit at the Carousel Club on 14th November, 1963. According to Joachim Joesten (How Kennedy Was Killed), "a rich oil man" was also at this meeting. Weissman denied he had ever been to the Carousel Club and had never met Ruby or Tippit.

George Senator told reporters that Jack Ruby had tried to contact Weissman after the assassination. According to Seth Kantor (Who Was Jack Ruby): "He (Ruby) couldn't get to Bernard Weissman. There was no such person in the Dallas phone book."

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Good thread, thanks to Greg and John.

This material helps tie together strands which were diverging in my understanding of 11/63.

Weissman appears to link Ruby, Grinnan, Bunker Hunt, the YAF and the Dallas police, and the foreknowledge of the killing for them all stems from, ou guessed it, US MAJ GEN EDWIN WALKER, who needed to cool off the trail of the actual joint paramilitary sanction.

General Walker was apparently a weak spot in the sanitization, as he dealt with

his crypto-fascists in an operationally sloppy way...

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Schmidt also invited Weissman to join the John Birch Society but according to his testimony before the Warren Commission he changed his mind when he discovered too many of them were anti-Semitic (Weissman was Jewish). While in Dallas he found work as a carpet salesman.

John, Weissman already knew these people were virilunt anti-Semites because Schmidt wrote to Larry Jones while Jones and Weissman were still in the service, instructing Jones to tell Weissman to change his name prior to coming to Dallas.

Strange then that the whole thing gets turned around and he is accepted BECAUSE of his Jewish name. All that is in his testimony, as well. Meanwhile, Michael Paine testified that the ACLU was instructing its members not to refer to Birchers as anti-Semites less than a week prior to Weissman's arrival.

For reasons too complicated to go into here, I don't think that actually happened at an ACLU meeting (I don't believe MP was even there)... however, it makes perfect sense that such statements would be made at Robert Morris' perversion of the ACLU... the Defenders of American Liberties.

Weissman suspected that Kennedy had been killed by supporters of General Walker and that as a result he would be implicated in the plot. However, he told the Warren Commission he felt relieved when he discovered that Oswald had been arrested for the murder. The Warren Commission did not ask how he knew that Oswald was not a right-winger.

Good point.

If Weissman was working for U.S. intelligence, why would he allow himself to be exposed in this way. It seems more like he was being set up.

I agree. It sure looks like a set up.

FWIW, I believe Larry Jones double-crossed his CUSA pals and joinded forces with those groups Schmidt had intended to infiltrate and take over.

George Senator told reporters that Jack Ruby had tried to contact Weissman after the assassination. According to Seth Kantor (Who Was Jack Ruby): "He (Ruby) couldn't get to Bernard Weissman. There was no such person in the Dallas phone book."

As I posted a little while back, Speedy Johnson testified that when Ruby was showing him the black border ad, he was left with the distinct impression that Ruby was in agreement with it.

Then you have Ruby reading Hunt sponsored rw radio propaganda, visiting the Hunt offices a day before the assassination, and meeting with someone named Payne in Toni Zoppi's office the morning of the assassination. The DMN did not employ anyone by that name, however, a Robert Payne happened to be the lawyer for the sponsors of the Black Border ad...

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  • 1 year later...

Then you have Ruby reading Hunt sponsored rw radio propaganda, visiting the Hunt offices a day before the assassination, and meeting with someone named Payne in Toni Zoppi's office the morning of the assassination. The DMN did not employ anyone by that name, however, a Robert Payne happened to be the lawyer for the sponsors of the Black Border ad... (Greg Parker)

Hi Greg,

I take it the Robert Payne mentioned is Robert B. Payne? Dallas had two lawyers by that name and ironically both were mixed up with members of the JBS, various land and oil contracts, plus dealings with the Dallas Police Department.

There was Robert Benson Payne and Robert Blaine Payne. Do you know which one was the lawyer for the sponsors of the ad?

James

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Then you have Ruby reading Hunt sponsored rw radio propaganda, visiting the Hunt offices a day before the assassination, and meeting with someone named Payne in Toni Zoppi's office the morning of the assassination. The DMN did not employ anyone by that name, however, a Robert Payne happened to be the lawyer for the sponsors of the Black Border ad... (Greg Parker)

Hi Greg,

I take it the Robert Payne mentioned is Robert B. Payne? Dallas had two lawyers by that name and ironically both were mixed up with members of the JBS, various land and oil contracts, plus dealings with the Dallas Police Department.

There was Robert Benson Payne and Robert Blaine Payne. Do you know which one was the lawyer for the sponsors of the ad?

James

James, trust you to complicate things! :) I have no idea which, and was blissfully unaware there were two of the buggers...

But since you've resurrected this, it's a good opportunity to add that I have since found evidence that the USIA did indeed, employ a Bernard Weisman (one "s").

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James, trust you to complicate things! :D I have no idea which, and was blissfully unaware there were two of the buggers... (Greg Parker)

Yeah, like things really need to be anymore complicated. :)

Robert Blaine Payne had somewhat of a checkered career. In 1962 he was charged with conspiracy and wire tapping the telephone of oilman Travis Ward. Two others were charged including Dallas Detective Charles Weatherly. The charges against Payne were eventually dropped but Weatherly received a suspended sentence and was fired from the force.

Robert Blaine Payne was also involved in the purchase of some 180 acres of raw land for the heirs of the Cabell family. Briggs Real Estate handled the sale. The associate in charge was Joseph P. Grinnan.

Robert Benson Payne graduated from the SMU School of Law and was prominent in the purchase of land and real estate; and also involving himself in the oil business. He regularly holidayed in Mexico and 2 years after the assassination, was kidnapped and forced to withdraw $15,000 as payment for his release. He was beaten but eventually released. One of the men charged with the kidnapping was habitual criminal Charles Boyd. The DPD were well aware of Boyd as in the early 1950's when just a teenager, he was shot by officer I.H. Huffaker after Boyd attacked him with a knife.

I have not been able to figure which Robert B. Payne was the lawyer for the sponsors of the ad.

FWIW.

James

Edited by James Richards
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