Jump to content
The Education Forum

Challenging Universally Accepted Truths #2


Recommended Posts

And if memory serves did not the ACLU send a representative to offer

defense services to Oswald - after he had issued a public call for help -

only to be told he was not interested at that point?

Charged with killing the President, no luck in contacting Abt (sp?) and Oswald

turns down legal assistance from an organization he has just joined? Given

his normal responses to authority I'd have thought he would have jumped

at the chance to "engage" the legal process?

Then again, he had asked Ruth Paine, supposedly a pure liberal, ACLU

member, for help in obtaining legal support and she apparently just decided

to ignore him period. No call from her to the ACLU

....or am I missing something here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Larry, you've hit upon the subjectof my next post...

greg

And if memory serves did not the ACLU send a representative to offer

defense services to Oswald - after he had issued a public call for help -

only to be told he was not interested at that point?

Charged with killing the President,  no luck in contacting Abt (sp?) and Oswald

turns down legal assistance from an organization he has just joined?  Given

his normal responses to authority I'd have thought he would have jumped

at the chance to "engage" the legal process?

Then again,  he had asked Ruth Paine,  supposedly a pure liberal,  ACLU

member,  for help in obtaining legal support and she apparently just decided

to ignore him period.  No call from her to the ACLU

....or am I missing something here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Abt" is indeed the correct spelling of a highly visible New York lawyer during the early 60s. He was closely associated with CPUSA-related actions and activities. It is no surprise that he did not rush to Oswald's aid. Also, the FPCC pretty much closed their doors on 11-22-63. The venerable ACLU, however, really had no reason to be involved in Oswald's case; they do not act as defense lawyers in murder cases, which I'm sure Ruth Paine knew. Maybe you had to be there to appreciate how completely the left was running scared that weekend. Most of us thought the witch hunt was on, especially those of us in the FPCC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Abt" is indeed the correct spelling of a highly visible New York lawyer during the early 60s.  He was closely associated with CPUSA-related actions and activities.  It is no surprise that he did not rush to Oswald's aid.  Also, the FPCC pretty much closed their doors on 11-22-63.  The venerable ACLU, however, really had no reason to be involved in Oswald's case; they do not act as defense lawyers in murder cases, which I'm sure Ruth Paine knew.  Maybe you had to be there to appreciate how completely the left was running scared that weekend.  Most of us thought the witch hunt was on, especially those of us in the FPCC.

In William Kunstler's memoirs he says that Oswald was holding out for Abt, but then Abt said no. Oswald then requested an ACLU attorney. Kunstler claims he volunteeered and was on his way to the airport when Oswald was murdered.

Edited by Pat Speer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Abt" is indeed the correct spelling of a highly visible New York lawyer during the early 60s.  He was closely associated with CPUSA-related actions and activities.  It is no surprise that he did not rush to Oswald's aid.  Also, the FPCC pretty much closed their doors on 11-22-63.  The venerable ACLU, however, really had no reason to be involved in Oswald's case; they do not act as defense lawyers in murder cases, which I'm sure Ruth Paine knew.  Maybe you had to be there to appreciate how completely the left was running scared that weekend.  Most of us thought the witch hunt was on, especially those of us in the FPCC.

In William Kunstler's memoirs he says that Oswald was holding out for Abt, but then Abt said no. Oswald then requested an ACLU attorney. Kunstler claims he volunteeered and was on his way to the airport when Oswald was murdered.

Pat, how the hell would Kunstler know? We only have two sources for Oswald asking for the ACLU... Fritz and Nichols. Now there's two you can trust...

It never happened, publicly or otherwise. The only public statement by Oswald Kunstler could have responded to was his request for "somebody to come forward".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Abt" is indeed the correct spelling of a highly visible New York lawyer during the early 60s.  He was closely associated with CPUSA-related actions and activities.  It is no surprise that he did not rush to Oswald's aid.  Also, the FPCC pretty much closed their doors on 11-22-63.  The venerable ACLU, however, really had no reason to be involved in Oswald's case; they do not act as defense lawyers in murder cases, which I'm sure Ruth Paine knew.  Maybe you had to be there to appreciate how completely the left was running scared that weekend.  Most of us thought the witch hunt was on, especially those of us in the FPCC.

In William Kunstler's memoirs he says that Oswald was holding out for Abt, but then Abt said no. Oswald then requested an ACLU attorney. Kunstler claims he volunteeered and was on his way to the airport when Oswald was murdered.

Pat, Abt never got a chance to say no to Oswald. He did tell the press, when they contacted him, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to represent him, because of prior commitments.

In short, it was a qualified "no" and one made to reporters, not to Oswald, or anyone on Oswald's behalf. Who knows what the outcome would have been had Oswald managed to speak to Abt?

Kunstler makes it sond like Abt gave a flat no to Oswald... and that's a misrepresentation of the facts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In William Kunstler's memoirs he says that Oswald was holding out for Abt, but then Abt said no. Oswald then requested an ACLU attorney. Kunstler claims he volunteeered and was on his way to the airport when Oswald was murdered.

Pat, how the hell would Kunstler know? We only have two sources for Oswald asking for the ACLU... Fritz and Nichols. Now there's two you can trust...

It never happened, publicly or otherwise. The only public statement by Oswald Kunstler could have responded to was his request for "somebody to come forward".

On page 153 of Kunstler's memoirs he says that Melvin Wulf, the ACLU's legal director, asked him if he'd represent Oswald, and that he was on the way to the airport when Ruby killed Oswald. Ironically, Kunstler helped Ruby on his appeal, as part of a team of five or six other lawyers, including a Texas ACLU attorney by the odd name of Sam Houston Clinton.

Kunstler doesn't say how Wulf got the word that Abt had declined and that Oswald had asked for an ACLU attorney. It could be that Wulf was just filling in the blanks, seeing as Oswald had mentioned he was a member of the ACLU during one of the press conferences.

Edited by Pat Speer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John Abt was a New York lawyer who was chief counsel for the American Communist Party. When Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested following the assassination, Oswald called Abt's office collect to ask for help. 'I want that attorney in New York, Mr. Abt. I don't know him personally but I know about a case that he handled some years ago, where he represented the people who had violated the Smith Act ... If I can't get him, then I may get the American Civil Liberties Union to send me an attorney.' Oswald referred to Abt at least 6 other times during that weekend.

As it turned out, Abt had left his New York office early that Friday for a long weekend in Kent. Reporters located Abt at his weekend retreat, but Oswald never connected with Abt. By the time Abt returned to New York on Sunday everning, Ruby had already killed Oswald.

More information on Abt can be found in his biography: Advocate and Activist: Memories of an American Communist Lawyer, 1993.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All

It has always been my understanding that Oswald was holding out for Abt to act as his attorney. It is interesting to note that when Oswald died, Abt's phone numbers (office and home?) were written on a piect of paper that was found in his pocket.

Jim Root

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On page 153 of Kunstler's memoirs he says that Melvin Wulf, the ACLU's legal director, asked him if he'd represent Oswald, and that he was on the way to the airport when Ruby killed Oswald.  Ironically, Kunstler helped Ruby on his appeal, as part of  a team of five or six other lawyers, including a Texas ACLU attorney by the odd name of Sam Houston Clinton.

Kunstler doesn't say how Wulf got the word that Abt had declined and that Oswald had asked for an ACLU attorney.  It could be that Wulf was just filling in the blanks, seeing as Oswald had mentioned he was a member of the ACLU during one of the press conferences.

Pat, trouble with that is -- Oswald never mentioned he was a member of the ACLU during any press conference. He couldn't because he wasn't.

I'd say that puts Kunstler's claims in serious doubt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'I want that attorney in New York, Mr. Abt. I don't know him personally but I know about a case that he handled some years ago, where he represented the people who had violated the Smith Act ... If I can't get him, then I may get the American Civil Liberties Union to send me an attorney.'

Richard,

that is what Oswald said according to Fritz.

Do you trust Fritz?

Can you show where Oswald said anything similar in front of the press, or to his family?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...