John Simkin Posted June 26, 2005 Share Posted June 26, 2005 Throughout this year I have constantly argued with Tim Gratz about the use of “communist” sources to solve the JFK assassination. The latest example is on the Felix Ismael Rodriguez thread. http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4183 This is an important thread and I don’t want it sidetracked. Therefore, I thought it might be a good idea to start a new thread on this important subject. I say that because a lot of the sources available do come from people that could be labelled “communist”. For example, a lot of sources come from the secret services of Cuba and the Soviet Union. In theory, all the individuals behind these sources are “communists”. It is also clear that Tim is keen to label anyone on the left (or anyone who has ever been on the left) as a “communist”. That in itself creates serious problems. As a result of Operation Mockingbird, the traditional media in the United States acquiesced to the idea that Oswald was the lone gunman. Therefore, the early critics of the “lone gunman” theory tended to come from the left. (A small group on the far right also argued that JFK had been killed as a result of a conspiracy of communists). As the left was unpopular in the United States (mainly because of the Cold War and the impact that McCarthyism had on the American consciousness) it became a common tactic for those involved in the cover-up to label Warren Report critics as “communists”. This can be seen on the Kenneth Rahn website. Ironically he calls it the Academic JFK Assassination Site. http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/JFK.html I have invited Rahn to join our Forum so we can discuss his idea that the conspiracy theorists are part of a “leftist” plot. He refuses claiming we are not an academic site and is not “educational”. Rahn has a complete section on the “critics” of the Warren Commission. In a series of biographies Rahn attempts to show that the “critics” are “leftists” with a political agenda. This appears to be the primary source of Tim’s attacks on anyone who attempts to use sources that can be identified with the left. Tim first raised this issue when I posted about Thomas Buchanan’s book, Who Killed Kennedy? This is an important book for those interested in the history of the cover-up. As far as I can see, Buchanan’s book is the first to claim that Oswald as the lone-gunman theory does not make sense (May, 1964). It has to be remembered that Buchan was writing before the Warren Commission was published. In fact, at this stage, Buchanan, relying on information from within the Warren Commission, is convinced that the report will claim that it was a conspiracy. How wrong he was. Whoever was arguing that on the commission (we now know that three members of the Commission: Richard B. Russell, John S. Cooper and Thomas H. Boggs, did think there was a conspiracy) were persuaded to go along with Dulles and co by the time it was published. I first posted information about this on the thread “Thomas Buchanan: Did he solve the JFK case” on 9th January, 2205: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=2846 Tim’s reaction to this post was very interesting: John, I assume when you posted you did not know that Buchanan had been a member of the Communist Party since at least 1948 (or you certainly would have so informed us). Since the Communist Party is an obvious suspect in the assassination, Buchanan is hardly a "disinterested" observor. As the article notes, he could have written the book under Communist discipline. We know that the KGB did circulate false information about the assassination, including a cleverly forged letter from Leo Harvey Oswald. See The Shield and the Sword (based on official archives of the KGB smuggled out by a defector)....John, you had criticized (without reading) Trento's book claiming KGB involvement because Trento does not cite his sources. (But you have promised to read it.) I gather that Buchanan does not name his sources either. Moreover, as I have mentioned, Trento names the KGB agents who he believes were involved. Yet Buchanan does not apparently name any conspirator other than Ruby (obviously), Oswald and Tippitt (both dead). He does not name the Texas oilman he claims funded the assassination. He does not name any of the Dallas police officers who he claims helped Oswald escape from the Texas School Book Depository or helped Ruby kill Oswald. Why would he not name these names? Remember, in 1964 these people could still have been interviewed, indicted, convicted and fried. This became a common pattern in Tim’s postings. An attack on the credibility of a source if it came from the “left” and the use of books by people like Trento to argue that JFK was assassinated by Castro/Soviets. But Tim goes further than just questioning the credibility of the witness. He actually believes that once labelled as a communist, that person must never be believed. For example, on 10th January, 2005, Tim, it answering to Shanet’s comments about Buchanan’s claim that JFK was having secret negotiations with Castro in 1963 (something we now know was true), claims: Quoting Shanet:Fascinating. The Tom Buchanan book, almost lost to history, now emerges as the Kennedys' own backchannel to the truth from 1964. Shanet: Contact Sen. Kennedy. Find out whether this is true or whether Buchanan was a xxxx. Remember, not all liars are communists, but all communists are liars (it's their philosophy!). As a historian you always need to ask questions of the source of information. Therefore, if someone is a communist or a member of the Republican Party, you must take this information into account. However, what you should not do, is to say that because the source has been produced by a “communist” it cannot be believed. That is just as ridiculous as me saying, for example, that anything a Republican says should not be seen as the truth. There is another problem with this approach to studying the JFK assassination. It relies on the old Joe McCarthy tactic of labelling anyone on the left as a “communist”. Once that is done, according to Tim’s logic, they are clearly lying about what they know about the JFK assassination. This is what Tim said on the 10th January: John, I assume when you posted you did not know that Buchanan had been a member of the Communist Party since at least 1948 (or you certainly would have so informed us). Since the Communist Party is an obvious suspect in the assassination, Buchanan is hardly a "disinterested" observor. As the article notes, he could have written the book under Communist discipline. We know that the KGB did circulate false information about the assassination, including a cleverly forged letter from Leo Harvey Oswald. See The Shield and the Sword (based on official archives of the KGB smuggled out by a defector). The idea that a “communist” is always a xxxx is too ridiculous an idea to even bother to get involved in a debate about. However, the idea that Buchanan is a communist and is therefore an agent of the KGB needs to be looked at in some detail. The point Rahn makes about Buchanan is that he is obviously lying because he was “fired by the Washington Evening Star in 1948 when they learned that he was a member of the Communist party.” I suppose there are still some Americans who are still so committed to free speech that they believe it is right to sack people because they are members of the Communist Party. Rahn (and Tim Gratz?) probably fall into this category. Of course most people who were sacked and blacklisted during McCarthyism who were not members of the Communist Party. They had been members during the 1930s when people all over the world thought that the best way to solve the problems of inequality and to fight fascism was to be members of the Communist Party. They were wrong. They later discovered that the Soviet Communist Party was not committed to freedom and democracy (Spanish Civil War) and were willing to deals with fascism (Nazi-Soviet Pact). The vast majority had left the party by the late 1930s. I don’t know if Buchanan had left the party by 1948. I think he should have done but he is entitled to his own political beliefs. What Buchanan probably refused to do, as did all those who were blacklisted, was to refuse to provide information to the FBI and the House Senate Committee for Un-American Activities, about fellow members. I think that was a honourable act on their part. Especially when it meant the end of their careers. A large number of these blacklisted people came to live in Europe because we still believed in freedom of speech. Buchanan settled in France and wrote freelance articles for L’Express. It was probably here that he met Jean Daniel. I assume that he was the main source for the story. Daniel's information came I expect from Fidel Castro. His information came from the network of spies who had infiltrated the CIA and the anti-Castro groups in Florida. Daniel was actually meeting Castro on behalf of the Kennedy administration on the very day JFK was assassinated in Dallas. The fact that Buchanan came from the left helps him in his research into the case. It provides him with source material (much of which comes from what the Cuban government knew about the assassination via its ability to infiltrate the anti-Castro groups in America). Buchanan also understands the complexity of left-wing politics. For example, he examines the contents of the Daily Worker newspaper that Oswald was seen to be holding in the famous backyard photograph. He points out that the newspaper is full of support for the administration of JFK. For the first time in 30 years Communist Party membership had begun to increase. Gus Hall, the leader of the American Communist Party had already announced that he would not stand in 1964. Instead he urged members to vote for JFK. As Buchanan points out, it was completely illogical for a Communist Party member to be involved in the assassination of JFK. Buchanan also draws attention to the fact that Oswald was holding two left-wing newspapers in the famous backyard photograph. He points out that these newspapers were published by two organizations that were at war with each other. The person who established this phoney picture was unaware that no one on the left would have been a supporter of both newspapers. In fact, Stalinists hated Trotskyites more than they hated the capitalists. Tim has constantly returned to these theme that all communists are not to be trusted. This has happened it several different threads over the last couple of days. For example, in the What Did JFK Know? When Did He Know It?, The CIA Plots thread: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4096 In my opinion, the Mafia is about as close to evil incarnate as can be. I would make no moral distinction between the Mafia and Communists with respect to their total lack of morality and willingness to kill. I replied that the problem with Tim’s use of language was that it stopped him from thinking logically about what he was saying. I pointed out that Edgar Ray Killen, a Ku Klux Klan member and part-time preacher, was found guilty this week for taking the lives of three civil rights workers in 1964. You can read more about the case here: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4157 http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAburning.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAschwerner.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAgoodmanA.htm http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAchaney.htm When Killen was interviewed in 1999 about the case he justified the killings by describing the civil rights activists as “communists”. This was a common term used by Ku Klux Klan members. After all, they were guilty of lynching trade union leaders as well as civil rights workers. In many ways James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were communists. They believed in equality. They thought that all men and women should be treated the same. I don’t have much time for the American Communist Party (far too willing to support what was going on in the Soviet Union for my liking), however, they were consistent in their support for civil rights in the Deep South. Several of their members, including Viola Liuzzo, were murdered as a result of their efforts. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAliuzzo.htm This is of course inconvenient information for people on the far right like Tim who remained silent during the 1950s and early 1960s about the human rights abuses taking place in the Deep South. In fact, these abuses date back to a deal done by the Republican Party and the racists in the Deep South following the end of the American Civil War. The latest example of these “communist” comments came in the thread on Félix Ismael Rodríguez. http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4183 I quoted an article by Granma International by Jean-Guy Allard that argued that there was a link between Rodriguez to both the JFK assassination and George H. W. Bush. http://www.granma.cu/ingles/33alo/30george-i.html This of course incensed Tim as it illustrated the close relationship between the Republican Party and the assassination. As we found on the recent thread on C. Douglas Dillon, Tim is highly sensitive to anybody mentioning anyone as a suspect who is in anyway associated with the Republican Party. As someone suggested at the time, it appeared that Tim was defending his father against this accusation. As I replied, the only reason for this irrational behaviour was because Dillon was a member of the Republican Party. The same goes for Félix Ismael Rodríguez. As he is a buddy of George Bush (both father and son) and hates John Kerry, he must be protected at all costs. Serious researchers cannot allow themselves be so partisan as to want to believe that members of the Republican Party can do no wrong. In fact, the recent record of the Republican Party has been truly appalling. The Democratic Party might have been the party of corruption in the 1940s and 1950s (orchestrated by Lyndon Johnson) but Bush has taken it to new levels. For further information on this read Dan Briody’s The Halliburton Agenda and Robert Bryce’s Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate. The purpose of this thread is to argue that it is important that JFK researchers look closely at the background of the person who produces any source related to the assassination. However, the fact that a source has been produced by a “communist”, “former communist” or “leftist” should not be in itself a reason to dismiss the source as “worthless”, “disinformation” or the work of “liars”. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Please sign in to comment
You will be able to leave a comment after signing in
Sign In Now