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A Paine on the "Right" Side


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Kudos for showing initiative, Duke.

I don't see a "civil liberties" conflict in reporting potentially relevant information to an investigating body regarding a crime. I do see a problem with his not having reported it to other board members - though for Greg Olds to respond with the information he did, Cohen (or someone) must have advised Olds of it at some point.

In regard to your hope that what he told you has cleared this up for me... sorry, but it hasn't.

GO did not write the FBI report, nor was he responsible for what questions were asked, so it's hardly his fault it's short on specifics, lacks clarity and fails to directly address Cohen's statement.

It does not state for instance, that GO recalled seeing Mike Paine there - with or without anyone else. All it states is "it is believed by Olds that Oswald was brought to the meeting by Michael Paine". The only "clues" as to what gave rise to that belief are mentions in other parts of the report of "unrecalled sources" and a comment about Mr Olds following all information on Oswald through the media.

My own hope is that Mr Olds will join in and answer a few questions I (and perhaps others) have.

Does he know if Barry Cohen is still alive, and if he is, where he can be contacted so that we can ask what or who his sources were?

Did Mr Olds associate with the Paines socially outside of the ACLU meetings?

Did anyone addressing the meeting of Oct 25 ask that members refrain from considering Birchers as being anti-Semites?

(If anything should be characterised as "funny" it's that a civil liberties group would tell others what they should think - yet (this is precisely what they did according to Mike and Frank. Even funnier that this alleged attempt by the ACLU to act as spin doctors for Birchers coincided with the Birchers own attempts to shed their anti-Semite image, including the idea of using a Jewish name in a certain spleen-venting ad. But the funniest thing is that NO ONE mentioned hearing this spin-doctoring effort except... good old Mike and Frank)

When did Mr Olds initially learn of Barry Cohen's investigation, and what made him dismiss the findings of it?

Does he have any idea or opinion as to why the Warren Commission failed to ask him any questions about the Oct 25 meeting?

The FBI report indicates Mr Olds was trying to find out all he could about Oswald. Did he find out anything that may shed any light at all on Oswald's activities and motivations for same?

Isn't that what research is, in part: initiative? No kudos necessary, it's hardly the first time. Still working on the James Worrell story, too ... and that's just a couple of current projects. ;)

In no particular order:

Olds learned of Cohen's "investigation" the other night. I will trust that what he said is true and he's not pulling my leg. This underscores my point about "official" investigations: not only did Cohen not tell Olds and the Board about it within the two weeks between Cohen's interview and Olds', but he apparently never told them about it in any way. The term "investigation" implies something more in-depth than mere "asking around" - which is my guess about what Cohen did ... so far, anyway - or "making inquiries," which is about all the FBI or anyone would credit you or me with doing; it implies much greater thoroughness and credence, which did not necessarily apply here. That is all I'd hoped that this inquiry had cleared up for you.

Olds didn't "dismiss" the findings of Cohen's "asking around" or "inquiry," he just never knew about it. As to the WC's failure to question him ...? I dunno yet. And as for Cohen's current whereabouts, I've got some places to look, but nothing definitive yet. As far as Greg knows, Barry's still alive (in his 70s).

Which "for same" are you referring to in your last question? For going to the ACLU meeting ("DCLU" as Olds calls it: Dallas Civil Liberties Union, the "A" apparently being reserved for the national organization), or for supposedly shooting Kennedy?

You will recall that in addition to seeing or not seeing LHO at the DCLU meeting, Olds also went to DPD on both Friday and Saturday with DCLU attorneys (and told that LHO "did not request counsel") as well as to the Six Flags Motel to check up on Marina and company that weekend. That he followed the Oswald saga in the papers should be no surprise.

Greg Olds says the following (and at some point, he may post here directly ...?):

Hi, Duke — After your call, I checked what I had written from that period [GO is a journalist by profession - DL]. I find it was Michael Paine who brought Oswald to the Friday, Oct. 25, DCLU meeting. I don't mention whether Ruth Paine was there but am all but sure she was not.

I have it that Michael Paine explained later (to someone who then told me) that he had brought Oswald to the DCLU meeting because Oswald had expressed interest in public affairs and Paine liked the ACLU's principles.

Oswald rose during discussion that night (after a movie had been shown) to say that he had heard both anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic statements at a U.S. Day rally two nights before. I guess this was the Birch Society gathering. This was in reply to a DCLU member having just said that, although the Birch Society attracted anti-Semites it was not necessarily anti-Semitic.

I recalled someone at the meeting saying he had gone to both the Stephenson speech and the US Day gathering the previous two nights as an observer. The person saying this was later identified to me as Oswald. And Michael Paine was quoted to me as having said he thought Oswald had gone to those two meetings to confirm his suspicion that people would be there who represented "the worst kind of America." Paine explained that antipathy to ultraconservatism was the only thing in which he and Oswald agreed.

In a subsequent email, he wrote:

I know what you mean about "manufactured memory." Until I read my notes after your call, I didn't know just how I "knew" it was Oswald at the Friday ACLU meeting. I also find, after reading some of what I wrote around 1990, from notes made in late '63 and early '64, that I must not ever have spoken with Michael Paine, except perhaps to have shaken hands at a meeting or such. I was told about him and what he had to say by several people, DCLU members, after 11/22.

Finally (all I've got time for tonight), regarding your "funny" comment about civil libertarians deigning to suggest to other what to think, it's my experience - through several organizations - that anyone who's not a dead-in-the-middle-of-the-road moderate is almost always willing to tell others how to think: like they do!

Until and unless GO decides to join in our discussion, I'll pass along question and answers to and from him as appropriate. Good night for now!

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Isn't that what research is, in part: initiative? No kudos necessary, it's hardly the first time. Still working on the James Worrell story, too ... and that's just a couple of current projects.
DL

Credit where it's due. Few, in my experience, would have bothered. Hope the projects work out.

Olds learned of Cohen's "investigation" the other night. I will trust that what he said is true and he's not pulling my leg. This underscores my point about "official" investigations: not only did Cohen not tell Olds and the Board about it within the two weeks between Cohen's interview and Olds', but he apparently never told them about it in any way. The term "investigation" implies something more in-depth than mere "asking around" - which is my guess about what Cohen did ... so far, anyway - or "making inquiries," which is about all the FBI or anyone would credit you or me with doing; it implies much greater thoroughness and credence, which did not necessarily apply here. That is all I'd hoped that this inquiry had cleared up for you.
DL

Okay. Cohen didn't tell the board. That does bother me. All the more reason to get "his side" of the story. Perhaps, in his own mind at least, he had reason not to.

Olds didn't "dismiss" the findings of Cohen's "asking around" or "inquiry," he just never knew about it. As to the WC's failure to question him ...? I dunno yet. And as for Cohen's current whereabouts, I've got some places to look, but nothing definitive yet. As far as Greg knows, Barry's still alive (in his 70s).
DL

Great!

Which "for same" are you referring to in your last question? For going to the ACLU meeting ("DCLU" as Olds calls it: Dallas Civil Liberties Union, the "A" apparently being reserved for the national organization), or for supposedly shooting Kennedy?

According to FBI GO was trying to find out all he could about Oswald. Just wondering if he nailed anything, for instance, MP said in testimony that he assumed Oswald was doing the same thing he was [going to various right wing meetings]. Did GO confirm this... hear any whispers about why Oswald was doing so (if indeed he was)? Did he find out anything at all, apart from what was in the media?

You will recall that in addition to seeing or not seeing LHO at the DCLU meeting, Olds also went to DPD on both Friday and Saturday with DCLU attorneys (and told that LHO "did not request counsel") as well as to the Six Flags Motel to check up on Marina and company that weekend. That he followed the Oswald saga in the papers should be no surprise.

No, it's not not. I mentioned it in the context of being a possible source for his "believing" Oswald was at the meeting with MP.

Hi, Duke — After your call, I checked what I had written from that period [GO is a journalist by profession - DL]. I find it was Michael Paine who brought Oswald to the Friday, Oct. 25, DCLU meeting. I don't mention whether Ruth Paine was there but am all but sure she was not.

I have it that Michael Paine explained later (to someone who then told me) that he had brought Oswald to the DCLU meeting because Oswald had expressed interest in public affairs and Paine liked the ACLU's principles.

GO

This is what I thought would be the most likely case... Olds information traces back to Mike Paine. The same Mike Paine who claimed he thought the blanket he kept having to move contained camping equitment. The same Mike Paine who, years after the event, claimed he had seen a BY photo in Oswald's apartment.

Oswald rose during discussion that night (after a movie had been shown) to say that he had heard both anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic statements at a U.S. Day rally two nights before. I guess this was the Birch Society gathering. This was in reply to a DCLU member having just said that, although the Birch Society attracted anti-Semites it was not necessarily anti-Semitic.

The FBI report states that he didn't recall anyone making any statements, but that he had heard, from "unrecalled sources" that Oswald did have something to say at the meeting. The unrecalled sources were likely the same ones who told him MP had brought Oswald in the first place... and as we now they... those sources got the information from... MP.

I recalled someone at the meeting saying he had gone to both the Stephenson speech and the US Day gathering the previous two nights as an observer. The person saying this was later identified to me as Oswald. And Michael Paine was quoted to me as having said he thought Oswald had gone to those two meetings to confirm his suspicion that people would be there who represented "the worst kind of America." Paine explained that antipathy to ultraconservatism was the only thing in which he and Oswald agreed.
GO

The FBI report does not reflect he recalled anything much at all about the meeting, and specifically states he didn't recall such statements being made.

In light of GO's initial comment that his memory of the night was "vivid", and that he knew the Paines quite well. I'm glad he had notes he could refer back to.

His memory of seeing Mike there with someone, even to the extent of remembering where they sat, now looks a bit too vivid... in any case, if the official version is true, he should have recalled seeing MP with two guests... Oswald and Krystinik, not just Oswald.

Bottom line... MP being there, and comments attributed to Oswald whilst there, trace back to Mike Paine himself... with the only corroboration being from a friend. Given MP's track record for obfuscation, I find that particularly troubling when viewed alongside the WC's failure to question GO about the meeting, and with the FBI not raising Cohen's findings with GO.

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