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Question: Do You Discount Everything About New Orleans?


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I am curious about what the members of this forum feel about all the stuff regarding New Orleans, as it relates, or might relate, to the JFK Assassination.

I realize that this community has members that "love" Garrison and what he did; "hate" Garrison and what he did; and some in between these two extremes. However, I read a lot of the posts on this forum (old ones especially) and find an interesting thing with some of them.

I sometimes run across members that have expressed great disdain for Garrison and his investigation. Yet, in other commentary they make on the forum, when expressing a point of view and using information to explain their "theory", they actually use information that only became available because of Garrison's investigation.

I find this somewhat amusing, but not totally unrealistic.

This post is primarily looking for responses as to how people view Garrison; his investigation; and what value it added or what it diminished in the "search for the truth". Is New Orleans discounted by most of the community, etc. etc.? Did Garrison at least open some doors, or did he create doors that weren't there?

Just curious, I guess.

Edited by Trent Adams
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I am curious about what the members of this forum feel about all the stuff regarding New Orleans, as it relates, or might relate, to the JFK Assassination.

Is New Orleans discounted by most of the community, etc. etc.?

I personally feel that New Orleans may hold some relevant information, and I am not referring to the claims of Judith Baker. But I am satisfied that Jim Garrison didn't come within an asses roar of finding anything of importance, even when it stared him in the face.

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It seems clear to me that Garrison identified some players in the assassination plot. Clay Shaw, Banister and others in New Orleans were involved in the sheep-dipping of Oswald. Ferrie seems to have been a getaway pilot on call, who wound up conveniently dead on the same day that Eladio del Valle did likewise in Miami. OTOH Garrison had to go out of his way not to involve tomato salesman Carlos Marcello. So while Garrison's motivation remains something of a mystery, he was definitely "on to something." The CIA certainly seemed to think so.

Edited by Ron Ecker
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It seems clear to me that Garrison identified some players in the assassination plot. Clay Shaw, Banister and others in New Orleans were involved in the sheep-dipping of Oswald. Ferrie seems to have been a getaway pilot on call, who wound up conveniently dead on the same day that Eladio del Valle did likewise in Miami. OTOH Garrison had to go out of his way not to involve tomato salesman Carlos Marcello. So while Garrison's motivation remains something of a mystery, he was definitely "on to something." The CIA certainly seemed to think so.

The fact that Bernardo de Torres had infiltrated Garrison's investigative team does indeed suggest he was on to something.

James

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De Torres seemed to have a sweetheart deal with the HSCA prior to and during the time he testified. According to Joan Mellen in her book, "A Farewell To Justice," she writes that both Blakey and Cornwell granted de Torres' wish for immunity. Then, Blakey permitted a visit from the CIA prior to the time de Torres was to be interrogated. The CIA demanded that the HSCA not ask de Torres anything about the time frame when de Torres was was its operative, a period, according to Mellen, that included the Kennedy assassination. ("A Farewell To Justice" by Joan Mellen, p. 90).

Of course, Blakey ("they wouldn't lie to me would they?") gave the CIA his assurances. (Mellen, p. 90).

Bill C

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Well, Harold Weisberg, the dean of the assassination critics, was assisting Garrison, he testified in front of the Grand Jury (you can read his testimony on the net), and Garrison wrote the intro to Weisberg's Oswald in New Orleans, but he broke with Garrison when he saw that he had no case against Clay Shaw.

He praised his assistants, particularly Al Oser for cross examining Dr. Finck and bringing out the control the military exercised over JFK's autopsy. (Never Again, 1995, p. 322)

But historian David R. Wrone, in commenting on his book, On The Trail of The Assassins, has been severely critical of Garrison's effort because of his "penchant for bizarre plots involving rogue CIA, errant military officers, and right wingers..." (The Zapruder Film, 2003, p. 205)

Commenting on the movie JFK some 14 years ago for Wisconsin Public Radio, Professor Wrone asserted that Garrison ought to have been disbarred for his actions during those several years of investigation and trial of Clay Shaw.

Both of these experts were concerned that in the public mind there was confusion sown because of all the theories and controversies. The public never attained a good grasp of the fact that official evidence disproves the official report. The mainstream media went with the sensationalism and framed the challenge to the official story on those terms. When some of the more bogus assertions were easily knocked down by more official investigations, it served to discredit the effort as a whole. Further, the not guilty verdict in the Shaw case served to set back momentum and discourage some key prominent critics from continuing with the investigation, Wrone asserts in his book analyzing the Zapruder film.

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De Torres seemed to have a sweetheart deal with the HSCA prior to and during the time he testified. According to Joan Mellen in her book, "A Farewell To Justice," she writes that both Blakey and Cornwell granted de Torres' wish for immunity. Then, Blakey permitted a visit from the CIA prior to the time de Torres was to be interrogated. The CIA demanded that the HSCA not ask de Torres anything about the time frame when de Torres was was its operative, a period, according to Mellen, that included the Kennedy assassination. ("A Farewell To Justice" by Joan Mellen, p. 90).

Of course, Blakey ("they wouldn't lie to me would they?") gave the CIA his assurances. (Mellen, p. 90).

Bill C

Bill,

During the mid 1960's, De Torres gave some interviews claiming that the Warren Commission was incomplete. He also said that he had seen photographs of Oswald in the company of several Cubans in New Orleans before the assassination but claimed not to know any of them.

He used the opportunity to remind everyone that he and 10 other Cubans were utilized by the Secret Service to spot trouble makers at Miami airport during JFK's visit 4 days before the assassination.

De Torres refused to answer when he was questioned about the possibility that Oswald was in Miami in the months before November 22, 1963.

James

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James Richards Posted Today, 02:57 AM

QUOTE(Ron Ecker @ May 18 2006, 12:46 PM)

It seems clear to me that Garrison identified some players in the assassination plot. Clay Shaw, Banister and others in New Orleans were involved in the sheep-dipping of Oswald. Ferrie seems to have been a getaway pilot on call, who wound up conveniently dead on the same day that Eladio del Valle did likewise in Miami. OTOH Garrison had to go out of his way not to involve tomato salesman Carlos Marcello. So while Garrison's motivation remains something of a mystery, he was definitely "on to something." The CIA certainly seemed to think so.

The fact that Bernardo de Torres had infiltrated Garrison's investigative team does indeed suggest he was on to something.

James

There were others that infiltrated this investigation as well. In my mind most had CIA ties and were there to misguide and to mislead the real investigators in order to waste their time and resources on false trails. They succeeded quite well, as Clay (Bertrand) Shaw was found, not guilty, Ferrie and others died conveniently.

This tactic has continued subsequently, whenever any considerable effort into the murder investigation of JFK has taken place. It still seems to be a valid and used tactic particularly for this case, in a number of ways.

Therefore the best way to research this case is by sticking to the earliest witness statements and earliest evidence released. The later discovered evidence has been manipulated and contaminated and is of marginal value or of zero value IMO.

Edited by Antti Hynonen
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[quote name='Ron Ecker' date='May 18 2006, 04:46 AM' post='62769']

he was definitely "on to something." The CIA certainly seemed to think so.

That should tell you a lot. If Garrison was wrong why was he SO hounded, to this day, in his grave?

I think some of the anti -Garrison stuff we read is from people simply repeating what anti Garrison people have said. People who study this case should read Garrison's work before rendering an "opinion".

People have trashed Garrison and misrepresented his case and his findings in a similar manner to what Posner has put forth on this case. One has to ask why?

Dawn

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I have conflicting views on Garrison, mainly because (typically) its hard to figure out where the truth starts and the character assassinations take over. I found Patricia Lambert's False Witness to be very important and informative as a "devil's advocate" view on Garrison and his investigation.

DiEugenio and Davy did an excellent review of "False Witness" in Probe Mag. (It is probably online). It really shows how biased Lambert was and how she manipulated the evidence to support her anti -Garrison view.

I think Joan Mellen also did a fine job of bringing the Garrison case up to date. I have some issues with her book, but on Garrison she was brilliant, imho.

Dawn

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There are plenty of astute, and I think accurate observations about Jim Garrison on this thread. As others have noted, Garrison was roundly criticized by many top researchers after Clay Shaw was found innocent. Harold Weisberg and Sylvia Meagher were brave and brilliant and tireless in their efforts to expose the federal government's lack of a proper investigation. Their criticisms of Garrison are probably warranted, to a large extent.

Weisberg did write in his epilogue to Oswald in New Orleans, "Garrison carries a burden no federal authority ever assumed. The legal and statistical odds are stacked against him and his success, as is the might and influence of the federal power that is the inevitable defendant in the New Orleans courtroom. Even if he fails, as I believe he will not, he will have succeeded, for he has already taken the first official step down the road that can lead to the recapture of our national honor and the integrity of our institutions."

And although Sylvia Meagher excoriated Garrison for "increasingly serious misgivings about the validity of his evidence, the credibility of his witnesses, and the scrupulousness of his methods," she also said that Garrison, "in accusing anti-Castro Cuban exiles and CIA agents of complicity in the assassination, has postulated a theory which has much in common with the hypothetical construct elaborated in Chapter 21." In otherwords, when it came to the big picture Meagher and Garrison were not that far apart.

The enormity of the forces that opposed Garrison's investigation have been well documented. According to Gaeton Fonzi, the HSCA learned that the CIA planted several undercover operatives on Garrison's staff. Garrison had to depend on borrowed or donated funds to conduct his investigation. Contrast this to the enormous resources of the Warren Commission, the FBI, and even the national media, that marginalized Garrison at every opportunity.

Even with the benefit of hindsight, I think it is difficult to fully understand just what Garrison was up against. The pressures on him had to be enormous. Garrison's investigation came during a period of great social and political upheaval in the United States, due in large part to assassinations and the Vietnam war.

It can be argued endlessly to what extent Garrison's failings affected future investigation into Kennedy's murder. I do believe that Jim Garrison came to understand after Shaw's trial what had happened to him. I also believe Garrison was chillingly prophetic when he wrote in his passionate and eloquent book, A Heritage of Stone:

A successful coup d'etat affects not merely the history of a nation but may change its very power structure. With the killing of John Kennedy, the very position of the Presidency was drastically reduced in status. Henceforth, the President would be a broker for the war machine. He would be an advocate and spokesman for the Pentagon. All Presidents that followed Kennedy would have to know of their impotence, no matter what their public role.

And:

If we cannot have the truth once and for all about the government's murder of John Kennedy, if the warfare interests in our government are so powerful that they cannot be questioned about such things, then let us have an end to the pretense that this is a government of the people.

If the American people choose to do nothing about what was done to John Kennedy and about the subtle conversion of their country from a democracy to a thinly disguised version of the warfare state, then the republic is lost and we shall never see it again in our time.

Garrison's words were written 36 years ago. Are they still relevant today? I suppose that is for each of us to decide for ourself.

Mike Hogan

Edited by Michael Hogan
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Your final graf says what many of us have thought about the Garrison investigation. While I firmly believe that Garrison was "onto something," the prosecution of Shaw came across as weak, given Garrison's hype about how he was going to break this case wide open. To NOT prosecute SOMEONE, in the face of Garrison's hype, would've damaged Garrison's credibility. But the prosecution of Shaw had exactly the same effect, in the end.

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Old myths die hard, apparently. Garrison was not a Roselli (or Marcello) pawn. I demonstrated this (with references) back in the old Lynn Foster thread. This garbage was spread by certain "journalists" who are demonstrably tied to either the FBI or the CIA (sometimes both).

Dunn: You should really read Joan Mellen's book. She pretty much shows Lambert to be a fabricator, not only on Garrison's personal life but also on the Clinton witnesses and everything else.

I also think the evidence against Shaw is rock solid. It was the not-very-intelligent inclusion of Speisel's testimony and the Judge's banning of the booking card evidence that sunk the case in court. In addition, there is a great deal of new material on Shaw available now that was not available then. Again, I have gone over this in detail back in the Foster thread. See it here.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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Consider the possibility that much of what Garrison believed about the New Orleans "street-level" machinations of some of his suspects might well be true, but have little DIRECTLY to do with the assassination.

If Oswald was around 544 Camp (a near certainty, in my opinion) and was being used in operations designed to "draw out" Castro sympathisers by Bannister, Ferrie and friends, this may well have been, initially, just another gambit being played out on a local level as a part of the craziness of cold-war America.

If Clay Shaw lied repeatedly about his intelligence connections, his associations, his political orientation, and his knowledge of suspicious clandestine activity (a near-certainty, in my opinion) his lies may not necessarily have reflected any direct participation in an assassination plot. I can conceive of many possible reasons for such deception from Shaw.

In Mellon's "Farewell to Justice," she takes note of a near-deathbed statement Shaw made to a longtime acquaintance: "You know, I wasn't guilty of what Garrison charged. But Garrison had the right idea...Someone like me, with a background in army intelligence and with post-war intelligence connections, very well might have been asked to meet with someone like Oswald or Ferrie, to give them a package or some money or whatever, and I would have faithfully done it without ever asking what I was doing it for."

Mellon takes this as a near confession of involvement in a plot to kill Kennedy. I would take it at (relatively) face value; Shaw's admission that he knew much more than he ever told, but may well not have been guilty of what Garrison charged him with.

If David Ferrie talked of an assassination plot against President Kennedy at a late-night party (not unlikely, in my opinion), it would have been one of a great many such half-baked plans spewed out by Kennedy-haters in similar gatherings, particularly in southern cities in the early 1960's. Ferrie had already spoken venomously against Kennedy on a public platform following the Bay of Pigs in '61. Ferrie was a KNOWN Kennedyphobe.

In fact, if I were planning the assassination of the President, and if it was my desire that a subsequent investigation not point in my direction (or in the direction of fellow conspiritors in my employ), I would not want David Ferrie within one hundred miles of my plot. I MIGHT, however, find him very useful as a "false flag", perhaps by arranging for him to take a suspicious trip on a false pretense, the details of which he could never safely reveal...

Lee Oswald's use in various operations in and around the New Orleans area in the summer of 1963 IS, I think, relevant to an examination of the assassination, and Garrison was quite right to focus on this activity. I think, though, that a profitable persuit of Kennedy's killers requires us to search out people who were aware of the uses made of Oswald by the New Orleans anti-communist zealots, and subsequently utilized the bona fides thus established to set Oswald up to take the fall. Starting in late September in Mexico City. Here is a critical phase in the plot to kill President Kennedy that could no more have involved Shaw, Bannister, or Ferrie than it could have involved Marcello or Trafficante. In my opinion.

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The fact that Bernardo de Torres had infiltrated Garrison's investigative team does indeed suggest he was on to something.

So did Dick Billings of Life Magazine. When Garrison refused to go along with the "Mafia" did it Billings began a smear campaign against Garrison. Later of course, Billings turns up in the House Assassinations Committee investigations and helps Blakey write the report. By the way, Billings also took part in the Pawley/Bayo mission to Cuba.

As several people have pointed out, if Garrison had been completely on the wrong track, he would have been left alone. Bannister and Ferrie were obviously involved and therefore had to die. I suspect some CIA disinformation agent successfully got Garrison to target Shaw. Garrison fell for it and the rest is history.

However, Michael Hogan's quote from Garrison is well worth re-reading. Garrison realized that the JFK assassination was just part of a much larger conspiracy. The creation of a warfare state.

Lee Oswald's use in various operations in and around the New Orleans area in the summer of 1963 IS, I think, relevant to an examination of the assassination, and Garrison was quite right to focus on this activity. I think, though, that a profitable persuit of Kennedy's killers requires us to search out people who were aware of the uses made of Oswald by the New Orleans anti-communist zealots, and subsequently utilized the bona fides thus established to set Oswald up to take the fall. Starting in late September in Mexico City. Here is a critical phase in the plot to kill President Kennedy that could no more have involved Shaw, Bannister, or Ferrie than it could have involved Marcello or Trafficante. In my opinion.

Very good point. Garrison only got to the minor characters in the conspiracy. It is only in recent years that we have been able to identify those in the next level (David Morales, Carl Jenkins, Rip Robertson, etc.). We will never be able to get to those above them. The terrible thing is that one of them is still alive and is still a powerful figure in American politics.

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