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The murder of CBS' George Polk, May 1948, and the In Fact connection


Paul Rigby
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I.F. Stone’s Weekly, 25 April 1953, (Vol. 1, No. 15), p.3:

Ghost Walks in Greece

"Readers of the Daily Compass may recall a series of columns I wrote last summer attacking as whitewash the belated report turned in on the George Polk murder by the newspaperman’s committee of which Walter Lippmann was chairman and for which Major General William Donovan of the OSS was chief investigator."

On good days, the post brings something more than outrageous demands from a motley assortment of utility companies. Today was one such.

Details of four of the five parts of Stone’s series, entitled “The Polk Murder Whitewash,” as found in The Daily Compass, August 1952, as very kindly furnished by Peter Filardo of the Taniment Library at NYU:

1) “‘Confession’ Worthless, Legal Expert Declares,” Wednesday, 6 August 1952, pp.5 & 11

2) “The Crime of Hush-Up,” Thursday, 7 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

3) “General Donovan’s Role,” Friday, 8 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

4) “Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24

To follow, the first half page or so of the last itemised:

Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24:

The white wash report issued by the Lippmann committee on the murder of CBS correspondent George Polk gives the impression that the American correspondents on the scene agreed with Gen. William J. Donovan that the trial with which the Greek government closed the case was “efficiently and honestly conducted.”

One needs only turn to the CBS broadcast on the trial, reprinted as an appendix to the report, to see that this was not true. CBS sent its Rome correspondent, Winston Burdett, and its Middle East correspondent, Alexander Kendrick, to cover the trial of the Greek newspaperman, Stakhtopolous, who had at last confessed what the Greek government wanted the world to believe.

The Greek government’s “thesis,” as Burdett said in that broadcast, was that Polk – though critical of the Greek government and friendly to the Communist rebels – was killed by the Communists for the purpose of “discrediting the Government, and thus halting American aid.”

“Often,” Burdett said of the trial, “the judges seemed more concerned to prove this thesis than to determine the exact degree of guilt of the accused man.”

Burdett described “their anxiety to impress the world with the innocence of the Greek government.” He said this was “reflected in their leading questions.” Witnesses were asked, “Who had the most to gain from killing him and then advertising the murder? What’s your personal opinion?” Burdett added, “Invariably, witnesses answered that the Communists must have done it.”

Donovan was supposed to be investigating the murder of Polk on behalf of a committee of distinguished American newspapermen headed by Walter Lippmann. Yet he managed to overlook the most important aspect of the trial from the standpoint of American foreign correspondents. Let us turn again to that CBS broadcast on the trial. This time it is Alexander Kendrick speaking.

Kendrick said that a great deal of the testimony “revolved about personalities, thoughts, methods and writings of foreign correspondents in Greece – especially American correspondents.” The trial ended, Kendrick told the radio audience that day, with a series of vitriolic attacks by the Greek rightist press against foreign correspondents, “calling them spies, Communist dupes, fellow-travelers, drunkards, liars, bar-flies.

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Ghost Walks in Greece

"Readers of the Daily Compass may recall a series of columns I wrote last summer attacking as whitewash the belated report turned in on the George Polk murder by the newspaperman’s committee of which Walter Lippmann was chairman and for which Major General William Donovan of the OSS was chief investigator."

Details of four of the five parts of Stone’s series, entitled “The Polk Murder Whitewash,” as found in The Daily Compass, August 1952, as very kindly furnished by Peter Filardo of the Taniment Library at NYU:

1) “‘Confession’ Worthless, Legal Expert Declares,” Wednesday, 6 August 1952, pp.5 & 11

2) “The Crime of Hush-Up,” Thursday, 7 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

3) “General Donovan’s Role,” Friday, 8 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

4) “Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24

Full version of the latter:

I.F. Stone, “Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” The Compass, Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24:

The white wash report issued by the Lippmann committee on the murder of CBS correspondent George Polk gives the impression that the American correspondents on the scene agreed with Gen. William J. Donovan that the trial with which the Greek government closed the case was “efficiently and honestly conducted.”

One needs only turn to the CBS broadcast on the trial, reprinted as an appendix to the report, to see that this was not true. CBS sent its Rome correspondent, Winston Burdett, and its Middle East correspondent, Alexander Kendrick, to cover the trial of the Greek newspaperman, Stakhtopolous, who had at last confessed what the Greek government wanted the world to believe.

The Greek government’s “thesis,” as Burdett said in that broadcast, was that Polk – though critical of the Greek government and friendly to the Communist rebels – was killed by the Communists for the purpose of “discrediting the Government, and thus halting American aid.”

“Often,” Burdett said of the trial, “the judges seemed more concerned to prove this thesis than to determine the exact degree of guilt of the accused man.”

Burdett described “their anxiety to impress the world with the innocence of the Greek government.” He said this was “reflected in their leading questions.” Witnesses were asked, “Who had the most to gain from killing him and then advertising the murder? What’s your personal opinion?” Burdett added, “Invariably, witnesses answered that the Communists must have done it.”

Donovan was supposed to be investigating the murder of Polk on behalf of a committee of distinguished American newspapermen headed by Walter Lippmann. Yet he managed to overlook the most important aspect of the trial from the standpoint of American foreign correspondents. Let us turn again to that CBS broadcast on the trial. This time it is Alexander Kendrick speaking.

Kendrick said that a great deal of the testimony “revolved about personalities, thoughts, methods and writings of foreign correspondents in Greece – especially American correspondents.” The trial ended, Kendrick told the radio audience that day, with a series of vitriolic attacks by the Greek rightist press against foreign correspondents, “calling them spies, Communist dupes, fellow-travelers, drunkards, liars, bar-flies.”

The CBS correspondent said: “It was sometimes hard to figure out whether this was a trial for the murder of Polk, or a trial of Polk and other foreign correspondents who have tried to report the Greek story objectively to American listeners and readers.” Kendrick declared that what shock him most “about some of the trail testimony was the undercurrent of feeling that the United States has nothing to complain about, because only one American correspondent was murdered whereas several others might have been, and indeed, perhaps should have been.”

Like Donovan, the American Consul General in Salonika, Raleigh Gibson, also managed not to see this aspect of the trial. Gibson told the press the trial was “conducted in a way that the Greek judiciary should be proud of.” And Donovan, as we have seen, informed Lippmann that Gibson was the kind of a Consul General Americans should be proud of. Let us check again with the broadcasts by the CBS men at the trial.

Burdett told the radio audience when the trial ended: “The most startling thing for Western observers was the fact that under Greek law there are no rules of evidence at all.” Burdett said: “Everything from vague hearsay to personal opinion is tossed in together.” The judges displayed their partisanship openly. Burdett described the scene: “From the bench came a shower of leading questions that would have made an American lawyer in an American court demand a mistrial then and there.”

Donovan is an experienced and able trial lawyer. It is extraordinary how much he managed not to see in that courtroom. “The story of the murder itself,” Dr. E. M. Morgan had warned Walter Lippmann in that analysis of the Stakhtopolous confession withheld until now, “is fantastic.” The fantasy was lost on Donovan. But Burdett noted: “For the story of the actual murder, we have only the word of one man,” Stakhtopolous.

Professor Morgan, on analyzing the confession at the request of the Lippmann committee a month before the trial, said “the whole performance cries out for cross-examination.” Burdett indicated some of the discrepancies at the trial which called for sharp questioning.

Stakhtopolous claimed to have taken Polk in a taxi to the harbour where the CBS man met his death. “No Salonika taximan remembers them,” Burdett reported.

Stakhtopolous claimed to have dined that night with Polk at the Luxembourg Café. “The café proprietor,” Burdett pointed out, “does not remember seeing them that night.”

The autopsy showed that Polk had dined on lobster. “The proprietor,” Burdett went on, “also says that he did not serve lobster that night.”

Though these discrepancies were pointed out to the prosecutor, he never summoned the local taximan nor the proprietor as a witness.

Stakhtopolous testified that when he was put ashore that night “Polk’s unconscious bleeding body still lay in the rowboat.” Only later did his murderers throw the body into the bay. Burdett asked: “Why? What is the object of a bound man in a boat if you return to shore with his body aboard?” Burdett added: “The Greeks are poor cross-examiners and nobody thought of asking Stakhtopolous about that.”

The truth is that the trial was a subtle piece of flim-flam. It was a trial in which there was no one anxious to cross-examine because both the prosecution and the defense were on the same side. Stakhtopolous had confessed the theory the Greek government had advanced from the beginning.

Another American newspaperman who covered the trial put his finger on the crucial point. Tender-hearted Constantine Poulos, a newspaperman of integrity, an American of Greek origin who knew the language and the country well, attended the trial for the Newsmen’s Commission of Investigation (not to be confused with the Lippmann committee).

Poulos summed up his impressions in an article for the May 28, 1949, issue of The Nation. He began by reporting that just before the jury retired, the prosecutor said: “Legally, I am required to be on this side of the court. Actually, my position is beside the defense. We are on the same side. We agree as to the perpetrators of the crime. The only difference between us is whether or not Gregory Stakhtopolous knew that Polk was to be murdered.” Who was to cross-examine when the prosecutor and the defense agreed on the theory of this crime?

As Polous wrote in The Nation: “From the moment Polk’s body was found in the Bay of Salonika the Greek authorities have insisted that he was murdered by the Communists. This trial, conducted by the same authorities, was designed to prove they were right.”

Lippmann and his colleagues were not born yesterday. They knew what was happening. But to stand up for justice would have been to clash with the powers that be, to risk one’s own liaison with that nice warm intimate world of State Department contacts, to invite suspicion upon oneself. To suggest that maybe there was one crime which was not committed by the Communists had its dangers. And they went along.

Now three years later, in the midst of the summer doldrums, with the murder almost forgotten, they drop their final report into the hopper, as if deliberately to attract as little attention as possible, like shamefaced men walking rapidly away from a crime they should have averted. Between the lines, from under the unctuous phrases, from amid the smugly self-serving declarations, one may still reconstruct the way that they and General Donovan and the State Department helped the Greek government hush up pertinent facts on the murder of newspaper colleague, a decent and fine young man, an honourable reporter.

The committee says ingenuously that it “hopes this case will not be forgotten.” Some day perhaps the truth will be known, and these men will blush for their role in its unfolding. It would take the bitter pen of a Juvenal adequately to sum up this typical example of a spectacle familiar in every age and society – the readiness of the respectables to gloss over the worst crimes rather than risk their own standing in the circles of wealth and power.

Was I.F. Stone born on the 21 November 1963?

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Ghost Walks in Greece

"Readers of the Daily Compass may recall a series of columns I wrote last summer attacking as whitewash the belated report turned in on the George Polk murder by the newspaperman’s committee of which Walter Lippmann was chairman and for which Major General William Donovan of the OSS was chief investigator."

Details of four of the five parts of Stone’s series, entitled “The Polk Murder Whitewash,” as found in The Daily Compass, August 1952, as very kindly furnished by Peter Filardo of the Taniment Library at NYU:

1) “‘Confession’ Worthless, Legal Expert Declares,” Wednesday, 6 August 1952, pp.5 & 11

2) “The Crime of Hush-Up,” Thursday, 7 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

3) “General Donovan’s Role,” Friday, 8 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

4) “Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24

Full version of the latter:

I.F. Stone, “Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” The Compass, Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24:

The white wash report issued by the Lippmann committee on the murder of CBS correspondent George Polk gives the impression that the American correspondents on the scene agreed with Gen. William J. Donovan that the trial with which the Greek government closed the case was “efficiently and honestly conducted.”

One needs only turn to the CBS broadcast on the trial, reprinted as an appendix to the report, to see that this was not true. CBS sent its Rome correspondent, Winston Burdett, and its Middle East correspondent, Alexander Kendrick, to cover the trial of the Greek newspaperman, Stakhtopolous, who had at last confessed what the Greek government wanted the world to believe.

The Greek government’s “thesis,” as Burdett said in that broadcast, was that Polk – though critical of the Greek government and friendly to the Communist rebels – was killed by the Communists for the purpose of “discrediting the Government, and thus halting American aid.”

“Often,” Burdett said of the trial, “the judges seemed more concerned to prove this thesis than to determine the exact degree of guilt of the accused man.”

Burdett described “their anxiety to impress the world with the innocence of the Greek government.” He said this was “reflected in their leading questions.” Witnesses were asked, “Who had the most to gain from killing him and then advertising the murder? What’s your personal opinion?” Burdett added, “Invariably, witnesses answered that the Communists must have done it.”

Donovan was supposed to be investigating the murder of Polk on behalf of a committee of distinguished American newspapermen headed by Walter Lippmann. Yet he managed to overlook the most important aspect of the trial from the standpoint of American foreign correspondents. Let us turn again to that CBS broadcast on the trial. This time it is Alexander Kendrick speaking.

Kendrick said that a great deal of the testimony “revolved about personalities, thoughts, methods and writings of foreign correspondents in Greece – especially American correspondents.” The trial ended, Kendrick told the radio audience that day, with a series of vitriolic attacks by the Greek rightist press against foreign correspondents, “calling them spies, Communist dupes, fellow-travelers, drunkards, liars, bar-flies.”

The CBS correspondent said: “It was sometimes hard to figure out whether this was a trial for the murder of Polk, or a trial of Polk and other foreign correspondents who have tried to report the Greek story objectively to American listeners and readers.” Kendrick declared that what shock him most “about some of the trail testimony was the undercurrent of feeling that the United States has nothing to complain about, because only one American correspondent was murdered whereas several others might have been, and indeed, perhaps should have been.”

Like Donovan, the American Consul General in Salonika, Raleigh Gibson, also managed not to see this aspect of the trial. Gibson told the press the trial was “conducted in a way that the Greek judiciary should be proud of.” And Donovan, as we have seen, informed Lippmann that Gibson was the kind of a Consul General Americans should be proud of. Let us check again with the broadcasts by the CBS men at the trial.

Burdett told the radio audience when the trial ended: “The most startling thing for Western observers was the fact that under Greek law there are no rules of evidence at all.” Burdett said: “Everything from vague hearsay to personal opinion is tossed in together.” The judges displayed their partisanship openly. Burdett described the scene: “From the bench came a shower of leading questions that would have made an American lawyer in an American court demand a mistrial then and there.”

Donovan is an experienced and able trial lawyer. It is extraordinary how much he managed not to see in that courtroom. “The story of the murder itself,” Dr. E. M. Morgan had warned Walter Lippmann in that analysis of the Stakhtopolous confession withheld until now, “is fantastic.” The fantasy was lost on Donovan. But Burdett noted: “For the story of the actual murder, we have only the word of one man,” Stakhtopolous.

Professor Morgan, on analyzing the confession at the request of the Lippmann committee a month before the trial, said “the whole performance cries out for cross-examination.” Burdett indicated some of the discrepancies at the trial which called for sharp questioning.

Stakhtopolous claimed to have taken Polk in a taxi to the harbour where the CBS man met his death. “No Salonika taximan remembers them,” Burdett reported.

Stakhtopolous claimed to have dined that night with Polk at the Luxembourg Café. “The café proprietor,” Burdett pointed out, “does not remember seeing them that night.”

The autopsy showed that Polk had dined on lobster. “The proprietor,” Burdett went on, “also says that he did not serve lobster that night.”

Though these discrepancies were pointed out to the prosecutor, he never summoned the local taximan nor the proprietor as a witness.

Stakhtopolous testified that when he was put ashore that night “Polk’s unconscious bleeding body still lay in the rowboat.” Only later did his murderers throw the body into the bay. Burdett asked: “Why? What is the object of a bound man in a boat if you return to shore with his body aboard?” Burdett added: “The Greeks are poor cross-examiners and nobody thought of asking Stakhtopolous about that.”

The truth is that the trial was a subtle piece of flim-flam. It was a trial in which there was no one anxious to cross-examine because both the prosecution and the defense were on the same side. Stakhtopolous had confessed the theory the Greek government had advanced from the beginning.

Another American newspaperman who covered the trial put his finger on the crucial point. Tender-hearted Constantine Poulos, a newspaperman of integrity, an American of Greek origin who knew the language and the country well, attended the trial for the Newsmen’s Commission of Investigation (not to be confused with the Lippmann committee).

Poulos summed up his impressions in an article for the May 28, 1949, issue of The Nation. He began by reporting that just before the jury retired, the prosecutor said: “Legally, I am required to be on this side of the court. Actually, my position is beside the defense. We are on the same side. We agree as to the perpetrators of the crime. The only difference between us is whether or not Gregory Stakhtopolous knew that Polk was to be murdered.” Who was to cross-examine when the prosecutor and the defense agreed on the theory of this crime?

As Polous wrote in The Nation: “From the moment Polk’s body was found in the Bay of Salonika the Greek authorities have insisted that he was murdered by the Communists. This trial, conducted by the same authorities, was designed to prove they were right.”

Lippmann and his colleagues were not born yesterday. They knew what was happening. But to stand up for justice would have been to clash with the powers that be, to risk one’s own liaison with that nice warm intimate world of State Department contacts, to invite suspicion upon oneself. To suggest that maybe there was one crime which was not committed by the Communists had its dangers. And they went along.

Now three years later, in the midst of the summer doldrums, with the murder almost forgotten, they drop their final report into the hopper, as if deliberately to attract as little attention as possible, like shamefaced men walking rapidly away from a crime they should have averted. Between the lines, from under the unctuous phrases, from amid the smugly self-serving declarations, one may still reconstruct the way that they and General Donovan and the State Department helped the Greek government hush up pertinent facts on the murder of newspaper colleague, a decent and fine young man, an honourable reporter.

The committee says ingenuously that it “hopes this case will not be forgotten.” Some day perhaps the truth will be known, and these men will blush for their role in its unfolding. It would take the bitter pen of a Juvenal adequately to sum up this typical example of a spectacle familiar in every age and society – the readiness of the respectables to gloss over the worst crimes rather than risk their own standing in the circles of wealth and power.

Was I.F. Stone born on the 21 November 1963?

For quite some time I have been disturbed over the issue of the efforts, or perhaps I should say the lack of efforts regarding a "secured location" regarding not only the JFK Assassination documents at the National Archives, but other documents which, could conceivably contribute to a more complete knowledge of the JFK assassination. Some Forum members have always maintained an interest in the Polk Murder case due to the fact that General Edwin Walker was on the Greek desk, as well as other individuals well known to JFK researchers.

I just discovered the following, and felt it should be mentioned.....

Electronic Briefing Book

The George Polk Case

The Problematic Status of the CIA's Documentary Record

By William Burr

The Central Intelligence Agency has destroyed or otherwise lost documents concerning the mysterious murder of CBS reporter George Polk. According to a letter from Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein, the CIA is "unable to locate the original documents or information about their disposition." Dr. Weinstein's letter responded to a request by the National Security Archive for in investigation of a statement by CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator Scott Koch, who wrote in a December 2005 letter that "The original documents had been destroyed in accordance with approved National Archives and Records Administration records schedules."

The murder of George Polk is one of the enduring mysteries of the early Cold War. An enterprising journalist who dug deeply into any story that he covered, George Polk's reporting on the Greek civil war brought him into contact with partisans on all sides, left and right, but also exposed him to political attacks and death threats. On May 8, 1948, he disappeared from Salonika where he was allegedly trying to establish contacts with the leader of the Communist guerillas. Over a week later, on May 16, Polk's body was found in Salonika Bay. (Note 1)

George Polk's violent end produced dismay and outrage not least among U.S. journalists who, doubtful about the Greek government's impartiality, pressed the Truman administration to conduct an investigation. When the State Department refused to sponsor an inquiry, prominent journalists led by the famous columnist Walter Lippmann organized a committee to monitor the Greek government's investigation, bringing in former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) director William Donovan to help. Determined to pin the murders on the Communist left, the Greek government prosecuted two Communists, Adam Mouzenides, who had been killed before Polk's death (!), and Evangelos Vasvanas, who was in exile. Two others were charged with complicity in the murder: Gregory Staktopoulus, a Salonika journalist with a checkered past, and his mother, Anna. For many the case was weak and the guilty verdicts, reached in April 1949, dubious. The Lippmann Committee's tacit endorsement of the judicial outcome led critics to argue that it was hamstrung by its reliance on "official channels."

For more information see

CIA Has Lost Records on CBS Reporter Murdered in Greece in 1948,

And Destroyed FOIA File on Case

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB226/index.htm

What's the use of researching political assassinations, if those documents, ostensibly in secure locations, are not even secure?

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Ghost Walks in Greece

"Readers of the Daily Compass may recall a series of columns I wrote last summer attacking as whitewash the belated report turned in on the George Polk murder by the newspaperman’s committee of which Walter Lippmann was chairman and for which Major General William Donovan of the OSS was chief investigator."

Details of four of the five parts of Stone’s series, entitled “The Polk Murder Whitewash,” as found in The Daily Compass, August 1952, as very kindly furnished by Peter Filardo of the Taniment Library at NYU:

1) “‘Confession’ Worthless, Legal Expert Declares,” Wednesday, 6 August 1952, pp.5 & 11

2) “The Crime of Hush-Up,” Thursday, 7 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

3) “General Donovan’s Role,” Friday, 8 August 1952, pp.5 & 14

4) “Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24

Full version of the latter:

I.F. Stone, “Donovan Shut His Eyes To Farcical Greek Trial,” The Compass, Sunday, 10 August 1952, pp.5 & 24:

The white wash report issued by the Lippmann committee on the murder of CBS correspondent George Polk gives the impression that the American correspondents on the scene agreed with Gen. William J. Donovan that the trial with which the Greek government closed the case was “efficiently and honestly conducted.”

One needs only turn to the CBS broadcast on the trial, reprinted as an appendix to the report, to see that this was not true. CBS sent its Rome correspondent, Winston Burdett, and its Middle East correspondent, Alexander Kendrick, to cover the trial of the Greek newspaperman, Stakhtopolous, who had at last confessed what the Greek government wanted the world to believe.

The Greek government’s “thesis,” as Burdett said in that broadcast, was that Polk – though critical of the Greek government and friendly to the Communist rebels – was killed by the Communists for the purpose of “discrediting the Government, and thus halting American aid.”

“Often,” Burdett said of the trial, “the judges seemed more concerned to prove this thesis than to determine the exact degree of guilt of the accused man.”

Burdett described “their anxiety to impress the world with the innocence of the Greek government.” He said this was “reflected in their leading questions.” Witnesses were asked, “Who had the most to gain from killing him and then advertising the murder? What’s your personal opinion?” Burdett added, “Invariably, witnesses answered that the Communists must have done it.”

Donovan was supposed to be investigating the murder of Polk on behalf of a committee of distinguished American newspapermen headed by Walter Lippmann. Yet he managed to overlook the most important aspect of the trial from the standpoint of American foreign correspondents. Let us turn again to that CBS broadcast on the trial. This time it is Alexander Kendrick speaking.

Kendrick said that a great deal of the testimony “revolved about personalities, thoughts, methods and writings of foreign correspondents in Greece – especially American correspondents.” The trial ended, Kendrick told the radio audience that day, with a series of vitriolic attacks by the Greek rightist press against foreign correspondents, “calling them spies, Communist dupes, fellow-travelers, drunkards, liars, bar-flies.”

The CBS correspondent said: “It was sometimes hard to figure out whether this was a trial for the murder of Polk, or a trial of Polk and other foreign correspondents who have tried to report the Greek story objectively to American listeners and readers.” Kendrick declared that what shock him most “about some of the trail testimony was the undercurrent of feeling that the United States has nothing to complain about, because only one American correspondent was murdered whereas several others might have been, and indeed, perhaps should have been.”

Like Donovan, the American Consul General in Salonika, Raleigh Gibson, also managed not to see this aspect of the trial. Gibson told the press the trial was “conducted in a way that the Greek judiciary should be proud of.” And Donovan, as we have seen, informed Lippmann that Gibson was the kind of a Consul General Americans should be proud of. Let us check again with the broadcasts by the CBS men at the trial.

Burdett told the radio audience when the trial ended: “The most startling thing for Western observers was the fact that under Greek law there are no rules of evidence at all.” Burdett said: “Everything from vague hearsay to personal opinion is tossed in together.” The judges displayed their partisanship openly. Burdett described the scene: “From the bench came a shower of leading questions that would have made an American lawyer in an American court demand a mistrial then and there.”

Donovan is an experienced and able trial lawyer. It is extraordinary how much he managed not to see in that courtroom. “The story of the murder itself,” Dr. E. M. Morgan had warned Walter Lippmann in that analysis of the Stakhtopolous confession withheld until now, “is fantastic.” The fantasy was lost on Donovan. But Burdett noted: “For the story of the actual murder, we have only the word of one man,” Stakhtopolous.

Professor Morgan, on analyzing the confession at the request of the Lippmann committee a month before the trial, said “the whole performance cries out for cross-examination.” Burdett indicated some of the discrepancies at the trial which called for sharp questioning.

Stakhtopolous claimed to have taken Polk in a taxi to the harbour where the CBS man met his death. “No Salonika taximan remembers them,” Burdett reported.

Stakhtopolous claimed to have dined that night with Polk at the Luxembourg Café. “The café proprietor,” Burdett pointed out, “does not remember seeing them that night.”

The autopsy showed that Polk had dined on lobster. “The proprietor,” Burdett went on, “also says that he did not serve lobster that night.”

Though these discrepancies were pointed out to the prosecutor, he never summoned the local taximan nor the proprietor as a witness.

Stakhtopolous testified that when he was put ashore that night “Polk’s unconscious bleeding body still lay in the rowboat.” Only later did his murderers throw the body into the bay. Burdett asked: “Why? What is the object of a bound man in a boat if you return to shore with his body aboard?” Burdett added: “The Greeks are poor cross-examiners and nobody thought of asking Stakhtopolous about that.”

The truth is that the trial was a subtle piece of flim-flam. It was a trial in which there was no one anxious to cross-examine because both the prosecution and the defense were on the same side. Stakhtopolous had confessed the theory the Greek government had advanced from the beginning.

Another American newspaperman who covered the trial put his finger on the crucial point. Tender-hearted Constantine Poulos, a newspaperman of integrity, an American of Greek origin who knew the language and the country well, attended the trial for the Newsmen’s Commission of Investigation (not to be confused with the Lippmann committee).

Poulos summed up his impressions in an article for the May 28, 1949, issue of The Nation. He began by reporting that just before the jury retired, the prosecutor said: “Legally, I am required to be on this side of the court. Actually, my position is beside the defense. We are on the same side. We agree as to the perpetrators of the crime. The only difference between us is whether or not Gregory Stakhtopolous knew that Polk was to be murdered.” Who was to cross-examine when the prosecutor and the defense agreed on the theory of this crime?

As Polous wrote in The Nation: “From the moment Polk’s body was found in the Bay of Salonika the Greek authorities have insisted that he was murdered by the Communists. This trial, conducted by the same authorities, was designed to prove they were right.”

Lippmann and his colleagues were not born yesterday. They knew what was happening. But to stand up for justice would have been to clash with the powers that be, to risk one’s own liaison with that nice warm intimate world of State Department contacts, to invite suspicion upon oneself. To suggest that maybe there was one crime which was not committed by the Communists had its dangers. And they went along.

Now three years later, in the midst of the summer doldrums, with the murder almost forgotten, they drop their final report into the hopper, as if deliberately to attract as little attention as possible, like shamefaced men walking rapidly away from a crime they should have averted. Between the lines, from under the unctuous phrases, from amid the smugly self-serving declarations, one may still reconstruct the way that they and General Donovan and the State Department helped the Greek government hush up pertinent facts on the murder of newspaper colleague, a decent and fine young man, an honourable reporter.

The committee says ingenuously that it “hopes this case will not be forgotten.” Some day perhaps the truth will be known, and these men will blush for their role in its unfolding. It would take the bitter pen of a Juvenal adequately to sum up this typical example of a spectacle familiar in every age and society – the readiness of the respectables to gloss over the worst crimes rather than risk their own standing in the circles of wealth and power.

Was I.F. Stone born on the 21 November 1963?

For quite some time I have been disturbed over the issue of the efforts, or perhaps I should say the lack of efforts regarding a "secured location" regarding not only the JFK Assassination documents at the National Archives, but other documents which, could conceivably contribute to a more complete knowledge of the JFK assassination. Some Forum members have always maintained an interest in the Polk Murder case due to the fact that General Edwin Walker was on the Greek desk, as well as other individuals well known to JFK researchers.

I just discovered the following, and felt it should be mentioned.....

Electronic Briefing Book

The George Polk Case

The Problematic Status of the CIA's Documentary Record

By William Burr

The Central Intelligence Agency has destroyed or otherwise lost documents concerning the mysterious murder of CBS reporter George Polk. According to a letter from Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein, the CIA is "unable to locate the original documents or information about their disposition." Dr. Weinstein's letter responded to a request by the National Security Archive for in investigation of a statement by CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator Scott Koch, who wrote in a December 2005 letter that "The original documents had been destroyed in accordance with approved National Archives and Records Administration records schedules."

The murder of George Polk is one of the enduring mysteries of the early Cold War. An enterprising journalist who dug deeply into any story that he covered, George Polk's reporting on the Greek civil war brought him into contact with partisans on all sides, left and right, but also exposed him to political attacks and death threats. On May 8, 1948, he disappeared from Salonika where he was allegedly trying to establish contacts with the leader of the Communist guerillas. Over a week later, on May 16, Polk's body was found in Salonika Bay. (Note 1)

George Polk's violent end produced dismay and outrage not least among U.S. journalists who, doubtful about the Greek government's impartiality, pressed the Truman administration to conduct an investigation. When the State Department refused to sponsor an inquiry, prominent journalists led by the famous columnist Walter Lippmann organized a committee to monitor the Greek government's investigation, bringing in former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) director William Donovan to help. Determined to pin the murders on the Communist left, the Greek government prosecuted two Communists, Adam Mouzenides, who had been killed before Polk's death (!), and Evangelos Vasvanas, who was in exile. Two others were charged with complicity in the murder: Gregory Staktopoulus, a Salonika journalist with a checkered past, and his mother, Anna. For many the case was weak and the guilty verdicts, reached in April 1949, dubious. The Lippmann Committee's tacit endorsement of the judicial outcome led critics to argue that it was hamstrung by its reliance on "official channels."

For more information see

CIA Has Lost Records on CBS Reporter Murdered in Greece in 1948,

And Destroyed FOIA File on Case

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB226/index.htm

What's the use of researching political assassinations, if those documents, ostensibly in secure locations, are not even secure?

I could not help but notice, that no one seemed very interested in the fact that files had disappeared on the George Polk Murder, that are a clear breach of not only security, but very may well had provided details of relationships that may have led to a greater understanding of relationships between U.S. military officials that would later be thrust into the backdrop of the JFK Assassination.......

Why would I say that?

Read the following, and you might begin to understand why this disappearance of documents is so important.

"In 1948 the British, because of financial reasons, requested that the US take over operations surrounding the Greek Civil War. Joannides and Karamessines were, I understand, two of the 44 members of a US team operating in Greece at that time. Put in charge of that team, operating the Greek Desk at the Pentagon, was none other than Edwin Anderson Walker."

From a post on page 1 of the George Joannides thread by Jim Root....Karramessines full name was Thomas "Hercules" Karramessines.......

Also see

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3658

There is also this information

The Watergate Scandal caused problems for Karamessines and Helms when it was revealed that three of the central figures in the operation, E. Howard Hunt, Eugenio Martinez and James W. McCord had close links with the CIA. By this time Richard Nixon was beginning to have doubts about the loyalty of Helms. In February, 1973, Nixon sacked Helms. Karamessines resigned in protest.

Thomas Karamessines was expected to be questioned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. However, he died of an apparent heart attack on 4th September, 1978, at his vacation home in Grand Lake, Quebec, before he could give evidence before the HSCA.

Enough said?

Edited by Robert Howard
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Robert

Somewhere in my files I have a phone registry for the American Mission in Greece that provided the exact position held by Karramessines. I uncovered it at the Hoover Library at Stanford University in the Special Collections Library (General Fredericks papers). Fredericks was, I believe, the first US Commander in Greece after the US took over from Great Britian. Fredericks at one time was the youngest WWII General in the US Army and had been wounded numerous times in combat while the first commander of the First Special Services Force. Fredericks would become involved in a policy dispute while in Greece that would lead to his early retirement from the military. The dispute is shrouded in mystery as I recall.

Perhaps more importantly to me these days is the interjection of "Special Intelligence" or "SI" into the war and post war period and how this group continued to exist and was gathering information on Helsinki, Finland in the months preceeding Oswalds entry in the the Soviet Union. This group, which had as an early member Richard Helms, may, with further research, be found to have played a dominate roll in the life events of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Jim Root

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(1948, British financial reasons ? India?)

1948 Kick off for the coming Civil Rights battles with Black strikes

1948 H.D. Holmes moves to Dallas, starts work at DP Post Office as Postal Inspector

1953 CIA's mail opening campaign begins

1958 FBI's mail opening campaign begins

1961 Helms inducts JE Day (USPO PMG) into illegal mail opening program

mid '63 JE Day 'resigns' over racial issue, Gronowsky appointed, refuses to participate in Mail Openings

1969 Holmes and many other USPO PI's retire

Nixon disbands the USPO and forms the USPS, Helms sacked, testifies re JE Day's involvement.

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(1948, British financial reasons ? India?)

1948 Kick off for the coming Civil Rights battles with Black strikes

1948 H.D. Holmes moves to Dallas, starts work at DP Post Office as Postal Inspector

1953 CIA's mail opening campaign begins

1958 FBI's mail opening campaign begins

1961 Helms inducts JE Day (USPO PMG) into illegal mail opening program

mid '63 JE Day 'resigns' over racial issue, Gronowsky appointed, refuses to participate in Mail Openings

1969 Holmes and many other USPO PI's retire

Nixon disbands the USPO and forms the USPS, Helms sacked, testifies re JE Day's involvement.

Hi John

We've travelled this path before.

My thoughts on the CIA mail opening and the roll played by Richard Helms. I still contend that the letter Oswald wrote as a teenager to the Socialist Workers Party would be the first item that should have been found in any 201 File that the CIA had on Oswald. When we look at both the mail opening program conducted by the CIA and control of Oswald's 201 file, the name Richard Helms seems to be very prominent!

Next the Warren Commission investigation into Oswald....Helms again. For me the shakey history of Oswald's 201 File and the missing Hosty note (the one that said exactly where Oswald was working written on Nov. 4, 1963 that has disappered from CIA records) seems to indicate an active paricipation in a coverup by Helms of onoing operational interest of the CIA in Oswald. While John Newman was able to trace two Hosty notes directly to Helms the third seems to have disappeared.

That note, to me, may well be the smoking gun of conspiracy and Richard Helms, a man associated with the Special Intelligence organization (SI) that was for some reason gathering information about an operation that was centered on Helsinki, Finland in June of 1959 for Richard Helms suggests a much deeper involvement in the development of Oswald the "patsey" than we might have previously thought.

During the 1959 meetings with Richard Helms it was Whitney Shepardson and Calvin Bryce Hoover who were the conduit of information to Helms on former SI controlled personal in Helsinki. Shepardson, who originated the Council on Foreign Relations, is closely associated to John J. McCloy (whom Shepardson would appoint as Chairman of the CFR) and to Demitri De Mohrenschildt (brother of George) who operated Radio Liberty. Shepardson was also one of two leaders of SI for whom Richard Helms was working while under cover of the OSS during WWII. It was the OSS Station (actually controlled by SI) that conducted Operation Stella Polaris (with the approval of Shepardson and Hoover) resulting in the beginings of the Venona Project that would be managed by Frank Rowlett and Meredith Gardner (the two men who would investigate Oswald for potential intelligence connection for the Warren Commission via the CIA via the NSA).

Taking this a step further, Wilho Tikander, who had been the OSS Station Chief in Stokholm (and was instrumental in the collection of information that was provided to Richard Helms in 1959), has an interesting family background. His family was involved in the Karelian Finn movement that began shortly after the Russian Revolution. This particular group of ethnic Finns had fled Czarist Russia in the late 1890's early 1900's because of their involvement in the Socialist movement in Russia. After the revolution many Karilians returned to Russia via an organization that Tikander was involved with. His appointment to head the OSS Station in Stokholm was not, it seems a coincidence.

In May 1957 Reino Häyhänen, a Soviet Spy, defected to the CIA rather than return to the Soviet Union. His demise as a Soviet Agent led to the arrest of Rudolph Abel. Two things about the background of Hayhanen come to mind....He was undercover of a US Citizen whose family had returned to the Soviet Union during the Karelian Finn movement and via the organization which involved the Tikander family. During WWII Hayhanen (aka Eugene Nicolai Mäki) was in Helsinki working for the Soviets. I might suggest that Hayhanen/Maki may have been turned, or under observation, long before his entry into the United States.

There are many aspects to this area of research that has me intrigued. What is most interestng is the recurring names associated with Oswald that seem to all tie to this particular group of former SI men together. Was there a reason to have the U-2 downed in 1960 (failure of the Paris Summit and the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1960 which John J. McCloy wanted derailed)? Was there a need to have Rudolph Abel returned to the Soviet Union (just thrown in to query thought)? Was Oswald the "patsey" needed by this group of former SI men to accomplish these goals? Had the Socialist Workiers Party in American been fully infiltrated by US Intelligence prior to the Cold War (Smith Act Trials)? Were members of the 4th International used worldwide to accomplish the goals of covert US Intelligence agencies such as SI?

By the way, just as a sidelight.....Calvin Bryce Hoover lived in Raleigh, North Carolina at the time of tha assassination of JFK.

Jim Root

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Hi Jim, good to see you posting again.

______________

Given that Walker was in charge of processing POWs in Norway after VE, and that he later staffed the Cairo bureau (homerun for Robert) and that there was a Mid East Rat(en)line, was Walker involved in processing NAZIs in Cairo too?

________________

edit

ps Robert : "... Taking this a step further, Wilho Tikander, who had been the OSS Station Chief in Stokholm (and was instrumental in the collection of information that was provided to Richard Helms in 1959), has an interesting family background. His family was involved in the Karelian Finn movement that began shortly after the Russian Revolution. This particular group of ethnic Finns had fled Czarist Russia in the late 1890's early 1900's because of their involvement in the Socialist movement in Russia. After the revolution many Karilians returned to Russia via an organization that Tikander was involved with. His appointment to head the OSS Station in Stokholm was not, it seems a coincidence. ..."

As my granddad was from Karelia prior to Soviet acquisition, and chief editior of 'Maakansa' in Viborg in the thirties, and later when the paper moved to Helsinki, later ed of 'Savon Sanomat' (and others), the family will try to get copies of the Karelia period. My mum remembers Karelian Finns from the Czarist repression period. Her family, as landed 'gentry' had a lot of contacts, the important ones, my granddad who enoyed cetain privileges and knew things he couldn't tell evn his family till after the war, such as friends in German Army high staff stationed in Finland that would have been compromised. (one was and was assassinated by Hitlers orderes). My mum met some of these.

Edited by John Dolva
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John

Did not know you had a family background in this particular area of research.

Hi Jim, good to see you posting again.

______________

Given that Walker was in charge of processing POWs in Norway after VE, and that he later staffed the Cairo bureau (homerun for Robert) and that there was a Mid East Rat(en)line, was Walker involved in processing NAZIs in Cairo too?

While processing POW's in Norway walker would be responsible for assigning the movements of the Stella Polaris to return former POW's to both the Soviet Union and to Germany. It is interresting that this same ship was assigned to pick up the crypto team in Helsinki. The timing of Walker's arrival in Norway is murky in the records but it is possible/probable that he arrived in Norway while battalion was in transit which would have allowed him to be in Norway in time to assign the Stella Polaris to to the Helsinki operation.

I have no records that indicate that Walker processed NAZIs in Cairo. Of more interest to me is his processing of Soviet/Communist soldiers that were to be returned to Russia. He would be in charge of Maxwell Taylors Korean POW exchange where large numbers of Chineese soldiers were processed and returned as well as North Korean soldiers. I do not believe his selection for this particular vocation was a coincidence. During the CCC program in the 1930's Walker was assigned to the processing of 1000's of Americans being put to work in these programs. Prior to being assigned to the FSSF Walker would be involved in the establishment of a couple of German POW camps in America.

Seems that Walker had been trained in a very interesting skill set.______________

edit

ps Robert : "... Taking this a step further, Wilho Tikander, who had been the OSS Station Chief in Stokholm (and was instrumental in the collection of information that was provided to Richard Helms in 1959), has an interesting family background. His family was involved in the Karelian Finn movement that began shortly after the Russian Revolution. This particular group of ethnic Finns had fled Czarist Russia in the late 1890's early 1900's because of their involvement in the Socialist movement in Russia. After the revolution many Karilians returned to Russia via an organization that Tikander was involved with. His appointment to head the OSS Station in Stokholm was not, it seems a coincidence. ..."

As my granddad was from Karelia prior to Soviet acquisition, and chief editior of 'Maakansa' in Viborg in the thirties, and later when the paper moved to Helsinki, later ed of 'Savon Sanomat' (and others), the family will try to get copies of the Karelia period. My mum remembers Karelian Finns from the Czarist repression period. Her family, as landed 'gentry' had a lot of contacts, the important ones, my granddad who enoyed cetain privileges and knew things he couldn't tell evn his family till after the war, such as friends in German Army high staff stationed in Finland that would have been compromised. (one was and was assassinated by Hitlers orderes). My mum met some of these.

The United States did not declare war on Finland until late in the war. Most people see Spain and Portugal as the "hotbeds" of spy activity during the war but it seems that the Stokholm station played a very large roll not only in the espionage war against Germany but in the pre Cold War activities that would become so important to US strategic interests in the late 1940's and beyond. It seems, from my research, that Finland was stuck between three giants....the Soviet Union, Germany and a strenghtening USA. Access to Finland was a matter of national survival for Finland in a post war world. For example, a quick reading of the Fortitude North operation shows how successful this espionage was in maintaining large numbers of German troops in Norway yet in OSS Chief Donovan's bio we find next to nothing written about the Stokholm station. The use of the Scandinavian coutries for raw materials of war and for necessary components for the German atomic bomb program puts and interesting light on the documents/materials/personal that may have been "mined" in this area by a commander such as Walker at the close of war. I do not believe that Walker's assignment to this area was a coincidence.

Jim Root

Edited by Jim Root
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John

Did not know you had a family background in this particular area of research.

Hi Jim, good to see you posting again.

______________

Given that Walker was in charge of processing POWs in Norway after VE, and that he later staffed the Cairo bureau (homerun for Robert) and that there was a Mid East Rat(en)line, was Walker involved in processing NAZIs in Cairo too?

While processing POW's in Norway walker would be responsible for assigning the movements of the Stella Polaris to return former POW's to both the Soviet Union and to Germany. It is interresting that this same ship was assigned to pick up the crypto team in Helsinki. The timing of Walker's arrival in Norway is murky in the records but it is possible/probable that he arrived in Norway while battalion was in transit which would have allowed him to be in Norway in time to assign the Stella Polaris to to the THelsinki operation.

I have no records that indicate that Walker processed NAZIs in Cairo. Of more interest to me is his processing of Soviet/Communist soldiers that were to be returned to Russia. He would be in charge of Maxwell Taylors Korean POW exchange where large numbers of Chineese soldiers were processed and returned as well as North Korean soldiers. I do not believe his selection for this particular vocation was a coincidence. During the CCC program in the 1930's Walker was assigned to the processing of 1000's of Americans being put to work in these programs. Prior to being assigned to the FSSF Walker would be involved in the establishment of a couple of German POW camps in America.

Seems that Walker had been trained in a very interesting skill set.______________

edit

ps Robert : "... Taking this a step further, Wilho Tikander, who had been the OSS Station Chief in Stokholm (and was instrumental in the collection of information that was provided to Richard Helms in 1959), has an interesting family background. His family was involved in the Karelian Finn movement that began shortly after the Russian Revolution. This particular group of ethnic Finns had fled Czarist Russia in the late 1890's early 1900's because of their involvement in the Socialist movement in Russia. After the revolution many Karilians returned to Russia via an organization that Tikander was involved with. His appointment to head the OSS Station in Stokholm was not, it seems a coincidence. ..."

As my granddad was from Karelia prior to Soviet acquisition, and chief editior of 'Maakansa' in Viborg in the thirties, and later when the paper moved to Helsinki, later ed of 'Savon Sanomat' (and others), the family will try to get copies of the Karelia period. My mum remembers Karelian Finns from the Czarist repression period. Her family, as landed 'gentry' had a lot of contacts, the important ones, my granddad who enoyed cetain privileges and knew things he couldn't tell evn his family till after the war, such as friends in German Army high staff stationed in Finland that would have been compromised. (one was and was assassinated by Hitlers orderes). My mum met some of these.

The United States did not declare war on Finland until late in the war. Most people see Spain and Portugal as the "hotbeds" of spy activity during the war but it seems that the Stokholm station played a very large roll not only in the espionage war against Germany but in the pre Cold War activities that would become so important to US strategic interests in the late 1940's and beyond. It seems, from my research, that Finland was stuck between three giants....the Soviet Union, Germany and a strenghtening USA. Access to Finland was a matter of national survival for Finland in a post war world. For example, a quick reading of the Fortitude North operation shows how successful this espionage was in maintaining large numbers of German troops in Norway yet in OSS Chief Donovan's bio we find next to nothing written about the Stokholm station. The use of the Scandinavian coutries for raw materials of war and for necessary components for the German atomic bomb program puts and interesting light on the documents/materials/personal that may have been "mined" in this area by a commander such as Walker at the close of war. I do not believe that Walker's assignment to this area was a coincidence.

Jim Root

To be quite honest Jim, I really feel that areas such as the one you have elaborated on, perhaps the last paragraph as much as anything, are some of the most elucidating aspects of, not only JFK research, but Cold War history as well. The only thing that I could add at this point, is a reminder that Allen Dulles and Mary Bancroft were very involved in wartime [WW II] activities in Bern, Switzerland. I believe, in the historical context of the Cold War, to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, "all the world was a stage," as far as Cold War operations go. It is very logical to see the importance of the Low Countries, in that context.

One only has to look at the Albert Schweitzer College, as an example of the chess game that was taking place, between the East and the West.

Of my own thoughts, I cannot help sometimes, but feel that the intelligence history of the United States is a bit skewed, but particularly with regards to Yuri Nosensko, in that, there have been those who believe, irrespective of what his purpose was in defecting, that somewhere along the way, how would you say it, he got on the wrong side of Angleton. I suppose if ones thoughts run contrary, to the official version of how that all went down, the question is was there something else besides the fears that Nosensko came to defect to the West as a disinformation agent, that caused Angleton to react to Nosensko in the manner he did. The charge that Yuri defected to cover up KGB complicity with regards to the JFK Assassination, is, as far as I'm concerned not only parenthetically false, but is something out of Alice In Wonderland.

That Angleton was aware of who Oswald was before the assassination, is beyond probability as far as I'm concerned........

And as far as Oswald goes, I most assuredly believe one aspect of his assignment in Russia, was tracing the leaks that were emanating back to the Soviet Union. I believe Peter Dale Scott wrote an article that delved into that....

Oswald and the Hunt for Popov's Mole......

It is perhaps, ironic that those who were most involved with the Warren Commission, in terms of the actual hierarchy of investigation and certain Chiefs of Station, Dulles, Hoover, Helms, Angleton and David Atlee Phillips, are also those who are on everyone's mind regarding how the assassination interfaced Oswald as the proverbial puppet on a string.

But those last thoughts are mine, and it would be foolish to think that I speak for anyone other than myself....

Edited by Robert Howard
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John

Did not know you had a family background in this particular area of research.

Hi Jim, good to see you posting again.

______________

Given that Walker was in charge of processing POWs in Norway after VE, and that he later staffed the Cairo bureau (homerun for Robert) and that there was a Mid East Rat(en)line, was Walker involved in processing NAZIs in Cairo too?

While processing POW's in Norway walker would be responsible for assigning the movements of the Stella Polaris to return former POW's to both the Soviet Union and to Germany. It is interresting that this same ship was assigned to pick up the crypto team in Helsinki. The timing of Walker's arrival in Norway is murky in the records but it is possible/probable that he arrived in Norway while battalion was in transit which would have allowed him to be in Norway in time to assign the Stella Polaris to to the THelsinki operation.

I have no records that indicate that Walker processed NAZIs in Cairo. Of more interest to me is his processing of Soviet/Communist soldiers that were to be returned to Russia. He would be in charge of Maxwell Taylors Korean POW exchange where large numbers of Chineese soldiers were processed and returned as well as North Korean soldiers. I do not believe his selection for this particular vocation was a coincidence. During the CCC program in the 1930's Walker was assigned to the processing of 1000's of Americans being put to work in these programs. Prior to being assigned to the FSSF Walker would be involved in the establishment of a couple of German POW camps in America.

Seems that Walker had been trained in a very interesting skill set.______________

edit

ps Robert : "... Taking this a step further, Wilho Tikander, who had been the OSS Station Chief in Stokholm (and was instrumental in the collection of information that was provided to Richard Helms in 1959), has an interesting family background. His family was involved in the Karelian Finn movement that began shortly after the Russian Revolution. This particular group of ethnic Finns had fled Czarist Russia in the late 1890's early 1900's because of their involvement in the Socialist movement in Russia. After the revolution many Karilians returned to Russia via an organization that Tikander was involved with. His appointment to head the OSS Station in Stokholm was not, it seems a coincidence. ..."

As my granddad was from Karelia prior to Soviet acquisition, and chief editior of 'Maakansa' in Viborg in the thirties, and later when the paper moved to Helsinki, later ed of 'Savon Sanomat' (and others), the family will try to get copies of the Karelia period. My mum remembers Karelian Finns from the Czarist repression period. Her family, as landed 'gentry' had a lot of contacts, the important ones, my granddad who enoyed cetain privileges and knew things he couldn't tell evn his family till after the war, such as friends in German Army high staff stationed in Finland that would have been compromised. (one was and was assassinated by Hitlers orderes). My mum met some of these.

The United States did not declare war on Finland until late in the war. Most people see Spain and Portugal as the "hotbeds" of spy activity during the war but it seems that the Stokholm station played a very large roll not only in the espionage war against Germany but in the pre Cold War activities that would become so important to US strategic interests in the late 1940's and beyond. It seems, from my research, that Finland was stuck between three giants....the Soviet Union, Germany and a strenghtening USA. Access to Finland was a matter of national survival for Finland in a post war world. For example, a quick reading of the Fortitude North operation shows how successful this espionage was in maintaining large numbers of German troops in Norway yet in OSS Chief Donovan's bio we find next to nothing written about the Stokholm station. The use of the Scandinavian coutries for raw materials of war and for necessary components for the German atomic bomb program puts and interesting light on the documents/materials/personal that may have been "mined" in this area by a commander such as Walker at the close of war. I do not believe that Walker's assignment to this area was a coincidence.

Jim Root

To be quite honest Jim, I really feel that areas such as the one you have elaborated on, perhaps the last paragraph as much as anything, are some of the most elucidating aspects of, not only JFK research, but Cold War history as well. The only thing that I could add at this point, is a reminder that Allen Dulles and Mary Bancroft were very involved in wartime [WW II] activities in Bern, Switzerland. I believe, in the historical context of the Cold War, to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, "all the world was a stage," as far as Cold War operations go. It is very logical to see the importance of the Low Countries, in that context.

One only has to look at the Albert Schweitzer College, as an example of the chess game that was taking place, between the East and the West.

Of my own thoughts, I cannot help sometimes, but feel that the intelligence history of the United States is a bit skewed, but particularly with regards to Yuri Nosensko, in that, there have been those who believe, irrespective of what his purpose was in defecting, that somewhere along the way, how would you say it, he got on the wrong side of Angleton. I suppose if ones thoughts run contrary, to the official version of how that all went down, the question is was there something else besides the fears that Nosensko came to defect to the West as a disinformation agent, that caused Angleton to react to Nosensko in the manner he did. The charge that Yuri defected to cover up KGB complicity with regards to the JFK Assassination, is, as far as I'm concerned not only parenthetically false, but is something out of Alice In Wonderland.

That Angleton was aware of who Oswald was before the assassination, is beyond probability as far as I'm concerned........

And as far as Oswald goes, I most assuredly believe one aspect of his assignment in Russia, was tracing the leaks that were emanating back to the Soviet Union. I believe Peter Dale Scott wrote an article that delved into that....

Oswald and the Hunt for Popov's Mole......

It is perhaps, ironic that those who were most involved with the Warren Commission, in terms of the actual hierarchy of investigation and certain Chiefs of Station, Dulles, Hoover, Helms, Angleton and David Atlee Phillips, are also those who are on everyone's mind regarding how the assassination interfaced Oswald as the proverbial puppet on a string.

But those last thoughts are mine, and it would be foolish to think that I speak for anyone other than myself....

By the way, there is a lot of projects that I am engaged in currently, which have the unfortunate side effect of not being able to post at a leisurely pace, like I have in the past....But there has been something I've been wanting to bring up on the Forum for awhile and keep forgetting to mention.

That is regarding this person

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_J._Walker

How is it that this person has never been mentioned on the Forum, at the very least I wonder if he could have been related to General Edwin Walker.

He might not be but with such a storied career, it seems like someone would have known about him......

I usually don't cite wiki, but the information there on the members of the MI Hall of Fame appears to be valid, at least a point of reference, for persons of whom there are not a myriad of documents and information about.....

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John

Did not know you had a family background in this particular area of research.

Hi Jim, good to see you posting again.

______________

Given that Walker was in charge of processing POWs in Norway after VE, and that he later staffed the Cairo bureau (homerun for Robert) and that there was a Mid East Rat(en)line, was Walker involved in processing NAZIs in Cairo too?

While processing POW's in Norway walker would be responsible for assigning the movements of the Stella Polaris to return former POW's to both the Soviet Union and to Germany. It is interresting that this same ship was assigned to pick up the crypto team in Helsinki. The timing of Walker's arrival in Norway is murky in the records but it is possible/probable that he arrived in Norway while battalion was in transit which would have allowed him to be in Norway in time to assign the Stella Polaris to to the THelsinki operation.

I have no records that indicate that Walker processed NAZIs in Cairo. Of more interest to me is his processing of Soviet/Communist soldiers that were to be returned to Russia. He would be in charge of Maxwell Taylors Korean POW exchange where large numbers of Chineese soldiers were processed and returned as well as North Korean soldiers. I do not believe his selection for this particular vocation was a coincidence. During the CCC program in the 1930's Walker was assigned to the processing of 1000's of Americans being put to work in these programs. Prior to being assigned to the FSSF Walker would be involved in the establishment of a couple of German POW camps in America.

Seems that Walker had been trained in a very interesting skill set.______________

edit

ps Robert : "... Taking this a step further, Wilho Tikander, who had been the OSS Station Chief in Stokholm (and was instrumental in the collection of information that was provided to Richard Helms in 1959), has an interesting family background. His family was involved in the Karelian Finn movement that began shortly after the Russian Revolution. This particular group of ethnic Finns had fled Czarist Russia in the late 1890's early 1900's because of their involvement in the Socialist movement in Russia. After the revolution many Karilians returned to Russia via an organization that Tikander was involved with. His appointment to head the OSS Station in Stokholm was not, it seems a coincidence. ..."

As my granddad was from Karelia prior to Soviet acquisition, and chief editior of 'Maakansa' in Viborg in the thirties, and later when the paper moved to Helsinki, later ed of 'Savon Sanomat' (and others), the family will try to get copies of the Karelia period. My mum remembers Karelian Finns from the Czarist repression period. Her family, as landed 'gentry' had a lot of contacts, the important ones, my granddad who enoyed cetain privileges and knew things he couldn't tell evn his family till after the war, such as friends in German Army high staff stationed in Finland that would have been compromised. (one was and was assassinated by Hitlers orderes). My mum met some of these.

The United States did not declare war on Finland until late in the war. Most people see Spain and Portugal as the "hotbeds" of spy activity during the war but it seems that the Stokholm station played a very large roll not only in the espionage war against Germany but in the pre Cold War activities that would become so important to US strategic interests in the late 1940's and beyond. It seems, from my research, that Finland was stuck between three giants....the Soviet Union, Germany and a strenghtening USA. Access to Finland was a matter of national survival for Finland in a post war world. For example, a quick reading of the Fortitude North operation shows how successful this espionage was in maintaining large numbers of German troops in Norway yet in OSS Chief Donovan's bio we find next to nothing written about the Stokholm station. The use of the Scandinavian coutries for raw materials of war and for necessary components for the German atomic bomb program puts and interesting light on the documents/materials/personal that may have been "mined" in this area by a commander such as Walker at the close of war. I do not believe that Walker's assignment to this area was a coincidence.

Jim Root

To be quite honest Jim, I really feel that areas such as the one you have elaborated on, perhaps the last paragraph as much as anything, are some of the most elucidating aspects of, not only JFK research, but Cold War history as well. The only thing that I could add at this point, is a reminder that Allen Dulles and Mary Bancroft were very involved in wartime [WW II] activities in Bern, Switzerland. I believe, in the historical context of the Cold War, to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, "all the world was a stage," as far as Cold War operations go. It is very logical to see the importance of the Low Countries, in that context.

One only has to look at the Albert Schweitzer College, as an example of the chess game that was taking place, between the East and the West.

Of my own thoughts, I cannot help sometimes, but feel that the intelligence history of the United States is a bit skewed, but particularly with regards to Yuri Nosensko, in that, there have been those who believe, irrespective of what his purpose was in defecting, that somewhere along the way, how would you say it, he got on the wrong side of Angleton. I suppose if ones thoughts run contrary, to the official version of how that all went down, the question is was there something else besides the fears that Nosensko came to defect to the West as a disinformation agent, that caused Angleton to react to Nosensko in the manner he did. The charge that Yuri defected to cover up KGB complicity with regards to the JFK Assassination, is, as far as I'm concerned not only parenthetically false, but is something out of Alice In Wonderland.

That Angleton was aware of who Oswald was before the assassination, is beyond probability as far as I'm concerned........

And as far as Oswald goes, I most assuredly believe one aspect of his assignment in Russia, was tracing the leaks that were emanating back to the Soviet Union. I believe Peter Dale Scott wrote an article that delved into that....

Oswald and the Hunt for Popov's Mole......

It is perhaps, ironic that those who were most involved with the Warren Commission, in terms of the actual hierarchy of investigation and certain Chiefs of Station, Dulles, Hoover, Helms, Angleton and David Atlee Phillips, are also those who are on everyone's mind regarding how the assassination interfaced Oswald as the proverbial puppet on a string.

But those last thoughts are mine, and it would be foolish to think that I speak for anyone other than myself....

By the way, there is a lot of projects that I am engaged in currently, which have the unfortunate side effect of not being able to post at a leisurely pace, like I have in the past....But there has been something I've been wanting to bring up on the Forum for awhile and keep forgetting to mention.

That is regarding this person

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_J._Walker

How is it that this person has never been mentioned on the Forum, at the very least I wonder if he could have been related to General Edwin Walker.

He might not be but with such a storied career, it seems like someone would have known about him......

I usually don't cite wiki, but the information there on the members of the MI Hall of Fame appears to be valid, at least a point of reference, for persons of whom there are not a myriad of documents and information about.....

To try to get back to the area of the Polk Murder Case, in the Mary Ferrell Chronologies, there is an interesting note that between 1956 and 1958, Kim Philby made twenty trips to Cyprus.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=228

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Guest Tom Scully

Descriptions of Edwin A. Walker's ancestors at this link:

George Pickney and Charolette (Thorton) Walker = Edwin A. Walker's parents...his grandfather was also

Edward Anderson Walker:

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=off&...;fp=8oz0qi6Y0eA

(I see no relation common to the two Walker family lines.)

In depth obit of Brig. Gen. George "Jerry" Walker April 14, 2005

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/04140...041405-35.shtml

Gen. George J. Walker's ancestor:

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ig...p;id=I576481950

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Paul

I posted this on May 5, 2005. Perhaps it will help:

Re: George Polk case

It has never come up as a topic of research for me to investigate. A couple of names/thoughts that come up are of interest. William Donovan, former leader of the OSS who was brushed aside in the development of the new National Security Council structure of 1948 got involved, why?

"Polk had been critical not only of the Greek government but also of the newly released Truman Doctrine which made defeating the Communists in Greece a priority. In an article published in Harper's in December 1947, Polk called the $300 million in aid to Greece "a poor investment." Most importantly, Polk claimed, the money was being terribly misused. Indeed, immediately before his murder, Polk, in an interview with Constantine Tsaldaris, the head of the Royalist Party, threatened to expose Tsaldaris' illegal bank accounts in the United States. Polk's widow, Rea Polk, later claimed: "I am surprised he lived for three days after that interview." Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

The highlighted portion could attach to Walker's position in the Pentagon where he was "running the Greek desk." The Tuman doctrine was not without its critics in 1948 (Amoung whom were Donovan supporters and "left leaning" groups). Any revelations about how "intelligence funds" were being laundered during this early period of operations by the NSC could have been objectionable and perhaps even considered a threat to national security.

Interesting groups of people we deal with.

Jim Root

Jim,

Can you expand upon the internal divisions among US policy makers with respect to Greece in 1948? And what were the divisions of responsibility within the CIA's apparat in Greece at the time of Polk's death?

Paul

"A Murder and Its Meaning"

by Elias Vlanton

from The Nation, January 28, 1991 pp. 93-95

THE POLK CONSPIRACY: Murder and Cover-up in the Case of CBS News Correspondent George Polk. By Kati Marton. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 369 pp. $22.93.

By the middle of 1947, American intervention in the Greek civil war between Communist-led guerrillas and the American-backed rightist regime had made Greece a coveted dateline for ambitious journalists. In July, George Polk, a young, irreverent and respected foreign reporter, moved his base of operations to Athens. Unwilling just to rewrite Greek government handouts, the CBS correspondent began voraciously gathering information about the people and politics of Greece. Over time his dispatches--always well reasoned and well researched--began questioning the honesty and competency of the Greek government, and of the American aid program propping it up.

On May 16, 1948, a few days before he was to return to the United States, a boatman pulled Polk's body out of the Bay of Salonika; his hands and feet were bound and he had been shot once in the back of the head. Within hours Greek authorities announced to the press that Polk had been killed by Communist guerrillas while on his way to meet their leader, General Markos--an assessment foreign-policy officials and the press largely accepted, even defended, throughout the case.

Efforts by members of the New York Newspaper Guild to send an independent team of journalists to Greece to investigate their colleague's death were quickly pre-empted by a committee of prestigious media representatives, headed by Washington columnist Walter Lippmann. The Lippmann Committee refused to back an independent inquiry, electing instead to work with the State Department in monitoring the Greek government's investigation. Lippmann appointed General William (Wild Bill) Donovan, the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services, as the committee's counsel.

When, a month after Polk's death, Greek officials had made no progress toward identifying his killers, Donovan dispatched a young Greek-American intelligence operative, Lieut. Col. James Kellis, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder. In the course of his inquiry, Kellis discovered that Polk had received information that Greek Foreign Minister Constantine Tsaldaris had deposited $25,000 in a New York bank, money Polk may have suspected came out of U.S. aid funds. Shortly before his death the CBS correspondent had confronted Tsaldaris and threatened to destroy him and his government. In late July, as Kellis gathered indications that the rightists, not the Communists, were responsible for Polk's murder, the State Department had him recalled from Greece.

A few days later Donovan dramatically stepped up the pressure on Greek authorities to make an arrest. By August 14 the police had picked up journalist Gregory Staktopoulos; over the next six weeks the security police systematically tortured Staktopoulos until he agreed to "confess" to his role in helping the Communists to set up Polk. At a show trial the following April, Staktopoulos announced that the crime had been committed by two high-ranking Greek Communists acting on orders from the Kremlin. Staktopoulos was sentenced to life imprisonment as an accomplice. With a few notable exceptions, among them I.F. Stone, as well as Constantine Poulos writing in this magazine (May 28, 1949), the American press and government praised the verdict. The case was closed and largely forgotten for the next four decades.

Now Kati Marton has written a thrilling account of Polk's murder and of the cover-up by the American press and foreign-policy establishment. Her story is fast-paced, compellingly written and entirely engaging, and many will finish it convinced that American journalism has finally gotten its man. Marton rightly condemns American government officials for having been more concerned with protecting their investment in the Greek government than in finding Polk's killers. She also properly raps Walter Lippmann for his gullibility in having accepted, virtually without question, information supplied by American officials and General Donovan. But by singling out Donovan and Lippmann as the chief villains in the press cover-up of the murder, Marton misses a larger point.

It wasn't Walter Lippmann alone who failed George Polk and Gregory Staktopoulos; it was American journalism. Although a central figure in the case, Lippmann was hardly the only journalist to accept blindly that the Communists killed Polk, while ignoring evidence that suggested right-wing involvement. He has to share that responsibility with most of his fellows, including Edward R. Murrow and other top journalists at CBS, the major dailies such as The New York Times and New York Herald Tribune, and other American reporters then covering Greece. The only dissenters were a handful of members of the New York Newspaper Guild.

This was not a gigantic conspiracy, but journalism-as-usual. It was reporters writing about countries whose language, customs and politics they were unfamiliar with and accepting the word of official sources--American and Greek--without doing the necessary legwork to confirm the information. Worse, there was a failure to apply basic standards of logic and fairness, whether to a murder confession riddled with inconsistencies or to a trial that mocked the notions of justice and the rule of law.

Unfortunately, Kati Marton, too, practices journalism-as-usual. Marton suggests that Foreign Minister Tsaldaris ordered the assassination of Polk to prevent the reporter from carrying out his threat to bring down Tsaldaris and his government. She names Michael Kourtessis as the man who planned and carried out the murder. Kourtessis, she says, was part of a secret paramilitary organization within the port authority of Piraeus (OLP), to which Tsaldaris had close ties. Marton bases her claim on a series of letters written to Colonel Kellis by one of the Greek informants he used during his investigation into Polk's death.

Marton did not get these documents from Kellis, now deceased, but from sources she does not disclose, "for I have assured them anonymity." Her grant of anonymity to her sources raises several relevant questions: Who needs anonymity in providing forty-two-year-old documents? Did the documents come from the C.I.A., where Kellis served in the early 1950s? If so, why were they given to Marton? Did she receive all the reports in Kellis's possession, or were they leaked selectively to lead the author's inquiries down a particular path?

Also, if the documents sent to Colonel Kellis were so convincing, why did Kellis himself evidently dismiss them? In a 1977 deposition Kellis testified he did not know who killed Polk, and he went on to suggest that a British information officer was involved. (That testimony is mentioned in The Polk Conspiracy, but Marton doesn't mention that it contradicts the thesis of the book.)

Had Marton independently confirmed the story told by Kellis's informant, and/or produced Michael Kourtessis, she would have made a valuable contribution to efforts to clear up the mystery surrounding Polk's death. But the evidence she has "uncovered" appears to be little more than forty-year-old hearsay--the kind of raw intelligence that informers routinely supplied to Kellis and other American officials, information that was often disproved, contradicted or replaced by new information a few days later and hearsay is a far cry from hard evidence. Not only does Marton fail to prove that Kourtessis was a right-wing thug working for the OLP, she does not even prove that anyone named Michael Kourtessis ever existed.

In her analysis of the crime, Marton willingly sacrifices accuracy for drama. For example, The Polk Conspiracy claims that Kourtessis flew to Salonika between May 4 and May 6, 1948, to plan the murder, yet Polk himself only decided to fly there on May 7. How is this possible? Saturday night, May 8, Marton says, Polk dined in a private home with a group of right-wing conspirators posing as Communists. Sometime during the meal they put a soporific into Polk's drink; after the meal, Marton says, they said good night to Polk, who returned to his hotel, the Astoria. But why let him leave alive? How could the killers be sure Polk would return to his hotel? Why not murder him during dinner, in the relative seclusion of a private home in Salonika, rather than risk killing him near the Astoria, which sits on one of Salonika's busiest intersections?

After following Polk up to his room, they stuffed the dazed journalist into a laundry basket, which the murderers wheeled out of the hotel and into an alley. The killers supposedly then shot Polk, dragged his body across a deserted Nikis Street to the edge of the quay and heaved him into the Bay of Salonika. No one familiar with Salonika or Greek habits will find this scenario convincing. Getting Polk's body from the Astoria Hotel to the bay required dragging it three long blocks in an area filled with outdoor cafes, restaurants and movie theaters. Why would the murderers have chanced such a display around midnight (Polk's watch stopped at 12:20, a fact Marton fails to mention), when the streets would have been full of Greeks taking a stroll after their typically late Saturday night dinner? Nor does Marton try to explain how a body dropped over the edge of the quay wound up miles out in the bay; given the action of the waves the body, if it had moved at all, would have been washed closer to the shore, not farther away from it.

In addition to her failure to reconstruct accurately the story of Polk's murder, Marton inflates as revelations her discoveries of facts others made long ago. She writes, for example, that a C.I.A. document on Polk "was declassified in 1988 by the C.I.A. as a result of a Freedom of Information suit by this author." In fact, the document had been released a decade earlier at the request of other journalists. Nor, as Marton implies, was she the first to bring to light the Polk-Tsaldaris fight, news of which appeared in left-wing American newspapers two months after Polk's death. And by 1949 the story of the Tsaldaris illegal bank deposit was known to the dissenting journalists based in the New York Newspaper Guild.

The Polk Conspiracy does not chronicle the efforts of John Donovan, a colleague of Polk's, who strove, largely without recognition, to uncover the truth about Polk's death from 1948 until his debilitating stroke in the 1980s. He traveled to Athens to talk with Gregory Staktopoulos after he was released from prison in 1960 (apparently the only American journalist to do so), and he doggedly pressed Kellis and others connected to the case for possible leads. Donovan unsuccessfully tried to interest every broadcast network, including CBS, and countless newspapers to cover new developments in the case, and he submitted his own articles about the case to magazines and newspapers nationwide. Ironically, many of the same publications that have heaped praise on The Polk Conspiracy, among them The New York Times and The Washington Post did not publish John Donovan's investigations ten and twenty years ago.

Nor does Marton's bibliography even list The Salonika Bay Murder (Princeton, 1989), by Edmund Keeley. Keeley's work, while not as intriguing or compellingly written as Marton's, remains a more reliable source about the murder, investigation and cover-up. Although Keeley fails to assign adequate blame to American officials for their role in the cover-up, his book is thoroughly footnoted and factually correct, whereas Marton's is very poorly referenced and replete with errors. For example, throughout the course of her book Marton manages to get almost every detail of Staktopoulos's life wrong, including what he did during the war, how he was arrested, when he was transferred from jail to prison, when he was freed, when his brother died, and that his sister went insane.

To its credit, The Polk Conspiracy has again drawn attention to how American journalists forty years ago sacrificed their integrity to solidify domestic support for the cold war. The uncritical praise The Polk Conspiracy has received, however, shows how American journalists today accept a terrific story and stylish prose in lieu of meticulous research and critical analysis. Either way, they are still not getting it right.

I cannot believe that nobody has mentioned the fact that the book The Polk Conspiracy mentions someone significant who, to me is probably George Joannides, with a slightly different spelling.....Anybody that has the book can you post it.....?

Edited by Robert Howard
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