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Why did RFK help to cover-up the assassination of JFK?


John Simkin
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Now, I do make an effort to reconcile such things with statements such as your earlier one that Nixon had tried "to sort out the agency" on taking office. I just can't. That's all.

On 5th June, 1970, Nixon held a meeting in the White House that was attended by J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Helms and the chiefs of the NSA and the DIA. Nixon spoke of his concern that the different agencies were not working well together. Soon afterwards Nixon had a meeting with Tom Charles Huston, a former FBI agent who now worked with John Dean. Huston was asked to write a report on reforming the intelligence agencies.

Huston's 43 page report on how the intelligence agencies could enhance cooperation was delivered to Nixon on 14th July. This was sent to and approved by all the agencies. However, this was not the full report. One section was kept secret from the other agencies. Known as the "Huston Plan" it suggested five activities, some of which were clearly illegal. The sixth suggestion was the creation of a new agency to deal with internal security that was to be under the control of the president.

As Nixon later recalled: "I felt they (the six points of Huston's Plan) were necessary and justified by the violence we faced." Soon afterwards Nixon appointed Jack Caulfield to take charge of this new "in-house" agency.

When John Dean was doing a deal with the prosecuting authorities in 1973 he sent a copy of this secret Huston Plan to Judge John Sirica. It now became public knowledge. However, it is possible that the FBI and the CIA had already discovered what was going on. As Jack Caulfield and Tony Ulasewicz were both to later point out, the Sam Ervin committee seemed uninterested in this secret "in-house" agency.

Thanks, John.

Of course the Huston Plan is an entire study in itself, one which I'm not going to belabor here. I will, however, point out that it did absolutely nothing at all "to sort out" the CIA—or DIA or NSA for that matter.

In fact, Senator Frank Church himself said very eloquently in his introductory remarks as Chairman of the Church Committee, when Tom Huston was about to be questioned:

  • Five days after the President approved the plan, he revoked it at the insistence of the FBI Director and the Attorney General—to the dismay of those CIA, NSA, and FBI representatives who had helped Huston develop it. ...Our investigations have revealed that the Huston plan itself was only an episode in the lawlessness which preceded and followed its brief existence.
    First, we have discovered that unlawful mail openings were being conducted long before the President was asked to authorize them in June 1970. The President and Mr. Huston, it appears, were deceived by the intelligence officials.
    Second, even though the President revoked his approval of the Huston plan, the intelligence agencies paid no heed to the revocation. Instead, they continued the very practices for which they had sought presidential authority, expanding some of them and reinstating others which had been abolished years before. ...[T]he decision of the President seemed to matter little.
    Finally, the Huston plan, as we now know, must be viewed as but one episode in a continuous effort by the intelligence agencies to secure the sanction of higher authority for expanded surveillance at home and abroad. As these hearings will reveal, the leaders of the CIA and individuals within the FBI continued to seek official blessing for the very wrongs envisaged in the Huston plan.
    —Senator Frank Church, 23 September 1975

As for Caulfield (and Ulasewicz—like Tweedledee and Tweedledum), I have my own reasons—only some of which I've posted, and that mainly in the Watergate forum—for believing that both were in CIA's pocket at all relevant times, and that Ulasewicz set up the apartment in New York, ostensibly under the auspices of Operation Sandwedge, with a primary purpose of having a CIA safe-house and backstopped address in New York near the laboratory of CIA's Cleve Backster and for later use by Hunt and Liddy.

In fact, I cannot find a single record anywhere of any use, ever, by the Nixon administration (or any part thereof) of the Ulasewicz operation in New York City.

I doubt very seriously that you'll agree, but I'm not seeking agreement. I'm seeking the truth. And the truth is I don't see the slightest evidence anywhere of any "sorting out" by Nixon of CIA.

Ashton

Edited by Ashton Gray
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Finally, the Huston plan, as we now know, must be viewed as but one episode in a continuous effort by the intelligence agencies to secure the sanction of higher authority for expanded surveillance at home and abroad. As these hearings will reveal, the leaders of the CIA and individuals within the FBI continued to seek official blessing for the very wrongs envisaged in the Huston plan.

—Senator Frank Church, 23 September 1975

As for Caulfield (and Ulasewicz—like Tweedledee and Tweedledum), I have my own reasons—only some of which I've posted, and that mainly in the Watergate forum—for believing that both were in CIA's pocket at all relevant times, and that Ulasewicz set up the apartment in New York, ostensibly under the auspices of Operation Sandwedge, with a primary purpose of having a CIA safe-house and backstopped address in New York near the laboratory of CIA's Cleve Backster and for later use by Hunt and Liddy.

In fact, I cannot find a single record anywhere of any use, ever, by the Nixon administration (or any part thereof) of the Ulasewicz operation in New York City.

I doubt very seriously that you'll agree, but I'm not seeking agreement. I'm seeking the truth. And the truth is I don't see the slightest evidence anywhere of any "sorting out" by Nixon of CIA.

Ashton

Church was misinformed. Hoover and Helms rejected the 43-page "Huston Report". They never saw the "Huston Plan". This was a secret memo sent to Nixon. It was this that was implemented. See Len Colodny & Robert Gettlin's Silent Coup (pages 98-100) and Jim Hougan's Secret Agenda (page 99 note 12). Nixon wrote on 14th July, 1970, "I felt they (the illegal measures suggested by Huston) were necessary and justified by the violence we faced". This so-called violence was the anti-war demonstrations.

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John J. McCloy was interviewed on The Warren Report: Part 4, CBS Television (28th June, 1967):

There have been a number of suggestions that the Commission, for example, was only motivated by a desire to put - to make things quiet, so as to give comfort to the Administration, or give comfort to the people of the country, that there was nothing vicious about this. Well, that wasn't the attitude that we had at all.

I know what my attitude, when I first went down, I was convinced that there was something phony between the Ruby and the Oswald affair, that forty-eight hours after the assassination, here's this man shot in the police station. I was pretty skeptical about that. But as time went on and we heard witnesses and weighed the witnesses - but just think how silly this charge is.

Here we were seven men, I think five of us were Republicans. We weren't beholden to any Administration. Besides that, we - we had our own integrity to think of. A lot of people have said that you can rely upon the distinguished character of the Commission. You don't need to rely on the distinguished character of the Commission. Maybe it was distinguished, and maybe it wasn't. But you can rely on common sense. And you know that seven men aren't going to get together, of that character, and concoct a conspiracy, with all of the members of the staff we had, with all of the investigative agencies - it would have been a conspiracy of a character so mammoth and so vast that it transcends any - even some of the distorted charges of conspiracy on the part of Oswald.

I think that if there's one thing I would do over again, I would insist on those photographs and the X-rays having been produced before us. In the one respect, and only one respect there, I think we were perhaps a little oversensitive to what we understand was the sensitivities of the Kennedy family against the production of colored photographs of the body, and so forth.

But those exist. They're there. We had the best evidence in regard to that the pathology in respect to the President's wounds. It was our own choice that we didn't subpoena these photographs, which were then in the hands of the Kennedy family. I say, I wish - I don't think we'd have subpoenaed them. We could have gotten - Mr. Justice Warren was talking to the Kennedy family about that at that time. I thought that he was really going to see them, but it turned out that he hadn't.

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RFK denied access to the general public, but are you suggesting that he denied access to official investigators?

In an interview he gave on 3rd July, 1967, John J. McCloy said about the Warren Commission: “I think there’s one thing I would do over again. I would insist on those photographs and the X-rays having being produced before us.” During the investigation members of the Warren Commission were told by Earl Warren that the Kennedy family was blocking access to these photographs and X-rays.

John, has a member of the Kennedy family ever confirmed this to be true? I would be reluctant to take Earl Warren's word for it.

Soon after the assassination RFK told other members of the Kennedy family that he believed that senior members of the CIA organized his brother’s assassination. However, he was not willing to disclose this at that stage because he was being blackmailed.

Which member of the Kennedy family revealed this information?

This story will be explained in a book published next year.

John, who's the author?

I believe the Marilyn Monroe murder played a part in that.

Let's assume for a while that The Kennedy's and Giancana had a hand in that. Wouldn't that be a great trumph card to keep Bobby silent about his brother's death?

If it's true that both Kennedys were romantically involved with Monroe, they certainly had a motive to get rid of her if they feared she might go public. It would be hard to imagine a juicier scandal.

Ron and Wim,

I have trouble believing JFK and RFK would stoop to that.

[qoute]I don't believe it for a second. [/qoute]

In fact I consider it to be one of the main components in the Kennedy smears. The subtext being that the Kennedy's murdered so it's ok that they were murdered. Don't worry your little heads John and Jane Q. Public; JFK and RFK aren't worth the angst.

Right. :ph34r:

There was a time when I subscribed to the "Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword" notion.

They promoted that well.

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Finally, the Huston plan, as we now know, must be viewed as but one episode in a continuous effort by the intelligence agencies to secure the sanction of higher authority for expanded surveillance at home and abroad. As these hearings will reveal, the leaders of the CIA and individuals within the FBI continued to seek official blessing for the very wrongs envisaged in the Huston plan.

—Senator Frank Church, 23 September 1975

As for Caulfield (and Ulasewicz—like Tweedledee and Tweedledum), I have my own reasons—only some of which I've posted, and that mainly in the Watergate forum—for believing that both were in CIA's pocket at all relevant times, and that Ulasewicz set up the apartment in New York, ostensibly under the auspices of Operation Sandwedge, with a primary purpose of having a CIA safe-house and backstopped address in New York near the laboratory of CIA's Cleve Backster and for later use by Hunt and Liddy.

In fact, I cannot find a single record anywhere of any use, ever, by the Nixon administration (or any part thereof) of the Ulasewicz operation in New York City.

I doubt very seriously that you'll agree, but I'm not seeking agreement. I'm seeking the truth. And the truth is I don't see the slightest evidence anywhere of any "sorting out" by Nixon of CIA.

Ashton

Church was misinformed. Hoover and Helms rejected the 43-page "Huston Report". They never saw the "Huston Plan". This was a secret memo sent to Nixon. It was this that was implemented. See Len Colodny & Robert Gettlin's Silent Coup (pages 98-100) and Jim Hougan's Secret Agenda (page 99 note 12). Nixon wrote on 14th July, 1970, "I felt they (the illegal measures suggested by Huston) were necessary and justified by the violence we faced". This so-called violence was the anti-war demonstrations.

Thanks. I am not unaware of what you seem to be alluding to. Having said that:

1) None of this has anything that I can see to do with the original assertion that Nixon "attempted to sort out the agency [CIA] when he became president in 1968," which is what I took issue with, and still see no evidence of.

Since this whole "Huston Plan" issue has come up, though, and won't seem to go away:

2) The testimony and evidence of record is that Hoover and John Mitchell—not Richard Helms—prevailed upon Nixon to rescind his endorsement of the 43-page document, et seq., that you are calling the "Huston Report," which is known most broadly and commonly, even in Congressional testimony and records, as the "Huston Plan." If you know of some record of Helms "rejecting" the original plan, after not only having been instrumental in creating it, but having signed off on it on 25 June 1970, prior to its submission to Nixon, I'd be very interested in seeing any such evidence.

3) Could you post the "secret memo sent to Nixon" that you allude to?

4) The quote by Nixon of 14 July 1970 is at the date of Nixon's original endorsement of Huston's proposed options to "relax collection restraints" on the various agencies, pursuant to the recommendations in the 25 June 1970 committee-created plan, at least according to a memo from Haldeman to Huston of 14 July 1970.

5) Nine days after the comment of Nixon you post above, on 23 July 1970, Huston wrote memos to the relevant agency directors informing them that "certain restraints on intelligence collection were being removed," invoking the authority of the President.

6) Four days later, on 27 July 1970, is when the Huston plan and the pursuant memos sent to the intelligence directors were recalled by the White House "for reconsideration."

Therefore, I am having difficulty understanding the relevance of Nixon's 14 July 1970 comment you posted, since that is nine days before approval was granted, and thirteen days before approval was rescinded.

If you are going to respond, I suggest that it would be of great benefit to derive some kind of unique identifying language for different versions or "secret memos" or whatever you're going to refer to, and to draw very clear and unmistakable distinctions with dates and documents; the available literature already evidences enough confusion around this whole issue. To be designating as the "Huston Report" what most of the world knows as the "Huston Plan" can only create further confusion as I see it.

Ashton

Edited by Ashton Gray
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John J. McCloy was interviewed on The Warren Report: Part 4, CBS Television (28th June, 1967):

We had the best evidence in regard to that the pathology in respect to the President's wounds.

It was our own choice that we didn't subpoena these photographs

which were then in the hands of the Kennedy family.

I say, I wish - I don't think we'd have subpoenaed them. We could have gotten - Mr. Justice Warren was talking to the Kennedy family about that at that time. I thought that he was really going to see them, but it turned out that he hadn't.[/color]

McCloy's blubbering statement on CBS shows either that he was attempting to mislead CBS, or else he simply had not inquired into the matter beyond speaking to Earl Warren. I start with the assumption that the latter is the case.

In the course of his work with the ARRB, Doug Horne had access to the entire official record relating to the chain of custody of the autopsy X-Rays and photos, as did John McCloy, had McCloy so wished. This is what Doug had to say at his press conference not too many months ago:

"On April 26, 1965 the Secret Service transferred the autopsy photographs and x-rays, and certain vital documents and biological materials to the custody of the Kennedy family at the request of Robert F. Kennedy."

The Secret Service surely could not have transferred this evidence unless they already possessed it, so the inevitable inference is that the autopsy materials first came under the control of the Kennedy family almost a year and a half AFTER the Warren Commission began its inquiry. Even then, they were transferred directly from the Secret Service to the National Archives, and were never in the private possession of the Kennedy family as far as I can determine..

Doug's findings as to custody and control of the X-Rays and photos is entirely consistent with the findings of a Federal Court of Appeals in the 1995 case of Katz v. National Archives. After a presumably careful study of the record in the trial court, the Appeals Court found that the autopsy materials remained under Secret Service control for the 17 months that followed the autopsy and were under SSA control throughout McCloy's involvement in the investigation.

QUOTE ON

Early the next morning, November 23, 1963, Kellerman delivered the exposed photographic and x-ray film to Secret Service agent Robert Bouck at the Executive Office Building. During the next few weeks, Secret Service personnel had the photographic film developed at the U.S. Navy Photographic Laboratory and returned the film and the prints to the Secret Service office in the Executive Office Building. For the next 17 months, the autopsy photographs and x-rays were stored in a safe in the Secret Service office in the Executive Office Building.

On April 22, 1965, Senator Robert F. Kennedy wrote to White House physician Admiral Burkley "authoriz[ing]" him to release to Senator Kennedy's custody "all of the material of President Kennedy, of which you have personal knowledge, and now being held by the Secret Service." Senator Kennedy requested that Admiral Burkley personally accompany the material and turn it over to Evelyn Lincoln at the National Archives. Senator Kennedy further stated that Mrs. Lincoln was not authorized to release the material to anyone without his written permission. At that time, Mrs. Lincoln, who had been President Kennedy's secretary, occupied a courtesy office in the National Archives building, but was not a government employee. Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Appendix to Hearings Before the House Select Comm. on Assassinations, 95th Cong., 2d Sess., Vol. VII, at 25-26 (1979) ("House Select Comm. Appendix"). The materials, including the photographs and the x-rays, paraffin blocks of tissue samples, blood smears taken during various periods of President Kennedy's life, and other items, were transferred to Mrs. Lincoln in a locked footlocker on April 26, 1965. No key accompanied the footlocker and the contents were not divulged to officials of the Archives.

QUOTE OFF

The full Katz decision is here:

http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/federal/judic...s/94-5265a.html

When we examine how Earl Warren discharged his responsibilities in the matter of John F. Kennedy's assassination, we find that, like most of his colleagues, he treated it as a part- time job. When the 26 volumes were finally released, no serious researcher, even a sympathetic one like Edward Epstein, could assert that Warren and his colleagues could each have made a serious study of the evidence they had missed out on because of non-attendance. Indeed, serious study of the evidence did not become truly feasable until Sylvia Meagher published her Subject Index.

I look forward to reading Gerry McKnight's book on this topic, but I suspect that the good Professor would express the same view in more elegant prose.

The WC's mandate was clear: It was empowered and even mandated to examine all relevent evidence and especially material evidence (evidence that could potentially help determine the ultimate outcome of the inquiry). Failure to examine the X-Rays and photos, which apparently they had in their possession, was entirely the responsibility of the Commission, which seems to have delegated the decision to Earl Warren at his sole discretion. As John McCloy told CBS:

It was our own choice that we didn't subpoena these photographs

According to the Court in Katz, "Out of concern for the Kennedy family's privacy, Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was chairman of the Commission investigating the assassination, made sure that the x-rays and photographs did not become a part of the record of the Warren Commission. Earl Warren "instructed that the pictures be removed from the commission's file of documents and be made available only with the consent of the Kennedys." G. EDWARD WHITE, EARL WARREN: A PUBLIC LIFE 199-202 (1982)."

So the X-Rays and photos WERE in the Commission record, until Earl Warren ordered them expugned. Instead of relying on the Best Evidence, as the Law requires, Warren decided to go with a caricature in the form of an artist's drawing. If that is not Judicial Malpractice, I do not know what is.

The Katz Court makes no mention of Robert Kennedy attempting to influence Warren in any of this, although the Katz decision went out of its way to mention that, when RFK donated the autopsy materials to the government so they could be examined by the Clark panel, he was initially "not sympathetic" and donated the materials only after "heated negotiations." The bedrock fact here is that RFK did not block the Clark panel's access, and the conditions he insisted on nonetheless allowed agencies of the Federal Government to continue having unrestricted access for purposes of further investigation..

If RFK allowed the Government unrestricted access at the time of the Clark Panel, why would he have tried to deny the same to Earl Warren, especially since Earl Warren had publicly stated that some of the evidence would not be released "in your lifetime" and could easily have assured RFK that the autopsy materials would not be made available to the general public. Throughout this period the materials were stored in a Secret Service office in the Vice-Presidents complex.

Since RFK could not prevent the Commission from gaining access to the materials by subpoena, he could not have blocked this evidence without the collusion of Earl Warren. Did RFK collude with Earl Warren? There is certainly no hint of this in the exchange of letters between them that I posted earlier on this thread, and Earl Warren was too experienced in the Machiavellian world of politics and statecraft not to get Robert Kennedy's request, if RFK made one, IN WRITING.

Earl Warren was held accountable by no one except the President who appointed him, and I'm not aware of any questions LBJ demanded answers to, so I see no corroboration for Earl Warren and I see no excuses for his decision to abdicate his duty in the matter of the autopsy X-Rays and photos that he witheld from the medical witnesses and even from his fellow Commission members and staff.

I submit that the case against Earl Warren seems pretty clear, while the case against RFK is implausible and unproven.

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The Specter memo proposing the use of the photos makes clear that the Secret Service had discussed these matters with RFK and that he had never ruled out the use of the materials. He had just wanted to be sure they were necessary. Katzenbach's testimony before the HSCA confirms this--that RFK had given his blessing. Warren, in his memoirs, also clears RFK, iinsisting that the decision was his alone. The only ones I've found to push the "RFK withheld the photos" theory are Specter, when he talked to the doctors, and M cCloy, when he talked to CBS. They were both either misinformed or lying to protect Warren and the Commission. I suspect that Specter was misinformed when he sought the use of the photos for the doctors' testimony, and that McCloy was lying to protect Warren. After all, the exec sessions PROVE that Dulles and McCloy pushed Warren to allow Humes to inspect the materials, and to explain them to a member of the commission, presumably Warren himself, and Warren AGREED. That this was not done, and why it was not done, was almost certainly discussed. As McCloy lied to CBS about Warren even looking at the photos, there is no reason to believe his blaming it on Bobby was not also a lie. Remember, in 67 Bobby had only recently come out against the war, and the Repubs and Johnson loyalists, of which McCloy was one, were out to damage him in every way possible...

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"Breach of Trust" Gerald D.McKnight 2005

The story that Robert Kennedy had denied the WC the autopsy and X-ray photos

Was a lie….also the mention that the Kennedy family did not want them shown at the hearings….as Specter had told to Humes and Finck, which they did pass along in their appearance before the ARRB ……

Specter knew the stories were bogus….he in an Apr 64 memo to Chief Council Rankin, urged him to obtain them, he knew the Ryberg medical illustrations could not substitute for the forensic evidence..He had learned and mentioned that SS inspector Thomas J. Kelley that the AT “ wanted to be satisfied that they were really necessary”..he did not hear back from Rankin, and wrote again, for staff access to such..he knew that Rankin expected to wrap up the WC in June. (1).

At the time Specter was not privy to the fact that the WC, Rankin, had the autopsy photos, as well as the X-rays they had kept this information from the assistant councils and staff. Most of the Commissioners being lawyers, knew the solid rules of evidence but chose to sit through the testimony in which their key witnesses were denied “the best medicolegal evidence”........just as they had refused to raise an eyebrow when Humes spoke of burning the autopsy records (2)…

Several years later Commissioner McCloy appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation”..they discussed that day in Dallas and he stated…””for the sake of completion “”,”” they had not looked at the late president’s autopsy X-rays and photographs..””..he told millions of Sunday viewers ,”” We were perhaps a little over sentitive,”” to the wishes of the Kennedy family, who”” were against the production of colored photographs of the body and so forth..””…He struck the right pose of repentance, and then McCloy went on to tell the TV audience …”that even without reviewing the autopsy pictures the Commission had “..”” the best evidence ( on the autopsy) in the sworn testimony of the doctor"..

Page 171..

Notes: on page 412..

(1)..Arlen Specter to J.Lee Rankin..April 30/64..Warren CD 10079, NA,Washington.DC..,1-2 “Specter to Rankin, 11,12/64,J.Lee Rankin Papers,box 37 folder 473,NARA..

(2)..When John McCloy asked about the “raw material for the autopsy….the colored photographs of the President’s body …..do we have these?”..

Rankin acknowledged that they had the “raw materials” photos,and X-rays. See WC Jan.21/64, executive session transcript ,NARA, 35. Two years after the Commission submitted it’s final report on the assassination ,former assistant counsels W.David Slawson and Norman Redlich reported to Burke Marshall that the Commission had NOT seen the X-rays and the autopsy photos ..See W.David Slawson to file ,10/7/1966,Dept of Justice ,Criminal Division, file 129-11.1-2.

(3)..McCloy’s Face the Nation comments can be found in FBI clipping of the Washington Capital News Service ,7/6/1967..FBIHQ Liaison with Commission File 62-109090-601..

McCloy’s continued exercise in blaming the Kennedy’s for withholding crucial evidence was part of the FBI’s campaign, to cover up it’s further embarrassing failure to not get a copy of the autopsy report before submitting its report CD 1..on the assassination to the Commission..These lies,misinformation and blaming the victim’s family, was so unpalatable to even J.Edgar Hoover…that he noted on an FBI memo ..”The confusion…would never have occurred if we had obtained the autopsy report originally. The Kennedys never asked us to withhold it and if they had we should have disgarded it.”

Notes: notes page 412,

Rosen to DeLoach ,12/7/66..FBIHQ,JFK assn file,62-109060..4235..

Also J.Stanley Rotz..to SAC ,Baltimore,10/18/66..Main Baltimore JFK Assn File..89-30-268: 89-30-262 and 267..

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