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Official thread on Jim Garrison


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Just moving discussion on Jim Garrison here, since it distracted from the subject of Talbot's book "Brothers."

Thanks Myra. I was about to comment on the great Garrison posts on the Talbot thread til I saw BK's comments. (Hey BK did you ever know the other BK in all this - Bob Katz from the Assassination Information Bureau?).

I disagree with some of what Pat said. But then I am very biased in favor of Garrison. He is my alltime hero. I agree that Sheridan was NOT being loyal to Bobby- but to their enemy- the CIA. Sure he faked it for Bobby and Mellen may be correct that Bobby sent Sheridan to check Garrison out, BUT I will never believe Bobby sent him to sabotage Garrison. "Naive"? He was THE DA, he'd never had his extraditions blocked before, and I don't think he was at all naive. But brave. He went to his deathbed still obsessed with justice for this murder. He was a true patriot, in the real sense of the word. Not like these Bush neocons we have destrying the counrty now. Their brand of "patriotism" is downright evil. I do agree that he should have given Ferrie protection, but ya know, these bastards would have found a way. When they decide it's your time, they had ways even then that are still unimaginable today to people who don't understand this stuff.

And keep in mind Shaw lied his ass off, the judge disallowed crucial evidence BUT the jury did believe there was a conspiracy. Garrison just could not prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt against the well- known and well- heeled (scum!) Clay Bertrand/Shaw.

Dawn

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I'll chime in with a few of points for anyone who tends to dismiss Garriosn:

1. He undoubtedly demonstrated that the Lee Oswald was not the disconnected, lone nut that

he was prestented to be by the WC.... Garrison surfaced a variety of leads showing that Oswald was

immeshed in a variety of "games" with both the right and the left. That this scared both the FBI and

CIA significantly can be seen in the Justice Departments illegal, covert contact and support of Shaw's

defense team and the CIA's Garrison team, set up strictly to block Garrison form access to information

about Agency contacts and assets.

2. We can only speculate why at the first CIA Garrison Group team meeting, Angleton's representative

opened the meeting by telling the group that Garrison would successfully demonstrate Shaw was

involved in conspiracy (not the murder of the President necessarily but some sort of conspiracy).

3. Garrison was successfully diverted and his exile investigations were undermined by the actions

of Bernardo de Torres....who effectively sabotaged Garrisons first press meeting (among other

things) by going to the press independently and focusing media attention on a photo misdirection

relating to the leafleting incident .

4. Garrison was aslo diverted onto some very real plans by ultra right radicals who were definitely

discussing the assassination of JFK other major figures. This diversion cost him a large portion of

his available time and resources.

All in all, given Garrison's minimal resources, its amazing he managed to pull together as much

as he did...especially being stonewalled and undermined by numerous parties with their own

agendas....including two goverment agencies (Justice and CIA) with far more resources than

a poor DA could muster.

-- Larry

Thanks, Larry. It's intriguing to me that less than two years ago, when Joan Mellen's book came out, I was one of Garrison's defenders. Now, by pointing out some of his excesses, and reasons why RFK could have doubted his sincerity, people think I'm attacking him. Clearly, the demographics of the Forum have changed. (Those failing to understand the backlash against Garrison and assuming the backlash was all part of some plot should read James Kirkwood's American Grotesque, an anti-Garrison book that focuses on his behavior without passing judgment on the merits of his case, beyond that Clay Shaw was innocent.)

For the record, I consider Jim Garrison a hero. He stood up to the powers that be and shook things up. And his shaking brought results. But he was a flawed hero. In early 67 LBJ found out, via Hale Boggs, that Garrison was telling people that LBJ was involved in the assassination. A few days later Garrison's star witness, David Ferrie, was found dead. Now I, for one, have a hard time believing this was a coincidence. I also have a hard time excusing Garrison for blabbing to others that a SITTING president of the United States was a murderer, and not preparing for a backlash. If Garrison believed his own allegations, Ferrie should have had round the clock protection. If Garrison believed his own allegations, he should have known that other states would refuse to extradite witnesses, and help him in his case. I believe he was just naive. There are others, however, who believe Garrison knew he had no case, and deliberately sabotaged it, allowing outsiders to look at his files, putting wackos on the stand, etc. That way he could claim he lost the case due to unforeseen circumstances and government interference. I suspect this goes too far. I think that Garrison was just in over his head.

Pat!

It just seems like your logic and prose is self contradictory.

...

(Those failing to understand the backlash against Garrison and assuming the backlash was all part of some plot should read James Kirkwood's American Grotesque, an anti-Garrison book that focuses on his behavior without passing judgment on the merits of his case, beyond that Clay Shaw was innocent.)

Notwithstanding the title "American Grotesque"--which sounds like a hatchet job--I hardly feel compelled to read the book you're recommending if it really claimed that "Clay Shaw was innocent."

C'mon.

"[Richard] Helms testified, under oath, in 1979, that Clay Shaw, the only man ever put on trial for John F. Kennedy's assassination, had, from 1948 to 1956, been a part-time contact of the Domestic Contact Division of the CIA; a claim that has remained unproven from Shaw's trial."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Helms

...

For the record, I consider Jim Garrison a hero. He stood up to the powers that be and shook things up. And his shaking brought results. But he was a flawed hero. In early 67 LBJ found out, via Hale Boggs, that Garrison was telling people that LBJ was involved in the assassination.

...

I'm guessing you know by now that people in this forum appreciate sources so we're not just wasting time discussing vapor. Where did you learn that Hale Boggs told LBJ that?

...

If Garrison believed his own allegations, Ferrie should have had round the clock protection.

...

Agreed. And I doubt Big Jim would disagree. His book made it clear that not taking Ferrie into protective custody was one of the biggest mistakes. It was a huge mistake and ruined his case.

...

There are others, however, who believe Garrison knew he had no case, and deliberately sabotaged it, allowing outsiders to look at his files, putting wackos on the stand, etc. That way he could claim he lost the case due to unforeseen circumstances and government interference. I suspect this goes too far. I think that Garrison was just in over his head.

...

Ok, so that answers my unasked question. You don't think that his failure to protect Ferrie was sabatoge, right?

...

If Garrison believed his own allegations, he should have known that other states would refuse to extradite witnesses, and help him in his case. I believe he was just naive.

...

No way. I could not disagree more. How on earth could Garrison have anticipated something unprecedented in his experience? He makes it clear that he had never failed to get a witness extradited from another state. It simply shouldn't happen in this country. It's obstruction of justice. Of course he was naive. Most people were. It's only with 20-20 hindsight that we're unsurprised by obstruction of justice in the murder of President Kennedy. As Garrison has said, he thought he lived in the country he was born in.

...

There are others, however, who believe Garrison knew he had no case...I suspect this goes too far. I think that Garrison was just in over his head.

...

Pat, can you see how being "in over his head" is far different from being a "fraud"?

Edited by Myra Bronstein
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Oliver Stone's 'JFK' is, IMO, a great film. That does not necessarily mean it's a 'whole truth and nothing but the truth' film. Stone himself clearly states that and also that that was not the intent either. It was a film of the Garrison story as told by the script writers with superb performances by a superb cast. It is partly based on "the Garrison Tapes", a perhaps more elusive film which is just plain Garrison himself and his telling his story with commentary and footage from various events. One commentator does say he thought Garrison was a nutcase, and I think one can see why someone might think so.

What I think Garrison was partly doing, apart from being undermined by some, was to shake the tree somewhat indiscriminately just to see what might fall out. And shake the tree he did, and lots and lots fell out.

____________________

One thing I seldom see commented on is the recounting of how when Garrison tried to introduce the WC report and consquently one may presume open a door for the reexamination of certain evidences, the Judge ruled against it, disallowing it on the basis of that the WC report was 'hearsay'*

IMO this was a turning point. It scuttled the trial far more than the various disreputable witnesses. What if the judge had allowed the WC report to be entered into evidence? The mind boggles.

I wouldn't put it past Garrison to have an agenda. I wouldn't put it past almost everyone, including myself. In Garrisons case there seems there were areas which he stayed clear of, or neglected, and others that he spent an unreasonable focus on.

His story is part of the puzzle, and by no means all of it.(IMO)

(*"Hearsay is "second-hand" information. It occurs when a witness testifies NOT about something they personally saw or heard, but testifies about something someone else told them or said they saw. Hearsay usually involves an attempt to get some crucial fact entered into evidence that cannot be entered into evidence by any other means."

http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/405/405lect11.htm )

Edited by John Dolva
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Most everyone concluded Garrison was a bit of a fraud. He kept spouting about solving the crime and yet his description of the culprits kept changing.
Here, Garrison was spouting to the press that he'd "solved" the case. At first he was leaning toward Cubans, then a gay thrill-kill cult, then the CIA, then the CIA with LBJ, blah blah blah. It kept getting bigger and bigger....
That Garrison avoided Marcello, while visiting Vegas and pointing in most every direction, is indeed suspicious.
Someone predisposed to suspect the mob, such as RFK and Sheridan, would have a hard time watching Garrison's high-wire act without wanting to puke.
Indeed, many CTs were later to conclude that Jimbo's road show did a lot more to hurt the chances of a new investigation, than help.
For the record, I consider Jim Garrison a hero.....
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How on earth could Garrison have anticipated something unprecedented in his experience? He makes it clear that he had never failed to get a witness extradited from another state. It simply shouldn't happen in this country. It's obstruction of justice. Of course he was naive. Most people were. It's only with 20-20 hindsight that we're unsurprised by obstruction of justice in the murder of President Kennedy. As Garrison has said, he thought he lived in the country he was born in.

Non-extradition is here described in 1961, Clarion Ledger, as "Old Northern Custom":

http://www.mdah.state.ms.us/arlib/contents...23|1|1|1|43374|

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How on earth could Garrison have anticipated something unprecedented in his experience? He makes it clear that he had never failed to get a witness extradited from another state. It simply shouldn't happen in this country. It's obstruction of justice. Of course he was naive. Most people were. It's only with 20-20 hindsight that we're unsurprised by obstruction of justice in the murder of President Kennedy. As Garrison has said, he thought he lived in the country he was born in.

Non-extradition is here described in 1961, Clarion Ledger, as "Old Northern Custom":

http://www.mdah.state.ms.us/arlib/contents...23|1|1|1|43374|

Ohmygod.

I can't believe that was written in this century.

...

On this planet.

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How on earth could Garrison have anticipated something unprecedented in his experience? He makes it clear that he had never failed to get a witness extradited from another state. It simply shouldn't happen in this country. It's obstruction of justice. Of course he was naive. Most people were. It's only with 20-20 hindsight that we're unsurprised by obstruction of justice in the murder of President Kennedy. As Garrison has said, he thought he lived in the country he was born in.
Non-extradition is here described in 1961, Clarion Ledger, as "Old Northern Custom":

http://www.mdah.state.ms.us/arlib/contents...23|1|1|1|43374|

Ohmygod.

I can't believe that was written in this century.

...

On this planet.

Neither can I. It was last century. but I think I know what you mean.

Edited by John Dolva
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Pat, can you see how being "in over his head" is far different from being a "fraud"?

I never said Garrison was a fraud, only that I can see how Sheridan and Bobby, and many many others, could have concluded as much. As far as Kirkwood, he was the writer of P.S. Your Cat is Dead and A Chorus Line, and was gay. Garrison's early statements, in which he discussed Ferrie's and Shaw's homosexuality and theorized about a gay thrill kill cult (Oswald and Ruby were also rumored to be gay) attracted a lot of attention, and caused quite a backlash. I believe Kirkwood personified this backlash.

As far as Garrison blabbing that LBJ was involved and Boggs' getting word back to LBJ, this is mentioned in a 2-20-67 phone call between Ramsey Clark and Johnson. Clark says he doesn't believe Boggs. Johnson then asks Clark who Boggs told this to, and he says Johnson's aid Marvin Watson. Johnson then asks Watson and Watson confirms the conversation. Johnson then complains to Clark that "They just think this stuff's for them." Ferrie was found dead two days later.

As far as Garrison being naive, of course he was. If he honestly believed there'd been a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, and that Johnson was involved, and that Johnson had used the presidency to cover up his crime via the Warren Commission, how could he not anticipate that Johnson would use everything within his power--the entire Federal apparatus--to impede his investigation? He could have been visiting the Governors of other states to insure their cooperation instead of hanging out in Vegas and giving interviews to Playboy. While this is 20/20 hindsight, there were many sharing this sight at the time. Garrison alienated many of the research community with his actions, but it wasn't all his fault. People wanted one man to lead the research community to the promised land, and were upset when their golden boy turned out to be human. They should have seen him for what he was, a grandstanding politician with a giant ego who was not afraid to peek behind the curtain.

Edited by Pat Speer
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One thing I seldom see commented on is the recounting of how when Garrison tried to introduce the WC report and consquently one may presume open a door for the reexamination of certain evidences, the Judge ruled against it, disallowing it on the basis of that the WC report was 'hearsay'*

Actually it was Clay Shaw's lawyers who tried to submit the Warren Report as evidence that the assassination was the work of a lone assassin. It was Garrison who objected to this.

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One thing I seldom see commented on is the recounting of how when Garrison tried to introduce the WC report and consquently one may presume open a door for the reexamination of certain evidences, the Judge ruled against it, disallowing it on the basis of that the WC report was 'hearsay'*

Actually it was Clay Shaw's lawyers who tried to submit the Warren Report as evidence that the assassination was the work of a lone assassin. It was Garrison who objected to this.

OK , Thank you for that Raymond. My memory is not so good at times. Hmmm...well that puts a different hue on things.

Why would Garrison object?

_______________________

Edit:: Dymond for the defense gives the impression that it's in their interest that the WC report be inadmissible

(defense opening statement)

MR. DYMOND: The Defense is ready.

THE COURT: Make a note that the Jury is in panel, the Defendant present, and both sides ready to proceed. The status of the case is that the State has made their opening remarks, and it is the option of the Defense whether they wish to make an opening statement or not.

MR. DYMOND: May it please Your Honor: Gentlemen of the Jury, as Judge Haggerty has stated, the Defense is not required to make an opening statement in criminal court, but it does have that right. We are here exercising that right, and while we do not intend to set forth in this opening statement every detail of the defense which we intend to present, there are certain salient facts in connection with that defense which I feel should be mentioned at this time....Before closing, I would merely like to remind you gentlemen that we are not trying the Warren Report in this courtroom, and I will ask that you be careful, scrutinize yourselves so as not to permit the pageantry of the presentation of evidence concerning what happened in Dealey Plaza to obscure the actual issues in this case. I implore you to be careful about that, and I feel confident that after having heard all of the evidence, your one alternative will be a verdict of not guilty. Thank you.

THE COURT: Now, Sheriff, take the Jury upstairs. At the request of Mr. Jones, I am going to take a ten-minute recess. We will reconvene at 2:15. Take the Jury upstairs.

___________________________

THE COURT: The only objection would be it is repetitious, but I will permit the question.

MR. OSER: My question is, did you so testify in front of the Warren Commission?

MR. DYMOND: I would like to interpose an additional objection. This is a question and answer based upon hearsay evidence. Your Honor has indicated very strenuously that the Warren Report itself would not be admitted in evidence here.

THE COURT: That is correct.

MR. DYMOND: Because it is fraught with hearsay. That being the case I submit to the Court the State is not entitled to take chosen portions of this Warren Report, and particularly portions which as Your Honor says are fraught with hearsay and use them in evidence in this case.

Edited by John Dolva
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