Sunday, January 15, 2017

Honor MLK by Releasing the Records on his Assassination


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Honor MLK by Releasing the Records on his Assassination - By Bill Kelly 

We honor MLK on Martin Luther King Day - Monday January 16 by taking a day off from work and making it a day of public service - volunteering to do an unpleasant task that will make for a better world. 

But this year 2017 is special because of the expected release of the remaining sealed government records on the assassination of President Kennedy. Among those records are the files of the House Select Committee on Assassinations that also investigated the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., documents that remain sealed.

The Congressional Black Caucus was instrumental in getting the HACA established by including the murder of MLK in its investigation.

When we began to lobby Congress to release the assassination records we started with the HSCA files, but after Oliver Stone's film "JFK" sparked such public outrage, the JFK Act was written so it included all government records on the JFK assassination, but didn't include the HSCA records on the King assassination. 

That prompted Oliver Stone at a public hearing to ask the Congressmen, "What do I have to do to get you to release these records, make a movie about the King assassination too?" 

Bills to release the HSCA MLK records have been introduced in past sessions of Congress but never got out of committee and now must be reintroduced in this new Congress.

A separate bill to release the investigation records of civil rights murders of the 1950s and 60s considered under the Emmett Till Bill is being prepared at the instigation of some New Jersey high school students and is being given serious consideration. 

But what can we individual citizens do to at least try to make this great unjustice right?
Getting JFK Act oversight hearings and obtaining the release of the MLK HSCA files will take as much public support and outrage as was expressed in 1992 - but now we have to generate that momentum without an Oliver Stone film.

While each person does his own day of service in the name of MLK you can do yours this year by spending a few hours writing letters to your representatives in Congress asking them to oversee and hold hearings on the JFK Act and release the MLK HSCA records, as well as open the investigative files on 50 year old civil rights murders considered under the Emmett Till Bill.

If you do write or contact your representatives please be polite and respectful, inquisitive and not demanding. Keep your letter short, sweet and to the point - please see to the oversight and enforcement of the JFK Act of 1992 as it reaches its sunset provision on October 26, 2017 and release the MLK HSCA records.

Here are the names and addresses of the Congressional oversight committee members - 

Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Ut3) 
2236 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515 
Jonathan Skladany - Staff Director 

Home office
Rep. Jason Chaffetz 
51 S. University Ave.,
Provo, Utah, 84601 

Minority chair 
Elijah Cummings (D. Md7)
Committee on Oversight and Reform House of Representatives
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington 20515-6143

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Warren Commission Lawyers Strike Back

Warren Commission Lawyers Strike Back

              Image result for murray Laulicht                 Image result for Kushner Trump


Murray J. Laulicht (Top) - Donald Trump, Ivanka and Jared Kushner 

By William E. Kelly

The story was familiar - a group of former Warren Commission lawyers meet in Washington D.C. to plot their media strategy in the face of another looming threat to their dubious legacy - the Warren Report conclusion that one man alone was responsible for the murder of President Kennedy.

As reported in the American Scholar (Summer 2016), "On a sunny day in Washington last October," seven former Commission colleagues met to reflect, in their words, "on our investigation and the report we wrote."

The discussion of the issues has recently shifted from "Who killed Kennedy?" to "What's in the secret and soon-to-be-released records?", and  whether the next president will release them or acquiesce to the intelligence agency requests to keep the documents secret for reasons of national security.  

Actor, assassin or fall guy, Oswald's role in what happened at Dealey Plaza is taking a back seat in the debate as the controversy over the release of the records increases in intensity.

Of all the surviving former Warren Commission lawyers, none will be more influential in the new administration than Murray Laulicht, a New Jersey attorney whose wife, Linda Kushner, is the sister of Charles Kushner, the father of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law.

Jared Kushner is a sometimes hatchet man for Trump who got Chris Christie removed from the Trump transition team for jailing his father Charles Kushner when Christie was the Attorney General of New Jersey.

Christie jailed Charles Kushner in 2005 for witnesses tampering, as well as tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations. Charles Kushner had arranged for a prostitute for his brother-in-law, a witness in the case. Paybacks are a bitch, and Karma plays a hand, but it just goes to show how policy may be conducted in the White House next October.

Former Warren Commission attorney Murray Laulicht, whose wife is a Trump family insider, will certainly be able to influence the president's decision to release the assassination records or to skirt the law and overwhelming public opinion, by keeping some of the documents sealed.

Which way will it go?

We will just have to wait and see how it plays out, but the stage is set and the actors are in place for a bewildering drama or comic farce.

At an early conference of researchers in Dallas over twenty-five years ago, the late, esteemed researcher Mary Ferrell quoted a US News & World Report item about a similar meeting of former Warren Commission colleagues who met to decide how to respond to expected criticism stemming from the release of Oliver Stone's movie JFK. Before it was even released Stone's movie had already whipped-up a firestorm of controversy, not only on the matter of a conspiracy, but by calling attention to the still-sealed and secret government records on the assassination.

Back then in the early 1990s their numbers were stronger.  The surviving Warren Commission attorneys then included Arlen Spector, the senior Senator from Pennsylvania, David Berlin, Albert Jenner, and Richard Mosk - all high powered lawyers with rich and powerful clients.  According to the news report, they quickly raised pledges totaling millions of dollars, a war chest that was used on special programs to oppose the media blitz expected with the release of the film.

Stone's film sparked Congress to pass the JFK Act of 1992, which requires all the agencies of government to release all of their records on the assassination 25 years after President George Herbert Walker Bush reluctantly signed the bill on October 26, 1992.

Now that date is fast-approaching and people are anxiously waiting to see why so many thousands of records on the assassination have been kept secret, especially if the assassination was merely the work of a lone nut.

As the sunset provision of the law creeps closer every day, the remaining Commission lawyers met in Washington at the invitation of a documentary film maker to reassess their report and looming legacy.

Although most of the Warren Commission heavyweights have passed away, those remaining are the junior counsel, younger lawyers, law clerks and assistants who performed the bulk of the investigation and wrote the report.

In the past, the never-ending debate focused on whether JFK was killed by one man alone or by a conspiracy, and polls have shown a strong majority of the public sides with conspiracy.

But now the debate has shifted even more against the government to a new focal point: whether the need for secrecy outweighs the need for open government, a full enforcement of the JFK Act, and a complete release of all the records, and even the Warren Commission defenders and staff attorneys are calling for the complete release of all the records.

An example of this shift can be seen in a recent open letter to the president's lawyer requesting complete enforcement of the JFK Act of 1992, a letter that is remarkable because it is signed by two dozen authors of books on the subject. These authors include not only respected conspiracy theorists like Joan Mellen, Peter Dale Scott, Dick Russell and Russ Baker, but also former HSCA lawyers G. Robert Blakey and Dan Hardway and Warren Commission defenders Gerald Posner and Howard Willens. The signatories also include Brian Latell (a former CIA officer), and former New York Times reporter Phil Shenon, who have written books promoting the original cover story that Fidel Castro was behind the Dealey Plaza operation.

The authors want the remaining records released for varying reasons, some because they believe the records will support their own particular theory.

But despite the overwhelming consensus to release all of the remaining records, there are some categories already being contested, such as tax records, William Manchester's private deed of gift, CIA Operational records,  official “Working Papers” that are except from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); and there are more.

What takes precedence: the tax laws, a deed of trust, CIA security, National Archives official policy or the JFK Act?

As former Commission lawyer Howard Willens mentions in the American Scholar article, the remaining few who met in Washington included Willens, David Slawson, Stuart Pollack, Sam Stern, Murray Laulicht and Alfred Goldberg.  All are high powered lawyers except for Goldberg, a recently retired Army historian who worked out of an office in the Pentagon and was brought in to substantially re-write the investigative reports and chapter drafts to give the Warren Report a readable and believable narrative, an exercise that was only partly successful.

Willens, Slawson, Pollack, Stern and Laulicht were each responsible for drafting different aspects of the case, while Goldberg substantially re-wrote their drafts to form the basic narrative.

Sam Stern, for instance, served as a liaison to the Secret Service for access to film and tapes, questioned witnesses like S. M. Holland and Forrest Sorrels, and prepared a history of American political assassinations.  Stern's duties also included "handling the investigation of Oswald's background, especially the intelligence agencies' awareness of Oswald prior to the assassination. Secondly, Stern had been in charge of the evaluation of the efficiency of the President's protection.”

In an August 22, 1978, House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) interview at his D.C. law office, Stern said that the Warren Commission staff began with no illusions.

"At the outset we realized that there was no possible way to penetrate any official involvement in a cover-up which no one would ever penetrate."
With the caveat he adds, "We of course did not believe that was so. But we realized what we were dealing with the power of the agencies. Fortunately, we believed they were on our side."
As Stern later learned, the agencies were not on the side of the total truth.

"I am less certain now, than at the time we wrote the Report,” he said. “Less certain that Oswald acted alone. Actually, I wasn't all that certain at the time. I thought the best evidence supported the final findings, and I agreed with them, but I wasn't tremendously immovable in that. In my own mind, I just thought there were a lot of straws left."

"I accepted the forensics, the rifle, the bullets, Tippit and everything, but I hadn't been involved in the hard physical evidence at all," he added.

Stern said that, "Had the commission learned of the CIA-Mafia plots to assassinate Castro we would have gone much more into Cuba, the CIA, and Mafia. We would have a whole host of new avenues calling for investigations."

These “straws” and avenues have since been investigated by others, and there has been much discussion over the possible release of a "smoking gun" document that will prove conspiracy.  

Rex Bradford, the curator at the Mary Ferrell archives says, "I've given up on finding the smoking gun record."  Nevertheless, there have been a number of “smoking” documents already released under the JFK Act, notably the Higgins Memo (September 1963 on briefing to Joint Chiefs from CIA on Cuban operations), HSCA interview transcripts, and the November 1963 CIA memo that says the CIA seriously considered using Oswald as an intelligence operative.

When shown the document establishing that the CIA seriously considered using Oswald as an intelligence operative during his HSCA interview in 1978, Stern was taken aback, saying, "I have never seen this. I have never been given this, and we had asked for and we're supposed to be given everything of relevance, like this. That would have been definitely relevant. If they [the CIA] were taking him seriously, then you might think others could or did also. If we found that [the memo] would have been withheld, that would have been a major explosion also."

When Stern was shown the 1960-61 memo regarding an Oswald imposter, he was incredulous and despondent, saying, "They said I had everything."

"If there were a conspiracy," Stern said, "that would mean Oswald was a consummate actor."

But now the debate has gone past Oswald and beyond conspiracy to the expected release of the remaining records on October 26, 2017, when the last pieces to the Dealey Plaza puzzle are expected to be released, so everyone can make up their own minds as to what really happened.

_________________________

American Scholar:


Mary Ferrell’s Dallas Speech – October 1992

Linda Kushner – Murray J. Laulicht

Kushner pleads guilty: NY Times

Smoking Doc #1 - Higgins Memo: Mary Ferrell Archives

Sam Stern HSCA Interview:

Smoking Doc #2 - Oswald an Agent Doc Redacted:

Oswald as Agent Doc without Redactions:

Special thanks to Jeff Morley, Bill Simpich and Patrick McCarthy for their assistance on this story.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Oswald is Dashiell Hammett's Fall Guy

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Jim MacCammon's photo of Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest - with Detective Paul Bentley
leading the Fall Guy to his "day of reckoning," as Dashiell Hammett would say. 

OSWALD THE FALL GUY - Being Led to his Day of Reckoning.

Cigar chomping Dallas detective Paul Bentley escorts Lee Harvey Oswald out of the Texas Theater, pushing the Fall Guy, as Dashiell Hammett put it - to his day of reckoning.

Working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency - the first Secret Service, before he began writing pulp fiction detective novels, Hammett's San Francisco private eye Sam Spade had it all figured out.

Chapter 14 of Hammett's The Maltese Falcon is called The Fall Guy, in which the protagonist Sam Spade explains the need for a Fall Guy, and you have to imagine Humphrey Bogart playing the part.

"There's another thing that's got to be taken care of first. We've got to have a fall-guy. The police have got to have a victim - somebody they can stick those murders on. The way to handle them is to toss them a victim, somebody they can hang the works on."

"I get away with it because I never let myself forget that a day of reckoning is coming. I never forget that when the day of reckoning comes I want to be all set to march into headquarters pushing a victim in front of me, saying 'Here, you chumps, is your criminal!'"

"As long as I can do that I can put my thumb to my nose and wiggle my fingers at all the laws in the book."

"We've got to give them a victim. Let's give them the punk. He's made to order for the part. Let's pin the necessary evidence on him and turn him over to them."

"(But) Will they stop right there? Or will the Fall Guy be a fresh clue?"

Dashiell Hammett
The Maltese Falcon
Chapter 14 - The Fall Guy

Dashiell Hammett's Fall Guy


A Note on the photo - Jim MacCammon's photo of Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest was published in the Warren Commission exhibits, and later in color in Time Magazine. When Gary Mack was asked to contribute his thoughts to the photo he carelessly, falsely and hatefully said the photo "suggests that the 24 year old former Marine was indeed guilty of assassinating President Kennedy." 

http://time.com/3804560/an-end-to-conspiracy-rare-photo-of-lee-harvey-oswalds-arrest-suggests-why-hes-guilty/

In fact, Detective Paul Bentley may have more to do with the assassination than Oswald, a pawn and Fall Guy - a punk, while Bentley was the Dallas police polygraph operator who should never have been at the scene of Oswald's arrest.

Even before Oswald was killed while in police custody, a close friend of Bentley - Robert D. Steel, wrote him a letter:

November 24, 1963
Robert D. Steel,
Commander, USNR-R
7960 June Lake Drive,
San Diego, California.

Paul,

Perhaps you are aware that ONI has quite a file on Oswald, which no doubt has been made available on the Washington level. If not, I am certain that this information can be obtained for you through our resident special agent in charge of the Dallas office, A. C. Sullivan, who is a wonderful agent, and whom I hope you know. As a personal friend, I congratulate you, wish you continued success, and pray that your guardian angel will remain close at hand and vigilant, always.

(Signed)
 Robert D. Steel


JFKcountercoup: ONI Records Revisited

In an interview before he died, ONI investigator Robert Steel said that he visited Bentley in Dallas, and personally wrote or read a number of 119 Investigative reports on Oswald's defection and after the assassination, none of which are among the records of the JFK Collection at the National Archives or among the still withheld records list, so the "quite a file" Steel said ONI had on Oswald just went missing, and no one is looking for them.

JFKcountercoup: Interview with ONI Investigator Robert Steel

Oswald is the Fall Guy, and as Hammett would call them, those who believe he is guilty of the murder of the president and JD Tippit are "chumps."


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Into the Rabbit's Hole with John Judge


Into the Rabbit's Hole with John Judge – By Bill Kelly 


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John Judge usually celebrated his December 14 birthday over dinner with friends at one of his favorite DC restaurants, often at an old Italian bistro near DuPont Circle. 

Sometimes there would be as many as a dozen people - T. Carter, Marty Bragg and Lenny Lapan, his oldest and closest friend who once gave John a car, are a few I remember. Once it was just the two of us.

I first met John Judge outside the University of Dayton cafeteria in September 1969 where he had set up a table to distribute anti-war literature next to a USMC recruiting table. He had just graduated and I was a freshman who picked up a Playboy magazine from his table and he referred me to the interview with Jim Garrison, that sparked my interest in the Kennedy assassination and began our long and exciting adventure together. It was then I followed John Judge through the Looking Glass and into the Rabbit's Hole.
At the time I was also friends with John’s girlfriend Kathy Engro, who was elected the first female student body president, and we engaged in anti-Vietnam war activities together.
Even though he had graduated the previous year John Judge stayed around campus to pester the administration, who he had fought to eliminate mandatory Army ROTC - Reserve Officers Training Corps, that all male freshmen were required to take, until my class. Thank you John.  
While my four years at Dayton were interesting, I met Van Cliburn, the Texas pianist who won the Russian competition, Norman Mailer, Paul Krasner and Ken Kesey, a personal friend of John Judge who gave a lecture in the Kennedy Student Union theater and then slept on John's couch rather than take a hotel room. After the Kesey lecture I went over to John's apartment and sat around with them in the living room as they talked and I just listened. Kesey recounted how he got his first LSD from a Stanford professor who was doing interrogation research for the CIA, and how he sold the movie rights to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest to Kurt Douglas for $10,000 on a deal that was sealed on a bar napkin. He said he used the money to buy the bus called FURTHER and drive cross country to meet Tim Leary. Kurt Douglas, he said, then gave the movie rights to Cuokoos Nest to his son Michael as a birthday gift. But that was just one of many interesting nights spent with John Judge and his wide consortment of  interesting friends. 
Young JFK researchers want to hear the story of meeting the real Lee Harvey Oswald in Dayton. It was after Mae Brussell gave a long talk in the same Kennedy Union theater as Kesey, and I carried her books as she walked across a parking lot to John's car. It was just the three of us, and I was anxious to get along with my Friday night on campus when we were approached by a man who asked for Mae. 
He introduced himself as Don Norton, who was then living in Canton and came to hear her lecture. 
"Why Don, it's good to meet you," Mae said, "thank you for your support of my work." 
"That's my conscience money," Norton said. 
Norton then joined John and Mae as they went back to John's apartment and sat around the living room talking into the night, as Kesey had done. While I wasn't there, John said that Norton began talking in idelogical terms and reminded him of Oswald.  Mae said she thought Norton was Oswald - the other Oswald who wasn't killed by Jack Ruby. They tried to compare handwriting samples and Mae tried to keep in contact with Norton but he just slipped away. 
John's girl Kathy moved to New York City after graduation and I once crashed on her couch in an apartment across the street from the Dakota, where she said she often saw many celebrity residents including John Lennon. When Lennon was murdered I called her she said she arrived home in a taxi at the same time Lennon arrived in a limo. She said she heard the gun shot as she opened her apartment door and ran to the window and witnessed the arrest and first responders. The next day my story quoting her ran on the front page of the Atlantic City Sun newspaper. 

John and I attended one of the first JFK Assassination conferences in the mid-1970s at NYU Law School in the Village in New York City. Walking down the street we ran into Kevin Keefe, the tall thin radical hippie and student body president at Dayton when I was a freshman. Keefe was now an assistant to the spiritual advisor to the United Nations. 

At the NYU conference John introduced me to Penn Jones and Mae Brussell, and I met Sylvia Meagher and attended a lecture by Fletcher Prouty, who explained how intelligence agencies were organized and how covert operations were conducted, "something you have to know before you can understand what happened at Dealey Plaza," he said. 
    
I often visited John in DC and he stayed at my house in Ocean City, always sharing the latest books and research. For a few years John lived in the Germantown section of Philadelphia with some college friends while working for Quaker war resisters and we got to see each other more often, sometimes listening to Mae Brussel radio tapes, and I recall her saying something remarkable - that the Warren Commission Report was written by a US Army Pentagon historian, which I later found out was true. I finally caught up with Alfred Goldberg on his last week at the Pentagon before he retired, talking with him on the phone for awhile. 
When Mae died she had asked, on her deathbed, for John Judge to continue her work. So I drove a U-Haul Truck of books from DC to California when John took over Mae’s archives and we set up the Mae Brussel Research Center. 
After the HSCA folded and sealed their files for 50 years John and I co-founded the Committee for an Open Archives (CIA) that lobbied extensively and unsuccessfully to get Congress to release the HSCA records. We did research at the old archives where I met Mr. Johnson, who responded to my early FOIA requests and answered my question as to why 50 years, and not 25 or 75, and he said because that is the estimated time that the people mentioned in the records would be dead.
When Oliver Stone gave a speech at the National Press Club before his JFK film was released John and I met with him at his hotel room and discussed the idea of a trailer at the end of the movie calling attention to the sealed records much like the Executive Action film ended with the mysterious deaths of witnesses.
At that time the Assassinations Archive and Research Center was in an old building on 14th street where we would conjugate. It was there where I worked closely with Tony Summers on his book Not In Your Lifetime. Jim Lesar referred me to the Investigative Journalism Project that gave me a $3,000 grant to interview JFK assassination witnesses and researchers, that I used to buy a round trip cross country AMTRACK train ticket and spent two months traveling around the country, the only money I ever made on the assassination and put to good use.
After the second ASK conference in Dallas John discussed the idea of forming our nonprofit organization to put on conferences instead of us paying a for profit group to do it, and we held a lunch meeting at the West End bar that included Bill Turner and about a dozen researchers. 
We reconvened at the Capitol Hill Quaker meeting house, arranged by John that lasted two days and included Jim Lesar, Peter Dale Scott, John Newman and Bill Davis, a former priest affiliated with the Cristic Institute. We decided on the name Coalition on Political Assassinations - COPA and would include Lesar’s AARC and our COA and after another meeting at a Chinatown hotel we were joined by Jim Deugenio’s Citizens for Truth Kennedy Assassination.
COPA had two major national conferences at the Sheraton where I met Debra Conroy and George Michael Erica, who expressed their desire to form another group “to educate the next generation of researchers,” that became Lancer.
COPA played a major role in the passage of the JFK Act and Judge Tunheim of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) addressed COPA conferences and COPA is mentioned in the AARC Final Report.
Members of the Kennedy family would visit JFK’s grave at Arlington cemetery every November 22nd, but Senator Ted Kennedy was quoted in the newspaper saying that the family would prefer people remember JFK for his policies and accomplishments rather than his death, and in that spirit, over dinner together one night, we decided to hold a short vigil on June 10th, the date of JFK’s “Peace Speech” at American University, where there is an historical marker at the end of the sport’s field where he gave that speech.
Sometimes there were a dozen people, taking turns reading excerpts from the speech and saying something nice about JFK and how he affected people, other times it was just me and John and one or two others, who would stay at the monument for an hour and then go to lunch. We did this every June 10th for over a decade, but I don’t think anyone who claimed to continue John’s legacy kept this tradition going except for Randy Benson, who has promised that he will be there every June 10th if it is within driving distance, and I will too. 

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John Judge at the JFK Memorial at American University on June 10 


On June 10, 2002 Randy Benson and his friend Lance showed up at the monument when we were there and began filming Randy’s documentary “The Searchers,” after which we went to the National Press Club for a 9/11 press briefing, and John began The 9/11 Citizen’s Watch, monitoring the work of the 9/11 Commission. We attended every public meeting of the Commission and issued our own separate report on the day the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report came out.
COPA continued holding a regional Dallas conference every November, but instead of joining the Coalition on Political Assassinations, Lancer began holding their own conferences, and it was John Judge who continued Penn Jones’ tradition of holding a minute long moment of silence on the Grassy Knoll every November 22nd, a tradition that continues today.
At some point in time, the exact year escapes me, the COPA board of directors held a meeting in Dallas over the weekend of the annual regional conference, and someone had made a motion to dissolve COPA, as there were many differences of opinion among the members, especially the leadership, but I tried to keep it together and pleaded with the board to keep COPA going. While they discarded all of my reasons for keeping the organization together, it was COPA attorney Dan Alcorn who did it by calling attention to an important FOIA appeal for the US Army After Action Reports of the week Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. Alcorn said that COPA was the name on the legal documents and if the organization disbanded the case would be thrown out of court.
COPA continued, and the appeal was heard in US District Court in Washington, and it was COPA’s best moment when Dan Alcorn made the oral arguments for the release of the records. The Department of Defense had the top Justice Department lawyers make their case before a three judge appeals panel. While COPA lost the case, the Army was so embarrassed that it leaked an After Action report summary to a friendly Memphis reporter, a document that proved that the US Army Reserves had kept a close eye on King and had him under surveillance as he was murdered.
After that case Jim Lesar pulled the AARC out of the COPA coalition, and shortly thereafter Jim DiEugenio did the same with CTKA, but John and myself, Dr. Wecht and others kept the organization together, with the tax documents listing John Judge as director and myself and T. Carter as associates, and the annual Dallas conferences were held, in competition with Lancer.
John was familiar with Congress from his work with the COA and COPA and worked for Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), and later with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D. Ohio). With McKinney we worked hard to put on a Congressional Briefing on 9/11 with serious speakers like Peter Dale Scott and a former CIA analysts that went deeper than the official 9/11 Commission.
John often visited me at the Jersey Shore sometimes bringing a friend - T. Carter, John Geherity and he either stayed at my family house in Ocean City or the Flanders Hotel on the boardwalk where I worked at the time and arranged for him to stay in the penthouse on occasion. 
T. Carter wrote a book with James Earl Ray’s brother and Geherity, a young Irishman, worked as a summer intern with Jim Lesar at the AARC, which had moved from the historic building on 14th street to a series of offices near Chinatown. Geherity went back to Ireland and started a web site Publin, that profiled each of the pubs of Dublin, specializing in identifying the ones with the best price of Guinnis for the cash strapped college students. 
Although John Judge no longer had a tight romantic relationship with his old college flame  Kathy, he continued to visit her on holidays, mainly on Thanksgiving and Christmass. But then, heading towards the 2013 Wecht conference in Pittsburgh he told me he had a new girlfriend he met on-line, a poetress, who I met at the conference. John and I usually shared hotel rooms at any conference we arranged or attended, including the Chicago Third/Fourth Decade conference and many in Dallas. But this time he brought his new girl along to Pittsburgh so I stayed with my old college roommate. I was glad John found her as he was looking for love and companionship and finally found it, again. 
While I was glad he found a new girlfriend I was surprised to hear her say that she had no interest whatever in John’s “Hidden History” and political side. That conference was also weird because COPA, Lancer, Walt Brown and Mary Ferrell all had tables set up outside the conference room, and John and his girl at the COPA table had to sit and look at the Lancer table with Debra Conway and her sister Sherry Feister, a forensic investigator who specializes in blood splatter analysis and wrote a book applying her knowledge to the JFK assassination. 
John Judge also had a “falling out” with Walt Brown, who has written a number of books on the assassination, but wasn’t talking to Judge, so they all had to sit silently in the same room glaring at each other. Dr. Wecht couldn’t see the damage Lancer had done to COPA, and wanted to make peace, cooperate with them and bury the hatchet, but John couldn’t work with Debra. 
Debra gave me a copy of her sister’s book, and asked me to autograph my byline in the conference program, as she had done with everyone who made a presentation, and later told me that she had politely asked John Judge to also sign her program and he did, so maybe that was their last sign off. 
At that time I was also taking care of my 90 year old mother and could not get to D.C. or Dallas, but others stepped up especially T. Carter and Joe Green.
Around 2005, around the time my mother passed away at 92 years, the Arab Spring revolutions began and dictators started falling in Tunesia, Egypt and eventually Libya. 
I had a special interest in Libya as I had written 300 Years at the Point - A History of Somers Point, N.J., home of Master Commandant Richard Somers, one of the first three mid-shipman of the US Navy who died in the explosion of the USS Intrepid in Tripoli harbor while fighting radical Islamist pirates, and is buried on the shores of Tripoli.
I started a blog Revolutionary Program keeping track of the Arab Spring revolts, especially Libya. Familiar with Quadafi I had corresponded with the Quadafi Charitable Foundation and an American professor who counseled Quadafi's son as a college student in London.
While the son appeared to be leaning towards a more open society and experimenting with democracy, when the revolt began he sided with his father, who had executed 1,000 political prisoners in one day. The revolution began in Benghazi when the mothers and widows of those executed protested, seeking the remains to bury.
When Quadafi violently surprised the revolt in the beginning, his army's march to Benghazi was stopped by NATO air strikes, shifting the momentum away from Quadafi.
I was pretty surprised when John and Cynthia came out in public support of Quadafi, though I understood his opposition to NATO intervention, Cynthia went to Tripoli to see Quadafi, and issued news interviews from there in his support. She apparently viewed him as a benevolent dictator like Castro and Chavez of Venezuela, saying a free college education was available to all Libyan girls, and toured that on international TV. 
I told John Judge that all the free education was not going to absolve Quadafi of being a ruthless violent dictator and mass murderer.
Apparently it was at that point that John said "I am tired of Kelly's shit!," and removed me as one of the three officers listed on the official COPA tax forms, along with him and T. Carter. It was said I was replaced by Joe Green, a young and impressionable researcher who would do John's bidding, as by now John was COPA and COPA was John Judge.
While it has been said over and over that I had a "falling out" with John Judge, we continued to talk at length over the phone every week until a few days before his debilitating stroke, which was similar to the one suffered by my father. 
Our last conversation was about a former federal agent who had taken up the free the JFK files cause and was holding regular protests at the Kennedy Center, and had appropriated COPA's JFK half dollar with bleeding gunshot hole in the head, designed and given to COPA by the late Gene Case. We decided to tell him to desist using the copyrighted image and ignore him.
When John had his stoke from my father's experience I knew it would be difficult to recover and was saddened to read the frequent emails from his girl describing his condition. After he died I read his last will and testament in which he left his personal effects to his girl and the archive of books and COPA papers to the Hidden History Museum, which was still being developed.
When I asked his girl what became of John's remains and the name of the attorney of the Hidden History museum she said I was being too inquisitive. And I still don’t know what became of John’s remains – was he buried with his family in Virginia, or was his ashes sitting on a shelf somewhere? 
John’s girlfriend and execitpr of his estate then organized a tribute to John at the National Press Club, but when I asked her if Lenny Lapan - John's oldest and closest friend would be there she said he wasn't welcome because John and him had a "falling out," which is quite preposterous.
John had a falling out with Jim Lesar, Jim DiEugenio, me, Lenny and apparently most of the ex-leaders of COPA so we weren't invited to his memorial service?
Randy Benson filmed the service and after viewing it I was touched by everyone's remarks though found Ben Murray's tribute closest to my own, as we both knew John from college days.
I had a flashback to when Ben -who we then knew as "Bernie," - a tall strapping guy, pick up the Marine Corps recruiting table in the hall outside the cafeteria and kicked them out.
John was non-violent but we thought that was in good form in those anti-Vietnam war days.
After the memorial service for John I learned that his girl had taken over the Hidden History Museum and COPA and combined their assets even though they were different types of non-profits - one tax deductible and the other not.
Joe Green was quoted as saying he was going to dissolve COPA even though he didn't have the legal power to do so, but with the co-mingiling of the COPA and Hidden History funds COPA no longer existed. Green apparently thought he was doing what John Judge would have wanted him to do.

A number of former COPA members discussed these events at the 2013 Wecht conference in Pittsburgh and I reached out to others at the Bethesda conference in order to get a new organization together and talked with a number of people including Mike Nurko, Gary Aguilar and Dr. Wecht. Ben Wecht offered to host a series of twice monthly conference calls beginning in 2014 that resulted in the creation of CAPA - Citizens Against Political Assassination.
And so we are back to where we were in 1992 – twenty five years later, just getting organized to oversee the execution of the JFK Act and ensure that the last of the still sealed records on the assassination are released to the public so everyone can judge for themselves as to who killed the president and what to do about it. 
As Chief Justice Earl Warren said, the last remaining records on the assassination will be released, “but not in your lifetime,” – which is the title of Tony Summers’ book, and reflects on the fact that not everyone who began this fight to free the JFK files is still around to see them. 
As Jim Garrison said, he wasn’t going to be around when that happens, but he asked his son to be there and to see what they say. 
And so it is with those of us who are still here, we have to be there on October 26, 2017 when the last remaining assassination records are released, and we must ensure they are, not only in the name of John Judge and Penn Jones and Phil Melanson and those who aren’t here, but for those who are yet to come. And we have to figure it all out – put the pieces of the puzzle together into a believable narrative, so the story is told and such crimes can be prevented from ever happening again.


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This is a work in progress that will be updated with new memories