The Patsy as a True Believer
By William Kelly
In a (September 9th) New York Times review of Kati Marton's new book, “True Believer - Stalin’s Last American Spy” (Simon & Schuster, 2016), Timothy Naftali writes:
“In these troubling times, we are more likely than our parents to accept on face value that John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald could have been a Lone Wolf, the archetype of the self-radicalized individual - seduced by poisonous ideas into being a soldier for a cause, acting on dark impulses without need of a supporting organization and becoming a stranger to his family and community - now haunts the public imagination.”
While Marton writes about Noel Field as the True Believer in the Eric Hoffer mold, those interested in Noel Field should read what David Talbot says about him in his book “The Devil’s Chessboard," a book the New York Times refuses to review.
In Naftali'a review he makes a lot of assumptions and tries to re-characterize Lee Harvey Oswald as JFK’s lone killer, a lone nut case and a self-radicalized “Lone Wolf” terrorist acting as a True Believer for a phantom cause.
Now in these troubling times, before we or our parents accept on face value any these three presumptions -
1) The case against Oswald has been shown over the years to have been weak, specifically including the palm print on the barrel, the evidentiary value of the paper bag, the hair & fiber evidence, the timing of the shots, the condition of the rifle, Oswald's location at the time of the shooting, the line-up identifications, the timing of the Tippit murder and the shell casings.
2) Investigation over the years has shown that Oswald was not a "loner," and had a complex series of associations with a variety of people, such as George de Mohrenschildt, Volkmar Schmidt, Michael Paine, David Ferrie, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Guy Bannister, David Atlee Phillips and others.
3) Far from an archetypal self-radicalized militant, Oswald claimed to have been a Patsy and specifically denied shooting Kennedy and Officer Tippit ("I didn't shoot anybody, no, sir."), an adamant denial is the antithesis of a dedicated radical assassin. Oswald also said during interrogation that JFK's death would probably not greatly affect US policy toward Cuba, since LBJ would likely carry out the same policy, and even the Warren Commission could not give Oswald a reasonable motive to kill the President.
In addition, Oswald's defection to Russia may have been a fake defection, a dangle by a US intelligence service as the unusually lenient treatment he received on return to the States (e.g. – no known criminal investigation, no charges) is not characteristic of treatment one might expect to be afforded to a true defector during the height of the Cold War.
Now apart from Oswald, let's take a moment to properly characterize Naftali, a former director of the Nixon Library and one of those Miller Center scholars who transcribed the Presidential Tapes, along with Philip Zelikow and Max Holland, whose blatant biases have already been exposed.
When they got to transcribing the Oval Office tapes JFK made in October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, they claimed what the President said in response to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay’s statement that “You are in a pretty bad fix Mr. President,” was “unintelligible,” when to others it was clear JFK said, “Your in it with me.”
Philip Zelikow went on to be the chief of staff of the 911 Commission and kept the pre-911 Able Danger reports from reaching the commissioners and then kept the Saudi Arabian connections out of their final report.
Max Holland wrote the “JFK Assassination Tapes” book without mentioning the dozens of Air Force One radio tape transmissions from the Collins Radio Liberty station or the many other Collins Radio connections to the assassination that I have written extensively about and made presentations on at the Wecht and Bethesda conferences.
Zelikow, Holland and Naftali are in the same boat here, so we know where Naftali is coming from and where he is going with this.
As for Naftali's attempted re-characterization of Oswald as an archetypical Lone Wolf terrorist, the idea that Oswald was JFK’s assassin must first be rejected, as the evidence that implicates Oswald is questionable, and it is more likely he was framed as a Patsy as he claimed to be.
So Oswald may have been alone but he was not a wolf, he was a rabbit, Ozzie Rabbit - one set off for others to chase while the real killers slipped quietly away.
It wasn't Oswald who was seduced by poisonous ideas into being a soldier for a cause and a stranger to his family, it is Naftali who is acting on dark impulses with a need for such supporting organizations like the Miller Center and the New York Times.
Naftale says that Noel Field, as a True Believing Soviet spy offers us a “window on the delusion and narcissism that fuel the self-radicalized of any era,” it is Naftale and his Miller Center minions who offer us a window of insight into the Dark Side of the Black Arts and “Wilderness of Mirrors” who wants us to believe JFK was the victim of a Lone Wolf, so let's look more closely at them as well as the organizations that support them.
Let's see, the Miller Center in Virginia is bankrolled in part by the Scripps Howard News Service (SHNS), one of the chief assets of the CIA’s Mockingbird program and source of numerous black propaganda disinformation stories on the assassination. These stories include those furnished Seth Kantor in Dallas by Hal Hendrix in Miami within hours of the assassination, and the bogus NSA report a few weeks before the Hinckley attempt to kill Reagan that falsely tried to blame both presidential attacks on Castro, a familiar CIA “active measure” that continues today.
Then there's Max Holland, Naftali’s Miller Center cohort who unabashedly writes for the CIA’s in-house publication and gets awarded grants from the Columbia-Lucas Foundation that was known as the Columbia-Catherwood Award before the Catherwood Foundation was exposed as a conduit for covert CIA action funds. And Holland lists among his benefactors a German Venetian blind company - how shady is that?
We won't even bother going into the New York Times, the paper of record that recently published an article calling for the release of the secret NSA records on the suspicious death of UN Secretary Dag Hammarskold, but doesn’t mention the still withheld NSA records on the assassination of President Kennedy.
So when Naftali and Holland and others try to describe the Patsy in the Dealey Plaza operation as an “archetypical Lone Wolf seduced by poisonous ideas - a soldier for a cause acting on dark impulses without a supporting organization,” you know they are the ones acting on dark impulses and poisoning ideas as a mercenary soldiers covertly working as a media assets for a nefarious secret organization.
William Kelly is a freelance journalist and historian whose JFK assassination research is partially funded by a grant from the Fund for Constitutional Justice Investigative Journalism Project. He is Secretary of CAPA - Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA-HQ.com).