Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More Bob Dylan at Dealey Plaza

More Dylan at Dealey Plaza

Bob Dylan was impressed by those young American students who went to Cuba to support the Cuban Revolution despite the legal restrictions imposed by the government making such travel illegal. Dylan met some of them at a New York apartment, introduced to them by his girlfriend Suzie Rotolo.

Among those who Dylan met was Corliss Lamont, leftist radical writer and author of a pamphlet “Crime Against Cuba” that was distributed by the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), copies of which were handed out by Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963.

It has been alleged that the specific copies in Oswald’s possession were numbered copies that were in a batch that, according to Lamont’s records, sold and sent to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The Warren Report says Oswald got Lamont’s phamplet from the New York City office of the FPCC, which was then being targeted by the FBI and CIA, as were the students who attempted to break the travel to Cuba embargo.

Besides Dylan, his good friend and fellow protest singer and songwriter Phil Ochs also supported the FPCC and frequented their New York City office.

Ochs had attended an exclusive military academy with Barry Goldwater, Jr. and the sons of other high ranking military officers, and enlisted in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) while a college student in Ohio. One of his duties included spying on campus anti-war groups, but then his dorm room mate taught him how to play the guitar and he began writing political songs and ballads on such subjects as such as assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Billy Sol Etes, Christine Keeler, General Walker and the war in Vietnam – “Draft Dodger Rag.” His song “Crucifixioin” is supposed to be about the Kennedy assassination.  

Also see: “The Marines Have Landed on the Shores of Santo Domingo,” “The Men Behind the Guns,” “Talkin’ Cuban Crisis,” “That Was the President,” “United Fruit,” “William Butler Yeats Visits Lincoln Park and Escapes Unscathed,” “I Ain’t :Marchin’ Anymore.”

Ochs later told his old roommate Jim Glover that, under the direction of his former ROTC officer, he went to Dallas and was in Dealey Plaza “as a national security observer” when the president was assassinated.
Ochs also went insane, changing his name to CIA agent John Train before committing suicide after a number of public confrontations with his former friend Bob Dylan.

John Train, it turns out, is the name of a real CIA officer who ran CIA propriety companies out of his New York City offices that were visited by George deMohrenschildt in April 1963, shortly after he left his friend Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. At the same time deMohresnschildt also met Col. Sam Kail and Dorothie Matlack, who reported to the Pentagon office known as ACSI - the Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence (US Army Reserves). Kail had previously been stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Havana while ACSI was directed by the same officers who the Texas Army Reserve commanders reported to from Dallas, including those who became entwined in the assassination.

When Castro visited New York, stayed at a Harlem hotel and addressed the United Nations, CIA-Cuban G-2 Double Agent LICOZY-3 was ostensibly recruited and identified only as an American student from Philadelphia who went to Mexico City, and was later terminated as an agent by Phil Agee while he was still a faithful CIA officer.

Fifteen years later, when investigators from the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) requested specific CIA files, they were given practically everything they asked for, except the names of the Double-agents in Mexico City.

Based on public records and recently records released under the JFK Act, some researchers suspect LICOZY-3 to be Steve Kenin, an American student from Philadelphia who went to Cuba, met and was photographed with Fidel Castro and went to Mexico City.

Kenin also knew Suzie Rotolo, Dylan’s girlfriend who had introduced Dylan to the pro-Castro Cuban crowd in New York city, as she attended the same upstate New York summer camp as Steve Kenin and his twin brother Elliot, both of whom were aspiring folk musicians. The Kenin brothers owned a music store
just around the corner from Rittenhouse Square. 

Some other curious events stand out from the recently released records, including reports of Oswald’s sudden and inexpliciable appearance handing out FPCC leaflets in Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square in the summer of 1963 when the Quebec to Guantamano March passed through.

The same marchers had previously marched from Quebec to Moscow in the name of peace and nuclear disarmament, and passed through Minsk when Oswald lived there, but it’s not known if they met. A few weeks later, when they got to Washington D.C., one of the marchers, amateur boxer Ray Robinson got into a fistfight inside a parked car with former CIA officer Wilcox, who testified before the HSCA that he handled a secret fund for Oswald when he was stationed in the Marines in Japan.

After passing through New York City, where they met with FPCC activists, the marchers arrived in Philadelphia where they had a rally at Rittenhouse Square when Oswald was reported to have handed out his leaflets, and just around the corner from where Steve and Elliot Kenin ran the Guitar Workshop.

Steve attended Temple University where one of his professors had relocated to Cuba to teach at Havana University during the revolution, after which Steve himself traveled to Cuba, met and had his picture taken with Castro, and wrote about his experiences for the Temple student newspaper.

Steve Kenin also edited the program for the first Philadelphia Folk Festival and did the same for the Newport Folk Festival the following year when Dylan famously performed. Kenin knew Suzie Rotolo from summer camp and knew Dylan from Newport, and named his son Dylan.

Bob Dylan came to Philadelphia in October 1963 to play his first major theater concert at Town Hall (Masonic Temple at North Broad, demolished in 1980s), the night before he played and recorded at Carnege Hall in New York city.

Among the songs Dylan wrote around that time:

Goen’ to Accopolco –

In 1963 Steve Kenin took off on his motorcycle to ride around Mexico and wrote an article about his adventures for Motorcycle Magazine and visitede Accopolco and Mexico City where he reportedly met Lee Harvey Oswald. 

In Mexico City Steve Kenin stayed at a Quaker hostel  “Cassa d’Amego,” which is supported by Philadelphia Quakrs, and he hung out at a Mexican restaurant near the American embassy that was popular with other Americans, including Oswald. According to a Mexican lawyer who was there, he last saw Kenin ride off on his motorcycle with Lee Oswald on the back, heading for the Cuban embassy to try to get visas to Cuba.

Oswald did go to the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in a failed attempt to get a visa to Cuba, and at the Cuban embassy he dealt with a Syliva Duran.

Shortly thereafter two other young Americans in Mexico City also contacted Sylvia Duran in an attempt to get visas to Cuba, and while there, reportedly attended a Twist Party at Duran’s apartment, a party also attended by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Of the other two Americans, one was recognized as a movie actor Richard Beymer - the star of the then popular West Side Story, which includes the music of Leonard Bernstein, who was also profoundly impacted by JFK’s murder.

Beymer was accompanied by a friend, the owner of a Manhattan bar that featured live music who also knew Bob Dylan.

Tracked down and questioned about the CIA records that mention him and the Twist Party, Beymer was quite surprised by the whole thing, not having been questioned by anyone before.

Yes, he went to Mexico City and Acapulco in 1963 with his friend, the owner of a Manhattan bar, and yes, they were young and footloose and fancy free and may have attended a Twist Party at a private apartment, but no, he doesn’t remember Sylvia Duran or Lee Harvey Oswald.

His friend who owned a Manhattan bar, now a Catholic priest, recalls that they were in Mexico on November 22, 1963 when the assassination occurred, and since they were only there for a few weeks they couldn’t have been in Mexico in late September and early October when Oswald was there. 

As for Steve Kenin, he says that he doesn’t remember meeting Oswald or giving him a ride to the Cuban Embassy on his motorcycle, though he did try to get a visa to go back to Cuba, but had probably left Mexico before Oswald arrived.

He is a bit perplexed however, by what the CIA records say about him and the accounts of witnesses implicate him with Oswald and Castro. It makes one wonder what would have happened if the story came out shortly after the assassination, even if it wasn’t true, that Kenin had given Oswald a ride to the Cuban Embassy and then the photo of him and Castro further connected Oswald and Castro?

Could that have been a psyops ploy to link Oswald and Castro and what would it mean? 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bob Dylan and JFK - November 22 2014

Bob Dylan and JFK - November 22, 1963 - November 22, 2014

                                           Dylan at the piano - he didn't pick up the guitar

The last time Bob Dylan played the Jersey Shore he went for a walk and was stopped by young, rookie female cop who thought him a suspicious character walking aimlessly about a residential neighborhood. The girl just didn’t recognize Bob Dylan, even when he introduced himself. 

That didn’t happen when Bob Dylan came to Philadelphia to take the stage at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia November 21-22-23, a trilogy of shows that were billed as the first time Dylan has played a center city theater since 1963.

Those who were there will flashback to October 25, 1963 - Philadelphia Town Hall – the Scottish Rite Cathedral at 150 North Broad at Race Street, a beautiful building that was leveled in 1983. The same setting was the preferred recording space for Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra after the Academy of Music was remodeled in 1950. The Academy acoustics were fine for the live performances, but recoded flat and served Dylan well when he performed there.

As usual, Dylan took a walk around the Academy of Music neighborhood and found McGlinchy’s Bar behind the Academy, where he had a beer and was recognized by some who remembered him from when he performed in 1963. They recall a younger, wilder Dylan who stopped by Dirty Franks on Pine Street, where he was asked to leave for being “a drunken asshole.”

For some reason it is somehow comforting to know that the conscience of a generation, the Godfather of folk and protest songs, with a doctorate from Princeton and having been awarded the Tom Paine and presidential Freedom awards, the heir to Whitman and Ginsberg as the poet and songwriter of our age, can also be a drunken asshole.

Dylan was much more reserved this time around.

Dylan’s current major theater tour coincides with the release of a new, restored digital version of the legendary Basement Tapes as well as the release of a new version of some of the Basement Tape songs covered by new artists including T. Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello and Marcus Mulford of the Mulford Family.

While the concerts certainly attracted the aging hippie crowd - the over-under was fifty five, the Basement Tapes recordings should be of interest to the younger crowd, not only because of their role in the history of the music, but also the continued interest by the new artists in the nearly half-century old Big Pink Basement tape recordings.

It may be technically true that Dylan hasn’t performed in a center city Philadelphia theater since 1963, but he has performed on his “never ending tour” at the Tower in Upper Darby in West Philly in 1994 and at the Electric Factory in Society Hill a few years ago, but it has been fifty years since Dylan made his mark as a major theater attraction in both New York and Philadelphia.

It was in 1963 when Dylan performed with Joan Baiz on the same stage as Martin Luther King, Jr. during the march on Washington, released his celebrated second “Freewheelen’” album for Columbia, received an honorary doctorate degree from Princeton, performed at Carnegie Hall and received the Tom Paine Award.
Then everything started going wrong – Newsweek called him a fake for trying to manipulate the media, they booed him at the Tom Paine Awards and he began to break up with his girlfriend Suzie Rotolo – who is seen walking down McDougle Street with Dylan arm in arm on the album cover.

What happened between his celebrated theater shows in October and being booed while receiving the Tom Paine Award? John Kennedy was killed, an event that influenced Dylan and his entire generation, and still continues to haunt us today.

And so on November 22 it overshadowed Dylan’s dark theatrical performance as much as the echo of the basement tapes.

Dylan’s principled interest in social issues and causes branded him political, and one of his first benefit concerts was for the civil rights Freedom Riders, but he detested being called “the conscience of his generation,” and refused to support other causes though he did perform at Live Aid, and much to the chagrin of Bog Geldorf, sang a song about a farmer and called for the struggling American farmers who feed the world, a remark that sparked the founding of Farm Aid, which he also supported.

But he once said he didn’t vote in the 1960 election because he didn’t recognize any candidates who looked and thought like him. Of John Kennedy he said he was a fake and pretender.

But later, Dylan told Kurt Loder in a Rolling Stone interview that Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers are spiritual icons who planted seeds that are still growing today. And in his autobiographical Chronicals Dylan recounts how his mother told him she saw JFK when he visited his hometown of Hibbing, Minnissotta, which led him to say that he would have voted for JFK for just visiting his hometown.

Dylan’s mother and father Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman,were in the audience when he performed at Carnegie Hall. Dylan had legally changed his name from Robert A. Zimmerman to Bob Dylan in 1962 and arranged for his parents to be in the audience for the Carnegie Hall show, a big step for him to go from playing coffee houses, cafes and nightclubs to performing solo at Carnegie Hall.

The night before – October 24, 1963, Dylan performed Philadelphia’s Town Hall.

A few days earlier he was interviewed for Newsweek and they branded Dylan a fake pretender who manipulated the media and maybe didn’t actually write the hit song, “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Instead, Newsweek reported, the hit song that was fanning revolution was instead written by Millburn, New Jersey high school student Lorrie Wyatt,” who fellow students claimed sang the song before Dylan, and Newsweek printed the false rumor even as Wyatt denied it.

In the two months between Town Hall and Carnegie Hall and the Tom Paine Award, JFK was killed, and the assassination was still on his mind and he talked about it when he accepted the award.

As he put it: “So, I accept this reward - not reward, (Laughter) award in behalf of Phillip Luce who led the group to Cuba which all people should go down to Cuba. I don't see why anybody can't go to Cuba. I don't see what's going to hurt by going any place. I don't know what's going to hurt anybody's eyes to see anything. On the other hand, Phillip is a friend of mine who went to Cuba.”

Dylan said: “I'll stand up and to get uncompromisable about it, which I have to be to be honest, I just got to be, as I got to admit that the man who shot President Kennedy, Lee Oswald, I don't know exactly where —what he thought he was doing, but I got to admit honestly that I too - I saw some of myself in him. I don't think it would have gone - I don't think it could go that far. But I got to stand up and say I saw things that he felt, in me - not to go that far and shoot. (Boos and hisses) You can boo but booing's got nothing to do with it. It's a - I just a - I've got to tell you, man, it's Bill of Rights is free speech and I just want to admit that I accept this Tom Paine Award in behalf of James Forman of the Students Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and on behalf of the people who went to Cuba.” (Boos and Applause).

Although Dylan took exception to being called the social conscience of a generation, he did accept the Princeton doctorate and took the Tom Paine Award in honor of those American students who disregarded the tourist embargo and illegally traveled to Cuba. Dylan had met them through his girl, Suzie Rotollo,

It wasn’t honoring the students who went to Cuba that bothered the audience of 1500 well heeled liberals whose donations kept the non-profit organization afloat, it was Dylan’s remark that  he could somewhat sympathize with Oswald – the man accused of killing JFK. Oswald himself had tried to get a visa to Cuba and like Tom Paine, he handed out leaflets in New Orleans and got into a scuffle with some anti-Castro Cubans.

But the audience wasn’t buying that speil, and was ushered off stage – getting the hook, and the incident inspired him to write a poem in which he tried to explain himself.

From the toast of the town to being shunned by liberals, Dylan decided to hit the road, literally, and drove cross country to perform few college dates and visit a few new places, including New Orleans French Quarter, Oswald’s old neighborhood, and Dealey Plaza in Dallas where Kennedy was killed.

In Dallas, as did the Beatles and David Crosby, Dylan went to Dealey Plaza to see where President Kennedy was killed. The Beatles ducked in the back of their limo as they drove past the Texas School Book Depository Building and Grassy Knoll and then retired to their rooms at the Dallas Cabana Hotel, where some of the witnesses and suspects had famously stayed on the weekend of the assassination.

When Dylan was looking for Dealey Plaza and the first few Dallas pedestrians couldn’t direct him to the spot, Dylan was perplexed, and then finally found a pedestrian who directed them to the site and said, “You mean where they killed that son-of-a-bitch,"

So when Dylan performed at the Academy of Music on November 22, 2014 – the fifty first anniversary of the assassination, the event hovered in the background like a dark cloud over the dark stage on which he performed.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

COPA's Last Stand - Dealey Plaza

                                            COPA’s Last Stand - Dealey Plaza

The place is sacred, a pivotal crossroads where an X marks the spot in the middle of Elm Street where a man’s head was blown apart by a sniper’s bullet in an ambush at precisely 12:30 pm on Friday, November 22, 1963.

This is the place, the exact spot where John F. Kennedy met his fate, his rendezvous with death, where tourists visit and pilgrims flock, sometimes in droves, other times late at night when nobody else is around, but especially shortly after noon every November 22nd, when there is always a witness who returns, someone who was there and is drawn back to the spot like a magnet. To revisit the theater, to remember the moment when JFK’s life went dark.

Thirty years to the moment later they had a traditional moment of silence and played taps and then everyone drifted off and went on their way, back to their lives.

That’s where I met Gaeton Fonzi, tall and slim and humble, I recognized him standing anonymously quiet in the back of the dispersing crowd. I introduced myself and mentioned the name Alan Halpern, the Philadelphia Magazine editor who played a pivotal behind the scenes role in the big game. With his name Fonzi’s eyes lit up and we walked off talking.

Of Dealey Plaza Fonzi later wrote: “there is only a stillness there now, a breezeless serenity. On the right is the famous red brick building, flat, hard-edged, its rows of sooty windows now dull. In my mind, I dropped into a well of time and fell against that instant of history. A man was killed here. Here in, an explosively horrible and bloody moment, a man’s life ended. That realization – a man was killed here – had been oddly removed from the whirlwind of activity in which I had been involved. A man was killed here, and what had been going on in Washington – all the officious meetings and the political posturing, all the time and attention devoted to administrative procedures and organizational processes and forms and reports, and now all the scurrying about in a thousand directions in the mad rush to produce a final report – all of that seemed detached from the reality of a single fact: A man was killed here. I stood in Dealey Plaza….and could not help thinking that the powers that controlled the Assassinations Committee would have searched much harder for the truth if they had remembered that instant of time when a man’s life ended here.” 

But the assassins’ bullets that struck down Jack Kennedy didn’t just violate his person and end his life - they also struck a severe blow to the very core of our nation’s constitutional body, a wound that won’t fully heal until the full story is told.

COPA’s Last Stand - @ the Grassy Knoll

After last year’s debacle, when the City of Dallas took over the Grassy Knoll, locked out the public and kept John Judge and COPA members from holding a moment of silence, this November 22nd is the 50th anniversary of when Penn Jones held the first moment of silence at the scene of the crime in 1964.

Now it’s our turn, since John Judge, as he tried to do every year, obtained a city permit for COPA to be at Dealey Plaza, and was hell bent to be there and hold a solemn and respectful memorial service that would be open to all and done with dignity, honor, respect and the truth be told, as Judge always said that this was a time to “speak truth to power.”

A true coalition, by definition, is established by a number of focus groups with different interests but a common goal, and we may all have different opinions as to who killed JFK and how they did it, but we all agree that the government files on the assassination should be open.

When the AARC and CTKA withdrew from COPA they left John Judge its director, and rather than fold, as they expected, Judge pretty much kept COPA together by himself, organizing the regional conferences in Dallas, Memphis and Los Angeles almost every year, and spearheading the establishment of the Hidden History Museum, all with the assistance of a few, select patrons – Dr. Wecht, Gene Case, Bob Danello, Frank Caplett and others who generously donated money to COPA – a not-for-profit but not tax-exempt organization.

Because COPA was or could be a political action organization, endorse candidates, sue the government – file FOIA and Civil action suites in the name of the organization – rather than subjecting an individual – i.e. Morley v. CIA – we could sue under COPA’s name and protect individuals from harassment and retribution. We were empowered by our association, some of which is detailed in A Brief History of COPA [ JFKcountercoup: A Brief History of COPA]

As usual, there are two separate and competing conferences in Dallas this November – one by Debra Conway and Lancer and the other by a Facebook group led by Judyth Vary Baker.

COPA has the permit for the Dealey Plaza event at 12:30 and it will be led by longtime Regional Dallas COPA members Robert Groden, Frank Caplett and Tom Blackwell, and be filmed by Randy Benson. Other COPA members may also attend from out of town.

Both Tom Blackwell and Randy have films of John Judge leading the moment of silence memorial service over the past years, and they should be reviewed to see how they did it, and see how it should continually be done by those who are there.

John usually began by describing how Penn Jones began the first moment of silence in 1964, a tradition that has been continued by John Judge, Blackwell, Caplett and others over the years and should continue into the future.

Beverly Oliver usually sings an appropriate song and a few short speeches are made [See: The Event that Didn’t Happen 1998] –

At 12:30, the minute JFK was shot in the head, all falls quiet for one minute – it has been suggested that this year the moment of silence last 50 seconds – one for each year.

One year they played taps and a Marine officer walking past me suddenly stopped, snapped to attention and saluted the Plaza flag while the bugle was being played.

Sometimes there is a sound system, and this year Alan Dale will supply one. I met Dale and had dinner with him one night during the AARC Sept. 2014 Conference in Bethesda. He’s a DC band leader who is comfortable in front of a microphone and served as the MC at the AARC conference and will do the same at the Lancer conference in Dallas.

There wasn’t going to be a Lancer conference in Dallas this year, and it was only after the AARC Conference in Bethesda in September that they decided to hold a short two-day affair that Larry Hancock helped organize.

It’s no secret John Judge didn’t like Lancer and Lancer didn’t like John Judge but John Judge is dead and Lancer is on its last legs – and may not put together another conference in Dallas, so there’s room to continue that tradition if that’s what the local Dallas COPA contingent wants to do.

Then they will resign to the local IHOP restaurant for lunch and decide on what the future of Dallas COPA will be. They have already voiced the opinion that they should host a conference or symposium to present the newest research and discuss the work of authors with new books on the subject. 

Dallas Conferences 2014

Dallas Confrencencs and Symposium - 2014

The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) conference in Bethesda on the 50th Anniversary of the release of the Warren Report in September seemed at the time that it would be the last major conference on the Kennedy assassination, at least until the release of the remaining sealed records in 2017.

With the death of John Judge, who organized the COPA conferences in Dallas and Debra Conway’s announcement that Lancer wasn’t going to hold any more conferences there, it seemed like it was JFK’s Last Hurrah. 

But then Debra Conway reconsidered and decided to hold a min-two day conference in Dallas this year and out of the blue Judith Vary Baker announced that she had raised enough money through Facebook to put on a free conference at the same time.

So once again, just as in DC in September and as usual in Dallas, there will be two competing conferences in Dallas on the 51st anniversary of the assassination, and the Dallas COPA contingent will be meeting at the same time to plan for some future activities, including some possible conferences.

Such conferences are important to advance the state of knowledge about things and there can’t be a more important subject than political assassination.

There was an important academic conference on Guatemala in 1954, shortly before the coup there, and a conference of exiled Cuban journalists was held at the University of Miami (JMWAVE) in the summer of 1963, which I consider significant events. 

And there have been a number of important conferences on the assassination of President Kennedy. The first I attended in the mid-1970s was held at NYU in New York City, where I met Penn Jones, Fletcher Prouty, Mae Brussel and Ralph Schoeman, and COPA – the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA) was formed at the second ASK conference in Dallas in 1993, and COPA’s first two national conferences in DC were extremely important and influential in getting the JFK Act passed.

If COPA is to continue into the future, as the Dallas COPA contingent are determined to continue, it won’t be able to organize expensive annual regional conferences in Dallas, LA and Memphis as John Judge tried to do, but it can co-sponsor an annual Dallas event as long as expenses are covered and it is organized by local volunteers.

One of the reasons we formed COPA was because the company that organized the ASK conferences was a private for-profit corporation not really interested in President Kennedy or the assassination, and now we see that if the Dallas COPA doesn’t organize a conference for next year, someone else will – and it won’t necessarily be an academic seminar by eminent forensic investigators, journalists and historians, as COPA tries to be.

Of the two conferences in Dallas this year the one being organized by Lancer’s Larry Hancock and Debra Conway is attempting to present the latest state of the art research as it was presented at the Wecht Institute in Pittsburgh last October and at the AARC in Bethesda in September.

Debra and Larry recruited Alan Dale to be the master of ceremonies at their conference – a role he effectively played in Bethesda. Dale is a Washington D.C. based band leader who is comfortable in front of a microphone and is very knowledgeable about the assassination and related issues. He also produces an internet radio interview program [JFK Lancer - President John F. Kennedy Assassination Latest News and Research] similar to Len Osnic’s Black Op Radio [Black Op Radio], and recently interviewed Peter Dale Scott and UK researcher Malcolm Blunt.

JFK Lancer Conference Dallas 2014 - JFK Lancer  [www.jfklancer.com/Dallas2014/NID2014.html ] 

The Lancer people will also be at the Grassy Knoll at around noon, but recognize that COPA has the permit for the assembly and will turn over the program to COPA members Bob Groden, Tom Blackwell and Frank Caplett at the appropriate time so they can memorialize Penn Jones and John Judge and then continue their traditional moment of silence.

The other conference, a free one being organized by Judyth V. Baker  [Judyth Vary Baker / Judyth Baker], includes Jesse Ventura and the promoters from Coast to Coast radio, and Baker’s publisher - Kris Milligan along with some of the other writers he publishes including Baker and Ed Haslem, [Me & Lee – How I came to know, love and lose Lee Harvey Oswald, by Judyth Vary Baker / ME AND LEE / Judyth Vary Baker]. 

JFK Conference – Sheraton Arlingtoin   -  

While COPA will not be sponsoring a conference in Dallas this year, COPA will be hosting the Moment of Silence event at Dealey Plaza at 12:30 pm on Saturday, November 22, 2014, and then meet at a luncheon at the IHOP where they will discuss next year's event and the future of COPA in Dallas.

All are welcome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Opposing Assassination - Creating An Equal and Opposite Force

                           Opposing Assassination - Creating An Equal and Opposite Force 

Once you realize that the 35th President of the United States was murdered by a successful and concerted conspiracy and no one has been brought to justice for the crime you also realize that it wasn’t just an assault on an individual, but our national security has been grossly violated, a searing wound that will not heal until the entire truth is known.

It is a matter of national security – the primary reason they give for not releasing the remaining records.  

While most people try not to even think about it, when I came to this understanding I also realized that the president wasn’t killed by any mythical mastermind, the Mafia, the KGB, Cubans or the CIA, but rather JFK was killed by a very specific and easily identifiable MO – Modus Operandi – the means by which it happened – a covert intelligence operation conducted by a domestic network that was designed to conceal its sponsors.

This MO narrows the suspects down to the few who in 1963 were knowledgeable of the history and tradecraft of such military intelligence operations, and was plugged into that system, a network that is still operating today.

I also realized what it will take to identify, isolate and expose the intelligence network responsible for the assassination - a network that is as powerful and influential as the network that got away with killing a president – an equal and opposite force.

There are two different types of investigations – Criminal investigations and Intelligence investigations, with criminal investigations designed to create evidence to prosecute criminals in a court of law while intelligence investigations don’t care about the law and are designed to learn the truth. And anything goes in an intelligence investigation – especially a CI - Counter-intelligence investigation – even breaking the law to get it.

It will take a serious, independent Counter-intelligence investigation to figure out what really happened on November 22, 1963, and determine who killed JFK how they did it and why, but it is quite clear that the government won’t do it, so it’s up to us – ordinary people to conduct that CI investigation.

The network responsible for the Dealey Plaza operation must eventually be exposed in order to ensure they don’t do it again, and so no one can use that method again to subvert democracy.

Now, fifty years after the murder, we have the capacity and capability or soon will have the ability to create a network with the knowledge, power and ability to identify and take that assassination network down.

As Daniel Ellesberg asked Jeff Morely and Bill Simpich – once you know the truth about the assassination of JFK, what do you do about it? What do you want people to do about it?

One thing we can do about it is to create that equal but opposite force to counter the killers and the coup – and to oppose and thwart the use of political assassination as a useful tactic, not only in America but anywhere in the world.

Enforcing the JFK Act - A Basic Political Primer

Enforcing the JFK Act - A Basic Political Primer         

 How Government Works – Getting it to Work for

 Beyond Legislation: Implementing the Law

For every page of federal laws there are dozens of pages of regulations and administrative interpretations of the law. For every legislator (every member of Congress or state legislature) there are thousands of bureaucrats busily writing regulations and implementing the laws those legislators pass.

                 The Source of the Greatest Power in Government – Bureaucrats

These bureaucrats toil in the executive or administrative branch of government and are in many ways the source of the greatest power in any government. It is no surprise, therefore, that issue advocates devote considerable attention to influencing and persuading them. But what do bureaucrats do? They, and the agencies and departments and offices for which they work, interpret, enforce, and administer the law.

            The thousand daily decisions bureaucrats make administering laws can cause issue advocates more consternation – and require more time and attention – than the legislative process. Hard-fought legislative success can turn to pyrrhic victories in the hands of an unfriendly or unresponsive bureaucracy. Indeed, issue advocates who win legislative battles barely have time to pop the champagne corks before they must turn their attention to how the law, for which they fought so hard, will be implemented. Or those who thought they had tamed the legislative process may learn that the executive branch has implemented policy changes that accomplish the goals they sought to avoid.

           As one commentator observed: “Nothing in law ever seems finally settled because there is always one more step in the process where both winners and losers may try to negotiate different terms.”

           Administrative discretion may be broad, but it is far from absolute. First, administrative action is limited to the authority afforded the agency by the legislative branch. By contrast, Congress is limited in its lawmaking activities only by the Constitution.

            Second, agencies afford the public opportunities to make their views known to, and considered by, the agency. Congressional committees may choose to hold public hearings on legislation, but they need not do so, and they are free to ignore all the witnesses and all the evidence presented to them.

            Third, agency action, as we saw in the last section, can be reviewed by the courts to ensure the actions comply with all applicable laws and procedures. When Congress passes a law, it can be challenged in court only on the grounds that it violates the Constitution.
                                                  The Administrative Procedures Act
            The main vehicle to control agency discretion at the federal level is the Administrative Procedures Act. The law requires agencies to make most decisions in the open and to afford the public meaningful opportunities to comment on proposed agency actions. It also allows those who disagree with the agency decisions to ask courts to invalidate them if they are not in accordance with applicable law and procedure or if they are not solidly grounded on the facts and the law.

            These limitations on administrative discretion reflect the fact that agencies can exercise their discretionary powers by issuing rules or regulations. These ‘minilaws’ codify administrative interpretations and establish clear guidelines for bureaucrats and the public.

            The broad policy discretion afforded bureaucrats provides issue advocates good reasons to attempt to influence how laws are enforced and administered. And the processes of administrative decision making – the requirement that, for the most part, it be open to the public and subject to judicial review – provide advocates important tools to accomplish that goal,

                                            Legal Action – Last Resort      

The courts are most often the last resort of those who seek to influence public policy. Litigation is costly and time-consuming, appeals can drag on for years, and tangible results are often hard to achieve.

Yet, the federal and state courts provide critical outlets – safety valves – for issue advocates who are unable to get a full and fair hearing before the administrative or legislative branch of government.

            The doors of the courthouse are open to all. Legislatures are accountable only to the electorate and only at the ballot box. Bureaucracies can be slow and unresponsive. But advocates who seek redress in the courts are guaranteed a hearing by an impartial arbiter who will decide a case on its merits.

         Would public support for sending American troops pass what Senator John Glenn termed the ‘Dover test’? Dover Air Force Base in Delaware would be the point of return for the bodies of American troops who died on foreign soil. Would American’s, who initially supported sending troops, maintain their support after American soldiers died? How reliable were polls that showed people supporting these actions? No American politician wanted to rely on poorly formed public opinion that did not recognize and accept that Americans might die in Somalia or Haiti. The quality and reliability of the public’s opinion mattered.

                                       Finding Words that Work: Just Free the Files  

Words and symbols can shape public attitudes about issues. The right ones can position an issue so that it favorably resonates with prevailing public concerns and attracts a broad and deep base of diverse supporters.

                                                     Th  e Nature of Coalitions

             A coalition is an alliance, usually limited in time and purpose, between organizations with different agendas, working together for a common policy advocacy goal.

The term coalition encompasses a great diversity of alliances formed to advance a shared public policy goal. Coalitions can be formal or informal, permanent or temporary.

Coalitions can unite diverse civil rights or environmental groups as they formulate and advance complex, long-term agendas. Or they can provide a mechanism to coordinate short-term activities, such as opposing a Supreme Court nomination…or supporting the balanced budge amendments to the Constitution.

                                              Network First

Networks often precede coalitions, just as individuals or organizations sharing information and common concerns may gradually coalesce into an association or organization – an interest group – designed to influence policy.

                                               Coalition – Alliance of Orgs

A coalition is an alliance between organizations, each of which brings its own agenda and decision-making processes to the coalition table. Since coalition members are organizations, not individuals, they do not have the same freedom of movement that individuals have. Interest groups that join coalitions must be sure that the coalition shares the fundamental goals of the organization and its members.

         Coalitions are at the mercy of their members and can achieve only what the
members permit them to achieve. Their only resources-people and money – are those that members provide.

Large, permanent coalitions, such as trade associations, have permanent staff, office space, and resources, all dedicated to achieving the coalition’s goals. Member organizations pay substantial dues to support the coalition and its infrastructure.

But most coalitions are ad hoc, voluntary assemblages of organizations, with little power to compel the member organizations to commit time and resources to the coalition or to fulfill their coalition commitments. They are usually staffed by ‘volunteers’ from the member organizations, some of whom may even be detailed to work exclusively on coalition projects.

All coalitions are composed of different organizations with different agendas working together and there are numerous ways to organize and manage coalitions. The best coalitions are flexible enough to adapt to their members’ needs and the common goal that has brought them together.

                                                   Overlapping Agendas

          Coalitions begin with organizations whose issue agendas largely overlap. The initial recruitment process locates those whose agendas, while different, still show substantial areas of agreement.

Finally, coalitions attempt to recruit organizations whose agendas rarely overlap with those of core coalition members. In some cases, core coalition members may even try to persuade other organizations to stretch their issue agendas to include the coalition’s issue.

Why would coalitions recruit so widely for allies, even going so far as to include organizations with whom they have never worked on any issue?

Just imagine the reaction of a legislator who opens his office door only to find lobbyists on both sides of an issue working together on another issue. ‘Unlikely alliances’ make decision makers and the public sit up and take notice: If people who disagree on so many things agree on this issue, then maybe there’s some merit in their position.

From: A Citizen’s Guide To Politics In America – How the System Works & How to Work the System, by Barry R. Rubin (M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York/London; 1997-2000)

Oswald's Brother: "Lee did not fire the shots that killed the President."

Robert Oswald – If he didn’t practice then Lee didn’t take the shots

Because a shot that missed had been taken at Gen. Edwin Walker on April 10, 1963 the Dallas Police, FBI and Secret Service knew they had an unidentified political sniper in the vicinity and that must have been considered a serious threat to the President when he came there.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother Robert, a former U.S. Marine sergeant who knew him best said, “….I believe the real reason Walker’s life was spared was that Lee Had not yet become accustomed to the new rifle, and had never before used a telescopic sight.”

“I am certain about this,” Robert Oswald wrote in his book Lee – A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald:

“We talked a great deal about rifles and hunting whenever we had time together, because he knew that this was one of my hobbies. When I last saw Lee in November, 1962, I’m sure he would have told me if he had been learning to use a telescopic sight or if he had been doing any hunting or practice shooting. I t would have been a natural subject of conversation for us. Someone who is accustomed to using rifles without scopes does not find it easy to adjust to the use of a scope. Riflemen making the change often fail to allow for the recoil, and some have suffered severe injuries as a result – some have even had their eyes cut open.”
“The contrast between Lee’s failure to kill General Walker and his tragic success on November 22 cannot be accounted for unless we assume that he spent a considerable amount of time practicing with the Mannlicher-Carcano during the intervening months, growing accustomed to the weapon and its telescopic sight.”

“That is why I find it hard to understand the Commission’s refusal to take seriously the testimony of the witnesses who helped account for the difference in the results of the two assassination attempts.”

The Warren Commission had reports and interviewed six witnesses to Oswald practicing with the scope at a rifle range, but discounted their testimony when it concluded, “Although the testimony of these [six] witnesses was partially corroborated by other witnesses, there was other evidence which prevented the Commission from reaching the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the person these witnesses saw.”

Robert Oswald found this explanation baffling, “The Commission itself does not challenge them,” writes Oswald. “It does not contend that they joined in a conspiracy to deceive the Commission. It simply ignores what they have to say. It concludes that “there is no other evidence which indicates that he took the rifle or a package which might have contained the rifle out of the Paine’s garage, where it was stored, prior to that date.”

Which makes Robert conclude: “If Lee did not spend a considerable amount of time practicing with that rifle in the weeks and months before the assassination, then I would say that Lee did not fire the shots that killed the President and wounded Governor Connally.”

“How did Lee get to a rifle range or out into open country for his firing sessions? If he had depended on public transportation, people would have noticed him carrying a weapon aboard a bus, streetcar or train, however carefully he tried to conceal it. I know of no witness who recalled seeing him traveling on public transportation with a rifle. That’s why I find it difficult to understand the Commission’s eagerness to dismiss the one group of witnesses who give us a clear idea of when and where and how Lee learned to use his new rifle with the precisions he displayed on November 22.”

“I find it easier to believe that Lee spent some time practicing with the Mannlicher-Carcano between April and November than to accept the Commission’s conclusion that the rifle was stored away during most of that time – particularly for several weeks before the assassination.”

“Without a considerable amount of practice with that weapon, I do not understand how Lee could have fired it with any accuracy that some of the best riflemen in the United States found it difficult to match.

“It would have taken hours of practice for Lee to become acquainted with the characteristics of the rifle, its recoil, and specially the use of the scope. He had to know, for example whether the scope was zeroed in for one hundred yards or one hundred and fifty yards or two hundred yards. Unless he knew that, he could have overshot any target.”

“If Lee did not spend a considerable amount of time practicing with that rifle in the weeks and months before the assassination, then I would say that Lee did not fire the shots that killed the President and wounded Governor Connally.”

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Dear Mr. Kelly

Thank you for your recent e-mail raising your concerns about the sufficiency of the JFK Assassination Records Collection database that is available on archives.gov at the following url: http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/seach.html

The Archivist forwarded your e-mail to be for direct reply to you.

As I’m sure you know, the JFK database was created in response to the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. In section 5(d) of the Act NARA was required to create “a uniform system of electronic records” comprising identification aids created for each record transmitted to the Archivist. The Act did not stipulate what data fields should be included on the identification aid.

NARA met the obligations of the Act when it created a uniform system and made it available to the agencies that were transmitting the assassination related document to the NARA for inclusion in the Collection. The originating agencies entered the data fields for each document prior to transfer and transferred the data at the same time the records were accessioned by NARA. NARA then entered the data into the JFK Master System and has maintained that system, as well as the public use version on archives.gov since that time.
Accordingly, we believe that NARA has fully complied with the requirements of the Act.
NARA has freely acknowledged, however, that the “current status” field is out of date, and we realized that this frustrates you and other researchers.

The Special Access and FOIA unit that is responsible for the constitution of the Collection and maintenance of the database has extensive responsibilities for records outside of the Collection. Updates have unfortunately been delayed due to other FOIA review and access policy demands on their limited resources.

I am pleased to inform you that the Special Access and FOIA unit has consulted a team to process all of the JFK documents that are being withheld for release by 2017 in accordance with the JFK Act (the only basis to withhold records beyond that time would be if the President personally certifies continued postponement, under section 5(g)(2)(D) of the JFK Act).

As part of that process, the team is currently updating the JFK Collection Master System.

We then intend to update the public use version once the data has been corrected, although we do not expect the update to be complete until 2017.

We welcome any additional input you would like to provide us about deficiencies in the database, so that we can be sure to correct them.

Martha Wagner Murphy
Chief, Special Access and FOIA Staff
National Archives at College Park 


Dear Martha Murphy,

Thank you for inviting me and other researchers to provide additional input on the deficiencies in the JFK Collection database as well as the opportunity to comment on matters of NARA policies and procedures regarding the JFK Act.

A number of speakers commented on the data base t a recent conference in Washington D.C. on the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Report, one saying it just “didn’t work” and another saying it is “basically useless,” so your acknowledgement that the “current status” of the database frustrates researchers is an understatement.

The idea that the CIA could accelerate the release of thousands of documents in 2003 that were due for release in 2010 proves that such acceleration is possible and there’s no excuse why the remaining sealed JFK Assassination records can’t be processed by the 2013 National Declassification Review system already in place. It’s also hard to imagine how hard it would be to update the Master System and the public access database at that time.

Beyond the basic frustration of an un-useable public database, we have found that Secret Service records reportedly destroyed have folders that are marked “withheld,” and that some thought destroyed have been located among the private papers of former agents (Blaine), while other government assassination records have been located among the private papers of former chief counsel Richard Sprague, Esq. and former WC attorney Howard Willins, and there appears to be little attempt to acquire these records for inclusion the JFK Collection as required by the law. Why aren’t the JFK Assassination records in the hands of former government employees being pursued, acquired and included in the collection? I believe Blaine and other Secret Service agents have more records and I suspect so does DOD historian Dr. Alfred Goldberg.

Why can’t you scan and post on line the most frequently requested documents rather than continuing to manually respond to the same requests over and over?

Why can’t you tell us how many documents are still being withheld, but you can’t even though Congress required the Review Board to publish a list of such records in the Federal Register?

Why can’t you provide a printout of all 1,100 CIA NBR records that are postponed until 2017?

Why can’t you remove the remaining redactions in the records previously released?

Why can’t you tell us the number of assassination records that have been destroyed and are missing? 

It is frustrating to have NARA say “We cannot confirm any ONI records are in fact missing from the collection,” when we know of many that aren’t in the collection now, and we know how determined ONI was to exclude all of its assassination records from the collection. You must acknowledge they are missing before you even start to look for them.

It would be good for the NARA JFK Collection staff to meet with or continue a dialog with a focus group of researchers that we have informally formed so we can continue to advise you as we get closer to 2017.

Giving select researchers access to the Master System directory would help, especially those researchers who are compiling lists of records withheld, destroyed and missing, as well as those who are creating a guide and index to the collection, something that Congress and the JFK Act requires the Archivist to do:
Final Report ARRB p. 184-5 - Section 4: President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection at the National Archives and Records Administration. (a) In General (1)….The Collection shall consist of record copies of all Government records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which shall be transmitted to the National Archives in accordance with section 2107 of title 44, United States Code. The Archivist shall prepare and publish a subject guidebook and index to the collection….”

It doesn’t say anything about an unuseable searchable data base or Master System that the public can’t have access to. So here we are decades after Congress passed this law – and there is still no prepared and published subject guidebook and index, something that researchers themselves are apparently going to have to do. 

Besides preparing our own guidebook and index, and continuing the on-going dialogs between the NARA staff and researchers, the only thing we can do is to file FOIA requests and appeals and ask Congress to conduct its required oversight of the JFK Act – hold hearings and obtain the testimony of those responsible for the implementing the law and destroying and wrongfully withholding records.

Why hasn’t NARA requested Congress to oversee the JFK Act and enforce the law despite the reticence of almost all of the government agencies who waited out the ARRB?

Final Report – “Section 4: (e) Oversight – The Committee on Government Operations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate shall have continuing oversight jurisdiction with respect to the collection.”

Why aren’t these committees doing their job and overseeing the enforcement of the JFK Act, which according to the law, “…continue in effect until such time as the Archivist certifies to the President and Congress that all assassination records have been made available to the public in accordance with this Act.”