Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Dueling Mrs. Paine JFK Documentaries

Dueling JFK Documentaries

Since one of the most important JFK assassination witnesses - Ruth Hyde Paine, was not questioned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the 1970s or the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) in the 1990s, there are a lot of outstanding questions that Mrs Paine could answer about a things we have learned since 1964.

Former HSCA attorney and Philadelphia prosecutor Richard Sprague had an investigative policy of questioning the most significant witnesses last, so he knew the right questions to ask, and while that may be the case with Mrs. Paine, I don't think she has been asked the right questions.

Although we haven't heard from her in a long time, she came out of the woodwork in November 2019  to attend the premier of  Todd Kwait's documentary film "Truth Is Our Only Client" at the Texas Theater in Oak Cliff, where Lee Harvey Oswald was famously arrested. She apparently is a main character in that film.

And then she returned on the week of the assassination to tour her old Irving, Texas ranch house where she used to live, and the accused assassin kept the alleged assassination rifle, a house that is now a museum. She also participated in a special program at the Sixth Floor Museum at the old Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). .

Kwait's primary interest appears to be music, but he says he personally bankrolled, produced and edited this film at the urging of former Warren Commission lawyers, especially Burt Griffin, who was responsible for investigating Jack Ruby and how he came to murder Oswald while he was in police custody.

Kwait says he started off with an open mind towards conspiracy but in the end came to believe what the Warren Report concluded - that Oswald acted alone, and those who have seen his film tend to agree with that assessment, so in the end, if truth is the only client, then the client was poorly served.

While Kwait promised me a review copy of his film sometime after November 22, when his preview showings would be over, he reneged on that promise and now says his distributor won't allow him.

He did however, offer to have CAPA present a screening in Washington D.C, New York or Pittsburgh sometime in the near future, and I will hold him to that.

When Mrs. Paine came to Dallas for the film's premier at the Texas Theater she did an interview with a local California newspaper and participated in the Q and A after the film, that included questions from the audience, some of them interesting, with equally interesting response.

The Kwait film also includes talking head interviews with others - including Griffin, Priscilla Johnson McMillan, and am official CIA historian (David Robarge) among others, all of whom I have questions for as well.

Mrs. Paine then returned to Dallas for a series of assassination anniversary week events at the Sixth Floor Museum where she was ostensibly interviewed by Steven Fagan for their oral history program. I sent Fagen a list of my 20 questions for Ruth Paine, if I ever get a chance to ask her, though I don't know if he got them or asked them.

I did almost have a close encounter with her, as when I got to Dallas I had a meal at the New York Deli next door to the Marriott hotel where I was informed Mrs. Paine had breakfast twenty four hours earlier - even sitting in the same booth.

Many years ago, when I was in Philadelphia working with John Judge at a Quaker center, Mrs. Paine called and pledged a donation to the Quakers center over the phone, a call that John Judge took and I thought was a missed opportunity to question her.

When she meets new inquisitors, Mrs. Paine gives them a copy of a letter ostensibly written by Oswald to Marina instructing her what to do if he is killed or captured after the Walker shooting, asking them what they make of it. She implies, as the Warren Commission did, that since Oswald took a shot at Walker he also killed JFK, even though that is not the case. I answer Mrs. Paine's question with one of my own - did she know that at the house party when she first met Marina, Lee was in another room talking with Volkmar Schmidt who suggested to Oswald that Walkler should be killed as Hitler should have been - and Marina signed a copy of one of the photos she took of Oswald in their backyard with the rifle and pistol with the notation:  "Hunter of Fascists, Ha Ha."?

Did Mrs. Paine know that? I don't think so, but she's never been asked.

Mrs. Paine is very cooperative and open to being questioned by reporters and researches, and was interviewed on camera three times by Max Good, who is also polishing off a documentary film - The Assassination and Mrs. Paine - that primarily features her, but also includes interviews with many others - including Gary Aguilar, Jim DiEugenio, Vince Salandria and even Max Holland.

When Good asked Holland why he wrote articles for the CIA's in-house publication - Holland honestly responds that he did it for the money.

While Kwait's film is apparently biased against conspiracy, Good had the audacity to ask Mrs. Paine some tough questions that sparked Burt Griffin to say Good should be ashamed of himself, but it is Griffin who should be ashamed of himself for not conducting a proper investigation in the first place. He never even talked to Jack Ruby, the subject he was assigned to investigate. .

Good wants to interview me about Michael Paine's mom Ruth Forbes Paine Young and her husband Arthur Young, the inventor of the Bell Helicopter, who I met and interviewed years ago. But I'm glad I didn't until I saw the film, which Good showed at the CAPA conference in a private viewing after Saturday night's program.

The Japanese documentary film crew had leased the Board Room on the same floor the CAPA conference was held, so after they left Good set up his projector and showed his film to about twenty of us, including Bill Simpich and Gary Aguilar.

As Good is a young guy I thought it would be an amateur production and was prepared to leave to get a beer but it is very well done - even riveting - and I stayed till the end, as did everyone else, and I told Good that I would help him in any way he wanted.

So now we have two documentaries featuring Ruth Paine, one in which she puts forth the lame idea that she is an innocent victim of Oswald, who killed the President by himself and another film in which she is asked key questions and appears to try to honestly answer them.

The more Mrs. Paine talks the more we learn how Oswald was framed as the Patsy and Fall Guy in a crime he didn't commit. So I hope she keeps talking, and at least tries to honestly answer my twenty questions.

Mrs. Paine, who is often described as the one person who knew the accused assassin more than anyone else, promotes the idea Oswald killed the President all by himself, something she considers a spur of the moment decision, spontanioius combusion - a point some others agree with because, unlike the Walker shooting, Oswald didn't plan it out weeks in advance, survey the situation, take photos and drawing and keep a notebook that he later destroyed. There was none of that, yet, if was the lone assassin, he would have to be considered the world's greatest Lone Wolf Assassin who actually pulled it off, rather than the low life, wife beating loser who couldn't hold a job - as Mrs. Paine and his accusers portray him.

While I haven't seen Kwait's film yet, Mrs. Paine told Good that after she met Marina at the February 1963 party, she invited Marina to move in and live with her at her Irving home because her and Michael were separated, Marina was pregnant and it would be good for all if she stayed with Mrs. Paine until she had the baby. That was what Mrs. Paine calls "The Arrangement."

Earlier in the film Gerald Posner calls Mrs. Paine an innocent victim of the assassination, Priscilla Johnson McMillan says her association with the accused assassin was a great irony, but Jim DiEugenio cautions that "If someone would look closely at Mrs. Paine you might find an important key to the assassination."

And "The Arrangement" cuts to the heart of the "Key."

I first learned of the arrangement while reading former Warren Commissioner's book "Portrait of the Assassin," in which he publishes a letter Ruth Paine wrote to Marina in New Orleans making the pitch for Marina to move in with her. If Marina accepted, Mrs. Paine wrote, she should write to her C/O in care of Arthur Young - Paoli, Pennsylvania.

I could find this letter no where else among JFK assassination literature, and knew that Ford was criticized for using documents not available to the public, so I assume the letter was one of those documents only Ford and the Warren Commissioners had access to.

Who was Arthur Young? I asked. Why as I learned over the course of years, Arthur Young was the genius, eccentric inventor of the Bell Helicopter who married Michael Paine's mother - Ruth Forbes Paine Young.

A member of the exclusive Forbes family, Ruth Forbes married Michael Paine's father - Lyman Paine, a founder of the Trotyskite Communist Party in the USA and considered a rich, cocktail party communist who conflicted with the regular Communist Party USA that was controlled by the Soviets. In the backyard photo that Marina inscribed "Hunter of Fascists, Ha, Ha," Oswald can be seen holding not only the rifle suspected of being the weapon that killed the President, and the pistol allegedly used to kill Dallas Police officer J.D. Tippit, but two magazines - the Worker - the publication of the regular Communist Party, and the Militant - the publication of the Trotkysite Party.

So Michael' Paine's father was a founder of the Trotkysite Party in America, and Oswald subscribed to their publication and knew the history of the party and the fact that Leon Trotsky was assassinated by Soviet KGB agent Raymon Mercader in exile in Mexico City.

While she was married to Paine, Ruth Forbes was a close personal friend and traveling companion to Mary Bancroft, another rich socialite who met a Swiss businessman on a steam ship when she was traveling to Europe with Ruth Forbes, married him and relocated to Switzerland. There she met and became closely associated with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer stationed there, Allen Dulles. Bancroft became Dulles' secretary, chief assistant and amorous agent, especially in dealing with Nazi Gestapo officer Hans Bernard Gisivious. Gisiviious was involved deeply with the German military officer's plot to kill Hitler that culminated in the failed July 20, 1944 bombing at the Wolf's Lair headquarters. Dulles and Bancroft arranged for Gisivious to escape Germany and to testify against the Nazis at Nurenburg. Gisivious then migrated to American where he worked for the CIA and a major Dallas defense industry, as did many of the former Nazi  Operation Paperclip defectors.

The friendship between Ruth Forbes Paine Young and Mary Bancroft included Bancroft's visits to the Forbes family owned Nashau Island, off Massachusets, where Michael's wife Ruth Hyde Paine and Michael's mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young vacationed before joining Arthur Young in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

A Main Line railroad stop outside of Philadelphia, Paoli is a highbrow rich community and home to the CIA's front company the Catherwood Foundation, that comes into play elsewhere in the drama.

It was at Arthur Young's historic, rural farm outside of Philadelphia where "The Arrangment" was sealed, as Marina Oswald must have sent Mrs. Paine a letter there agreeing to the terms of the deal, and after leaving the Youngs at Paoli, Mrs. Paine drove her Chevy station wagon south, to D.C. where she met her sister, who worked for the CIA, and then south to New Orleans. There she stayed the night, then drove the pregnant Marina, their daughter and belongs - including the rifle - to Irving, Texas while Oswald ostensibly went to Mexico City.

Mrs. Paine contends she didn't know Oswald had a rifle, and Oswald packed the wagon in New Orleans and Michael unpacked it in Irving. For his part, Michael said that he didn't know about the rifle, and thought the pipe in the blanket that he moved around the garage was camping equipment.

While I don't think Kuait bothers to get into any of the details of "The Arrangement," Good shows an aerial photo of the Forbes Nashau Island, and asks Mrs. Paine about Michael's mother and Mary Bancroft, and implies that not only Michael's mom but SHE too knew Mary Bancroft, which would be two degrees of separation between her and Allen Dulles.

On the same day Mrs. Paine took Marina, the baby and Oswald's belongings - including the rifle, to Texas, and Oswald ostensibly left for Mexico, September 15, 1963, the Joint Chiefs of Staff met at the Pentagon for a special briefing by Desmond FitzGerald, head of the CIA's covert Cuban operations. At that meeting, FitzGerald said the CIA was engaged in a "detailed study" of the German military's July 20, 1963 plot to kill Hitler to be used against Fidel Castro. While FitzGerald acnowledged that there were a number of Cuban military officers who were disenchanted with the Castro government, there was not the confidence for them to talk to each other.

That was not a problem with the American military or the Joint Chiefs of Staff,who were united in their opposition to the Kennedy administration over the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and the back channel negotiations with Castro.

In response to a FOIA request for their "detailed study" of the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler to be adapted for use against Castro, the CIA claimed that it could find no records of such a study or anything whatsoever on the July 20, 1944 German military plot to kill Hitler.

If there was nothing put in writing - no existing documentation, such a detailed study must have been oral interviews with those still living who were involved, which should have included Allen Dulles, Mary Bancroft and Hans B. Gisivious.

So my key question to Mrs. Paine is whether she confided in Michael's mother - Ruth Forbes Paine Young or Arthur Young, while she was living at their Paoli, Pa. farm house, that the pregnant Marina Oswald had agreed to "the arrangement" to move in with her in Irving, Texas until she had the baby?

And if so, was Mary Bancroft and Allen Dulles also informed of such an arrangement?

Oswald himself agreed to the arrangement, returned to Dallas and took out room under the same alias he used in Mexico City - O. H. Lee, and obtained the job at the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) through the efforts of Mrs. Paine.

Shortly thereafter Oswald's second daughter was born, and Oswald was once again a proud father, and Mrs. Paine wrote a letter to her father in Ohio that Oswald was a good father.

At the same time the assassination occurred, Michael Paine was in the Bell Helicopter cafeteria with another worker talking about political assassinations - an ESP experience that Arthur Young - the inventor of the Bell Helicopter would have appreciated, as he was an avid believer in ESP. When I met Michael's mother and Arthur Young at their rural Philadelphia farmhouse she was too old and infirm to talk, but Arthur Young did my Astrology chart as we talked for hours.

As Mrs. Paine now says - "I was not a sitter for Oswald for the CIA and certainly don't feel I was manipulated in any way or encouraged to do anything in particular.....If you believe in astrology you can believe other forces were at work. If you are just going to look at the facts of the case, there is not evidence for conspiracy."

"For me one of the things I thought was very strongly and important was to answer questions, especially for those interested in the truth. The Warren Commission was interested in the truth, but I have less and less patience for those who are looking for a conspiracy."

Well you don't have to look far if you are looking for a conspiracy. As Warren Commission attorney said, if they knew about the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro they would have conducted a different investigation. As the key figure in the CIA-Mafia plots John Rosseli said, he supported a team of assassins out of the CIA's JMWAVE station who were sent into Cuba to kill Castro. As former CIA officer Rolf M. Larsson has said, if there was a CIA plot to kill the President it originated at JMWAVE.

The focus on Oswald, the focus on Mrs. Paine is part of a psychological warfare black propaganda diversion operation, that so far has been successful, as the JMWAVE commandos who were paid and trained to kill Castro are suspected of redirecting their fire to JFK in Dallas.

As for Mrs. Paine, we now have two dueling documentaries - Todd Kwait's "Truth is Our Only Client" and Max Good's "Mrs. Paine and the Assassination."

In the spring in Washington D.C.,  possibly in mid-March during Sunshine Week - CAPA may host a JFK Film Festival that will include both films as well as the new "Destiny Betrayed" documentary that Oliver Stone and Jim DiEugenio are preparing for release around the same time.

MORE TO COME - this is a work in progress, stay tuned.


Barbara S. said...

Todd Kwiat clerked for Judge Burt Griffin. Was he truly unbiased in his view of the assassination? The movie seems to be shown to selected audiences. It was shown for the U.S Capitol Historical Society on 10/23/19. The Warren Commission occupied an office suite in their building. It was included in the film. The film was shown with a discussion at the Cleveland Marshall College of Law in Cleveland Ohio.A credit of 3.0 hours was awarded to law students. It featured Burt Griffin & Todd Kwiat among other speakers on 11/22/19 from 1:00pm - 4:30.

Barbara S. said...

The building is the Veterans of Foreign Wars . The discussion group for the Historical group included Todd Kwiat, Dr. Alfred Goldberg, Judge Burt Griffin, California Associate Justice Stuart Pollak, Samuel Stern and Howard Willens.

Barbara S. said...

I checked IMDb Max Good's film is listed as "The Assassination and Mrs. Paine". It is listed as in post production. Max has been involved in the documentary field starting in 2006. He has acted, done sound work, produced, directed, written, edited and camera operation. He was an assistant producer on "The Most Dangerous Man in America:Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" which was the only film I was familiar with.