As everyone knows who has been studying political assassinations for any length of time, things happen very slowly, then a lot happens at once. Sometimes we can predict the events, sometimes not.
Now we know every November 22 anniversary there will be news and special media reports, but this year, we also know that something big will occur on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, as that is the deadline for the president to decide whether to continue with holding JFK assassination records or release them in full as required by the JFK Act of 1992.
Either way it will be a big news day and covered by all the major media networks and there will be commentary in the Washington Post and New York Times as well as by anyone interested in this case. I will be writing a preview and a review after the fact.
Therefore something will happen, and we can at least prepare for it. Towards that end I am working with CAPA, David Talbot’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, the Assassination Archives and research Center, Mary Ferrell, JFK Facts and others interested in this subject. At first we sent letters to the Chairwomen of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and President Biden, requesting they hold oversight hearings and release the records in full. But at this point in time I don’t think either will happen, unless the public can be generated to contact their representatives in Congress and demand it, as they did after the release of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK.
Attorney Mark Zaid put together a letter that received a positive response from the Public Interest Declassification Board, a branch of the National Archives. He got a number of others with a variety of viewpoints to co-sign on, emphasizing the fact that this is not about conspiracy but about releasing all of the records as the law requires.
I tried to lease a room at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC in order to hold a press conference on October 26, but it now appears that if we do hold such a press conference it will be done virtually.
November 22, 2021 is a Monday, and as far as I can tell there will be three conferences, one in person conference sponsored by Judith Vary Baker at the Magnolia Hotel in Dallas. Randy Benson, the college film professor and director of the award winning documentary The Searchers, about independent researchers focusing on John Judge, will be the keynote speaker. JVB has also announced that this will be her last in person conference in Dallas, and I assume she will also conduct the memorial service at 12:30 pm at Dealey Plaza that Monday.
Debra Conway and Larry Hancock will be hosting a virtual on line conference though the dates have yet to be announced. I have been asked to make a presentation for them, and will probably do so, the topic of which has yet to be determined. I will report on this as the information becomes available.
Last March, as things seemed to be getting better, and looked like they would continue in that direction, the CAPA board decided to hold an in person conference in Dallas in November, but the Marriot Courtyard, where we held a successful conference two years ago, was already booked. We then reserved the Sheraton, where a lot of JFK Assassination activities occurred. But that didn’t work out and the third hotel we reserved had a pipe leak and will not be ready in time.
So with all that in addition to the rise in COVID cases, and the fact that Texas is one of the nation’s hot-spots, the CAPA board decided to not have an in person conference in Dallas this year because of the problems with the hotels and COVID, so we will be having another virtual conference that is shaping up nicely, as CAPA secretary Glenda Devaney explains here:
GREETINGS FROM CAPA!
We hope all of you are in good health and doing well.
We regret to announce that CAPA will be having a virtual conference instead of an in-person one this year. So far only a handful of people have registered for the conference. We suspect that most people wanted to wait until closer to the time of the conference because of all the confusion and unpredictability. But we fear that things will probably get worse, not better - too much uncertainty and too many obstacles in our way.
We are extremely disappointed about this as we were looking forward to seeing all of you. Our online schedule and registration will be available soon. We believe we have an excellent program lined up and hope you all can access it. If, for some reason, you are not able to access the program on the days it will be streamed, we will have a package of the presentations available after the conference.
We will provide information on how to register for the conference soon.
Here is the program for the virtual conference:
Since the JFK/Media Panel was so successful last year, we are planning on having it again with some new participants. We are planning to have a half-day on the subject of “The JFK Assassination and the Media,” a topic that has not been discussed and investigated by the mainstream media. Andrew Kreig will chair the panel. Participants in the panel will be Dr. Cyril Wecht, Russ Baker, James Wagenvoord, and Jacob Hornberger.
Tink Thompson and Gary Aguilar will speak about Tink’s new book, “Last Second in Dallas.”
Dr. Cyril Wecht will be our keynote speaker – topic to be announced closer to the conference.
James Wagenvoord will speak about his experiences working at Life magazine in 1963. He has much to share since he was at the epicenter of the magazine responsible for much of the news about the assassination. Title of the talk is “My LIFE Story and LIFE’s Life Story.”
Russell Kent, who spoke last year about the House Select Committee on Assassinations Forensic Pathology Panel, will speak about his new book, “JFK: Medical Betrayal.”
Stephen Jaffe is the last living investigator on the staff of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in the 60's. Jaffe was also one of the producers of the feature film “Executive Action” in 1973. And, for the first time, for the CAPA audience, Jaffe will show a new documentary that he produced with his late partner, author and attorney Mark Lane. It’s entitled, “A Rush to Judgment,” after Lane’s best-selling book and includes some rare interviews with witnesses Lane interviewed in 1966. It also includes historic new interviews. Jaffe will also show a brief, almost never seen documentary film about the making of “Executive Action” with interviews of the stars (Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Will Geer, as well as the executive producer Edward Lewis). Jaffe will take questions about his time with Garrison.
David Montague was head of investigations for the United States JFK Assassination Records Review Board and will speak about his time in that position.
Andrew Kiel will speak on J. Edgar Hoover, LBJ, and the Secret Service presenting additional information not included in his previous talk.
We will also have a panel on the history and status of withholding of the JFK assassination records. David Montague will chair the panel; participants so far are Michael Nurko, Bill Kelly and Jacob Hornberger.
We are again planning a special day for high school, college, and law school students. This will be held online, as it was last year, on Friday, November 19. We want to get more young people interested in this tragic event that changed the course of our country and hopefully enlist them in our cause. We are planning a program that will give them the opportunity to see what President Kennedy was like as a person and a president and educate them about the truth of the assassination. The event will be free to students attending high schools, universities and law schools. If anyone has suggestions for schools or national organizations you think might be interested, please let me know and I will send out invitations.
Thank you all for your support of CAPA and its worthy cause -
Pursue the release of withheld records - Find the Truth - Seek Justice.
Glenda de Vaney
CAPA Program Chair
In addition the CAPA Research Committee, that I head, will be presenting some of the most advanced research on a number of topics, including General LeMay on 11/22/63, Valkyrie and Pathfinder at Dealey Plaza, and synopsis of the inter-related stories of Gene Wheaton and Carl Jenkins, including reports on recent interviews with Jenkins.
In addition, CAPA is already preparing for an in person conference in Dallas next November, and has reserved the Marriott Courtyard, where we held the successful 2019 conference, and if JVB lives up to her word and will not be in Dallas next year, CAPA will try to obtain the permit for Dealey Plaza for 11/22/22 and hold a traditional 12:30 memorial service in the Penn Jones-John Judge style.
In the meantime there’s a lot to be done before this year is out, especially in regards to October 26 and November 22, and I will be in the thick of it.