Frequently Asked Questions on the JFK Assassination: (Pt. 7): The HSCA Investigation
Why was the House
Select Committee on Assassinations launched and who headed it? What general
standards did they apply?
The HSCA emerged partly as a result of
the widespread discontent with the Warren Commission and the demands to launch
a real governmentinvestigation
independent of a biased presidential commission – when that commission itself
had been compromised. (LBJ stood to benefit if indeed he had any role in
passively cooperating to gain power, and his control, especially via
appointments,meant no other
investigations – whether state, federal or otherwise could be started at the
The HSCA also likely grew out of the
somewhat earlier (and slightly overlapping) Church investigation of the intelligence agencies, and the
massive outcry that arose when it was revealed how much leeway they had to
interfere in our way of life. The Church Committee and its findings in fact
prompted passage of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which
purpose had been to eliminate domestic spying, for example by the CIA and NSA.
This had been law up until the legislation was gutted via a 2011 re-do that
legalized warrantless wiretaps by the Bush administration.
Originally heading the HSCA was a
former Philadelphia prosecutor named Richard A.
Sprague, and Robert K. Tanenbaum a brilliant prosecutor out of New York. Sprague, by
contrast to the palsied, compromised Warren
fiasco, at once set out strict guidelines, including:
-No one would be hired connected to the
FBI, CIA or any federal agency and gave the reason that “to do a thorough
investigation, those agencies’ actions had to be part of the investigation” (Probe
interview with R. Sprague, Jan-Feb, 2000, p. 17)
-He vowed to “delve deeply into the
methods of the FBI and CIA” (ibid.)
Intelligence agencies /National Security state interfere as they did in the Warren Commission?
they did. As soon as the CIA got wind of Sprague’s criteria for investigation
top Spook Richard Helms began to lobby the Kennedy family not to cooperate.
They mostly ignored him.
today, however, there were quislings, traitors and enablers in the midst of
setting things up. For example, Rep. Henry Gonzalez – a Chairman of the
Committee- just told the CIA to “ignore” the subpoenas issued by Sprague. When the CIA demanded “security checks” on
everyone, Sprague refused.Tanenbaum was
blunt: “I’ll be damned if they’ll investigate us before we investigate them”
The CIA retaliated by
marshaling its media assets mainly via “Operation Mockingbird” since over 50
CIA plants were already embedded in assorted news organizations including The
New York Times (Watergate investigator Carl Bernstein estimated 10 there) as
well as The Washington Post. Few people are aware of these connections. Kathryn S. Olmstead in her book, Challenging the Secret Government’,1996, University of
North Carolina Press, page 21, notes:
Editor Ben Bradlee’s brother-in-law was covert operations Chief Cord Meyerand Post
publisher Phil Graham was a close friend of another covert operations chief,
Frank Wisner. “
Meanwhile, the Sulzbergers (New York Times)
“socialized withCIA Directors Allan
Dulles, John McCone and Richard Helms". More to the point, the CIA’s Operation
Mockingbird was an ongoing project that kept any unwanted revelations off the
The CIA also marshaled its congressional assets,
probably resorting to blackmail or other nefarious devices. One of the
CIA charges was that Sprague was“trampling on people’s rights” – the same charge made against Jim
Garrison in his own investigation.
was notable in excavating a CIA document – an internal memo from Richard Helms’
office – that revealed how the CIA had followed, harassed and attempted to
intimidate Jim Garrison’s witnesses.
happened to Sprague?
might imagine, Sprague’s stone cojones terrified the National Security state
and its overweening enablers, congressional sycophants, stooges and hangers-on. Thus, no surprise he was forced to resign. He
was replaced by G. Robert Blakey a CIA toady and “expert in organized crime”
who was the one responsible for incepting the idiotic “Mafia did it” meme. (Any
sensible person with any intellectual heft – who investigated this case- knew
damned well the Mafia lacked the power to cover up and destroy evidence,
including JFK’s suit coat, disassembling, cleaning and rebuilding thelimo, and absconding with the brain – found
missing after the autopsy)
first step was to cut a deal with the CIA. In this deal, none other than CIA
"Information and Privacy Coordinator" Jim Lawderman – on July 27, 1977- wrote out
the terms of the CIA’s control of Blakey’s investigation. (Mellen, J.,
‘Farewell to Justice’, p. 345).One of
the terms cited was (ibid.):
areas relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy should be
entirely disregarded based upon our contention they are without merit or
Thus, the CIA was effectively judging the evidence even
before there was any. This
statement in many ways is as glaring and outrageous as the terms of the
document NSC-68 paving the way for perpetual war. It also explains key
anomalies in the HSCAinvestigation.
some of the anomalies revealed in the HSCA Investigation?
were a number of them, each of which diluted the impact of the overall
investigation and included:
-David Atlee Phillips’ lies and
manipulation tactics.HSCA investigator Gaeton
Fonzi is abundantly clear regarding the tactics of David Atlee Phillips (The
Last Investigation, p. 336):
“David Atlee Phillips, former Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division
of the CIA, lied under oath to the House Select Committee – and he got away
with it. In its final report the Committee slipped in that fact obliquely,
relegating it to a footnote. This was a devious way to cover its ass; it also
illustrated the Committee’s readiness to dismiss evidence that would contradict
its final report. That
it disregarded Phillips' perjury confirms the Committee's tacit decision not to
pursue the truth 'wherever it might lead' - especially if it headed toward the
CIA. Chief Counsel Blakey had, after all, a' working agreement' with the Agency."
The last point makes it especially confounding to read
Blakey's words (reported ca. 2001)about
being incensed at Joannides for “obstructing our investigation” , when the liar
and perjurer Atlee Phillips was equally guilty. Fonzi goes on to
emphasize Phillips import (op. cit., p. 336):
David Phillips represented
the most crucial investigative link ever developed between the Central
Intelligence Agency and the assassination of President Kennedy."
-The conclusion that the head (kill)
shot came from the Texas School Book Depository despite the HSCA’s own acoustic
tests which showed it originated on the grassy knoll (also corroborated by the Parkland surgeon’s own testimony and the actual autopsy
photos.) Thus, the weird attempt of the HSCA to "square the circle" - finding for conspiracy while retaining the original Warren Commission location for the head shot's origin. (See FAQ, Pt. 5 on why exactly it doesn't work)
-The entry of the National Academy of
Science team (under Norman Ramsey) to dispute and question the original
findings of the MIT acoustics team – which traced 4 impulses and one to the
grassy knoll – could have been at the instigation of the CIA to discredit the
original finding, and thereby the original HSCA conspiracy finding. (They found
it 95% probable)
- Major security breaches occurred right under the
nose of the HSCA investigation. Blakey
attributed it to 'curiosity' but even to a naive defender, that’s stretching things.
subsequently called the FBI on being notified of one incident involving the
autopsy photos, and they took fingerprints. Analysis disclosed a print belonging
to one Regis Blahut, the CIA's security representative. Evidently, Blahut was resolute in denying he
had anything to do with it but, after three consecutive polygraph test
failures, Blahut blurted to a reporter:
are other things involved that are detrimental to other things."
words could have been an oblique reference to the cold-blooded black ops hit on
William Bruce Pitzer (Head of the Audio-Visual Unit of Bethesda Naval
Hospital,) who had access to an original, unedited 16 mm film of the autopsy,
as well as 35 mm slides of same, in 1966.
is noted by Pitzer's associate, Petty Officer Dennis David, who worked with
him at the Film Unit, in the video 'The Men Who Killed Kennedy', Pt. 6 of
the Nigel Turner BBC series. (See also the book on the Pitzer Incident: Without Smoking Gun by Kent
Mr. David noted that three or four days after the assassination, Pitzer had
shown him in his office.
a 16mm film of the autopsy
Slides: including tissue slides and also
slides showing JFK while on the table at the morgue
pointed out two slides specifically, one of which clearly showed a small hole
in the upper temple, and the other a large gaping hole in the back of the head.
In his words:
wound was a frontal entry wound, opposed to what the Warren Commission said."
It makes sense then that
if this evidence became available it would point the finger at government for
complicity in the Pitzer hit, and Blahut’s job was to see that didn’t occur.
The total collective of misfires, obfuscations, manipulations and misdirection prompted HSCA Investigator Gaeton Fonzi, to write :
“So again, our government slapped the American people in the face. We have been slapped in the face over and over and over again and we still deny it is happening to us. Why?”
Why indeed would such
severe impediments be imposed to prevent an honest and forthright investigation
as Richard Sprague wanted?
The obvious reason is that there was
way too much at stake for the ones that killed Kennedy – a clandestine branch
of our own government, embedded in the CIA. Most likely run out of CIA Staff D
and the ZR/Rifle program – then mutated into Executive Action against Kennedy.
People can toss up hands and put fingers in ears and sing “lalalala’ all they
want but there it is! Why else forge such consistent impediments against an
open investigation? The only reason would be to protect the interests, people
that did it – and who up to now have gotten away with it, including the murder of dozens of
key witnesses any time a trail was revived for an investigation.Don’t believe me? Then look at Richard
Charnin’s stats of witnesses killed around and at the time of the HSCA
So in this sense, Fonzi is spot on
correct. The clandestine interests that did it have absolutely no desire for
the American people to find out. They want to keep them in La-la land believing
a lone nut – who they groomed to be the decoy – was the one responsible.
Do you think there
will ever be a genuine investigation that for once forges ahead and refuses to
accept the defects of earlier inquires?
Well, let me put it this way: In
today’s hyper-National Security state (since 9/11) where spooks are into everything we read,
see online and communicate, that has about as much chance occurring as
extraterrestrials landing from Zeta Reticuli and hauling all the spooks
away!In other words, don’t hold your
breath. The national security state now rules with an iron fist and all
supposed leaders can do is ask “How high?” when ordered to jump.