Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rebuttal of Scott Aaronson's "20 Reasons" for Oswald Dunnit - Continued

We now continue as I rebut more of quantum physicist Scott Aaronson's 20 specious reasons that Oswald was the lone gunman in the JFK assassination:

5.  A half-century of investigation has failed to link any individual besides Oswald to the crime.

True, but that is because it wasn't one "individual".  All the evidence amassed so far from the existing files (especially Oswald's CI/SIG files, the Staff D connection) shows the hit was an executive action masterminded by the CIA probably in collusion with NSA assets. That no individual has been identified isn't surprising at all to any who have examined the detailed documents in depth - as Peter Dale Scott has published in his most recent book, cited in Part One.

The original plan, gleaned from multiple documents- interviews,  was to kill Kennedy, link Oswald to Castro, and use this as a pretext to invade Cuba.  Note the parallels here to the October, 1962 Missile crisis- when the Joint Chiefs tried to get Kennedy to invade Cuba on the basis of the Soviet missiles there. JFK refused, and in so doing put another nail in his coffin, while his enemies looked for other ways to achieve their goal- ending up at assassination of Kennedy - by a Castro dupe. Or so the CIA hoped people would believe. Former CIA accountant James Wilcott, however, noted the phony link to Castro could not be established firmly enough to hold and hence the need to brand Oswald as the lone assassin.

In other words, the CIA aimed for a 'trifecta' - blaming the USSR as an accomplice, invading Cuba and killing Kennedy, but they ended up with only one of the three - but to be sure a huge one - as it's distorted this nation's history ever since. (Along with shattering all confidence and trust in gov't - given the government still hold to the phony Warrenite story.)

Interestingly, CIA asset -accountant James Wilcott's narrative was also confirmed by a former Military Affairs editor at LIFE, J. Garrett Underhill, a CIA informant. Underhill related that a "small clique in the CIA" killed Kennedy and he was prepared to 'blow the whistle" on them. Alas, it didn't happen. He was found with a bullet wound behind his left ear on May 8, 1964. He thereby became one of the numerous witnesses dead under suspicious circumstances - which Richard Charnin has shown proves a conspiracy. See:

Underhill, like many other witnesses, is believed to have been taken out by assets used from ZR/Rifle and Staff D. - after being either manipulated by psych-tactics (such as used in the CIA's MKUltra) or by other coercive means. (See Paul Nolan's book, 'The Sociopathy Test', p. 41)

One more little aspect Aaronson overlooks: the continued secrecy in many critical CIA files - i.e. associated with George Joannides - has assured few individual names associated with the actual commission of the killing will ever be known, though the National Archives is obligated to release the remaining files by 2017.

6. Oswald had previously tried to assassinate General Walkera fact that was confirmed by his widow Marina Oswald, but that, incredibly, is barely even discussed in the reams of conspiracy literature.

More evidence of Aaronson's lackadaisical style of work, inattention to detail.  Marina, in her 1993 interview with Tom Brokaw, denied any involvement of Lee in the Walker shooting. She said that at the time she was under pressure by the FBI, Secret Service to "cooperate" with the Warrenites or face deportation. This meant her adding to the portrayal of Lee as the lone nut assassin. Marina didn't want to disrupt her family so cooperated.

Re: the Walker shooting, Mark North (Act of Treason) aptly points out  that the Walker shooting – "like other media myths” -  was totally unrelated to the assassination and further[1], “would have faded into total obscurity but for the fiction that would be created on 11/22/63”

 Was Walker fired upon? Yes, but not by Oswald! The most likely perpetrators, based on the car description and James Douglass’ own research, were two males - one a Latino, one a shorter Caucasian - neither Oswald. . Many like Aaronson are hoodwinked by the Walker story, as if it is a dry run for the assassination. Nowhere on their radar do a number of strange and odd facts play out – including that a young male witness, Walter Coleman (standing in the doorway of a nearby house) heard the shot and saw at least two men – neither of whom looked like Oswald. The lad added that he observed a car with door open, a ’58 or so Chevy- and a man bending over the back seat.

 This evidence was supported by Robert Surrey, one of Walker’s aides who spotted two men prowling around the residence days before the shooting.  The car was described as a 1957 Chevrolet and one of the man as dark-complexioned. This description of two men and the car exactly fits the description given by James Douglass of Sergio Archacha Smith and an Oswald double who drove with him out to the Trinity River after the assassination.
 The fact that Oswald never learned to drive is also critical here. Given a Warren Commission file photo showing the (actual ’57) Chevy parked next to Walker’s home – but with the rear license plate cut out from the image, why would anyone want to protect Oswald if he really was the perp? It makes no sense. The only reason anyone – likely the Dallas PD or FBI – cut out the plate identification is to protect someone else other than Oswald! Thus, either Oswald did not do it, or he had an accomplice do it.

 Another salient point: the slug found at the scene was from a 30.06 as reported from the FBI files cited in Mark North’s excellent book Act of Treason (page 255). So how did a 30.06 rifle mutate into Oswald’s alleged 6.5 mm Mannlicher –Carcano some months later, when all the evidence is Oswald never fired such or was ever photographed with such?

7. There’s clear evidence that Oswald murdered Officer Tippit an hour after shooting JFK—a fact that seems perfectly consistent with the state of mind of someone who’d just murdered the President

 More nonsense. There is no "clear evidence" at all.  Perhaps the nearest witness of all to the shooting was a courageous African-American woman Aquilla Clemmons - who pointedly noted that a heavyset man shot Officer J.D. Tippitt, not Oswald.

Tippit was shot to death in Dallas' Oak Cliff area, at the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue - of that there is no doubt. The question is:  WHO did it? Officer Gerald Hill had custody of the .38 supposedly found on Oswald - but given the existence of the Oswald "ghost" photo (at Dallas P.D. HQ - see my March 13, 2013  post for the image, details) this could well have been a plant. Hill testified to the Warren Commission that he'd found six live rounds in the chamber and two empty cartridges  (that came from an automatic weapon) at the murder scene. (Revolvers don't discharge shells after firing)

Given Oswald failed a paraffin test for nitrate residue, and given the preceding account, the evidence indicates Oswald never fired a gun that day, period. Full stop.  Further, all the original witnesses asserted in  their original statements to the Dallas cops that the man who fired on Tippit did not resemble Oswald - but rather a heavy set male (Oswald was about 5'9" and 160 lbs. - not heavy set by any means - bordering more on thin.)
Under furious pressure from authorities, most of the original  Tippit killing witnesses subsequently changed their testimony to saying the killer "looked like Oswald." What they were threatened with we don't know, but it's interesting that a number of other  witnesses who came forward that day (e.g. Julia Ann Mercer, Lee Bowers, S.M. Holland et al) were threatened or cajoled into conformity if they insisted anyone but Oswald was the perp - whether in the assassination or the Tippit killing.

Two witnesses never did alter their words: Jack Tatum and Aquilla Clemmons, mainly because the WC never called them or took statements. But Tatum later testified to the HSCA  and Clemmons related to researcher Mark Lane (in the documentary 'Rush to Judgment')  that the killer was clearly a heavy set white male. Ms. Clemmons also confided to Lane that she was admonished by the Dallas Police to remain silent.

Her subsequent silence may well have been warranted given the deaths of dozens of witnesses and people directly involved in the case, including those designated to be called by the HSCA to testify. See e.g.

8. Besides being a violent nut, Oswald was also a known pathological liar

 More codswallop  consumed from Posner and mindlessly parroted, so we can take with a grain of salt most of the examples he gives. Also,  there is no cognizance - none- of the simultaneous presence and operations of the Oswald Double, intended to further paint the real Oswald into a corner as the assassin.
9. According to police accounts, Oswald acted snide and proud of himself after being taken into custody: for example, when asked whether he had killed the President, he replied “you find out for yourself.” 

Ah yes, the infamous Texas Theater altercation, which continues to be muddled in the minds of most dilettantes like Aaronson, as well as many media.   In fact, the Dallas cops descended on the theater in droves and Oswald, again, never had any chance to fire a shot - even if he'd had a gun. Contrary to the words put into Oswald's mouth by Posner-Aaronson, all the odd witnesses there reported the words Oswald actually shouted aloud were: "I am not resisting arrest! Police brutality!"  Clearly, Oswald had figured out by then he'd been set up as the patsy - and the cover story he'd been fed (that he was to expose the plot) had now turned on him instead. Author James Douglas (op. cit.) conjectures the plot rebounded on Oswald after a phone caller named "Lee" exposed the earlier (Nov. 2, 1963) plot by Thomas Arthur  Vallee to assassinate Kennedy in Chicago. When that executive action was scrapped, Oswald became the in Dallas.

Another sub-plot to the primary plot involved Assistant District Attorney William Alexander being called to the Texas Theater for Oswald's arrest. Why? Also, why did he accompany officer Gerald Hill to the scene of the Tippit murder? Planting evidence? Confecting it? As per an account cited in the book, 'The Killing of a President' by Robert Groden (p. 101) the real madman appears to be Alexander, who allegedly "once threatened a man in the course of trying to extract a confession by holding a gun to his head and exclaiming, "You son of a bitch! I will kill you right here!'"

Meanwhile, not to disappoint, after Oswald's arrest Alexander evidently shouted loudly enough for the next door shop keepers to hear: "You're a god damned communist!" at Oswald. One supposes he was in the loop to tag Oswald with the most horrific label and epithet one could muster at the time, again to make most people believe a lone commie loon killed Kennedy as opposed to one of the right wing extremist crackpots known to inhabit Big D, see e.g.
10. Almost all JFK conspiracy theories must be false, simply because they’re mutually inconsistent.
 Truly naïve to the point of almost being childish. Of course many are "mutually inconsistent"  because the earlier ones didn't gain access to the critical documents and CIA files released much later, under the JFK Records Act. Like the conspiracy zeitgeist in general, not all theories are created equal because not all theorists put in the same amount of research, hard work. This ought to be self-evident, particularly to Aaronson, who clearly hasn't put in one hundredth the work and research of most of us.  Yet he feels entitled to dispense his "reasons" and critiques as if a wizened expert!
Another aspect: an apparently "mutually inconsistent" hypotheses may in fact be complementary to one or more others. For example, the CIA masterminding the hit through the ZR/Rifle program (under Staff D) whereby the ostensible plan to assassinate Castro was used as a foil to kill Kennedy is not mutually exclusive with the presence of other banking, financial, or Mob & Cuban interests which were already tied to the CIA in multifold ways (as shown by Donald Gibson in his trenchant work, Battling Wall Street - The JFK Presidency and by James Douglass in his own book, JFK and the Unspeakable.  

Thus, analogous to the illustration I gave for the complementarity of the liquid drop and shell model in nuclear physics (See my blog yesterday on Pt. 1, Introducing Nuclear Physics) , two or more theories could be complementary in the Kennedy case.

11. The case for Oswald as lone assassin seems to become stronger, the more you focus on the physical evidence and stuff that happened right around the time and place of the event.  To an astonishing degree, the case for a conspiracy seems to rely on verbal testimony years or decades afterward—often by people who are known confabulators, who were nowhere near Dealey Plaza at the time
Another red herring, most of it parroted almost word for word from Posner's disreputable playbook. If in fact Aaronson really did focus on the physical evidence at the time- especially the Zapruder film (see Jackie's motion over the BACK of the limo) :
 and remove the blinders from his eyes and use physics - he'd see the evidence is staring  him straight in the face, i.e. the kill shot -head shot had to have come from the opposite direction as the Texas School Book Depository.  Aaronson might also want to take a gander at the actual autopsy photo - with the massive head wound in the rear of the head - compared to the faux version of the Warren Commission, e.g.
 Another straw man he babbles is that we "rely on verbal testimony decades afterward". I will refer him once again to the autopsy photos - fake and real - of JFK's head wound. Does that look like 'verbal testimony"?  He also needs to look at the analysis I did of the bullet wounds  - so as to better clear the uncertainties fogging his brain:

12. If the conspiracy is so powerful, why didn’t it do something more impressive than just assassinate JFK? Why didn’t it rig the election to prevent JFK from becoming President in the first place?
 Truly naïve and shows how out of touch Aaronson is with the facts of the case and reality. No one claims the conspiracy was "all powerful" or even "powerful", only effective. That is, it had to be effective enough to ensure it succeeded in taking out Kennedy  at the most propitious time and place - especially in Dallas, given that an earlier attempt in Chicago on Nov. 2 (by lone assassin Thomas Arthur Vallee) had failed. (See James Douglass' book for the evidence of Vallee being involved - pulled from the same CIA false defector program as Oswald.)

Executive action was the surest method (highest probability) to take Kennedy out with minimal risk and fallout. Leaving it to the 1964 election would have encumbered the architects with all kinds of additional complexities - including stuffing ballot boxes for Barry Goldwater in hundreds of precincts all across the country, Thousands would have been needed  for it to succeed, as opposed to a hundred or so - and besides, the chance simply couldn't be taken that Kennedy would live - as he'd betrayed too many powerful interests, from the Joint Chiefs, to the CIA (after firing its Chief Allen Dulles and Deputy after the Bay of Pigs).

No one who is sane ever stated that the Kennedy assassination conspiracy was "all powerful". How could it be if managed and implemented by humans?  Still, the actual architects knew only that it only had to succeed at the specific time and place to ensure no further Kennedy presidency, policies, or power - period.  No more interference in military engagements, no more trying to lord it over the CIA, or NSA by "directives", no more secret deals with Khrushchev and especially no more hidden schmoozing via rapprochement to make nice with Castro - who the national security establishment detested.
13. Pretty much all the conspiracy writers I encountered exude total, 100% confidence, not only in the existence of additional shooters, but in the guilt of their favored villains (they might profess ignorance, but then in the very next sentence they’d talk about how JFK’s murder was “a triumph for the national security establishment”). 

This is more mush, as well as a veritable straw man.  I am unaware of any serious researcher who has "100 percent confidence"  that such and such person or even agency was involved. (Hell, I'm unaware of any solar physicist who's 100 percent confident that his flare model is correct in every respect!) "Favorite villains"? How about the likely people most enraged at JFK's actions? Say like the CIA for firing two of their own, Allen Dulles and his deputy Charles Cabell, after the Bay of Pigs. (Cabell's brother, Earl, was the then mayor of Dallas. What better position to occupy to set up a motorcade route meandering through the concrete canyon of Dealey Plaza - enabling a classic triangulation scenario for assassination?)
How about JFK seeking to impose his will on the spooks by setting up a Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board - the express purpose of which was to bring the CIA under the control of the President. Kennedy addressed the group on May 15, 1961 and informed them he was "undertaking a total reassessment of U.S. covert action policies and programs".

Kennedy went further, creating a Defense Intelligence Agency, responsible to him, and soon mandating all overflights of Cuba be done by the Strategic Air Command, not the CIA. He also defined a list of directives on what the CIA could and could not, do. By the end of 1961, JFK's 'Special Group' had no less than 17 recommendations for the "reorganization and redirection of the CIA".
The CIA, however, retaliated by withholding intelligence from Kennedy. By June, 7, 1961, Kennedy was complaining that he was receiving "inadequate developments" concerning events in a number of countries. As his ally, Gen. James H. Doolittle had put it, it was a case of the  "covert operations dog wagging the intelligence tail".

Kennedy got his  final wake up call on who was controlling his government when, in an early September, 1963 meeting he was informed by a David Bell of AID (a CIA cover organization) that the funds from the Commodity Import Aid Program had “already been cut off”,  essentially assuring a coup would ensue with the Diem government in South Vietnam. (James Douglass, 2008,, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, Orbis Books, p. 192.   Kennedy was evidently livid and directly asked Bell who had told him to do that, to which Bell replied, “No one(ibid.). The will to power disclosed here indicates the CIA felt it more powerful than Kennedy’s government. If it felt that, it would also feel it could take him out if he crossed them any more - which threshold was likely transgressed when he commenced a secret  rapprochement with Castro in late 1962.

14. Every conspiracy theory I’ve encountered seems to require “uncontrolled growth” in size and complexity: that is, the numbers of additional shooters, alterations of medical records, murders of inconvenient witnesses, coverups, coverups of the coverups, etc. that need to be postulated all seem to multiply without bound
Nonsense.  There are definite limits, but again, like other proven and manifest conspiracies (e.g. Iran-Contra, BCCI) the components must be sufficient for success.   As for dismissal of the importance of the cover up, Aaronson ought to know better.  For the early success - and also later- the planning and implementation of the cover up process had to run almost automatically. This was largely accomplished with the release of the Warren Whitewash Report - which served the purpose of cover up uniquely and powerfully,  Apart from the Warren Report (and bear in mind the Commission was a creature of LBJ) - what primary components would be needed for the plan to eliminate JFK and also ensure no compromises in the future? And how  much manpower would each component require? I’ve broken it down as follows:
1)     A pool of likely or plausible decoys who’d be recruited later as potential patsies. One would not be enough in case anything happened to him, so redundancy was needed (» 5)
2)     A select group of psy-op specialists to steer the selected patsy into the desired mode so he’d be easily tarred ex post facto as the “assassin”. Preferably the steering or sheep dipping would be to make him appear to be a communist extremist, since the State Dept. had already targeted right extremists in the military as possible threats (4- 10, including George Joannides, and David Atlee Phillips with members of the CIA-sponsored DRE)
3)     Documents/ technical specialists, to be used to alter evidence, manipulate film or photography (e.g. autopsy photos), or “Frankenstein” new photos to show what was needed (e.g. the notorious Oswald photo showing him holding a Russian magazine with a rifle in one hand) (» 5-8)
4)     Direct evidence confiscators: Pre-placed teams at strategic points throughout Dealey Plaza where photos would most likely be attempted (e.g. either side of Elm St.). In the wake of the hit, their job would be to show a “badge” of authority then confiscate any cameras or photos as evidence.  Skeptics or resisters would be intimidated with the T-word. (11-12)
5)     Mechanics-kill squad. Three teams to execute a triangulated crossfire to ensure Kennedy’s killing and also confuse the issue with multiple shots and missed shots. Ideally placed in: a) Dal-Tex bldg., b) Texas School Book Depository, but at lower, e.g. 4th floor level, not 6th) and c) near or behind the stockade fence at the grassy knoll. At least three per team, with one shooter, a spotter and one to pick up any spent casings. Ideally, the teams would be non-Americans who had experience in sniper assassinations or were trained as such. (6)
6)     Disinformation specialists to infiltrate the media and in so far as possible undermine, or minimize any claims or stories circulating to the effect that Oswald “didn’t do it”. (» 50) (These may not all have been involved with covering up the assassination proper.)
7)     “Clean up” ops-hit men: eradicate any material witnesses including those called by the Warren Commission and also called to testify in other investigations (e.g. by Garrison, or the House Select Committee) or anyone possessing evidence (e.g. William Bruce Pitzer) that contradicted the Warren conclusion.  These would plausible have been trained out of the Staff D assassinations program of William Harvey(4)
     At first glance, the numbers might appear draconian and huge, but let’s break it down while also bearing in mind any effective conspiracy of this magnitude would be compartmentalized, i.e. with 1 or 2 exceptions no group would no what the others were doing. ("Need to know" basis). Thus, the psy ops specialists wouldn't know who the documents technicians are and neither of these would know who the mechanics are, and vice versa.

So there are barely 100 individuals needed to make every facet work, not counting the actual architects or planners.  This is barely half the number involved directly or indirectly in the Watergate Conspiracy and barely one-fourth the number involved in the Iran-Contra conspiracy.  It is also barely 1/100 the number involved in the BCCI banking conspiracy. We can simplify things greatly by placing each category of action or function with its proper agency. It turns out (1), (2), (3), (5) and (6) can all be linked to one single faction: the CIA. We already know from Victor Marchetti’s book (The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence) that the CIA had a false defector program from as early as 1958, if not sooner. Enough of these false defectors were around by 1963 to provide a pool of possible patsies or decoys for framing in assassinations.
     We know further that (2) was the province of a core group of elite specialists that included CIA psy-ops officer George Joannides  who financed and ran the Revolutionary Cuban Student Directorate or DRE, and David Atlee Phillips, who set up the specious confrontations between Oswald and anti-Castro Cubans, while engineering the fake Oswald in Mexico city caper, see, e.g.
  Element (3) meanwhile was fully in the province of CIA technical specialists, including removing or exchanging frames in the Zapruder and Nix (actually Beverly Oliver) films, and creating false images such as the one of Oswald that appeared on the cover of LIFE, holding a Soviet propaganda paper and a rifle, while wearing a holstered pistol. Today, using Photoshop, we easily can remove the “head” of one image and transfer it neatly to the body of another person using the software’s cut and paste function. In those days, it required great attention to detail, using an exacto knife to carefully cut a head from a pre-existing photo, then splice it to the body of a person on another photo and re-photograph it. The CIA was more than able to do this, even perfect it.  We know, for example, that the Zapruder film was in the possession of the National Photographic Interpretation Center, run by the CIA, as early as the night of the 22nd November. It is estimated that the film left Dallas at 4 p.m. CST and arrived in D.C. by 10 p.m. EST. It was then reprocessed and returned to Dallas by 7 a.m. CST the following morning, three copies and one original.
Quantitatively assessing the human resources (maximum numbers) capacity alone, we see that nearly 85 of the 100 or so conspirators to be credibly based in the CIA, and the journalists recruited were likely told their (contract) mission was tied to “national security”  (and Operation Mockingbird) so they wouldn’t question (or disclose!) too much.
Again, and surely, if reason is a guide, complexity will plausibly be proportionate to the magnitude of the effects of the conspiracy and its import. Thus, murdering a president (as in the case of JFK), or "executive action", would likely tally a number of complex aspects and certainly if success was paramount, exposure of the perps unacceptable. To carry it out effectively, and not do it half-assed, the architects would have to take the time to plan for any and all contingencies and have manpower at every phase to deal with them. This could surely be expedited if key personnel in one or more government agencies were also involved, for example, in eliminating key evidence or even witnesses that could unravel the efforts. The problem with most people whose minds boggle is that they lack the insight capacity or information to appreciate the resources available at the time.
Thus, in the case of the BCCI banking conspiracy, since it entailed moving money to thousands of "dummy accounts" all over the world, the complexity was implicit. In fact, reams of evidence were culled from that criminal bank's operations in 73 countries and exposed. But whether anyone could comprehend all aspects of its workings - which were deliberately rendered complex- is another matter.

This brings up another mistaken assumption peculiar to conspiracy naysayers:  that Ockham's Razor (The simplest explanation for something is almost always the correct one) applies equally to conspiracies as it does to explaining natural phenomena, like lightning or solar flares.

This assumes that the non-conspiracy model will always be correct because it is 'simpler'. This is almost invariably true in the realm of natural sciences, such as physics, but it is dubious that this can be applied to the realm of human affairs. For one thing, humans are enmeshed in complexes of emotions and ideological agendas that can't be quantified like Newton's laws of motion, or simplistically reduced to one cause-one effect relationships. In addition, humans - unlike natural laws -are capable of deceit and misdirection. So, from many points of view, it would be foolhardy to reduce the realm of human behavior - including conspiracy - to the model applicable to simple natural laws. It would require something basically approaching a general denial that humans would or could ever act with duplicity. Which is nonsense.

Final Six  Responses to Come Tomorrow!

[1] North, Mark: op. cit., p. 256.

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