Thursday, November 12, 2015

REELZTv Reels Off Outdated Answers In "Killing Kennedy: 50 Questions (& Answers)" (Part I)

One guy who watched the REELz TV 'Killing Kennedy: 50 Questions Answered' was so worked up and excited by the apparent blitz of knowledge that he compared to a "cram session" before a college final. He gushed:

"While I`m a very seasoned student of JFK`s Assassination (with 50 years of study under my belt), I found a Reelz TV (I`m a loyal fan now) special, Killing JFK: 50 Questions Answered, to be a good review for that (mother of all) unsolved cold cases. It was like a college finals` cramming session, tossing out an important angle to the case, then providing you with a succinct answer, especially relying on film footage and photographs from the time, as well as how sites look today (such as Ruth Paine`s house in Irving or the Texas Theater, which has barely managed to survive).

Reelz TV (556has had cutting edge coverage of the Kennedy Assassination so far, and Killing JFK, perhaps wins the prize for educating people in a factual way, as to what really happened in Dallas (or what we can verify with concrete evidence"

Seriously?  A college cram course? Well, let's admit it was not as lame as Reelz' JFK documentary claiming that a Secret Service agent shot President Kennedy, based on a 30-year old book which triggered a lawsuit from the agent involved, resulting in a formal apology from the book’s publisher. This JFK "theory", touted by veteran TV reporter Bill Kurtis, has already been discredited and debunked. The program? “JFK: The Smoking Gun,” story has resurfaced and was screened Monday after 50 Questions.

Now, about those questions. Most of them were trite, barely in the league of history trivia which really any American ought to know if they even remotely studied the case. Questions including (49): How many Presidents have been assassinated? and (44) What was the Grassy knoll?. These were mostly, if not obvious, at least basic knowledge that no one would argue with.

Then there were others, like (50): 'Why was President Kennedy in Dallas? for which only a partial answer was given, i.e. "Political reasons". NO details on the fact it was to patch up an ongoing feud between Ralph Yarborough and John Connally.  But I mean what would you expect from a TV quiz? In this case, apart from too many trite and speculative questions - which I will get to here and in Part II- the answers were mostly outdated. They were taken from the Warren Commission Playbook but the producers seem not to appreciate that scads of documents have been released since (especially after 1992)  and any "investigation" that selectively omits over 200 material witnesses cannot be considered the last word, or the full repository of facts - no matter how much its beguiled devotees may want it.

What I want to do is focus on the specific questions and answers that were misleading or in some way biased, e.g. toward the now discredited Warren Report, see e.g. my FAQs


In some cases the answers veered into the incomplete category like the example of (50).  In line with another question (46): Why was the White House concerned about JFK's trip to Dallas? The producers did reference the attack on Adlai Stevenson a month earlier, and also mentioned that Dallas PD Chief Jesse Curry had increased security. But no mention at all is made of the fact that the Army security detail based at Ft. Sam Houston - which is usually assigned to protect Presidents in risky areas- was asked to "stand down". Why? And WHO had the power to issue that order? It sure as hell wasn't JFK.

Another half-assed and wrong -incomplete answer was in response to Q. 42: What was Lee Oswald's job at the Texas School Book Depository?  After giving the correct answer the producers then felt it necessary to mention it was Ruth Paine a "friend of Marina's", who referred Lee for the job a month earlier.

NO mention, none at all,  of Paine's duplicity and manipulation in denying Lee the chance for a better paying job at Trans Texas Airways - nowhere near the site of the assassination.  Now, for the actual background on Paine which had to wait release of lots more files after the JFK Records Act.  Paine testified before the WC that Lee left his keys, and other possessions as he left for work on the fateful day. All of which are lies. Paine herself was a deceitful, untrustworthy witness who never truthfully acknowledged, either before the Warren Commission or a later New Orleans Grand Jury, that her sister (Sylvia Hyde Hoke) in fact worked for the CIA - while her husband's (Michael's) mother, Ruth Forbes Paine Young, was connected to Allen Dulles (the former CIA Chief) who JFK fired after the Bay of Pigs. (James Douglass, 2008, JFK and the Unspeakable, Orbis Books, p. 169)

Let us also recall that Dulles was appointed by LBJ as one of the Warren Commissioners. Does anyone else find that ironic? The very guy JFK mistrusted and butted heads with would sit on the "blue ribbon" (sic) commission investigating his death?

Paine, who Warrenites seem to hold up as some kind of unquestioned paragon or model citizen, also never acknowledged in any of her testimony that she withheld from Lee the news of a better paying job offer made on Oct. 15, 1963. This came by way of phone call to the Paine Residence from Robert Adams of the Texas Employment Commission. According to the documented materials presented by author James Douglass (op. cit., p. 171):

"Adams spoke with someone at the Paines' number about his being prepared to give Oswald referral for permanent employment as a baggage handler at Trans Texas Airways for a salary $100 a month higher than that offered by the Book Depository's temporary job".

Adams then left a message with whoever took his call for Lee to contact him about the job, but this was never done. Adams tried to phone Oswald the next day, and was told he "wasn't here". Why? Why wasn't the better paying job information passed on to Oswald? Given Paine's background, and her connections to CIA people like her sister and Allen Dulles, the obvious reason is to put the patsy in place. Had Ruth Paine (who professed to care so much about the Oswalds) done her Christian duty and given the info to Lee to enable him to take the better paying job, there was no way the architects' plan could have succeeded. They could never have been assured that the one they were preparing for patsyhood would be at the place needed to take the fall.

Finally, in a 1993 NBC interview with Tom Brokaw (still have it on tape), Marina  Oswald Porter herself aggressively denied all the bullshit WC-contrived stories about what a great help  and "friend" Paine was. She also added, with great emphasis, that Lee loved Kennedy as a fellow family man and would never remotely consider doing such a foul deed.

Let's move on.

Q. 41: Where did the rifle come from that shot JFK?, question and commits a grand error off the bat in assuming that piece of garbage could actually fire and hit a moving human target. I mean the WC actually recruited three expert marksmen to replicate the shot and they were unable to do it. Readers can see the details here:

After answering that the rifle was shipped from Klein's sporting goods, the producers then drag in a guy named Rick Parent who claims:

"After the first shot you know where your target is and you can hit someone".

Really? Using a rifle for which the shims had to be rebuilt by the WC test trial team?  Hey, Rick, you forgot about the oak tree branch obscuring the view from that 6th floor window! While it is true that a rifle can be used even if its sights are slightly off - and a suitable correction can be made- that wouldn't apply to the Mannlicher -Carcano 6.5 mm . The alleged assassin simply would not have had time to make the corrections needed in the short span of time for the other 3 shots. (see link above) And yes, there were at least three other shots as indicated by the acoustic tests made by MIT, with two coming within 1.6 sec of each other, too short for the bolt action recycling time of the M-C (2.33 sec.) So figure that one out.

By Q. 39 it really gets deep with: "How did Oswald get the rifle into the Texas School Book Depository?"   This brought up the old "curtain rods- cum- rifle" conflation yarn now discredited as much as a lot of other bollocks the Warren bunch has tried to feed Americans for over 50 years. Prof. David R. Wrone, whose review of Case Closed appeared in The Journal of Southern History 6 (February 1995), pp. 186-188, observes:

"100 percent of the witness testimony and physical evidence exclude Oswald from carrying the rifle to work that day disguised as curtain rods. Posner manipulates with words to concoct a case against Oswald as with Linnie Mae Randle, who swore the package, as Oswald allegedly carried it, was twenty-eight inches long, far too short to have carried a rifle. He grasped its end, and it hung from his swinging arm to almost touch the ground. Posner converts this to "tucked under his armpit, and the other end did not quite touch the ground"(p. 225). The rifle was heavily oiled, but the paper sack discovered on the sixth floor had not a trace of oil. Posner excludes this vital fact."

Q. 33: Where did Oswald Go After Leaving the Book Depository? also starts out with a standard answer, tracing his route, e.g. "walking seven blocks east of the book depository, hailing a bus to Oak Cliff etc." but then veers into encountering DPD Officer J.D. Tippit and shooting him with a .38.

And once again, the deep researcher must enter to clear away the WC codswallop. Tippit was shot to death 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) but the WC dismissed his account because, well, they'd lose their "Oswald the killer" tale otherwise.

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. 

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

Q. 28What was Oswald charged with? also veers into a WC perverted answer, when after giving the charge the producers editorialize vis-à-vis the WC take by claiming Oswald "pulled his pistol to fire then shouted 'It's all over now!"  Uh, unh! No way!

 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. The odd witnesses there all reported Oswald shouted aloud: "I am not resisting arrest! Police brutality!"  He never said  "It's all over now" - those words were put into his mouth by the WC. 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 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.

Q 27 (Who else did Oswald attempt to assassinate prior to JFK?)  also goes off the rails in its posed question and answer. In fact, Oswald attempted to assassinate no one "prior to JFK"  nor did he kill JFK.. The producers' answer "Gen. Edwin Walker' is another of the WC canards that has become stuck in false assassination lore.

No evidence points to it, and what evidence is available discloses a Latino character and short Caucasian in a 1957 Chevy. The car is in a photograph presented as an “exhibit” by the Warren Commission, but the license plate area is defaced. Why? The Latino character is almost certainly Sergio Archacha Smith, and the short Caucasian is the Oswald double that James Douglass documents so meticulously – including multiple witness statements, in his book ‘JFK and the Unspeakable'. It is worthwhile to note that not even Walker himself, in a deposition, believed Oswald made the shot.

This 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 (op. cit.)  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 drivers’ license 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!
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?  Why would Hoover, the FBI, the Warren Commission and the Dallas Police be so eager to hang this shooting on Oswald, to later implicate him in the JFK assassination? Mark North again has the answer[12]:

“Hoover, the Dallas P.D. and the Warren Commission realized early on that an examination of Oswald’s past reveals only a pacifist engaged in leftist activism. Simply put, he is nonviolent
North aptly points out (ibid.) subsequently that the Walker shooting – like other “media myths” -  was totally unrelated to the assassination and further:

“would have faded into total obscurity but for the fiction that will be created on 11/22/63”

 Q 24 and 21 also veer into nonsense based on the questions: 'Who was Jack Ruby- Why did he kill JFK? and Who was Ruby's jail mate?

The canned answers inform us how Ruby adored Jackie, and was enraged JFK was killed by a "loser" like Lee Harvey. Then, in 21, we're introduced to a bottom feeder hood named Corky Campisi who assures us Ruby killed Oswald to save Jackie from having to endure a trial. All of which is bollocks.

It is actually embarrassing that any program professing to be informative on this case would actually recycle this claptrap.  The document trail unearthed by Mark North ('Act of Treason') is revelatory here. North's FOIA -released files showed Ruby had an outstanding  debt to Uncle Sam - owing more than $40,000 in back excise taxes to the federal government, plus $20,000 in other back taxes. A phone call (also documented)  then would have assured Ruby his tax problems would “disappear” if he performed one more job: offing Oswald. Given the mob link to ZR/Rifle, such a scenario would be totally logical. Few people today, unless they've  mined the document trail, are remotely aware of the extent to which the CIA and Mob worked hand in glove, especially on the ZR/Rifle Castro assassination operation. Given Oswald's 'Staff D' connection (from his 201 CI/SIG file) to ZR/Rifle it wouldn't have been a biggie to have this one "jokers wild" element severed - one that had become too dangerous 

In addition, we can inquire into what happened to the actual big time gangster (Johnny Roselli, part of the Giancana Mob) who was mouthing off that Ruby killed Oswald to silence him.  Alas, Roselli had to also meet his cruel end, as described below by Gaeton Fonzi in 'The Last Investigation', p. 375:

"In July, 1976, Roselli had disappeared and in August, the month before the Committee (HSCA) was established, Roselli surfaced in the shallows off the Intracoastal Waterway in North Miami. He had been smothered to death and shot, then cut open from chest to navel. His legs had been hacked off and stuffed with his torso into a 55-gallon steel drum which was wrapped with heavy chain and moored to a weight in the water. The mooring broke when the gases from Roselli's decomposing body forced the drum to float to the surface."

Well,  the killers wanted to make damned sure there were no flapping gums. Like David Ferrie nine  years earlier, and George de Mohrenschildt  a year later, they wanted to ensure Roselli never talked. Murdering witnesses does wonders to keep a conspiracy under wraps - while moron media blabbermouths and their useful idiot lackeys keep babbling about "tin foil hats".

Q. 18: 'What was the Warren Commission? Features an answer that also does a disservice to the viewer seeking genuine information and facts, as opposed to fairy tales. The answer given is that "LBJ called on Earl Warren to put together a federal commission to investigate the assassination".

LBJ put together a "commission"  all right, but it wasn't "federal" (that would've been a House Select Committee such as formed in 1978) nor did Johnson "call on" then Chief Justice Earl Warren. He freaking threatened him with exposure of a past incident.   Johnson needed the credibility of Warren so the media would accept the commission as a bona fide government entity as opposed to a creature of Johnson's whim and machinations. (Johnson’s first kneejerk reaction was to form a “Texas Commission” to look into the assassination, with staff entirely composed of Texans.). Anyway, Johnson's taped words to an aide were - after speaking to Warren (cf. Michael R. Beschloss, Taking Charge:The Johnson White House Tapes 1963-64, 1997, p. 72, as cited by Russ Baker, in 'Family of Secrets', p. 46):

"Warren told me he wouldn't do it under any circumstances...He came down here and told me 'No'...twice. And I just pulled out what[FBI Director} Hoover told me about a little incident in Mexico City....And he started crying and said: 'I won't turn you down...I'll just do whatever you say.'

Texas hogswill? Hardly. Not when seen in the context of other LBJ actions, e.g. going behind Kennedy's back to get back channel reports (from the CIA)  on the Vietnam situation. What we have here is insight into the man's character and that he wasn't anything near the upstanding "liberal" icon so many of his followers have made him out to be. It shows he'd resort to blackmail to coerce the Chief Justice to confer gravitas on his commission - and in so doing it shows he'd stoop to anything to have his personal commission serve as a political whitewash mechanism.

In Part II: Incomplete or erroneous  (old WC) answers for the single bullet theory, Garrison's investigation, the nature of conspiracy and  former Dallas Morning News reporter Hugh Aynesworth's clueless take on the "JFK conspiracy industry" and those who still seek to be informed on the event, not bamboozled by LBJ's artifact.

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