Sunday, September 20, 2009

Case Not Closed- Or Posner's JFK Follies

(ABOVE): One of the thousands of 'Wanted for Treason' posters distributed in Dallas on the day of Kennedy's assassination.

Having just finished the book, JFK and the Unspeakable, by James Douglass, I was left spellbound and moreover convinced that the JFK assassination case is a long way from closed. What Douglass has done is not merely compile facts from Freedom of Information released documents, but also - via extensive interviews and dredging up arcane government files- shown the moral tenor of Kennedy. He makes clear from the amassed evidence that by his second year JFK stood essentially alone with powerful forces arrayed against him. Forces that questioned every one of his moves....from challenging U.S. Steel (and even denying them defense contracts until they reduced steel prices as they'd originally promised), to opposing the Joint Chiefs in October, 1962 when they pushed for him to attack Cuba with nukes. We now know that no fewer than 95 IRBMs were targeted at U.S. east coast cities and would have been unleashed had JFK been so daft as to follow the Chiefs' advice.

Unfortunately, by standing up to those who advised and pressured him, Kennedy soon came to be viewed as a traitor. He was viewed as a traitor not just by his top military staff (especially after setting out NSAM-263 to pull out of Vietnam by 1965), but also by the CIA - which he threatened to "break into a thousand pieces" after they misled and misinformed him with the Bay of Pigs fiasco, also called 'the Cuba Project' - which had actually been implemented under Eisenhower.

The level and degree of distrust eventually mutated into hate, which could be seen on the streets of Dallas - even hours before JFK arrived at Love Field on Nov. 22, 1963. Shown in the figure, for example, is one of the ten thousand plus 'Wanted for Treason' posters that had been put up around that city. (Bear in mind at the time, Dallas was not only a hotbed of right wing hate and extremism - where Adlai Stevenson had been spit on merely a month before the JFK hit, but also the epicenter of the nexus of Big Oil and the military -industrial complex)
By all accounts, anyone with half a brain who had remotely been following events in Dallas over the previous years would have been appalled at the notion that a "lone nut commie" killed JFK. It simply didn't compute. Not then and not now.
Just days after Nov. 22, 1963, though the media were still rife with the planted ‘Oswaldian-lone nut’ myth of the assassination – a few courageous reporters got the word out about the real culprits: the radical right wing and its ‘better circle’ elitist enclaves. (cf. ‘The Enemies He Made’ in Newsweek, Dec. 2, 1963, p. 35, by Kenneth Crawford). At the time, however, most reporters couldn’t or wouldn’t see the suspicious irony inherent in a lone-pro-Castro gunman being fingered in a city (Dallas) regarded as a ‘citadel of right wing strength’. (cf. Newsweek, Dec. 2, 1963, p. 21)

Indeed, merely four weeks earlier Adlai Stevenson had gone to Dallas for a UN Day meeting, and was attacked – spit upon, and smashed over the head with placards by fulminating reactionary pickets (Newsweek, Dec. 2., 1963, p. 21). It was after that encounter that he warned JFK to reconsider his forthcoming trip.
What was peculiar about this once cow town that circulated ‘Wanted for Treason’ posters all over and in the newspapers, on the day of JFK’s visit? First, as Arthur Schlesinger notes, it was a nouveau riche city – fueled by East Texas oil. (‘A Thousand Days’, 1969, p. 1021, Houghton Mifflin) Second it was primarily white collar, so that unions were scarcely visible or manifest much power. Third, its citizens featured mostly fundamentalist religious backgrounds. Long on authority-regimentation-prejudice, short on any compassion. Fourth, it was a city of remarkably homogeneous tastes, attitudes and values. (Ibid.).
Schlesinger noted(ibid.,) that Dallas’s politics had been perpetuated "in a primitive and angry state" by its major newspaper, The Dallas Morning News. He also recounted how its publisher, two years earlier, had opined that what the nation required was a “man on horseback” as opposed to “a man on a tricycle”. (JFK was often captured by photographers playing with daughter Caroline). Thus, waves of right wing propaganda by this medium helped to fuel the fires of latent rage within Big D’s resident reactionaries.

Little wonder then that they ‘lost it’ when a liberal personage visited, as Adlai Stevenson did. In Dallas there also resided a powerful, right wing Oil tycoon by the name of Haroldson Lafayette Hunt who embodied its values of fierce self-styled individuality and hatred for any humanitarian role for the federal government. (He earned his rep in the 1950s via his radio program "Facts Forum")
Also rife in Big D were a number of fringe right extremist groups, including: The American Political Forum, The Ku Klux Klan, The John Birch Society, The Dallas Committee for Full Citizenship, The Texas White Citizens’ Council, The National States Rights Party and The Dallas White Citizens’ Council. The Left, or random commies, if ever present- would likely have met the same fate in Big D as integrationists met in Mississsippi.

Among the precepts all of these groups had in common at the time of JFK’s assassination:

- Abolition or severe reduction of income taxes, to starve government and ultimately undermine all public spending in favor of ‘privatization’.

- Increased military-defense spending at the same time.

- Fierce opposition to the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty- particularly its clause limiting anti-missile systems.

- Fierce opposition to all efforts at de-segregation.

- Elimination of both Social Security and Medicare – regarded as “socialist intrusions” into a capitalist nation (“All services to the public should be abolished in favor of personal enterprise”- H.L. Hunt, in ‘Farewell America’, 1968, by James Hepburn, Frontiers Press, p. 248)
To gain an insight into the degree of extremism afoot here, it is well to note that it was none other than H.L. Hunt who also opined that communism began in the U.S. with the introduction of the government- run postal service! (Farewell America, p. 246).
Now, given this background, it boggles the mind that someone could actually: a) believe Lee Harvey Oswald had anything to do with the Kennedy assassination, and b) could actually write a book pronouncing the case closed! Yet Gerald Posner managed to do this, and with his much hailed (and still referred to, Case Closed).
Unfortunately for Posner, people - especially critical thinking ones - did read his book, not to satisfy themselves the case was truly closed, but to assess how closely Posner hewed to known facts - and hence, how valuable his book was as a genuine piece of scholarship. One of the earliest efforts was: THE POSNER REPORT: A Study In Propaganda: One Hundred Errors in Gerald Posner's Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK by David Starks. Drawing on the published reports, and documents of true experts, including:Professor Peter Dale Scott, Dr. Gary Aguilar, Martin Shackelford, Professor Jerry Rose and others, Starks skewers Posner's claims and discloses a hack, barely comfortable in the skin of scholarship who makes "hundreds of errrors".
The Electronic Assassination Newsletter, which collates the research from most JFK assassination experts, documents twelve of the most serious "Posnerisms" here:
Just perusing the list, even if one has not seriously attended to the research, discloses an unnerving lack of attention to detail and a penchant for what appears to be deliberate misrepresentation. Indeed, Posner's entire 'case' in his (1993) book, appears erected on a tissue of lies, misrepresentations, gross distortions and shoddy methodology - the mass of which cannot even redeem it as 'coincidental'. Despite that, he is still the official 'hit man' when the corporate media want to knock down anything that smacks of 'conspiracy', particularly in any of 1960s political assassinations. (Including Martin Luther King's for which we have abundant evidence that a cadre of renegade SOGs nailed him in Memphis, see the superb book, Orders to Kill).
Harrison Livingstone, a long time researcher, (cf. 'Killing Kennedy', 1995, p. 322) described Posner's book as "a fatally flawed, intellectually dishonest effort."
Prof. David R. Wrone, whose review of Case Closed appears in The Journal of Southern History 6 (February 1995), pp. 186-188, observes:
"Posner often presents the opposite of what the evidence says. In the presentation of a corrupt picture of Oswald's background, for example, he states that, under the name of Osborne, Oswald picked up leaflets he distributed from the Jones Printing Company and that the "receptionist" identified him. She in fact said that Oswald did not pick up the leaflets as the source that Posner cites indicates.
No credible evidence connects Oswald to the murder. All the data that Posner presents to do so is either shorn of context, corrupted, the opposite of what the sources actually say, or nonsourced. For example, 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."
Even more disturbing:
"Posner crowns his theory with the certainty of science by using one side of the computer-enhanced studies by Failure Analysis Associates of Menlo Park that his text implies he commissioned. The firm, however, lambastes his use as a distortion of the technology that it had developed for the American Bar Association's mock trial of Oswald where both sides used it."
Not surprisingly from the above, many in the JFK research community (e.g. H.L.Livingstone, author of Killing the Truth, 1993, Harold Weisberg) actually contend Posner is a paid disinfo flack - possibly for the CIA. Certainly for the corporate anti-conspiracy media mills. His absurd 'research' is used to thereby try to invalidate the whole premise of conspiracy. Despite the fact he's been well and truly exposed as a hack in the 'Posnerisms' cited earlier .
How could such a proven twit have gained so much prominence, and gravitas in media circles? Well, for the reasons I cited in my earlier blog post, associated with managing the Middle Mind (Curtis White's term, from his book). Thus, Posner has proven himself skillful and adept at doing exactly what the corporate media PR mavens themselves demand... manage the Middle Mind, and deliver the parameters for its proper functioning, lest one be suddenly marginalized from it as a loose screw outlier and trouble maker.
But no matter the attention the media gives Posner, or the faux degree to which his slovenly and derelect book is regarded as the "bible" of the JFK assassination, most of us who are serious researchers can agree wholeheartedly with Prof. Wrone's final paragraph in his review:
"Posner fails. I believe that irrefutable evidence shows conspirators, none of them Oswald, killed JFK. A mentally ill Jack Ruby, alone and unaided, shot Oswald. The federal inquiry knowingly collapsed and theorized a political solution. Its corruption spawned theorists who tout solutions rather than define the facts that are locked in the massively muddied evidentiary base and released only by hard work."

For those who may have difficulty wrapping their (middle) minds around this, and backing away from Posner - I endorse getting Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. From the first five chapters, you will immediately perceive the high political value of the hit, and why it was essential for the powers arrayed against JFK to kill him - even as they passed their 'Wanted for Treason' posters all around Big D.


Tim Fleming said...

My compliments. It takes hard work and countless hours of reading, and discarding the deliberate disinformation, to get at the truth. This can only be done by authentic patriots, not the mindless, flag-waving, morally bankrupt automatons who believe everything their military-industrial complex masters tell us. Your assessment of Posner is dead on. He comes to us as the latest in a long line of Operation Mockingbird assets.

Tim Fleming
author, "Murder Of An American Nazi"

Copernicus said...

Thanks, Tim! I became suspicious about the whole case after reading Gerald R. Ford's 'Portrait of the Assassin' back in 1966. What I recognized in that book was more or less a bookend to the whitewash of the Warren Commission Report.

Thus began a 40 year excursion into the nether realms of 1960s political assassinations, especially JFK's. What one ultimately learns is extremely unsavory.

As for Posner, I always suspected him of some kind of dalliance with the disinformation lot, posssibly spurred on by that CIA document endorsing discussions be undermined by "assets".

Re: Operation Mockingbird, what is your take on Vince Bugliosi, especially with his recent (2007) book: 'Reclaiming History:The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy'?

It is mind boggling that this guy who could be correct on so much (e.g. his take on Dubya Bush in his new book 'The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder', and earlier 'The Betrayal of America' could be so very wrong on the Kennedty assassination.

I can only surmise here that - if not an Operation Mockingbird lackey, he was at least very lazy in taking the easy way out, instead of digging much further.

Especially into the Oswald double that Douglass provided evidence for in his new book.