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Chapter 15

The Select Committee on Assassinations,
The Intelligence Community and the News Media

Part I

The Top Down vs. The Bottom Up Approach

To Assassination Investigations

      Two vastly different views have been held by both assassination researchers and members of Congress during the last three years about the best way to arrive at the truth concerning political assassinations in the United States. The conservative view dictates we must build an investigative base from the ground upward, beginning with the JFK assassination, and use "hard" evidence in each assassination case. This view assumes that any grand, overall conspiracy to cover up the cover-ups would be detected and made public following exposure of the first layer of cover-ups.
      The less conservative view holds that the political processes underlying the original assassinations and the massive cover-up superstructure should be attacked and exposed simultaneously.
      The resolutions to establish a Select Committee to Investigate Assassinations, introduced by Thomas Downing and Henry Gonzalez in the House of Representatives in 1975, were somewhat related to both views. The conservative Downing resolution called for a sole investigation of the JFK case. Gonzalez's resolution called for the reopening of all four major cases -- JFK, RFK, Dr. King and George Wallace -- and more importantly, it called for an investigation of the possible links among all four. Gonzalez stated that he believed the country might be experiencing an assassination-controlled electoral process. His approach was clearly allied with the less conservative view.
      Research groups, such as Mark Lane's Citizen's Commission of Inquiry (CCI), Bud Fensterwald's Committee to Investigate Assassinations (CTIA), and Bob Katz's Assassination Information Bureau (AIB) were also divided in their views. CCI and CTIA took the bottom-up approach and tended to support Downing. AIB took the overview political approach and tended to support Gonzalez. The Black Caucus, Coretta King and others were primarily interested in a broad overview of the King assassination.
      The coalition formed by Downing, Gonzalez and the Black Caucus finally brought about the creation of the Select Committee on Assassinations in the House, which represents a mixture of these views and approaches.
      The work of the Select Committee will produce results if it is recognized that the bottom-up approach alone cannot be used successfully against the group of powerful individuals that currently controls the environment in which any investigation attempts are to be made. The best way the Select Committee can succeed against this group is to use what will be labelled the "top down" approach to investigating and exposing the truth as a supplement to the bottom up approach.

The Power Control Group

      The earlier part of this book described a group of individuals in the United States and labelled them the "Power Control Group." The PCG is that group of individuals or organizations that knowingly participated in one or more of the assassination conspiracies or related murders or attempted murders, plus the individuals who knowingly participated or are still participating in the cover-ups of those conspiracies or murders. The PCG includes any people in the CIA, FBI, Justice Department, Secret Service, local police departments or sheriffs offices in Los Angeles, Memphis, Dallas, New Orleans or Florida, judges, district attorneys, state attorneys general, other federal government agencies, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, the Congress, or the Department of Defense as well as any people in the media who are under the influence of any of the above, who participated or are participating in the cover-ups or the cover-ups of the cover-up. There are indications that people in every one of the above organizations or groups belong to the PCG.

Hard Evidence of Conspiracy

      Anyone who has honestly and openly taken the time to examine a few pieces of hard evidence in any one of the four major cases has no trouble deciding there were individual conspiracies in each. In the face of this situation, the layman wonders why the Congress continually demands hard evidence of conspiracy. Statements continue to appear in the media to the effect that, "I've seen no evidence of conspiracy." Or, "We are not sure whether there were others involved in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, James Earl Ray or Arthur Bremer." These statements are made in spite of the fact that even the most casual analysis clearly shows that Oswald, Sirhan, and Ray did not fire any of the shots that struck JFK, RFK and MLK, and that they were all patsies. Bremer fired some of the shots in the Wallace case, but there is evidence that another gun was fired.
      The hard evidence is all old evidence. It goes back at least to 1967 and 1968 in the JFK case, and back to 1970 through 1972 in the RFK and MLK cases. The Wallace evidence is a little fresher, but nevertheless convincing. The people who demand new evidence are either members of the PCG, or they are brainwashed by the media members of the PCG into ignoring the old evidence. They do not choose to see or to hear the old evidence, even when it is literally placed before their very eyes and ears. Thus the words "hard evidence" are merely substitutes for the words "no conspiracy".

The Bottom Up Approach

      The bottom up approach is doomed to failure no matter how the Select Committee tries and no matter how much effort any official body puts into attempts to offer that "bombshell" that Tip O'Neill and others look for to prove conspiracy in the JFK and MLK cases. The PCG is in complete control of the situation. It controls the media and the media controls the minds of most citizens and the Congress. The PCG is a living, dynamic body right now. They can eliminate an investigation or investigators right now. They can eliminate a member of the House or a member of the Select Committee right now.
      The bottom up approach will never get off the ground because the PCG will not allow it. As long as the PCG controls all the sources of evidence that might contain the hard evidence in the FBI, CIA and local police files, as long as it controls the courts, and as long as it controls the media, no one will be allowed to prove hard evidence before the House, the Senate, the President, or any one in the Executive Branch.

The Events of 1976 and 1977

      That the PCG's control exists is more clearly evident now than it has ever been before. The PCG is operating in an almost blatant fashion. Any observer who keeps his eyes wide open and assumes that such a group exists, can see it operate almost every day.
      The prime objectives of the PCG in 1976 and 1977 were:

  1. To block and eliminate the Select Committee on Assassinations in the House of Representatives.

  2. To firmly implant the idea that the JFK assassination was a Castro plot.

  3. To block any Congressional attempts to investigate the four assassination cases.

  4. To control the Carter Administration in such a way as to permit only an executive branch investigation that will conclude there was a Castro-based JFK conspiracy and no conspiracy in the other cases.

      The 1977 activities of the PCG lent themselves to a new approach, the "top down" approach to exposing the truth.

Exposing the PCG

      The top down approach obviously begins with exposing the PCG's immediate, present activities. The following examples are illustrative. The Select Committee is certainly in a better position to know which individuals and actions taken by the PCG since the formation of the Committee in September, 1976 would be most easily attacked. The first example is the leaked Justice Department report on the King case.

The Justice Department King Report

      The PCG members' actions were leaked in the February 2, 1977 King report and released a few weeks later. To review the list of PCG members involved in the cover-up of the King case: J. Edgar Hoover, the Memphis FBI, Phil Canale (Memphis D.A.), Fred Vinson (State Department), Judge Battle, Percy Foreman, William Bradford Huie, Gerald Frank (author), Frank Holloman and other members of the Memphis police and judges at the state and federal court levels.
      One of the judges who became a PCG member in later years was Judge McCrea. He heard James Earl Ray's plea for a new trial. Solid evidence of the conspiracy to frame Ray was introduced at that hearing.
      Everyone who read or heard the evidence, with the exception of Judge McCrea and his law clerk, reached the conclusion that Ray was framed and that his lawyer, Percy Foreman, deliberately mishandled the case. Nevertheless, McCrea decided that Ray would not get a new trial. The case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court with no reversals of the decision.

Leaking the Justice Department Report on the King Case

      Attorney General Levi some years later ordered a review by the Justice Department of the King assassination and the FBI's handling of its investigation. A report was prepared by Michael J. Shaheen, who did most of the Justice Department work. No public announcement was made in 1976 upon completion of the report. Suddenly, on the exact day that the House was debating whether to reconstitute the Select Committee (February 2, 1977), the King report was leaked to the Republican minority leader of the opposition, Representative Quillen of Tennessee. He announced he had a copy of the report. Representative Yvonne Burke from California, a member of the Select Committee and also a member of the House Committee responsible for oversight of the Justice Department, took strong issue with Quillen over the leak. She said she had unsuccessfully tried to obtain the report that day from the Justice Department. Quillen stated at first he did not have the report, but had an Associated Press release describing the report. About an hour later, he said he had received a copy of the report. Burke stated that was very strange; not even the proper committee of the House had received a copy.
      The report was quoted to say that the Justice Department had closed the King case and concluded James Earl Ray was the lone assassin. Placed in the hands of the opposition to the Select Committee, the statement was strategically useful. Quillen argued against continuing the Committee on the strength of the conclusions reached in the report.

Releasing the Report

      On February 19, 1977, the King report was released by the Justice Department. Blaring headlines again emphasized no conspiracy and exonerated the FBI's conduct in their investigation. A showdown meeting was scheduled for February 21 between Henry Gonzalez and Tip O'Neill, to be followed the same day by a meeting of the Select Committee to determine whether they would continue with Richard A. Sprague as chief counsel.
      The absurd report was published in the New York Times on February 19, 1977. The PCG 's tactics became somewhat obvious on that date. Attorney General Griffin Bell, having inherited the report from Mr. Levi, let slip an important opinion on the CBS program, "Face the Nation" on the Sunday before the report was described as "still secret" by the UPI news release quoting Mr. Bell.
      Bell said he believed there were questions the report did not answer. Bell clarified his concerns after the February 19 release of the report by stating on the 24th that he might want to interview Ray to find out where Ray obtained all of the money he had before and after King was shot, and whether anyone helped him obtain false passports or make travel arrangements. Perhaps Bell was troubled by one of the report's conclusions -- that one of Ray's motives in killing King was to make a "quick profit."
      This indicates that Mr. Bell, and presumably Mr. Carter, are not members of the PCG cover-up on the King case. It also seems obvious that Mr. Levi and the people preparing the report and conducting the review had become members of the PCG. The timed release and leaking of that report and the total whitewash of the King conspiracy are too patently obvious to be coincidental. This is one area in which the Select Committee has an excellent chance to expose a raw nerve of the PCG.

Michael Shaheen -- PCG Member

      A key PCG member in the situation would appear to be Mr. Shaheen, Judge McCrea's law clerk mentioned earlier in the PCG cover-up in Memphis. Shaheen was deeply involved in the old cover-up as well as the new cover-up. He is from Memphis and part of that closed circle of people in Tennessee who know very well what happened to Martin Luther King and how Ray was framed. Mr. Shaheen is now planning to become a judge in Memphis with the help of all his co-conspirators and PCG members.
      Who called the shots in this Justice Department effort? Was it Levi? Was it the PCG members left over from the Nixon-Ford administration? Was it members of the PCG still in the FBI? Was it the Tennessee wing of the PCG that includes Judge McCrea, Phil Canale, Howard Baker, Mr. Quillen and Bernard Fensterwald, Jr.? The Select Committee should find out. The report itself is easily attacked. It quotes the fake Charlie Stevens testimony all over again, as if no one knew he had been bought off by Hoover to identify Ray. Stevens was dead drunk and saw nothing on the day of the King assassination.

Ignoring or Suppressing Conspiracy and Framing Evidence

      Shaheen's review did not touch upon any of the evidence regarding the framing of Ray that was introduced at the hearing that Judge McCrea and Shaheen knew so very well. The witnesses who had seen Ray at a gas station several blocks from the assassination site when the shot was fired were ignored. Grace Walden Stevens saw Frenchy (Raoul) in the rooming house, identified Frenchy as the man she saw, and knew Charlie had seen nothing. She had to be ignored. The witnesses who saw Jack Youngblood move away from the bushes from which he had fired the shot had to be ignored. Hoover and Fred Vinson's use of Stevens's false testimony to extradite Ray from London had to be ignored. The FBI's role in Memphis, including its instructions to the witnesses who had seen Frenchy to keep quiet was to be kept a dark secret. The similarity between Frenchy's photograph and the sketch of Raoul and Ray's subsequent identification of Frenchy as Raoul had to be kept quiet.
      More ignored evidence was turned up by Huie. He found three witnesses who had seen Ray and Frenchy-Raoul together both in Atlanta and Montreal. They confirmed Ray's claim that he was framed. All of the evidence involving Youngblood and Frenchy, uncovered by Robert Livingston and Wayne Chastain and published in Computers and People in 1974, was omitted.
      Livingston was Ray's attorney in Tennessee. Chastain is a Memphis reporter. Livingston and Chastain's sighting of Frenchy-Raoul at the Detroit airport during a meeting between Livingston, Chastain, Bud Fensterwald and the intermediary representing Frenchy (in an attempt to obtain immunity for him in exchange for revealing the identity of the Tennesseans and Louisianians who had hired him) was ignored.
      Exposure of this segment of the PCG would have done more to bolster the 1977 efforts of the Select Committee than any presentation of conspiracy evidence in the King case itself.

The PCG's Tactics With the Select Committee

      In the early days of the formation of the Committee in September 1976, the PCG might have taken the Committee very lightly. The PCG's efforts to stop an investigation from beginning in the spring of 1976 through its control of the Rules Committee had been successful. Downing and Gonzalez had given up. But when the three-way coalition suddenly brought about a reversal of their earlier Rules Committee vote, and the House quickly and overwhelmingly passed a resolution to set up the Committee, the PCG was forced to go back to the drawing boards for retaliation.
      Before the PCG had time to react, Downing and Gonzalez hired Dick Sprague as chief counsel. Sprague very rapidly hired the equivalent of his own FBI. He sensed from the start that he might be up against both the FBI and the CIA, so he carefully screened his investigators, lawyers, researchers and other personnel to prevent intelligence penetration of the staff. However, some personnel were "handed" to him by both Gonzalez and Downing.
      It goes almost without saying that the PCG would have tried to infiltrate the staff. What they learned by their early infiltration was that Sprague and his crack team were not only on the right track in both the JFK and MLK investigations, but also that the tactics used by the PCG in those weeks were making the staff and some of the committee members suspicious about the PCG itself.

PCG Control of Prior Investigations

      It became imperative for the PCG to either eliminate the entire Committee or to gain control of it and to rid it of Dick Sprague and the senior staff people who were loyal to him. It was no longer possible to turn the investigations around and bury the information that had been gathered as the PCG had done with six prior Congressional investigations. In each of the prior investigations (five Senate investigations and one House investigation of the JFK assassination) the PCG had controlled the results, disbanded the staffs and buried the evidence. The six groups were:

  1. 1968 -- A Senate subcommittee under Senator Ed Long of Missouri conducted a JFK investigation. Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., was in charge of a six-person team.

  2. 1974 -- The Ervin Committee investigated the JFK case during the Watergate period. Samuel Dash headed a team of four that included Terry Lenzer, Barry Schochet and Wayne Bishop.

  3. 1975 -- The Church Committee. A six-person team reported to FAO Schwartz III. It included Bob Kelley, Dan Dwyer, Ed Greissing, Paul Wallach, Pat Shea and David Aaron.

  4. 1975 -- The Schweiker-Hart subcommittee under the Church Committee had a team headed by David Marston, that included Troy Gustafson, Gaeton Fonzi, and Elliott Maxwell.

  5. 1975 -- Pike Committee in House. People unknown.

  6. 1976 -- Senate Intelligence Committee under Daniel Inouye.

      In addition, both Howard Baker and Lowell Weicker conducted their own investigations of the JFK case during the Watergate period.
      Sprague and his senior staff people are professionals compared to the amateurs listed above. Wayne Bishop was the only professional investigator in all of the staff groups. It was easy for the PCG to cut off or alter the directions of the prior investigations. Thus, the one with the greatest hope, the Schweiker subcommittee, wound up not mentioning any of the important evidence uncovered in Florida and elsewhere in their final report. The Congress and the public were left with the impression that there might have been a Castro conspiracy to assassinate JFK.

PCG Strategy

      Faced with the new committee and Sprague's staff, the PCG had devise a strategy that included:

  1. Attacking Dick Sprague to discredit him with dirt and print it in the media.

  2. Using the media to spread PCG propaganda and control the sources of all stories concerning the Select Committee.

  3. Using PCG Congressmen to provide biased, distorted quotes to the media for its use.

  4. Trying to discredit the entire committee by making it appear to be disorganized and unmanageable.

  5. Controlling the voting and lobbying against the continuation of the committee in January and February.

  6. Influencing members of the House to vote against the Committee through a massive letter and telegram campaign.

  7. Exaggerating the emphasis placed on the size of the budget requested by Sprague without considering the need for such a budget.

  8. Demanding that the committee justify its existence by producing new evidence.

  9. Splitting the committee and attempting to create dissension; creating a battle between Henry Gonzalez and Richard Sprague and between Gonzalez and Downing.

  10. Hamstringing the staff so they could not receive salaries, could not travel, did not have subpoena power, could not make long distance telephone calls; blocking access to the key files at the FBI, Justice Department, CIA and Secret Service.

  11. Trying to insert their own man at the head of the staff.

  12. Brainwashing Henry Gonzalez into believing that Sprague and others were agents.

  13. Sacrificing Henry Gonzalez when it became obvious the PCG could not control him as their chairman.

  14. Leaking stories that seemed to make the committee's efforts unnecessary.

Media Control

      The primary technique used by the PCG is its nearly absolute control of the media. This is not as difficult to achieve as one might imagine. Since most of the stories about the committee originate in Washington under rather tightly-knit conditions, it is necessary to control only a small number of key reporters and their bosses. The rest of the media follow along like sheep.
      The PCG trotted out some of their old-timers in the media to initiate the public and congressional brainwashing program against the committee. They used the same tactic against Jim Garrison between 1967 and 1969. The old-timers included Jeremiah O'Leary, George Lardner, Jr., and David Burnham. Jeremiah O'Leary of the Washington Star was on the CIA's list of reporters exposed the year before. George Lardner Jr. had been in David Ferrie's apartment until 4 AM on the morning he was murdered. Lardner was a PCG member in 1967, while he worked as a reporter for the Washington Post (he is still with the Post). David Burnham at the New York Times, one of the several reporters in Harrison Salisbury's and Harding Bancroft, Jr.'s stable of PCG workers, was called upon to carry the brunt of the Times' attack.
      There were, of course, others. As in 1967 and at other times during the first decade of media cover-ups, the major TV, radio, wire service, magazine and newspaper media acted as a cover-up unit. Ben Bradlee, the PCG chieftain at the Washington Post, made sure that Newsweek did their hatchet jobs. Time, Inc., CBS (with Eric Sevaried, Dick Salant and Leslie Midgeley), NBC (with David Brinkley), and ABC (with Bob Clark and Howard K. Smith) all went on the attack. The overall theme was that the committee would soon die out.

Media Tactics

      The tactics first used were to create the impression that the Committee was not going to find anything of importance. Then Dick Sprague became the chief target. One of the dirty tricks used against him portrayed him as arrogant, flamboyant, power-mad, and as a man who usurped the powers of the Committee. The writers and editors of the PCG are very good at this sort of thing. The New York Times, with Burnham writing and Salisbury and Bancroft directing, did a real hatchet job on Sprague. These techniques convinced congressmen and much of the public. Sqrague was forced to stay very quiet and away from reporters and cameras. That did not deter the PCG people. Once an image of a man has been created by the media, it is not necessary for him to appear in public. He could even disappear for several weeks, but the flamboyant, noisy image would go on uninterrupted. This technique is much less obvious than murder, but it works nearly as well. When the time comes to destroy or eliminate the man, all the PCG has to do is create an image.

The Vote to Continue

      The man chosen to eliminate Sprague was the new chairman of the Select Committee, Henry Gonzalez. Before setting up a classic "personality conflict" between Gonzalez and Sprague, the PCG used another tactic. It attempted to kill the Committee with a vote not to continue it in the 1977 Congress.
      The House and media PCG members overemphasized the large budget requested by Dick Sprague, the use of the polygraph, the use of the psychological stress evaluator and the telephone monitoring equipment. Rather than telling the truth about the budget, describing how the money would be spent, and describing why and how the equipment was going to be used, the media (aided and abetted by PCG members in the House itself) made it seem as though the budget was totally out of line and that citizen's rights would be violated by the use of such equipment. The PCG planted false information that led Don Edwards of California to play into their hands on the equipment issue.
      The year-end report of the Committee, which they and the staff hoped would make these subjects clear, countered the media attacks. But, of course, the PCG controls the media, and the report was completely blacked out. Most citizens do not even know it exists. Almost every U.S. citizen has heard and seen Dick Sprague called a rattlesnake and an unscrupulous character. However, the PCG lost the vote against continuing the Committee and used a new method to try to kill it.

The New Tactic

      The PCG decided to use Gonzalez to control the Committee. The stage was set for the PCG to knock off Sprague and to install one of their own men. The plan was to do this by brainwashing Henry Gonzalez into distrusting Sprague and selected members of the Committee and the staff.
      The idea was to use Gonzalez in this way to install a PCG man (the fact that he was a PCG man was unknown to Gonzalez) as chief of staff. Gonzalez would fire Sprague and the key staff members, first blocking their access to important files and witnesses. The PCG would then have been in a position to either fold up the Committee by March 31, or to direct its efforts toward finding a Castro-did-it conspiracy in JFK's case and no conspiracy in the King case.

Tactic Backfires

      The PCG did not forecast one important effect their tactics would have. By the time Henry Gonzalez became chairman, the other eleven members of the Committee and its staff had begun to smell a rat. They noted with curiosity all of the strange coincidences that occurred. During the floor debate on February 2, 1977 over continuing the Committee, Representatives Devine, Preyer, Burke and Fauntroy let the rest of the House know that they believed something peculiar was happening to them. The appearance of the Justice Department report on that same day disturbed them very much. The attacks on Sprague upset them also.
      The staff were even more disturbed. Most of them had assumed they were being asked to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation of two homicides. The power of the PCG became obvious to them over a period of several weeks. The effect of this on both the Committee and its staff was to drive all eighty-four people (73 staff and 11 Committee members) into a solid block (the only exceptions were Gonzalez's people on the staff), more determined than ever to get at the truth. Some staffers began using their own money for travel. All of them took pay cuts. Many of them decided they would work for nothing if necessary to keep going. The PCG's strategy had backfired. The eighty-four loyal people were like one giant lion backed into a corner, spurred on to greater heights to fight back.
      For this reason, the PCG tactic to use a brainwashed Henry Gonzalez failed. The eighty-four people resisted that manuever by threatening to resign en masse. Tip O'Neill and others were forced to go against Gonzalez. Gonzalez resigned. The House voted by a large majority to accept his resignation and Tip O'Neill appointed Louis Stokes as the new chairman. At this point, the PCG decided to abandon Gonzalez and to try another tactic, signalled by an article in the Washington Star on March 3, 1977. Written by Star staff writer Lynn Rosellini, the article was entitled, "Gonzalez' Action Stuns Panel but Not the Home Folks." It was manufactured by the PCG to discredit Gonzalez and his final demise. (It was the first anti-Gonzalez article to appear.) The PCG had obviously decided to throw Gonzalez to the wolves. The significant quote was supposedly from a "source familiar with Gonzalez' career" that said "Henry focuses in on conspiracies, the weird angle of things. Once he gets involved in something, he shakes it by the throat until it's dead." That was a dead giveaway that the PCG no longer wanted Henry around.

Next Tactic -- Death By Acclamation

      The PCG's next tactic was to convince a majority of the House that the Committee had had it because of the feuding as portrayed in the press. They hoped to either eliminate the Committee altogether or eliminate the JFK investigation or to force Sprague to resign. (After all, the King conspiracy can always be blamed on J. Edgar Hoover, if it comes down to that. There is no particular spillover from the King case into JFK, RFK or Wallace, provided Frenchy can be kept out of the limelight.) It might have been possible for the PCG Congressmen to propose dropping the JFK case or to propose postponing it in favor of continuing just the King case with a reduced budget. Prior to March 31, a House floor vote or a vote in the Rules Committee could have been proposed that might have limited the investigations and the authority of the Select Committee in this way. The rules under which the Select Committee would operate were not passed by the Committee due to the conflict between Henry Gonzalez and the rest of the members, so the proposal could have included restrictive rules. The PCG media could have boosted this idea with the PCG loyalists in the House. Jim Wright appeared to be the new leader of the opposition to kill the Select Committee. More ground was being laid every day for a negative vote on continuation. The hint was that the Committee must come up with a bombshell or that it will die.
      The Committee fought off this tactic by diverting the attention of the media through a series of very rapidly developing activities and a substantial reduction in the proposed budget, which plummeted to 2.8 million for the remainder of 1977. The House finally voted to continue the Committee by a very narrow margin, with a swing of 25 votes determining the result.
      The final weapon used to obtain a vote to continue the Committee on March 30 was the resignation of Dick Sprague.

Exposing the PCG

      The best way to expose the PCG is to demonstrate that it has been influencing or controlling the media and attempting to control Congress. How can this be done? It will be necessary to show who the PCG members are in the House and the media and exactly what they have been doing while they are doing it. Getting this kind of information out to the public will be very difficult, since the entire media group seems to be controlled. Live TV is not easily controllable. If unannounced exposures of PCG members are made on live TV there would be no way for the PCG to stop it. About the only way to set up such a situation would be to hold public hearings with live TV coverage.
      Exposing the PCG to Congress might be accomplished on the floor of the House. Evidence of the clandestine activities of PCG members in the tactics described above could be introduced on the floor without media coverage. This happened to a minor extent on March 30 when some of the Committee members began to accuse the media of improper influence.

Who Are The PCG Members

      The PCG members presently attempting to control the Select Committee must be clearly identified.[1] There are, no doubt, some media people and Representatives who sincerely believe that there were no conspiracies and who have been playing into the hands of the PCG without realizing it. Other Representatives, and media people by the definition of the term PCG, are purposefully controlling the situation. It may be difficult to distinguish between these two groups without tracing back some PCG connection of the culprits. Any CIA or FBI clandestine relationship or any direct connection with any of the assassination cases would be a tip. An example of this is George Lardner, Jr.'s direct connection with the JFK case ten years ago. (Lardner was in David Ferrie's apartment for four hours after the midnight time of death estimated by the New Orleans coroner. Ferrie was killed by a karate chop to the back of his neck.) Jim Garrison interrogated Lardner at some length, but he never received a satisfactory explanation of what he had been doing there.
      While it may be difficult to tell which congressmen are sincere and which are knowingly trying to extend the cover-ups, the Select Committee must turn its attention to any member of the House who throws up roadblocks or who speaks out strongly against the continuation of the investigations. On this basis, one must suspect every one of the Representatives cited below.
      Many questions should be asked of this group. For example, who encouraged Mr. Bauman during that autumn and on March 30, Mr. Sisk last spring and Mr. Quillen in February to suddenly become so vehement about stopping investigations of the assassinations? Their stated reasons were that the Kennedys were opposed, costs, the lack of new evidence, the Warren Commission, etc. But these reasons can no longer be their own true beliefs. On whose behalf were they acting? How did Trent Lott find out that the Committee staff made a telephone call to Cameroon, which he discussed on March 28 at the Rules meeting?
      Who talked Frank Thompson into a campaign to shut off the Select Committee's financial resources? (The Thompson efforts cannot be explained away by the ordinary controller's motivations.) Who convinced Jim Wright that the Committee was doomed and that he should personally intervene in the Gonzalez, Sprague and Committee members' battle? And, most importantly, who brainwashed both Henry Gonzalez and Gail Beagle into mistrusting the people they had always trusted? Answer these questions and publicize the answers, and the top-down approach to exposing the PCG and solving the assassination conspiracies will be well along the path to success.

Part II

"Hard" and "Soft" Propaganda in 1977

      When the time approached for the Select Committee on Assassinations to ask the House of Representatives for its 1978 budget, it was interesting to once again examine the PCG's control over the American news media and the Congress. To those who observed the assassination scene with blinders removed, it was patently obvious that the December 1977 date for the Select Committee's budget approval was a target. The PCG attempted to defeat the Committee's efforts to get at the truth underlying the John Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations and the cover-up crimes associated with them.
      An all-out effort was mounted by the PCG to influence the thinking of citizens and the votes of the members of the House. This effort manifested itself in the major news media -- over the three TV networks, the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, book publishers, book reviewers, TV talk shows, etc.
      This massive campaign is a useful test to prove the validity of contentions made by this author and others in 1976 and 1977 concerning the relationships between the Power Control Group and the American news media, as utilized in the continuing cover-ups of the domestic assassinations, and in the PCG's efforts to destroy the reputations of assassination researchers[2] and the two official investigations of the John Kennedy assassinations.[3]
      New evidence surfaced in 1977 to support these contentions: a CIA document released under the Freedom of Information Act and an article by a new potential ally for assassination truth seekers, Carl Bernstein. Both of these documents were provided to the author by Ted Gandolfo in New York, who now has his own weekly cable TV show on Friday nights on Manhattan TV entitled, Assassination USA.

Evidence of Media Control by the CIA

      Carl Bernstein wrote an article exposing the CIA's methods of controlling the news media.[4] The basic technique dictates planting a Secret Team member at the top of each major media organization, or obtaining tacit agreements from the top man to use reporters working for the CIA, and to use CIA people, stories, and policies on the inside of the organization. Bernstein named men above the level named by this author as CIA people in certain organizations. For example, the author's claim was that Harding Bancroft, Jr. has been the CIA control point at the New York Times. Bernstein named Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the owner of the Times and Bancroft's boss, as the CIA's man at the Times. At CBS, the author named Richard Salant. Bernstein names William C. Paley. At the Washington Post and Newsweek Bernstein names Philip Graham, Katherine Graham's husband, former owner of the Post and Newsweek, and by inference, Mrs. Graham since her husband's death. The author named Ben Bradlee. But Bernstein's information confirms the author's contention that the CIA controls the 15 news media organizations in the U.S.
      The other CIA top level individuals named by Bernstein are as follows:
      The PCG, through their prime intelligence members, are today still controlling what the media do and say about the subject of assassinations and the Select Committee on Assassinations.[5] They do this by influencing the heads of each organization who determine media editorial policies that are carried out by their subordinates. In some cases, however, lower level people are also planted as reporters, editors or producers to execute the policies, write the stories, produce the programs, review the books, or write or publish the books. The CIA also owns and controls many publishing houses, freelance writers or reviewers who can also be used in this massive campaign.
      However, the reader should not immediately jump to the conclusion that all of the media people knowingly continue to cover-up of the assassination conspiracies. It is only necessary that they actually believe the CIA's stories and positions against conspiracies. For example, Anthony Lewis at the New York Times participates in this entire fraud, actually believing that Oswald was the lone madman assassin.
      It is inconceivable, however, that men intelligent enough to rise to the top of CBS, NBC, ABC, the New York Times et al. could actually believe that Oswald was the lone assassin. Some or most of them must be cooperating fully in the PCG cover-up efforts.

Proof of CIA Efforts to Discredit Researchers

      A recently released CIA document[6] was a dispatch issued from CIA headquarters in April 1967 to certain bases and stations to mount a campaign through media contacts (called assets) against certain assassination researchers. The targets included Mark Lane, Joachim Joesten, Penn Jones, Edward Epstein and Bertrand Russell.
      The document describes an entire program to be used to discredit the "critics." Many of the exact expressions that were used by the CIA-controlled media to attack the researchers can be found in this document. One example is: "The CIA should use this argument in general. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested (by critics) would be impossible to conceal in the United States, especially since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc." Another argument suggested is: "Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy."
      How many times did we hear that between 1967 and 1969?
      The document also suggests using an article by Fletcher Knebel to attack Ed Epstein's book and to attack it rather than Mark Lane's book because "Lane's book is much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details."
      The timing of this document is particularly important. April 1, 1967 was approximately two months after Jim Garrison's investigation surfaced, and only shortly after Garrison found David Ferrie murdered in his own apartment and had Clay Shaw arrested. Since we now know that both men were contract agents for the CIA and that the CIA went to great lengths under Richard Helms' direction to protect Clay Shaw and to keep his true identity from being revealed, the chances are good that this document was triggered by Garrison's investigation.
      The names of the authors of the document have been blacked out of the copy that was released. Further research might reveal who actually wrote it and "pulled it together" (as a note in hand print at the top states).

The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald

      The top level media control was demonstrated by the ABC-TV program, The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, whose co-director, Lawrence Schiller, had to have been selected at the suggestion of the PCG. Schiller, one of the worst people in the PCG's stable of freelancers, is best known for his book supporting the Warren Commission and attacking the researchers, called The Scavengers.[7]
      Schiller is perhaps the biggest scavenger ever created. He supposedly obtained a "deathbed" statement from Jack Ruby by illegally and unethically sneaking a tape recorder into his hospital room. He then parlayed this into a wide-selling record with distasteful and untruthful propaganda. More recently he seized the opportunity to interview Gary Gilmore before his execution, practically holding a mike to his mouth while the commands were being given to the firing squad.
      How, the reader may ask, could Schiller become a co-producer of a major ABC television show? The answer is simple. He is available to attack and ridicule the assassination researchers and reinforce the no-conspiracy idea for the PCG.
      The ABC production crew had the full cooperation of the Dallas police in re-enacting the assassination event in Dealey Plaza. There is no way that could have happened without PCG influence. The Dallas police, quite guilty of cover-up in the case and having some individual members on the assassination team, would not permit anyone to film a reenactment of the assassination showing conspiracy or the truth. The PCG had to assure them that the program's editorial position would be anti-conspiracy.
      The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald was given extensive publicity on TV, in magazines, in newspapers. In England, a special article about it appeared in the Sunday magazine section of a London newspaper complete with photographs from the shooting sequence as filmed.[8] The PCG spent an enormous amount of money on the program and a publicity campaign. There is no way ABC-TV could have done that on their own. More than 80% of the people believe there was a conspiracy: why wouldn't ABC go along with the 80% of their viewers and portray the truth? The answer again is simple: ABC is controlled from the very top, probably much higher than the Sam Jaffe level, by the PCG and the CIA.

Other TV Shows

      Both NBC and CBS are planning major TV specials on the assassinations. CBS is planning a show on Ruby and Oswald. The theme will be that the Warren Commission was right and that both Oswald and Ruby were lone nuts. Mr. Paley and Mr. Salant are the PCG people calling the shots. NBC is planning a show on Martin Luther King which will have a section on the assassination. Even though Abbey Mann is directing the show and he would like to bring out some of the facts, it is certain that the PCG members of NBC, including Richard Wald, will not permit any conclusions about Ray's innocence or information about Frenchy-Raoul or Jack Youngblood (the real assassins) to be included.

Priscilla McMillan -- CIA Agent

      One of the more remarkable things about the massive 1977 campaign of the CIA and the PCG is their blatant use of freelance writers and news reporters who are well known CIA agents to nearly anyone who has taken the time to pay attention. Three agents are Priscilla McMillan and her husband, George McMillan, and Jeremiah O'Leary of the Washington Star. Priscilla (in particular) is so obviously an agent that even Dick Cavett indirectly accused her of being one when she appeared on his show with Marina Oswald to plug her new book.
      The CIA decided the perfect time to publish McMillan's book[9], which had been completed for several years. A publisher under CIA control was selected, and the book was published in time for the December committee budget vote. The CIA arranged that Marina appear with Pat on several national TV shows. Priscilla had Marina well rehearsed for these shows -- she even retold the old lies about Oswald shooting at General Walker. The commentators selected to interview both women, including Dick Cavett, David Hartmann (ABC), and Tom Snyder (NBC) had their orders to deal delicately with them and not to ask any embarrassing questions. Cavett came closest with his essentially accusatory question about whether Priscilla was a CIA agent.
      No one asked Marina the one embarrassing question she would have had the greatest difficulty answering regarding the picture of Oswald holding the rifle and the communist newspaper that Marina claimed she took of him: "How was it possible for you to have taken a photograph that since has been demonstrated to be a composite of three photographs, with your husband's head attached to someone else's body at the chin line?" (flashing on the screen Fred Newcomb's slide showing the chin level discontinuity). Cavett actually flashed the fake photograph on the screen at the beginning of his show, but he never mentioned it.
      This monumental PCG effort that involved controlling at least three TV networks, a CIA publisher, Marina Oswald, a CIA agent, Priscilla McMillan, an enormous amount of time and money, and a special book review by the New York Times[10] demonstrates how much power the PCG has.
      Some of those people who watched Good Morning America and the Tomorrow Show and the Dick Cavett Show (three different types of national viewing audiences) who believe the lone assassin theory and the Warren Commission had those beliefs reinforced by Priscilla McMillan and Marina Oswald. It is wise for researchers, the Select Committee on Assassinations and others who know what is really going on, not to underestimate this power of the PCG.

Fensterwald's Book

      A book by Bud Fensterwald appeared in 1977 under the sponsorship of the PCG.[11] This clever effort on the part of one of the CIA's best agents was designed to throw people off the track who have a somewhat deeper interest in the JFK assassination. It was meant to divert attention away from the CIA by omitting at least twelve of the CIA conspirators who were in the files of the Committee to Investigate Assassinations (co-founded by Fensterwald and the author in 1968).
      No excuse can be given for leaving these key people out of the book, because the CIA had extensive files on most of them. Bud Fensterwald even had a personal correspondent relationship to the key informant of the group, Richard Case Nagell. The twelve are: William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, Guy Gabaldin, Mary Hope, Richard Case Nagell, Harry Dean, Ronald Augustinovich, Thomas Beckham, Fred Lee Crisman, Frenchy, and Jack Lawrence. All of them were included in a description of the details of the assassination team earlier in this book and in an article by the author.[12]
      Zebra Books, the publisher of Fensterwald's book, is a CIA-controlled organization that has also published another disinformation book, Appointment in Dallas, by Hugh MacDonald.[13] In both cases, the PCG intended to misdirect attention away from the CIA participants while at the same time admitting conspiracy. There is no way the story in MacDonald's book can be true. It maintains that Oswald at least planned to fire from the sixth floor window of the TSBD Building. As all good researchers know, the photographs of the window, inside and outside, prove there was no one firing from that window that day.

The de Mohrenschildt Murder

      The Murder Inc. branch of the PCG killed George de Mohrenschildt when he became too dangerous for them. The media branch of the PCG then undertook a campaign to discredit Willem Oltmans and NOS-TV (in Holland) who happened to be in possession of a series of video and audio tapes of de Mohrenschildt that will be very damaging for the PCG.
      The de Mohrenschildt murder has so far been concealed by the PCG with the help of the media and portrayed as the suicide of a man who had become insane. As Willem Oltmans' book clearly demonstrates[14] de Mohrenschildt was quite sane when he disappeared from Belgium. He was in the process of giving Ed Epstein a story about his involvement in the JFK assassination when he was murdered in Florida.

Donald Donaldson's Disappearance

      General Donald Donaldson, alias Dimitri Dimitrov alias Jim Adams, was intimately acquainted with the CIA people who planned JFK's assassination. He was in Holland to tell his story to NOS-TV and Willem Oltmans. He told Oltmans that Allen Dulles was the key CIA man in planning JFK's assassination. (Donaldson had been brought to the U.S. as a double agent during World War II by Franklin Roosevelt.) He held back his knowledge of the assassination conspiracy until the Church Committee was formed. He then took his information to Church, who brought him to President Ford rather than having him questioned by the Church Committee or the Schweiker sub-committee. Ford, Church and Donaldson had a meeting in which Ford talked both of them into keeping Donaldson's information under wraps.
      When de Mohrenschildt was killed, Donaldson decided it was time to make his information public and to offer it to the Select Committee. He approached Oltmans, asked that his identity be kept secret, told NOS his story, and then remained in Holland while Oltmans attempted to tell the story to President Carter. Oltmans revealed Donaldson's identity on American TV and to the Select Committee when Carter refused to listen to the story. Donaldson then moved to England, and subsequently disappeared from a London hotel, leaving large unpaid bills at both his London and Amsterdam hotels. The possibility is very good that he has gone the same route as de Mohrenschildt, murdered by the PCG.

Attacks on the Select Committee

      One of a series of attacks on the Select Committee in November and December, leading up to the December vote on the 1978 budget, took place in the form of an article by probable CIA agent George Lardner, Jr., one of the Select Committee's biggest enemies. He is one of the PCG's stable of reporters. Lardner wrote an article for the Sunday Washington Post on November 6, 1977, portraying the Committee as engaging in random, uncoordinated activity, interrogating witnesses from the Garrison investigation (which Lardner labelled, "the zany Garrison investigation", and "the fruitless investigation"). The New York Times, Washington Star and other media can be expected to open up all barrels under PCG direction. The general theme will no doubt be that the Committee has done nothing at all and that Oswald acted alone.[15]
      If Council Blakey or Chairman Stokes, or JFK subcommittee Chairman Preyer try to respond to these attacks they will be ripped to shreds by the PCG's media people. As the author pointed out in part I of this chapter, the only chance the Committee and the House have to keep the investigation going is to expose the PCG and their media control, from the top down. Otherwise the Committee cannot win the battle.


  1. Power Control Group (PCG), is defined in prior articles by the author as well as in this book as follows:

          The PCG includes all organizations and individuals who knowingly participated in any of the domestic political assassinations or attempted assassinations, or in any of the efforts to cover-up the truth about those assassinations. This includes a large number of murders of witnesses and participants. The assassinations involved include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

      John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, George Wallace and Mary Jo Kopechne.

          The PCG is a much larger group than just the clandestine parts of the CIA and the FBI, or the Secret Team as defined by L. Fletcher Prouty. It would however, include all those members of the Secret Team or the CIA or the FBI falling under the definition.

  2. The author's contentions about media control by the PCG have appeared in one self-published book and several articles:

    1. Book: The Taking of America 1-2-3, R.E. Sprague, self-published, Hartsdale, N.Y., 1976. (First Edition. This Third Edition contains chapters 15-17 plus the Appendix which were written after 1977. -- Editor)

    2. Articles: "The American News Media and the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Accessories After Fact," R.E. Sprague, Computers and Automation, June, July, 1973.

    3. "The Central Intelligence Agency and the The New York Times," R.E. Sprague. (Using pseudonym Samuel F. Thurston) Computers and Automation, July, 1971. Republished in People and the Pursuit of Truth, May, 1977.

    4. "Congressional Investigation of Political Assassinations in the United States: The Two Approaches: From the Bottom Up vs. From the Top Down," R.E. Sprague, People and the Pursuit of Truth, May, 1977.

  3. The two official investigations of the Kennedy assassination referred to here are:

    1. The investigation by the office of the district attorney of Orleans Parish, New Orleans, La. 1966 to 1969 (Jim Garrison).

    2. The investigation by the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives 1976-1977.

          The investigations by the Schweiker-Hart subcommittee of the Church committee and the Ervin Watergate committee were never really approved by Congress, and so lacked the power and influence to become a threat to the PCG.

  4. "The CIA and the Press," Carl Bernstein, Rolling Stone, October 4, 1977. A copy of the full unedited manuscript of this article was also made available to the author. The Rolling Stone version had selected names omitted.

  5. Bernstein's article also describes the CIA influence over several other media organizations without naming the top executives. These are:

        New York Herald Tribune
        Saturday Evening Post
        "Scripps Howard Newspapers"
        "Associated Press"
        "United Press International"
        Miami Herald

    And a CIA official told Bernstein, "that's just a small part of the list."

  6. The CIA document was obtained by Harold Weisberg under the Freedom of Information Act. It is dated 4/1/67 and labelled "Dispatch to Chiefs, Certain Stations and Bases." Document Number 1035-960 for "FOIA Review" on September 1976. Object: Countering Criticism of the "Warren Report."

  7. The Scavengers and Critics of the Warren Report, Lawrence Schiller, Dell Publishing Co., New York, 1967.

  8. "The Big If," London Sunday Times, September 18, 1977.

  9. Marina and Lee, Patricia McMillan, Harper & Row, 1977.

  10. A review of the McMillan book appeared in the Sunday New York Times book review section on November 6, 1977. It praised the book to the skys, backed up the Warren Commission, and severely attacked the researchers and the Select Committee.

  11. Coincidence or Conspiracy, Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., Zebra Books, New York, 1977.

    1. The Taking of America 1-2-3, Richard E. Sprague, self-published, 1976, 1980, 1985.

    2. "The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: The Involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Plans and the Cover-Up", Richard E. Sprague -- People and the Pursuit of Truth, May, 1975.

  12. Appointment in Dallas, Hugh C. McDonald, Zebra Books, New York, 1975.

  13. "George de Mohrenschildt," Willem Oltmans, Published in The Netherlands, Unpublished in the United States.

  14. This chapter originally appeared as the article "Congressional Investigation of Political Assassinations in the United States: The Two Approaches: From the Bottom Up vs. From the Top Down," by the author in People and the Pursuit of Truth, May, 1977. Since the original article was written, in November 1977 the Select Committee decided that the budget money approved in 1977 was sufficient to carry over a few months into 1978. No budget request was made in December 1977. The PCG can now be expected to continue its attacks until the spring of 1978 when the budget request will be made. (January 4, 1978)

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