1979: The House Select Committee (1)
1984 Here We Come
George Orwell undoubtedly did not realize how accurate his 1984 scenario would be by the year 1979. As 1978 drew to a close, events in America made Orwell's descriptions of such concepts as Newspeak and a supposedly open but actually closed society, very close to reality. By 1984, now only five short years away, Orwell's scenario will apparently be right on the nose.
Any doubts about who is in charge of America and how effective they have become in creating our actual version of Newspeak, disappeared as the Carter administration, congress, the courts, and the media, all combined their coordinated efforts to cover up and distort our current history. The hopes of thousands of Americans that their only true representatives in government, the members of the House, would expose the fabric of lies about our recent history and the Power Control Group's activities were dashed to smithereens by the House of Representative's Select Committee on Assassinations. The hopes that Carter might be on our side, faded away in 1978 and the intentions of the executive branch were made quite clear by the new directors of the FBI and the CIA.
The murder incorporated group within the Power Control Group continued to murder people in 1978, with efficiency and dispatch. The presidential race in 1980 has been foreclosed to Ted Kennedy for a long time, but the chances that any candidate, not willing to extend the assassination cover-ups, could be nominated and elected, are close to zero.
The American people, by and large, do not understand or appreciate very much of this. The Select Committee teamed with the media and by holding public hearings with almost no live coverage they convinced the majority of Americans that there was no conspiracy in the JFK case and that James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King although he might have had help from his brothers. The public has never heard of most of the eight men assassinated in 1977 and 1978 by the PCG, nor do they appreciate the fact that future assassinations will be carried off by the same bunch.
How the hell did the PCG control Congress and the Select Committee? It wasn't easy and they very nearly didn't.
There may also be another explanation about the committee's actions in which the word "control" is too strong. Influence, intimidation by throwing out implied warnings or threats, or just plain making it obvious that personal danger could be involved, might have been used. The process was very involved and it made use of a number of techniques and approaches, including some we can only guess at in 1979. However, a number of the PCG's methods are known and will be described herein.
The executive branch control by the PCG was exposed even before Carter's election by those whose eyes were open wide enough to see it. This author frankly admits to partially closed eyes until 1978. The significance of the Bilderberg Society and the Trilateral Commission was not obvious until Carter had been in office for a couple of years. Now, it is very obvious that he is under the complete domination of the men who really run the U.S.A., and that he will never do anything to expose the truth about the political assassinations or their cover-ups.
The latest indication of where the Carter administration stands was the testimony given by FBI director William H. Webster to the Select Committee on December 11, 1978. He said that the FBI would freeze the scene and take full immediate control of the investigation of any future presidential assassination or that of any other elected U.S. leader.
In case anyone has any doubt about what he meant by "freeze the scene", Webster went on to say, "One purpose of the FBI investigation would be to lay to rest untrue conspiratorial questions that have a way of rising, and avoid the sort of mistakes that followed the assassination of President Kennedy." In other words, the FBI will suppress or destroy any evidence of conspiracy even if they were not involved in the assassination itself. One such "mistake" in the Dallas murder surfaced in December 1978 when Earl Golz of the Dallas Morning News found a movie that the FBI failed to "freeze". It was taken by a man named Bronson and it shows two men, not one, in the sixth floor window of the TSBD just five minutes before the shots were fired. One of the men is wearing a red shirt. That filmed evidence matches the still photo taken by an unknown photographer earlier that morning, and developed at a Dallas photo lab by Ed Foley, the lab owner. The author found the photo and obtained a print of it in 1967. The Foley photo, as it became known, shows two men in the sixth floor window, one with a black shirt and one with a bright red shirt. Mr. red shirt matches the description of the man in the Bronson film. He is not Lee Harvey Oswald. Neither is the man in the black shirt. He was most probably Buel Wesley Frazier, the man who drove Oswald to work on November 22, 1963. The facial profile and black shirt match photos of Frazier and another man entitled to be on that sixth floor, were there around 10 AM and at 12:25, five minutes before the shots were fired. Mr. Webster has in mind rounding up all such evidence and destroying it right away in the next assassination.
The evidence discussed in earlier chapters of this book, also not "frozen" by the FBI, proves that the "snipers nest" was no snipers nest at all, but just an area where workers on that floor were piling cartons to allow the floor laying crew at the west end of that floor to do their job.
Webster would like the FBI to grab such evidence the next time, and destroy it before "conspiracy rumors" get started. The FBI came much closer to doing this in Memphis, but after all, they were involved directly in the planning and execution of the assassination of Dr. King. They had a much greater incentive for cover-up in that murder. William Sullivan's Division Five, at the behest of J. Edgar Hoover, carried out the King assassination using Raoul and Jack Youngblood plus others.
Returning to the Select Committee, I must switch over to a more personal tone because of my direct involvement with the group from its inception. I helped Henry Gonzalez in the early days of 1975 and 1976 when the committee was just a wild dream for most people. I made a presentation to Thomas Downing's staff members who eventually became part of the Select Committee staff. Mark Lane arranged that in the summer of 1976. The photographic evidence of conspiracy in the JFK case was as overwhelming to them and to Henry as it was to anyone who has taken the five or six hours or so to look at it. I then became an advisor to Richard A. Sprague and Bob Tanenbaum when the committee was formed and spent the months from November 1976 to July 1977 helping them with the photographic evidence and with evidence collected by the Committee to Investigate Assassinations including Jim Garrison's evidence.
If Henry Gonzalez or Richard A. Sprague, or Thomas Downing had stayed with the committee their work would not have been controlled. Sprague's loyal deputy counsels, Bob Tanenbaum, in charge of the JFK investigation and Bob Lehner in charge of the MLK investigation had already begun to get at the real evidence of the Power Control Group and the FBI and CIA's involvement in the two cases and in the cover-ups. The committee members were already becoming very suspicious of the two agencies. Walter Fauntroy, chairman of the MLK sub-committee, even dared to speak out about the CIA's influence. He was beaten into the ground by the PCG's members in the House.
So Gonzalez, Sprague, Tanenbaum, Lehner and others who dared take on the intelligence portions of the PCG, had to go. They were forced out by one of the ancient techniques employed by the Romans known as divide and conquer. Once Henry Gonzalez became convinced that Richard A. Sprague was working for the CIA and the PCG, he attacked Sprague bitterly. Henry knew there was a PCG and he knew who had murdered John Kennedy and why. Henry had to go. He was made to look like a paranoid fool and forced out by the key PCG members of the House. Two PCG agents, Mr. Z and Harry Livingstone, helped convince him that Sprague was a CIA man.
Mr. Z was brought in by Henry as a lawyer for his committee and worked on Henry's beliefs about Richard A. Sprague. Over some weeks he convinced Henry that Richard A. Sprague was a CIA operative. He was supported in this activity by Harry Livingstone (later author of "High Treason"). Harry Livingstone engaged in various plagiaristic activities and scams, and over quite a period of time he worked on Henry to convince him that Richard A. Sprague was a CIA operative. At the same time Henry was developing his beliefs with the help of Mr. Z and Mr. Livingstone, Richard A. Sprague and his staff were developing skepticism about Henry's integrity. The net result was both men resigned. In the next year, 1978, the author appeared with Richard A. Sprague on a cable television broadcast hosted by Ted Gandolfo in New York City, named "Assassionation USA," and the three of them had a detailed discussion about Sprague's reasons for resigning from the Committee. To some extent his thinking was influenced by his skepticism about Henry Gonzalez's integrity.
Once Louis Stokes took over as chairman, Sprague's men were gradually calmed down, and the so-called search for the right chief counsel was underway. It is difficult to detect what was going on during that spring of 1977. Suffice it to say that the PCG was undoubtedly pulling out every stop to get their own chief counsel into the committee and to build up the case for getting rid of Tanenbaum, Lehner, Donovan Gaye, and others who knew too much or who had the gall to go up against the agencies.
The result of all this hard work by the PCG was the installation in July 1977 of Dr. Robert Blakey as chief counsel. Tanenbaum resigned almost immediately, making Blakey's job a little easier, but Lehner and Gaye had to be fired by Blakey. Many others were also weeded out. We may never know exactly what they all knew or how they were forced out, because of the use of one of the PCG's cleverest techniques and one of the most insidious.
Each committee staff member, each consultant and each committee member was required to sign, as a condition of continuing employment or membership on the committee, a nondisclosure agreement. Now, nondisclosure agreements are nothing new, especially in classified situations or in sensitive or patent or copyright situations. The committee's nondisclosure agreement was however, very unusual. Many well-known attorneys have pronounced it illegal. Richard A. Sprague saw it and said he would absolutely never have required the staff to sign anything like it. He said it was illegal and unenforcable in several of its clauses. The worst thing about it, or the best thing, from the viewpoint of the PCG, are the paragraphs giving control over the committee to the FBI and the CIA.
The committee, under Sprague, planned to investigate the FBI and the CIA in regard to both assassinations and the cover-ups. In fact, Sprague had put both agencies on notice to that effect. Subpoenas were being prepared for access to all of their withheld information. Investigations of the CIA's role in the Mexico City part of the assassination conspiracy, as well as Oswald's and Ruby's connections with both agencies were under way.
The Blakey agreement automatically put a stop to all of that. Here is one excerpt from the agreement.
"I (the staff member, committee member, or consultant) hereby agree never to divulge, publish or reveal by words, conduct or otherwise, . . . any information pertaining to intelligence sources or methods as designated by the Director of Central Intelligence, or any confidential information that is received by the Select Committee or that comes into my possession by virtue of my position with the Select Committee, to any person not a member of the Select Committee, or, after the Select Committee's termination, by such manner as the House of Representatives may determine or, in the absence of a determination by the House, in such manner as the Agency or Department from which the information originated may determine."
In other words if the committee or an individual staff member, or a consultant discovered that the CIA or part of it, was involved in the assassination of John Kennedy, or that the FBI was in part or in whole responsible for the death of Martin Luther King, or that either agency was guilty of covering up the conspiracies in both cases, the CIA and the FBI would have the right to prevent these findings from being revealed to anyone outside the committee. Furthermore, those agencies are still in existence today while the Select Committee is not, so that the nondisclosure agreement which goes on in perpetuity, gives both the FBI and CIA continuing complete control over the individuals who signed it.
Another excerpt reads as follows:
"The Chairman of the Select Committee shall consult with the Director of Central Intelligence for the purpose of the Chairman's determination as to whether or not the material (any material obtained by the signer of the agreement) contains information that I pledge not to disclose." If that sounds like Catch-22, it is. The interpretation that could be placed on that clause is that the CIA has the right to decide what evidence in the JFK and MLK assassinations should be withheld on grounds that the CIA itself determines.
How could the committee possibly have investigated the CIA under those terms and conditions? The answer is, they could not and did not.
Can anyone doubt that the PCG prepared the agreement, implanted Blakey, and coerced or blackmailed or threatened the Chairman and the rest of the committee until they agreed to have everyone sign it!
The most insidious part of the agreement is the clause that could be described as the threat, or blackmail clause. It is perhaps this clause that has closed the mouths and pens of all the ex-staff members who knew what was going on, but who signed the agreement. That clause reads as follows:
"In addition to any rights for criminal prosecution or for injunctive relief the United Stated Government may have for violation of this agreement, the United States Government may file a civil suit in an appropriate court for damages as a consequence of a breach of this agreement. The costs of any civil suit brought by the United States for breach of this agreement, including court costs, investigative expenses, and reasonable attorney fees, shall be borne by any defendant who loses such suit." . . . "I hereby agree that in any suit by the United States Government for injunctive or monetary relief pursuant to the terms of this agreement, personal jurisdiction shall obtain and venue shall lie in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or in any other appropriate United States District Court in which the United States may elect to bring suit. I further agree that the law of the District of Columbia shall govern the interpretation and construction of this agreement."
Those readers who have followed the performance of the U.S. courts in the JFK and MLK cases through the years, will recognize the trap in those last two sentences. Any ex-staffer or consultant, or even a Congressman would have about as much chance against a CIA/FBI-directed suit in a court of their choice, as the man in the moon. The United States Government, in this clause, is not your government or mine. It is the Power Control Group. You can bet they would select a court already programmed for decision. The clause is incredible on the face of it.
This was a mighty powerful weapon and the committee used it to a maximum extent in carrying out a masterful job of continuing the two cover-ups. It was masterful in the sense that they were not as bold and bald about it as the Warren Commission or the Rockefeller Commission or the Justice Department and the courts have been in the MLK case. Their conclusions are inconclusive; sort of. They say that to determine whether or not there really were conspiracies in the two cases was beyond their means and the time they had available. Nevertheless, the preponderant weight of the public testimony before the committee was toward no conspiracy in the JFK case and a, "Ray shot him, but might have been helped," conclusion in the King case. But the hold they exercised over the staff and consultants in directing their investigations away from conspiracy was very smoothly done, with the nondisclosure agreement always lurking in the background as a possible threat.
The agreement was used as an excuse by the committee to avoid answering questions. For example, I wrote to Louis Stokes on April 5, October 30, and November 24, 1978 asking why the committee had not called several important witnesses in the JFK case, including Richard Case Nagell. Stokes had told me in a letter written on May 15, 1978, that the suggestion that Nagell be called was being followed and that the staff was being alerted about him. Blakey took no action and did not contact Nagell or Richard Russell, the only person who knew where Nagell was to be found.
Stokes sent me this reply to my inquiries about the witnesses on December 4,1978.
"Dear Mr. Sprague:
Thank you for your letter of November 24, 1978. I am aware of the amount of time you have spent analyzing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and your interest in the work of the Select Committee on Assassinations since its inception. However, I regret that under our Rules, it is impossible for us to respond to your letter in a manner which would reveal the substance or procedure of our investigation, or the names of those persons who will be called to testify before the committee. The committee is, of course, grateful for your suggestions and those of the many other concerned citizens who have taken the time to write." (Underlining for emphasis is the author's)
"The Rules" Stokes refers to include the nondisclosure agreement. This letter implies that subsequent to December 4, 1978, the committee might be calling more JFK witnesses. Of course, that didn't happen. Except for some high level FBI, Secret Service and other government officials testifying about Presidential safety and future assassination investigations, the committee's show was already over, and Louis Stokes was well aware of that. I'm sure Louis Stokes had his own personal reasons, not necessarily sinister, for making that reply.
The committee had no intention of risking the appearance of any of the more knowledgeable or involved witnesses whose names I had given them in October 1978 as well as in May 1978 and November 1978. A list of these names appears later in this chapter.
The Warren Commission proved how easy it is to avoid finding a conspiracy if you don't look for one, even one that seems to jump up and smack you in the face. The Select Committee did this in spades. The procedure was orchestrated by Robert Blakey by various means. One of his methods was to split up the hard core Dealey Plaza evidence and investigations into sections. He formed an advisory panel of outside "experts", for each section; one on medical evidence, photographic evidence, ballistics evidence, trajectory evidence, etc. Then he made sure there was almost no coordination, cross talk, or feedback among the panels or even among the staff members assigned to each section, except at his level.
There was a great amount of internal complaining about this, but to no avail. Again, the nondisclosure agreement worked wonders. An investigating team, in New Orleans and Dallas, headed by the JFK task force leader Cliff Fenton, was never allowed to surface either publicly or internally to other staff people or the committee. Their findings alone would have blown Dr. Blakey and his CIA/FBI friends right out of the water. They spent a lot of time with Jim Garrison, and with many of the witnesses and the assassination participants described in Chapter 5 of this book. The public does not even know who these staffers are, and undoubtedly will not hear or see what they discovered either in the committee's final report or in the public hearings.
The separation of assignments worked wonders in explaining away much of the hard evidence of conspiracy. Some of it during the public hearings was like watching a magic show, for knowledgeable researchers. For example, the medical panel and staff members determined that the path of bullet 399 through JFK's body rear to front was slightly upward, given that he was sitting erect. But since the medical panel and the photographic panel were never permitted coordination, the medical panel never realized that JFK was sitting erect at the time bullet 399 supposedly struck. Neither panel was allowed to communicate with the trajectory panel, so that their representative Thomas Canning testified that bullet 399's trajectory backward from JFK's body, passed through the TSBD sixth floor window. That erudite gentleman, a government employee from NASA, was forced to make up his own medical evidence, which he proceeded to do. He merely moved the exit wound in JFK's throat down somewhat and the back of the neck wound up somewhat from where Dr. Baden of the medical panel had placed them. He then tilted JFK forward at about 17 or 18 degrees based on his personal observation of one photograph, rather than on the photographic panel's conclusions. Presto; the trajectory tilted upward and leftward enough to pass through the sixth floor window.
Another bit of magic was presented by Canning to support the single bullet theory. He drew a straight line between governor Connally's back entry wound position and JFK's back entry wound position and found that the line also passed through the sixth floor window. To do this he moved Connally on the seat to his left and JFK to his right, and lifted JFK up a bit on the rear seat. Again he did this without consultation with the photographic panel.
Some hard evidence was not dealt with at all and other hard evidence of conspiracy was presented without identifying it as such and then just left dangling. An example of the former is all of the photographic evidence cited earlier in this book and in my Computers and Automation magazine articles, showing that the sniper's nest was not a sniper's nest, that no one was in the window, and that no one could have fired shots from that position that day. I showed pictures of the nest from the inside and the window from the outside to the JFK sub-committee in July 1977 and I reviewed them at length for their evidenciary value with the JFK staff, notably Ken Klein, Cliff Fenton, Bob Tanenbaum, Jackie Hess, Donovan Gaye, Pat Orr, Chellie Mason, and Richard A. Sprague.
So the Committee cannot claim they didn't know about these photos. They saw the Foley photo over a long period of time, and were no doubt quite embarrassed by the unexpected appearance of the Bronson film. Not one word about the sixth floor window, the cartons, the planted shells, the planted rifle, and the extra rifle found on the roof, the impossible shot, no one in the window when the shots were fired; not one word was mentioned in the public hearings about the photos and other evidence. Where was the photographic panel? Asleep? Frightened by the agreement they signed?
An example of evidence of conspiracy left dangling was the testimony given by the photographic panel spokesman, Calvin S. McCamy. The panel examined all of the photos of JFK during the early part of the shot sequence, and took a vote on when the first shot struck the President. It came out as around Z189 to Z196. Perfect. That matches. But no one asked the trajectory panel or the ballistics spokesman how Oswald was able to fire bullet 399 right through the center of that big oak tree at Z189-Z196. Not even the Warren Commission would make that claim, preferring to put the timing at Z210 or later after JFK came out from behind the tree.
There were some anxious moments for the Select Committee, even as well orchestrated as the whole farce was. Dr. Cyril Wecht was his usual grand self. He blasted the committee. They said he was part of the medical panel and therefore was asked to present a minority view. Cyril said they weren't planning to call him until he demanded to be allowed to testify. They tried to bamboozle him, to discredit him (a tough assignment), to attack him and to knock down his testimony. Lawyer Gary Cornwell was particularly obnoxious in his questioning of Dr. Wecht. Favorable witnesses testifying to no conspiracy were handled with kid gloves and treated politely or dragged through an obviously rehearsed series of questions. It was the Warren Commission revisited. Two witnesses they couldn't mistreat were Governor and Mrs. Connally. They politely and calmly presented believable testimony destroying the single bullet theory. That didn't bother the committee any more than it bothered the Warren Commission. They resurrected the theory a few days later when the trajectory panel testified.
Dr. Barger of Bolt Baranek & Newman shook them up a little with his acoustical analysis of the police radio tape that reveals the sounds of four, not three, shots. If Dr. Barger had been given all of the facts initially, he probably could have helped prove where the shots came from. Except for the grassy knoll position behind the fence and the sixth floor TSBD window, he was not told about any other possible firing points. For example, he knew nothing about the Dal Tex building, the west end roof or high floor of the TSBD, or other positions on the grassy knoll. In fact, Barger did not know the location of the motorcycle where the microphone had been left open, picking up the sound of the shots. His assignment included a determination of where the motorcycle was, from the sounds on the tape and sounds made during a re-enactment of the firing in Dealey Plaza. The only test shots Barger had fired were from the TSBD sixth floor window and from behind the grassy knoll fence. The net result was that he decided the motorcycle was trailing the Presidential limousine by 120 feet. No one on the committee or the photographic panel ever showed Barger the Altgens photo, the Hughes film, the Martin, Nix, Couch, Weigman, Bell or Muchmore films or any other pictures showing there was no motorcycle anywhere near 120 feet behind the limousine. Again, Blakey divided and conquered. Barger told me that if he had known about the motorcycle trailing the limousine by a few feet, driven by policeman D.L. Jackson, who disappeared completely after the assassination, he could have altered his analysis completely. The sounds of the last two shots may well have been from the knoll behind the wall, and from the TSBD roof or the Dal Tex second floor. Barger's analysis shows that the last shot sound, made by a rifle occurred just a faction of a second after the next to the last shot, possibly made by pistol. This would fit a pistol shot from behind the fence fired almost simultaneously with a rifle shot from either the TSBD west end or Dal Tex. The delay of the sound traveling from Dal Tex is about right so that the Dal Tex shot would strike at Z312 and the pistol or rifle shot from the right front would strike at Z313. Prof. Mark Weiss of Queens College and Barger were called into an executive session on December 20 after the hearings were finished. They testified that there were definitely four shots fired, at least one of which was from the knoll.
This new analysis was conducted by Weiss independently from the one done by Bolt Baranek and Newman. Weiss said that his work proved to a 95% certainty that the third shot was a rifle shot from a position on the knoll. He said the data pinpointed the position to within two feet. The position was behind the fence, which eliminates man number two at the corner of the wall and also eliminates a pistol. However, the photos show man number two did make a puff of smoke, whether or not he fired a shot.
Congressman Sawyer broke the news about Weiss' testimony during a radio broadcast in Michigan, his home state. A furor broke loose. The committee went into an executive session Friday December 22 to discuss what to do since there were only nine days left to the end of their existence. The radio tape and the Bronson film seemed to shake them up considerably. Or was it all rehearsed and planned this way by the committee. It seems incredible that the 12 members of the committee would be shaken by the sounds from a tape when they weren't bothered at all by photos of the Oswald window showing that no one was there when the shots were fired. The committee members could see those photos with their own eyes. They had to take the word of experts about the sounds on the tape, which cannot be heard because of the noise of the engine of the policeman's cycle where the microphone was stuck open. This was the most blatantly dishonest stunt pulled by the Committee during the Blakey period. Yet, the research community cannot complain too much because it did produce a conspiracy conclusion.
The committee's distortions and omission respecting the hard Dealey Plaza evidence is overshadowed by the key witnesses that the committee did not call. None of the players listed in Chapter 5 were called, nor ever mentioned. One key witness, James Hosty, insisted that he testify about Oswald's FBI involvement, but was turned down. Hosty told the Dallas Morning News, "They don't want to hear what I have to say."
He might have told them the same story he told the author, through an intermediary in 1971. Namely, that Oswald was reporting to Hosty on the assassination plans of the CIA group based in Mexico City. FBI agent witness, Regis Kennedy might have given private interview evidence, but he was killed the day before he was to meet with the committee.
Gordon Novel, Ronald Augustinovich, Richard Case Nagell, Mary Hope, Guy Gabaldin, Manuel Garcia Gonzalez, William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Victor Marchetti, Jack Lawrence, Major L.M. Bloomfield, Frenchy, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Harry Williams, James Hicks, Sylvia Odio, Jim Braden, James Hosty, Warren Du Brueys, Louis Ivon, E. Howard Hunt and Jim Garrison were not called and no interest was shown in having them as witnesses. Some key witnesses who were called were not asked any important questions, or cross examined at all. Marina Oswald Porter was one of these. Another was Gerald Ford. Richard Helms told his standard lies, and no one asked him about Victor Marchetti's statement about Helms protecting Clay Shaw, or about E. Howard Hunt and Guy Gabaldin in Mexico City in October, 1963, or about Harry William's statement that he, Helms, Hunt, and Lyman Kirkpatrick were reconsidering another Cuban invasion at the moment JFK was shot, in a Washington, D.C., CIA location.
With respect to the assassination of Dr. King, the committee also performed admirably for the PCG, in this case, the FBI wing. They failed to deal with the important evidence of conspiracy, failed to call the prime witnesses, and distorted or omitted evidence. They spent a great amount of time trying to prove, rather unsuccessfully except for media accounts, that James Earl Ray was guilty and that he had help from his family and was possibly financed by some wealthy sountherners.
Briefly, here is the evidence they did not cover. The witnesses who saw a man in the rooming house -- all of whom said it was not James Earl Ray -- were not called. Charles Stephens, who was bribed and coerced by the FBI into identifying the man as Ray, but who was dead drunk, and saw nothing, was not put on the stand with his common law wife Grace and a cab driver who saw how drunk he was. Confronting his testimony by cross examination and by using counter witnesses should have been done.
The three bar maids in Montreal and Atlanta who saw Ray and Raoul together were not called. William Bradford Huie found them and Ray knew where they were. The committee didn't look for them. Huie and Foreman were not put on the stand and asked all of the key questions about why Huie changed his entire approach toward Ray as soon as I showed him the Raoul-Frenchy photos. Foreman's role was never explored under fierce cross examination as it would be if Mark Lane were able to get a new trial for Ray. He should have been asked why he told Ray he got the Frenchy photos from the FBI when he actually got them from me!
The Frenchy-Raoul sketch comparison, made by Bill Turner and I in the summer of 1968, should have been produced and shown to Foreman, Huie, Ray and other witnesses.
The complete list of witnesses who saw Ray and Raoul together, as well as the complete list who saw Ray at the gasoline station a few blocks away from the crime at the time the shot was fired, were not called. The committee adopted the stance that it was up to Mark Lane and Ray to produce those witnesses, as though the investigation of the King killing was a trial instead. The committee, not Ray, had the responsibility of investigating and locating those witnesses. Bob Lehner wanted to do that, but he was fired.
The evidence about the rooming house bathroom window as an impossible firing point, presented so well in Harold Weisberg's book Frame-Up: The Martin Luther King/James Earl Ray Case, was either ignored or distorted. The evidence about the trajectory of the shot was completely distorted. The ballistics, medical and trajectory panels discussed the vertical angle of difference between the "grassy knoll" firing point and bathroom window firing point trajectories to the Lorraine Motel balcony. They stated that the differential angle between the two trajectories was too small to determine, from the medical evidence, whether the shot came from the window or the knoll.
But, they failed to discuss the horizontal differential angle between the two trajectories which was much larger, large enough to determine the firing point.
They also failed to present a number of witnesses who saw the actual assassin, Jack Youngblood, both before and after he fired from the knoll. Wayne Chastain should also have been called to testify about this evidence and those witnesses.
The evidence concerning who Jack Youngblood and Frenchy-Raoul worked for, and their involvement, was not dealt with at all. The committee should have presented the photographic evidence showing Raoul was Frenchy, and should have asked Ray and the witnesses who saw Raoul to identify him from the Frenchy photos. Jeff Paley actually showed Frenchy's photo to witnesses in 1968 while Raoul's face was still fresh in their minds. They recognized the face. They certainly should have since the sketch of Raoul was made from their recollections. They should have called Frenchy as a witness in both JFK & MLK cases. I know from an inside source on the committee that they found Frenchy alive in 1978. They certainly knew about Jack Youngblood because they read Wayne Chastain's series of articles in Computers and People.
In summary, the Select Committee performed reasonably well on behalf of the PCG. There are no public outcrys over what they did because the media wouldn't air them. Mark Lane held a number of press conferences during the committee's life span, and no media organization reported on any of them. The media, of course, were quite willing servants of the PCG, as they always have been since 1963. The combination of the PCG, the CIA, the FBI, the Select Committee, the House spokesmen for the PCG and the cooperative media is really nearly unbeatable.
Some researchers hoped against hope that the Select Committee, under Stokes, Blakey, Preyer and Fauntroy, would still unveil the truth, as the public hearings began in August. The hopes disappeared during the first week of hearings on the King case as the committee demonstrated quite clearly that they were going to continue the cover-ups and to get James Earl Ray and Mark Lane in the bargain. Still, the hopes would not quite die. The letters I wrote to Louis Stokes in the fall of 1978, expressed the last ditch thought that maybe they were conducting a charade designed to fool the FBI, CIA and the rest of the PCG into believing they were going to cover-up the truth. It turned out be for real, no charade.
The eight people assassinated by the PCG in 1977-78 during the Select Committee's life span are probably the best proof of who is in charge of the U.S. and what their intentions are. The murders are all part of the cover-up efforts and were all successfully carried out, a la The Parallax View, with very few suspicions raised on the part of the American media or the public. They included William Sullivan, Regis Kennedy, George de Mohrenschildt, Sam Giancana, John Roselli, Carlos Prio Socarras, Thomas Karamessines, Rolando Masferrer, and an attempt on the life of Larry Flynt.
Each of these murders was carried out with great success and for varying reasons. One common thread connects them all. Each man knew too much about the assassinations of President Kennedy or Martin Luther King and the subsequent cover-up conspiracies. All but Flynt were witnesses to be called by the Select Committee or ones that had given some information and were scheduled to give more. Of the nine people including Flynt, the two most important were William Sullivan and Regis Kennedy.
Regis Kennedy was one of two FBI agents in New Orleans assigned as contact men for Lee Harvey Oswald in his role as FBI informer. The other agent was Warren du Brueys. James Hosty was his contact agent in Dallas. Kennedy knew a lot, but was under strict orders from the FBI not to reveal any of it. He was called as a witness at the trial of Clay Shaw and asked by Jim Garrison whether he hadn't been searching for Clay Shaw under the name Clay Bertrand, before it was known that Clay Bertrand wanted to hire a lawyer for Lee Harvey Oswald. Kennedy took executive privilege, a popular dodge at that time with the Nixon administration. When the judge pressed him, he said he would have to check with the FBI and the attorney general, John Mitchell, in Washington, D.C. Word came through that he could answer that one question, so he said yes it was true. He went no further however. The significance is that the FBI knew all about Clay Shaw's involvement in the assassination because Oswald was reporting back to them as a paid infiltrator of Shaw's team. There is a distinct possibility that Kennedy was sent by Hoover and Sullivan to Dallas immediately after the assassination, to help coordinate the FBI/CIA cover-up. Beverly Oliver, the Babushka lady, whose film was confiscated by three government agents on Sunday November 24, 1963 at the Carousel Club owned by Jack Ruby, made a tentative identification of Regis Kennedy from his photograph as one of those three agents. The film has never surfaced. It should show the assassins on the grassy knoll quite clearly since Beverly was much closer than either Orville Nix or Marie Muchmore and had her camera trained on JFK all the way down Elm Street.
Kennedy died of a supposed heart attack the day before he was to meet with the Select Committee staff. Heart attacks, as most Americans know by now from watching the Church Committee hearings, and seeing the Parallax View, are easily induced by a CIA-developed pill, which leaves no trace in the autopsy, if there is one.
William Sullivan was eliminated by a clever, but simple technique. The PCG agents who killed him knew about his hunting haunts in New England. They also knew about a teenage son of a state policeman living near Sullivan's country place who liked to hunt in the same area. Two of them intercepted Sullivan early one morning as he set out for a walk in the woods. They shot him with a deer rifle and took his body to a spot in the woods where they knew the boy would be. They carried a decoy inflated to the shape resembling a deer and probably acted like one. The boy shot at him and thought he hit a deer. The agents dropped Sullivan's body at that spot and left. They accidentally left the pair of gloves one of them was wearing. The boy went over to the spot in the early morning semi-darkness, found Sullivan's body, and thought he had killed him by mistake. He still thinks so. There was no investigation and no questions asked.
Why was Sullivan killed? As mentioned before, William Sullivan was J. Edgar Hoovers' right hand man in charge of Division Five, the FBI's clandestine domestic operation that included an assassination squad. Every likelihood exists that Hoover ordered Sullivan's division to kill King and that Sullivan used Frenchy/Raoul and Jack Youngblood to do the job. Sullivan was also due to meet with the Select Committee within a day or two after the day he was shot. Whether he would have talked or not probably makes little difference. The PCG couldn't take the chance.
Thomas Karamessines died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 61 on September 4, 1978 at his vacation home in Grand Lake, Quebec. He headed the covert operations part of the CIA after Richard Helms was promoted from that position to head of the CIA. David Phillips, the CIA dirty tricks operative who is making public speeches supporting the Deputy Director of Plans (dirty tricks) function, worked for Karamessines. His knowledge of the JFK assassination and the CIA's cover-up role was undoubtedly complete since he inherited the whole thing from Helms.
The other dead people were bumped off figuratively, on the very doorstep of the committee. Roselli was killed and dumped into Miami Bay. Giancana was shot full of holes in his Chicago residence. De Mohrenschildt was shot with a shotgun in his daughter's friends house in Florida. All three were scheduled to meet with the committee. Socarras was killed in a garage in Florida. Masferrer was blown up in his car in Florida. Flynt was shot on the street in Georgia.
Florida. Why does it keep popping up in these cases? Bay of Pigs, No Name Key Group, anti-Castro forces, Mafia operations; it all fits together somehow. Jim Garrison's first real breakthrough came when he found Masferrer in Florida through Manuel Garcia Gonzalez. That led him and the District Attorney in Dade County, Florida, to William Seymour, Emilio Santana, Howard, Hall, Hemming and Frenchy, all part of Socarras' and Banister's Florida-based, No Name Key anti-Castro operations. It figured that some of them would die in their own backyard when the committee was getting too close. Gaeton Fonzi can personally vouch for that. He was the committee's Florida investigator.
Why wouldn't men like Fonzi, Fenton, Fauntroy, Stokes, Preyer, and a woman like Yvonne Burke, tell us the truth. I spent a lot of time with all of them and got to know some of them very well. They all impressed me as being very honest and dedicated people.
There may be another explanation, as I mentioned in the beginning of this last chapter. A committee, is, after all, made up of a bunch of individuals. So is a staff. Now, except for Cliff Fenton, Ed Evans (MLK investigator) and one or two others, these people were not professionals in the investigations and certainly none of them had been involved in the really big game of espionage and clandestine operations. They were, and still are, ordinary mortals, like you and me, with fears and cautionary attitudes toward personal safety and danger. They also have families.
Not even Cliff Fenton had ever been involved with the kind of monstrous game played by the spooks of the world. It is a game for keeps, of life and death, mostly death. Let's look at it from the viewpoint of Louis Stokes, just to take an example. He took over the chairmanship of the committee with the following knowledge.
He suspected there was a conspiracy in the JFK case and at least wanted to find out whether the CIA and FBI were involved in covering it up. He may not have known all of the details, but he was aware of the fact that many people had died. He knew that Henry Gonzalez had nearly been killed by a rifleman while driving through a Texas desert with his wife. This occurred just after Henry made public statements about all four political assassinations being related and the intelligence agencies possibly being involved. Stokes saw how the PCG swung their weight around in the Rules Committee and on the floor of the House when the Select Committee in January and February 1977, asked for a new budget and a reconstituted authority to subpoena records and continue the investigation. He also knew that something strange had happened to Henry Gonzalez. He told me so in a luncheon meeting on May 10, 1977. He said Henry had cut off all communications with him and other committee members just as he had with me. I told Louis that I believed Henry had purposefully been fed information by the PCG that I, Richard A. Sprague, and some of the committee members were working for the CIA. Otherwise, why would he have instructed the CIA and FBI to close access to their files to the committee staff, just after he had won the fight he fought so hard to get the subpoena power back.
Stokes agreed it must have been something like that. Stokes also must have had a frightened reaction during 1977 and 1978 to these eight bodies dumped on his doorstep. As in the scene in "The Godfather", it only takes one horse's head in your bed to get the idea you should keep your mouth closed and play it cool.
Given all of this, each committee member may have reached his or her decision that this game was not for congressmen. In April 1977 it is possible that all of those executive sessions the committee held were partially devoted to a discussion of the personal safety of each member, each staffer, and all of their families. They may have reached unanimous agreement that the only safe approach would be to avoid sensitive areas, and not to attack the CIA or FBI, and certainly to avoid going after any of the dangerous guys in both assassination cases.
Yet, to keep an honest approach going they would have to listen to any credible hard evidence of conspiracy, comment on it, but refrain from taking a stronger course than just listening. As Dr. Blakey told me more than once, "I'm just going to let the facts speak for themselves." This is somewhat like the position the Warren Commission took when Richard Russell, Hale Boggs and John Sherman Cooper refused to sign the draft of the Warren Report until a qualifying statement was inserted. The statement read, "Because of the difficulty of proving negatives to a certainty the possibility of others being involved with either Oswald or Ruby cannot be established categorically but if there is any such evidence it has been beyond the reach of all the investigative agencies and resources of the United States and has not come to the attention of this Commission."
The committee has, in its final report, taken a stronger position than that by saying, in effect, that new evidence of conspiracy has surfaced and that the Congress should turn the job of pursuing that evidence and a continuing investigation over to the executive branch. The recommendation is for the Justice Department to determine whether further investigations are warranted. Thus the Committee members would be off the hook and, more importantly, still alive and safe. They can claim that the funds they had and the time they had were not enough. Whose fault was that? Certainly not the committee's, they can claim.
This scenario, if true, is really the only hope, though very slim, any of us have left. All other avenues have been closed.
New York Daily News -- Tuesday, December 12, 1979.
See the letters in the Appendix for a copy of the nondisclosure agreement itself as well as correspondence between the author and Louis Stokes.
See copies of this correspondence in the Appendix.
Following the December 22 executive session a public hearing was held on December 29, the last weekday of the Committee's existence. Weiss and Barger presented the acoustical evidence proving four shots, one from the knoll, thereby causing the Committee to conclude there was a probable conspiracy.
Giancana actually died in 1975 before testifying to the Schweicker JFK assassination subcommittee of the Church Committee.
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