It occurs to me that the 50th anniversary of the Garrison investigation is approaching (early 2017). It looks like both COPA and Lancer have lost key persons and may not be offering seminars in the future. I wonder if there are any people in this group who might be interested in throwing together a weekend seminar/schmoozefest at that time, preferably in New Orleans. I'd love to hear the best observers from "both" sides of the issue, although I recognize that there is some level of impatience between them. Perhaps it could be open to all comers but structured in a way to minimize direct combat. And if we are, indeed, in New Orleans, there should be at least a few of the original personalities available to speak or take a few questions. Anybody interested?
By the way, I'm still interested in assembling a comprehensive online archive of all the available documents relating to the Garrison case. Some are in NARA/ARRB, AARC, Weisberg, Baylor, Georgetown and various other places. I'd like to see them sensibly organized and cross-searchable, and I'm willing to copy any and donate the Ferrie material I have collected. A one-stop site: Documents, bibliographies, articles, photo galleries, video/audio materials, etc.SR
In response I wrote: While New Orleans is a great town to have a party, Sept-October 2017 is when the remaining sealed government records in the assassination are to be released (or continually withheld by whoever is POTUS). Didn't Garrison ask his kids to be there when they are released?
In response Don Carpenter wrote:
Bill, Just to add a little context, Garrison died in Fall of 1992, before ARRB even began to crank up its very basic operations. Garrison may have made the statement about all the still-sealed documents as of 1992, or probably years before when he made the statement (probably in the 1967-69 period), but most of whatever he was talking about has already been released. He was not talking specifically about what is left to be declassified, although I think we all are anxious to see if there is anything in there.”
Don also said that he didn’t think “Garrison was on to something,” though he is willing to be persuaded.
Well I don’t think that the New Orleans crew that Garrison “was on to” – the same Yahoos who carried out the Houma Bunker raid JFKcountercoup: The Houma Bunker Raid Revisted, could have conducted the Dealey Plaza operation, which included the framing of Oswald, a professional Level One sniper and the Northwoods disinformation twist to blame Castro. That’s a very sophisticated op, not one that some New Orleans Yo-Yos or the Mafia could have pulled off.
And I think that Garrison also eventually realized that the President wasn’t killed by a deranged lone nut, or by the New Orleans contingent he tried to take to court – but what happened at Dealey Plaza was a covert coup conducted by JFK’s enemies in Washington.
You can argue over whether Garrison was “on to something” but what he said about the sealed government files is pertinent and important, and which Dave Reutzes also thought important enough to quote and try to debunk when wrote in The JFK 100 – Suppressed Investigative Files at www.jfk-online.com.
In Oliver Stone’s JFK, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) delivers a monologue about evidence being concealed by the federal government:
“Let’s ask the two men who have profited the most from the assassination – your former President Lyndon Baines Johnson and your new President, Richard Nixon – to release 51 CIA documents pertaining to Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby, or the secret CIA memo on Oswald’s activities in Russia that was ‘destroyed’ while being photocopied. All these documents are yours – the people’s property – you pay for it, because the government considers you children who might be too disturbed to face this reality, because you might lynch those involved, you cannot see these documents for another 75 years. I’m in my 40s, so I’ll have shuffled off this moral coil by then, telling my 8-year old son to keep himself physically fit so that one glorious September morning in 2038 he can walk into the National Archives and find out what the CIA and FBI knew. They may even push it back then. It may become a generational affair with questions passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, in the manner of the ancient runic bards. Someday, somewhere, someone might find out the damned Truth. Or we might just build ourselves a new Government like the Declaration of Independence says we should do when the old one ain’t working – maybe a little out West.” (1)
(1) Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar, JFK: The Book of the Film (New York, Applause, 1992), p. 178.
Of course the 75 years the Warren Commission records were sealed has been overtaken by the JFK Act of 1992, which stipulates that they be released in late September 2017 – or withheld by a presidential order, so Garrison’s son doesn’t have to wait as long as Garrison thought.
But Reitzes also asks, “Has the government really been withholding evidence of conspiracy?”
And the answer is clearly yes, even if one only sticks to the Warren Commission era records – and I will only mention three – the document that the Warren Commission lawyer was reading when he was recorded as saying: “We’ll have to find out what Oswald studied at the Monterey Institute,” (now the Defense Language Institute) and the ONI and USMC investigative records and reports.
In his books Heritage of Stone and On the Trail of the Assassins, Garrison himself lists a series of Warren Commission documents that were sealed away from public view when he wrote those book, such as Oswald’s Access to Information on the U2 and reports on Ruth and Michael Paine, some of which have been released under the JFK Act, but has anyone gone through Garrison’s lists to see if these documents have been released or not?
Reitzes falsely answers the question – and knows he is wrong – by quoting “longtime researcher and JFK consultant Gus Russo,” who has also been exposed as a witting CIA asset who continues to promote the discredited original cover story that Castro was behind the assassination. Reitzes quotes Russo as saying that one day when he heard Stone talk about “the sinister sealing of the Warren Commission records for seventy-five years. I was stunned. Although that had been President Johnson’s original intention, public pressure had actually forced the release of most of the Commission’s records within three years of the 1963 murder.”
Actually, it was the single letter from Cedar Rapids, Iowa mayor Johnson that led to the reversal of the seventy-five year policy.
Russo: “I managed to pull Stone aside, and informed him that the records we investigators really coveted were the HSCA’s sealed files, numbering hundreds of thousands of pages, as well as those of other federal agencies whose holdings could be in the millions of pages….”
Russo claims that he conferred with respected Washington investigator, the late Kevin Walsh, who gave him a letter that “corroborated” what Russo had been saying – and Reitzes quotes Michael R. McReynolds of the NARA Textual Reference Division that as of 1992, 98 percent of the Warren Commission records had been released.
Of course those 98 percent of the Warren Commission records released so far don’t include the Monterey document or the ONI and USMC investigative reports, and they are now saying the same thing about all of the government records released under the JFK Act. Millions of them, 98 percent of all government records on the assassination are in the public domain, but they don’t tell you that there are so many documents still being withheld that they can’t tell us how many there are.
“Since that time, of course,” Reitzes wrongly writes, “some may have noticed that Oliver Stone hasn’t said a word about those files. That’s because they prove his JFK monologue to be little more than hot air, there were no documents withheld because they were ‘smoking guns’ proving the existence of a conspiracy.”
What hogwash. Of course Stone has talked about those files – he testified before Congress about them and said he didn’t expect any “smoking gun” documents to be found but instead thought that the existing records would be like the shell of a Mercedes Benz left on a street in Harlem for thirty years, stripped of all its value, which is exactly what we found.
And there certainly are “smoking” documents – such as Col. Higgins report of the September 24 1963 CIA briefing of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – which confirms that the military was giving support to the CIA Cuban operations and that they were conducting a Valkyrie type operation to get rid of Castro – one based on the German generals plot to kill Hitler, the plan that I believe was diverted to Dealey Plaza.
As for Don Carpenter saying “we’re all anxious to see what’s there,” we know pretty much what is there, as we have all of the denials of requests for documents – such as the ONI Defector file, the documents on Collins Radio and Air Force One and hundreds of similar records that have been denied researchers since the passage of the JFK Act.
And now, I’m going to try to take Garrison’s advice and stay healthy so in September 2017 I can stand in line with his son and if the president - whoever she may be, will let us, I will read some of the records that the government refuses to let us read today.