ECHOES OF CONSPIRACY October 16, 1987 Vol. 9, \#2 Paul L. Hoch 9 EOC 2 -#- Bug

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ECHOES OF CONSPIRACY October 16, 1987 Vol. 9, \#2 Paul L. Hoch 9 EOC 2 -#- <> Bugliosi is working on a book, in which he plans to evaluate the most important issues in the JFK case. I have talked with him and provided some information from my files, and I expect to consult with him again in the future. He told me that he is presently convinced of Oswald's guilt, but capable of having his mind changed by new evidence. I hope to persuade him that many critics have not spent most of their time engaged in the equivalent of talking Spanish to cows (9 EOC 1.8), and that the persistence of the case as an open question is not due primarily to the manipulative skills of certain critics or the gullibility of the American public, but to the existence of serious evidentiary questions which the Warren Commission and its defenders have not been able to answer. As far as I can tell, the promised broadcast of the rest of the LWT trial (where Bugliosi prosecuted Oswald) is not at all imminent. <> In contrast to its delay in the JFK case, the Justice Department had no trouble declaring the Martin Luther King case closed in 1979, within months of the HSCA report. HSCA-related documents continue to be released, largely as a result of the efforts of Harold Weisberg, Jim Lesar, and Mark Allen; some of the paperwork on the King case is now available. In a memo dated September 26, 1979, an attorney in the Criminal Section summarized the HSCA's recommendations and suggestions, noting that the HSCA "did not suggest any specific followup investigation in regard to the King assassination." (#1987.78, 4 pp.) On October 2, the Chief of the Criminal Section sent Assistant AG Drew Days a proposed memo to Robert Keuch, then Special Counsel to the AG. (#79) Days' memo, dated October 10, said that the HSCA report "suggested no new avenues for additional investigation and our analysis of the <> reveals no feasible areas for such a probe. Accordingly, the House Judiciary Committee should be informed that no further official investigation is warranted in the King case." (#80) On the JFK case, an old Justice Department letter to Rep. Bill Green has been reproduced in Ted Gandolfo's book (see p. 4 below). This letter, dated January 3, 1983, and sent over Assistant AG Lowell Jensen's signature, is generally similar to a 1984 letter to Rep. Stenholm (see 6 EOC 4.1); it reports an "intention to make a full report to the Speaker... early next [sic; "this" intended?] year." This letter was prompted by Gandolfo's claim of CIA involvement; Jensen noted that the HSCA had exculpated the CIA and stated that "the Department has not expanded its current investigation to encompass theories found to be without merit by the HSCA," and would not do so in the absence of new evidence or additional Congressional requests. In addition to HSCA and acoustical material, the JD "is now reviewing... FBI reports." This letter is unusual in its discussion of the acoustical evidence, said to be "the basis" of the HSCA's conspiracy theory. The NAS (Ramsey Panel) report "was critical of aspects of both the HSCA and FBI studies which preceded it.... The [NAS] has advised the department that neither group of experts [i.e., HSCA and FBI] provided any contradictory explanation for the findings of the [NAS]. Since the May, 1982, publication of the report, neither the FBI nor HSCA experts have contacted the Criminal Division... with any alternative explanation for the findings of the [NAS]." (#81, 2 pp.) The following month, Jensen wrote FBI Director Webster, asking for details of the negotiations relating to the Bronson film. Bronson's attorney allegedly insisted on conditions which the FBI lab felt would preclude a proper examination, so Keuch declined the attorney's offer of access. Jensen told Webster that the Criminal Division "is currently preparing areport" for the House. "It is envisioned that the Attorney General will report to the House... that all reasonable investigative efforts have been taken" in both the JFK and MLK cases and "will probably recommend that no further action be initiated... absent the emergence of new relevant evidence or information." (#82, 15 Feb 83, 2 pp.) Soliciting Webster's views, Jensen said that "in particular" he was "interested in whether there are any investigative areas in either matter which you feel have not yet been adequately explored." I am left wondering if the FBI might in fact have come up with something for the Justice Department to pursue. A couple of relevant personnel matters: Stephen Trott has been nominated to the Court of Appeals in San Francisco, as predicted in May. (#83: AP in SFC, 8 Aug 87; #84: SFC, 1 May 87; see also 9 EOC 1.1.) Trott was involved with the recent upsurge in espionage prosecutions. (#85, SFX, 30 Aug 87, with photo, 2 pp.) John F. Kennedy Jr. had a job as a law clerk this summer in the Civil Rights Division, under William Reynolds. (He was a first-year law student at NYU, and was hired despite his uncle's opposition in 1985 to Reynolds' promotion.) (#86, 19 Jun 87, AP) I don't suppose JFK Jr. was inclined to wander down the hall to see how the assassination investigation was going. (For the opinions on the case of some members of the extended Kennedy family, see the discussion of Tip O'Neill's book below.) <> Fensterwald and his associates have had quite a few clients over the years with whom you would not like to be stranded on a desert island. Lyndon LaRouche has joined this list. LaRouche has been charged with credit-card fraud and obstruction of justice. A motion by Fensterwald's partner, Dan Alcorn, "offered a farrago of secret prosecutorial motives," asserting that "LaRouche had become so politically powerful that the government decided he is 'a threat'." ("LaRouche Filings: Plots, Spies; Judges Tomorrow to Sift Myriad Motions Filed by Corps of Lawyers", WP, 17 May 87, 2 pp., #87) The headline of a handout from "The LaRouche Democratic Campaign" offers to explain "Why the Soviet-Linked Criminal Division Head [William Weld] of the Reagan-Meese Department of Justice Continues Police-State Actions Against My Friends." (#88, 4 pp.) In the past, LaRouche's publications have noted the supposed role of Clay Shaw and Permindex in the JFK assassination. Fortu- nately, LaRouche seems to have moved on to bigger and better conspiracies. Another new client of Fensterwald's firm is Ed Wilson. Like many of Fensterwald's clients, he may have gotten worse treatment from the government than even he deserves. Pressing his case may lead to the exposure of important new information, about the Iran-Contra affair and other matters. <> Some attention has been given to a reference to the assassination in O'Neill's new book, "Man of the House." O'Neill admits to doubts about the Warren Commission's conclusions, attributing them to a 1968 conversation with Kenny O'Donnell. Under the headline "Assassination Shocker: 2nd-assassin theory raised by JFK aide," the Boston Herald quoted the relevant excerpts. (#89, 19 Jul 87. The O'Donnell story was mentioned briefly in reports on the book by AP [#90, 25 Aug] and in USA Today. [#91, 20 Jul]) O'Neill "'was surprised to hear O'Donnell say that he was sure he had heard two shots that came from behind the fence' on the... knoll." When O'Neill reminded O'Donnell that he had not told that to the Warren Commission, O'Donnell allegedly said that "I told the FBI what I had heard, but they said it couldn't have happened that way and that I must have been imagining things. So I testified the way they wanted me to. I just didn't want to stir up any more pain and trouble for the [Kennedy] family.... The family... everybody wanted this thing behind them." According to O'Neill, Dave Powers had the same recollection of the shots, and stands by his story; O'Donnell has died. O'Neill says he "used to think that the only people who doubted the conclusions of the Warren Commission were crackpots," but "there will always be some skepticism in my mind." The book, which I have seen but not read, apparently has no other reference to the assassination controversy; there seems to be no mention of the HSCA, much less the failure of the Justice Department to react and report to O'Neill. Blakey found the O'Donnell story "interesting," and O'Neill's account "asmall footnote in history." ("Seeking the 2nd gunman: Experts back JFK aide's tale"; Boston Herald, 20 Jul, 2 pp. with photos, #92.) The other expert quoted was Michael Kurtz, who noted that there were other reported instances of FBI pressure on witnesses. Dave Powers told the Herald that "he didn't want to dredge up the 'painful' memory of the assassination," and that "we'll never know for sure what happened." (#93, 21 Jul; Ted and Joe Kennedy had little to say about the book, which is not flattering to all the Kennedys.) Larry Haapanen and Donna Davis pointed out to me that the O'Donnell story surfaced in other forms in 1975 and 1977. Bob Wiedrich of the Chicago Tribune reported that O'Donnell and Powers were persuaded not to disclose their suspicions by either Hoover or his top aides, according to an oral briefing of Congressional leaders "by a [CIA] liaison man in advance of twin Capitol Hill investigations of CIA activity." (Seattle Times version: #94, 6/14/75) TheFBI reportedly warned the two men that testimony about a knoll shot "could lead to a possible international incident, and inflame public passions fed by other secret information then known by the FBI." This is a puzzling story. It seems implausible that, even in 1975, the CIA would be complaining so bluntly about the FBI investigation to members of Congress. Can anyone tell us who the CIA liaison man might have been? The alleged briefing apparently also referred to Oswald's visit to the embassies in Mexico City, and the CIA-Mafia plots against Castro. O'Donnell flatly denied the story in 1975, calling it "an absolute, outright lie." Powers admitted to a "fleeting impression" of a shot from the front, which is what he told the WC. (7 WCH 473) The published HSCA material did not deal with O'Donnell as an eyewitness. He told the WC that "my reaction in part is reconstruction - is that they came from the right rear." (7 WCH 468). (Speaking of witnesses, the present Speaker, Jim Wright, was scheduled to ride in the motorcade, along with other Texas Congressmen who also were not questioned by the Commission; 17 WCH 615.) In 1977, O'Neill said he believed that some witnesses did not give a "full and honest description" to the WC but "were reporting the will of the FBI." (#95, 5 Apr 77, AP in SFC). Neither O'Neill nor the AP's "source close to him" gave O'Donnell's name. The context was a question about whether there was evidence to justify the HSCA investigation, which had been approved the previous week. Before accepting anyone's interpretation of what the FBI apparently did, I would like to see the Bureau's side of the story. Would any EOC reader like to search the released FBI files, or submit a FOIA request? If top FBI people met with O'Donnell, perhaps around the time of his WC testimony, I would expect that memos exist. Even self-serving ones might be informative. Would the FBI seek someone like O'Donnell out, and urge him to testify falsely on this point? After all, there were lots of witnesses who did report hearing shots from various directions, and the WC did not have much trouble concluding that they were not credible. A claim that the FBI asked him to keep quiet about what he knew of the autopsy, or of allegations of Teamster involvement (HSCAR 177), would be more plausible and more interesting. However, what if O'Donnell himself had been asking people about the possible significance of what he heard or suspected? Then the FBI could have innocently convinced him that his earwitness testimony did not carry much weight against the hard evidence they had, and that there was not much point in making a fuss. He might have been more receptive to encouragement to hold his tongue than the Wiedrich and O'Neill accounts suggest. That is, the significant pressure may have come from his perception of the concerns of the family. So, even though O'Donnell's impressions about the shots were of little evidentiary value even in 1964, his behavior may indeed say something interesting about the attitude of the extended Kennedy family. <> In 1967, Jim Garrison established himself as the most prominent critic of the Warren Report. Before the Shaw trial, many of us started waiting for him to deliver on his promises; some of us are still waiting. His latest book is, as far as I know, a completed manuscript without a publisher. Big Jim did have something to say in response to a letter to him in which I essentially repeated some of the comments in 8 EOC 1.9-10 and 8 EOC 2.5-6. (#96, 8 Jul 86) He did not reply to me, but sent a letter to Ted Gandolfo. (#97, 8 Aug 86, taken from Gandolfo's book.) The "nature of Mr. Hoch's assault points out a problem which should concern every assassination critic.... Mr. Hoch has a finely tuned aggression and is wonderfully ferocious.... The unfortunate thing about the position which Mr. Hoch has taken - attacking a critic who for 17 [sic, not 19?] years has been attempting to point out the culpability of the C.I.A. in the assassination - is that some people who do not know any better might draw the conclusion that his sympathies are really with the Agency." It's nice of Judge Garrison to be so concerned about my reputation. With regard to my questions about Garrison's alleged pre-arrest evidence against Shaw, which Garrison characterized as "criticizing judgments made by me when I was District Attorney of New Orleans back in the 1960's," needless to say I did not get any new facts, or even a recitation of some old ones. "Iwas not aware that Mr. Hoch has had any experience in criminal prose- cutions. It has been my policy not to reply to gratuitous critiques of my former office when made by individuals with neither the standing nor the professional experience to make such criticisms." Well, he's certainly got me there. "Because this is 1986 and the forces which killed John Kennedy still remain firmly in control, I personally cannot get too excited about such remote problems as, for example, the pedantic question of how many angels could dance on the head of a pin a number of years ago." You can get a glimpse of Garrison in a new film, "The Big Easy." (The title refers to New Orleans.) "The supporting cast oozes Louisiana strangeness.... Judge Jim Garrison plays a judge, 'the Honorable James Garrison.'" (In a small cameo role, I am told.) In Garrison's fictitious world, the Mafia is a major presence. "Sexy, but implausible," said the SFC critic, accurately enough - but he was referring to the movie as whole. (#98,28 Aug 87, SFC, 2 pp.) <> Gandolfo has written to me in response to 9 EOC 1, pointing out a number of flaws in my analysis. For one thing, he claims 2700 subscribers for his newsletter, not 2800. Also, I am a "deceiving, lying CIA employed son-of-a- bitch." There is more, but the CIA doesn't want me to print all of Gandolfo's letter, so I will just send a free copy to anyone who asks. (#99, 2 pp.) <> Gandolfo has self-published a treatise entitled "The House Select Committee on Assassinations Coverup." It is available for $25.25, including postage and handling, from the author at 1214 First Ave., NYC, NY 10021. Of the 300 pages, about half are documents, such as Congressional Record excerpts, a hundred-page Rules Committee transcript (31 Mar 76), and the like - not without value. About half the rest includes material from other buffs and investigators, notably Richard E. (Critic) Sprague, Garrison, Cyril Wecht, Mark Lane, and (via correspondence and phone calls) the HSCA. This material was of considerable interest to me, primarily because it confirms how a few of the critics have transcended mere logical and critical analysis. The rest of the book - roughly 75 pages - is by Gandolfo himself, full of passionate intensity. The case made against Blakey by Gandolfo - and to a lesser degree by others - rests, to a considerable extent, on a very positive view of the work of the HSCA under Richard A. (Counsel) Sprague. I don't want to put more effort into a public defense of Blakey than he has himself, especially since the things the HSCA under Blakey failed to do deserve a lot of attention too. But I don't think the Sprague Committee was all that great. Gandolfo reprints the HSCA's original brief report of 31 Dec 76, and parts of the interim report of 28 Mar 77, which referred to some leads the HSCA was working on. For an opposing view, ask for #100, my memo of 8 Jan 77 (4 pp.), which is critical of the first report, and my letter of 3 Apr 77 to Rep. Chris Dodd (#101). I heard that this letter, which pointed out the less plausible aspects of the alleged babushka lady's story, made me quite unpopular with some of the HSCA staff. I consistently get the impression that, for Gandolfo and some others, the assertion of evidence is as good as evidence itself. To take a non- Garrisonian example: he quotes a CIA document in which some source said that the Soviet Consul General said that Oswald was sent to the USSR under CIA instructions. To Gandolfo, this "PROVES Oswald was in the employ of the CIA." (P. 166. I tried to pick a non-controversial example; the fact that the source is Russian is not relevant.) <> Steve Rivele has come up with a new candidate, Roland Blemant: 102. Spring 1987 (National Reporter) "Death of a Double Man" (7 pp.) The title alludes to the novel co-authored by Gary Hart, who has discussed his attempt to meet QJ/WIN, the CIA's executive action asset, in July 1975. Rivele suggests that the CIA deceived him, Blemant having been dead for years. Blemant was allegedly a brutal Marseille policeman, with counterintelligence experience, who became a well-known criminal. Rivele's presentation of the parallels in what is known about Blemant and QJ/WIN is very provocative, but not ultimately persuasive - at least to someone like me who has no feeling for how many candidates like Blemant could be uncovered. Where this article touches on more familiar matters, it compels caution on the reader's part. A photo caption has Ruby and Thomas Eli Davis using Oswald's name to buy a van in New Orleans. The text makes no such fantastic claim, but I am told by those who know more than me that some of the allegations which remain are at best controversial - that Davis was a gun- running friend of Ruby, was involved with a CIA camp for Cuban exiles near New Orleans, was sprung from jail in Tangiers by QJ/WIN, and "had in his posses- sion a letter which made reference to the assassination and mentioned the name Oswald." Inthe last instance, the letter appears to have referred to one Victor Oswald of Madrid, perhaps an interesting person but not Lee Harvey. Blemant certainly did exist; he is mentioned several times in "Marseille: le sang et l'argent [blood and money]," in L'Express (#103, 15 Oct 82, 4 pp.) His liaison role between OSS and the French Resistance has been disputed. (#104, Intelligence/Parapolitics, Jul 87) <> Rep. Stewart McKinney was reportedly one of the best and nicest members of the House Committee. He was one of the sponsors and leading supporters of the bills to unlock the HSCA files for the public. (5 EOC 2.1) His death in May at age 56, of AIDS, received considerable attention, in part because of reports that he was a homosexual and may not have been infected by a blood transfusion, as was reported. (See #105, SFC, 8 May; #106, AP; #107, "Questions in an AIDS Death," UPI in SFC, 9 May; #108, Newsweek, 18 May; #109, "Closet Doors Rattle for Washington's Gay Republicans," SFC, 4 Jun, 3 pp.) <> Less serious problems have struck other elected buffs. Last December, Rep. Henry Gonzalez "punched a constituent who called him a communist." (#110, 6 May 87, WP) Assault charges were eventually dropped. (#111, 29 Aug, AP in SFC) A "Washingtonian" article listed Gonzalez among "the biggest flakes" in Congress, given to "rambling speeches." (#112, Jun 87) HSCA member Harold Ford of Tennessee has been indicted (but I have mislaid the clipping with the details). Over a decade ago, Sen. Gary Hart of the Church Committee had more than a passing interest in the JFK assassination. I have seen it mentioned recently only in connection with his outline for a proposed nonfiction book, which was newsworthy primarily because it did not mention Donna Rice. The outline does mention that Hart "set up a clandestine meeting with... Castro in 1975 to talk about the assassination of President Kennedy, but the meeting was 'foiled by the FBI.'" (#113, SFX and WP, 7-8 Jun, both based on a NYT account.) I have not yet seen any press accounts suggesting seriously that Hart's political interests may have led someone to assist in his self-destruction. Speculation along these lines might not be paranoid. In 1983, Hart and Sen. Cohen "almost lost their lives" in an "unauthorized" Contra air raid against the Managua airport. (#114, UPI in SFC, 2 Jun 87, based on testimony of a CIA station chief to the Iran-Contra Committee.) Hart's troubles prompted some jokes which dredged up ancient history. Are Donna Rice, Fawn Hall, and Jessica Hahn "Christine Keeler's daughters," wondered Herb Caen. (#115, SFC, 6 May) Offering his "very own conspiracy theory," Jon Carroll noted the progression of names, from Hearst's mistress through the Profumo case to Hart: Marion Davies, Mandy Rice-Davies, Donna Rice. (#116, SFC, 12 May) The usual survey articles on sex and politics appeared; for example, "Womanizers," by Diana McClellan (#117, in SFX, 16 Aug, 5 pp.) One letter to the editor said that JFK's peccadilloes did not make him less of a leader; another said that if the press had not suppressed that information he would not have won the election. (#118, SFC, 30 May) <> Some commentary brought out the serious consequences of JFK's behavior. William Safire wrote that "peccadilloes with a partner who shares a bed with a Russian agent (Profumo) or a Mafia don (Kennedy), or by a head of state arriving at a summit conference with a harem of stewardesses (Brezhnev) bear on national security and deserve to be reported." (#119, in SFC, 12 May) Hugh Sidey, of all people, printed the most bizarre report: "One insider claimed that Kennedy reinjured his weakened back during a bedroom tussle at a party in Bing Crosby's Palm Springs... house, which the President was using in September 1963, thus forcing him to return to a rigid back brace. That brace held him erect in his limousine two months later in Dallas after the first gunshot struck him. The second shot killed the still upright President." (#120, Time, 18 May) If a buff wrote that, it would be called bad taste. At the time, JFK evidently did not take the risks seriously. In 1960, Janet DesRosiers, his "'girl Friday' and stewardess aboard the Caroline, the Kennedy campaign plane," saved some of the notes he scribbled when he was under doctor's orders not to use his voice, because of laryngitis. She has now offered the notes for sale. (#121, WP in SFC, 30 May, printed along with an account of a 70th-birthday eulogy for JFK in Cambridge ceremonies, 2 pp.) "In a clear, expansive hand, Kennedy continued, 'I suppose if I win - mypoon days are over' - using an old Navy expression for sexual activity. 'Isuppose they are going to hit me with something before we are finished' - apparently a reference to the possible exposure of his adventures by the Nixon camp." Another apparent sexual reference, to an unspecified blonde (or blondes), remains unexplained. JFK's prediction was off-base as well as off-color. His most important affair, of course, was the one with Judy Campbell Exner. We have not heard the last of that. According to Liz Smith, she "is now going to tell her real story. The previous little book she wrote [with Ovid Demaris, published in 1978] was obviously done a bit under duress, or maybe at the time she felt intimidated and feared for her life. Now, seriously ill in California, Judith feels she no longer has anything to lose. She has turned over exclusive rights... to the sensational author Kitty Kelley." (#122, SFC, 23 Sep) Expect a magazine article, not a book; a deal with "20/20" is a possibility. "This is all just a footnote to history, but what a footnote." (If you have any out-of-the-ordinary information or analysis about Exner, let me know and I will forward it to Kelley.) JFK's closest brush with public exposure of his alleged affairs may have involved neither Marilyn Monroe nor Exner, but another of Safire's examples of a scandal with clear security implications: <> Tony Summers and Steve Dorril have written "Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward." (Published in London by Weidenfield & Nicolson.) The title includes a tradecraft term for an intelligence operation with a sexual lure. In this case, British Intelligence set up a "honeytrap" for Soviet Naval Attache Eugene Ivanov; Ward was to some degree witting, and certainly cooperated with MI5. But when War Minister John Profumo stumbled into the trap, and the affair became a public scandal (in interesting ways), the game changed. Profumo only lost his job, but Ward was thrown to the wolves, tried on exaggerated vice charges, and committed suicide in July 1963, just before the verdict. The coverup of the intelligence angles was formalized in the report of Lord Denning - far worse than the Warren Report, I gather. The Summers-Dorril book is not available in the U.S., as far as I know. A brief excerpt, not mentioning the U.S. angles, appeared in the September "Cosmopolitan." A second new British book ("An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward," by Philip Knightley and [another] Caroline Kennedy) has been published here also. The books are generally consistent. "Honeytrap" has more on the U.S. connections, but "An Affair of State" includes some different details about them. Understandably, the British reviews I have seen say little about the American material, but they provide useful summaries of the books as a whole: 123. 17 May 87 (London Observer) "Disappointing the vultures," by Anthony Burgess. "Morality seemed more important than British security, which became a rabid concern of the FBI at that time of blustering Khrushchev, the Bay of Pigs, and the belief in a universal call-girl conspiracy which might have entrapped President Kennedy.... 'Honeytrap'... also provides intriguing irrelevancies that cling stickily to the main theme of dirty sex...." 124. 30 May (Spectator) "Ward of Court" [3 pp.] "Summers and Dorril... draw a convincing picture of how the Establishment closed ranks against the interloper Ward." (The radical perspective familiar to readers of "The Lobster," which Dorril produces with Robin Ramsay, comes through effectively in the book.) 125. 21 May (Listener) [2 pp.] Reviewer Ludovic Kennedy thinks that the claim by Summers and Dorril that "the presidency itself was put in jeopardy" is "an exaggeration... despite their unearthing of numerous heavily censored FBI papers on the case." 126. 23 Jul (London Review of Books) "Poor Stephen" [2 pp.] "Summersand Dorril make too much of the 'Kennedy connection' - of the great interest the FBI and CIA took in the case. Much of their story depends on the London playgirl, Mariella Novotny, who claimed she slept with John Kennedy. [See 2EOC 11.7 and 6 EOC 1.9.] Knightley dismisses most of her evidence as lies. The story comes to little more than Hoover's obsession with the Kennedys, and with Communist-inspired international vice rings." "Honeytrap" does credit a surprisingly large part of the Novotny story, but not without reason. Their story does not depend excessively on her; much attention is given to Suzy Chang, whose alleged affair with JFK was alluded to in a New York Journal-American article which caused quite a flap. Summers and Dorril even located Chang, who admits only to knowing JFK. This flap was discussed briefly in Herbert Parmet's 1983 book, "JFK." Ostensibly based on information from Novotny, that front-page NYJA article linked Chang to a "very high" elected official. In a meeting described by the FBI as having "almost an air of hostility," RFK called the reporters to task on the absence of corroboration. Parmet noted that "Once again Bobby handled a presidential lapse, or if not an actual lapse, vulnerability that came directly from both his behavior and reputation." "Honeytrap" puts this account into the context of the Kennedy admin- istration's concern about various aspects of the Profumo case, with quite a bit of new detailed information based on interviews and additional FBI records. RFK flew the two New York reporters down to Washington on the family's own plane, and later is said to have threatened the paper with antitrust action. Courtney Evans, who served as RFK's liaison with the FBI, confirmed to Summers that the flaws in British security were taken very seriously. "And then to find that the President was perhaps involved with somebody in the British security scandal. Nobody was grinning...." "Honeytrap" is a good read, reflecting impressive investigative work. There are about fifty pages on the American angles. Of general interest to JFK buffs is the question of coverups generated by the vulnerability of JFK's image, based on information known to Hoover and others. Also, a number of familiar names appear in this story, most notably Michael Eddowes. He was involved, apparently by chance as a osteopathic patient of Dr. Ward, in the exposure of the scandal in the British press. Heseems to have continually emphasized the political (i.e. KGB) implications. In his own mind, the attempted character assassination of JFK in the Profumo case led him to immediately suspect KGB involvement in Dallas. (See 3 EOC 1.3.) So, Eddowes as assassination buff is far more interesting than he appears in his later incarnation, with nothing but a thinly supported argument about a fake Oswald. "Honeytrap" may well not include all that the authors learned about the American connection. There certainly seems to be room for further analysis; I will be watching "The Lobster," hoping to see more. A typical minor point: one person involved in getting the Keeler-Profumo story out was Nina Gadd, who later claimed that a diplomatic contact of hers was the real source of Comer Clarke's spooky story about Castro's alleged admission (outside a pizzeria) that Oswald had threatened JFK at the Cuban Consulate. (See 6 EOC 4.8.) An American involved in telling the story to U.S. Ambassador David Bruce, unnamed in "Honeytrap," is identified in "An Affair of State" as Billy Mellon Hitchcock, evidently the same rich American who later became a financial patron of the LSD movement. (See "Acid Dreams," by Lee and Shain.) A more general provocative question is the role of forces hostile to the Kennedys in getting the story out. (This question also arises in the Monroe case.) A key player was Thomas Corbally (who cooperated to some degree with both books); as the scandal unfolded, he hired the notorious lawyer Roy Cohn. "Honeytrap" suggests that Hoover may have helped get the Chang story to the Hearst paper in New York. Defenders of the Kennedy family should especially be inclined to pursue this aspect of the Profumo case. <> Understandably, there is less than we might like to see about the JFK assassination in "Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist" (Basic Books, $19.95). His career has been so wide-ranging that the extinction of the dinosaurs gets just one chapter, and other "scientific detective work" shares a chapter with about ten pages on the JFK case. The history and technical aspects of Alvarez' 1969 work on the Zapruder film, including the "jet-effect" explanation for JFK's backward head motion, are covered in more detail in the paper which was reprinted by the HSCA. (1HSCA 428-442) The book provides a readable summary but I don't think there is any new information. Alvarez reveals that the offer of the chair of the JD-sponsored acoustics committee came from Philip Handler, the president of the National Academy of Sciences. "Since the buffs would automatically have rejected any report published under my name, I agreed to be a committee member but suggested Norman Ramsey as a competent and acceptable chairman." (Incidentally, Alvarez served with Ramsey and Daniel Ellsberg on a panel on limited war for JFK.) The book shows little of the intense and persistent critical style which is familiar to Alvarez' colleagues. (I was fortunate enough to address the "Luis meeting" seminar on my physics thesis project a couple of weeks after he got his Nobel Prize, when he was quite mellow.) One of the few instances of this style in the book is in the discussion of the testimony of an unnamed HSCA acoustics expert to the Ramsey Panel. "I was distressed by my inability to get a simple point across. One of his illustrations showed that many of the recorded [re-enactment] echoes... had reached the microphone array as concave wave fronts. Even a high school physics student would know that almost all such wave fronts must be convex.... It was a new experience for me to watch a Ph. D. physicist stonewall in a technical argument. Some hours later he backed down, claiming that he hadn't understood my point and that a draftsman had connected some unrelated points with lines, a minor error that had escaped his attention and in no way influenced his conclusions." Some reviewers found the JFK material worth mentioning. (Among "the book's best moments," [#127, California, Apr 87]; "the most convincing refutation of the multiple assassin theory I have read" [#128, SFC, 24 May]) A generally favorable NYT review (#129) noted the "incandescent egotism" of a "genius who eventually endears himself with his astonishing honesty." Alvarez recounts at length his role in the development of the atomic bomb. His forthright defense of its use against the Japanese has raised eyebrows among some readers (e.g., #130, Daily Cal, 14 Aug) - although the book effectively sets forth the context of that work, as Alvarez saw it. Hisclosing thoughts are not hawkish; although he feels that the "nuclear winter" scenario may well be wrong, the fact that nobody had thought of it "has sobered everyone concerned with fighting a nuclear war." I enjoyed reading this memoir; if I had read something like it before I joined Alvarez' group in high-energy physics as a graduate student in 1966, Iwould have realized early on that I didn't have the enthusiasm and skill to become a physicist myself. By all accounts, however, Alvarez' ability and style are exceptional even among his professional colleagues. The book is particularly readable for the technically inclined, but there are some good lines which apply to some assassination buffs: about a fellow researcher, "his theory is that our theory is wrong." And, on "intellectual phase lock": "Most people are concerned that someone might cheat them; the scientist is even more concerned that he might cheat himself." Anyone who wants to help Gandolfo nail down my CIA sponsorship will note that Alvarez served on the CIA's UFO Panel in 1953. (Alvarez gives UFO's just one dismissive paragraph; see also Jim Hougan's article, "The CIA Saucer Watch" [Crawdaddy, Dec 77, #131, 5 pp.]) Also, Alvarez calls EOC "exhaustively researched and well written," although he dismisses the buffs' conspiracy books as "both unconvincing and incredibly dull," mostly "mutually inconsistent," and linked by the theme "that those in power are congenital liars" (which is certainly not Alvarez' view). <> Before his death in 1983, Dealey Plaza witness Howard Brennan wrote "Eyewitness to History," with his pastor, J. Edward Cherryholmes. (The book is $18 postpaid from M & A Bookdealers at P.O. Box 2422, Waco, TX 76703; the descriptive material which M & A sent me [#132, 2 pp.] does not indicate the length of the book.) Brennan reportedly gave only one press interview in twenty years. I do not know if the book indicates any doubts that the man he saw was Oswald, or if it includes an account of his treatment by the WC. There is a chapter on the JFK case in "Kelley: The Story of an FBI Director," by Clarence Kelley and James K. Davis. (Andrews, McMeel & Parker, $17.95; PW ad: #133) It seems largely consistent with SA Hosty's analysis; Kelley thinks Oswald would have been thwarted if Hosty had been given more information. (More on this and other books in a later EOC.) <> A major article by Dan Moldea features an interview with Thane Eugene Cesar. (Regardie's, Jun 87, 30 pp., #134) I do not feel expert enough on the RFK case to evaluate it. Moldea concludes that Cesar "may be the classic example of a man caught at the wrong time in the wrong place... - an innocent bystander caught in the cross fire of history," and the Cesar interview seems, to me, played down. However, I hear that in some public appearances Moldea has indicated much stronger suspicions about Cesar. Also, Sirhan has been denied parole again (UPI, 29 May, #135), and some LAPD files have been transferred to the State Archives in Sacramento to be processed for release. (Sacramento Bee, 7 Aug, 2 pp., #136) More details will appear in EOC as space permits; RFK-case buffs should be in touch with Phil Melanson and/or Greg Stone. <> "The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." (Attributed to science-fiction writer Harlan Ellison.) <> Thanks to D. Davis (#95), M. Ewing (108, 110, 112-3), L. Haapanen (90, 94), G. Hollingsworth (133, 136), J. Lesar (78-80, 82), P. Melanson (91), R.Ranftel (87, 120, 123-6, 131), E. Tatro (86, 106), S. Van Wynsberghe (103- 104), H. Weisberg (129), and D. Williams (89, 92-3). News on the JFK case is now sparse, and I am getting busier with my programming work. I don't plan to abandon EOC for at least another year, but I don't want it to keep me from digging into other projects, perhaps including documentary research. For news on the case, I am quite dependent on what EOC readers provide. I read everything sent to me on the assassination, and pick out what particularly interests me for EOC. Some unlisted material gets copied for people whose special interests I know about. I would like to make my assassination-related material available to others, although I may eventually do so simply by sending it to AARC. If any EOC readers want to take on the task of making annotated listings of "low- grade ore" on the case, in exchange for copies at cost or less, let me know. I will probably not get around to listing the bulk of what is sent to me if it is not directly related to the assassination, although I try to read it all. I will continue to make "fair use" copies as time permits. For people who are actively doing research, with the expectation of writing about it for general distribution, and for people who send me material on the case, I will gladly find time to make a reasonable number of copies.


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