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Part X of Jim DiEugenio''s review
of Reclaiming History: "How
Review by Joseph Green: LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK's Assassination by Phillip F. Nelson.
Review by Dr. David Mantik: HEAR NO EVIL: Social Constructivism and the Forensic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination by Donald B. Thomas
Hear No Evil: Social Constructivism & the Forensic
Evidence In the Kennedy Assassination
Inside the ARRB Reviews of Douglas Horne's multi-volume study of the declassified medical evidence in the JFK case by Jim DiEugenio, David Mantik and Gary Aguilar.
The Dark Legacy of John Hankey
By Seamus Coogan
Alex Jones and John Hankey
Alex Jones is the perennial king of internet conspiracy mongering. He has views on innumerable events. Even those he knows little about. The Kennedy assassination is but one subject he knows little about. For instance, Jones has endorsed the very suspicious Barr McClellan and his book of "faction" Blood, Money and Power. He has also chosen to endorse a video on the Kennedy case. This is called JFK 2: The Bush Connection. The original – which can still be found online – is a low-budget, poorly produced production by a self-proclaimed 30, 40 or 50 year researcher named John Hankey. Hankey has cobbled together footage from Oliver Stone's film JFK, the series The Men Who Killed Kennedy, the PBS program Nova, and other productions. The latest version – Dark Legacy – is more slickly done and has some newer information in it. But since the original has been around much longer and is available online, I will concentrate my critique on that.
Hankey has rehashed his product a number of times. JFK 2 seems to have been re-edited at least 3, and possibly as many as 4 times. This is the version I have utilized in my review.
I should note: there are at least two other versions of this first production available. One of them gives more credit for source material and cleans up some crude language. Another version spends about 20 more minutes toward the end on Oswald and the FBI. We will discuss that version later.
Hankey and Prescott Bush
In JFK 2 it is implied that Prescott Bush was the main – or one of the main – architects of the CIA, and its operations to overthrow foreign governments and assassinate foreign leaders. In an earlier version of the film, Hankey used Howard Hunt's connections to Averill Harriman and Nixon to link him to Prescott Bush. Then, Hankey detailed the overthrow of three prominent leaders via CIA-Prescott Bush (?) backed coups.
No 1: Arbenz: Contrary to what the film tried to say, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala was not killed after this particular coup. That implication is false. The coup occured in 1954, after which Arbenz fled the country. He died as an exile in Mexico in1971. (Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit, p. 232) I should add here, the Schlesinger/Kinzer book is still considered the best work on that overthrow. You will find many, many references to Allen and John Foster Dulles in it. (see page 312) You will not find any at all to Prescott Bush, or the Bush clan.
No 2: Lumumba: Why Hankey would place Patrice Lumumba of the Congo next in line to Arbenz escapes me. But Lumumba was not overthrown until 1961 and he actually did die at that time. (Richard Mahoney, JFK: Ordeal in Africa, p. 69) Mahoney's book is one of the best treatments of the whole Congo episode. Again, you will find several references to the Dulles brothers in the index. (p. 333) You will not find any to Prescott Bush, or the Bush clan.
No 3: Mossadegh: Why Mossadegh should be listed third, when the CIA action against Iran came first, in 1953, also escapes me. But unlike what Hankey tried to say, he was not killed in the coup. Mossadegh was placed under house arrest at his estate and died there in 1967. (NY Times, 12/7/09) And in the chronicles I have seen of that coup, you will again read the names of the Dulles brothers. You will not see the name of Prescott Bush. (For example, see The CIA: A Forgotten History, by William Blum, pgs. 67-76. We will examine this preposterous claim of Prescott Bush's invisible but all-encompassing influence on the CIA in greater depth later.)
Thus after viewing Hankey's video, reading his comments, and listening to his views with regard to political happenings, it would seem wise to take what he says or writes with caution. I mean, how could anyone take a guy who is pals with 'Henry Makow PHD' seriously? Makow is an advocate of the ancient conservative conspiracy theories in which Feminism is seen as an integral part of the new world order, that the Rockefellers are socialists and the classic one about Freemasons controlling the world banking system. Those interested in high comedy can visit his website and or read about his banking thesis in his 2008 book entitled Illuminati: The Cult that Hijacked the World.
Did you really do all that John?
John Hankey has made a number of statements in which he seems to adjudicate himself as the source of all the discoveries concerning George Bush's supposed relationship to the Kennedy assassination. Here are some snippets which show his modesty in that regard. They appear in an April 2009 piece by Hankey entitled "Same Killers – Different Day":
"I will give myself props for destroying Bush's claim that the memo did not refer to him. As the video JFK - the Bush Connection outlines, in college, Bush was a "brother under the skin" to the son of the head of hiring for CIA; he left college and went to work for a man his father identified as a CIA recruiter; and he then set up shop in the middle of CIA preparations for the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs; which puts him squarely in the middle of the "misguided anti-Castro Cuban operations referred to by Hoover's memo and on and on and on."
The memo he refers to can be seen here.
It plays a major – perhaps the major – part in his thesis. And, as we will see, he claims that he was the first to out Bush as a supervisor of anti-Castro Cubans.
(For more of his views click here).
Where does one begin with an error-ridden mouthful like the above paragraph? First, Hankey was not the first to point out that the memo in question mentioned Bush. This FBI memorandum was first discussed at length in The Nation on July 16, 1988. (In another version of JFK 2, Hankey incorrectly says it was made public in 1992.) The author of that article was writer Joseph McBride. In that essay, he said that this one page memo had been declassified by the FBI back in 1977. Since then, to name just one example, Mark Lane reprinted McBride's original essay plus a follow-up Nation piece in his book Plausible Denial back in 1991 (pgs. 371-78). Secondly, when Bush's representatives tried to say the memo did not refer to him, contrary to Hankey's claim, it was McBride who tracked down a man with the same name in the CIA and showed it was very unlikely the memo related to him. (ibid, Lane.) Why and how Hankey would even begin to take credit for all this is a little bizarre. Third, the memo mentions nothing about Bush being "a supervisor" of these Cuban exiles. Fourth, to prove his thesis, Hankey tries to show just how the CIA had used the Cuban exiles in the Kennedy murder. As we shall see, it is not convincing. Fifth, the memo does not say that Bush went to FBI headquarters to be briefed on November 23rd. It just says that Bush-along with another man – had been orally issued information that Cuban exiles may stage an attack on Cuba in the wake of Kennedy's murder. It does not say how he was orally informed. The idea that on 11/23 Bush would be flown to Washington to hear information that was not in any way unusual or surprsing, and which he could have been briefed by phone about, makes little sense. So although Hankey did not in any way discover this memo or first publicize it, he is the first to aggrandize it way beyond its literal meaning. To the point that he is actually implying that it somehow involves Bush in the assassination of President Kennedy. Which it does not.
If you thought the above comments were a little exaggerated, then check this one out. It comes from an email exchange between Hankey and an online fan:
Does he really think that his video JFK 2 was the first to expose the CIA-Mafia plots and their possible coordination with Cuban exiles? Did Hankey ever hear of Anthony Summers' valuable book, originally titled Conspiracy? It was first published many, many years – even decades – before JFK 2 began to circulate. Further, how was David Talbot's Brothers inspired by Hankey's research? You will not see Hankey's name in Talbot's index. But you will see Summers' name. (p. 476) But even that gives Hankey too much credit. For the Talbot book does not really outline any such conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.
Where did you get That?
In JFK 2 Hankey has utilized a well known dubious document to implicate a well known politician with a famous Dallas based Chicago mob hoodlum (which is explored later in this review). But Hankey doesn't stop there. Hankey has also made statements to the affect that the CIA has declassified files that 'reveal' Oswald was a CIA agent.
Now John Newman has assembled a paper trail clearly showing CIA interest in Oswald. And a number of key stops and disappearances of information in Oswald's file indicate the Agency was monitoring Oswald. Which, when combined with his nefarious activities in New Orleans at corresponding times indicates that he was of operational interest to the CIA. And, according to Newman, he was probably being run by James Angleton himself. (John Newman: Oswald and the CIA 2nd ed. pg. 637)
But I hasten to add there is nothing with regards to released CIA documentation that says outright that Oswald was an agent of the CIA. And the Rowley/Secret Service document that has allegedly done so, is generally considered a clever fraud or hoax. (Click here for more.)
I've been researching for how long?
Hankey can't quite decide how long he has been researching the Kennedy case. In the third version of his video, close to the 59 minute mark, he states:
Is he really trying to say he has researched the Kennedy case for forty years? He sure kept a low profile if he did. Because before his video appeared, no one had even heard of him. And if he was working that long, why didn't he find that FBI memo on Bush way back then when it was declassified?
In his unfunny semi-autobiographical song that he features in all 3 versions, Hankey mentions that a friend showed him the Zapruder film and it "Gave him a slap!" Maybe Hankey saw a bootlegged copy of the Zapruder film prior to Geraldo Rivera's first national showing of it on Good Night America in 1975. But copies before that time were rare. They originated with Jim Garrison letting Penn Jones copy the film he was given by Time-Life for the Clay Shaw trial. But again, no one ever heard of Hankey at that time.
Then how recently did he actually get started? A clue might be in this interview he gave from last year.
You can see that his beginnings '9 years ago' suddenly grow by an enormous 31 years in the space of the same interview.
John, let me reiterate: you didn't find the memo. If you did, do you mind proving that you had it before McBride wrote his essay? And what you say that FBI memo means is not what anyone else does. As for that 40 year odyssey, no one recalls you back there working with Vince Salandria, Ray Marcus, and Sylvia Meagher. Let alone talking about George Bush in 1969. You also need a review of basic arithmetic, since 40 plus 10 equals 50. Yet the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's death will be in 2013. So it is impossible for anyone to have been on this case that long.
Also, have I missed something? Where, when, and how did he "hang Kennedy's murder around Bush's neck"? Is JFK 2 evidence of this? Not on your life. The evidence would suggest that Hankey first got into his research around 1999, with the death of John Kennedy Jr. After that, around 2004, his video was cobbled together. Hankey seems to have had a mere 5-6 years of investigation under his belt before the film. But that's no excuse for 1.) The errors that riddle his work and 2.) His penchant for taking credit for things he did not achieve. 3.) His need to distort things both large and small.
A review of Hankey's JFK 2 is below. It represents a rather frightening statistic. As until now, it is one of the few pieces critical of Hankey's research efforts on the web.
A Close look at the Film JFK 2
05:49 I have to say 'so what?' if 'Pulitzer prize winner' Tom Wicker of the New York Times initially agreed with the statements of the Parkland Memorial Hospital Doctors about the size and extent of the head wound. (New York Times, November 23, 1963 p.1)
Any Kennedy assassination researcher should know that Wicker was hardly a crusader for the truth. Yet Hankey tries to makes him out to be some kind of accidental hero and vainly clung onto this concept in his 2006 COPA speech.
Hankey doesn't tell the viewer that Wicker severely criticized Oliver Stone's JFK upon its release. (New York Times, 12/15/1991) and lovingly endorsed Gerald Posner's Case Closed.
Furthermore, Hankey misses a crucial piece of evidence concerning the bullets and shots that is contained in Wicker's New York Times article, which appears at around the 18:43 mark.
08:45 The reader may well have previously come across the story of Mac Kilduff, Kennedy's press liason having his hand gestures indicating a shot from the front purposefully edited out by ABC's Peter Jennings in his appalling 2003 special.
11:49 Hankey now becomes sanctimonious in his anger about the ABC's splicing of footage to fit their story.
But if you want to, you can fast forward this critique to the 27:33 minute mark where you will see an example of Hankey's splicing of footage.
Six or Seven Wounds?
18:43 Hankey tries to sell the idea that, in all, there were 6 wounds in Kennedy and Connally. Yet you may recall that at the time of 14:23 Hankey had already utilised the iconic courtroom clip from JFK in which Garrison (Kevin Costner) utilises Alven Oser (Gary Grubbs) and Numa Bertel (Wayne Knight) to demonstrate the trajectory of the 7 wounds in both Kennedy and Connally. Hankey somehow missed the fact that, most of the time, entrance wounds leave exits.
But he doesn't stop there. His limited logic skills then lead him into believing that his 6 wounds mean 6 bullets. Thus it is clear that he never carefully read the aforementioned Wicker article he bragged about minutes before, because Connally's surgeon Robert Shaw clearly states that Connally's wounds were caused by one bullet. Indeed Shaw himself makes a rather dubious claim about this bullet's trajectory that Hankey never bothered to pick up on.
What Shaw said would obviously become one of the cornerstones of the Magic Bullet theory. Despite the seeming unfeasibility of Shaw's statement, the mistaken notion that 6 bullets caused 6 wounds in Kennedy and Connally without any interference in such cramped confines is quite clearly ludicrous, as indicated by the wound to Connally's thigh which judging by the superficiality of it meant that a bullet or a fragment likely took a deflection from somewhere around the rib or the wrist area.
Medical Student Turned Doctor.
19:01 Hankey claims that one of the Parkland doctors saw a bullet hole through the windshield of JFK's limousine. I agree that there was likely a bullet hole there. The problem is that the person whom he refers too is Evalea Glanges, who openly stated that she was not a doctor but a 2nd year medical student at the time. (The Men Who Killed Kennedy '40 Year special') By not explaining the full context of Glanges' real status, it leads to an insinuation that she was also one of the Parkland doctors involved in Trauma Room One. But further, right after this, at about the 19:40 mark, Hankey actually states that there were likely 13 bullets involved in the assassination. A figure that is about twice as high as most estimates made previous to him. Hankey cannot understand that bullets can fragment, and they can also ricochet.
24:25 A few moments later Hankey claims that both Secret Service agents were turned around and looking at Kennedy as he got shot stating "They are both completely turned around watching the President die". At the time of the headshot we can plainly see that only the driver Bill Greer is turned around to the rear of the vehicle, and not Roy Kellerman who has his head looking forward.
Furthermore, by trying to implicate these Secret Service agents, Hankey, who minutes before was trying to account for every shot and bullet supposedly taken that day, ignores the massive problems Kellerman's testimony had for the Commission, in that he seems to describe a volley of bullets landing in the vehicle. Yet Hankey ignored this. Had Hankey done any real research he would have discovered that, judging by the clipped comments made to a friend, agent Kellerman also believed in a conspiracy. (Vince Palamara Survivors Guilt, Pgs 1-3)
Conspirator Connally: Caught In a Slump.
25:47: At this point, Hankey's video gets even worse.
He now tries to insinuate that, after the assassination, the conspirators began changing the language of the situation to create conformity in the cover up. He picks out the use of the term 'slump' as evidence of this sinister ploy.
In his use of other people's archival material, he never bothered to think about the unlikelihood of Connally – a man who had received perhaps multiple gunshot wounds and had undergone rather intensive surgery immediately upon his arrival at Parkland Hospital – being able to discuss the issue that day. Hankey clearly has no idea what bullets do to a person, nor does he seem to realize how much of a hole he has dug himself into; because his 'Minutes later' line in which Connally says he saw Kennedy 'slumped' came about from an interview on the 27th of November some five days after the assassination. (Martin Argronsky interview with John Connally 11/27/63)
Now, Connally did indeed turn around and may have seen Kennedy clutching his throat and moving forward. But Hankey now regales the viewer with the exact definition of the term 'slumped', the word that according to Hankey goes straight to the dark heart of the conspiracy. While it's apparent Kennedy never technically slumped forward when Connally says he did, its clear that Kennedy had at least 'stooped' forward and at a slightly downward angle after receiving a shot to his throat. Seconds later we see the head shot where Kennedy is thrown back and to the left via a shot from the right front, after which Kennedy proceeded to slump forward and to his left.
You may be asking: "So what if Connally had used the incorrect term, and anyhow Hankey did eventually admit Kennedy slumped." Well actually it's quite an issue. Because Hankey uses the slump to launch into a diatribe about Connally seeing Kennedy 'choking on a bullet and being shot in the head' when there is no evidence for this on the Zapruder film. As adjudged by the Z film, everybody in the world-except Hankey – can clearly determine that Connally only gives Kennedy a brief glance. And he is clearly turning back around at the time of the fatal headshot.
27:15 According to Hankey, Connally was placed in the limousine by the conspirators so he could lie about the direction of the shots and what went on in the car. Between 27:15 and 28:52 Hankey utilizes two of Connally's most well known press conferences after the assassination: the aforementioned one on the 27th of November 1963 at Parkland Hospital, and the one he gave in 1964 after his testimony to the Warren Commission. This is to show that Connally had changed his story to fit the official version.
We don't know why Connally never mentioned seeing Kennedy slump forward in his second press conference. But Connally was adamant that he was not hit by the same bullet that hit Kennedy in the throat. This is made clear in both interviews. This testimony created all kinds of problems for the Commission. Hankey, whom you may recall had earlier berated Peter Jennings for editing out bits of information contrary to his own angled story, now fades out Connally's statements made at the Washington press conference and also Connally's earlier interview at Parkland when he admitted yelling "My god! They're gonna kill us all" and mentions Jackie crying "They've murdered my husband they've murdered my husband." (Ibid, Argonsky)
So if Connally was rehearsed by the conspirators, someone blew part of the script. But later, building on this unsound foundation, he then tells us to remember Connally when he starts 'naming names'. Yes, the likes of John McAdams are truly trembling at the thought of these revelations.
The Body Snatching Caper
29:07 After some standard descriptions of the Secret Service violating Texas law in taking Kennedy's body out of Parkland Hospital before an autopsy was done, Hankey now borrows David Lifton's body alteration angle. I think he does this to show how powerful the conspirators were. You know, they supposedly mangled the body whilst en route to Bethesda Naval Hospital to make Kennedy's wounds more compatible with the lone assassin deception.
29:53 Hankey tells the viewer "The evidence is overwhelming but it might take some courage on your part to believe your eyes and ears". Hankey is no stranger to wild hyperbole. First he says he has hung Kennedy's murder around George Bush's neck (a statement that is not even in the ballpark). Next, he steals credit for the CIA-Mafia-Cuban exile angle. Now he says the evidence for the body alteration theory is overwhelming and uncontested.
Sorry John, it is neither.
Hankey overlooks the fact that for JFK, Oliver Stone, Zachary Sklar, and chief research assistant Jane Rusconi plowed through the available literature and found Lifton's body alteration theory lacking. Which is why it is not in the film. Further, no medical doctor researching this case advocates it. And this is not just the doctors on the official story's side, like say Michael Baden. But doctors who have severely criticized the Warren Commission's version of events, e.g. Cyril Wecht, Randy Robertson, Gary Aguilar, and Doug DeSalles. And there are other critics who have done work in the medical field who do not buy Lifton's ideas e.g. Harrison Livingstone, Robert Groden, William Law, and Roger Feinman.
A point not mentioned by Hankey is partly depicted in Oliver Stone's film. Why would the conspirators have to hijack the body if they controlled the autopsy at Bethesda that night? This was proven by the testimony of Pierre Finck at Clay Shaw's trial. Part of which is shown in Stone's film. But for a more complete version of that testimony see Jim DiEugenio's book Destiny Betrayed. (pgs. 288-309)
I hasten to add that some of the best reading about the irregularities surrounding the military controlled autopsy is by Garrison critic Harold Weisberg in Never Again (pgs 283-307). In which he describes in great detail the US military's presence at the autopsy. And in this section, even Weisberg gives Garrison's staff their due.
But Hankey seems to back Kennedy's body being secretly smuggled off of Air Force One for some posthumous surgery (a central tenet of body alteration scripture). But the long suppressed testimony of Richard Lipsey suggested that a decoy plan involving two ambulances was used to throw the media off of the scent. (Deborah Conway: Transcription of HSCA Interview with Richard Lipsey 1-18-78) (The full transcript itself makes for some interesting reading.)
Air Force One transcripts mention bringing a crane to the opposite side from where Jackie Kennedy and entourage disembarked. Now, decoys are understandable considering the incredible press generated by the public nature of the crime. As for the cranes, well as we know the Air Force One transcripts and recordings are notoriously incomplete and as one can clearly see from the grim footage of Air Force One's arrival in Washington it appears that only one crane was used.
I have to wonder how many people have ever watched the arrival of Kennedy's coffin? It's virtually impossible for anything to have gone on. Now while the runway suddenly goes black and there is mention of a power cut as the plane comes in, the plane is still very much in motion when the lights are restored making it pretty hard to disembark a ton worth of casket.
What most authorities believe today is that there was post-autopsy fakery in the x-rays, and perhaps the photos. And clearly, some of the photos are missing. (See for example, Gary Aguilar's excellent essay in Murder In Dealey Plaza, pgs. 175-218)
"Nobody Claims to have seen the President's killers."
38:23 While Hankey is correct about the dubious circumstances in which Oswald's description came to the police, he is slightly misleading. He doesn't name Howard Brennan. Brennan became the Warren Commission's star witness in identifying Oswald, and it is supposedly via Brennan that Oswald's description came out. Brennan's credibility problems would have only taken Hankey a moment to explain.
38:42 As for there being no evidence against Oswald by that evening, a point that Hankey makes a short time later, this is again dangerously simplified. Although Hankey later touches on the posthumous appearance of Oswald's fingerprints on the Mannlicher Carcano after his death, some aspects of the shameful use of evidence against Oswald could have been explored here. Hankey then states at 39:13 that the conspirators knew they had to alter the body at the time they arrrested Oswald. This is incredible, since neither he nor Lifton nor anyone else has ever come close to proving this remarkable thesis. Hankey should have remembered an important axiom for any Kennedy assassination researcher: extraordianry claims require extraordinary evidence. In fact, as we shall see, he should have that rule tattooed on his forearm.
Ignorance is Bliss Part 1: Angelton, Helms and Phillips.
40:13: Hankey prefaces this part of the program, which he entitles "Who killed JFK?", with a truly remarkable statement, one seemingly borne of a combination of ignorance and arrogance. He actually says that the mystery of who shot President Kennedy is easier to answer than the viewer thinks. It has taken most serious researchers years-even decades – to come to any kind of real conclusion about who killed Kennedy. And even then, they cannot prove their tenet to a court room standard. Others, like Bob Groden, still are not certain after forty years of work. But somehow, Hankey has us all beat like a drum. He knows. Except its not his own material. Like almost everything in this production, its borrowed from someone else. Straight from Mark Lane's Plausible Denial, he gives us Howard Hunt's legal action against Liberty Lobby. And he begins this segment with two errors. First, he says that the famous CIA memoradum explaining how they must provide Howard Hunt with an alibi for 11/22/63 was written by Director of Plans Richard Helms. Yet according to his own source, it was written by James Angleton, Chief of Counter-Intelligence. (Lane, p. 145) He then calls Howard Hunt a CIA assassin. Yet, to my knowledge, Hunt has never actually admitted to being a hit man.
This is important because, after these distortions, Hankey does not tell the reader that the famous James Angleton memo was designed to be a limited hang-out operation by Angleton. It was meant to deflect attention away from himself – since he was likely running Oswald – and onto Richard Helms and Hunt over at domestic covert operations. (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, p. 197) Angleton is one of the three key players in Mark Lane's Plausible Denial who barely exist in Hankey's film. Which is odd, since writers like John Newman and Lisa Pease have shown Angleton is a quite important character in the Oswald story, and therefore the assassination saga. The man who Angleton sent his none to subtle message to, Helms, is provided the briefest of mentions here. Angelton features again in this essay when we encounter George DeMohrenschildt's "suicide" at 1:08:20
Further, Hankey seems to buy Marita Lorentz a hundred per cent. She and her "caravan story" of an assassination team into Dallas headed by Howard Hunt is probably the weakest part of Lane's book. And the fact that the late Jerry Hemming went along with that tale makes it worse, since he had a reputation for marketing disinformation. Apparently, Hankey never read Gaeton Fonzi's sterling The Last Investigation. For Fonzi raises severe reservations about the credibility of Marita Lorenz. (pgs. 83-107) In fact, Fonzi came to the conclusion that she was using that story to market a film production deal. But Hankey needs a Cuban connection in Dallas to market his "Bush connection". This does the trick for him.
Another important name in Lane's Plausible Denial that Hankey forgets to tell the reader about is David Phillips, who said there was no evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was at the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City. (Lane, pg 82). Phillips is an important (if somewhat overstated) figure in the assassination. Yet he does not even warrant a mention in the entire hour and a half. In an interview as recently as 2009 on the Maria Heller show, Phillips is paid mere lip service by Hankey as Lee Harvey Oswald's recruitment officer. (Hankey on the Maria Heller radio program 7/15/09.)
Yet that is an extremely tenuous accusation. Neither Jim Di Eugenio, Lisa Pease nor John Newman have ever been so bold as to venture an opinion as to who recruited Oswald. But judging by the general consensus surrounding John Newman's writing, Oswald was likely ONI before his defection to Russia. In which case, he came under the scrutiny of the CIA upon his arrival there.
A further nail in this recruitment coffin is that Phillips' main area of operations was not Russia at all, but Latin American affairs. Phillips could have played an indirect role in helping sheep dip Oswald in New Orleans. We know he was likely guilty of framing Oswald in Mexico City, and he may very well have met him in person on August of 1963 in Dallas under his cover of Maurice Bishop. (Fonzi, p. 141)
Indeed, if the following information is indeed true, Phillips confessed to a private investigator that Kennedy could have been done in by rogue intelligence operatives. Furthermore he also told his brother that he was there in Dallas the day of Kennedy's assassination. But none of this is deemed important by Hankey. (Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked. Pgs 181-182).
Ignorance is Strength.
Why does Hankey ignore or downplay these three looming figures? It may be that Hankey and other Bush revisionists have deliberately tried to make Bush out to be directly under the control of Dick Bissell. Bissell was the CIA's Director of Plans in 1961. By doing this, they suggest that Bush was somehow a major part of the Bay of Pigs invasion. One way they do this is by connoting that the official name of the invasion, Operation Zapata, was borrowed from Zapata Petroleum, the name of Bush's oil company. This ignores the rather important fact that the codename Zapata was actually taken from the peninsula due west of the Bay of Pigs. The bay formed the eastern limit of the peninsula. Another linkage mentioned by Hankey is also dubious. Namely two of the landing craft were named Houston and Barabra J. The latter is supposed to denote the name of George Bush's wife. Hankey milks this for all its worth by saying that Bush also named his planes after his wife when he was a pilot in World War II. The problem is that the planes were named in numerical order, Barbara I, II, and III. No middle initial involved. That is because Barbara Bush apparently has no middle name. So where did the "J" come from in naming the Bay of Pigs boat? Hankey knows he has a problem here because he skips over the middle initial when he names the boat. (At the 1:00:20 second mark.) I won't even comment on the pretense of Houston being the location of Bush's oil company. Because it was the location of scores of oil companies at the time. All this name association is much ado about nothing.
The other serious problem in associating Bush with the Bay of Pigs is this: Bush's name is nowhere to be found in the major literature on that operation. It is not in the two book-length studies of the debacle, by Peter Wyden or Trumbull Higgins. Nor is it to be discovered in the two offical reports on the matter: Lyman Kirkpatrick's CIA Inspector General Report, or the Taylor Report done by the White House. There are literally scores of names listed in the command structure of the operation in those four studies. Those many veteran OSS-CIA individuals working alongside people like Howard Hunt would have outranked Bush straight off the bat.
In all likelihood, Bush was one of many business assets involved whose company (like others) probably provided some sort of cover for Cubans involved in the operation. This is because his Zapata Offshore had oil rigs positioned 30 miles north of Cuba near Cay Sal, which was "an island the CIA used as a service station for covert operations." (William Turner and Warren Hinckle, Deadly Secrets, p. xxix) And again, in all likliehood, it was the relationship between Bush and those Cubans that Hoover was referring to in the memo that McBride publiicized.
John Hankey & Dick
43:12 As if Hankey's manipulation of Connally was not bad enough, thanks to Lane's outing of Hunt, Hankey puts two and two together to make five. As we know, E. Howard Hunt was the senior member of Richard Nixon's infamous Plumbers Unit. So, if you can believe it, Nixon somehow becomes a participant in the assassination. This is where the program goes completely off the rails.
Hankey seems to have fallen into the same trap that many new researchers make when they start out. Because someone has been as vilified as Nixon, one can latch Nixon's name onto any event, no matter how outlandish, and he sounds like a reasonable culprit. The problem is that with all the post-assassination and Watergate hype, there have been a number of over the top and downright dishonest accounts of Nixon's life and career, with few works being objective, incisive, or cool-headed. Hankey now joins that line.
For instance, Hankey states that Nixon brought Howard Hunt into the White House. Not accurate. As Jim Hougan points out in his brilliant and revolutionary Secret Agenda, prior to being hired by Charles Colson – not Nixon – Hunt worked at a CIA front called the Mullen Company. This was ostensibly an advertising and public relations firm. It was closely aligned with Howard Hughes. It was presided over at the time by CIA asset Robert Bennett. It was Bennett who mentioned Hunt's name to Colson; Hunt then offered his services to him; and then Colson hired Hunt. (Hougan p. 33) It was an act that Colson came to regret. Why? Because Hunt appears to have been a CIA infiltrator in the White House who, along with James McCord, deliberately sabotaged the Plumbers at Watergate and helped collapse Nixon's presidency. (ibid, pgs. 270-75) By misunderstanding this cause and effect sequence, Hankey misconstrues Watergate. By doing so, he puts Hunt at Nixon's service in 1972. When the real story, as Hougan details it, is that Hunt was really working for the CIA at the time. Further, and a question that any reasonable person would ask, what is the evidence for Hunt being close to Nixon in 1963? He was working for the CIA, along with David Phillips. Hunt biographer Tad Szulc even has him temporarily running the Mexico City station while Oswald was allegedly there in 1963. (Compulisve Spy, pgs. 96,99) And through his function of organizing the Cuban exiles in New Orleans, Hunt almost had to have known about Oswald. So instead of tracing Hunt on a logical upward line within the Agency, where he was working at the time, Hankey does this incredible zigzag-in both time and space – out to Nixon. And then, as noted above, he doesn't even get that association right. But yet, he then depicts Nixon with a rifle pointed at JFK in his limousine! (45:08) I'm not kidding. See for yourself.
45:23 Hankey seeks to further cement Nixon's role in the assassination by enlisting the aid of a dubious document that links Jack Ruby to Nixon in 1947 as part of Nixon's House Un-American Activities Committee purge. One problem is that Nixon was a freshman in the role as junior counsel in 1947. He would make his spurs prosecuting Alger Hiss the next year, which led to his vice presidential nomination in 1952 (Richard M Fried: Nightmare in Red. The McCarthy Era, pgs 17-22). The Ruby document has come to be treated with suspicion by practically all but the most questionable researchers today. For instance, it refers to "Jack Rubenstein" living in Chicago in November of 1947, when he had moved to Dallas by that time. Second, Rubenstein had changed his name to Ruby the year before. (Seth Kantor, The Ruby Cover-Up, pgs 203, 208) Also, the document carries a zip code when they did not exist at the time. (Some, have tried to explain the zip code problem as the document being a composite, since the letterhead is from the FBI but the information seems to originate with the HUAC. This ignores the fact that the FBI worked with the HUAC hand-in-glove; to the point of lending the committee assistants and even staffers. Whoever forged the document understood that. Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets, p.354) Finally, Hankey says that this document which allegedly has Ruby working for Nixon in the forties, was "recently discovered". In fact, it surfaced decades ago
46:26 Hankey, like Paul Kangas, believes that Nixon lied about his whereabouts that day. So let's look at some of the allegations. Nixon is reported as saying in an FBI memo that he had been in Dallas two days before the assassination (Don Fulsom, Crime Magazine, 3/22/09). Not on the day of the murder. One has to question the credibility of this document. Nixon was photographed in Dallas stating he was there on business with Pepsi Cola on the 21st of November. He made comments about Johnson possibly being removed from the ticket. (Dallas Morning News 11/21/63) Later that night, he was seen dining out with famous actress and Pepsi Cola heiress Joan Crawford. (Dallas Times Herald, 11/22/63) The next day he was photographed in a New York airport after arriving from Dallas after hearing the word of the assassination. (Minneapolis Star, 11/22/1963).
Thus either the FBI or Nixon were really dumb, or so was the person who made up the document. Now Nixon may well have made some diverse calls about when or where he heard word of Kennedy's death that day. Two of his stories involve a taxi cab. One in an August 1964, Readers Digest article in which Nixon says he remembers hearing word of the assassination while stepping out of the airport and into a waiting cab. The other was from Esquire magazine circa November 1973, in which Nixon says he heard a screaming woman, stopped the cab, and wound down the window.
So what is he really guilty of? Well he seems to have embellished his story, and made it slightly more dramatic with the retelling. But that's really the sum of it. Furthermore the stark reality is that Nixon was in the air at the time of the shooting. He heard the word either on the plane or as he got off it. He sat down, and was photographed. Thus Nixon was not on the ground in Dallas, as is implied by Hankey, who throughout JFK 2 depicts Nixon with that ridiculous rifle in hand.
But now, what does Hankey do? He states that his conspiracy now includes Hunt and Nixon. (46:50)
What He Did Buy Into
In a self penned 2007 article on the rather odd Jeff Rense website entitled "Comment: Hunt's Death Bed Confession Ignored by the Mainstream Media" Hankey utilizes H. R. Haldeman's recollections in his diaries to further incriminate Nixon. This time it's Nixon's phone conversation with former President Johnson. Here, Nixon tells Johnson to keep his allies in the press off of his case during the 1973 Watergate scandal. And he threatens to reveal Johnson's bugging of their telephone conversations prior to the 1968 elections. Johnson apparently reminded Nixon of his own past indiscretions and the conversation, according to Hankey, is conveniently deleted at a crucial point.
Hankey insists that this was deleted because it had to have mentioned the Kennedy assassination. But there is one little problem, he has no evidence to prove this. (Which, as the reader has seen already, is not a real problem for Hankey.)
Outside of Hankey's world, what was really happening between LBJ and RMN? Johnson had begun bugging Nixon because of his involvement in undermining Johnson's first peace talks with the North Vietnamese in 1968 (Robert Dallek, Lyndon B Johnson: Portrait of a President, pg. 369) Johnson, who was well aware of the public pressure mounting on the Nixon presidency, was prepared to call Nixon out on the fact that Nixon had broken the law. If Nixon made the mistake of mentioning Johnson's bugging, Johnson was threatening to reveal how Nixon had thwarted his efforts to end the Vietnam War before the 1968 elections. (Charles Taylor: The Traitor. Salon.com 01/09/2010)
It's also apparent that Hankey has mistaken a number of different events that culminated in the illegal removal of some 18 minutes of tape from the Nixon White House. These removals were most often based around conversations Nixon was having with his top aides about the Watergate break-in. Whether or not they contained information about the Kennedy assassination is speculative at best. (Tim Reid: "Mystery of Watergate tapes missing 18 minutes may be Solved" The Times 07/30 /2009)
Richard Nixon, as Vice President to Eisenhower, was involved in anti-Castro operations, and was involved in the plans for the Bay of Pigs invasion. Nixon, in his search for Republican party power, certainly encountered the Bush family. It's more than likely the CIA used the Bush oil business to further aspects of their operations against Cuba. But the point is that Nixon would have seen the Agency utilize a number of individuals, companies, and fronts to further their aims. Thus the Bush family was hardly unique in this aspect. (Larry Hancock Email 10/22/2009)
This is one of Hankey's major problems. He completely forgets to mention the assistance given to the CIA by certain individuals which far surpassed what the Bushes were doing at the time. People like Howard Hughes, and his right hand man Bob Maheu; or the Luce family; or the Pawleys. These are but three examples. Hughes, in particular, looms large in the Nixon story if one cares to fast forward to 1:04:00
Conspirator Connally: 2. Holding Hands with Nixon.
47:16 Hankey now drags in his third conspirator, the one he already warned us about. To join Hunt and Nixon we now have John Connally – you know, the guy who almost got killed that day. Hankey tells us that when Connally was appointed by Nixon as his Secretary of the Treasury, this 'shocked' political observers at the time. What Hankey does not say is that Connally did not serve under Nixon till some 8 years after the assassination. Furthermore he overplays this seeming betrayal of Connally's Democratic principles.
Hankey should know that the Southern Democrats have long been much more conservative than their northern counterparts. And Connally's innate conservatism was well known in many Democratic circles. His Democratic party rival, Senator Ralph Yarbrough, was considered one of the last great progressive Southern Democrats, and a fervent supporter of Kennedy. He disliked both Connally and Johnson. (Randall Bennett Woods: LBJ: Architect of American Ambition, pgs. 415-416) In 1969 Connally resigned as governor and became a lawyer for a Texas firm. He was then appointed Secretary of the Treasury by Nixon in 1971. He then resigned that post by joining the Democrats for Nixon campaign of 1972. By 1973 he had become a full fledged Republican candidate (Douglas Harlan, Texas Monthly, January 1982 pgs. 114-119)
47:24 Hankey tells us that it was Connally "Who held Kennedy's hand and pretended nothing was going on as he led him into the killing zone." The inference here is that Kennedy was lured to Dallas by Connally and the conspirators. But that's not true. Kennedy's trip to Dallas was discussed with Johnson and Connally in June and formal planning began in September of 1963. It happened for a variety of reasons. Two of them were to raise funds for the upcoming election in 1964, and to heal the rift between between Connally and Yarbrough (WCR pg. 27)
It's a little known fact that Connally, who encouraged Jackie to come along, was not keen on the idea of the president coming to Dallas. Why? Because Kennedy divided Connally's centrist conservative constituency which represented the accumulated wealth of Texas. Thus rather than enthusiastically organise rallies and functions, Connally dithered and seems to have done all he could to get the trip over and done with as quickly as possible. (Jim Reston, The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally pgs. 240-260)
Connally opposed a parade route. The parade route was specifically organised by Secret Service men Winston Lawson and Forrest Sorrels, who overrode the Dallas authorities they were supposed to plan it with. Connally loudly voiced security concerns about the final venue's size, referring to the Trade Mart's balcony and 53 entrances. He was also uninformed of the actual parade route (WCR pgs 27-30; Vince Palamara: Survivors Guilt pgs 2-9)
Is Hankey implying what I think he's implying here? That Connally was willing to place himself and his wife in harm's way and almost have himself killed, just so he could lie about the direction of the shots? When in fact there was confusd testimony about this anyway? Why risk one's life over something like that?
Hankey's History Part 2:
47:35 Hankey reminds us that it's important to remember that Nixon, Hunt and Connally are really "small devils" in all of this and to name the real bad guys we need a little historical perspective.
47:53 Hankey then tries to give the audience a little lesson about Americana history. Using a clip from the film Little Big Man he shows how cruelly the leaders of the United States had treated its indigenous population. This massacre he describes as being on par with the genocide of the Jews by Hitler.
48:13 What is Hankey up to? Well, he uses this unbalanced history to form a bridge to the Nazi genocide programmes. See, they were partly funded by US business. And that starts him naming the big names in the Kennedy assassination and their links to the Third Reich. Namely, the Harrimans and Rockefellers. But we are also introduced to another assassination figure of ill repute. But he's OK with Hankey.
Hankey's Heroes: Hoover the Ace Investigator.
Hankey is actually trying to portray Hoover as a.) Some kind of crack investigator, and b.) Some kind of anti-Fascist. When the record adduced by his most recent and most complete biographers proves the opposite in both categories. (By the way, the USA did not enter the war in 1942, but in 1941.)
But there are more problems for Hankey using Hoover's investigation of American businessmen trading with the enemy, which he believes led to the annexation of the Union Bank. It was actually the office of the Alien Property Commission that more often than not examined and documented the cases of corporate collusion with enemies of the United States. (This was explored in a scholarly fashion by Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell, The Guardian 9/25/2004)
It was these reports which found their way to the FBI which was bumbling around trying to find communist spies and Nazi saboteurs. Further, as can be seen from myriad reports, nothing of consequence really happened to Union Bank's directors like Harriman. And most importantly nothing happened to Prescott Bush, George Senior's father and George Junior's grandfather.
E. Howard Hunt Found Guilty of Murder in Liberty Lobby trial?
49:37 Nixon and Howard Hunt now return. We are now called upon to remember the trial of Howard Hunt depicted in Lane's Plausible Denial. Hankey now says "Where the jury found Hunt guilty of the murder of president Kennedy". Could Hankey really have confused a criminal homicide trial with a civil case involving defamation? The jury decided that Hunt was not defamed by the writings about the famous "Hunt memorandum". That is all. No one knows where Hunt actually was that day. Let's get real: if this had been a criminal case, the standard of proof, rules of evidence, and the actual procedure would have been much different. To say the jury found Hunt guilty of killing Kennedy is a ridicuous overstatement.
49:50 Hankey then goes on to say that, at that trial, Hunt 'testified' to being in direct contact with Harriman in Paris after the war. If you can believe it, this is true. But Hankey, by inferring that Hunt came onto the scene via Averill Harriman, conveniently forgets to tell the viewer that Hunt had begun his intelligence career in the OSS (the precursor to the CIA) in 1944. This was four years before serving as US Ambassador Harriman's 'press aide' during the Marshall plan in Paris circa 1948. (Davies & Roberts: An Occupation Without Troops, pg. 230) Hunt didn't stay long in his job and was back in Washington working for the CIA (established in 1947) by 1949. (Lane, pg. 251).
50:26 Hankey now shows a picture of a congenial Prescott Bush adjusting the hat on a smiling Richard Nixon (both adorned with faux swastikas). We are now told that Bush turned his attention from supporting Hitler to supporting Nixon after his bank was closed down.
At this point, I would not be surprised at anything Hankey writes or says. It's correct that Nixon first made it into the senate in 1946 – that's where it ends. So let's number and catalogue the inanities in this paragraph.
One: "Four short years later he found another young man to sponsor in politics, Nixon."
Despite the large amounts of accusations on the internet, in the literature available to us on Nixon, it appears that Prescott Bush was not significantly involved in Nixon's early political rise to power prior to 1946. Nixon's most prominent early sponsor was a wealthy bank manager by the name of Herman Perry and his law firm Wingert & Bewley, who also represented California's oil and business interests. Reporter, Joel Beers wrote a clever piece on Nixon and his odd relationship with his old childhood stomping grounds in a piece titled "Dick Nixon's Orange County". (Orange County Weekly, 8/12/1999)
Nixon's grandfather was good friends of the wealthy Bewley family and Nixon represented Wingert & Bewley from 1937-1942. (Bela Kornitzer: The Real Nixon. pgs.127-128. 141) After his return from the war he took his opportunity to enter politics by answering an ad by prominent Californian Republicans looking for a candidate in the 1946 elections. (Ibid pgs. 154-158)
The evidence suggests that Prescott Bush – who was based in Connecticut and who never resided in California to the best of my knowledge for any length of time – was not one of California's prominent Republicans.
So who does Hankey ignore?
Howard Hughes took an active interest in Nixon in the mid-fifties. His financial investments in Nixon and his brother from this period would cause Nixon problems in the years ahead and could well be one of the motivations behind the Watergate saga. Indeed, Hughes' involvement with Nixon is arguably the most scandalous of any of Nixon's relationships with the United States business leaders (and is discussed in slightly more depth a little later on). Hughes also had dealings with Bush's oil business, as he leased them the islands in the Bahamas, some thirty three miles off of the coast of Cuba, which was then used by anti – Castro raiding parties.
Edwin Pauley was arguably the pre-eminent California oil man of his day. Pauley had been treasurer of the Democratic National Committee in the 1930's, and served as President Roosevelt's petroleum coordinator in the European theatre of the war. He was also close friends with Harry Truman and negotiated for the United States at Yalta. (Biographical Sketches: Edwin W. Pauley. Truman Library)
Indeed, Pauley was a powerful figure whose interests spanned the gamut of the United States energy industry. He was much more powerful and influential than Prescott Bush at the time. The reality is that he enjoyed closer relations with other powerful figures like Hughes, whom he engaged in a number of business dealings. The most prominent being in 1958 when Hughes partnered him in Pauley Petroleum operations in the Gulf of Mexico (Pamela Lee Grey: in James Ciment, Thaddeus Russell (eds)The Home Front Encyclopedia: United States, Britain, and Canada in World Wars I and II. Volume 1 p. 691)
Pauley was so influential he even engaged John McCone of the CIA and J. Edgar Hoover in support of quashing free speech on his old University of California campus. (Seth Rosenfeld: San Francisco Chronicle 06/09/2002) Pauley would later create a Mexican slush fund for Nixon's campaigns in 1968 and 1972, which it seems the Bushes contributed campaign monies to. Thus it is Pauley who provides us with a solid link to Bush monies supporting Nixon's campaigns.
Two: "Who was documented as employing Jack Ruby a year after this photo was taken."
We already know that the document linking Ruby and Nixon is dubious. Secondly, and most importantly for Hankey's falling credibility, the photo in question was not taken in 1946 but in 1953. You can see for yourself at the Corbis Images site.
Three: "Nixon who hired Hunt, who hired Connally was created and sponsored from the very beginning by Prescott Bush – are you surprised?"
As proven above, Nixon did not hire Hunt. Colson, egged on by CIA asset Bob Bennett, hired Hunt. But is John Hankey trying to tell us that Nixon hired Hunt who in turn hired John Connally? He really should watch his scripting because that's what it sounds like from this statement. What's truly insidious about Hankey's argument is that for it to have relevance to the Kennedy murder, Nixon would have had to hire them all under the auspices of Prescott Bush prior to the Kennedy assassination. This is a piece of conspiratorial logic that Hankey has to ignore.
I would like to reiterate that it's highly improbable that Prescott Bush, if he was involved with Nixon at the very beginning of his political career at all, was likely not the sole interested party. His involvement likely began around Nixon's ascendancy within the Republican party, by his vice presidential years. But it's hard to say how deeply involved he was in Nixon's actual Presidency because, by 1971, Bush was in extremely poor health and died in 1972.
The Magical Mystery Memoranda Part 1:
50:44 Hankey now makes reference to the Bush/Hoover memorandum from The Nation. It confirmed Bush was CIA prior to his appointment in 1975. And that was really all there was to it. Indeed, Joseph McBride was wary of developing the memo any further and wrote:
In support of McBride's comments, Larry Hancock described for me the lack of excitement generated by a memorandum of this type in the FBI offices.
Kind of deflates Hankey's imagination doesn't it? But, imaginations do need to be kept in check when dealing with such issues, because there's some good evidence that Hankey didn't use which further supports the angle that Bush was involved with both the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban exiles. The problem for Hankey is that the evidence we have, and you shall see, of Bush's involvement does not back the rather more extreme 'Bush family did it' angle that the likes of Hankey advocate.
Thus it is clear from statements made by Brigadier General Russell Bowen (and others) that Bush was at the very least affiliated with operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Miami.
Bush's role it seemed was as a facilitator of some operations. And as pointed out by McBride, there is debate about Bush as to whether or not he was a CIA man who ran a business front, or a businessman who let the CIA use his facilities. Generally speaking the evidence appears to favour the latter view. The Wikipedia is unreliable with information concerning the Kennedy assassination. However its entry dealing with the Zapata Offshore Drilling company is one of its better entries. And though I often find Joseph Trento a little wayward with his appraisal of the Kennedy assassination, it's hard to argue with what he has accumulated concerning Bush's role in the scheme of things. It's important to note the role of Allen Dulles in the manipulation of the younger Bush, as this has a bearing later on.
William Corson: "George's insecurities were clay to someone like Dulles". (Bush was) "Perfect, at talent spotting and looking at potential recruits for the CIA. You have to remember, we had real fears of Soviet activity in Mexico in the 1950s. Bush was one of many businessmen that would be reimbursed for hiring someone the CIA was interested in, or simply carrying a message."(Joseph Trento, Prelude to Terror, p. 14)
John Sherwood of the CIA: "Bush was like hundreds of other businessmen who provided the nuts-and-bolts assistance such operations require... What they mainly helped us with was to give us a place to park people that was discreet." Trento, then gives Sherwood's account of Bush starting out as "a tiny part of Operation Mongoose the CIA's code name for their anti-Castro operations." (ibid, p.16)
Another well established writer on the web page, John Loftus, writing independent of Trento adds.
John Loftus: "The Zapata-Permargo deal caught the eye of Allen Dulles who, the "old spies" report, was the man who recruited Bush's oil company as a part time purchasing front for the CIA. Zapata provided commercial supplies for one of Dulles' most notorious operations: the Bay of Pigs Invasion." (John Loftus: Secret War, pg. 368)
I decided to get the independent appraisals from other researchers to see if they also matched what had been written on the subject of George Bush's role in the CIA at the time of the Kennedy assassination. They were more or less very compatible.
Larry Hancock:"I think it's very possible that Bush started doing favours for the Agency even before 1963 and allowed his business to be used for clandestine activities...that could be said about virtually any business operating off shore in the Gulf." (Larry Hancock: Email 23/10/2009)
Greg Parker: "Bush it seems was some kind of facilitator before and after the assassination for the agency. People forget that agency work in the field is pretty tightly compartmentalised. Just because our friend George was involved in one area doesn't necessarily mean he knew the big picture. Basically he did the jobs he was given - possibly by Tom Devine whose departure from the CIA may have been faked for the purpose of running George and by extension, Zapata Offshore ...
The reality for the 'Bush done it' mob (who seem to have emerged from the 9/11 crowd) is that ... the planning of the assassination was out of his league at the time. It's odd isn't it? ... .But making the Bushes out to be the kingpins of the Kennedy hit strikes me as more than a little naïve. It's just flat out not true." (Greg Parker email 8/12/2009)
Ignorance Is Bliss Part II: Allen Dulles who?
52:58 In an attempt to impress upon us that it is really George Bush in the memo, and to prove that Bush was a 'supervisor' of the Cubans, we are introduced to Allen Dulles, a man whom Hankey clearly knows nothing about. There is often little consensus in the JFK research community. But Dulles, like Jim Angleton, Phillips and Helms, is widely regarded as an essential ingredient to understanding the Kennedy assassination. So for Hankey to distort his relatively brief mention of him should not go unscored.
"Dulles worked closely with Nazi bankers during World War II. That somehow qualified him to become the director of the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA."
First, it would seem that Hankey wants to make out that Dulles was the first CIA Director. Not true. Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter became the head of the CIA upon its creation, and ran it from 1947-1950. Walter Bedell Smith then ran the Agency from 1950-1953. Dulles became his Deputy Director in 1951, and then became its longest serving director in 1953. Now Hankey, one would hope, had learnt a few things from when this debacle of a project first came out. But on Black Op Radio (show # 424) as recently as May of 2009, Hankey still dismissed Dulles. Going as far as to make one of the most unbelievable implications in JFK research history: that Dulles was a cut out for Prescott Bush.
"Prescott Bush is the guy who during WWI was with Army Intelligence. Dulles was not with army intelligence during WWI and it's a little bit surprising that he would be put in charge of the CIA instead of Prescott, given that they are more or less parallel in their power up until that time."
He then repeated this in an interview with Joseph Green in July of the same year whilst banging the drums for his JFK 2 revamp entitled Dark Legacy.
"GHW Bush worked for the CIA and was clearly involved in the assassination; so closely that his name shows up on a memo signed by Hoover and titled "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy". His father was also very deeply involved in the CIA. It can in fact be argued that Prescott Bush was the real power at CIA, that Dulles was a front; and that it was Prescott, not Dulles, who masterminded the assassination."
(Much of what we have already discussed and criticised thus far is contained within this interview and answers the question for the reader whether or not his revamp is an improvement or indeed worth paying for? The simple answer is that is no in either case.)
Returning to the above quote, even for Hankey, this is shocking. Let us repeat the axiom to live by: extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. This Bush for Dulles substitution surely qualifies as an extraordinary, over the top, claim. The problem is the usual one for Hankey: there is simply no evidence for it. For instance, the standard reference work on the Central Intelligence Agency is John Ranelagh's The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA. That book was published in 1986, well after the death of Prescott Bush. Ranelagh took four years to write it. He interviewed hundreds of people. (p. 12) His bibliography runs to twelve pages. The book runs to almost 800 pages of text and notes. You will not see one reference to Prescott Bush in his index. Somehow, none of the hundreds of people he talked to knew that Allen Dulles was really a puppet and that Prescott Bush was pulling his strings. I mean Richard Helms didn't know that? Dick Bissell didn't know it? Dulles' own deputy Charles Cabell didn't know it? Although less a straightforward and systematic history, the other standard reference book on the Agency is The CIA: A Forgotten History. That book has over 60 pages of footnotes. But I guess Bill Blum was also decieved, since there is no reference to Prescott Bush in that volume either. Did Hankey discover something that, in all their long toils, these two men did not? I doubt it. Or maybe he will now claim that every single person and source was instructed to lie to these two men. By who? Well, Hankey's kingpin behind the JFK hit of course: George Bush Sr.
What this bit of patent mythology indicates is the same phenomenon that David Brock pointed out in his book Blinded by the Right. He termed the irrational extremists he encountered in the conservative bastions of the nineties as the Clinton Crazies. Whipped up into a frenzy by the likes of Richard Mellon Scaife and his agent Christopher Ruddy, they were ready to blame the Clintons for anything: the murder of Vince Foster, illegal real estate deals, fathering illegitimate children and covering it up etc. Well, in about 2004, when the presidency of Bush Jr. began to really unravel, a reaction similar to Clinton Craziness began to set in against the Bushes. It was more soundly based than the one against the Clintons. And in that regard, it more closely resembles the reaction against Nixon during and after Watergate, which I alluded to above. But in some ways, the reaction against the Bushes has perhaps been even more extreme than the one against Nixon. And Hankey's attempt at an Orwellian rewrite of the history of the CIA, inserting Prescott Bush for Allen Dulles, is surely a part of that fevered delirium. A fevered delirium that has given birth to the likes of Gary Allen, the late Aaron Russo, Alex Jones and cross pollinated with the liberal fringe in which David Icke, and Jason Bermas are now joined by John Hankey.
And it goes hand in glove with Hankey's bizarre attempt to implicate George Bush Sr. in the middle of the Kennedy assassination. What it amounts to is rewriting history in order to facilitate a personal agenda. What else can possibly explain it? Perhaps this was his thinking: "Many people believe the CIA was involved in the murder of Kennedy. If I substitute Prescott Bush for Allen Dulles, then I bring the Bush clan closer to the Kennedy murder." The only problem is that it's not true. In other words, it's a solipsism (the philosophical idea that one's own mind is all that exists). A solipsistic approach always makes for bad – and deceptive – history.
With that in mind, let us take apart the above Hankeyisms. In addition to implying that Dulles was the CIA's first Director, which he was not, Hankey tries to say that his only qualifcation for that job would be his assocaition with Nazi bankers during World War II. It's true that Dulles' firm, Sullivan and Cromwell, worked with German bankers up to the beginning of the war, and with affiliates of German businesses during the war. But to say that was the one and only reason Dulles was appointed CIA Director in 1953 is just daffy. Or incredibly ignorant.
Dulles was trained as a spy well before he became a lawyer for Sullivan and Cromwell. It is a small matter of debate between Jim DiEugenio and myself as to when Dulles was actually recruited into spy work for the US (this is something of a black hole which I hope we can resolve at a more appropriate time). What we do know however is that during WW I & II he ran America's biggest and most important spy rings, both centered in Switzerland. At the end of World War II, he became the OSS chief in Germany. There, he recruited the Gehlen Organization into American intelligence. Allen Dulles was also instrumental in the post-war creation of the CIA and then had an advisory role in its development. In 1948 he helped write the Jackson-Dulles-Correa report which suggested reorganization of the Agency. That report was read by Director Smith. Smith then called Allen and made him Deputy Director in order to partly implement that report. (See Part 8, Sections 4-6, of Jim DiEugenio's review of Reclaiming History.) All of this crucial information is left out by Hankey. It is all important. More important than the idea that Dulles' association with Nazi bankers impressed Smith so much as to make him his deputy.
"Prescott Bush is the guy who during WWI was with Army Intelligence. Dulles was not with army intelligence during WWI and it's a little bit surprising that he would be put in charge of the CIA instead of Prescott given that they are more or less parallel in their power up until that time."
Actually, in World War I, Prescott Bush received intelligence training and he also worked as an artillery captain. His intelligence duties were as a laison officer with the French. Prescott did not serve in World War II. As noted above, Allen Dulles was an intelligence officer in both wars. And he was not simply a staff officer. He ran operations out of Switzerland. And at the end of World War II he rose to head of the OSS in Germany. After the war, he was then actively involved in the creation of both the National Security Act and the Central Intelligence Agency. He also ran a CIA sponsored operation out of the law offices of Sullivan and Cromwell to subvert the Italian elections of 1948. (Christopher Simpson, Blowback, p. 90) At the end of the war, he helped found Radio Free Europe and helped write a report about reforming the CIA. To compare the intelligence background of Dulles with Prescott Bush is a little like comparing the Arkansas State football team with the University of Texas Longhorns.
I don't quite know what Hankey means by the second part of the sentence. What does "parallel in their power" mean or matter in something like this? But just to point out who Dulles was involved with at the time, here is a list of companies represented by Sullivan and Crowmwell in the forties: JP Morgan & Company, Dillon Read and Company, Brown Borthers Harriman (Prescott Bush's company), Goldman Sachs, New York Life Insurance Company, The American and Foreign Power Company, International Nickel, Overseas Securities Corporation, United Railways of Central America, United Fruit, Chase Manhattan Bank, General Electric, US Steel. It is not an exaggeration to say that Sullivan and Cromwell represented a large part of the Eastern Establishment at the time.
Furthermore, Dulles was more or less a natural choice for Director in 1953. He had been in intelligence since World War I, he was Deputy Director at the time, and his brother was Secretary of State. And although Walter B. Smith liked being Director, he was ill. (Ranelagh, p. 230) What would have been really surprising is if Eisenhower had appointed Prescott Bush as Director.
"GHW Bush worked for the CIA and was clearly involved in the assassination; so closely that his name shows up on a memo signed by Hoover and titled "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy". His father was also very deeply involved in the CIA. It can in fact be argued that Prescott Bush was the real power at CIA, that Dulles was a front; and that it was Prescott, not Dulles, who masterminded the assassination."
The first sentence is, in large part, sheer hyperbole bordering on sensationalism. George Bush Sr. was not "clearly involved in the assassination". If he was, someone would have discovered his role many years ago. Say in the first 25 years of research on this case. As per his name showing up in a memo by Hoover, we have shown what that was for. And it was not about Kennedy's assassination. (Which Hoover was not really interested in.) And thousands of FBI documents are headed at that time with "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy". Or did Hankey forget that the FBI was the prime investigative arm for the Warren Commission? If Prescott Bush was so involved with the CIA, why is his name not in Ranelagh's book? The rest of the quote is just so bizarre and unfounded that it really makes one wish Hankey would disappear. Prescott Bush, as just proven, was not the "real power" at CIA. And for Hankey to now say that Prescott was the real mastermind behind the JFK murder, well it makes me wish that McBride had never discovered or written about that Hoover memorandum. We would be spared these outrageous and completely unfounded wild accusations based upon a foundation of quicksand.
Hankey's History Part: 3
54:48 Hankey claims that Prescott Bush's Army Intelligence employees during WWI turned into the CIA. This is pure fiction. The intelligence units that Prescott Bush served in were the precursor to what would one day become the NSA. The OSS was set up by Roosevelt and is the direct ancestor of today's CIA. (See here.)
55:04 Hankey again twists reality by insisting that Bissell like Hunt had worked for Harriman "for 10 years". This is just wrong. Howard Hunt did not work for Harriman for anything like that period of time. Nor did Dick Bissell, who was recruited by Harriman in 1947 and Hunt in 1948.
Though they knew each other prior to working together, Bissell only worked directly for Harriman for a few months on the Marshall Plan. He worked under him sporadically over a period of some 4 years prior to his employment by the CIA. In real terms, if Bissell and Hunt had worked for Harriman for 10 years, Bissell would have been working for him until 1957, and Hunt until 1958. The problem with this is that Bissell was recruited by the CIA in 1953 and Hunt in 1949. Which, unless Harriman was running the Agency (which he clearly was not) renders Hankey's accusation false. (See Theodore A. Wilson and Richard D, McKinzie: Oral History Interview with Richard M. Bissell Jr. 07/09/71; Ralph E Weber: Spymasters: Ten CIA Officers in their own words. pgs 43-45)
Hankey Scores An Irrelevant Point.
55:08 Hankey gets something else right, but it's kind of peripheral. William Casey and Prescott Bush did form the National Strategy Information centre to apply pressure on Kennedy's Cold War policies and support the CIA's endeavours in 1962. But this says nothing more than Prescott was a cheer leader for the Agency, something that 1.) has been established for decades, 2.)Many wealthy Republicans were.
Skull and Groans
55:32 What would any bad post Kennedy assassination, 9/11 documentary be without mentioning the infamous Skull and Bones society? Skull and Bones seems to have become the all seeing evil society since 9/11. George Bush figures rather heavily in all that.
The problem with mentioning Skull and Bones as the root of all things evil and the driving force behind the Kennedy assassination is that it leads to the whole Secret Society fallacy. For example, on the Freemasonry Watch website, members of the Warren Commission are named as masons who covered up the crime. Sen. Richard Russell, a well known Mason, is named as one of the guilty parties. However, Russell was the only Commissioner who launched his own investigation and at least tried to find the real facts of the case. Though not quite as visceral as Russell the other dissenting Warren Commission member was a fellow by the name of John Sherman Cooper (Gerald McKnight: Breach of Trust pgs. 293-295) who was himself a well known Bonesman. Though by the time of Cooper's testimony to the HSCA (in which he seemed to have caved a bit by outwardly supporting the Commissions efforts), he still gave a number of statements which indicated a certain amount of indecision on his behalf (HSCA Vol III, pgs. 599-610). Let's be frank about this issue: If you have to devote a fairly long section of your video to the Skull and Bones society, it means you don't have much real evidence at hand to make your thesis stick.
The Roll Call
55:58 Time for a roll call. As we have seen, Hankey has a habit of tying people together in a singular group, when in reality their interactions are separated by years and sometimes decades. In fairness, with a group like Skull and Bones these interactions can span the generations. Thus I have no 'bone' to pick with that nor do I have a problem with his naming Averell Harriman, Prescott Bush, and Bush's uncle George Herbert Walker who all check out as Bonesmen.
But he runs into trouble this with his use of Robert Lovett.
"Robert Lovett, architect of the CIA, was a bonesman selected for membership by Prescott himself".
Lovett was a Bonesman and played a role in the establishment of the CIA. However it would have been impossible for Bush to have picked him, because individual members cannot handpick individuals. It is decided upon by the group. Which, of course, makes perfect sense.
Let's turn back to Lovett and 'the occult' before I leave this time slot. It's ironic that Salvadore Allende, the President of Chile, was a 31st degree level freemason and that didn't stop him from getting taken down by some dark forces. Also, Bonesman Lovett filed a report on the CIA some twenty years before Allende's overthrow. This report was scathing of what Dulles had made out of the CIA at the time. (See Part 8 of Jim DiEugenio's review of Bugliosi's Reclaiming History.) So you can't rely on secret societies to make your case.
56:14 Hankey's next target is one F. Truby Davison whom Hankey describes forthwith.
"F. Truby Davison was also selected for membership in Skull and Bones in 1918, the year Prescott did the picking. Davison was in charge of hiring for the CIA in 1948, the year George Herbert Walker Bush left Yale in search of a job."
As you have seen Bush was not privy to selection of Lovett in 1918, thus it would make it difficult for him to have selected Davison. Furthermore, George Bush is not widely regarded as beginning his tenure at the Agency until the early fifties. Thus it's hard to see how immediately going to work for Dresser Industries (a Harriman subsidiary) upon graduation puts him in the unemployed category, nor under the recruitment of Davison. Since he was already in contact with Henry Neil Mallon, a seeming recruiter of business executives anyhow. (Baker & Larson: "Bush Senior Early CIA Ties Revealed" The Real News Project, January 8, 2007)
56:32 We now move onto Davison's son, a fellow with the unfortunate name Endicott Peabody Davison. Hankey claims that Peabody Davison was in the society the same year as George Bush. This is also wrong. He was a Bonesman from 1944-45 some 2 years before Bush was tapped.
History with Hankey: Part 4.
58:46 Hankey now discusses Operation MONGOOSE as a commando team in the same breath as Operation Forty or Alpha 66. In fact, MONGOOSE was the name given to the overall Cuban initiative of 1961-62, into which it seems elements of both Operation Forty (formed prior to the Bay of Pigs) and Alpha 66 (formed in its aftermath) were incorporated. This is an important distinction which any Kennedy researcher should be able to make.
58:57 At this point, Hankey seems to claim that Howard Hunt helped stage the Bay of Pigs invasion from the island of Cal Say off of the coast of Cuba. In reality, the invasion actually took place from Guatemala and Nicaragua (Trumbull Higgins, The Perfect Failure, pgs. 125-27). And at the time of its launch, Hunt was stationed at CIA HQ, where he monitored its progress with David Phillips. Because of his Spanish speaking skills, Hunt was scheduled to fly to Florida, when and if the invasion succeeded. From there he was to accompany the Cuban exile leadership to the beachhead. It's hard to believe that Hankey missed all this. Because Hunt writes about it in his valuable book on the Bay of Pigs invasion Give Us this Day (pgs. 190-95). Hankey may be, in his usual way, straining to stitch together some kind of clandestine relationship between Bush and Hunt.
History With Hankey: Part 5 The Bay of Pigs
58:16 Hankey claims that planning for the Bay of Pigs was begun by Dulles in 1959, forgetting to mention that this was also the year that Castro came to power. He then uses this as the catalyst for George Bush to move closer to the Agency. Zapata did split its interests up in the same year and Bush did go solo as the president of Zapata Offshore. But the cause and effect relationship Hankey is hankering for is problematic. Because the planning for the invasion did not start in 1959. As Higgins notes, in early 1960 Eisenhower was still using embargoes and trade cut offs against Castro. (p. 48) The actual early planning for the Bay of Pigs did not begin until March of 1960. (ibid, p. 49) By the way, this is also the point where Hankey brings in the so-called parallel between the code name of the invasion Operation Zapata, and the name of Bush's oil company, which as we have seen is specious. He then asks, well what kind of an idiot would name a CIA operation after his oil company? He then answers George Bush. I've got a better question: What kind of researcher would not know that the name of the peninsula right next to the Bay of Pigs is called Zapata?
1:01:06 This is a vintage Hankey moment. He claims that both Hunt and Bissell left Harriman's office at the same time to go work on the Bay of Pigs at exactly the same time as George Bush. If this muddle of mistakes has altered your memory I refer you back to 55:04. Honestly I shake my head.
1:01:40 "Hoover's memo names Bush as a CIA supervisor of the Bay of Pigs invaders, the anti Castro Cubans, there can be no reasonable doubt about this connection. George Bush was working for the CIA assisting in their operations at the Bay of Pigs, working for Bissell, working with Hunt, working with Sturgis supervising the CIA's misguided Castro Cubans."
As you have clearly seen the document does not say this. Yet, Hankey somehow "forgets" that Hoover's memo says absolutely nothing about naming Bush as a "supervisor" and nothing about the "Bay of Pigs."
1:02:10 Hankey now reaches even further in his dramatic creation. A second earlier he made the dubious call that Bush "was working with Hunt". He now suddenly changes his mind and-out of nowhere – he says that Bush was "Supervising Hunt." Again, there is no mention of George Bush in any of the major literature on the Bay of Pigs. But Hunt is mentioned in almost every book on the ill-fated invasion. If Bush was supervising Hunt, his name would be somewhere. It's not even in Hunt's memoir entitled Give Us this Day. And in that book, Hunt mentions many, many people both above and below him who were involved in that operation. So: Where was George?
Nobody Had Connections To CIA Operations In the Nixon White House.
1:02:16 Hankey then discusses Bush's arrival in the White House stating.
"After Bush got beaten up in two elections, Nixon bought his sorry butt into the White House trailing E. Howard Hunt behind him. Halderman said no one could figure out who brought him in to the White House. But it isn't that hard to figure out because not only did Hunt and Bush come to work for Nixon at exactly the same time but no one in the White house had any connections to CIA operations...No one had any connections! While Bush on the other hand, was directly involved in exactly the same CIA operations in the same area at the same time that Hunt was."
This is another Hankeyian mouthful. Let's break it into bite-size indigestible gulps.
"Nixon brought his sorry butt into the White House trailing E Howard Hunt behind him."
As proven earlier, Bush did not bring Howard Hunt into the White House. Hunt was brought in by Charles Colson at the urging of Bob Bennett and Hunt himself. Bush was offered the job of UN Ambassador by Haldeman and Nixon in December of 1970, about 6 months before Hunt was offered employment by Colson. (Hougan pgs. 32-33) And since Hunt concentrated on domestic matters, the employment chain for Hunt went in a different direction from Bush's. It went from Colson to John Ehrlichman (ibid) So the idea that Hankey tries to convey, that somehow there was a cause and effect relationship, or that somehow Bush caused Colson to hire Hunt, is simply not grounded in the discernible facts.
"But it isn't that hard to figure out because not only did Hunt and Bush come to work for Nixon at exactly the same time"
As we have seen this is inaccurate.
"..but no one in the White House had any connections to CIA operations. No one had any connections!"
What about Henry Kissinger? Kissinger worked hand in glove with the CIA on the overthrow of Allende in Chile. What about Alexander Butterfield? Butterfield was a deputy to Haldeman who set Nixon's schedule, provided him with briefing papers, and was instrumental in setting up the taping system in the White House. Butterfield's exposure of that system to the Senate Watergate Committee helped impeach Nixon. Fletcher Prouty exposed Butterfield's ties to the CIA during the Watergate scandal. (See Haldeman's The Ends of Power pgs. 109-10.) What about Hunt and James McCord? Jim Hougan builds his wonderful book Secret Agenda around these two characters, who were allegedly retired from the CIA and denied knowing each other. In fact they were not retired and they knew each other from many years before. (Hougan, pgs. 3-26) And in fact, Hougan writes that McCord, from his position at the Committee to Re-elect the President, secured jobs for a few of his CIA friends at the White House. (ibid, pgs. 58-59) A statement like the above reveals that Hankey is not only ill-advised on the Kennedy assassination, but he doesn't know very much about Watergate either.
"While Bush on the other hand, was involved in exactly the same CIA operations in the same area at the same time that Hunt was."
The viewer may have noted that in skipping over the nefarious American activities in Latin America at the time. Hankey has presented absolutely no evidence of Hunt and Bush working together on anything other than the Bay of Pigs, and even that is an unproven and indirect relationship.
1:03:01 Conspirator Connally Part III: Time Warped.
Hankey here tries to insinuate that Bush got his job as UN Ambassador by blackmailing Connally about his involvement with the Kennedy assassination. In reality, the previous UN ambassador, Charles Yost, had resigned. As had the previous Treasury Secretary, David Kennedy. Bush actually wanted Kennedy's job at Treasury. But Nixon liked the idea of appointing a high profile conservative Democrat to a Cabinet level posiiton. So he gave that job to John Connally. Bush then settled for the United Nations. (See The Unauthorized Biography of George Bush, by Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, Chapter 11). Which, besides undermining Hankey's assassination plot, also tells you that Connally was higher in the pecking order than Bush in 1970.
This makes it hard to believe that Bush could have been controlling Connally seven years previous. Indeed, in Douglas Harlans article "The Parties Over" in the Texas Monthly of January 1982 he described the bitter feuding between Connally and Bush in which he often belittled and humiliated Bush at every opportunity (pgs 114-119).
Now, after all of Hankey's accusations, does he really have anything at all to convict Connally with? Well, in one blog dated as recently as 1/2/2008, a fan of Hankey's called 'Boulderdash' in a piece dating from February 2008 called "Clinton, Obama, JFK and the next terrorist attack' excitedly writes.
"There is a tape of a phone conversation, available on the web, between John Connally and LBJ. Connally was demonstrably involved in JFK's murder. And he called Johnson and said, "Oswald was a Cuban agent."
For Hankey and his followers this is evidence enough that Connally was clearly in on the plot. The inference is that Connally was trying to convince Johnson that Oswald was in with Castro. What Hankey failed to tell his good friend 'Boulderdash' is that this phone call actually happened in 1967 four years later, in which Connally reveals to Johnson that he had heard the rumours from some journalists. I'll leave up for yourself to find the link if you can be bothered. Boulderdash like his hero Hankey never stopped to think why were these rumours were being circulated? Well this link explains how they emerged in light of the Garrison investigation.
Time Warp Follow IV.
1:03:42 Hankey now makes the dramatic call that Nixon, Bush, Hunt and Connally all meet up in 1970. Hankey soon after portrays them as making their steps to power over Kennedy's corpse. Yet as usual he has no credible evidence to show how any of them were actually involved in his murder. But he also leaves something else out that is important: By 1970, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X had also been murdered. Maybe I should not have noted that. I might give Hankey an idea for his next mockumentary.
Watergate in and out of a nutshell
1:04:00 Nixon was widely considered to have resigned rather than face prosecution over his obstructing justice in that case. The coup de grace came for Nixon upon the release of tapes dating from the 23rd of June 1972 implicating him in the scandal and discussing the hush money involved in paying off the burglars. Hunt was, on the surface, one of the many problems Nixon was faced with concerning hush money to the Watergate burglars.
Now one has to know something about the background and complexity of Watergate to understand how outlandish the next Hankeyism really is. For he now claims that Nixon was paying Hunt because Hunt threatened to implicate him in the JFK murder. So let us get this straight: First, Bush blackmails Connally to get a job at the White House; then Hunt blackmails Nixon; and they both use Kennedy's murder as a the pretext. To go through all the problems with this double blackmailing scenario would take a short essay in itself. But how about this for starters: There is no credible evidence that Connally or Nixon was involved in Kennedy's murder. So how could they be blackmailed? Also, no other credible author has ever attributed those motives to either Bush or Hunt.
How does Hankey insert Bush into this then? Through a guy named Bill Liedtke. Liedtke and Bush were business partners from Texas in the fifties. Liedtke ended up being part of the Republican team that put together some of the hush money for Hunt once he was in jail for Watergate. The problem here is that several people were involved in this effort. Liedtke was one of the underlings. But the actual effort was run at the top by Herbert Kalmbach and Haldeman. (Stanely Kutler, The Wars of Watergate, p. 275) The reason the White House paid up was because Hunt was threatening to spread the Watergate scandal to Ehrlichman and Egil Krogh, who supervised his particular Plumbers Unit of break-in artists. (ibid p. 276) Maybe Hankey can tell us how Ehrlichman and Krogh were linked through Bush to the Kennedy murder?
Massive Bush Cover up?
1:06:21 You probably thought this could not get any worse. Like me, you may have even thought that it's this kind of goofiness that gives people who write about conspiracies, even obvious ones like the JFK case, a bad name. Well, you were right in the second assumption. You were wrong about the first. Hankey has not stopped scaling the heights of dreadfulness. Like Captain Kirk, he is now about to go where no man has ever gone before. But unlike Kirk, Hankey fails to discover anything of any real use.
"In 1975 the Senate Select Committee on Assassinations began to investigate the CIA's role in the Kennedy assassination. The Committee uncovered the CIA internal memo that Spotlight magazine wrote about which says that Hunt was in Dallas the day of the assassination. William Colby was director of the CIA at the time."
Hankey now does another frail and childish imitation of Colby saying (these are underlined): "Oh yeah, Hunt was there alright. He and Bush were in charge of the shooters" And he was cooperating with the committee "But they weren't really in charge, they were just taking orders" and supplied the committee with the Hunt memo. The problem is the usual with Hankey: No such thing happened. This is nothing but a creation of Hankey's fevered imagination. Hankey should have been a playwright.
"Colby was suddenly fired and out of the blue supposedly with no CIA experience George Bush Sr. was appointed to take over as head of the CIA. Why, what could qualify Bush for this job? One thing: Bush could be relied upon better than Colby to cover up the facts of JFK's murder because Bush knew that the trail led straight to him. He had to cover it up and he did, he ended CIA cooperation completely with the Committee and shut down the investigation"
Okay, let's break this Hankeyism down as we have before.
"In 1975 the Senate Select Committee on Assassinations began to investigate the CIA's role in the Kennedy assassination."
Firstly, anyone who has studied the JFK case – which Hankey says he has been doing for about 40 or 50 years – knows that there was never any such thing as the Senate Select Committee on Assassinations. There were actually two Senate committees that sprung up in the wake of Watergate: the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee. Neither of them had the name attributed to it by Hankey. The first did do a whitewash of some of the circumstances around the Kennedy murder. The second only investigated the performance of the intelligence agencies in their support of the Warren Commission.
It was the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) which actually did a long inquiry into the murder of President Kennedy. These are easy things to check. Hankey didn't.
"The Committee uncovered the CIA internal memo that Spotlight magazine wrote about which says that Hunt was in Dallas the day of the assassination."
Not true. In Lane's book it is stated that the source for the memo was Victor Marchetti, a staff assistant to Richard Helms. The stir over the Hunt memo came about during the HSCA. (Spotlight August 15th 1978) It was Joseph Trento writing for the Sunday News Journal on August the 20th 1978 who made note that a 1966 memoranda placing Hunt in Dallas was in the hands of the HSCA. Joseph Trento later testified as to seeing the memo signed by Helms and Angelton. The Hunt memo was never submitted into evidence by Colby or anyone else to an offical body.
William Colby was director of the CIA at the time?
Not really. Colby served as the Director of Central Intelligence from September 1973 to January 1976. He had made disclosures to the Pike and Church Committees during 1975. But there is no evidence he had anything to do with Hunt and the Spotlight magazine article, since he was not the DCI of the Agency during the HSCA. Now I shall not go into detail discussing Hankey's inane and immature voiceover of Colby's. Namely because there is absolutely no evidence for any of it in the first place. Nor did Colby ever say anything like this publicly or privately to anyone.
"Colby was suddenly fired, and out of the blue with supposedly no CIA experience George Bush Senior was appointed to take over as head of the CIA. Why, what could qualify Bush for this job? One thing Bush could be relied upon better than Colby was to cover up the facts of JFK's assassination because Bush knew that the trail led straight to him. He had to cover it up and he did; he ended CIA cooperation completely with the Committee and shut down the investigation."
As per Bush closing down the investigations, this is again wrong. As Jim DiEugenio so clearly states at the end of Part 8 of his Reclaiming History series, Gerald Ford, and the CIA used the murder of CIA officer Richard Welch to begin to squelch the Pike and Church Committees at the end of 1975. Bush's role in that maneuvering was minor. The major players were Ford, Kissinger, Colby, and David Phillips. It was the House Select Committee on Assassinations that really investigated the Hunt memorandum. And the HSCA was brought into existence in September of 1976. Its report was issued over two years later in 1979. George Bush served in the role of DCI from January 1976 until January 1977. George Bush ran some obstruction against the previous inquiries, but would have only 5 months to run any interference against the HSCA. And he was not around for the revelations of the Hunt memorandum. So how was he in a position to cover up his own role in the JFK murder? The answer is evident to everyone except Hankey: He actually wasn't. This is all another Hankeyism.
George De Mohrenschildt:
1:08:02 George De Mohrenschildt, nicknamed the Baron, is a subject one would not expect Hankey to get right. And true to form, Hankey does not.
1:08:12 His first claim is that De Mohrenschildt got Oswald the job at the "Dallas School Book Depository". John, please, it's the Texas School Book Depository. And as Jim Douglass so wonderfully demonstrates, it was not the Baron who helped get Oswald his job there. It was Ruth Paine. (JFK and the Unspeakable, p. 171) In fact, it would have been quite difficult for DeMohrenschildt to attain that job for Oswald since he was in Haiti at the time. (ibid, p. 168)
1:08:20 Hankey, the self proclaimed veteran gumshoe, again invokes the fictional 'Senate Committee on Assassinations" (refer to 1:06:20)
"The night before he was to be questioned by the Senate Committee on Assassinations, his head was blown off"
Hankey is off to another bad start here. George De Mohrenschildt died in Manalapan Florida on the afternoon of the 9th of March 1977. The Church Committee was ended by then. So the interview was with the HSCA, the 'House Select Committee on Assassinations'.
1:08:28 Hankey now reveals that De Mohrenschildt had the contact details of Poppy Bush in his address book. Hankey for once downplays the evidence remarking:
"By itself this proves nothing. Taken in context however it is one more amazingly direct link to Bush and the assassination."
It is no such thing of course. Consider the following from Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin's Unauthorized Biography of George Bush:
"After De Mohrenschildt's death, his personal address book was located, and it contained this entry: "Bush, George H.W. (Poppy) 1412 W. Ohio also Zapata Petroleum Midland." There is of course the problem of dating this reference. George Bush had moved his office and home from Midland to Houston in 1959, when Zapata Offshore was constituted, so perhaps this reference goes back to some time before 1959. There is also the number: "4-6355." (This was the number of 'Poppy's' office)
In a place like the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which Midland is due west of, an individual as gregarious as De Mohrenschildt would have found it hard not to ingratiate himself with the likes of George Bush. Particularly considering the facts that the Baron was an oil geologist and Bush owned an oil company.
Returning to De Mohrenschildt, it seems that he had been more of an observer and incubator for Oswald prior to his involvement with the Paines – who Oswald met via his interactions with the White Russian community. And it was the Baron who provided Oswald entry into that commuity. Further, the death of DeMohrenschildt, which came at the end of a rather bizarre and long ordeal at the hands of Willem Oltmans and Edward Epstein – who was working with and for James Angleton at the time – deserves a film of its own. It should not be just cheaply tacked on as a "direct link to Bush and the assassination" when it is not any such thing. To use just one point: How does Bush connect with the Paines or the White Russian community?
Hankey as DA
1:10:29 After a mindless monologue about the weight of the evidence against Bush, and the connections they pose to the JFK case, Hankey now intones: "If he stood trial in Texas he would get the electric chair". Which shows just how much Hankey knows about the legal system. Because most people who know anything about both the JFK case and the law would reply: What competent DA would sit through this risible presentation without rolling their eyes and looking at their watch several times?
What then follows is a bizarre tune utilizing South Park animations and a puerile unfunny cover version claiming Bush as the controller and Hunt as the triggerman and contains a number of references to crawling inside someone's behind. The only good thing about this sequence is that it gives us hope that the film is close to being finished.
It is but a fleeting hope. Hankey still has some 10 plus minutes to abuse one's sensibilities with.
Hankey and Oswald
1:14:13. Now comes a little intro into Oswald's background, which Hankey does not screw up too badly, since he appears to have taken the information from the film JFK. But he does manage to say that three men close to Oswald when he returned from Russia-David Ferrie, Guy Banister, and DeMohrenschildt-all died "shortly after the assassination." Well, yes, Banister did. But Ferrie died in 1967, and the Baron died ten years after that. That's not "shortly after" John.
1:14:57 While Hankey is explaining Oswald's FBI informant status, he tells the audience that through "Declassified secret documents of the Warren Commission" we know they were told by the Dallas DA and the Attorney General of Texas that Oswald was an informant. Hankey clearly wants to portray himself as an avid reader of this declassified information. Yet, there was nothing really secret about it. First, the story came out in a newspaper, and second, researchers like Mark Lane wrote about it back in 1966. (Rush to Judgment, pgs. 370-74) But even before that, Gerald Ford wrote about it in 1964, in his book Portrait of the Assassin.
Time Warp V:
1:15:27 Hankey now distorts another memo written by Hoover.
"In 1960, 3 years before the assassination, J Edgar found time to write a memo regarding a lowly insignificant lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald. What the hell did Hoover find so interesting about this guy 3 years before the assassination? Hoover's memo complained that someone was using Oswald's identity while Oswald was in Russia to buy trucks for CIA trained anti Castro Cubans"
What Hankey does here is to combine two memos into one to create a false picture of what was going on and Hoover's knowledge of it. The multiple Oswald saga began in June of 1960 when Hoover wrote in a memo to the State Department: "There is a possibility of an imposter using Oswald's birth certificate". (George Michael Evica, A Certain Arrogance, p. 42) If Hoover was running Oswald at this time, he would not need to be writing such notes. And in this memo there is nothing about "buying trucks".
But since Hankey ignores it, it is worth taking into account the strange story behind how this memo came into being. When Oswald left the Marines, it was under the pretext of attending the Albert Schweitzer College in Switzerland. But Oswald had deviated and gone on to Russia instead. His mother was deeply confused about his turning up in the Soviet Union rather than in Switzerland. As a result she spent much of her time contacting the various agencies associated with the State Dept and the college itself in the latter part of 1959. (John Newman: Oswald and the CIA, pgs. 166 -167)
The FBI eventually investigated the college to find out if someone was attending the school under a false pretext. What the FBI discovered was that 1.) The school was no ordinary institution of higher learning, and 2.) Oswald never showed up there.. The college was so obscure Swiss authorities had to be contacted. And even they took two months to verify its existence. (Evica, p. 49) So how did Oswald know about the place?
Now, months later, in January of 1961, Oswald's name was being used for the purchase of vehicles in the United States. The problem was he was in Russia at the time. But at the Bolton Ford dealership in New Orleans, salesman Oscar Deslatte encountered two individuals from the Friends Of Democratic Cuba organization (FDC). They tried to purchase a number of Ford pick up trucks. After bartering for a price with Deslatte, one of the individuals, a large Cuban who identified himself as one Joseph Moore, requested that he put the name of his partner on the receipt. The name was 'Oswald'. Deslatte immediately went to the FBI after the assassination with this information. (Jim Garrison: On The Trail of The Assassins. pgs 57-59)
Deslatte was interviewed on the 25th of November 1963. In this interview he did not identify the man as the Oswald arrested on the 22nd. As evidence Deslatte furnished the receipt he had laid out for them. (Deslatte: FBI interview 11/25/1963) It was flatly ignored by the FBI, and it was not until 1979 that the receipt, clearly showing the name Oswald, was released by the Bureau. (Anthony Summers: The Kennedy Conspiracy, pg. 446).
One of the key reasons why the FBI ignored Deslatte's compelling claims and suppressed the evidence was probably because the FDC had Guy Banister, a former ONI agent and also former head of the Chicago office of the FBI, on its Board of Directors. Banister had set up his own private detective agency in New Orleans and has since been clearly linked to Oswald's CAP leader David Ferrie. By conflating the two incidents, Hankey distorts the complexity and the actual context of who Oswald was.
Hankey on the Bay of Pigs and Oswald
1:16:19: "Kennedy awoke and discovered that the CIA had launched a major invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs." Is Hankey saying what I think he is saying here? That Allen Dulles-or in Hankey's world, Prescott Bush-somehow launched the Bay of Pigs invasion on his own, without Kennedy's knowledge? To use a phrase that too often comes up with Hankey, this is preposterous. And it is hard to believe that Hankey didn't know it was so. All one has to do is read Trumbull Higgins book The Perfect Failure, to see that Kennedy attended meetings about the invasion beforehand. (p. 97) In Robert McNamara's book, In Retrospect, the former Secretary of Defense actually describes the meeting at which Kennedy polled his cabinet on whether or not to OK the invasion – which they did. (pgs. 25-27)
1:19:10: According to Hankey, as a result of the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kruschev insisted that all Cuban exile training camps be shut down and the the Russians be allowed to inspect them. He does not cite a source for this. Probably because he cannot. I have never seen it in any book on the subject, including the standard reference work, The Kennedy Tapes. The idea that Kennedy would allow the Russians to inspect former CIA training camps on American soil is another Hankeyian leap. But there appears to be a reason for it. Hankey is now going to ask: How could Hoover locate these camps in order to close them? Well John, probably because the FBI offices near the towns they existed in knew about them. They had to in order not to arrest the operatives involved during MONGOOSE. Hankey could have learned about this by interviewing some FBI agents. Apparently, he didn't. What he wants to do is now say that Hoover learned about at least one of them through his super agent in the field: Lee Harvey Oswald.
"Oswald was seen at the training camp at Lake Pontchartrain Louisiana by the secretary of the former FBI agent who ran the camps. This camp was raided and shut down days after Oswald visited there."
Banister's secretary was Delphine Roberts. Oswald was not seen at the training camps by Roberts. He was seen by her handling communist literature on the street near Banister's office. (William Davy, Let Justice be Done, p. 40) There is some evidence that Oswald visited the New Orleans training camp in question. But no one knows precisley when. So how can Hankey make the deduction that it was shut down days after Oswald visited there?
Now the declassified record, combined with various interviews does indeed suggest that Oswald was likely some type of informant for the FBI, and Jim Douglass and others have long suggested a connection. (op cit pgs. 333-338) I agree that there was such an involvement with Oswald. But unlike Douglass and DiEugenio, I don't think Oswald's role as an informant is actually that dramatic. But it is other researchers who came up with this information in the first place. Furthermore it is quite doubtful that Oswald was "Hoover's most important agent in the field." On what information could this judgment be based upon anyway? I tend to feel he was just one of a network. But Hankey makes him his top agent because he wants to make Hoover into some kind of hero again. Hankey says that on November 22nd, Hoover immediately understood that the CIA had murdered Oswald, and that they had framed his top agent in that crime. What does he base these assumptions on? Nothing that he has shown the viewer.
1:21:03 Now Hankey does the usual. He puts together a childish skit and then overplays his cards. Utilizing a cut out of Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski with Allen Dulles' head attached, we are greeted to the CIA honcho holding and threatening J. Edgar Hoover in a dress. The message is the CIA had Hoover over a barrel because they had managed to frame Hoover's top agent as the assassin. And this made sure Hoover would be silent during the Warren Commission cover up. This may or may not be true. But even if it is, is it crucial? No. For the simple fact that Hoover would have gone along with the cover up anyway. Since, as many biographies of him show, he despised Robert Kennedy. He was happy to be free of him since RFK was planning to fire him in a second Kennedy term. Further, he was good friends with Lyndon Johnson and liked working with him. (See, for example, the biographies of Hoover by Anthony Summers and Curt Gentry, respectively at pages 316, and 536))
1:22:29 Hankey gives a bunch of background about Operation 40, largely based on the Marita Lorentz tale. And it goes on and on: "And according to the memo the CIA asks Hoover to tell them what he knows of the misguided anti Castro Cubans, why? You yeah you sitting there thinking about it" This is one of the lowest points of this dismal production. Because the memorandum says no such thing. Hankey is demanding that we think of the significance of non-existent wording on a non-existent document.
1:23:07 Hankey now builds to a crescendo that is so beyond the rules of evidence, logic and deduction – i.e. normal comprehension – that it is a little stupefying.
"Remember that Bush called the FBI the day of the assassination. He told them he was in the Dallas area and he got in a plane and flew to Washington. If he really wanted information on the anti Castro Cubans why didn't he go to Miami and talk with the FBI agents who were actually involved in investigating the Cubans? If he wanted to hear it from headquarters why didn't he just call? And he already knew the answer to the question so why did he go through all this trouble? There's something going on here. What? These are important questions if you want to try and understand the world you live in you can't just shrug them off. Science and criminal justice say that you have to come up with a better explanation than me or else you have to accept my explanation ... And my answer is pretty ugly."
If you have been following along, you know that Hankey is again reading things into the memo that are not there. It does not say that Bush flew to Washington. What the memo says is that Hoover (possibly via a middle man) contacted both Bush and another man about possible attacks on Cuba in the wake of the Kennedy assassination. In other words, the initiative came from Hoover. The idea that Bush had to go to Miami to receive this info is ridiculous. Hankey apparently doesn't know that the FBI has offices in every major city in America. Or that they had ways to get info to those cities. Ever hear of a telex machine John? Unlike what Hankey says, what's going on here is not something we need to comprehend. It's something that Hankey needs to comprehend about himself. That in his half-mad pursuit of George Bush, he has fallen off a cliff. And he has taken people with little understanding of the case with him.
The Plot to Kill Hoover.
1:24:51 I don't even want to describe what Hankey does next. But for the sake of this depressing essay I have to. Hankey literally invents a scenario where the plotters are now mystified about what Hoover's intentions are in the Kennedy case, and have to meet with him to sort the situation out. This is again, preposterous. For within hours of the assassination Hoover was on board with the lone asassin scenario. (See DiEugenio's Reclaiming History review, Part 7, sections 1 and 2.) Hoover was glad to see JFK gone, since it would mean that RFK would now be off his back. And anyone who knew Hoover would have known and predicted this. But Hankey has not read up on it. Or, if he has, he wants to keep it from the viewer for the benefit of his piece of theater.
"It's obvious these guys don't know for sure what Hoover's gonna say or they wouldn't have to get on a plane to Washington to ask. So now here they are in Washington, but what are they supposed to do if Hoover gives the wrong answer? How hard a question is that? They just whacked the president the day before so answer it! What are they gonna do if they get the wrong answer? Are they just gonna shoot him in the head right there in the FBI headquarters? Well here's a hint."
Cue picture of Senator Frank Church holding a pistol used by CIA operatives for assassinations.
"The CIA had developed a pistol that shoots a dart made of ice, the dart contains a drug that gives the victim a heart attack. The ice dart goes into the body, melts and the only evidence of a murder having been committed is a small pin prick left by the entry of the dart"
Its not quite clear, but Hankey now has Bush, or one of his thugs, holding the gun.
"These thugs probably had such guns in their pocket. If Hoover gave the wrong answer these two guys would kill him."
The message: George Bush was in Hoover's office right after Kennedy was killed. He threatened him with death unless he went along with the cover up. And that is why Hoover did what he did.
This single scene ranks Hankey with the worst of the worst in the JFK research field: Lamar Waldron, Craig Zirbel and John Davis among them. Hankey's climax is that a gun firing what looks like flechettes laced with heart-attack inducing poison was used to threaten J Edgar Hoover. And this was done by George Bush in Hoover's office. This is apparently the ultimate earth shattering conclusion we reach. Yet of course there is utterly no evidence that such a meeting took place at all. And, for that matter, this is the first I have ever heard of anybody ever going into Hoover's office and threatening to shoot him. Call me old fashioned, but it seems like fantasy to me. Indeed, more like science-fiction.
Hankey's Hero: J. Edgar Hoover?
1:26:09: Hankey now calls Hoover a great investigator. He then tells us "Hoover was a master of intelligence. When he destroyed the Black Panthers for Richard Nixon, the head of security for the Panthers was an FBI agent. When Hoover destroyed the Communist Party for Eisenhower, the man in charge of the party's own membership list was an FBI agent; and he certainly got the goods on the Nazi collaborators in this country." Uh, John, Hoover did not destroy the Panthers for Nixon or anyone else. As Gentry and Summers detail, and the Church Comiittee did also, that was Hoover's own private campaign. And his war on Black Nationalist leaders went on through the presidencies of both Johnson and Nixon. (Gentry, p. 602)
And for Hankey to call Hoover a great investigator is simply appalling. If you read Gentry's book, Hoover framed many people who probably were not guilty of crimes, and he used many, many illegal and unethical means to do so. (See Jim DiEugenio's review of Reclaiming History, part 7. Especially the first two sections.)
Son of A Nazi Bitch
1:26:37 "So what does Hoover do when this Son of A Nazi Bitch comes to threaten him? He writes this memo, that's what he does. Creating a written record of George Bush's role in the assassination and hiding it in plain sight in a memo to the director of the CIA. This memo deserves the close attention we've been giving it. You see even with a CIA secret weapon in your hand, killing Hoover in his own office is an enormously risky project. Who would do such a thing? That's really pretty easy if the men who were so involved in the assassination felt that it was less dangerous for them to murder Hoover than let Hoover conduct a real investigation of JFK's murder.
This memo then strongly suggests that George Bush was such a man. It suggests that he was so covered in Kennedy's blood that murdering Hoover in his own office was an acceptable risk; in any case this memo recalls George Bush's role as a key player in the conspiracy to murder Kennedy, serving at a high level to protect the misguided anti Castro Cuban president killers from the FBI"
Hate to tell you John, but the memo is not to the Director of the CIA. Its to the Director of Intelligence and Research at the State Department. And I don't beleive for a second that Bush did what you are suggesting he did, or for the reasons you are describing. In fact, I don't believe anyone did what you are describing here. Hankey then asks "Are you enjoying this, it's pretty ugly stuff". John, I'm not enjoying it at all. But the reason is not what you think it is. What is ugly about this fiasco is the mind of a man who really doesn't care if he is basing his documentary on fact or fiction. And doesn't care how outrageous the things he depicts are. Hankey feels he doesn't need any facts or evidence to a.) Show that Bush was a prime player in the Kennedy murder, or that b.) Bush threatened to kill Hoover unless he wrote the memorandum.
John, please listen to this: You do have to have real evidence before you say wild stuff like that. You really do. If you don't then its not research. Its a Hollywood screenwriting class in how to compose lurid melodrama. And to somehow make Hoover a cringing victim of someone as low on the pecking order as Bush was at the time, well this shows just how ignorant of the power structure Hankey is. Do I need to add that, at the every end, Hankey tries to insinuate that George Bush Jr. was in on the murder of John Kennedy Jr.? Go ahead, look for yourself. If you dare.
In JFK 2, Hankey makes a rather large song and dance about nefarious notes and memos mentioning George Bush. In fact, he builds a 90 minute pseudo-documentary largely around one FBI memo. Which he then stretches beyond all normal meaning.
Yet, the Assassination Records Review Board declassified 2 million pages of documents after Oliver Stone's film came out. Of which this film uses none. Why not? Its easy to figure out. Was Bush at Bethesda during Kennedy's autopsy? Was he in contact with Clay Shaw, or David Ferrie or Guy Banister when Oswald was in New Orleans? Do any cables go to Bush, or have his name on them, before, during and after Oswald's crucial Mexico City trip? Did Bush have any contact with the Warren Commission during its inquiry into Kennedy's death? Did Bush have any association with Ruth and Michael Paine in 1963 or 1964? Did Bush have any influence in ratcheting up the Vietnam War in 1964 or 1965? Did Bush influence Johnson to stop Kennedy's attempt to warm relations with Castro after Kennedy's assassination? Nope to all these.
In 1963, Bush was a businessman living in Houston, running Zapata Offshore. He was the chairman of the Harris County Republican Organization, supporting Barry Goldwater and preparing for a 1964 run for the Senate against Democrat Ralph Yarborough. The idea that someone like that would be part of a high-level plot to kill President Kennedy, and would threaten to kill Hoover so he would then pen a memo concealing his non-involvement in the assassination, this is all nonsense. And you can dress that concoction up with references to Averell Harriman, you can inflate Bush's father into the puppetmaster of Allen Dulles, you can falsely declare that Bush pulled Howard Hunt into the White House, or that he got John Connally his job as part of the Kennedy cover up, or that Skull and Bones was really behind it all etc etc etc. As they say a pig is a pig – even if you dress it up with mascara and rouge, and place earrings in the pig's ears.
What the Hoover memo shows is that Bush was some kind of CIA asset in 1963. And that through his business dealings he was associated with some Cuban exiles. Just as many, many wealthy Repubicans were at that time e.g. Clare Booth Luce (the DRE), William Pawley (Eddie Bayo), and even some wealthy Democrats were, e.g. George Smathers (Eladio del Valle). When Bush said, upon becoming CIA Director for a year, that the had no previous association with the Agency, this was not true. In other words, he lied. Yawn.
This is a shoddy production that cannot stand up to scrutiny and therefore gives the JFK research community a black eye. Pity the country that has to choose between stuff like this and Gary Mack's Inside the Target Car and The Ruby Connection. Because it is hard to say which is the worst. But besides that, there are three other things that are objectionable about it. First, by impasting George Bush on the JFK case by the same kind of Machiavellian means that Robert Blakey impasted the Mafia, it distorts the actual circumstances of the crime. I mean just think of what Hankey is saying here: George Bush, John Connally, Howard Hunt, Richard Nixon, Averil Harriman, and the Rockefellers, along with Allen Dulles, killed Kenendy. Talk about a diversion away from the facts. Second, this sensationalist approach deflects away from the true crimes committed by George Bush and his sons. Which are both plentiful and horrid. I mean how about stealing the 2000 election from Al Gore? That's not big enough for Hankey and Russ Baker? Third, and this is something Hankey has tried to do, it somehow implies that the same people behind the JFK murder, were behind the 9/11 attacks. If you think I'm kidding, read this. Which is, again, preposterous.
But I will admit one thing. It is a lot more sexy, timely and high profile to follow Howard Hunt from Nixon to Bush than it is to follow him from Phillips to Helms. So if you are Alex Jones, making big bucks selling books and videos, then Hankey and others who have sprung up in the wake of 9/11 are more in tune with your marketing angle than say John Newman, Gaeton Fonzi, Lisa Pease and Jim Di Eugenio are.
There is nothing wrong with writing revisionist history. But if you choose to do so, you must be held to high standards of scholarship. Because if you are not, the tendency is to fall into an abyss of baseless thrill-seeking. Which is what happened here. And as long as the likes of John Hankey are floating around-and with demagogues like Alex Jones to market him to an unsuspecting public – legitimate concerns about legitimate conspiracies, like the Kennedy assassination and others, can be swept under the carpet and marginalized by enemies of the truth.
Knowingly or not, this is the function that John Hankey serves.
Probe on CD!
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James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease are co-editors of The Assassinations, compiling some of the best of Probe's research, including articles have never appeared online. The Assassinations includes entirely new pieces, including a section on the Malcolm X assassination. Learn what the media still hasn't told you about the assassinations of the sixties.
Read about the earliest Warren Report critics in John Kelin's new book, Praise from a Future Generation.