Fax to Mr. Abbe Raven, Senior VP of Programming for The History
Channel regarding the special based on Patricia Lambert's
book False Witness, from Oliver Stone.
August 28, 2000
Dear Abbe Raven,
I have been alerted by Oliver Stone's office that your cable company has decided to go ahead and broadcast the documentary of Patricia Lambert's book False Witness. I had heard rumors to this effect but this is now the official confirmation. Further, that you plan on broadcasting not a one hour show but a two hour one. I am not going to wait for the result. Why should I? I am the editor of Probe magazine. This is by far the most distinguished journal doing research into the assassinations of the sixties that there is. We have been used by journals like The New York Review of Books, and Newsweek when they have reported on assassination-related matters. I myself have appeared on many television and radio shows and lectured widely all over the country on this subject. I have published a book on this subject. Ms Lambert subscribed to our journal under another name, her husband's I believe. We at Probe then went ahead and reviewed her work at length. You have this since Mr. Stone went ahead and sent it to you with his letter. We pointed out very serious errors in that book. The article could easily have been twice as long and just as strong. And in fact, from distinguished author Joan Mellen I have just discovered another bit of incomplete reporting in the book today. Why your channel would be interested in doing such a one-sided view of an important American subject is puzzling to me. Since Lambert is the co-producer of the special, we can expect that there will be no balancing view of the Garrison investigation or Oliver Stone's film. Why?
It certainly is not because there is no other side to report. The Assassination Records Review Board spent four years declassifying records related to the John Kennedy murder. That piece of legislation was passed by the simple force of Stone's film JFK. That film was made possible because of Jim Garrison's book. The Review Board declassified literally millions of pages of documents on this case. Has Pat Lambert reviewed them? Probably not. Has she read most of them? Probably not. Is she aware of the overall impact of these papers? If she is, she does not say so in her book. Probably because, at the very least, it would blunt the effect she is trying to achieve. Why? The net effect of these documents is to prove Garrison was correct in nearly every major conclusion he came to in regard to the assassination, the cover-up, and its aftermath. To mention just three things that he has been proven correct on: 1) There was a huge cover-up concerning the autopsy of President Kennedy. The Review Board has proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt today. 2) Oswald was impersonated on his infamous trip to Mexico City and this had a sinister intent behind it. The CIA controlled the evidence that would have indicated the Oswald trail in Mexico City was an ersatz one. 3) There was an orchestrated attempt to monitor Garrison's investigation and to circumvent it. (I am enclosing evidence of all three of these incidents to prove that new evidence proves these beyond a shadow of a doubt.)
Yet, interestingly, none of this is even hinted at in Lambert's book. One could argue weakly that they do not lie in her direct focus. Yet, certainly this last one does. And it is here that there have literally been thousands of pages released. When an author deliberately ignores this kind of new, bombshell type of evidence, and does so rigorously and systematically, it strongly suggests an agenda. Lambert's is quite clear. She wants to turn back the clock on the public view of the Garrison probe. She wants us to go back to 1967. At that time, the press was taking an almost universal negative view of his inquiry and it was led by people like James Phelan, Hugh Aynesworth, and Walter Sheridan. The new files all reveal that contrary to their public pronouncements, all three were working with the government. Phelan with the FBI, Sheridan with the CIA, and Aynesworth with both. As anyone knows, those two organizations had a lot to hide in their awful investigations into the JFK murder. So neither was appreciative of Garrison's new efforts to unearth the truth or his strong criticisms of their previous performances. So it is clear why the trio would not want to admit who they were really working with.
Phelan is an interesting case. Lambert holds him up as a sort of Front Page type working class hero to the reader. Yet she does not report the fact that Phelan always, to the day he died, lied about his association with the FBI. He even lied when he was confronted with document after document that confirmed his cooperation with them and his clear attempt to prejudice them against Garrison. It would be helpful to the reader if they knew that Phelan was a liar on this important point. Evidently, Lambert does not think so.
Or take the case of Clay Shaw. Like Phelan, Aynesworth, and Sheridan, Lambert likes to use character assassination on people she is predisposed against. And hand in hand, there is guilt by relation and association. I never thought I would see those awful accusations of homosexuality and child molestation brought up again, yet Lambert drags them in across the page without ever digging into where they came from. She also ignores the fact that in his Playboy interview, Garrison predicted he would be accused of such. (I did explore the origins of these charges. I would be glad to inform you of them if interested.) So the insinuation is that for some kind of perverse sexual jealousy, a DA with Freudian problems prosecuted an innocent man with a weakness. (see p. 238 of Lambert) This of course is easier to do once you assassinate Garrison's character and at the same time, make a saint out of Clay Shaw. And that's the other part of Lambert's agenda. To either hide, discount, or distort the enormous pile of evidence that has emerged against Shaw to show that a.) He lied on the stand b.) He was part of the blunting of Garrison's efforts c.) At the very least, he did know Oswald, Ferrie, and Banister and did manipulate Oswald in the summer of 1963.
Let me just touch on this slightly. The evidence is now overwhelming that Shaw did many CIA assignments in New Orleans and that he worked on, at least, the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, and on MONGOOSE. He did work for the CIA abroad also. (What Lambert does with the whole PERMINDEX episode is a joke. She tries to slough it off as a rumor in a leftist newspaper. Yet there are now government cables that prove this point.) Yet when asked by his own lawyer, Irvin Dymond, under oath at his trial, he lied on this point. The evidence associating him with David Ferrie is even stronger. He lied on this point. The evidence connecting him with Oswald is almost as strong as Ferrie. He lied on this point. Why? Most people lie on the stand when they have something serious to hide that may lead to more problems, or an even more difficult line of questioning. But why risk a perjury rap over something that is benign. Lambert tries to downplay this asserting the efficacy of the trial was bolstered by the fact that Judge Christenberry stopped Shaw from going to trial on perjury by derailing Garrison's attempt to try him on those charges. What is not in the book is the fact that Christenberry's wife wrote Shaw a warm little note congratulating him on his acquittal and sympathizing with his unwarranted ordeal in 1969. If that would have been made public at the time, Garrison could have had the judge removed from the hearing. Lambert won't even let the reader in on that secret 30 years later.
I could go on an on and on. I won't though since you probably get the drift. Almost all the information I mention here and that Lambert won't is in a marvelous book that was culled with much work out of the newly declassified files. The author is Bill Davy and the book is Let Justice Be Done. It is too late for you to stop your commitment to this special? If so do we really need two hours of a recycled hatchet job? Or if you insist on 120 minutes of this then why not allow for the other side to voice itself? Stone will not appear on Lambert's show. But I guarantee he would appear on a more objective and informative one. I also guarantee you would get people like former New York Homicide prosecutor Robert Tanenbaum who was a special counsel to the House Select Committee in 1976-77, and perhaps even Richard Sprague, who was the first Chief Counsel and has almost never appeared on television. This would be something unprecedented and would really distribute some new and interesting information. In the interest of fairness, I would hope you would entertain it.