JFK Murder Truth telling - Heading to the Grassy Knoll on November 22nd - 50th Anniversary
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, talking last week about the worries some people harbor concerning the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination in Dealey Plaza, recalled his own recent visit to President Obama's second inaugural in Washington. When a pro-life person climbed a tree and attempted to disrupt the inaugural, Rawlings told me that people in the Dallas group exclaimed, "'That's what's going to happen, that's what's going to happen'" in Dealey Plaza in November.
When I repeated the mayor's anecdote to John Judge, head of the Coalition on Political Assassinations, one of the groups that will be banned from the plaza by police cordon that day, he laughed. "If you make us do it, yeah," Judge said. "I mean, that's the point. We don't normally climb up in a tree."
It's only four months from the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, and absolutely nothing has been resolved about access to Dealey Plaza on that day, virtually guaranteeing the kind of messy showdown City Hall fears most.
The plaza will be shut down for two weeks, a week on either side of November 22, with access and control granted to only one group, a private committee calling itself only "The 50th" because they don't even want the word "assassination" spoken. Is that crazy enough for you?
The people in charge of "The 50th" have set up a ticketing procedure by which exclusive access to the plaza that day will be granted. To get in, you must apply online months ahead of time for a ticket, a process requiring you to submit personal identification numbers such as Social Security, driver's license or passport so that you may be subjected to a background check.
And, remember: No matter what anybody tells you, this is not about the life and legacy of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, none of which happened here. It's not about the number 50, which is one more than 49 and one less than 51. It's about an assassination that is of interest mainly to people who believe the killing was a conspiracy unsolved to this day.
In other words, this whole thing is an event that will attract people who believe in, are experts on and think in terms of conspiracy. So what do we think happens when we try to bar conspiracy experts from maybe the biggest conspiracy event of the last half century and then go all dark on them and tough-tootsie and refuse to tell them why they are being barred? They will think the whole thing is a ... (hint: begins with letter after B, before D).
I started asking questions about the ticketing process some weeks ago, because I was getting complaints from people in the assassination-study community who were being barred from the online ticketing process for screwy reasons. Chris Pike, a freelance journalist well known to JFK researchers, is slated to speak at the 50th Anniversary Convention of COPA to be held in Dallas on November 22, the same day as the 50th thing.
Like many of the people who will attend the COPA convention here, Pike went online as soon as he could to apply for tickets to the event in Dealey Plaza. On all of the decade anniversaries since the assassination — the 10th, 20th, 30th and 40th — COPA has conducted somber moments of silence just after noon at Dealey Plaza to mark the moment when it happened. This year for the first time they are barred as a group from carrying out their ceremony, so members are understandably eager to win admission as individuals to a moment and place important to them for most of their lives.
When Pike tried to fill out the online form, the web page kept kicking him out, telling him his driver's license number was not current. He says it is current and he's had the same number for 20 years.
I had the same experience. I gave the web page a number and got rejected too. But because I have to re-type things all the time anyway, I kept trying, and eventually the page accepted the number I gave it as authentic. By the way, it was a fake number. I was just messing with it. Anyway, the answer is that the online ticketing system is not robust, to say the least. It does not look, sound or feel like anything law enforcement would do. More on that in a moment.
I asked Paula Blackmon, the mayor's chief of staff, to tell me who is running it. She wrote back, "Just to answer your specific question, DPD [Dallas Police Department] is doing the vetting of folks to the event."
I called the public information office of the police department and got a very puzzled response from an officer who said he would have to get back to me. Later, Frank Librio, the overall spokesman for the city, emailed me an official statement from an assistant chief saying, "Because of the high profile nature of the event and recent attacks in the nation we will be very security conscious. While we don't discuss specific security measures there is a need to identify attendees at the event for security related purposes."
Librio demanded that I correct earlier stories in which I had reported that the tickets would eventually be awarded in a lottery, insisting instead that I characterize the process as a "random computerized allocation process." And before I go on, allow me to attend to that bit of business:
Contrary to earlier reports here, the tickets will not be distributed by lottery. Instead they will be distributed according to an Irish Sweepstakes-type Publishers Clearinghouse-style Hot-Lotto-Powerball numbers-racket random computerized allocation process.
Now (deep breath), I should mention that after Blackmon told me the police department was handling the ticketing process and after the assistant chief gave me a statement referencing "recent attacks in the nation" and after Librio demanded that I stop calling it a lottery, Blackmon and I spoke again. This time around, she told me the ticketing process including the balky web page is being handled by "an ad agency." She did not have the name of the ad agency handy when we spoke, and before I could get it from her she left town on vacation.
Back to real easy questions. How do we suppose all of this is falling on the ears of the assassination community? Pike, the assassination researcher who couldn't get the web page to accept his driver's license number, told me he thought he had figured it out.
"For these crazy people, what it amounts to, and this is my speculation, Jim, they are using illegally obtained personal information through hacking email correspondence, by obtaining information from whatever public data has been out there for the Coalition on Political Assassinations, namely a list of speakers which they can trace and find out their email addresses, whatever, anything else they can get by hook or crook."
Didn't see that one coming, did we? And please don't let me give the impression I think the assassination scholars are kooks. Many of them are solid historians and investigative reporters who have unearthed intriguing questions and anomalies surrounding the assassination. If they tend to respond to the city's ham-fistedness in ways that reflect their own experience and expertise, well, frankly, so do I.
Ah, but for one thing! Damn it! Wouldn't you know somebody would spoil my fun! Dallas Police Chief David Brown heard that I was out beating the bushes, guessed that I was probably getting a bunch of nervous misstatements of fact that made no sense, and, even though I had not called him, he called me up and set me straight.
The ad agency is gathering names. That's all. The police department will vet the names, Brown said, but only to check them against major watch lists. He said pointedly that no one will be barred because of a connection to COPA or any other group of that sort.
"The only thing we would be checking is any type of nexus to terrorism or relation to terrorism like watch lists or anything that just kind of jumps out at you like a red flag." He explained he was calling me specifically because he knew that any failure to maintain total transparency on the process would invite accusations of conspiracy.
Yup. Damn it!
The other rather plaintive call-back I got was from the mayor, who was an hour from leaving town on his own family vacation. I asked him why the 50th people couldn't do their event, go ahead and hog the plaza for the moment itself right after noon, fold their chairs, clear out and turn the place over to COPA or other groups who want access that day. He said he didn't know. "I'm assuming these people [COPA] will come in, be respectful, have their moment of silence and not run around, yell and stuff," he said.
When I went back to Judge with that, he cited multiple instances in which COPA has been formally notified by the city and county that it may not set foot in the plaza or on other city-owned property that day or a week prior or after. He said he assumed his group and others will wind up having to sue the city over free speech and freedom of assembly issues.
For a while, the Sixth Floor Museum was being shoved out front on this, made to act the bad guy at great damage to its reputation. They wriggled out of it somehow. Now the mayor and the police chief are holding the hot potato, staring down at it in their hands like dog owners who've just done a bad sanitary pickup.
And yet nothing gets done. Nothing works out. The people who should be in charge don't seem to be, inviting the spooky question: Who is? And the date draws nigh. Is it a date with destiny? Or stupidity? Do we know for sure there's a difference?
JFK Murder Truth telling - Heading to the Grassy Knoll on November 22nd - 50th Anniversary
For the latest on conferences related to the 50th observance of the death of JFK, see as follows:
The 17-19 October Pittsburgh Conference, for example, features Josiah Thompson; for more about him, see http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/11/29/jfk-the-cia-and-the-new-york-times-2/
The 20-24 November JFK Lance Conference in Dallas features Jefferson Morely as its keynoter.
The COPA Conference includes Robert Groden, who is well-known to the residents of Dallas:
Mayor Rawlings, at early "50th" planning meetings we have transcripts
for, says that COPA and the "conspiracists" are acting like we have
"squatters rights" in Dealey Plaza on November 22.
After holding a Moment of Silence and speaking truth to power every
year, not just the ten year anniversaries, since 1964, we might feel
that way when the Sixth Floor Museum and the Mayor's office and the
Dallas power elite on the 50th committee decided in 2011 that they did
not want to allow "conspiracy theory" to be spoken or be visible this
year, when they know the world press is coming to town.
They have done everything from improper excusive permits to city
proclamations closing all parks for permitted events in town on
November 22 and setting up an exclusive, ticketed, not really random
(since half of the 5,000 have to go to Dallas residents) event which
will not mention the assassination if it can help it, and spending
close to a million privately raised dollars for private security to
Public events that draw "tens of thousands" of people, which the Mayor
says he is expecting to come this year for the anniversary, are
routinely handled in Washington, DC without background checks, privacy
invasion, ad agencies, random ticketing or prevention to public access
to historical sites and public parks. They use barricades, entry
points, and bag searches, sniff dogs and other ways to be sure people
coming in don't hurt anyone. The Mayor is not blocking people with
guns that day, just people with signs, bullhorns and banners. Does
that tell you anything?
One good way to have security at his event, which I proposed when we
met, is to have it inside. The American Airlines Center, where the
lucky 5,000 ticket winners are supposed to pick up tickets with ID
during a 3-hour window the morning of November 22, holds 20,000 people
I am told. Easy to do gate security for a large crowd there if the
Mayor wants to move over. He can still use his Jumbotrons around town
for the excluded tourists. Or he could just start at 11:00 am and let
the public and the world into Dealey Plaza where they are travelling
from all over to be at 12:30 pm.
But none of this is really about honoring JFK (for starters, Kennedy
lovers, why not solve his murder and demand justice and restore some
semblance of democracy?) or about counter-terrorism and security. It
is about silencing those who question the official version of the
assassination, preventing us access to the crowds and the press,
creating a perpetuity of silence by hoping Dallas can just forget the
event that brings more tourists town than any other attraction, and
silence the doubts anyone might have about a conspiracy. Never mind
that 85% of Americans discount the official version and believe in
conspiracy in the case.
The Mayor wants to take over history and control the message and put
it all in the hands of a public relations firm. He is an old PR hand
himself. But, the reason we don't want our history and reality
filtered through PR experts and information warfare and perception
management and manufactured consent is just the sort of nightmarish
scenario that has been planned for November 22 in Dallas. Only a PR
firm could come up with such an idea.
It's not squatter's rights we want, and we have never had exclusive
use of the Plaza over the years. We want the rights spelled out for
all Americans in the First Amendment, the right to peaceably assemble
and the right to free speech. We want to be on the ground, not up in
trees. We want the world to be there with us, since they are coming
and will be watching. Apparently there will be more security deployed
to keep us out than was deployed to protect the President in 1963.
The Mayor can honor the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy any time of
the year and any place. We can only hold our Moment of Silence and
speak on November 22 at 12:30pm from the Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza
because it is the anniversary of the death of President Kennedy and
the death of democracy in America since, which seems to be what the
Mayor really wants to commemorate after all.
They are a nervous bunch.
Somebody should trot down to city hall and shout BOO! to see how many you can get to shit their pants.
Basically, the same 50 families run the city today that ran it in 1963, and those are the families that owned/own the media outlets, fund the politicians and whose ultra-right wing fanaticism in the early 1960's infected the city and led to us being called the "City of Hate" and led JFK to say, "We're heading into nut country now." Now they're embarrassed that, because of the assassination, the nation and world lifted the rock and discovered them crawling around. As the world's attention turns back to Dallas on the Anniversary, they'd like to remain under that rock, which is what "The 50th" will be for them. Dallas' old-old guard is behind this thing--just check out the names on the 50th committee--with a few "newbie" Establishment members thrown in for a little much-needed (for 'optics') racial and political diversity.
DALLAS, THE CITY OF HATE (BTW, not my words & known since at least 1963). In my little town, the commissioners paid for a study to determine why people wouldn't come to the downtown area. One point I remember is the town had a DO NOT ENTER sign for cars NOT to enter into it's Main Street. That is what Mayor Mike Rawlings has said, DO NOT COME HERE unless we choose you. Sounds to be a constitutional issue to me. So those of you that just want to go away, those that dare question my loyalty had better look in the mirror.
For those who want to engage in serious research on the assassination of JFK, Santa Barbara, CA, not Dallas, TX, turns out to be the place to be. Phil Nelson on LBJ, John Hankey on GHWB, Peter Janney on Mary Meyer, Ralph Cinque on Doorman, Larry Rivera on Buell Wesley Frazier, Judyth Vary Baker on Lee in New Orleans, and Jim Fetzer on what happened, who was responsible and why. For more about "JFK: The Assassination of America", see "JFK 50th: The keys to understanding his assassination" on Veterans Today. Dallas is turning itself into a joke. Check out http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/06/13/jfk-50th-the-keys-to-understanding-his-assassination/
The real issue what can all of us do to make a difference as opposed to complaining about the power structure and taking cheap pot shots at them. Remember? Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country. That includes all of us
I'm one of those who was around when it happened. Was in Junior High and recall the hatred, anger toward the president, the infamous ad in the DMN and comments by some about how happy they were he was killed.
What would be a more fitting tribute to his memory in addition to the Big Event would be a concerted effort by the movers and shakers as well as the rest of us put our time and money into making a difference. This should go toward programs for those who are struggling and especially to educate the young who are more amenable to change (not just the poor kids but the wealthy ones) in the importance of equality of all citizens and the dignity of every citizen. Our culture and Dallas is no different, rates people based on their bank account.
Way too many people who succeed think they did it totally on their own and forget how much they owe to their community and this country for providing them the opportunity for success. This would be a great time for the city to no only put on a show but actually focus on this kind of change. It has become very apparent that the the political philosophy controlling state government can't be counted on for much. It is up the cities.
I think Mayor Rawlings does in fact have a very strong sense of this and some of the pot shots in these comments are really way off the mark.
I guess it was inevitable that the powers-that-be in this town would just muck this up. There may be genuine concern that somebody might do something embarrasing, causing Dallas another of it's endless black eyes...but the greater point seems to be to withhold the 'riff-raff' from Dealey Plaza so they can sip chardonnay and mix among their fellow swells. The garish, and incompetent process of selecting - and vetting - ticket holders adds insult to injury, and renders pointless one of the few events that gives Dallas any distinction, and one of the fewer reasons to come see it.
Yet another example of Dallas suffering from "Big City Syndrome"--we try to do things other big cities do but just can't get it right.
Victory Park--empty except for when for when something is going on at the AAC.
Klyde Warren Park--free, until they decided it wasn't free
Trinity River Project--lets build a highway inside the levee
Why would this be any different than the Trinity white water project for kayakers? The outcome is virtually guaranteed to be the same for most Dallas efforts. SNAFU
This is a favor by the mayor to the gangsters. They're still here; still running the high-end gambling, heroin and prostitution trades; and still corrupting the police force.
And Mike wouldn't be mayor without them.
The Mayor of Dallas couldn't make a fart in a whirlwind nor could he command to make a good case of hemmoroids. I'll be damn if Dallas gets any of my tourist money. They don't want me to come to Dealey Plaza so I wouldn't, ever. The Mayor is making his city what is was called in 1963, THE CITY OF HATE. Oh yes, remember to turn off the 24/7 cam from the 6th floor, you certainly don't want a subversive to be watching the cam while the city celebrates with a "Glee Club".
@jfetzer2 A conference backed by the OIC and spearheaded by its founder, a non-licensed, Human Growth Hormone selling, foul mouthed ex-chiropractor named Ralph Cinque of Church of Human Life Science fame.
T. C. Fry and Herbert Shelton would be proud of the snake sqeezins legacy carried on by Ralph Cinque and embraced by one James H. Fetzer, who claims there were no planes used on (/11, we didn't land on the Moon and Da Jooooooos were behind the Sandy Hook shooting and 9/11.
Dallas needn't worry about whack jobs in Dallas on the 22nd....they'll be singin and dancin in Santa Barbara.
@timdickey Agreed and liked.
@jfetzer2 And who would know a joke better than the grand ole bubbling, blowhard, Jim Fetzer himself. Thank you Fetz for staying away from Dallas and for taking fellow nutball Judy with you. Question is, will you get kicked out of yet another conference, Fetz? Keep a count of how many times Judy gets caught lying about her ... (cough!) love affair (LOL!) with LHO.
@joe010 The "cheap pot shots" are coming from the Mayor and the Sixth Floor Museum who refer to respected medical, ballistics and forensic experts, academicians and researchers who have spent decades revealing the truth about who killed President Kennedy and why as "crazy conspiracy theorists" and the Dallas Morning News that referred to our Moment of Silence as a "morbid, necrophilic circus", and the Sixth Floor Museum that wants to silence us.
We are doing what we can for our country. Public service is fine, but the death of President Kennedy marked a change in the historic direction of this country that has yet to reverse. The rise of the Military Industrial Complex and the CIA, warned about by President Eisenhower, was completed with that assassination. Kennedy was working for peace, civil rights, and against the big corporations, the Mafia, the oil industry and ending the Vietnam war.
We have been in permanent war since and the resources that could have solved the problems Kennedy and his brother, Dr. King and others wanted to address (poverty, racism, militarism) have been squandered on wars and privatized profits for the few.
It is fine to work for good, but sometimes you have to work for change to get there. Exposing those who killed the Kennedy brothers and King, and why they did would be a first step to honoring their life and legacy, which the Mayor says he wants to do.
His message can be right alongside ours, we also honor JFK, but his event is designed to silence ours instead, for the purpose of improving and promoting the image of Dallas. Not the reality - the image, which is what public relations is about anyway.
Whatever noble motives you want to ascribe to this celebration of denial and silencing are outweighed by both the absurdity of their planning and the venality of their fears.
John Judge, COPA
@bvckvs Evidence, please.
I have written to let Doug know that someone is impersonating him here. I have never been "kicked out" of any conference; on the contrary, I have chaired or co-chaired four on JFK (Minneapolis 1999, Dallas 2000; Dallas 2001; and Duluth 2003) and published three collections of expert studies on different aspects of the case (ASSASSINATION SCIENCE 1998); MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000), and THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003). Attempts to suppress the truth are reaching a crescendo as we approach the 50th.
For a short take on what we know now about JFK, see
"JFK Part 1: A National Security Event - Oswald didn't do it"
“JFK Part 2:A National Security Event – How it was done” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9eu7VI-ZGo
Here is the first in a series with Judyth Vary Baker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjYxk3tRaKg&list=TLashJ4-1nBXM
For a dozen video interviews with Judyth Vary Baker, which cover key elements of her life with Lee Oswald in New Orleans (including their work with David Ferrie and Dr. Mary Sherman to produce a rapid-acting strain of cancer, which appears to have been used to kill Jack Ruby), go to JamesFetzerNews and judge for yourself.
On the contributions of the real Doug Horne, see, for example,
“US Government Official:JFK Cover-Up, Film Fabrication” http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/10/03/us-government-official-jfk-cover-up-film-fabrication/
“Reason and Rationality in Public Debate:The Case of JFK” (with Douglas Horne) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/11/13/reason-and-rationality-in-public-debate-the-case-of-jfk-2/
“The Two NPIC Zapruder Film Events: Signposts Pointing to the Film’s Alteration” (with Douglas P. Horne) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/05/24/the-two-npic-zapruder-film-events-signposts-pointing-to-the-films-alteration/
“The Two NPCI Zapruder Film Events:Analysis and Implications” (with Douglas P. Horne) http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/05/29/the-two-npic-zapruder-film-events-analysis-and-implications/