Thursday, January 28, 2010

"The Echo From Dealey Plaza" -- an interview with Abraham Bolden

After an outstanding career in law enforcement, Abraham Bolden was appointed by JFK to be the first African American presidential Secret Service agent, where he served with distinction. They met by chance when JFK used the men's room to which he had been assigned as security. Bolden was a crucial part of a the Secret Service effort that prevented an attempt to assassinate JFK in Chicago, three weeks before Dallas.

But the dream quickly turned sour when Bolden found himself regularly subjected to open hostility and blatant racism. More of a concern was the White House team’s irresponsible approach to security. While on his tour of presidential duty, Bolden witnessed firsthand the White House agents’ long-rumored lax approach to their job. Drinking on duty, abandoning key posts—this was not a team that appeared to take their responsibility to protect the life of the president particularly seriously.

Soon after the assassination, he received orders that hint at "an effort to withhold, or at least to the color, the truth." He discovered that evidence was being kept from the Warren Commission and when he took action, found himself charged with "conspiracy to sell a secret government file" and imprisoned for more than five years, mostly in the psychiatric ward of the Springfield Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. In September 1969, after a short stint at a prisoncamp in Alabama, Bolden was finally granted parole.

Nearly 45 years later, Abraham Bolden has come forward to tell his story. A gripping memoir substantiated by recently declassified government documents, The Echo from Dealey Plaza is the story of the terrible price paid by one man for his commitment to truth and justice, as well as a shocking new perspective on the circumstances surrounding the death of JFK. It was an honor for me to feature him as a guest on "The Real Deal" and to have this opportunity to present aspects of his personal experiences to the public.

Abraham Bolden has received The 2008 Baker Street Tankard Award for "Pursuance of Truth and Justice", The 2008 Black Excellence Award for "Outstanding achievement in non fiction literature", The 2009 Alpha Phi Alpha Presidential Inaugural Award for "Exemplary leadership, service, and commitment and courage", The 2009 Carter G. Woodson "Living Black History Award", The 2009 St. Louis Gateway Classics "Walk of Fame" inductee, The Sodexo Lifetime Achievement Award for " Excellence and outstanding service", and the 2009 Citation from The Honorable United States Senator Roland W. Burris for courage in challenging injustice.

JFK & the Secret Service - Abraham Bolden interviewed on "The Real Deal" with Jim Fetzer (28 December 2009)

The Echo From Dealey Plaza - Abraham Bolden interviewed on "The Night Fright Show" (25 November 2009)

Short interview with Abraham Bolden

Abraham Bolden
Abraham Bolden, the author of "The Echo From Dealey Plaza" (2009)

(1) How did your dream turn into a nightmare when you tried to inform the Warren Commission of previous attempts to assassinate JFK?

  After completing my assignment to the White House Detail in July of 1961, the laxity and the cavalier attitude toward their duty in regards to the protection of President Kennedy. I observed that some of the agents surrounding the president were highly racist, overconfident, and disrespectful in their comments regarding Kennedy. Moreover, the agents' disagreement with the president over his handling of the civil rights issues that were prevalent during the early 1960s infected their ability to carry out the protective duties assigned. Comments were made to the effect that if attempts were made to assassinate the president, there would be no immediate response by some members of the detail.

  After the president was in fact assassinated, it was evident to me that the Secret Service supervisor, Maurice G. Martineau, was engaged in a cover up of serious conspiracies to assassinate Kennedy that had surfaced in Chicago. This cover up gained momentum after visits were made to the Chicago office of the Secret Service by Inspector Kelly and SAIC Burke, who had been involved in the interrogation of Oswald after his arrest.

  Investigations that occurred prior to the assassination of the President were redated to a date in December which would make the investigation unrelated to the assassination of the president on November 22, 1963. Documents, notes and materials pertaining to several threats against the president that occurred in October and November 1963 were ordered to be turned in to SAIC Martineau for disposition.

  In the 1st week of January 1964 Secret Service commission books were ordered to be turned in by SAIC Martineau with the understanding that new and updated commission books were to be issued at a later date. I viewed this as a cover up of an incident that occurred immediately after the president was assissinated in that a Dallas Police Officer was shown what he stated was a secret service commission book by a man whom he encountered behind a fence in Dealey Plaza.

  Feeling that the Warren Commission was being deprived of the above important information, it was my determination to get this information before them so that the commission could evaluate the conduct of those responsible for the protection of the president.

  I was unaware that the Acting Attorney General Katzenbach had indicated to the FBI and Secret Service officials that it would be in the best interest of the country if it were decided that Lee Oswald was the lone gunman.

  The high officials of the Secret Service knew that I was disgruntled over the lack of sufficient protection that the president was getting as I had discussed my dissatisfaction to Chief U. E. Baughman, Inspector Kelly, Harry Geighlein, Maurice G. Martineau and a host of other low level agents. I was very verbose in my critism of the lack of a standard procedure to be followed in case of an attack against the President of These United States.

  It was due to my attempts to contact the Warren Commission when I arrived in Washington, D. C. on May 17, 1964 that I was escorted out of Washington by Inspector McCann and returned to Chicago where I was charged with committing a federal crime.

  When I went to trial in July 1964 (64-CR 324), the trial judge J. Sam Perry instructed the jury that in his opinion, the evidence sustained a verdict of guilty and that the jury should continue to deliberate based upon the instruction that he had given. The trial ended in a hung jury. The Assistant Attorney General Richard Sikes went before the press and lamented that the government would have obtained a conviction were it not for a Negro woman who was the lone holdout.

  Denying defense motions for a change of venue or a substitution of trial judge, Judge J. Sam Perry heard a second trial before an all white jury.

  The second trial ended on August 12, 1964. During the deliberation of the second jury, the trial judge ordered the courtroom cleared under the pretense of closing the court for the day. All spectators, me, my attorney, and other non governmental personnel were removed from the court room whereupon we were locked out of the building under the direction of Assistant U.S. Attorney Arthur Dunne. Later on the evening of the 12th after I and my legal representative had been removed, the jury reached a verdict.

  After having been found guilty, on January 20, 1965, government witness Joseph Spagnoli, while testifying in his own trial, admitted under oath, that he had committed perjury in both of my trials. Spagnoli further stated that his perjury was suborned by government prosecutor Sikes. Spagnoli offered documentary proof of his allegations in the form of a handwritten paper that he "took/stold" stole from the U. S. Attorney's office. Spagnoli subsequently telephoned my trial attorney, George Howard, and stated that he (Spagnoli) and Frank William Jones concocted the case against me with the help of the office of the U. S. Attorney and the Secret Service. Spagnoli stated that he would name the nemes of those persons who were involved in framing me.

  During oral arguments before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Attorney Sikes was questioned in open court concerning the allegations of Spagnoli at which time attorney Sikes stated that he would not answer the question on the basis that his answer might tend to incriminate him. In spite of Sikes' refusal to deny the allegations of Spagnoli and the trial judge's refusal to grant a hearing into Spagnoli's allegations, the conviction was confirmed by the Court of Appeals and in June, 1966, the Supreme Court of the United States refused a grant of certiorie.

  Knowing full well that some high official in the government was seeking to have me discredited, I braced for what I knew was sure to come. I was not dealing with a government of the people, for the people and of the people as the framers of our constitution had set out was all too apparent that there was working within the government those who were possessed of a facist attitude. I knew from history that one of the prevelant methods of governments outside of the U.S. in dealing with "whistle blowers" was to place their sanity in question.

  And so it happened. On July 6 1967 while I was incarcerated in the prison camp in The Federal Medical Center, at Springfield, Missouri, I was aroused from sleep in the middle of the night and escorted to the 2-1 East psychiatric section of the Center. While locked tightly in a unit there, I was forced to ingest psychotropic drugs. Knowing full well that a federal inmate who is classified as being under psychiatric treatment could be held an indeterminate of amount of time pending his return to sanity, I knew that I had to find a means and method of keeping the institutional drugs out of my system. The method that I chose proved successful and I was able to remain free of any effects from the drug. After a 30 day stay in prison psychiatric units, I was returned to the prison camp in August, 1967.

  I was paroled from custody on September 25, 1969 and returned to Chicago, IL and to my wife and three children.

(2) What kind of response should have occurred during the shooting in Dealey Plaza, had the agents responded appropriately?

  The Secret Service detail riding in the followup car behind the president should have immediately jumped from the running boards of that vehicle and onto the built-in running board of the presidential limosine. There is no excuse for looking in the other direction as the bullets were fired toward the presidential vehicle. Saying that there was information that President Kennedy did not want agents on the back of his limosine does not square with any order that I heard or read during my tenure as an agent. The conduct of the agents bordered upon criminal in that they failed to even attempt to do the job that was demanded of them. It was the lack of training, which I brought to the attention of supervisors, that played a great part in the successful murder of our president.

(3) What are your thoughts about the reasons for the assassination, say, in relation to James Douglass' JFK AND THE UNSPEAKABLE?

  I am in complete agreement with author Jim Douglass as to the reasons that may have led to the assassination of President Kennedy. However, I believe that the foremost reason was Kennedy's relationship with Cuba and the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The motive for the assassination, in my opinion, was to create a more favorable situation that would enhance the dissident's efforts to make war against Castro and overturn the government of Cuba.

(4) Why have presidents since LBJ ignored your case, which appears to be perfect for a complete and unconditional pardon? Do they simply lack the power?  Should not Barack Obama be considering your case?

 My treatment by the government can be classified as egregoiusly wrong and outside the restraints and guarantees of our US Constitution. In order to grant a pardon or other action, the government would have to first decide what type of action to take. All evidence points to a government conspiracy against an agent of the U.S. Government as well as a citizen of America. That fact is difficult to admit by the president or attorney general.

  All of the circumstances of my unlawful arrest, trial and incarceration have been on the record since 1964. It is clear that my Constitutional Rights were disregarded. The question is, how can this have happened in America? The government has to ask itself whether a pardon would solve the issue or ignite further embarrassing publicity. Would it be better if no official attention be given to my case in hopes that all references to it will subside after my death? These are questions that must be decided before anyone with the authority to recommend relief will act.

Mr. Bolden has provided extracts from his book for publication here.

Introduction, page 1

I knew John Kennedy. I shook his hand and looked into his eyes, and served, for a brief but critical time, at his side. I sensed in my heart, as many people did, that he understood the troubles of the common man, and shared the pain of all downtrodden and oppressed people. He labored to make the promises of a better country a reality for all Americans. Born into great wealth and privilege, he did this not for any personal gain, but simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. He wanted to do his best to foster equality of opportunity for all the citizens under his charge, and even those beyond our borders. John F. Kennedy entrusted me with his life, making me the first African-American to serve on the Secret Service White House Detail. No one can ever take that honor away from me.

Chapter 1, page 3

I came into the Secret Service in 1960, after a number of years in law enforcement, first for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and then as an officer in the Illinois State Police. It was in that capacity that I first encountered Special Agent in Charge (of the Springfield, IL, office) Fred Backstrom of the United States Secret Service. John Kennedy was on his way to Peoria for a campaign stop, and I had been assigned to escort SAIC Backstrom around Peoria, to help make security preparations.

As we rode along one of the intended motorcade routes, I turned to Agent Backstrom. "Are there any Negroes in the Secret Service now?" I asked.

Backstrom and I had worked together before, and were on friendly terms. "I don't think so, Abraham, but I'm not sure. I heard that there may be one in New York or New Jersey, but I've never met him," he replied. "I can tell you this: We are looking for new agents and if you're interested, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't apply. I can send you an application in the mail, and the civil service administration will guide you along he way." He volunteered to send me an application.

We went back to our duties, but a few weeks later, I received the application in the mail, just as Agent Backstrom had promised. In the early fall of 1960, I drove down to Springfield, where I was escorted from the Secret Service headquarters to take the civil service test. I learned several weeks later that I had just missed passing the test, but the next time SAIC Backstrom came through Peoria, in early September 1960, about a month before Kennedy was to visit, he stopped by my house. Backstrom suggested that I could enter the Secret Service under a Schedule A appointment, meaning that my previous experience would qualify me to become a probationary agent.

Chapter 1, pages 4, 5

I first saw John Kennedy when he came through Peoria on a campaign swing in October, 1960. I was assigned to traffic control, and caught a glimpse of the young Senator sitting perched atop the back seat of a big white Lincoln convertible as his motorcade came in from the airport. I watched Kennedy hop down from the car about fifty feet away from me to shake hands with locals crowded along the side of the road. As his car stopped, agents from the convertible directly behind and fanned out to protect him as he waded into the excited crowd.

The following spring, John Kennedy was now President, and I myself had been through training at the Department of the Treasury, under which the Secret Service resides. The President was scheduled to visit Chicago on April 28th, for a thank-you dinner with Mayor Daley at McCormick Place. Daley's political machine had helped deliver a victory to Kennedy, through means not everyone considered legitimate. An advance detail of Secret Service agents worked with the local office to plan security, and assigned the Chicago field agents to protective various duties and protective positions. While some agents got the coveted spots inside the McCormick Place banquet room near the President, my assignment was to guard a basement restroom that had been set aside for Kennedy's exclusive use while he was there. I searched the bathroom and the surrounding area, and when I was satisfied that it secure, I quietly took up my post.

At about 8:30, a half-hour after the event was scheduled to begin, I heard a sudden commotion at the top of the stairs near the restroom.

Before I knew it, John F. Kennedy was striding toward the restroom, surrounded by an impressive entourage, including Mayor Daley, Governor Otto Kerner, Senator Paul Douglas, Congressman William Dawson, and a handful of prominent local politicians. As he got to the door, the President surprised me by stopping directly in front of me and looking me in the eye with a slight smile creasing his lips.

"Are you a Secret Service agent or one of Mayor Daley's finest?" he asked, causing the Mayor to chuckle lightly.

Collecting myself, I replied, "I'm a Secret Service Agent, Mr. President."

"He's assigned to the Chicago office," a more senior agent offered. "His name is Abraham Bolden."

Kennedy nodded slightly in acknowledgment and continued on in his crisp Boston accent. "Has there ever been a Negro agent on the Secret Service White House Detail, Mr. Bolden?"

"Not to my knowledge, Mr. President."

"Would you like to be the first?" Kennedy asked, his lights twinkling under the bright hotel lights.

I didn't try to hide my enthusiasm. Smiling broadly and nodding my head, I answered, "Yes, sir, Mr. President." Moments later, the band struck up "Hail to the Chief." The air in McCormick place was charged with flashing cameras and the halls echoed with thunderous applause as the proud young President entered the hall.

Chapter 5, pages 37, 38

Agents were breaking out the drinks. Henderson sat on the living-room couch, opened a beer and leveled a cold, hard stare at me, which I did my best to ignore. He kept it up through two or three quick beers, until he suddenly spoke.


"Yeah, Harvey?"

"I'm going to tell you something, and I don't want you ever to forget it." The sound of the South was heavy in his voice.

"You're a nigger. You were born a nigger, and when you die, you'll still be a nigger. You will always be nothing but a nigger. So act like one!" Henderson spaced the words out slowly for emphasis, but his voice was rising.

The words hung in the room, as every agent stared silently at Harvey Henderson. He had moved his body to the edge of couch. His feet were flat on the floor and he was clutching his beer bottle. You could hear him breathing hard through his nostrils. He was like an animal, poised to spring forward if I made any move toward him.

If I had ever doubted that Henderson had planted that memo and cartoon back in the White House, I knew it for certain now, as surely as I knew that he was baiting me, trying to lure me into a fight. Thoughts of Jackie Robinson raced through my mind. I do not mean to equate myself with a hero of Robinson's stature, but in that moment, I thought about the years of locker-room taunts that he had endured, and the many times his white teammates had tried to pick fights with him, just so that they could humiliate him. I'd dealt with racism my entire professional life, once even having to pull my gun on a motorist who refused to be ticketed by a "nigger." But here I was faced with a representative of my own nation's government, the acting head of our President's personal guard.. my supervisor. And I'm sure he wanted nothing more than to beat me bloody, but he also wanted me to disgrace myself by losing control. I eyed Harvey Henderson-a big, powerful man, drunk and full of hatred-and knew that if we were to go at it, there could be no mercy. I would have to send him to his God before he sent me to mine.

I looked him squarely in the eyes. "I love you, too, Harvey," I said, and walked out to the porch.

"You shouldn't have said that, Harvey," said agent Tucker,, who then followed me outside.

"Don't pay any attention to him, Abe," Tucker told me. "He gets like that when he's drinking." Tucker went back into the cottage. I kept on walking for a long while. When I got back to the cottage, I sat a while longer on the porch steps, weary in body and soul, and realized that I was ready to go back to Chicago. My mother had taught me not to remain where I was clearly not wanted.

11/22/2007 ABC I-Team: Kennedy Assassination Thwarted
Weeks Before His Death - interview by Chuck Goudie

Chapter 12, page 161

Now, suddenly, Judge Perry rose from his seat. He stood behind his bench and raised his arms as if to make some kind of benediction.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said, scowling. “I will now exercise a prerogative that I have as a Judge that I seldom exercise. I will express to you and comment upon the evidence. In my opinion, the evidence sustains a verdict of Guilty on counts one, two and three of the indictment.”[i] His face grew red, and his breath came hard and fast, as if he were exerting himself.

The Judge told the jury that they could disagree with him if they chose to do so.

“Now, with that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, you may now retire and reconsider the evidence in light of this Court’s instructions,” the Judge ended.[ii]

I turned quickly to George Howard to ask what was going on, but Judge Perry glowered at us, his face contorted with rage. It was clear to every soul in that courtroom that this Federal District Judge wanted me convicted. He sent the jury back into their room, from which we could hear shouting, and even some crying, for the next hour, until they returned and the foreman once again announced that they were still deadlocked, eleven-to-one for conviction. The lone juror, Mrs. Anna B. Hightower, sat still and quiet, her jaw clenched and her arms folded across her chest.
[i] U.S. v Bolden, 1st trial, Jury Deliberation, (Tr page 6) July 11, 1964,
[ii] U.S. v Bolden, 1st trial, Jury Deliberation, (Tr page 6) July 11, 1964,

Chapter 14, pages 198, 199

On re-direct, Oliver asked Spagnoli if had ever committed perjury in a Federal Criminal trial in the past and Spagnoli acknowledged that he had. They then produced a piece of paper that had been torn out of a legal pad and had it marked as an exhibit. Spagnoli testified that he had been in Sikes’ office when Sikes drew up the document.

“What was the purpose that he gave you for writing up such a document?” Oliver asked.

“So I would remember what to say in the Bolden trial,” Spagnoli answered.[iii]

The record showed that Sikes leaped to his feet and objected, but got nowhere. Judge Perry allowed Oliver to rebut the accusations about Spagnoli’s credibility.

Oliver continued, “After he wrote it up, did he give it to you?”


At this point, Judge Perry interrupted and asked Spagnoli directly, “How did you come into possession of it, if he did not give it to you?”

“I took it.”[v]

“What was the purpose of your studying the document?” Oliver now asked.

“To remember the lies in there,”[vi] Spagnoli answered bluntly.

Standing in front of the stunned onlookers in the courtroom, Oliver pointed at the document in his hand and kept probing. “Mr. Spagnoli, I call your attention to certain dates enumerated on this exhibit. I call your particular attention to the fourth line down, a date, Wednesday, 5/13. Do you see the notation that follows that Wednesday, 5.13, ‘Call from Martineau?’” Did that call occur on that day?”

“No.” [vii]

Just reading it made me shout out loud, “Dammit!” Finally, the facts that I knew to be true were coming to the surface.

When Oliver moved on, and began asking if Spagnoli had ever given testimony contrary to testimony he gave in this case that he gambled for a living, Richard Sikes strenuously objected, on the grounds that Oliver was “impeaching his own witness.”

[iii] U.S. v D’Antonio, 64 CR 300, (Tr page 6269), dated January 20, 1965
[iv] Ibid, page 6272
[v] Ibid, page 6272
[vi] Ibid, page 6272
[vii] Ibid, page 6274

Chapter 15, page 215

“Well, it has been brought to this court’s attention, during the oral arguments of the case, that one of the witnesses against the defendant has accused you of soliciting perjured testimony that was given in the trial. I called you here so that you may personally answer the accusation. The counsel for this defendant has stated in his brief, and during oral argument, that you have failed to answer this serious question that reflects negatively on the United States Government.” Hastings dramatically emphasized this last piece. “Now I ask you, did you solicit perjured testimony by one witness, Joseph Spagnoli, in any of the Bolden trials in the court below?”

Sikes shifted his weight from one foot to another nervously. “Your Honor, I want to say—“

“That question can be answered yes or no,” Hastings interrupted. “Either you did or you did not. This question needs to be answered now so that this court can make a fair ruling concerning this issue on appeal. I ask the question again: Did you solicit perjured testimony by Joseph Spagnoli in any of the Bolden trials before the court of District Judge J. Sam Judge Perry?”[viii] Sikes swallowed hard. He glanced over his shoulder at his colleagues Crowley and Hanrahan.

“Your Honor,” he finally answered, “I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that my answer might tend to incriminate me.”[ix]

“You are refusing to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination?” the Chief Judge asked in a loud voice.

“Yes, sir, Your Honor,” said Sikes, lowering his eyes.

“Very well, then. We will look into this matter and depending on what this court finds, someone might go to prison. We are going to get to the bottom of this,” Hastings declared to the shocked spectators in the courtroom. He turned to Attorney Smith and asked, “Based upon the allegations of Joseph Spagnoli, do you think that the assistant government attorney should be prosecuted and incarcerated?”

[ix] No Transcript of the proceedings before the U.S. Court of Appeals (14907) could be located; However on June 29, 1966, U. S. v Bolden, 64 CR 324, Motion to Reconsider the Sentence under Rule 35 page 8, Attorney Smith told the Court, “ We also have in this case, Your Honor, the fact. And I point out once again that it is Spagnoli that made this statement..that he accused the Government of subornation in this case, and the fact remains that to this day, two appeals to the Supreme Court, there is a question by the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals that..that charge by Spagnoli has never been denied, and we have this as another cloud over the case.”

Chapter 15, pages 227, 228

Judge Perry was done, and brought the hearing to a close. I saw Barbara quietly confer with Ray Smith, who then turned to talk to one of the Deputy Marshals. The Deputy led me down the corridor to the elevator, which we took to a small, clean holding cell, oddly situated behind a row of offices on one of the upper floors. The cell stood in a larger holding area, into which the guard brought Barbara. He left the two of us alone, separated only by the cold steel bars.

I reached through the bars to take her hand, in that instant felt finally overwhelmed by the terrible sadness of my fate. My whole body shook with rage and tears.

Barbara looked me in the eye. “If we’re going to make it through this, you’re going to have to be strong. You don’t have to worry about me and the children. I’m not going to let this break up our family. I saw what happened in court and how they treated you. I’ll be here when you come home. You don’t have to worry about that.” Barbara’s words were both consoling and reassuring. “You have to be strong because we are all counting on you to come back home to us. Nothing is going to happen out here, and I’m going to work and keep things together.”

Barbara came close and we kissed through the bars. “No matter what happens, be strong,” she said again. “I love you and the children love you. We will be waiting for you to return home to us. Be strong.”

When the guard finally led Barbara away, I washed my face and resolved to do exactly as Barbara said. From earliest childhood I had been told that grown men don’t cry, and I decided then that I was finished with crying, and that I would in fact be as strong as any man could be.

When they brought me back to the county jail, one of guards took me down to a basement cellblock. Four cells sat separated and secluded from the rest.

“This is what they call ‘Death Row,’” the guard told me. “Someone decided to keep you down here until you’re shipped out to a penitentiary.” He handed me over to the kindly looking black guard who stood watch there, saying, “This is Abraham Bolden. He used to be a government FBI man.”

An excerpt from "Conspiracy Files: The JFK Assassination",
Discovery Channel, 5/11/06

Excerpt Chapter 17, pages 257, 258, 259

One day, I had just finished washing dishes and pots and was preparing to clean up the floor in my area, by filling a mop bucket with hot water, when I heard a voice behind me.

“What the fuck are you doing with my bucket?”

I turned around to see Kenny glaring at me. There were two mop buckets in our area of the prison that were plainly different from each other, and I was using Kenny’s regular bucket.

“Oh, is this the bucket you use?” I asked, knowing it wasn’t but trying to placate him.

“You know that that’s my goddamned bucket!” Kenny shouted. “Why you keep fucking with me?”

I could see that Kenny was either delusional or trying to start a fight with me, so I kept trying to make peace.

“I’m not fucking with you,” I said. “This is the bucket I’ve been using, but if you want it, I’ll go get the other one—“

“Why you keep fucking with me?”

Kenny stood blocking the door. As he took a step toward me, I saw that he was holding a long knife against his leg. Instantly, I lifted the bucket of hot water and drew it back, as if to throw it.

“What the hell is the matter with you, man?” I shouted back at him. “If you take another step toward me, I’m going to throw this fucking hot water in your face and burn all of the skin off your body.” He stopped, but the commotion had attracted several other inmates, and Mr. Angland, who ran the kitchen.

“What the hell is going on here?” Angland demanded. He looked first at me, saying, “Put that bucket down!”

“Kenny’s got a knife,” I protested. “He came at me with a knife. I’m not going to put this bucket down until you take that knife from Kenny.”

Angland reached his hand out, and said, “Kenny, give me that knife.” Kenny did as he was told. He also obeyed Angland’s order to return to his ward, but not without first shooting me a menacing look.

Angland turned back to me. “I want to see you in my office, Bolden.”

When we sat down in his office, Angland started in on me. “Bolden, you know that you can’t threaten the patients around here. You know better.”

“He came at with me with a knife. What am I supposed to do? Just stand there and not defend myself because he’s a patient?”

“The way I saw it, the two of you were threatening each other,” Angland said. “You had the bucket of water and he had the knife. The two of you threatened each other and that’s what I saw.”

“But you didn’t see the whole thing,” I insisted. “I was in the back room doing my work and suddenly this guy is standing in the doorway talking about a mop bucket. I know that he’s a patient, but I’m going to protect myself. He first came at me with the knife and that’s when I picked up the bucket of hot water to throw on him.”

“Well, you can’t discipline these patients. You should have come to me. You can’t threaten these patients. I’m going to have to write you up for it,” He stated angrily.

“You can write me up all you want to, but I’m not going to stand there and let any of these patients stab or butcher me with a knife. If I could have gotten out of the room, I would have come to you, but Kenny had the door blocked, and he was talking out of his mind about a mop bucket.”

“You go back to the dormitory now. You’ll be off tomorrow. When you come in Wednesday, you, me, and Kenny will get together and straighten out this problem,” Angland concluded.

Chapter 17, pages 265, 266

A guard poked me awake with his flashlight in the early morning, told me to get dressed, and marched me deep into what seemed like the bowels of the prison. We ended up in a corridor lined on both sides with heavy steel doors. The only windows visible were the tiny viewing windows above the tray slots in each of the doors. An awful stench, and the sounds of muffled screams and sobbing, filled the corridor. I knew where I was without anyone ever telling me: the dreaded 2-1 East, the psychiatric ward.

I shot questions at the guards-Why was I there? Had I been re-classified? Did anybody seriously think there was something wrong with me? But nobody would answer my questions, telling me to talk to the doctor when he came by. The guards took my belt and my shoelaces, and put me in a small, dark cell. Amazingly, this cell was actually a physical improvement over the isolation cell; it had a window that I could open to let in fresh air and its own washroom facilities.

The door to my cell slammed shut, leaving me alone with my thoughts. The only thing I knew for certain was that I had to let Barbara and my attorney, John Hosmer, know what had happened to me. There was no way I could sit quietly while the government locked me away interminably in some kind of asylum. The situation seemed ominous.

Before long, the prison added something new to my routine. Four uniformed officers entered my cell. One of them, a particularly burly guard, carried a tray filled with tiny white paper cups.

"Medication time," he said, holding out a little cup in his big, meaty hand.

I felt suddenly weak and dizzy, as if I were caught in some terrible dream. I couldn't move or speak.

"Come on, boy. We ain't got all day," he drawled.

"There's got to be some mistake," I said. "I'm not a patient. There's got to be a mistake."

"We ain't makin' no mistake, boy. The doctor ordered this to calm you down, I guess."

Chapter 17, page 270

In the morning, as I was washing up, I smelled a faint odor of smoke. I could see no sign of fire outside my window, but through the small viewing window in the door, I thought I detected a slight haze in the air of the corridor. Suddenly, a guard rushed down the corridor, shouting “Fire! Fire in the cell block!” I heard another officer shout that one of the rooms at the end of the block was on fire, and then heard another answer that those rooms were unoccupied. Another odd and inexplicable circumstance.

The guards opened our cell doors and evacuated all of us to the dayroom. I felt so happy to be out of my little room—free, if you want to call it that, for the first time in over a week—that I didn’t react to the grotesque sight of so many drugged and possibly deranged men, dragged from their beds in various states of undress, draped over the tables and chairs. The fire was extinguished quickly, but I was allowed to linger in the dayroom for a while. As I looked around the room, I suddenly found myself staring into a familiar face. A man was gazing back at me intently, and purposefully. He didn’t seem to be over-medicated or crazy; he seemed to recognize me. It was the man who had stabbed the other inmate to death in the elevator in the basement by the officers’ kitchen.

He rose and walked to my table. I could see that he had gained some weight, and wore his hair cut much closer to his head, but it was definitely the same man.

“Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” he asked as he sat down across from me.

“I don’t think so.”

“My name is James. What’s yours?”

Chapter 17, pages 277, 278

On September 25, 1969, with just four months to go before I would have completed my entire sentence and been freed from any further obligation to the government, I was granted parole. Of course, by paroling me, the government could keep me under their jurisdiction for another two years.

It was 3:30 in the morning when my Greyhound bus pulled into the station near Clark and Randolph Streets in Chicago. I could see the figure of a beautiful young woman, her form illuminated by the headlights of the bus, almost glowing in the fresh night air. I climbed down the steps of the bus and fell into Barbara’s arms. That embrace told me, finally, that my ordeal had come to an end.

My wife drove us south on Clark Street, crossing over to Michigan, steering us home. I remember opening the back door of my house, my own house, and being met by the happy squeals of my children, already awake and expecting me, bouncing all over the house, giggling with joy and shouting, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!”

Daddy was home.

Thom Hartmann talks to Abraham Bolden, the first
African American presidential Secret Service agent.
(Part 2, Part 3)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blowing the Whistle on Dartmouth: Hany Farid "in the nation's service"

A Dartmouth faculty member claims to have shown that a "backyard photograph" of Lee Harvey Oswald appears to be authentic based upon his study of the shadow of the nose. But the nose shadow is only one of many indications of fakery, including that the chin is not Oswald's chin, there is an insert line between the chin and the lower lip, the finger-tips are cut off, and more. I have sought to alert the Dartmouth administration about the problem, to no avail.

Madison, WI (OpEdNews) -- When The Huffington Post (5 November 2009), headlined, "Hany Farid, Dartmouth Scientist, Says Controversial Oswald Rifle Photo Real", I and every other serious student of the assassination of JFK knew that something was terribly wrong. I might as well have been reading that Lonardo had not painted the Mona Lisa. It was that blatantly false. Jack White, a legendary photo-analyst, had even testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) when it reinvestigated the case in 1977-78, about more than a dozen indications of fakery. Some were subtle, but many were not. The chin was not Oswald's chin; there was an insert line between the chin and the lower lip; the finger-tips of his right hand were cut off; the stance seemed unstable; across several different poses, the face remained exactly the same! Everyone seemed to know the photos were fake except for Hany Farid!

When I learned that Hany Farid was an expert on the analysis of photo fakery, I found the situation even more puzzling. He had focused only on the shadow of the nose under a single photograph, since its constancy across different photos would have exposed the fraud as well. Indeed, it was obvious to me that Hany could not have performed the first stage of a serious research project, namely: a search of the literature to discover what previous research had been done on the "backyard photographs", which would have revealed that he could not possibly be correct. I continued to be dumbfounded about the improbability that a competent photo analyst could have plunged into the deep end of the pool without searching the literature when I received, "Proving that Seeing Should Not Always be Believing", The New York Times (2 October 2007), which explained that he performed work for the FBI. At that point in time, the situation acquired a certain degree of clarity.

Having chaired or co-chaired four national conferences on the death of JFK and edited three books with contributions from the most highly qualified experts who have ever studied the case and given hundreds of interviews and lectures on the subject, I was astonished that a Dartmouth professor would be offering a "song and dance" about photos that have been repeatedly proven to be fakes, as Lee Oswald himself observed during his interrogation. So another expert on JFK, Jim Marrs, the author of CROSSFIRE: THE PLOT THAT KILLED KENNEDY (1989), and I co-authored "The Dartmouth JFK-Photo Fiasco" (18 November 2009) to expose the fraud. To appreciate the magnitude of the issue, we quoted the words of Robert Blakey, who is now a professor of law at Notre Dame, but who had served as Chief Counsel to the HSCA, and had spoken to the committee about the forensic significance of the backyard photographs. Blakey observed on that occasion:

If [the backyard photographs] are invalid, how they were produced poses far-reaching questions in the area of conspiracy, for they evince a degree of technical sophistication that would almost necessarily raise the possibility that [someone] conspired not only to kill the President, but to make Oswald a patsy.
As a graduate of another Ivy-league college, Princeton '62, it bothered me tremendously that this faculty member at Dartmouth appeared to be abusing his position for the benefit of a special interest, which appeared to me to be that of the FBI. The role of the FBI in covering up the crime was all too familiar to most of us, but not to the American people. If Hany Farid, as I surmised, was actually performing a service for the agency, then it ought to be brought to the attention of the administration of the college. Accordingly, I wrote to President Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D., on 8 November 2009, to explain my concerns and to offer "a modest proposal" to extricate Dartmouth from this problem, When I did not hear back from him by 10 December 2009
-- after Jim Marrs and I had published our article about it -- I wrote again and included a link, along with indications it was being picked up by many internet sources and receiving a certain degree of interest. On 14 December 2009, I received a note saying a dean would respond.

Two days later, on 16 December 2009, I received an email from Acting Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Carol L. Folt, which stated, "As with most colleges and universities, Dartmouth College does not take institutional responsibility for the scholarly activities of individual faculty members. While we have no reason to doubt the validity of Professor Farid's research, he alone is responsible for it. If one scholar takes issue with another's research methods or conclusions, the traditional vehicle to express such concerns is through the open scholarly literature." This was precisely the kind of response that I had expected, which, however, was completely inadequate to this situation for a number of reasons:

(i) the backyard photographs had previously been thoroughly investigated and had been proven to be fakes by many experts across decades;

(ii) any scholar approaching the subject for the first time would appreciate the necessity of conducting a search of the literature, which would reveal as much;

(iii) Hany Farid was a highly-qualified expert, well-versed in the evaluation of the authenticity of photographs, and a faculty member at an Ivy-league college;

(iv) he treated the issue by focusing on the shadow of a single photo of a set of at least four, and then studied only a very specific feature of that photo;

(v) even if he had been right about the nose shadow - and there are reasons to doubt that he was - he could not possibly have authenticated it on that basis;

(vi) the photo, after all, would be authentic only if all of its features corresponded to the features that an authentic photo would possess;

(vii) where, as I have observed, the chin is not Oswald's chin; there is an insert line between the chin and the lower lip; and so on, which he did not address;

(viii) far from having committed an amateurish "mistake" by not conducting a search of the literature, this appears to have been a carefully contrived study;

(vix) the only apparent beneficiary of a carefully contrived study of the photo(s) would be agencies of the government who are trying to obfuscate the evidence;

(ix) Hany Farid has known ties to the FBI, which is such an agency, where I have been advised that his photo research laboratory is actually funded by the agency;

(x) which means that, in presenting his research as though it were objective and unbiased, he has deliberately mislead the American people and even Dartmouth;

(xi) where the public relations aspect of disinformation operations of this kind is paramount -- and I cannot imagine any other objective that is achieved by its publication;

(xii) which means that this is not a normal matter of "scholarly research" or of "academic freedom", but is an abuse of his standing as a faculty member;

(xiii) where the submission of an article disputing his would take on the average approximately two years from authorship to publication, as a rough estimate;

(xiv) which means that the public would have received the impression that the photo was genuine, based upon his standing and the reputation of Dartmouth;

(xv) which contributes to the goal of these operations -- not to convince anyone of a specific position but to obfuscate what is known and thereby confound the public.

In my judgment, Hany Farid has performed a disservice to the nation and the reputation of Dartmouth has been stained. President Jim Yong Kim is a very accomplished scholar, who has even been recognized by being the recipient of a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation. I presume that Dean Folt is also an accomplished scholar. But this is not rocket science and anyone who takes a look at the article Jim Marrs and I published or others that we cite would know that something is terribly wrong at Dartmouth. I have discussed this with a former member of the Board of Trustees, who confirmed my suspicion that I am being given a "run around". Since I have been informed by the Secretary to the Board of Trustees that any issue I would like to raise with the board would first be discussed with President Kim, I have no doubt that he is right, which is why I am publicizing our correspondence which, as anyone can see, is principally mine.

After all, like the warning signs that come with prescriptions, anything that comes from Hany Farid ought be accompanied by an acknowledgment to the FBI as its sponsor, when that is indeed the case, as a matter of "informed consent". Then the public will at least be in the position to evaluate the source without simply taking for granted that it bears the imprimatur of Dartmouth College. Princeton has the motto of "Princeton in the nation's service". But I don't think it carries over to the abuse of position by faculty members to support the dissemination of disinformation on behalf of the FBI. It should not take a genius to observe that no alternative explanation appears to be reasonable. Under the circumstances, were I among the alumni of Dartmouth College, I would want to know more about what's going on here and why the President has cast aside my modest proposal:

(I) Initial email to President Jim Yong Kim:

Date: Sun, 08 Nov 2009 09:47:48 -0600
To: President'
Subject: About Hany Farid: A Modest Proposal . . .

Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
Dartmouth College
Office of the President
207 Parkhurst Hall
Hanover, NH 03755

Dear President Kim,

As you are no doubt aware, a member of your faculty, Hany Farid, has entered into a long-standing dispute over the authenticity of photographs--know as "the Oswald backyard photographs"--related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A summary of his claims, which are creating a sensation with some segments of the public but dismay among serious students of the photos and films, may be found at The Huffington Post:

Unfortunately there are multiple photos and multiple indications that they are faked, where Farid's analysis dealt with only the shadows of one. He clearly had not taken the time to conduct a search of the literature or he would have discovered that there are at least three photographs, not just one, and that oddities about shadows are only one of many indications of fakery. Presenting only evidence favorable to your position is known as "special pleading", which I spent 35-years teaching freshmen to avoid.

Even if he were right about the specific shadows on which he chose to work, that could not possibly justify the claim that the "photo" is authentic, because he did examine other shadows in the original nor the many additional features of concern to serious students of JFK. Farid has thus violated a basic canon of scientific research, which is that all the available evidence that makes a difference to a conclusion must be taken into account.

Farid did a digital study of a non-digital photograph. Various features may have been obscured in the process of transformation. The chin of the figure in the "backyard photographs" is a block chin, not Oswald's chin, which was rather pointed and had a cleft. There is a clear insert line between the chin and his lower lip, and his finger tips appear to have been cut off. There are many features beyond the shadows he studied that indicate these photos were faked.

This, alas!, is not the quality of research that the public expects of a member of the faculty at Dartmouth. Here is a summary addressing two of the photos--there turn out to have been at least three, as Farid could have found simply by googling "the Oswald 'backyard' photographs"--including testimony that Jack White, a legendary photo-analyst, presented to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) when it reinvestigated the case in 1977-78 but which it chose to disregard:

In 1992, I organized a research group of the best qualified individuals to ever study the case, including Robert B. Livington, a world authority on the human brain and an expert on wound ballistics; and David W. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., who is board-certified in radiation oncology, who would discover that the JFK autopsy X-rays have been altered and who has become the world's leading expert on his death. Our objective was to take rumor and speculation out of the case and place its study on an objective and scientific foundation.

Other members of this group included Charles Crenshaw, M.D., who was present during efforts to revive JFK at Parkland Hospital and then, two days later, was responsible for the treatment of his accused assassin, Lee Oswald; Jack White, whom I have mentioned above; and John P. Costella, Ph.D., whose specialization is electromagnetism and who is the leading expert on the Zapruder home-movie in the world today. He has a tutorial about this at

A professional philosopher of science and former Marine Corps officer, I have chaired or co-chaired four conferences on the death of JFK and have published three collections of studies by experts on different aspects of the case. My books feature the research of Livingston, Mantik, Crenshaw, White, Costella and others. I maintain web sites that discuss the case at and at, a journal for advanced study of the death of JFK that I currently co-edit with John Costella.

Among my many lectures about JFK, including ones at Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge, the Cambridge lecture was peer-reviewed and published in the International Journal of the Humanities. It addresses the simple question of where JFK was hit in the back: at the base of the neck, as THE WARREN REPORT (1964) asserts, or about 5 1/2 inches below the collar? This is a simple question with vast ramifications. It is entitled, "Reasoning about Assassinations", and is also easily accessible via google.

The answer to this question resolves the long-standing debate about the so-called "magic bullet" theory, on which the government's official account depends. During a conference on JFK held at the University of North Dakota, "John F. Kennedy: History, Memory, Legacy", 25-27 September 2008, I addressed what we know about the assassination and made a Powerpoint presentation to show the evidence that I was discussing.

The papers from the meeting have been published as a book, which has been made available on-line for ease of access. As an indication of the seriousness of the event, the keynote speaker was Theodore Sorensen, who was JFK's most important aide. I turned my Powerpoint into my chapter, which discusses our findings in relation to the physical, medical, and photographic evidence. It can be downloaded as a pdf.

I was introduced by John Tunheim, now a federal judge in Minneapolis, who served as the chair of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), a five-member civilian panel with the authority to declassify documents and records related to the assassination from the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and other agencies. They succeeded in declassifying some 60,000 documents and records, where their work is discussed in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000).

I feature one of the backyard photos already on the second page of my chapter, including a proof of fakery by Jack White based upon the newspapers that the figure is holding, whose dimensions are known. They show that this person is only 5'6" tall, while Oswald was 5'10" tall. If Hany Farid had conducted a search of the literature, he should have easily discovered it.

My purpose in writing, however, is to suggest that Dartmouth has a unique opportunity to contribute to the public interest by resolving this issue. It would be unfortunate if the college were to have its reputation permanently tarnished by Farid's research. If you consider it appropriate, I recommend creating a panel to review his work, settle the issue, and thereby reaffirm Dartmouth's integrity. If you decide to do this, let me know if I can help.

Incidentally, I should mention that, after founding the journal, MINDS AND MACHINES, which I edited for ten years, I invited Jim Moor of your Department of Philosophy to succeed me. We co-edited the journal for a year, after which Jim has been editing it on his own--and doing an exceptional job! You are welcome to ask him about me, since (although it is hard to believe) we have known each other for more than 35 years!

With best wishes,


James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
McKnight Professor Emeritus
University of Minnesota Duluth
800 Violet Lane
Oregon, WI 53575

The backyard photograph, which was published in LIFE, was a fake. His finger tips were cut off; the shadows from his nose and eyebrows were inconsistent with the shadow cast by his figure; the chin was not Oswald’s pointed chin with a cleft but a block chin with an insert line. Jack White used the newspapers as an internal yardstick and discovered that either the person shown was only 5’6” tall--too short to be Oswald, who was 5’10”--or the image of the newspapers was too large.

(II) Second email to President Jim Yong Kim:

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 11:57:36 -0600

To: President'
Subject: The Dartmouth JFK-Photo Fiasco

Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
Dartmouth College
Office of the President
207 Parkhurst Hall
Hanover, NH 03755

Dear President Kim,

Having written to you about a matter of importance in relation to the reputation and integrity of the institution over which you preside, I have been acutely disappointed to have received no acknowledgment of my letter, in which I offered a modest proposal for redeeming what can be redeemed of Dartmouth's involvement in this photographic fiasco. I have now co-authored an article about it with Jim Marrs, author of CROSSFIRE (1989), one of the principal sources for the film "JFK" by Oliver Stone, which we have recently published in OpEdNews,

The Dartmouth JFK-Photo Fiasco
by Jim Fetzer and Jim Marrs

where a google search on the title discloses a certain degree of interest,

[NOTE: Here I included the first two pages of a google search on this article.]

There is more, but I presume you get the idea. This has cast a considerable cloud over the reputation of the institution you head. A new study, moreover, demonstrates that even Farid's research on the shadow was not properly done:

Brane Space: Hany Farid's Pixelated Illusions

Now it is my understanding from this article that Hany Farid receives funding from the FBI, which misled the nation--at the direction of J. Edgar Hoover--about the state of evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

It is my suspicion that the FBI suggested to Hany Farid that he should publish a piece on the "backyard photographs" in furtherance of its efforts to confuse the public regarding what is known about the true causes of the death of JFK.

As the president of an institution I have long admired, I hereby request that:

(a) you formally acknowledge the receipt of this and my previous letter to you;


(b) advise me as to what concrete steps you intend to take to straighten it out.

As a graduate of Princeton '62, I would note that this, alas!, is not what most would regard as an appropriate example of "Dartmouth in the nation's service".

With appreciation,


James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
McKnight Professor Emeritus
University of Minnesota Duluth
800 Violet Lane
Oregon, WI 53575
(III) An acknowledgment from Dartmouth:

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 09:10:56 -0500
From: "President's Office"
To: ""
Subject: RE: The Dartmouth JFK-Photo Fiasco

Dear Professor Fetzer,

Thank you for writing to President Kim. I regret the delayed response to your first email. Your emails have been shared with the Dean of the Faculty for Arts & Sciences for review. The Dean or her designee will then respond to you as soon as possible.


Nariah Broadus

Office of the President
(IV) My reply to the acknowledgment:

Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 15:01:34 -0600
To: "President's Office"
Subject: RE: The Dartmouth JFK-Photo Fiasco

Nariah Broadus,

Thank you very much for an acknowledgment of my inquiry regarding this matter. There is much interest in fakery of this kind, where a famous Canadian journal, GLOBAL RESEARCH, has picked up our study and published it with the title, "JFK Assassination. False Flag Attacks: How "Patsies"are Framed - The Case of Lee Harvey Oswald" by Jim Fetzer and Jim Marrs.

Here's a URL, in case President Lee might enjoy reading it. I have also been sent an article about Professor Hany Farid's association with the FBI from THENEW YORK TIMES, October 2, 2007, "A CONVERSATION WITH HANY FARID: Proving That Seeing Shouldn't Always Be Believing" by Claudia Dreifus. I would be glad to forward a copy if the Dean or the President would like to have it.

Best wishes,


James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
McKnight University Professor
University of Minnesota Duluth
800 Violet Lane
Oregon, WI 53575
(V) Response from the Acting Provost and Dean of the Faculty:

Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 10:14:42 -0500
From: "Carol L. Folt"
To: ""
Subject: Photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald

Dear Professor Fetzer:

President Kim has referred to me your e-mail of December 10, 2009 concerning Professor Hany Farid's analysis of a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald.

As with most colleges and universities, Dartmouth College does not take institutional responsibility for the scholarly activities of individual faculty members. While we have no reason to doubt the validity of Professor Farid's research, he alone is responsible for it. If one scholar takes issue with another's research methods or conclusions, the traditional vehicle to express such concerns is through the open scholarly literature.


Carol L. Folt
Acting Provost and Dean of Faculty
Dartmouth College
(VI) Email to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees:

Date: Fri, 08 Jan 2010 11:19:11 -0600
Subject: Inquiry . . .


I understand that you are the secretary to the Broad of Trustees. I am a retired professor of philosophy from the University of Minnesota Duluth, who has some material that I would like to share with the members of the board. Could you please advise me as to the steps that need to be taken in order for that to be done? I would be glad to make hard-copies and to send them to you for distribution, for example, if that is appropriate.

Many thanks!


James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
McKnight Professor Emeritus
University of Minnesota Duluth
800 Violet Lane
Oregon, WI 53575
(VII) Response from the Secretary to the Board of Trustees:

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 14:48:04 -0500
From: "Marcia J. Kelly"
To: ""
Cc: "Kimberly Watson"
Subject: RE: Inquiry . . .

Dear Professor Fetzer,

You can send your document to me at the address below and I will be happy to share it with our Board Chair, Mr. Charles Edward Haldeman Jr. He will, no doubt, consult with President Kim and make a decision about sharing your materials with the full Board. If it is easier, please feel free to send me an electronic copy.

Best regards,

Marcia Kelly

Marcia J. Kelly
Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Dartmouth College
Hinman 6001
Hanover, NH 03755
Jack White on "The Many Faces of Lee Harvey Oswald"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation

Below is Chapter 3 of The 9/11 Conspiracy : The Scamming of America (2007). Jack White has a BA in journalism, interests in art and history and a solid career in advertising behind him. As a professional photographer for over half a century, Jack White is skilled in all aspects of photography, but his speciality is photo analysis. Indeed, Jack White is an expert on the assassination of President John F Kennedy and has served as photographic consultant to the US House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) during the hearings. White has published two videotapes on his photographic studies of the assassination and was also a consultant on the Oliver Stone film "JFK". The political collections archive of The W. R. Poage Legislative Library at Baylor University, which is emerging as one of the foremost research facilities for political materials, has partnered with White to duplicate JFK materials from their personal collections. He has also created a website devoted to 9/11, which includes many important observations regarding the 9/11 attacks. The pdf version is found here.
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
The most surreal scene in history was witnessed by millions of people worldwide on television as it happened. Yet the plumes of smoke and the incredible dust clouds from the the pulverization of two of the world’s tallest buildings within minutes of each other could not adequately portray the horror of thousands of people dying and the total destruction of many buildings. This photo shows Building 7 amid the dust clouds, serenely waiting its turn to fall about seven hours later for no apparent reason. Two five-hundred-thousand ton buildings were converted to dust in approxiately ten seconds each. According to The 9/11 Commission Report (2004), the buildings were destroyed by the combination of jetplane impacts and jet-fuel based fires which caused the steel to weaken and bring about a “pancake collapse.” The photographic record makes that very difficult to believe.
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
Left to right, top to bottom: Demolition starts badly; the top 300 feet of WTC-2 tilted as much as 23 degrees before being “blown to Kingdom come.” No one had ever attempted to demolish a building the size of a twin tower, and the dust cloud from WTC-1 helped to distract and cover up problems in destroying WTC-2. As the buildings disintegrated, huge steel columns many feet long were scattered like matchsticks for hundreds of feet. The tower peeled downward as dark explosions shot up, while white ones exploded outward. Above the white explosions, the tower is turning to dust as the lower part awaits its fate. At lower right, as explosions destroy WTC-2, huge sections of disintegrating steel “wheatchex” showered down on WTC-3, the Marriott Hotel. According to the “official account,” fires that caused a collapse due to gravity brought down these buildings.
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
Along Vesey Street were WTC buildings 5, 6, and 7. Lower photo shows two huge cavities in eight-story WTC-6 at center and a smaller but striking gash on the side of Building 5 just above. Neither building was struck by significant debris from either of the Twin Towers, right. Across Vesey Street, at left, is a neat pile that was the 47-story Building 7, which imploded and fell at the speed of gravity into its own footprint. Top photo shows a gash on the side of Building 3, with walls of WTC-1 reeling oddly nearby. Other photos of the hole in Building 6 show little debris of any kind within, which is very difficult, even impossible, for the government to explain. How could a collapse of the towers possibly account for this?
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
WTC-7, above right, during the attack on the Twin Towers, appears undamaged except for a modest fire at street level. Below right, WTC-7 (on the right) still appears in no distress long after both towers had fallen. Frames (above) from video of the collapse of WTC Building 7 shows a perfectly controlled demolition of WTC-7, which was two blocks away from WTC-1 and 2 and only superficially hit by debris from 1 and 2. At 5:20 PM, over six hours after WTC-1 and WTC-2 fell, WTC-7 came down in free fall into its own footprint, a sure sign of controlled demolition, which causes a “kink” in the center of the building. The official story claims that diesel fuel reservoirs in the building exploded, resulting in fires that brought the building down, even though there is no recorded case of the fire-induced collapse of a large steel-protected building; and only very small fires were burning when WTC-7 “collapsed.” Diesel fuel does not explode, and it burns at low temperatures.
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
The World Trade Center was built on bedrock, protected by an underground “bathtub” or foundation ring (top, left, and diagram) down seven stories below the surface of lower Manhattan to prevent flooding by the Hudson River, only a block away. On September 11 the bathtub mysteriously remained without significant damage despite two huge towers collapsing on it. It was not built to withstand such colossal impact. No foundation structure could remain unscathed after a mountain of quarter-mile high material was dropped on it twice. The intact bathtub appears to contradict the official theory of gravity-driven collapse in which virtually the entire weight of the Twin Towers would crash into the bathtub. Even subway cars within the bathtub were not crushed, lower right.
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
At bottom, a mysterious explosion shot by an “unknown” photographer before any fire trucks arrived purports to show the explosion of Flight 77 within the building. Researchers wonder how a photographer happened to be directly under the incoming flight with a camera and capture such a remarkable image; some suspect the image was faked and others that it was a later occurrence. At top are official “before and after” photos of the alleged impact point; upper right shows where the wall collapsed directly over the “impact point” but upper left shows the same area before the wall collapsed, and unbroken windows and undamaged wall are seen at the “impact point” of the “plane,” which was 125 feet wide and 44 feet tall. Hard to believe.
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
At top, fire trucks from National Airport arrived at the Pentagon within ten minutes and had all fires out within seven minutes. They saw no aircraft wreckage or damage to the lawn. They did not know there had been a “plane crash” because the main fire they found was a burning trailer. The stream of water at left had been a “plane crash” because the main fire they found was a burning trailer. The stream of water at left is being sprayed at the alleged impact point, yet the wall is not visibly breeched. At bottom, a Pentagon security camera captures an image said to be an “incoming plane” (red rectangle), yet it is much too small to be a Boeing 757 (inset) like American Airlines Flight 77, plus it is emitting a trail of smoke like a missile.
9/11: A Photographic Portfolio of Death and Devastation
United Airlines Flight 93, a huge Boeing 767, allegedly crashed at high speed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, leaving virtually no crash debris and little damage to grass or trees. Witnesses described and photos confirm only a small trench in the grassy field. The official story says the soft ground “swallowed” the entire plane and its occupants. A lady named Val McClatchy allegedly took the photo at top of a small puff of smoke claimed to be the plane exploding near her home, yet pieces of the plane were found up to eight miles away. A coroner called to the scene saw not a single body, but the official story said DNA identified all victims.
The Great Zapruder Film Hoax

Photo analyst Jack White demonstrates that the famous 8mm film of the JFK assassination taken by Abraham Zapruder was altered and parts of it fabricated.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Didn't Happen at the Pentagon

Since Thiery Meyssan first posted his web-site study, "Hunt the Boeing!", the absence of evidence that a 757 crashed there has become a source of almost endless speculation. Even Jamie McIntyre, the CNN correspondent, reported that, based upon his own personal inspection, there were no indications that a large plane had crashed anywhere near the Pentagon! If you listen very carefully, you will see that, during the first part of the interview, he talks about small pieces from a plane. But starting around 2:44, he denies that there is any evidence that a large plane hit the building. That--like his odd description of a piece that was silver with red and green markings--would seem to be consistent with a small plane having hit the Pentagon.

A paper of mine by the same title recently appeared on, but it included several introductory paragraphs about those who appear intent upon misleading or confounding the 9/11 movement about what happened there. So I deleted those paragraphs, where anyone who wants to read them, too, can find them there. Meyssan's two books, PENTAGATE (2003) and 9/11: THE BIG LIE (2003), were among my earliest encounters with serious research on 9/11, which left the indelible impression upon me that serious research could expose falsehoods and reveal truths about the events of 9/11, for which I shall always be indebted to him. I therefore dedicate this bog to Thierry Meyssan for his courage and integrity in speaking the truth when others remained silent.

The Pentacon

Questions about what happened at the Pentagon, of course, fall into the area of uncertainty as a complex and complicated issue many in the community dislike. There is a body of evidence, much of which is photographic, however, to which scientific reasoning can be applied to resolve that uncertainty. As I have elsewhere explained, the basic measure of the strength with which evidence e supports hypothesis h is provided by the likelihood, L, of h, if e were true. That, in turn, is equal to the probability, P, of e if h were true, where L(h/e) = P(e/h). Approximately speaking, this involves treating the evidence as an "effect" of the "cause" described by various hypotheses, where an hypothesis hi with higher likelihood on evidence e is better supported and is therefore "preferable" to an hypothesis hj with lower likelihood.

As a simple example, we find likelihoods employed in everyday life and in criminal investigations. The discovery of a body with bruising around the neck but no bullet holes or knife wounds makes it more likely that the deceased was killed by strangulation than by shooting or stabbing. After all, the probability of no bullet holes (knife wounds, and so on) if the victim was shot (stabbed, and so forth) is zero, while the probability of bruising about the neck as the result of strangulation is very high. Since the evidence (no bullet holes or knife wounds but bruising around the neck) is more probable if the death was caused by strangulation than by shooting or stabbing, that hypothesis has a higher likelihood and is therefore better supported by the evidence.

When the evidence has "settled down" and tends to point in the same direction, then that hypothesis is also acceptable in the tentative and fallible fashion of science. The introduction of new alternatives and the acquisition of new evidence, including the discovery that evidence that has been taken to be authentic in the past has been fabricated, can lead to the rejection of hypotheses previously accepted and the acceptance of hypotheses previously rejected-or to the suspension of belief in cases previously thought to be resolved. There appear to be more than a half-dozen arguments against the official account that a 757 hit the Pentagon, which appears to be a fantasy. To begin with, consider the alleged "hit point" at the Pentagon on the ground floor:

Figure 1. The Ground Floor "Hit Point"

This "hit point" was too small to accommodate a 100-ton airliner with a 125' wingspan and a tail that stands 44' above the ground. The debris is wrong for a Boeing 757: no wings, no fuselage, no seats, no bodies, no luggage, no tail! Not even the engines, which are made of titanium and steel, were recovered. The probability that a real Boeing 757 would leave no wings, no fuselage, no seats, no bodies, no luggage and no tail at the point of impact approximates zero. The probability that an absent plane would leave no wings, no fuselage, no seats, no bodies and such at the point of impact approximates one-although, of course, planted evidence is not ruled out. As long as one is greater than zero, the hypothesis there was no real Boeing 757 has the higher likelihood.

Indeed, this conclusion is further reinforced by the discovery of unbroken windows in the immediate vicinity of the purported "hit point". Jack White, a legendary student of the photos and films in the assassination of JFK, has created a web site devoted to 9/11 and a pdf, which includes many important observations, such as this one. I have greatly benefited in my own research from exchanges with Jack, just as I have from exchanges with Judy Wood and Morgan Reynolds. It is a pity that more students of 9/11 are not devoting attention to Judy's web site and Morgan's web site as well as to Jack's. If we really want to discover the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about 9/11, we cannot allow ourselves to be bound by the confines of our own imagination and experiences.

Figure 2. Before and After the Upper-Floors Collapsed

The Pentagon's own videotapes do not show a Boeing 757 hitting the building, as even Bill O'Reilly admitted when one was shown on "The O'Reilly Factor". At 155 feet, the plane was more than twice as long as the 77-foot Pentagon is high and should have been present and easily visible; it was not, which means that the video evidence also contradicts the official account. The tail of what appears to be a far smaller plane, however, is visible just above the guard mechanism. In this graphic, Jack White has sized the image of a Boeing 757 to that of the tail, which vividly displays the inconsistency of supposing that it might be the tail of a Boeing 757. If a plane of its dimensions were present, it should have been visible, but is not. Yet it is consistent with a smaller--and slower--plane having hit the building.

Figure 3. Sizing a Boeing 757 to the Pentagon Frame.

The aerodynamics of flight, including "ground effect", would have made the official trajectory-flying at high speed barely above ground level-physically impossible, because a Boeing 757 flying over 500 mph could not have come closer than about 60 feet to the ground, which means that the official account is not even aerodynamically possible. Russ Wittenburg in the DVD "Zero", an experienced pilot who flew the planes alleged to have been used on 9/11, states that the Boeing 757 can't go 500 mph hour at sea level because the air is too dense. Robin Hordon, an air traffic controller, in the same film, explains that the Boeing 757 cannot do the maneuvers attributed to it. The official story thus appears to entail violations of laws of physics, of engineering, and of aerodynamics, insofar as the damage to the building, the absence of debris, the clear, smooth, unblemished lawn and now its alleged performance are incompatible with a Boeing 757.

Figure 4. The Unblemished Lawn Post-Impact

Moreover, if a Boeing 757 could have traveled at 500 mph at ground level, it would have caused enormous damage to the grass and the ground, including producing substantial furrows from the low hanging engines, yet photos taken immediately after the alleged impact show the grass surface as smooth and unblemished as a putting green, where I expect Tiger Woods to show up and practice his game. The purported debris began showing up later, including especially a piece of fuselage torn from a commercial carrier, which was photographed in several locations. James Hanson, a lawyer from Columbus, OH, has traced this piece to a crash that occurred on 20 December 1995 in Cali, Columbia, where a vine common there ripped it off the plane. I am going to include Jim's paper in THE 9/11 CONTROVERSIES (forthcoming), which will be the second book from Scholars that I publish.

This is far from the only case of the fabrication of evidence at the Pentagon. Jamie McIntyre, the CNN reporter at the scene, reported that there were no indications that a plane had crashed: "From my close-up inspection, there is no evidence of any plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon. . . . There are no large tail sections, wing sections, a fuselage-nothing like that-anywhere around which would indicate that the entire plane had crashed into the side of the Pentagon". He would subsequently contradict his report, no doubt under intense pressure from his employer to take back anything that might be considered to undermine the official account. He now states that, "For anyone with any common sense . . . there is not going to be any doubt that a plane hit the building". But that is just what we would expect (with high probability) if no Boeing 757 actually hit the building.

Even more stunning, therefore, is that, even though the lime-green civilian fire trucks that arrived first at the scene had extinguished the fires at the Pentagon in around fifteen minutes, vast volumes of black smoke would later appear that were easily visible across the Potomac from the steps of the Capitol, where members of the House and the Senate had congregated as a safety precaution due to threats that the Capitol Building itself might be the next target. What we have here is a demonstration of the use of "special effects" of the kind that Hollywood has patented. The smoke is coming, not from the Pentagon itself, but from a series of enormous dumpsters in front of the building. It is hard to imagine any more damning proof of fakery:

Figure 5. Smoke and Flames Emanating from Dumpsters

At this point, it appears to be "pilling on" to observe that data from a flight recorder provided to Pilots for 9/11 Truth by the National Transportation Safety Board corresponds to a plane with a different approach and higher altitude, which would have precluded its hitting lampposts or even the building itself, which means that, if the NTSB's own data corresponds to the Boeing 757 that is alleged to have been flown toward the building, it would have flow over the Pentagon rather than hit it. Those who remain unconvinced by the evidence that has been presented here, therefore, are encouraged to view the 9/11 DVD's "Pandora's Black Box" and "Pentacon", which offer additional substantiation. The evidence thus appears to have "settled down".

Pandora's Black Box - Chapter Two - Flight Of American 77

The probability that a real Boeing 757 could have hit the Pentagon and not left debris from its wings and tail or even its engines-not to mention bodies, seats, and luggage-is zero. The probability that the alleged trajectory could have been flown in violation of the laws of aerodynamics is even less than zero-since violations of these laws is not physically possible. The probability that the trajectory, if it were possible, could have left a smooth, green, unblemished lawn is zero. The probability that debris would have been planted or that smoke would have been simulated, had this event involved the crash of a real Boeing 757, is likewise extremely low. That all of these things would have occurred if the alleged impact were contrived, however, is very high. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any reasonable alternative.

The PentaCon

When no alternative explanation is reasonable, then an explanation has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. The conclusion that no Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon appears to have been established beyond a reasonable doubt. The problems being generated within the 9/11 community over the quality of research, as this case illustrates, appear to be rooted in the lack of commitment to logic and evidence by individuals like Dick Eastman, who has demonstrated that he is not competent to evaluate research on 9/11. Ironically, our conclusions about the Pentagon apparently converge, which means that he ought to be regarding me as an ally rather than as an enemy. Fortunately, progress can be made as long as others of greater ability are allowed to pursue the search for truth, which confronts enormous obstacles from without and would certainly benefit by greater tolerance from within the research community itself.

Jim Fetzer, a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. He maintains its web site at