Saturday, April 30, 2011

In case you missed my prior post, I'd like to ask everyone visiting this site and reading this post to ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Does the name E. Howard Hunt ring a bell? He was the longtime CIA operative who headed Nixon's "plumbers unit", captured inside the Watergate hotel on a mission to bug Dem party HQ in advance of the 1972 election. He also helped engineer the CIA's 1954 Guatemala coup and the Bay of Pigs invasion among other covert ops. A photograph from Dealy Plaza taken the afternoon of the JFK hit shows a guy that looks a lot like Hunt being arrested by Dallas police - they've come to be known as "the three tramps" (see Wikipedia).
  2. Are you aware that Hunt's eldest son, Saint John Hunt, says that his father recorded what he knew about JFK on his deathbed and gave it to his son to be made public after his death?
  3. That on this tape Hunt names his co-conspirators and tracks a direct line to LBJ?
  4. Now ask yourself this: "Why haven't I heard about this before? Even if Saint John Hunt were a con artist, why hasn't anyone in the mainstream media even mentioned it out of general interest (not to mention the thirst for sensational news stories)?
OK, now I suggest you visit Saint John Hunt's website and see for yourself...

What does this have to do with the murder of John Lennon? It's proof that elements of our Permanent Government did(?do), in actual fact, run assassination teams. Like the one that did the Lennon hit.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Here's an interesting webpage: (in case the link doesn't work) Be sure to scroll down from what appears to be a bargain store ad. I'm curious what people think of it. If you hover over some of the images, the cursor brings up the phrase "world vision mark david chapman". I think this is quite a piece of pointed political visual art.

Friday, March 18, 2011

OK folks. I know from the statcounter I’ve got on this blog that there are some visitors every day, from all over. So here’s an experiment I’d suggest you conduct (OK it’s not an experiment in the true sense, i.e. with a control group) -- ask people you run into these three questions: (1) “Have you ever heard of E. Howard Hunt?” If not, they might read his Wikipedia entry – he was a longtime CIA operative who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion, among other historically important episodes, most famously the Watergate break-in. OK, now ask, (2) “had you heard that Hunt, on his deathbed in january 2007, gave his son (Saint John Hunt) a taped confession in which he says he was in on the JFK assassination, and names his co-conspirators?” Go ahead, Google it. Visit his son’s website. Now, the final question, (3) “isn’t it kind of mind-blowing that no mainstream media found this story interesting enough to look into?” what does that tell us? I mean, it’s his son who’s saying this, fer crissake. And he has audiotapes. Unless he’s fabricating it, it means that we now know the answer to the riddle of the “crime of the century”, JFK’s assassination. Yet no one in the mainstream/corporate media gave the story the time of day. I mean, even if you're convinced his son is a charlatan, isn't this kind of, uh, interesting? What’s wrong with this picture?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Here's another bit of Mark David Chapman history I hadn't seen before, albeit there's no source cited. Has anyone else out there come across this claim? "Hinkley had been a member of a small music club in Hawaii where all of the members lived together and made music (in poverty). Hikley [sic] left this group of musicians whom he lived with and flew to Washington where he did this. In 1979 there was another member of that same small music club who left Hawaii and travelled [sic] to New York City for the purpose of killing John Lennon..." This appeared in a comment following an article in the Scotsman online about Reagan's shooting.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

So I just finished John Lennon: Life, Times & Assassination by the Brit Phil Strongman (published by Bluecoat Press, available on Amazon and, I'm sure, elsewhere). The book generated some press attention in the UK, e.g. the Daily Mail article proclaiming "thirty years on, there's an extraordinary new theory". Ahem. It's only new to those who haven't been paying attention. But press attention is welcome, and as for the book, my overall impression: this is a fine piece of work and deserves to be widely read. It places Lennon in the global historic context viewed through the lens of anti-imperialism, weaving Lennon, and Chapman, into a chronologic narrative, well-told by Strongman, who takes us from FDR to today, giving Central America its due along the way. Readers of this blog know that this latter is my main motor here: I am convinced that John Lennon died to advance Uncle Sam's murderous counterrevolutionary wars in Central America greenlighted by Reagan's election. Phil Strongman has made a major contribution.

Fenton Bresler's Who Killed John Lennon remains the single most important contribution to our knowledge of John's murder, including as it does the evidence unearthed by Bresler's investigation, to date still the most comprehensive we have. But there's plenty in this book to dig into, including some material about Chapman and the assassination that I haven't seen elsewhere.

First, Strongman recognizes the depth of murderous depravity of the Central America wars. "With Reagan's election now in the bag, both the CIA's hawks, and the Latin American police states they supported, decided they were virtually untouchable... During 1981 the US sent the Salvadoran government $30 million as that regime presided over the deaths of another 10,000 of its own civilians, including woman and children, most of them murdered by the Salvadoran military or this death squads." Strongman definitely gets the connection and gives it its due.

Second, Strongman brings in the other high-profile assassinations of the Sixties and beyond: JFK, Malcolm X, RFK, MLK, the attempts on George Wallace and Reagan, others in Mexico and Rome. In fact, he devotes more pages to these executions than to Lennon's (I think...I didn't really count). And his compilation of connections amongst the "illicit establishment" and "alleged assassins" is impressive. When I first read Bresler's book (~1995) and had my epiphany that John had been taken from us because of Central America, I avoided the context of this history of political murders in Amerikkka. I wanted to focus on the specifics of Lennon and Chapman - why it makes so much sense that the Permanent Government would want John out of the way as they cleared the decks for slaughter in Central America, and all of the facts about Chapman's life that were just too inconvenient to fit the "deranged fan lone nut" cover story. It was, and is, a compelling case. But I also realize that of course this narrative means there is a CIA assassination force aided by their MK-ULTRA programmed-assassin project, and if one accepts the argument that they killed John Lennon, then one also has to accept the likelihood that they were behind other executions, and attempts. I didn't want to distract people with the ocean of material about e.g. the JFK assassination, into which one can easily submerge and never come up. But Strongman has done us all a service by embedding John in the sweep of this history, beginning with the natural sympathies of some domestic rightist elements (including some in the military) for European and Japanese fascism in the 30s, 40s, and beyond, and their successful importation (via Operation Paperclip) of Nazi technical experts and other war criminals (e.g. Martin Bormann) into the homeland (or to various allied subfascist countries) for the twin purposes of "loot and anti-Communism" as Strongman nicely summarizes. He takes us through the establishment of the OSS and its evolution into the CIA; the CIA's competitive relationship with J. Edgar Hoover's FBI; and the trump card held by the CIA: photos of Hoover in flagrante delicto with his longtime gay lover Clyde Tolson (not "Colson" - p25) - which enabled the CIA to poach on the FBI's turf - the USofA - supposedly prohibited by the CIA's founding charter. This enabled the CIA to "infiltrate every post-war industry, even those connected with the Arts." He reminds us that it was British military/intelligence, in Malaya, that first deployed the "hearts and minds" counterinsurgency strategy. He gives the RFK assassination appropriate attention, including acknowledging what I consider a smoking gun Herbert Spiegel, the Columbia psychiatrist and author of one of the standard texts of clinical hypnosis, concluding that Sirhan was hypnotically programmed to shoot RFK. I've said this repeatedly, so return visitors please excuse me, but I'm saying it again: if you haven't yet, see the film RFK Must Die, available on DVD, and listen to Spiegel make the case for the creation of a "programmed assassin".

Third, Strongman makes a number of points that I've never heard before, and haven't fact-checked. I do wish that he'd cited his sources as he made each of these assertions, rather than just having a list of references at the end... they could well all be accurate, but in any case, here they are:

  • elements of the US military plotted to assassinate FDR in 1934 in a coup d'etat but were foiled by loyalists
  • the CIA, by infiltrating its assets throughout the art scene in the US, succeeded in promoting the ascendancy of artists whose work would never challenge the real-world status quo, e.g. Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol - and in fact, much of the pop and op art of the 50s and 60s, funding the "strong new tradition that increasingly demanded that "art" could be literally anything - from a blank canvas to a shiny cartoon to an unmade bed - as long as it was without practicality, meaning, or politics..."
  • lots of stuff about the JFK assassination. That Frank Sturgis confessed to being one of the shooters; that Jack Ruby had worked for Richard Nixon; that Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald had been "bedmates"; that part of Oswald's set-up as the patsy involved hypnosis
  • a record executive offered to arrange the murder of a girl dating one of the Jackson Five so that wouldn't affect their image
  • Mae Brussell thought the Manson murders were part of Operation CHAOS, Hoover's plan for the FBI and CIA to collaborate on dividing the New Left.
  • there exists an FBI memo regarding the John Sinclair Freedom Rally of 10 December 1971 which "shows a strange fascination with the event's security"
  • E. Howard Hunt refused a request from Nixon aide Charles Colson to break into Arthur Bremer's house after Bremer had attempted to assassinate George Wallace. Later that year Hunt's wife was on a plane that exploded on the approach to Chicago.
  • in NYC 1976 or 77 "Lennon first started to dream about a stranger who asked for an album to be autographed then returned, later, angry and with a loaded gun".
  • Chapman speaks Russian (p211)? I'd not seen that mentioned anywhere. Is it true?
  • chills are a sign of deep hypnosis (p215)
  • "thirty years later, Dr. Dorothy Lewis...examined Mark David Chapman and declared her belief that he might have been acting in response to a 'command hallucination' the day John Lennon was killed."
Importantly, Strongman asserts that Chapman was not a big Beatles or Lennon fan. This is also what Bresler says in his landmark investigation. But according to Jack Jones, whose Let Me Take You Down is based on the most extensive set of interviews of Chapman at Attica: as a child Chapman "would sit, sometimes for hours, playing Meet the Beatles, his only rock music album, while rocking back and forth..."(pp97-98). Jones also quotes Jan Reeves, the sister of Dana Reeves (the Georgia state cop who gave Chapman the hollowpoints he was to fire at Lennon): "I had a big collection of Beatles albums and he told me one time he didn't like them anymore because John Lennon had said that they were more popular than God." (pp117-118). I wish that Strongman had mentioned this history, if only for completeness.

And some Chapman material I've not seen before, including Chapman's playing audio tapes of the gunfire he'd recorded in Beirut in June 1975 to his friends "after he and the other YMCA visitors were pulled out." The only place I've seen that mentioned is the post by a visitor to this site, who regarded this a sign of Chapman's being an enthusiast for violence (Phil, is that where you got this bit?). Also, that Beirut at that time was "said to have been the home of the CIA's top secret assassination training" as was/is Hawaii. He also notes that the source of funding of Chapman's travels has never been identified -- Bresler says that Chapman's wife fronted his plane fares to and from NYC, but that doesn't include his travels prior to his marriage, e.g. his first trip to Hawaii in January 1977, when on arrival in Honolulu, he checked into the expensive Moana Hotel, according to Strongman, "money again seemingly no object." After a year of dead-end jobs, Chapman is admitted to the psychiatric unit of Castle Memorial Hospital after an alleged suicide attempt, then, as Strongman points out, he joins the unit staff in what appear to be "this incredible transition, from psychiatric patient to psychiatric staffer, within weeks." In July 1978 he begins his world tour, and on his return gets over 1200 Kodachrome slides processed; again, with funds from a yet-unidentified source. Strongman notes that the born-again Chapman somehow gets himself sent to the Middle East in 1975 but fails to visit the Holy Land, and to compensate for this apparent oversight in his handling, at the end of his world trip, "Chapman squeezed in a couple of days in Israel and there he gave a couple of the Holy Sites a cursory glance." I wish Strongman had documented these statements - maybe they're in the references he cites at the end. Also, "his October 1980 postcard to an Italian friend that spoke of New York and a 'mission', was later returned to the USA as undeliverable. When it finally arrived the original posting date had been changed to 1981 and the word 'mission' had been carefully removed." Again, I'd really like to know the source for this.

I have a couple minor quibbles to air, some political, some factual, some really trivial:
  • I was surprised that in his review of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program of mind control, Strongman refers (p35) to CIA biochemist Frank Olson's having "leapt from a ninth-floor hotel window to his death" after being unwittingly dosed with LSD. The evidence is pretty potent that Olson was thrown through that window to prevent his talking about MK-ULTRA. His son, for one, is convinced of this and is devoting his life to re-opening the case and getting some justice for his father's murder - see his website; see also A Terrible Mistake: the Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments by H.P. Albarelli Jr and Dead Silence: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail by Bob Coen and Eric Nadler.
  • on p199, Strongman notes that on 2 December 1980, the same day the four U.S. churchwomen are raped and murdered by the Salvadoran military, Chapman boards a flight from Honolulu to Chicago and "although he has a grandmother in Chicago it's extremely unlikely that the armed Chapman really spends three days and nights alone with her." Regardless of how likely that may or may not be, Fenton Bresler, who made the discovery of the doctored plane tickets, also uncovered evidence that Chapman likely had flown to Chicago with his grandmother to bring her home after a visit, and thus had no intention of going on to NYC until he was re-oriented by his handlers during this 3-day layover.
  • Strongman refers to Vietnamese "Troskyites"...this term has historically been used primarily by those virulently opposed to Trotsky and his adherents, primarily Stalinists (e.g. the "Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Centre" of the Moscow trials of 1936). The precise, and preferred, term is "Trotskyist".
  • southern Vietnam's National Liberation Front (NLF) never referred to itself as the "Viet Cong" - that was the term chosen by the invader (Uncle Sam), and so using it unconsciously represents a choice for the imperialist telling of history.
  • Candlestick Park is not "some 4,000 miles" from Liverpool (p 109); it's more like 5400 (OK that really is trivial, but I think if you're writing a book that's, uh, gonna be controversial, it's best to fact-check everything great and small).
  • Less trivial is this (p117) "By 1 February 1968, over 1,400 troops had been killed or wounded [in Vietnam]" -- I'm sure this was a typo, since it was more like 16,250 killed (not counting wounded) by 1968.
  • on p137, a telex from J. Edgar Hoover to Special Agents in Charge in NYC and LA reads "While Lennon and the Harrisons have shown propensity [sic] to become involved in violent antiwar demonstrations" But there must be a typo (like, he meant "...have shown no propensity...") since on the same page is this: "And even the airtel admits that neither Lennon nor the Harrisons had shown any 'propensity to become involved in violent antiwar demonstrations'"
p176: "Madison Square Gardens"
p226: "Charlie Mansion's"
p257: "The fact that Chapman avoided the publicity..." repeats

Finally, Strongman concludes that "I am now as convinced as any human being can be that elements of both the FBI and the CIA were undoubtedly behind a 'cover-up' in December 1980." Phil, man, I'm with ya, and if you're reading this, well I really really like your book. I hope you take the above as suggestions as constructive criticism for tuning up the second edition...and while you're at it, maybe you could add an index?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Response to Peter: I received your request to use information from this blog and a link back. Since I can't seem to find your email anywhere, I'm posting my response here: yes, feel free to use anything and everything you find on this site and to link to it. I'll be posting soon about Phil Strongman's book _John Lennon: Life, Times, and Assassination_.

Monday, January 03, 2011

I’d like to respond to the latest series of comments below. To the lastest anonymi, who would like me to move on, get a life, get a job etc. (though some have also been supportive, thanks!) I’d say this: Central America. If you weren’t involved at the time, i.e. if you’re under, say, 40 years old (or older but weren’t paying serious attention at the time), it would be hard to conceive of the level of savage violence unleashed by Uncle Sam’s clients on the peoples of Central America in the decade that followed Lennon’s assassination. I’m talking about the military and its allied death squads in El Salvador, the Nicaraguan contra army, the USS Honduras which served as the U.S. military/intelligence base in the region. Some examples: a scorched-earth sweep by the Salvadoran armed forces in Chalatenango province on 14 May 1980 drives some 600 campesinos – women, children, elderly – to flee into the Sumpul River in a desperate attempt to reach Honduras on the other side. With U.S. military coordination, the Honduran army lines up on the opposite bank and opens fire as helicopter gunships (supplied by U.S. taxpayers) sweep up and down the river killing everything in sight. The river runs red with blood, then black with vultures, witnessed by a priest from Brooklyn, Father Earl Gallagher. This is not reported by any Western press outlet (remember, the Internet hasn’t been invented yet) until the Sunday Times of London runs a story on 22 February 1981. It gets a mention in the Newspaper of Record when it reports a similar massacre on 8 June 1981, this one perpetrated at the Lempa River on 17 March 1981. Another example: Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered by the Salvadoran ruling party, ARENA, on 24 March 1980. At his funeral, thousands mass in San Salvador’s central square, where the military opens fire on them. Students scrambling up the steps of national cathedral are cut to pieces by soldiers with automatic weapons. These events, and hundreds, thousands more, are not in dispute. I am happy to point you to all the documentation you like. I am saying this because this was Uncle Sam’s war, the CIA’s war, Ronald Reagan’s war (or, more accurately, his handlers’ war), and it was just getting underway when Lennon was assassinated. This is why John had to die. It wasn’t some vague notion about his politics. He was going to become a citizen in a few months. His assassination was calculated, coldly, by the same bloodless war criminals who were setting about to massacre the poor of Central America on a sweeping scale, along with the priests and nuns who inspired their revolution. Before you sneeze off Lennon’s assassination, you have to deal with this reality. Or maybe you don’t. It’s your choice.

And a big thankyou to freesoulsinger, especially for providing us all with more evidence not available, as far as I know, anywhere else. This is the second time people have posted new evidence to this website. You can find a comment in the archives from a guy who says he was in Beirut and frequented the Y there at the same time as Chapman, who was busy recording the sounds of gunfire and ordnance from his room. It is remarkable to see heretofore unavailable eyewitness accounts, and I’m very grateful for this -- as well as for the insights from Exiles800. Maybe, despite the trail's being 30 years cold, things are gonna change.

A couple comments on freesoulsinger’s remarks (you’ll find them at the end of the comment queue following the post dated 3 December 2005) : (1) it’s interesting that Dylan thought Lennon’s murder was a political crime at the time and feared for his own life, and it’s entirely understandable, but my firm belief is that he was (is) in no danger whatever, since Dylan – while one of the Western world’s towering artists of the past fifty years - has never been out front in any social movement. Again, this is not what our Permanent Government saw as a threat, because it wasn’t. The chance that Lennon would have galvanized the Central America solidarity movement *was* a threat. This is the heart of the case I’m making. Others have exposed the inconvenient facts about Mark David Chapman, and the CIA’s quest to create the Manchurian Candidate, which are invaluable and to which I’ll continue to refer. It’s the motive I’m talking about here. It not only makes sense, it’s the only thing that does. (2) There has been mention in other accounts of the CIA’s having a particularly active psyops station in Hawaii during the period Chapman lived there. I had not heard before that Chapman had been a Moonie. Of course this makes perfect sense, as there is a great deal of evidence that Rev Sun Myung Moon was/is an asset of the CIA and its Korean counterpart, but I was unaware of any evidence to this effect. Anyone out there having additional information on this, please share. (3) We know that Chapman went to the shooting range with Dana Reeves, the Georgia state cop who was to give him the hollowpoints he used to shoot Lennon, but this account suggests that far more training was involved. I wonder if the Century doorman’s dad ever talked to the police (or anyone else). And yeah, I was on that million-person-march, it was on 12 June 12 1982, and yeah it seemed like a highly conscious crowd to me. Those of us of a certain age know first-hand that times change, sometimes for the better and sometimes not, meaning they can – and will – change again. Finally, I first encountered Fenton Bresler’s book around 1996, and like freesoulsinger, it’s my experience that there was almost nothing to be found on the Web at that time. It’s the reason I launched this blog, albeit not until the 25th anniversary rolled around, as I mentioned in my previous post.