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Sunday, 14 June 2020 18:25

Kerry Thornley: A New Look (Part 2)

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Jim DiEugenio continues his new look at Warren Commission witness Kerry Thornley in light of Adam Gorightly’s The Prankster and the Conspiracy and re-examines his testimony through the lens of his biography and connections in New Orleans.


VII

Thornley was associated with some of the more reactionary characters in the Crescent City:  Courtney, Bolton, Butler, and Bringuier. On the day of Kennedy’s murder, he told Allen Campbell, “It could not have happened to a nicer guy.” (Caufield, p. 229) On that day, he asked Bernard Goldsmith, “Did you hear the good news?” (ibid) But as David Lifton said, this was all beside the point. This author does not agree.

One of the reasons Thornley gave for his incontinent antipathy for Kennedy—and he gave it more than once—was what he called the civil war and massacre in Katanga. (Gorightly, p. 53) As readers of this site understand, Katanga was part of the immense Congo Crisis, one that lasted from 1960-65. It began with the election of Patrice Lumumba in June of 1960. Lumumba wanted Congo to be free from Belgian and European colonialism. In fact, there was a constitution written and Lumumba won an election. As Jonathan Kwitny noted, Congo was going to be the first democratically-elected, constitutionally-constructed republic in sub-Sahara Africa. (Kwitny, Endless Enemies, p. 75) The mother country had other designs. Belgium deliberately pulled out early and almost completely. This was done in order to leave Lumumba on his own—with little money, means or machinery. As John Newman has noted, the Belgians even took the Congo’s gold reserves with them. (John Newman, Countdown to Darkness, p. 155)

They did leave behind part of their army. A key aspect of the Belgian plan to retake Congo was for Katanga—by far its richest province—to break away and create its own state. This would deprive Lumumba of another source of funding—while keeping Katanga under imperial reins. As Newman notes, CIA Director Allen Dulles was aware of this Katanga scheme two months before Lumumba came to power. (Countdown to Darkness, p. 153) As both Kwitny and Newman make manifest, without Belgium and England, there likely would have been no Katanga breakaway. Therefore, to call this a civil war would be like calling the Vietnam War a civil War. There would have been no South Vietnam if not for Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and the Dulles brothers. The creation of Katanga was an extension of an imperial war. When the secession crisis started, the Belgians sent in paratroopers to fire on Lumumba’s men. Belgium, England, and France now sent thousands of mercenaries to boost Katanga.

Because Allen Dulles was in on the plan, the White House denied any aid to Lumumba when he visited Washington. (Countdown to Darkness, p. 220) The idea was to make Lumumba go to the Russians. Realizing Moscow would extend help, that aid became Washington’s pretext to declare that Congo was undergoing a Castro like communist transformation. That CIA cable was written and distributed on August 18, 1960. As both Kwitny and Newman write, this declaration was complete hyperbole; Lumumba was not a communist. The cable was clearly designed as a provocation to begin covert action against Lumumba, which it did. (Countdown to Darkness, p. 223) The Agency began to devise a series of plots to murder Lumumba. Depending on what sources one uses and who is counting, there were as many as five of them. These were not rogue conspiracies. They were approved by both President Eisenhower and CIA Director Allen Dulles. (Countdown to Darkness, p. 227) The CIA even bribed Josef Mobutu, chief of the army, to assassinate Lumumba. (Kwitny, p. 67) Cooperating with the Belgians, the plots succeeded. Lumumba was killed by firing squad on January 17, 1961, in Katanga. His body was then soaked in sulphuric acid. When the acid ran out, his corpse was set afire. (Countdown to Darkness, p. 296)

There is evidence that the CIA’s multiple plots to do away with Lumumba were caused by their suspicions of what Kennedy would do when he was inaugurated, which may be why he was shot three days before the inauguration. (Kwitny, p. 69; John Morton Blum, Years of Discord, p. 23) The suspicions were justified. Not only was Kennedy planning on backing Lumumba, he also backed UN Secretary Dag Hammarskjold, who also opposed the European created Katanga state. As we know, Hammarskjold was also murdered in September of 1961. The evidence for this is convincing today, so I will not use the word “killed” in reference to it anymore. Between Susan Williams’ book Who Killed Hammarskjold? and the film Cold Case Hammarskjold, there is little or no doubt about it. (Click here for the evidence)

With those two men dead, Kennedy essentially took charge of the UN operation. The idea was to create an independent state under labor leader Cyrille Adoula and to restore the mercenary state of Katanga to Congo. Working through the UN, which he visited twice, Kennedy succeeded in attaining Hammarskjold’s aims. Like many things he achieved, this was undone after his death by a combination of the CIA and Lyndon Johnson. Thus, Congo became an imperial vassal state under long term dictator Josef Mobutu. For selling out Lumumba, Adoula and his new nation, Mobutu became an incredibly wealthy puppet. (Kwitny, p. 87)

Why is that important to this story? In order to ask this question: What kind of person would celebrate the murder of Kennedy and the victory of colonial forces seeking to exploit both the native population and vast mineral wealth of Congo? Forces which were willing to twice resort to assassination to achieve their aims? I would call those kinds of people fascists. Katanga fit the strictures of a fascist state: a paramilitary enforcement army, one man rule (by Moise Tshombe), beatings, and summary executions of its enemies, like Lumumba. And according to FOIA attorney Jim Lesar, the CIA paid former Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny to work for Tshombe. (Personal conversation with Lesar in November of 2013) With the assassination of Kennedy, all of those tendencies now triumphed. Mobutu ruled for three decades. Today the wealth of Congo has been dissipated to an oligarchy at home and abroad; while 80% of its people live in poverty. This is what Thornley was celebrating. There is no crying ignorance either. Any interested party could find out the general outlines of the story, since it attracted so much attention. The fact that Thornley was a rightwing nut was known to Garrison, through people he interviewed like Bernard Goldsmith. Goldsmith called Thornley so far right he did not even want to talk politics with him. (Biles, p. 57) Thornley’s idol Ayn Rand thought Congo was a communist state.

What is “inspiring” about this? What is “countercultural” about it? Kennedy was opposed on the issue by the likes of William F. Buckley. Buckley is the guy who sponsored James Kilpatrick’s screeds for Jim Crow well into the sixties, and, in 1963, Kilpatrick submitted an article to the Saturday Evening Post (ultimately rejected) that argued that African Americans were inherently inferior to whites. This policy was also opposed by Kennedy. (Click here for details)

VIII

The above information about Thornley should have been interesting enough to make him what investigators call “a person of interest”. Why was almost all of it, and even more, lost? In fact, actually buried, after the Shaw acquittal.

There are two related reasons. David Lifton decided that his friendship with Thornley was more important than Jim Garrison’s investigation. Therefore, he decided to battle Garrison on both Thornley and other fronts, doing what he could to damage his reputation and credibility. He worked with Edward Epstein, and as the MSM buried Garrison—CBS, NBC, Saturday Evening Post, Newsweek—so did the leading lights of the critical community.

I won’t go into all the details of the toxic assault that Lifton began on Garrison over what he perceived as the DA’s betrayal of a man he somehow, some way, considered a fine person and a valuable witness. For who? Albert Jenner? As Harold Weisberg wrote in a letter mentioned below, Lifton said Thornley appeared in New Orleans voluntarily since he had nothing to hide. According to Weisberg, Thornley was hauled into a Tampa court where the judge ordered him to appear in New Orleans. Lifton penned a two part attack article for an alternative weekly Open City that, for all its insight and subtlety, might have been written by Hugh Aynseworth. In his book Best Evidence, he termed the Garrison inquiry “a farce” (p. 717); and then when James Phelan died, he called Lisa Pease to let her know he had spoken at the funeral of the FBI informant; and she would like him if she knew him. Today, Phelan has been unveiled as nothing but a despicable character. (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, pp. 313-18)

Like Clay Shaw with the MSM, Kerry Thornley himself was the origin of many of the stories used to attack Garrison on this particular issue. (Letter from Harold Weisberg to Open City, June 17, 1968) In his Open City article, Lifton tried to insinuate that it was Garrison and his methodology which generated a case against Heindel. Again, I refer the reader to the above referenced grand jury examination of Heindel as the litmus test on this issue. No one who has read that testimony could come to the conclusion expressed in The Prankster andthe Conspiracy about using Heindel in a massive plot to finger Shaw. And that testimony has been available since the nineties, when the ARRB secured many of those files. (Click here for the grand jury testimony of Heindel and others)

As shown above, it’s not safe or scholarly to consistently use people like Lifton, Dave Reitzes, and Thornley to smear Jim Garrison. Due to their unrestrained virulence, one will run into ditches. In the last issue of the paper magazine garrison, editor S. T. Patrick had Adam Gorightly run an article saying that Harold Weisberg had sent Lifton’s then friend and working colleague, Fred Newcomb, pictures of Thornley which Harold wanted commercial artist Newcomb to make up to look like Oswald. This had been around since the sixties, when Lifton’s working pal Newcomb had sent letters presumably presenting that case to Thornley’s Florida attorney, who then got the charges in the Tampa Times. Like Lifton, Newcomb, and Thornley, Gorightly configures this to mean that somehow Jim Garrison was using unethical means to incriminate Thornley as an Oswald double.

Harold Weisberg passed away in 2002. Gorightly’s book, The Prankster and the Conspiracy, was published in 2003. In that book, I saw no attempt by the author to interview Harold about this issue. Yet he does mention and utilize it for negative propaganda effect in the book. (p. 128) In fact, Gorightly plays this theme of photo alteration with Garrison as often as Jimi Hendrix playing power chords at Woodstock. To him, it is the ultimate proof of the dastardly Weisberg/Garrison plotting against his cultural/generational hero Thornley/Kesey.

I learned about this episode back in the nineties. I have never been one to take Lifton at face value on anything he says about Garrison or Weisberg. In my view, Weisberg had done some good work on the JFK case. I did not always agree with him, but I thought that someone who had pretty much devoted his life to the case should be given the opportunity for a reply. Especially when people were attempting to defame him in public and portray Thornley as a put upon male version of Joan of Arc. After all, in all my research, neither Garrison nor Weisberg had been accused of these things—except by the hapless and not very credible MSM clown Jerry Posner.

So, I called Harold and when I read back the accusation, he instantly said: “Jim, that is the kind of spin that someone like Lifton would put on it.” I said, “Spin?” Weisberg replied “Yes, spin.” He then explained to me that what he was trying to do with commercial artist Newcomb was to show that, even if you tried, you could not make Thornley resemble Oswald to the point that someone would mistake him for the alleged assassin. Of course, he could not tell Newcomb that or it would defeat the whole purpose of the exercise. If one looks in the declassified files, the associated identification of Thornley took place in late 1967. (Mellen, p. 273) The Weisberg letter to Newcomb was sent about four months later, in March of 1968. Therefore, the circumstances would bear out what Weisberg told this author.

In this author’s opinion, Harold Weisberg deserved to be heard. If one does not let the accused reply, then one is involved in a slime job.

But the reader needs a background on this issue. As Weisberg wrote about the identification incident, the owner of a printing company in New Orleans could not identify Oswald to the Secret Service as the man who picked up the handbills that the alleged assassin had ordered for his FPCC chapter. According to Weisberg, the FBI, which apparently had gone through the same experience, now leaned on the Secret Service to drop the inquiry. If this was allowed to continue, the myth of Oswald the loner in New Orleans would have ceased. (Weisberg, Never Again, p. 18) As an honest investigator is supposed to do, Weisberg picked up several photos from Garrison’s collection to create what is called a spread of faces. Among them were Thornley’s. Douglas Jones identified Thornley. (Mellen, p. 273) Weisberg said the same thing about his photo ID methodology to author Jeff Caufield in interviews before he passed away. (Caufield, p. 229) Garrison’s critics say the incident was not possible, because Thornley was not in New Orleans at the time. This may or may not be true. But as the reader will understand by now, for good reason, this author has a justified problem with Thornley’s credibility.

As most readers understand, in the mid-seventies, through a nationally broadcast screening of the Zapruder film, the Kennedy assassination exploded into the public consciousness again. It was investigated by both the Church Committee and the HSCA. A rather strange thing happened to Garrison at this time. Kerry Thornley started bird dogging him. Garrison made a speech at Georgia State in 1975. Thornley, who happened to be attending the university, sent a go-between to approach the speaker. He wanted to talk with the former DA, specifically about how Garrison had made a mistake about him back in the sixties. (Gaeton Fonzi memo of 9/23/76) Sensing that Thornley was about to dump a pile of dis-info on him, Garrison declined.

Thornley persisted. He then mailed him two letters. Garrison did not respond. Thornley now decided to send him what he claimed was the basis for the DA’s mistake. This was in the form of a fifty page memoir of Thornley in the sixties. Finally, he now recalled certain details from his past that he had—somehow, some way—forgotten to tell the DA back then. Even though he had all kinds of opportunities to do so—by phone, by letter, before the grand jury. Thornley now realized that he had been a part of a JFK assassination plot. It was so secretive that, in two years of inquiry, Garrison had not been able to uncover it, or how it worked. That is because the major perpetrators went under the pseudonyms Slim Brooks and Gary Kirstein. Who were these men? Well Thornley now claimed they were respectively Jerry Milton Brooks and Howard Hunt. Yes, that Howard Hunt. The man who had just been all over the news for about three years because of the Watergate scandal. Brooks was a former Minuteman who had turned informant for author Bill Turner. (DiEugenio, p. 192)

I don’t want to spend very much time on Thornley’s piece of pulp fiction. It would embarrass Quentin Tarantino. But the idea that Jerry Milton Brooks had these kinds of connections within the CIA is so far out it should be riding with Elon Musk at NASA. As for Hunt, after working on the Bay of Pigs, he was then detailed to Allen Dulles for 1961 and into 1962, and eventually helped Dulles write his book, The Craft of Intelligence. (DiEugenio, pp. 55-56) He was then transferred to Tracy Barnes where he did commercial covers for his new unit DOD, or Domestic Operations. The idea that Hunt teamed up with Brooks to pull off the JFK murder, that Hunt worked for Mafia Don Joe Comforto, that Hunt spent that much time in New Orleans, that the two consulted with someone like Thornley on where to go to war after, and he suggested Vietnam, and they then tried to frame Thornley—anyone who believes this utter claptrap deserves nothing but unmitigated derision. It cheapens the subject matter and is an extension of the utter contempt Thornley had for President Kennedy. It is nothing but self-serving camouflage designed to protect Thornley with a fallback position for the Church Committee and the HSCA. Thornley understood Garrison might be consulting with a new inquiry and he wanted to get to the DA before the new investigation got to him.

IX

In the fall of 1967, Kerry Thornley and his wife Cara decided to leave California. They informed very few people. The reason Thornley gave for leaving the Golden State was an odd one. He needed more privacy in order to study Zenarchy. (Gorightly pp. 86-89) I won’t bother going into that. Just like I will not go into the other fruitcake endeavors, like Principia Discordia, that Kesey/Thornley spent his time on. But I will add that Thornley did admit he was also worried about the FBI talking to him about what he now really believed about the Warren Report.

Because of this move, Jim Garrison did not have an easy time finding Thornley. (Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 71) In fact, according to the DA, it took quite a long time to locate Thornley. In the nineties, I interviewed former Garrison investigator Jim Rose, who had his logs and journals on hand. A former CIA agent, he explained how he had used his Agency resources to locate Thornley. (DiEugenio, p. 191)

But after spending considerable time, effort, and funds to find the witness, Thornley refused to talk to the DA. Please compare this with the Warren Commission. In that instance, Thornley dropped everything, including about ten days of credit on a rental, in order to hightail it to an easy job in Virginia where he could conveniently be available to cooperate with the Commission in preparations for his testimony. But now, that whole relationship is pretty much reversed. And then some.

In a memorandum Thornley wrote on October 24, 1967, he expresses trepidations about Garrison. In some way, he feels that the DA is covering up for LBJ, who Lifton thinks is behind the assassination. By letter, he now begins to dictate terms to Garrison. One of those terms ended up being he would only meet assistant DA, Andy Sciambra at NASA, which was the place where many of those who worked with Oswald at Reily Coffee Company had been later transferred. (DiEugenio, p. 191) Apparently, coffee grinders make good aerospace designers. (Garrison, pp. 115-16) As he entered the establishment, Sciambra recalled thinking that, if someone like Thornley could command entry into such a place, then Garrison probably didn’t stand a chance in Hades of winning out. Obviously, Thornley did not just call NASA and say: I need a secure room to meet with an opposing attorney; put me next to a rocket silo, so he gets the message. No, not Thornley. Someone did that for him. Someone involved in protecting him.

In one of the declassifications revealed by the ARRB, the CIA admitted that it ran something called a Cleared Attorneys Panel in major cities—one of them being New Orleans during the Garrison investigation. The existence of this panel was first exposed in a classified letter by attorney James Quaid to CIA Director Dick Helms on May 13, 1967. In that letter, which was declassified relatively early in the ARRB process, Quaid asked to be placed on the CIA’s preferred list of lawyers in New Orleans. To show the level of deceit involved in this covert operation, when this author, along with Bill Davy, interviewed Clay Shaw’s lead attorney Irvin Dymond in New Orleans in the mid-nineties, he said there was no such panel and the letter must be a fraud.

At the time of the interview, the further releases on the subject had not yet been declassified. One of them later revealed that Shaw’s partner at the International Trade Mart, Lloyd Cobb, had been accepted and “granted Provisional Security Approval in connection with his use on a Cleared Attorneys’ Panel for the Office of General Counsel.” (Memo of 3/13/68, italics in original) The program went up to the CIA’s Chief Counsel Larry Houston. The idea that Dymond would not know that his client’s partner had been accepted on that panel is too ridiculous to contemplate.

The reason Dymond lied is because in his Playboy interview, this is what Garrison said was happening. Many of his clients and suspects were being furnished with attorneys paid by the CIA. For example, Gordon Novel had four attorneys being “clandestinely remunerated” by sources unknown to him. One of those lawyers, Herb Miller, was shared by Novel with a man he talked to a lot while Garrison was trying to get Gordon back to New Orleans, namely Allen Dulles. (DiEugenio, pp.262-63)

How does this relate to Thornley and the issue about NASA explained above? Simple. James Quaid’s law partner was Edward Baldwin. Baldwin ended up being one of Thornley’s lawyers. (See the above referenced Quaid letter, Gorightly, p. 153) Quaid understood that Baldwin had hopped on the gravy train early; Quaid now wanted some of those “clandestinely remunerated” Agency fees too. Baldwin was in the thick of all this agency intrigue. When Garrison was attempting to try Walter Sheridan for bribing and intimidating witnesses, Baldwin was one of the former NSA officer’s two lawyers. Mr. Baldwin also increased his wealth by defending local newsman Ric Townley. This is the reporter who threatened Marlene Mancuso, Novel’s estranged wife, with investigation unless she helped Townley “destroy Jim Garrison.” A few days later, Townley called her and said “If you don’t get out, you could get killed.” (Mellen, p. 192, 93) Nice defendants for Mr. Baldwin. Thornley’s other attorney was Arnold Levine in Florida who, according to Thornley, said words to the effect, pay me when you can. Plus, however and whoever, Thornley had access to NASA.

When Jim Rose discovered through his Agency sources that Thornley had moved to Florida for Zenarchy purposes, he found he had two places there: one in Miami and one in Tampa. He drove down to look at the place in Tampa. It was a large white-frame house on something like a one acre lot. Many have wondered, how could Thornley afford a place like that? His defenders, like Lifton, constantly rant that he was poor and had no such resources.

For some possible elucidation, let us flash forward to the days of the HSCA. Thornley had moved west to east at the time of the Garrison investigation. After failing to get his audience with the DA, but sending him his pulp fiction novella, he now moved east to west, back to California. When the HSCA found him, he did not want to speak to them until he lawyered up. (HSCA report of 5/24/78) When tossed a couple of questions, like did he recall with any precision when he moved back to New Orleans in the fall of 1963, Thornley said they could meet the next day for a discussion. The next day, Thornley failed to show up. The LAPD agreed to look for the runaway witness, but the HSCA was winding down and, as with the Warren Commission Chief Counsel Robert Blakey—and his writing assistant Dick Billings—did not want to open any more doors. (Mellen, p. 346) The home where Thornley first met with the two investigators was a large 5-bedroom, 2-bath on a sprawling lot, this time 2 acres. Thornley sure had access to some nice homes while he was under investigation for the JFK case. Just another coincidence.

In the light of the above revealed record, we can and should establish some things about Thornley that are based on that adduced record. Thornley was perceived to be an important witness by the FBI and Secret Service. About that there can be no doubt. Second, Thornley gave the Warren Commission what they wanted. That one can easily discern that from the forensic analysis of his testimony above. One can also see that not only did he give them what they wanted, they also did what they could to cover certain instances that an objective investigator would have pursued e.g. his true associations with people like Butler and Bringuier, the bizarre height discrepancy, his possible knowledge of Albert Schweitzer College.

As for his perjury, as shown above, there isn’t much that Thornley was not lying about, or at least equivocating upon. And it’s a shame that we had to wait until the ARRB to get the evidence. Some of it from Thornley himself. All the people he once said he did not know, or was not sure about, he now said he did know. And not only did he do a hit job on Oswald for the Warren Commission, he was doing it in New Orleans right after the assassination: Oswald was a demented communist.

But yet, Thornley then admitted to both Doris Dowell and Bernard Goldsmith that he knew Oswald was not a communist. How can one explain such behavior? I believe it’s not explainable, unless we allow that Thornley was playing a role, his motivation being his almost pathological hatred of JFK, which David Lifton cannot bring himself to confront. But to hammer it home, in 1992 on the syndicated program A Current Affair, he said, “I would have stood there with a rifle and pulled the trigger if I would have had the chance.” (Program of 2/25/92)

X

As mentioned previously, Adam Gorightly uses David Lifton as a frequent source about Jim Garrison in his book, which, to me, is sort of like using Donald Trump as a source on Barack Obama. And he also frequently uses John McAdams’ partner Dave Reitzes and also Thornley himself. And, as we can see from above with the late Harold Weisberg, he allows them to run rampant without allowing voice to the people they run over, even when that person has something relevant to say that changes the equation. To put it mildly, this is what is called doing a smear job.

But yet, using that dubious paradigm, Gorightly allows Thornley to say that Garrison—not Weisberg, but Garrison—also used photographic deception with a witness at the Mexican embassy in New Orleans and with witnesses who said they saw Thornley at Oswald’s apartment talking with Marina Oswald.

No one has seen more of Garrison’s extant files than I have. I have shared these with others. In fact, a three man team went through them and filed them with me once we had them in Los Angeles. Jim Garrison never did any of what Thornley is saying. Gorightly also attempts to smear Garrison by saying a copy of an affidavit on Thornley being with Oswald was not signed. I have seen literally scores upon scores of affidavits from Garrison’s office. Some are signed and some are not. The reason some are not signed is the same reason that some people do not keep a copy of a signed will laying around the house. Do I need to explain that? The reason that some are signed is that many came from Garrison’s own archives.

I mentioned the liberal use of snark to cheapen the subject matter. At the beginning, Gorightly strikes the mantra of I used to be a JFK researcher, but now I realize it’s really a kind of “circle jerk, leading to no ultimate conclusion, just a form of entertainment masquerading as intellectual pursuit.” (Gorightly, p. 17) Spoken like a researcher who writes FOIA’s for HSCA documents, but does not know anything about the true state of the evidence.

Then there is the LSD meme. The author writes that at Atusgi, or perhaps one of the Tokyo bars, Oswald might have been made an MK/Ultra subject. (p. 186) He then adds on the hoary story about a New Orleans assistant DA who recognized Oswald after the assassination as a man who had quizzed him about importing drugs, perhaps LSD into the USA. He leaves out the fact that the FBI decided not to follow up the story, because the witness had such bad eyesight he was not capable of face-to-face identification. (Rolling Stone, March 3, 1983) The two stories were so asinine that co-author Martin Lee did not even use them in his book Acid Dreams.

He uses this to connect to, in this same section, the discredited Tim Leary story that he supplied Mary Meyer with LSD and she gave it to President Kennedy. As I have pointed out, this is completely undermined by the fact that Leary never came close to mentioning doing such a thing for nearly 20 years, even though he had written about 20 books in the meantime. Some of them almost daily diaries. But we are to think he forgot to mention that time he met the former wife of a CIA officer, the striking looking Mary Meyer? Please.

But with Gorightly on Thornley there are no brakes, because he also writes that, in his last weeks in New Orleans, Oswald was at animal ritual killings and blood guzzling sacrifices. No kidding. Forget Jim Garrison and the Clinton/Jackson incident you circle jerker you. It’s really about Loren Coleman? (Gorightly, p. 115)

But this, I think, is the impression Gorightly wants to leave, that somehow in all those many months, all those pages of files, all those CIA infiltrators—like Gordon Novel, who he seems to know jack about—there really was not anything at all to the Jim Garrison inquiry. And its biggest crime is that it somehow detracted us from the Ken Kesey type talents of Kerry Thornley. My question though is why stop there? If you want to go out the window with hyperbole, why not compare Thornley to the greatest writer in English of the 20th century: How about Joyce?

On this site, the reader can listen to my 26 hour interview with Dave Emory. He read Destiny Betrayed, took copious notes and went through that amply footnoted volume, which is based largely on the declassified documents of the ARRB. This is what intelligent discourse is made of outside the eccentric versions of New Orleans inhabited by John McAdams and David Lifton.

Let me list just ten achievements of the deceased DA in comparison to work by Americans that came before him between 1964-67.

  1. Garrison was the first critic to declare that Oswald was an agent provocateur, probably in the employ of the CIA.
  2. The DA was the first critic to find out just what the stamp 544 Camp Street on Oswald’s pamphlet meant.
  3. Garrison was the first person to make a solid connection between Oswald, Ferrie, and Shaw, at the above Clinton/Jackson incident.
  4. The DA was the first critic to understand that Mexico City was a central part of the plot to kill Kennedy.
  5. Garrison was the first critic to comprehend that the escalation of the Vietnam War was a direct result of Kennedy’s murder.
  6. First critic to prove that Clay Bertrand was Clay Shaw (DiEugenio, pp. 387-88)
  7. Garrison’s leads were paralleled and backed up by the FBI (Click here for details)
  8. First critic who said JFK’s murder was a coup d’etat
  9. First critic who said the murder of JFK was designed to roll back JFK’s foreign policy. (Click here for details)
  10. First critic to say the murders of MLK and RFK were related to JFK.

Please compare this (partial) list to what Richard Popkin, Tink Thompson, Ed Epstein, Sylvia Meagher, and Mark Lane were writing at the time. Ask yourself why Gorightly leaves it all out. And what does this say about the value and the deliberate intent of his work.

For more, listen to those 26 hours. Adam Gorightly describes himself as a crackpot historian. As far as the JFK case goes, he should call himself Adam Gowrongly.

see Kerry Thornley: A New Look (Part 1)

Last modified on Sunday, 16 August 2020 01:14
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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