Wednesday, 05 August 2009 11:02

JFK: Inside the Target Car, Part Three: How Gary Mack became Dan Rather

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Jim DiEugenio writes about how former conspiracy theorist Gary Mack became a Warren Commission defender with Inside the Target Car.


See Additional Reviews of Inside the Target Car

"I have become what I beheld and I am convinced I have done right."
        —Eliot Ness, played by Kevin Costner, in The Untouchables


When a debacle like this gets broadcast, something must be done besides just exposing it. As with Dale Myers, Gus Russo and the awful 2003 ABC special, it's necessary to peer around the corner, to look under the bed in order find out how it got that way. (See our study of ABC in 2003.) Because clearly, after extended analysis, there can be no doubt that the Discovery Channel show was a set-up all the way. As in the worst tradition of broadcast journalism in the Kennedy assassination field, the producers decided where they wanted to go, and then—come hell or high water—they were going to get there. It didn't mean a damn to them if the actors posing for President Kennedy and his wife were wrongly positioned. It meant nothing to them if they got their facts wrong on when the autopsists saw the x-rays and photos. They didn't care if their bullet didn't break apart in Kennedy' skull, even though the 6.5mm fragment left behind was the Clark Panel's major reason for elevating that head wound—which they are going with in their demonstration. To them, having an idiot hit team up on the knoll was fine—as long as they kept the audience in the dark about it. That, and nearly everything else, was cast aside in pursuit of their agenda. Which, of course, was to convict Oswald of firing from that window. And if that line won't go back to that window using the pathologists' autopsy report, well heck, we can make up a new exit so that the line does trace back to that window.

So in its relentless pursuit of the Krazy Kid Oswald fable, this godawful program now joins the Hall of Broadcast Infamy. People who study this case know of what I speak since our web site makes a major focus of how studying the media on these cases tells you why most people do not trust the MSM anymore. It's just that we knew that many years before things like the Florida election heist of 2000, and the phony excuses bandied about for the Iraq War. Both of which the MSM swallowed whole. That Hall of Infamy includes things like the 1967 CBS special on the Warren Report, the 1967 NBC special on Jim Garrison, the 1993 PBS Frontline special on Lee Harvey Oswald, and the 2003 ABC special on the JFK assassination. As I said, we have exposed almost all of these. (In addition to the ABC link posted above, see our NBC analysis and our CBS study.)

What makes an examination of JFK:Inside the Target Car so fascinating and mandatory is that it has some of the same unique inside dynamics that the 1993 PBS fiasco and the 2003 ABC debacle have. That is: Someone who had previously been a so-called Warren Commission critic had now shifted sides. And in their new uniform they were now doing the same thing that they had deplored before. That is, they were extending and aiding the original Warren Commission cover up. In 1993 and 2003 of course, it was Gus Russo and his cohort in cover up Dale Myers. This time around, it was Gary Mack.

Like Russo and Myers, Mack had been a Warren Commission critic for many years prior to his employment by the Sixth Floor Museum. Based in the Dallas Fort Worth area, he had been involved in providing the famous acoustical tape for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). In fact, that is where many people recall first hearing his name associated with this case. And historically speaking, when many books chronicle the history of the HSCA, they usually give Mack and Mary Ferrell credit for that particular piece of evidence. As I mentioned in Part One of my review, Mack also was a regular contributor to the journal The Continuing Inquiry, and for a brief time he had his own journal called Cover Ups. (According to two sources, it is wrong to state that he was the publisher of TCI as I did in Part One.) For instance, Mack first wrote about the famous cable from Hugh Aynesworth exposing his gutter journalistic ethics. Namely that he was a White House and FBI informant in his campaign to defame and derail Jim Garrison. But as the cowardly reporter requested, he wanted his covert role kept secret in all that. (See Destiny Betrayed, pgs. 183-184) Mack also assisted British documentary director Nigel Turner on his multi part special The Men Who Killed Kennedy. In fact, he was one of the two main talking heads on the show along with Robert Groden. This was originally broadcast in England and then later shown on American cable right about the time Oliver Stone's film JFK was theatrically released. That documentary had some serious flaws in it, for example the goofy and gullible work done by Steve Rivele on the so-called Corsican Connection. But most of the things Mack contributed to the program were good and interesting e.g. his work on the so-called Badgeman photo. Which, by the way, Stone borrowed for his film.

But then something happened to Gary Mack. Which, of course explains my use of the quote from The Untouchables to lead this article. But before I get to his particular chronicle, I want to outline it as part of a rather large and strange pattern that occurred at the time. I didn't see it for what it was back then, and retroactively I should have. It's something that no one else has described, at least to my knowledge. But belatedly, I think it merits a bit of attention. Because it may describe something important and relevant about today. Namely, the effort to undermine Stone may have started way before anyone else has written about.

II

"Yeah, so you know more than Dr. Alvarez, don't you!"
        —Mark Zaid screaming at the ASK Conference in 1993

I'll never forget the above incident. Just like I will never forget Mark Zaid. First, consider who Zaid is appealing to as an authority. A man who sacrificed his considerable reputation in an unrelenting effort to muddy the waters in the JFK case. Alvarez is the guy who created things like the "jiggle effect", the "jet effect", and then used (abused?) his membership in the National Academy of Science to dispute the work of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) on the acoustics evidence. As fine a scientist as Alvarez was—like Dr. John Lattimer—he had an almost slavish agenda on the JFK case. So for Zaid to use him as a blind appeal to authority, that was quite revealing.

I have written about the above bizarre conference on more than one occasion. (See, for example, my review of Ultimate Sacrifice.) Why? Because it finally flushed out two people who I believed to be quite circumspect by this time, namely Zaid and Gus Russo. I was warned at that conference by a complete stranger that Zaid and Russo were even more suspicious than I thought they were. This man, who I had never seen before, told me they were infiltrators. I discounted his warning at the time, but later on I came to the conclusion that he was right. I, and many others, had been naÔve. And not just about these two, but about others, e.g. Gordon Winslow. Considering the time period, and what was happening on the national scene, we all should have known better.

It was a very high profile time for the JFK case. You had the Arts and Entertainment Channel broadcasting The Men Who Killed Kennedy in late 1991. And then you had the release of Oliver Stone's JFK in December of 1991. There were dozens of books that came out at the time on the JFK case. And a number of them, like Mark Lane's Plausible Denial, became best-sellers. There were also a number of documentaries on television about the case and many talk shows featured many writers and witnesses on the JFK case. In fact, entire programs were devoted to the subject. The resultant hubbub even spawned a second film on the subject named Ruby. Which was not nearly as good or powerful as Stone's film. All of this furor greatly increased the size of the so-called critical community. It brought in many people who got really interested for the first time. It brought back many others who had been onto other things. It greatly expanded the circulation of existing journals like The Third Decade and it gave birth to new ones like Probe. Because of all this interest, many conferences and seminars were now set up, like the ASK Conference in Dallas, and others in Chicago and Washington. The Coalition on Political Assassinations was also formed.

Clearly, all of this attracted the attention of the Dark Side. And with the 30th anniversary of JFK's death upcoming, there were two overt ways that they decided to counteract it all. The first was when the notorious Robert Loomis met up with Gerald Posner. (The Assassinations, ed. by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, p. 369) As I have discussed before, Loomis had been a mainstay at Random House for many years. His first wife, Gloria Loomis, had worked for CIA counter-intelligence chief James Angleton for a long time. Loomis had been associated with the likes of CIA friendly journalist Sy Hersh from almost the beginning of Hersh's career. (ibid) Loomis had also worked with another spooky reporter, James Phelan, for decades. (ibid) Loomis had been instrumental in getting Bob Houghton's apologia for the LAPD cover up of the Robert Kennedy assassination, Special Unit Senator published in 1970. He was then part of the effort to withdraw from the bookstands the excellent 1978 volume on the RFK case by Bill Turner and Jonn Christian, The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. (Turner and Christian, 2006 edition, p. xvi) In talking to Posner after a debate, Jim Marrs asked him how he came to write his book on the JFK case. Posner told him he had been approached by Loomis who promised him access to certain people like Yuri Nosenko—who, of course, almost no one had access to at the time. (DiEugenio and Pease, op. cit.) I once called Loomis' New York office. He was not in. His secretary told me he was in Washington. She said he shuttled down there almost every other week. Clearly, Loomis and his Washington cronies were preparing to strike back at Stone's film through their use of Posner. So Posner's lousy book, which has since been reduced to rubble many times over, was given one of the great publicity tours ever. Including a front cover on US News and World Report. (August 30, 1993).

I first heard of Posner in 1992. It was through Gus Russo. He told me about this Wall Street lawyer who was preparing this powerhouse book that was going to create a lot of problems for the critical community. Another person who alerted me to Posner's book was Zaid. At the time, he had been meeting with people like Dick Russell and Jim Lesar about forming an organization to lobby Congress about the creation of the Assassination Records Review Board. I wrote a letter to those three outlining a strategy we should follow. I was stunned by what Zaid wrote back. First, he tried to say that there was not really enough evidence to call for a reopening of the case, and he pointed to Beverly Oliver as a witness to prove his point. I thought this was superfluous because I had never written about, talked to, or endorsed that woman. But secondly, he revealed in this letter that he had shown my original communication to his colleague Gerald Posner. Understandably, I felt betrayed. Though his book had yet to be published, I understood what Posner was up to.

Right then and there, I should have understood who Russo and Zaid were. I also should have understood that there was a large and forceful movement afoot by the Dark Side, which felt that they had been ill-prepared for the hurricane effect created by Stone's film. But I, and many others, were not quite aware of what was happening. But when PBS broadcast their 1993 Frontline special on Oswald, the truth about Russo began to dawn on us all. After all, Russo originated the show and was a chief correspondent. The program featured witnesses like Ed Butler, Priscilla Johnson, Ed Epstein, Robert Blakey, and Carlos Bringuier. As per the clincher with Zaid, at the 1993 Dallas ASK Conference mentioned above, Zaid went out of his way to do a very peculiar thing. The late Larry Harris had done a fine job in gathering many of the living eye witnesses who had been in Dealey Plaza the day of the assassination. He actually put them in their original places to be photographed and interviewed by the attendees. Zaid walked down to the Plaza with a stack of literature in his hand. And he began to distribute flyers about those witnesses explaining why they could not be believed! (He later wrote a pamphlet on this very subject with fellow "critic" Dennis Ford.)

Question: What kind of Kennedy researchers would pay money to fly to such a conference, stay in a hotel, and pay for meals, in order to argue that the critical community was all wrong? In effect, Zaid and Russo were doing their best to scuttle the efforts of a nascent movement. Because Cyril Wecht and myself spoke out against them at the 1993 ASK Conference, Zaid and Russo did not appear on the conference scene again. But that did not mean that Loomis and the Dark Side was done. Far from it. For in 1994, Russo had reportedly met with CIA officers Ted Shackley and Bill Colby. (See Probe Vol. 6 No. 2, and Who Is Gus Russo? for more details.) The word was that they were worried about what organizations like COPA were going to say about their so-called maligned colleague David Phillips. After all, there were many new documents being released about Phillips that were quite interesting. Russo later tried to say this meeting was a research foray for a book he was writing. But what would CIA propaganda writer Joe Goulden be doing there if that was really the sole aim of the meeting? Further, one of the attendees there admitted that COPA was discussed. And John Newman later called Colby who confirmed this was so and they were worried about further disclosures about Phillips. Russo was toast within the community. But a man named Paul Nolan was unknown.

III

I had my marching orders.
        —Matt Labash to Gary Aguilar

Which brings us to the second overt way Loomis and the Dark Side struck back. See, Paul Nolan is an alias. More accurately, it is an undercover name. Paul Nolan's real name is John McAdams. And to understand why Loomis and company would use him to go after COPA and defend David Phillips, you have to understand a bit about his background.

McAdams first surfaced after Stone's film was released. But he first reared his ugly visage not in public, but on the Internet. He began to frequent many of the JFK forums that sprang up around the time period of 1992-93. Except he outdid almost anyone in the number of posts he delivered. At times they were around fifty per day. (Probe Vol. 3 No. 3 p. 13) But as I wrote at the time, his personality was so repellent and his style so pugnacious that many new to the field saw through him quickly. One wrote in an e-mail: "McAdams is a spook isn't he ... I am concerned about McAdams and his ilk. The stuff he puts up on the 'Net is pure disinformation ... The stuff McAdams puts on the 'Net is pure acid. He doesn't respond to the facts, he just discredits witnesses and posters." (ibid.)

At the time, I noted that McAdams liked to forge false messages in order to insult people in the JFK field, like Jim Garrison, and to promote others, like Posner. He would jump around from forum to forum posting disinformation. Like for example that Clay Shaw was never really on the Board of Directors of Permindex. According to McAdams, that was a myth promoted by Oliver Stone. Well, finally someone actually scanned Shaw's own Who's Who entry in which he himself noted he was on the board of Permindex. This shut up McAdams on that forum. So what did McAdams do? He went to another forum and said the same thing about Shaw—knowing it had been proven false! Nothing tells us more about the man than that fact. And nothing tells us more about the people who choose to associate with McAdams in spite of that, e.g. Dave Reitzes and David Von Pein.

But one good thing about McAdams at the time, at least for the Dark Side, was that his presence in the JFK case had been confined to the Internet. So very few people in the critical community had ever seen him. That facial anonymity, plus his willingness in using a false name made him useful in the attack against COPA. In 1995, McAdams/Nolan attended the COPA Conference in Washington. Unfortunately for him, there actually was another JFK researcher whose real name was Paul Nolan. When he found out about the McAdams deception, he posted a web message: "I was just doing some research over the net. I wanted to see if anything came up that had my name in it. Guess what? My REAL name is Paul Nolan! Apparently some asshole wants to use my name as an alias." (ibid)

Using this phony name, McAdams went to the above conference. He happened to meet a conservative reporter named Matt Labash there. Labash was on assignment for City Paper out of Washington D.C. Nolan/McAdams told Labash that he managed a computer store in Shorewood, Wisconsin—which he did not. In Labash's resultant negative article on that conference, Nolan was the only participant quoted at length. And what was one of the things Labash quoted him on? Shades of Mark Zaid. It was Dr. Luis Alvarez' nutty "jet effect" explanation of Kennedy's back and to the left reaction in the Zapruder film. (ibid, p. 26)

Coincidence? Hardly. Labash had worked for rightwing propaganda mills like American Spectator and the intelligence riddled Washington Times. At the time of his hit piece on COPA he was working at Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard. Further, Labash is believed to have done this kind of infiltration assignment before for the Washington Times. His target then was the Institute for Policy Studies. When Gary Aguilar called Labash, he admitted that he had his "marching orders" from on high for his COPA assignment (ibid). To most people, it would appear that Colby and Shackley had fulfilled their mission. Except it was not through Russo. It was through McAdams masquerading as Paul Nolan.

Did Zaid and Russo get anything out of their efforts in this regard?

At the time Zaid first appeared on the scene in the JFK case, he had just graduated from law school. In 1989, he had finished his undergraduate work at the University of Rochester. And in 1992 he had graduated from Albany Law School of Union University. I'm not a snob, and I know you can get a good education almost anywhere, but for my upcoming point let me say this: Those two colleges are not exactly like graduating from Princeton and Harvard Law School. Yet, within a little more than a year Zaid had secured employment with an international law firm in Washington D.C. He then quickly became a national security lawyer with a high profile in the media. Today he and a partner run their own law firm handling many, many CIA related cases. Does Albany Law School of Union University have a great placement program? Do many of their graduates advance to international law firms in Washington at warp speed? Or was the writing Zaid did in The Third Decade so impressive that prominent lawyers in Washington were impressed?

After his meeting with Colby and Shackley, Russo also gained suitable employment. He first worked with Sy Hersh on his godawful book, The Dark Side of Camelot. Loomis' client Hersh, then got Russo further employment on the equally bad ABC special made out of that book, Dangerous World. And from there, Peter Jennings hired Russo as the lead correspondent for his horrendous 2003 ABC special. Not bad for a guy who used to be a music teacher before Stone's film.

Like Russo, Gary Mack was once considered a member of the critical community. Like Russo, something obviously transformed him around the time of Stone's film. Most informed people know those two facts. But what many informed people don't know is this: It was a good friend of Gus Russo's who helped lead Gary Mack over to the Dark Side and into the waiting hands of the Sixth Floor Museum. And this is where the story behind this Discovery Channel special gets really interesting.

IV

"You are a damned liar!"
        —Gary Mack to a couple of speakers at Jim Marrs' JFK class

Anyone who played a part in producing a show as completely and thoroughly deceptive as JFK: Inside the Target Car has no right in calling anyone a liar. Yet this is something Gary Mack did at Jim Marrs' UT at Arlington JFK class. This was to Jim's invited guests who were offering up their testimony for acceptance or rejection by his students. And he did it more than once. And he did it with Dave Perry at his side. According to some, with Perry alternately pulling and loosening his leash. It's an interesting association, Dave Perry and Gary Mack. How did it come to be?

As most people know, Mack was one of the two main talking heads on Nigel Turner's mini-series documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedy. That series was originally shot in the 1980's and reportedly broadcast in England in 1988. It was after this show's original broadcast that Gary Mack's life took a turn for the worse. And like a deux ex machina in some medieval play, Dave Perry was there to extend a helping hand.

(Before I go any further with this part of the essay, I wish to explain something in advance. In what will follow I will use several anonymous sources. That is because some of the persons who I interviewed for this piece requested it. The reason I abided by their wishes is that the people behind The Sixth Floor Museum make up, as one source told me, the white power structure of Dallas. And, as we shall see in the case of Bob Groden, they play hardball. Secondly, the connections and character of Dave Perry are rather suspicious and sinister. I mean how many JFK researchers can claim FBI informant, and CIA applicant Hugh Aynesworth as their friend? Perry can. In light of the above, I think one can understand why much of the following will not be sourced.)

As previously noted, Gary Mack had been a JFK researcher for a long time before he appeared on the Nigel Turner series. He had helped the House Select Committee secure and test the acoustical evidence, which they found compelling. He also had done much work on the "Badgeman" image. But according to one source, Gary Mack didn't think he got enough credit for either of those two discoveries. (Which is probably why, even today, he still mildly pushes those two angles.) When Henry Hurt published his book Reasonable Doubt, he told Mack he was going to place the Badgeman image on the book's cover. He did not. Then Mack got the talking head gig for the Turner series. But the notoriety Gary Mack got from this show did not help him. It actually seemed to hurt him. He lost his job as an announcer at Channel 5 in Fort Worth.

But this was not the only misfortune that visited him at this time period. Prior to this, Gary Mack had been married and lived in a nice upper middle-class suburban development of Fort Worth named Wedgwood. At around the time period he lost his job, he also lost his wife and was forced to sell his home in a the subsequent divorce proceedings. According to two sources, Mack (whose real name is Larry Dunkel, "Gary Mack" is only a broadcast name) blamed some of his problems on his JFK work. And not just with Nigel Turner. When he worked with the NBC affiliated Channel 5, he had dug through their archives to find original footage of the shooting of Oswald. In fact, he had assembled nearly one straight hour of important footage: 30 minutes before and after the murder of Lee Oswald by Jack Ruby.

But there is something I must note here about Mack/Dunkel's split from Channel 5. He got a rather generous severance package. Usually three or four weeks pay is standard for workers, and recall Mack was not part of management. If a worker gets two or three months, you are doing well. Gary Mack's severance package was for twice that. It was six months. Unusual as far as I know.

This is where it gets even more unusual. Once Mack got his rather large severance package, he did very little in the way of looking for suitable employment. In fact, he did very little at all. But he did tell one source that he knew there was an opening coming up at the Sixth Floor Museum, and he thought he was a leading candidate for the position.

Well the position of Director did come up. But Mack did not have the proper credentials in museum management. So Mack/Dunkel went back to college to attain the right background. This took awhile. So instead of waiting, when Gary Mack finished his studies, he assumed the position of curator, formerly held by Conover Hunt. Roughly speaking, this meant he would handle exhibits and collections and be their public spokesman.

If the reader detects something odd here, something more than meets the eye, he should. Because contrary to what Gary Mack tries to convey, the Sixth Floor Museum is an all-out supporter of the Warren Commission mythology about that Krazy Kid Oswald. They once offered a prominent Dallas researcher a position at a six figure salary. But they made it clear to him that he would now have to exclusively support the Warren Commission in public. He turned down the deal on those ethical grounds. Apparently, the new Gary Mack did not have that dilemma.

V

Dave, are you with the CIA?
        —Question from a mutual acquaintance to Dave Perry

All these events are swirling around the time that Oliver Stone had purchased the rights to Jim Garrison's book On the Trail of the Assassins. That film was released in late 1991. But it had been in production for about a year and the script and research had consumed over another year. After Stone had purchased the rights to the Garrison book, he quickly decided to expand his lens on the subject. He did not just want to tell a New Orleans story. He wanted to go deeper into both Dallas and Washington. So he also purchased Jim Marrs' book Crossfire and he brought on Vietnam authorities John Newman and Fletcher Prouty. But this was still not enough. He also decided to assemble a research team. One of the people who was considered for the position of chief researcher was Gus Russo. He did not get the job. Jane Rusconi did. Russo felt slighted by this and he always thought that Rusconi got the job because she was a woman. (He used to call her "the hippie chick".) Russo stayed on as an informal adviser and Stone used him to compose the footnotes for the published script. So Russo was in on and onto the project almost from the beginning. We know this not just from the above, but also from Robert Sam Anson's piece in Esquire, "The Shooting of JFK." (November, 1991)

Two things happened in Dallas while Stone was working on his film project. One was that Oliver Revell became the SAC of the Dallas FBI office. Revell had been in the Navy in 1963 and he became their liaison to the Warren Commission, handling things like Oswald's strange career in the Marines. (Probe Vol. 3 No. 1) Revell's number one man in monitoring the Dallas-Fort Worth area Kennedy research community was FBI agent Farris Rookstool.

But before Revell came to town something else happened that was more under the radar. A guy named Dave Perry moved to Texas from the Washington/Baltimore area. He immediately tried to ingratiate himself with the JFK research community. One way he did that was to have a lifelong friend of his make calls for him in order to grease the skids. His lifelong friend was Gus Russo. Russo and Perry went all the way back to college together. And they stayed friends for all those years. In fact, Russo went as far as actually flying to Dallas from his home in Baltimore to introduce Perry to the critical community there. Perry tried to make friends with all the researchers in town. But there was something phony about him that put everyone off. Everyone except one person: Gary Mack.

Mack, with Perry as his new cohort, now came out of the closet. He began to rage at some of the things he had previously believed in and some of the people he had previously been friendly with. One example being Jim Marrs. Marrs offered a course in the JFK case at UT Arlington. Perry and Mack signed up each semester. They never offered anything positive. Their main contribution was to make everyone else feel uncomfortable and to ridicule certain speakers Marrs had arranged to attend.

Perry now became Mack's guru on the JFK case. When he would talk to his former pals, he would sprinkle his conversation with prefaces like, "Dave says", or "According to Dave". He then would often berate them for certain areas of study they had developed. The only two things that Mack was now interested in from a conspiracy vantage point was 1.) The acoustics, and 2.) The Badgeman image. Those are two things he had been personally involved with, so he could not throw those out.

Another reason people were suspicious of Perry was that he was always against everything they came up with. Yet he never developed anything on his own. And then he opened his house door for several weeks to Gerald Posner when he was writing Case Closed. This almost had to be at the request of Russo since Posner lived in his vicinity.

Now, at this time frame of 1990-92, the leading journal in the JFK community was Jerry Rose's The Third Decade. Neither Probe nor The Assassination Chronicles had surfaced yet. Perry became a frequent contributor to Rose's publication. The first article he did was in the November 1991 issue exposing the Roscoe White debacle. This article was published right before the debut of Stone's film, even though the press conference announcing the whole Roscoe White tale had happened on August 6, 1990. Perry's article foreshadowed a new turn for Jerry Rose's journal. From that issue on, it became a haven for writers like Jerry Organ, Dennis Ford, Mark Zaid, and Bob Artwohl. By 1993, it had become so studded with disinformation artists, it was almost useless. Which is one reason Probe was started. Perry wrote five articles I know of for that journal. None of them were based on any of the new documents published by the ARRB. Only one can be called even mildly anti-Warren Commission. That was in Volume 8 No. 5, where he ridiculed the work of Don Breo in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Besides this piece, I can find nothing else Perry ever wrote that furthered any lines of evidence in the new documents or was ever highly critical of the Commission. Nothing on Oswald, nothing on the Paines, nothing on the medical interviews by Jeremy Gunn, nothing on Mexico City, nothing on the various cover ups by the FBI or the CIA, nothing on how the Commission and FBI altered testimony or tried to intimidate witnesses, nothing on how the evidence list obtained by the Dallas Police was altered by the FBI, nothing on how Michael Baden altered evidence to raise the rear skull wound etc. etc. etc. I could go on endlessly simply because for a man who is interested in the JFK assassination, Perry has been seemingly oblivious to all this.

Or has he?

VI

Go ahead and sue us.
        —The Sixth Floor to Robert Groden

The power elite in Dallas never wanted to recognize the fact that Dealey Plaza was their top tourist attraction. To them it was a bad memory. They wanted it to go away. It was a black eye to an up and coming city that wanted to make its mark in America. For years and years the city tried to deny they saw all those people coming into town to visit the site where President Kennedy was killed. For a time they actually said the number one tourist attraction was the TV set for the series Dallas. Because that was the image the Dallas power elite wanted to project. Not that of a hate filled Wild West town whose police force allowed the murder of the president. And then allowed his alleged assassin to be killed literally in their arms live on TV.

How much did Dallas want to forget what happened in Dealey Plaza? Well, at one time, they even floated the idea of razing the Texas School Book Depository. When that happened there was a public uproar against it. So Dallas County acquired the building in 1977 and located some offices there. From that time, a few powerful and private citizens set up a group to raise the money to lease and renovate the sixth floor. Some of the money was donated by local government and some from private corporations. Eventually, after over three million was raised, the museum opened in early 1989. And it was run by something called the Dallas County Historical Foundation. From the beginning they have tolerated virtually no differences with the Warren Commission. How could they, that could imply the local police were in on the cover up. When you put on their headphone talk inside, it is essentially the Krazy Kid Oswald story. On their web site, they even try and cover up for Life Magazine concealing the powerful evidence in the Zapruder film from the American public. This is what they say: when Abraham Zapruder sold his film to Life, it was with the understanding they not exploit the graphic details of Kennedy's death until emotions cooled down. Zapruder sold all rights to Life Magazine. Once they paid him, he had no power over what they did with the film. Executive C.D. Jackson and Henry Luce—the owner of the magazine—decided to conceal the film from the public since they knew it contradicted the official story. The only way it was shown was when Jim Garrison subpoenaed the film for the trial of Clay Shaw and when Bob Groden spirited out a copy to finally show to the public on TV in 1975. Got that, 12 years later the public saw it. I think 12 years is enough for emotions to cool down. The truth is this: If it were up to Luce and Jackson, the public would have never seen the film. But that would indicate some kind of cover up. Which is something the Sixth Floor Museum will never admit.

Not only is the Sixth Floor Museum in the bag for the Warren Commission, they are resolute in resisting any competition. Today, Bob Groden lives in Dallas because there is almost no competition there today for the Sixth Floor. So he offers the public an alternative view to the Krazy Kid Oswald fantasy they sell at their place. And they don't like it. Groden has been charged once and ticketed 80 times for selling his books and DVD's in the Plaza. The charges have been things like "vending without a permit", "selling on public property", "selling on private property" etc. The police have confiscated some of his things without ever returning them. Each charge has been thrown out. He has even been stopped at a red light and ticketed for illegal parking. You think it would have stopped after maybe 20 or 30 times. Groden firmly believes the Sixth Floor Museum has been behind this harassment. They don't want anyone contradicting their cover story.

But it even goes further than that. At one time, Groden and some partners discovered there was an opening at the Dal-Tex building coming up. They thought of leasing the space and opening up their own museum, which would have been right next door to the Sixth Floor. Well the Sixth Floor would have none of it. They swooped down and leased the space for themselves—without using it. Groden stayed out on the grass where he could be harassed.

And far from just being a public spokesman, Groden has told me that Mack is actually involved in the setting of policy. Gary Mack is active and adamant about keeping serious Warren Commission critiques out of the bookstore. He once told someone that, "Those books are not accurate." Sylvia Meagher and Philip Melanson are throwing up in their graves over that one. They are not accurate. But Gerald Ford and his raised "neck wound" are? The Sixth Floor went as far as to use some of Groden's work without his permission. He complained about it. They said in effect, "Go ahead and sue us. We will tie you up in court for years." They then agreed to make a trade with him. According to Groden, the stuff they gave him was not comparable to the things they took. And not only is the Sixth Floor anti-critical community, and pro-Commission, they are all too friendly with anyone else who supports that myth. When Robert Stone's pitiful film Oswald's Ghost came out, they helped screen it at the Texas Theater. This is the historical institute Gary Mack works for today. And this helps explain his active and boisterous participation in something as bad as JFK: Inside the Target Car.

But let us return to the time when Gary Mack was in limbo. After he lost his job and was living off his rather generous severance package. As I wrote, he somehow knew in this bleak time period he would eventually secure a position with the Sixth Floor Museum. Which, of course, he did. How could he have been so certain?

Because Dave Perry told him so—since it was he who helped get him the job. And I have that, through a mutual acquaintance, from Perry himself. Perry also admitted at the time that he was Mack's handler. And that he is very close to the Dr. Doom of the JFK case, Hugh Aynesworth. Perry actually manages Aynesworth's web site. And Perry has gotten Mack to sponsor talks by Aynseworth at the Sixth Floor. Like Gary Mack, Perry became a handler for certain witnesses, like Wesley Frazier—who needs to be handled by the Dark Side since he is a very suspicious character. In his post at the Sixth Floor, Gary Mack has clearly influenced witnesses like Gayle Nix and Billy Hargis. With Nix, he has managed to give her this bad impression that all researchers are only in it for the money. And he even instructed her to try and secure personal information about writers who try and interview her. With motorcycle patrolman Hargis, the Sixth Floor has clearly gotten him to believe that instead of being hit like a bullet from the debris out of Kennedy's head, he actually just drove through it as it fell from the air. Which, of course, is what Perry's buddy Posner wrote about in his book.

Let me echo the sentiments of Jim Garrison in regards to the above: Anybody who associates with the likes of Hugh Aynesworth on the JFK case is deserving of both suspicion and contempt. (Click here to see why.) And anyone who opens his door to Bob Loomis' pal Gerald Posner is somewhere below that. But this is the path that Gary Mack, guided by Dave Perry, took to become the Discovery Channel's Dan Rather.

Dave escorted Gary down the Yellow Brick Road. Except the trip did not end with Mack meeting the Wizard of Oz. It ended with Gary Mack becoming the new Wizard of Oz. A job which he took to with relish.

Shame on them both.

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 05:17
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 Reclaiming Parkland (2013/2016), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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