Sunday, 28 August 2011 21:43

John Hankey Marches Onward and Downward

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A follow-up to Hankey's replies to criticisms by Coogan and DiEugenio.


with Frank Cassano


Introduction

As readers will recall, Seamus Coogan did a long analytical piece on Hankey's documentary, JFK II. That negative critique stung Hankey and his followers – yes, he does have some, though not quite as many after as before. Hankey posted a reply at the web site: JFK Murder Solved, and then Jim DiEugenio replied and there was then a rebuttal round.

On that forum, Hankey admitted that he was embarrassed by the sheer number of errors – over 20 – that he had made in an 85 minute film, that was supposed to be "a documentary." He then said that he could not hire a fact-checker. Yet, as Jim pointed out: What had prevented him from going to the library and picking up say, three books on the JFK case? This would have saved him the subsequent embarrassment. He then tried to save the day by saying that the accumulation of mistakes exposed by Seamus did not touch on his major thesis. Anyone who reads Seamus' essay will understand that this is a dubious and face-saving assertion.

At first, Hankey apparently did not understand the hit his credibility had sustained; though later he did, since he now has shifted tactics. He now says that he only made – please sit down before you read this – all of one error! This is simply a deception on his part. As anyone can comprehend by reading Coogan's essay. The litany of errors he made is staggering. And understand, that essay was cut down by about 20 pages on the grounds of overkill. The total amount of pratfalls was more like 50. A fact Hankey cannot admit to today.

His other new tactic is to actually accuse Jim DiEugenio – again, sit down before you read this – of being a CIA operative. This is simply nutty. No one writing today has accused the CIA more often and more strongly of being behind the JFK murder. Can Hankey really be ignorant of this? If so, it indicates why his work is so full of errors. But because CTKA published Seamus' essay, this is what Hankey is reduced to. Even though it was Coogan – not DiEugenio – who wrote the original piece.

Hankey's new tactics were revealed on an Internet radio show called The Corbett Report. After his appearance, several readers let us know about what he had said. Frank Cassano (and others) wrote the host a letter and Jim DiEugenio left a call. On January 2nd of the new year, Mr. Corbett then granted Jim and Seamus an opportunity to respond. (Click here to download an mp3 file of Jim's and Seamus' appearance on The Corbett Report.)

John Hankey's statement below, made in an interview with podcast host James Corbett, shows the limited scope of his logic, and is a fine way to begin this brief examination of Hankey's latest faux pas on the show of December 4th, 2010. For those of you new to this debate, I refer you to my review of Hankey's appalling documentary, JFK II and Jim DiEugenio's reviews of Dark Legacy and Hankeyan clone Russ Baker's Family of Secrets.

The Hankeyan Strategy:  "Everything I get – all the major points – are from Plausible Denial."

Mark Lane's book Plausible Denial was published in 1991. Since that time there have been many published JFK books and much updated research. Lane's book is an important contribution that did much to sharpen the point that E. Howard Hunt did not have an alibi for where he was on 11/22/63. Which leads to the question: Why did he need one? When combined with the fact that his friend and colleague, David Phillips, admitted to his brother that he was in Dallas that day – well, that is quite interesting. When you add in a third point, that it was James Angleton that proffered the memo saying that Hunt did need such an alibi – well, that is even more than interesting. It's compelling. Hankey, however, completely leaves out the latter two facts. He then tries to connect Hunt, not to Phillips or Angleton, but to Richard Nixon and George Bush. Even though Hunt did not work for Nixon until ten years after the assassination. And there is no proof that Bush and Hunt worked with each other at all. It is only a Hankeyan presumption.

Now, although Nixon figures prominently in the Hankey film as part of the JFK plot, contrary to what Hankey says above, he is not part of the plot – in any way – in Lane's book. (Hankey seems to have borrowed his material on Nixon from Paul Kangas, a notoriously unreliable and sensationalistic researcher.) But Hankey tried to save the day by telling Corbett that Lane's book also implicates George Bush in the JFK case – a distortion that Corbett seemed to accept.

The problem is that Lane does not mention George Bush in the main text of the book. And that is where he actually discusses his investigation of the JFK case. He only mentions him in the Epilogue. And he references here the famous Joseph McBride articles in The Nation. McBride, of course, talked about the J. Edgar Hoover memo which showed Bush's ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. (And those of you familiar with my earlier treatment of Hankey will know he mangled that memo beyond all normal usage.) What Hankey did with Corbett was to extract one sentence from this Epilogue to provide as evidence that Lane and he are actually "soul brothers." In this Epilogue, Lane was trying to jab up present interest in the JFK case. So he asked if there was any person on the scene today with a relation to the "Kennedy drama." (Lane, p. 329) He then discusses Bush and the McBride articles. And he adds that Bush knew George DeMohrenschildt and Bush may have been involved in the Bay of Pigs. (Ibid, pgs. 332-33) And that is it. So for Hankey to state that somehow Lane's book presaged his interest in, and use of, Nixon and Bush in the JFK assassination is simply not accurate.

Hankey has adopted an interesting strategy of naming respected sources such as Fletcher Prouty and Lane and then claiming that people like Jim DiEugenio and myself are unwilling to criticize them, choosing instead to pick on him – which is stretching things. Since in my original article, I did jab at Lane for using Marita Lorenz at face value. Hankey also tries to insinuate that we are antagonistic towards them, another patently false allusion since CTKA respects the work of both authors as seen in numerous articles. Finally, his last recourse is exceptionally creative: He seeks to combine these factors and then literally blame it all on Lane and Prouty:

And anyone as brilliant about his facts as Seamus is, knows it. But he attacks me, and pretends that Mark Lane and Fletcher Prouty have nothing to do with any of this. I don't blame him for not wanting to take on Mark Lane. But this pretense is not merely cowardly. It is fundamentally, and darkly, dishonest.

In retrospect, we really shouldn't have edited out some points in the original Hankey piece. But due to the originals mammoth 52 pages, some things went to the cutting room floor. One of the things deleted was another thing Hankey has failed to give serious thought to: If Prouty's assertions about the Bush connection in the naming of the Bay of Pigs vessels as the Barbara and Houston are correct, Prouty never made a big song and dance about it. Nor did Prouty elevate Bush into the realms of the planners for the Kennedy assassination. But Hankey has. Prouty showed common sense with his allegations and didn't go off on tangents. It is people like Hankey who inadvertently damage reputations like Prouty's by taking Prouty's positions to extremes that were never intended.

Finally, there is this: Prouty and Lane have brought to the table much of benefit to all serious researchers. Lane has written three valuable books on the case: Rush to Judgment, A Citizen's Dissent, and Plausible Denial. Prouty has written a classic book on the CIA – The Secret Team – and a good book on Kennedy's assassination and his intent to withdraw from Vietnam – JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy. There is much, much more to both men than simply Hunt, Nixon being depicted with a rifle in hand, George Bush being named in a Hoover memo, allegations that Bush named some boats used in the Bay of Pigs, and the Christchurch Star. Hankey, who has brought next to nothing to the table, grossly misrepresented or overstated what they and other authors have said or written. This is a far more serious offense than any small differences of opinion with them over the naming of two ships used in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Another bizarre and immature Hankey strategy is to admit fault in his data collection, but then to say DiEugenio and I are either nit-picking over minor details that don't threaten his main thesis, or to greatly minimize the number of errors he made in JFK II. These two issues intersect each other: because if you make literally dozens of errors, as Hankey did in JFK II, who can trust what you say at all? One thing that Hankey is aware of, and hoodwinks his few supporters into ignoring, is that every "minor" detail we pick up on, no matter how divergent (and he gets pretty diverse in his multiplicity of errors), is a building block to the foundation of his overall conclusion. And that he himself has included it, not us. When we include other pieces of information it is to show what Hankey has missed.

Let us give the reader an idea of how Hankey has tried to counter the exposé of his error-filled film. When my long review first appeared, a discussion of it surfaced at the web site: JFK Murder Solved. An indiscriminating radio host named Michael Dell tried to minimize the myriad errors Hankey had made. (Dell had hosted Hankey, and obviously was stung by the fact that somehow he had not caught any of his litany of errors.) Hankey joined the discussion and admitted that he should have done a better job in his fact-checking. But somehow he did not have the budget for a researcher. Jim DiEugenio chimed in and added words to the effect: Well, can't you drive to the nearest public library and pick up a few books to prevent you from taking so many pratfalls?

On the Corbett show, Hankey has now organized a different defense against his failure to fact-check. He now tries to insinuate that the only mistake he made was that he said the CIA had killed Mossadgeh in the Iran coup of 1953. Let us call this for what it is: A deliberate lie to save face in public. That may be strong, but it is wholly justified. Why? Because just in that particular section of the early edit of JFK II, it was pointed out that he made another error: He implied that Jacobo Arbenz had died in the CIA coup the following year. Again, this was false. He did not die until 1971. Further, he also tried to imply that Prescott Bush was the guiding hand behind those two coups, plus the murder of Patrice Lumumba in 1961 – which, for anyone who knows anything about the CIA, is patently false. Clearly, the Dulles brothers guided the first two operations, and Allen himself supervised the last.

To show just how dishonest Hankey was on the Corbett show in this regard, let us go back to the thread on JFK Murder Solved. In the exchange with Hankey and Dell, Jim DiEugenio examined only the first 45 minutes of the film. From my review, he extracted nearly 20 factual errors! Or almost one per minute. And, as Jim further noted, the second half of the film is even more error-strewn than the first half, e.g., Hankey puts words in Bill Colby's mouth that he never told the Church Committee. So for Hankey to say in public that he made only one error is simply knowingly deceitful.

Another ploy that Hankey and some of his followers (like Michael Green) have developed is to call my essay "a hit piece." This is ridiculous. In its traditional usage, that term means that a journalist or reporter is called in by his superiors and told words to the effect: Go out and wreck this story, or impugn this guy's character – or both. In the traditional media, this often occurred. For example, the Los Angeles Times appointed a task force to go after the late Gary Webb and his generally accurate story about cocaine smuggling into Los Angeles by the Contras. Further back, in 1967, Walter Sheridan and NBC deliberately set out to wreck Jim Garrison's case against Clay Shaw. (Click here for the details.) No such thing happened here. After watching Hankey's film, I was appalled by the many factual errors in it. I relayed some of them to Jim DiEugenio, not telling him they were a part of Hankey's film. After about four of these, Jim asked me "Where are you getting these whoppers from?" I told him. I then suggested I do an essay on the film. So the process was just the opposite of what is considered a "hit piece." Hankey's film was so just so poor that it inspired a writer to correct the record. I was commissioned to do so by no one. I just wanted to set the record straight, and I wanted to raise the bar for the research community to shoot for. The surprise is that it took so long for anyone to do that – which tells you something about the quality control in the field.

Another Hankey tactic is to portray critical comments as down-playing certain individuals' roles or credentials, like say Oswald's intelligence connections. I hate to tell him, but it isn't a big deal anymore that Oswald was a low-level CIA operative and FBI informant. It's no big deal Bush was associated with the CIA before he admitted he was; and therefore that the Hoover memorandum is not such a big deal either. Why? Because better researchers than Hankey have pored over this stuff for years and have drawn much the same conclusions. Conclusions utterly divergent from Hankey's fantasies, e.g., fantasies like George Bush and two Cubans storming into Hoover's office and threatening him with a flechette gun (a truly nutty proposition which Hankey prudently cut from the final edit of his film).

10:44: "No members of the Kennedy's family ever alleged there was an assassination plot."

Untrue, Kerry McCarthy spoke out about it at JFK Lancer in 1997.

This is shaping up to be a vintage performance from Hankey here and this is an utterly hilarious statement. In my review of Hankey, there's a statement by The King of Comedy in which he attested to a fan that David Talbot's book Brothers backed his findings in the case.

If you thought the above comments were a little exaggerated, then check this one out. It comes from an email exchange between Hankey and an online fan:

I'm grateful that you called me at all. But it sounds like I'm better off to shut my mouth about what you've told me, since, like many true stories, it's so incredible and the other evidence is there in plain sight anyway. This new book, Brothers, further corroborates all the CIA-trained Cubans and Mafia material in JFK II.

Does he really think that his video JFK II was the first to expose the CIA-Mafia plots and their possible coordination with Cuban exiles? Did Hankey ever hear of Anthony Summers' valuable book, originally titled Conspiracy? It was first published many, many years – even decades – before JFK II began to circulate. Further, how was David Talbot's Brothers inspired by Hankey's research? You will not see Hankey's name in Talbot's index. But you will see Summers' name. (p. 476) But even that gives Hankey too much credit. For the Talbot book does not really outline any such conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.

There's further evidence that Hankey has never even read Brothers. The entire book is based on the evidence from RFK's closest confidants that he believed there was a high level conspiracy to kill his brother.

16:57: Dulles, the Chief Sponsor of the Kennedy Hit

The above section concerning Prescott's dominion over Dulles (a key theme running throughout Hankey's work) is very interesting stuff because Hankey soon back-flips and admits (extremely begrudgingly by the sound of his tone) that Dulles had been the king-pin of the JFK coup. This may be due to the drubbing given him by myself, Jim DiEugenio, and likely numerous others after his comments on Black Op Radio in 2009 that Dulles was Bush's puppet.

19:44: "I've been attacked recently by some very, very reputable people."

Apparently this is "rather chilling" because Hankey's "evidence" is apparently "clear and overwhelming" – according to himself and "lots and lots of people who agree with me that if somebody's challenging that, it throws into question their credibility." This is astounding in its delusionary rationalization. The idea that Jim DiEugenio's reputation in the research community, or at large, or CTKA's credentials, or my own are in some way going to suffer when our work is compared to Hankey's – well, what can one say to such nonsense?

21:33: James Jesus Angleton Memorandum about Hunt

Hankey gets something correct again. James Angleton did supply the Hunt memorandum about Howard Hunt needing an alibi for Dallas. But what he won't like is that this is a correction that came from my piece. Re: 40:13 into his film:

First, he says that the famous CIA memorandum explaining how they must provide Howard Hunt with an alibi for 11/22/63 was written by Director of Plans, Richard Helms. Yet according to his own source, it was written by James Angleton, Chief of Counter-Intelligence. (Lane, p. 145)

Of course Hankey has no idea that this memorandum (purportedly dated back to 1966) was leaked out during the closing phases of HSCA; nor that by 1978 Helms and Angleton were not formally employed by the agency. I should also add that in the same sentence I mentioned above, I also recall that I have never heard Hunt admit that he was an assassin. Hankey makes this vacant claim at a later stage of his "documentary."

23:34: Mark Lane writes, "All of the participants are dead except George Bush."

As mentioned above, this is not accurate. When Plausible Denial was published in 1991, two figures considered prominently involved in the assassination were alive: E. Howard Hunt and Richard Helms. Lane says so in the book on page 235, a few sentences before he even mentions George Bush. He never named Bush as a participant in the plot. But in the "Kennedy drama," which is not the same thing. Hunt's trial occurred in 1987 (a year Hankey, the Mark Lane devotee, could not even name at one point). At the time of writing this book, Lane believed Bush was somewhere around the scene and he believes Bush named the boats (as we have said, fine, he has every reason to think so). But that is about it. And the idea that Bush was a businessman asset used in the Bay of Pigs invasion is something that is defensible and logical. Like Prouty, Lane didn't offer much more than that. They both had bigger fish to fry. But Hankey wrote this in his bizarre and needlessly convoluted argument on JFK Murder Solved. It concerns the much vaunted CIA memo (which is discussed in-depth in my actual review):

Coogan pretends that I am alone in my position that this Bush-supervised group was directly involved. But that is precisely the principal thesis of Mark Lane's Plausible Denial (the content of which is outrageously misrepresented by Coogan); and Gaeton Fonzi, cited by Coogan, has said that this is the most important area for further investigation into the murder.

I don't know if John ever read the same book everyone else did, but as I said earlier, George Bush is not mentioned in Lane's book as part of the conspiracy. He never forges any relationships in Plausible Denial between Bush, Marita Lorenz, Gerry Hemmings, Hunt, and Frank Sturgis. He actually corrected himself because of Jim DiEugenio, who posted this reply about Hankey's above spiel:

This is pure balderdash. The Cubans Bush was allegedly associated with in the memo are never named in the memo. So what is the evidence that they are the same as those in Lorenz's group? He produces none. And to conflate Fonzi with Lane on this issue is fundamentally dishonest. As Seamus pointed out, Fonzi in his fine book The Last Investigation, showed why Lorenz was not to be trusted on this point. He came to the conclusion she was trying to sell a screenplay. He explains why in detail on pages 83-107. Fonzi's book came out in 1993, two years after Lane's. Lane may have been unaware of this evidence against her. But Hankey should not have been. And used her tall tale anyway. After all, he needed some Cubans, any Cubans.

25:03: Unintelligible Ramble

Okay he's getting into his famous memo here but he's misappropriated something. In fact, he's babbling on about an imminent invasion of Cuba and that somehow Hoover knew all about it and that Fabian Escalante was a Cuban Intelligence Officer, etc., etc. Oh boy, where does it end? I ask anyone: Does the Hoover document he's discussing mention an invasion anywhere? (Click here to read it yourself.) It mentions the possibility of an "unauthorized raid" by some misguided anti-Castro Cubans. But next up and true to form, he's discussing an imminent invasion of Cuba after the Kennedy assassination as discussed by Fabian Escalante – or did he? It's all very unclear. Escalante and Cuban intelligence thought there was definitely the potential for it. The CIA had been pumping a story that Castro's agents did it and that Oswald was an operative. But in an odd twist, Hankey, who had said earlier that the Mafia was not involved, yet mentions that Escalante has the invasion backed by "the Mob and United Fruit."

The invasion that Hankey discusses is not a central tenant of Escalante's 2006 book, JFK: The Cuba Files, in any way, shape, or form. Escalante's chief concern, indeed, the theme of his book, were the leads Cuban intelligence had developed in the case. The judgement by most researchers is that, though interesting in some regards, he was fairly off in terms of who organized it all. But Hankey picks up tidbits wherever he can.

27:42: Jim Di-you-hay-neo

John Hankey pronounces the surname of Jim DiEugenio (pronounced dee-you-jee-neo) in what seems like Spanish vowels. He obviously thinks Jim is Hispanic. The problem is, that with so many things, he is wrong. He overlooked that the DiEugenio surname is of Italian origin and is taken to mean "Son of Eugenio."

Nor can he even say the name of DiEugenio's book correctly. It's real title is The Assassinations. He calls it The Assassins. He gives no indications that this is his second book, his first being Destiny Betrayed. Judging by his mispronunciation of DiEugenio's last name, Hankey also has no idea that Jim DiEugenio was a consultant to Stone on the DVD re-release of JFK and featured in a segment on new evidence declassified by the ARRB. Or that he has appeared as a guest in several documentaries on this case. Or that he has done literally scores of radio shows.

28:00: DiEugenio, "The Operator," and Mr. Bush Goes to Washington... Again

At 28:00 minutes we are greeted with this slanderous tirade from Citizen Hankey about Jim DiEugenio:

He's a guy of great repute, and you hear intelligent people, who I believe are honest, and so on, referring to him with great deference, and... I think that he's an operative. He's certainly attacking the conclusions that I've drawn in a wildly unprofessional and unintelligent fashion. I mean, the guy has written extensively. He's very, very well versed. He's very knowledgeable, and nothing I've ever seen that he's written has been incredibly stupid... [emphasis added]

Now this is what we have come to expect from Hankey. Hankey say's nothing negative about DiEugenio, except that he is "an operative." In other words, that he is a CIA plant within the research community. And his evidence for this cheap smear? Well, it is that "he's certainly attacking the conclusions that I've drawn in a wildly unprofessional and unintelligent fashion." This is the sum of the evidence against DiEugenio. He disagreed with both the factual data in his film and the overall conclusion. Did Hankey ever read DiEugenio's review of Ultimate Sacrifice? Say this for Lamar Waldron and Tom Hartmann: They never reduced themselves to slander to counteract a negative review. Further, is there anyone on the current scene who has accused the CIA more strongly and more often of being involved in the JFK murder than Jim DiEugenio? Finally, why is Hankey going after DiEugenio in the first place? He did not write that review of his film. I did.

Within seconds, Hankey then confuses himself by saying that Hoover is supervising the Cubans. Luckily for Hankey, Corbett corrects him once again (not for the last time). Hankey gets back on track, but then he goes back to the idea of this memo advocating an invasion of Cuba (which it does not do). And then get this one. Really lean back and concentrate. For we are now in for another Hankeyan leap of logic. Even though the Hoover memo does not mention any kind of USA sponsored invasion, Hankey then says does notand that Hoover is writing the memo because Bush is the guy in charge of the possible invasion! It then gets worse: Hoover's report constitutes a warning to Bush saying, in effect, "You're busted," and to shut it down. Why else, according to Hankey, would the FBI contact him? At this point it is a good idea to provide another link to the document. Please read it closely. Now compare what it says to what Hankey is aggrandizing it into for his own solipsistic purposes.

Is there anything in the memo that mentions any kind of invasion? Or hints that it is CIA or state sponsored? What it actually says is that the FBI has heard that the State Department is worried that, in the wake of Kennedy's murder, "some misguided anti-Castro group... might undertake an unauthorized raid against Cuba... ." In fact, the memo goes on to say that the FBI sources in Miami say they "knew of no plans for unauthorized action against Cuba." So what is Hankey talking about? This seems to be nothing but pure and irresponsible hyperbole.

Hankey clearly doesn't understand how intelligence works. For if the memo really said what he is inflating it to say, some FBI heavy-hitter like William Sullivan or Cartha DeLoach would be sent out to talk with some CIA representative, say someone like Richard Helms or Tracy Barnes or Desmond Fitzgerald (all of them way above and beyond George Bush). And this discussion would be off the record. It would not be written up at all. As Warren DeBrueys told Jim DiEugenio in his home in Metarie, whenever the FBI stumbled across a CIA operation, they did not interfere with it. If the situation was volatile enough, the report from such a meeting would likely wind up in Hoover's personal files and not routed through the system, as this was. Larry Hancock explained as much in my review. If Bush is so important and if this was word of an "invasion," then why did it get written up in the first place?

Hankey then makes another enormous leap and mentions the utterly fictional meeting between Hoover and Bush at the FBI. This is precisely the angle he got attacked on by myself and which he erased out of Dark Legacy (before our first review appeared). But he brings it back up again. This encounter never ever happened. With regards to this, in his outing on JFK Murder Solved, he accused me of illicitly procuring a copy of JFK II, in which the demonstrably fraudulent meeting between Bush and Hoover is depicted. The joke here is that Hankey has numerous versions depicting this ridiculous scene all over the internet, and has done so for a rather long time.

31:28: Mallon and Bush Send for Dulles

What is it with official documents that John Hankey doesn't get? Because the lies and distortions of the historical record just keep on a rolling in. In JFK II and Dark Legacy, Hankey unearths a letter from Neil Mallon to Allen Dulles. In the draft version of my review I had paid some attention to this. As I said earlier, it was one of the things that didn't make it in. In the Mallon memo, which is by itself an interesting little document (if one can squint they can see it), Mallon is thankful that a friend, "Tiny," (it's what it looks like to me), has "convinced" Dulles to come to the Carlton (presumably the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown, Washington) at 7:00 pm to celebrate the Anniversary. (Not sure precisely what they were celebrating, but Hankey, in his zeal to prove a point, doesn't recognize that the date appears to be mid-April, near enough to the date of the Bay of Pigs invasion. Needless to say, I regret bringing this up because Hankey will now change his tack and make numerous other claims.) This location was chosen by Mallon (who is going to stay at the DuPont Plaza) because it was the most convenient place for Dulles to go to. He also says he has someone else is coming, whose name is indiscernible, and he has also invited Prescott Bush. Mallon wants Dulles to "listen in" on their "Pilot Project in the Carribean."

Hankey describes this memo as Bush and Mallon "sending" for Dulles, as if he is a notch above the hotel concierge in status. In JFK II, moments before we view the Mellon/Dresser Industries document, Hankey had shown a memo in which Bush had sent a letter to C. D. Jackson recommending his pal Mallon for a position, and he mentions that he had been recruiting people for Allen Dulles and the CIA. Allen Dulles is regarded as the father of the agency by any and all researchers (bar John Hankey). Thus most reasonable people would assume that Mallon was, for all intents and purposes, Dulles' follower.

Most people would also clearly see that Mallon had pestered Dulles to come along. Of all the people attending, the location was named as being the most convenient for Dulles. As for Bush sending for Dulles, this is ludicrous. He's been invited and seems to have had no problem wanting to be in Dulles' presence. There's nothing indicating Bush sent for him or demanded his presence in any way. If he had planned it with Mallon, which is a distinct possibility, they focused all attention on Dulles. Dulles was the man they needed, not the other way around. It's as clear as daylight. Another thing that is pretty clear is the date of the document, which Hankey ignores while claiming to Corbett that the Pilot Project in the Carribean is "George Bush and the Bay of Pigs." The problem here is that the document looks like it is dated in April of 1963. The Bay of Pigs occurred in 1961 – two years earlier.

36:40: Prouty Picked up a Newspaper in Australia

Part way through this ramble, Hankey says Fletcher Prouty was involved in NSAM 273, the order to withdraw 1000 troops from Vietnam by Christmas 1963. In fact, it was NSAM 263 which contained this order – and all troops by the end of 1965. NSAM 273 was the beginning of Lyndon Johnson's reversal of NSAM 263, which ultimately resulted in the deployment of 185,000 troops into Vietnam by the end of 1965.

Now Prouty figures fairly prominently in Oliver Stone's film JFK. Who can forget the scene where Mr. X encounters Jim Garrison in Washington and tells him about picking up a newspaper and instantly thinking there was a cover story put out about Oswald? As it turns out, Hankey can. He forgot what country Fletcher Prouty was in, and the famous name of the newspaper he picked up. Corbett had to correct him again. Prouty was not in Hankey's Australia, but in New Zealand and the paper was the Christchurch Star. But Hankey isn't done. He then calls Prouty a CIA operative. This is JFK 101 level stuff and Hankey is flunking. In the film, Mr. X explicitly denies this. Everybody knows that Colonel Prouty was a high-level liaison between the Pentagon and the CIA. If Hankey were as big an advocate of Prouty as he says he is, he would know that Prouty never worked for the Agency.

John, let's stop here and take a quick breather. Are these horrific mistakes irrelevancies to you? Are these minor matters, or mistakes that do not interfere with your overall analysis that the Bush family orchestrated the assassination? If so John, let's take you – no, let's walk you – back to the start. The irrelevancies we discuss are the irrelevancies you bring up. Not us. Understand this. We simply clean up your errors – big and small. What has Fletcher Prouty in New Zealand got to do with anything regarding your grand scheme? Did George Bush send him there John? Well you seem to think so. Why on earth would you say stuff along the lines of: "It's clear they moved Prouty out of the country to move Bush into Dallas to supervise his troops." And later on when discussing Bush's phone call to the FBI in Tyler, Texas, why would you joke that he should have placed the call from New Zealand?

Fletcher Prouty never actually said New Zealand got the story ahead of the rest of the planet. After spending five years examining the Star (unlike your 5 minutes), I agree with Prouty that there was a probable cover story. This went out around the world. None of the potential conduits of this information have any bearing on the Bush family. It has more to do with individuals like Joe Goulden, Hal Hendrix, and David Atlee Phillips. Persons you think are not relevant. While you are at it, please tell us that Prescott Bush invented Operation Mockingbird, which was a major part of the plot that day.

39:10: George Bush's Impossible Phone Call in Tyler, Texas

Hankey's mysterious conflict with documentation again rears its ugly head. But before we tap this rich vein of Hankeyism, let us note that he says that Bush cannot remember where he was that day. This is a myth. Paul Kangas is the spiritual father to Hankey, which, considering his grip on facts, makes perfect sense. He seems to have come up with the idea of "Bush, The Amnesiac." In this excerpt from a draft for another project, Kangas provided no sources for the following 1991 diatribe in his piece The Kennedy Assassination: The Nixon Bush Connection:

On the day of the assassination Bush was in Texas, but he denies knowing exactly where he was. Since he had been the supervisor for the secret Cuban teams, headed by former Cuban police commander Felix Rodriguez, since 1960, it is likely Bush was also in Dallas in 1963. Several of the Cubans he was supervising as dirty-tricks teams for Nixon, were photographed in the Zagruder film.

Only Hankey could be influenced by someone who calls the most famous home movie ever, the "Zagruder film," and then calls George's dad "Preston." And to make it a trifecta, Kangas says "Preston" (he, of course, should have said "Prescott") ran his son's non-existent campaign for the Senate in 1962. That Hankey and Russ Baker have both fallen for this line says much about their "rigorous research standards." (And yes, Jesse Ventura was criticized by me as well for this.) Hankey then tries to say here that Bush was not really in Tyler, Texas at the time! How? He says there was only seven minutes for him to make a call to the FBI about Thomas Parrot. As if seven minutes were not enough time to call the FBI. Yet, the FBI document says that Bush called at 1:45. George Bush actually had something like 15 minutes to make the phone call. It is there in black and white in the document he so astoundingly says gave Bush 7 minutes to make the call. Hankey's excuse – and he always has one – will be something like the call would have taken time to get through and so on. I'm sorry, but it's all there and it looks like an extremely simple operation to any rational person looking at the document in question. (Click here for a view.)

56:07: Madeleine Brown, The Prostitute

Hankey's right to be skeptical of Madeleine Brown. However, he's not prepared to go all the way. He seems to believe that the mystical Murchison assassination-eve party occurred. It's not clear to me if he does or not. But he goes all the way and smears the dead woman by calling her a prostitute. I have seen no evidence which suggests she was a prostitute. Yet based on the fact that she attended some upper-echelon Dallas parties, the woman is called a prostitute: "Why do you think they keep inviting her?" Hankey asks. In the midst of Brown's purported whoring, Hankey, in his excitement, forgets the name of the prominent Wall Street figure on the Warren Commission who was supposed to be there also. John J. McCloy was the name you were after John. Gad, you "expert" you.

1:13:41: Hankey, The Eternal Victim

James Corbett clearly wanted Hankey on his show to discuss Dark Legacy. But what it turned into was a rambling diatribe against CTKA. The debate on Murder Solved is an interesting case in point. In the final stages of his interview, Corbett asks Hankey if he has formulated a response to "Delhayneos" CTKA "hit piece" on him. (Even though I – not Jim – wrote it.) Hankey's reply, as per usual, was all over the place and yet deeply revealing:

Hankey: The way I've been dealing with it is to address it where it's raised and to ignore it when it's.... and I haven't raised it on my website because I don't think that 99 percent of the population are familiar....and, and god, I mean have you read it?

Corbett: Yes, I actually have.

Hankey: Yes.....well congrats ... you know, what is it 25 pages?

Corbett: Yeah, it's quite voluminous.

Hankey: And it's horrible I think....um and I find it impenetrable, [Yes, after myriad silly and petty assaults at it, he's finally figured it out] and it's...anyway, anyway you can find my rebuttals at JFK Murder Solved, because they raised it ah at JFK Murder Solved and so I asked DiYouhayneo.....will you know allow me to respond? And he said nooo ha ha ha, okay alright... so now what?

Now, let us do our usual Hankeyan breakdown. First of all, Hankey has raised the issue on his web site. We have seen it. But what he does is quite slick. In order to preserve his fig leaf that he really didn't make that many errors in the film, he eliminates any reference to Jim's second post there. Why? Because Jim listed the 20 errors he made in the first half of the film. Secondly, as Jim later explained when he was allowed to reply on Corbett's show, CTKA has a general rule that we don't allow authors to counter the reviews we place, for the simple reason that we negatively review so many books, essays, and DVD's that it would take up much too much time. (There has only been one exception to this rule, a reply to my discussion of Alex Jones.)

But let's continue Hankey's "comeback special" tirade, where he is a bit more candid:

Um and... anyway to me it's such a stupid ugly, ah, rabbit hole that I don't bring it up at my place. I do have a link I can send you if you like where I have Coogan's statement, my response, DiYouhayneo's response and my response they're all at JFK Murder Solved. Um I have them on a hidden page at my website but I don't put them out front. Because I don't think that's really that much of a problem...

Yes, John. That's why you're saying you're hiding it when it's a public forum. That totally makes sense. But in the next sentence you completely give the game away:

Right I mean I didn't make my movie for those people...those the.........what percent of the population I dunno the small percent of the population that um read 25 page.....25 page hit pieces on a little known documentary about Bush's involvement.

As we have explained, my piece was not a "hit piece." It was a painstaking correction of a litany of literally scores of errors. If Hankey would have done his homework, he would not have been embarrassed, as he himself admitted at JFK Murder Solved. Incredibly, he never even turned the film over to a fact-checker who was more well-versed in the JFK case than he was – which is just irresponsible.

Hankey's JFK II is not a little video by any account. In fact, by all accounts it has gone viral and brought Hankey quite a lot of attention. Thus, when Hankey plays victim, he's either deluded or making a fantastic marketing pitch.

1:16:15: J in Latin is I-I

He then uses an example of CTKA's correcting his use of the boat named Barbara in the Bay of Pigs. The boat we explained was the Barbara J, not simply, the Barbara. Now Hankey ignored the middle initial because it damaged his point. (Which he'll blame now on Prouty and then us for going against Prouty-foul betrayers; we are as you will see in the grand finale). Barbara Bush was George Bush's wife, but Barbara has no middle name. So perhaps he was wrong to insinuate the ship was named after her? He now tries to reclaim ground by making the bizarre claim that the "J in Latin is I-I."

Hankey's excuse for all of this:

Now Bush being the classest classicist, a classic devil worshipper if, you'll, you'll allow me to go there, you know what I am saying these guys are into that sort of .......his, his Skull and Bones name I believe is "Beelzebub" but they're into that weird crap. So it's legitimate to suggest that it is called the Barbara II. Because 'J' in Latin is double 'I'. I'm not going into all that.

Now, Hankey spent a good deal of time in his film discussing Bush's association with Skull and Bones. In the CTKA review, he was roundly shredded because of his inaccuracies. Hankey, "the S&B expert," should have known that Bush's name was "Magog." As for the conversion of 'J' into Roman numerals, it is a half truth. Is he really trying somehow to equate Roman numerals with the letter value of 'J' ? If he took a quick look on Google, it would have shown him that there was little numerical usage in replacing 'J' with an 'I' or 'i', and it definitely didn't equal two of them.

In any case, Prouty said it... "first-hand knowledge, in this codified fashion."

Hankey reaches a new all-time low with regard to misappropriating Fletcher Prouty – who never ever said anything of the "codified" sort in his discussions about the Bay of Pigs.

In a field abounding with some truly bad research and researchers, John Hankey scoops the pool. To even call Hankey a researcher is to shame what the term means. Real researchers, when they are criticized, do not have to hide behind the skirts of their elders and betters, and then scream they are being singled out and victimized. They defend their work on its own terms.

Hankey cannot. So he hides.


"The Dark Legacy of John Hankey"

Hankey/DiEugenio Debate Murder Solved

DiEugenio's Review Update of "Dark Legacy"

Coogan Reply to Fetzer at Deep Politics Forum


Master Class with John Hankey, Part 1

Master Class with John Hankey, Part 2

Master Class with John Hankey, Part 3

Master Class with John Hankey, Part 4

Last modified on Friday, 04 November 2016 22:42
Seamus Coogan

Seamus Coogan is one of a number of JFK assassination researchers hailing from New Zealand and Australia.  He has devoted considerable effort to ferreting out and exposing unfounded and sensationalistic or far-fetched conspiratorial hypotheses.  His most notable contributions include those on John Hankey's JFK II, on Alex Jones, and on the Majestic Papers.  He  has also reviewed numerous books for this site.

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