U.S. Senators face career-defining confirmation votes beginning Wednesday regarding President Trump's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Gina Haspel Custom 2The nomination of current CIA Acting Director Gina Haspel (shown at right) will help define each senator's legacy.

That's partly because of her own abuses at the CIA in fostering torture and destroying the evidence so that other malefactors could avoid accountability but also because of the background of decades of whitewashes by the senate in failing to excercise their oversight obligations under the Constitution over the powerful intelligence agencies like the CIA.

The media have duly reported Haspel's record of assisting torture and rendition after 9/11 and then helping to destroy evidence. Those shortcomings are why she is expected to receive confirmation by a relatively narrow and nearly party-line vote, primarily from the Republican majority.

cia logoWith her confirmation likely assured, our focus here is less about her than on whether the senate and, particularly its Democratic members who might aspire to future leadership, will show a commitment to the Constitution by keeping the vote close.

Haspel runs one of the nation's most powerful and unaccountable bodies, one that has been instrumental in countless covert operations, some of which have targeted Americans through the years, not simply foreigners as originally intended by the CIA's 1947 enabling legislation.

dianne feinsteinMost immediately, public attention should focus on the votes of Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Virginia), who announced on May 15 that he would support the nominee, former Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and a number of senators who are reputed to be gearing up for 2020  presidential campaigns. Feinstein faces the more immediate test of a primary election next month against a rival endorsed by California's Democratic Party at a convention this spring.

mark warner shirtsleevesWarner (shown at right) may have been complicit with the committee's GOP Chairman Richard Burr in preventing his Senate colleagues reading a classified  account of Haspel's role in the torture cover-up. That's implied by The Intercerpt's reporter Ryan Grim Monday in a column headlined Ahead of Vote on Gina Haspel, Senate Pulls Access to Damning Classified Memo. The material is from a Department of Justice report by special counsel John Durham documenting Haspell's role in helping suppress CIA torture evidence in ways not specified. Grim's story is excerpted more fully below, along with other news reports,

john mccain 2009 wRepublican senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Rand Paul (KY) are opposing Haspel. McCain, a torture victim during the Vietnam War, says the practice is fundamentally unAmerican. Paul has centered his opposition on what he regarded as Haspel's evasive testimony on her views, which she amplified in a letter to Warner released Tuesday.

Bottom line: While most of senators face heavy political pressures to approve a presidential nominee none of the senators who vote for Haspel under these circumstances should be entitled to a leadership position on any intelligence or armed forces committee, much less less presidential consideration for reasons explained more fully below.

Update: Roll Call, Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead CIA, Niels Lesniewski, May 17, 2018. Bipartisan vote does not follow partisan script. After a number of Democratic senators announced they would support President Donald Trump’s choice of Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the agency, she was easily confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Read more ...

jfk american university

President Kennedy delivers an iconic speech in June 1963 at American University calling for world peace.

Some scholars say the courageous speech during allen dulles HRthe Cold War -- combined with Kennedy's actions antagonizing CIA, Pentagon, fanatic anti-communist empire-builders, segregationist, Cuban exile, Mafia and wealthy Texas oil forces -- helped set in motion his death later in the year. Among other actions, JFK's fury at the CIA's manipulations during the Bay of Pigs invasion led him to oust the top three CIA executives. One of them, CIA Director Allen Dulles (right), an operative for decades on behalf of some of America's leading dynasties, would help guide six other Warren Commission officials supervising the Commission staff writing the official report in 1964 about JFK's death.

Beginning in the 1970s, professor, poet and former diplomat Peter Dale Scott popularized the term "Deep State" in his books to describe the secretive relationship between America's oligarchs and key unelected officials such as Dulles, as evident in scholarly research about the Kennedy assassination.

 

On April 26 this spring, the last day of the historic deadline for JFK assassination records release, President Trump ordered suppression until 2021 of some 520 remaining classified records regarding the 1963 murder of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) in Dallas.

In violating his earlier pledge to release all records, Trump released at least parts of some 19,000 other records but cited only vague “national security” concerns for the redactions and outright document suppressions despite a congressionally passed legal requirement in the 1992 “JFK Act” that he and his administration provide a specific reason to suppress each withheld record.

The White House press announcement confused the issues further by redacting many of the 19,000 documents that were released by the National Archives and Records Administation (NARA) in the latest batch last week. The records are available online, a good thing. But NARA failed to organize them in a way readily accessible to reporters and other researchers — or to provide such other key details as whether documents had been previously released in significant part.

Trump used a similar stall tactic last fall in postponing the final release of documents, which were all supposed to be released by last Oct. 26, according to the so-called JFK Act unanimously passed by Congress in 1992 to quell public fervor from Oliver Stone's powerful film JFK.

One of Trump's longtime close friends confided this spring to us that he did not believe Trump had paid any significant attention to the JFK records issues last fall until just before decision date, even though some of Trump advisors had been telling him about the importance of the release. It happens also that djt newsweek lazy boy cover customTrump his son-in-law Jared Kushner's uncle, Murray J. Laulicht, born in 1940, had served as an assistant counsel on the Warren Commission staff and was one of countless experts that the Justice Integrity Project, among others, had ascertained (JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Deadline) ,as arguing for full document release.

Thus, the Newsweek cover "Lazy Boy" last year seemed apt as a portrayal of the president for this piece.

Last week's delay and release of some but not all of the documents confused the largely deferential and gullible mainstream media that automatically defers to “national security” claims.

Let’s be blunt since this process is apparently never going to be complete, at least within the lifetimes of the surviving witnesses who could augment the record of  what was literally "The Crime of the Century."

The so-called national security most at stake involves the ability of powerful entities to murder a president, in this case President Kennedy, in broad daylight for policy reasons and then to pressure successors, Congress, courts and the media to maintain a cover-up for more than five decades so that the institutional successors of the malefactors can continue their agendas at home and abroad.

Read more ...

cyril wecht mlk rfk 2018 event logo

On the unique occasion of the 50th anniversary this spring of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, an unprecedented array of scientific, legal and historical experts will convene at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh from May 3 to 4 to describe the shocking shortcomings by law enforcers and the media in reporting on the deaths.

The conference will feature, among others, experts who will describe their belief that those convicted of the killings, James Earl Ray for MLK's death and Sirhan Sirhan for RFK's, were patsies who, according to scientific and witness evidence, could not possibly have killed the iconic 1960s leaders in the separate shootings.

cyril wecht hands up capa npc st johnThe 17th annual forensics conference is organized by the Cyril Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, based at the university.

The institute's namesake, the eminent forensic pathologist and longtime Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D., has for decades provided medical evidence regarding deaths. In a photo by Noel St. John, Wecht is shown at right during a news conference last year at the National Press Club where Wecht described the public interest in disclosure of suppressed records regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

Wecht, chairman of the group Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), among more than a dozen civic projects, was age 86 last year when he performed more than 530 autopsies. A longtime consultant, medical school professor, lawyer and prolific author, Wecht has been a world-renowned leader in disputing official accounts of the deaths of MLK, RFK and his brother JFK, among others.

Advance registration for in-person and remote audiences for the conference is here, with general instructions. A more specific registration site is here. Registration for the general public is $100 apiece. A distance videoconference option is available also. Advance registration closes at noon Wednesday, May 2. But registration later is available on a walk-in basis if space is available at the university hall.

"Often lost in the shadows of the JFK assassination," conference organizers said in previewing the event, "are the equally history-altering events of five years later — the brutal slayings of U.S. Senator and likely Democratic presidential nominee Robert F. Kennedy and the nation's pioneering civil rights leader, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Together, their murders contributed to the unmooring of American political life and the widespread distrust of government that poisons our national dialogue still."

Sirhan SirhanAmong other expert speakers will be Dr. William F. Pepper, a friend of both slain leaders, and later an attorney defending both Ray and Sirhan (who is shown at left after his arrest and below right in a prison photo from last year). Sirhan was eligible for parole beginning in the early 1980s.

But Sirhan has been repeatedly denied parole every five years or even the chance for an evidentiary hearing for reasons that authorities do not specify in detail. Sirhan's supporters say his initial trial was deeply compromised when his attorney was secretly charged with an unrelated felony and conceded Sirhan's guilt without putting on an even minimally diligent defense.

Sirhan SirhanAfter long study Pepper became convinced the defendants were innocent of firing fatal shots, and not just innocent because of legal technicalities.

Pepper argues that Ray and Sirhan were framed and that the real killers have been protected in ongoing cover-ups that would implicate "law enforcement" and otherwise sorely embarrass even now authorities and a compliant news media if ever exposed. 

Pepper, representing surviving members of the King family, won a civil jury verdict to that effect in 1999, a year after Ray died in prison.

Pepper now represents Sirhan in a pending demand for a new trial or a first-time evidentiary hearing. Pepper made that filing last July to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (ICHAR).

As we reported here last July in Petition To OAS: Sirhan wrongfully convicted in 1968 RFK Murder, the filing was made after the California Parole Board repeatedly denied Sirhan's similar requests for the chance to prove his innocence. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June thomas noguchi6, 1968. The killing was just after Kennedy won the California Democratic primary that positioned him to win as a fighting progressive both his party's nomination and, according to many commentators, the presidency in November.

Among other experts speaking at the conference will be Dr. Thomas T. Noguchi (shown at left), the Los Angeles County chief medical examiner in 1968. Noguchi found that Kennedy was hit by three bullets fired from the rear, including a fatal bullet to the rear of the head that had been fired from less than one inch away.

paul schrade after shootingPaul Schrade, a friend and presidential campaign aide of Kennedy's who was walking with the senator when Sirhan shot Schrade in the forehead, is among those speaking at the Pittsburgh conference (via a videoconference). Schrade is shown at right on the floor of the hotel's pantry after the shooting.

Schrade has since argued that Sirhan could not have killed Kennedy. Schrade is shown below left after California officials rejected Sirhan's requests last year. The photo is by an AP pool reporter, the only one allowed to cover the parole board's hearing.

Paul Schrade Associated Press poolRecords, evidence and hence news coverage of the RFK, MLK and JFK has been sharply limited through the years, which is why independent researchers look forward especially to conferences led by scientifically credentialed speakers.   

Although Nogochi tends to focus on his realm of scientific expertise, others like Wecht (a consultant to Noguchi during the autopsy), Pepper and Schrade have argued that Noguchi's finding is one of several indicators of Sirhan's innocence in killing RFK, although he was clearly at the scene shooting with a gun. "Sirhan did not fire the bullet that caused Senator [Robert] Kennedy’s death,” Wecht has said.

Witnesses and photographic evidence place Sirhan as being several feet away from Kennedy and to the front during the shooting. Sirhan, suspected by many as being a victim of hypnosis and other mind-control, has said he cannot remember the circumstances of the shooting. But his defense counsel concede that Sirhan fired some shots. 

Another speaker at this week's conference will be Philip Van Praag, an audio engineer and author who analyzed a tape that he says shows that far more shots were fired at RFK than Sirhan's gun contained.

This editor, who has published comprehensive "Readers Guides" to both the RFK and MLK assassinations, will moderate the RFK experts' panel that closes  the conference's first day. That day, May 3, focuses on the RFK assassination.

Read more ...

 

jfk limo dallas 31kb

President Kennedy, First  Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife Nellie Connally greet crowds in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

President Trump on April 26 announced that some documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy would be released in coordination with his schedule and others would be delayed until at least 2021 for what he called "national security" reasons.

donald trump august 19 2015 croppedThe White House announcement provided few details but a separate one by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) stated that some 19,000 documents would be released.

On April 26, several noted JFK research experts were privately commenting that the announcements were confusing and aggravating for researchers because, much like in the past, the Trump administration did not make readily apparent which documents had been released previously at least in part.

To provide a prompt alert to this breaking news, the Justice Integrity Project excerpts below the NARA announcement and several news stories below in reverse chronological order, beginning with April 26. More thorough analysis will follow soon.

Read more ...

 

oenearthlogo OpEdNews published on an exclusive basis April 9 the following report by Justice Integrity Project editor Andrew Kreig previewing a filing to be made the following day demanding a criminal grand jury investigation of evidence regarding the 9/11 attacks. That column achieved a remarkable 2,100 "Likes" on Facebook, along with more than 14,000 page views, as of this writing on April 12. The column is reprinted below, with slight updates to reflect that the petition was filed. Other coverage is shown in an appendix at bottom.

The WTC Tower immediately below illustrates "ejections" or "squibs" marked by arrows that, according to the petition-filers, provide a small part of the evidence of pre-placed explosive materials causing the collapses. So does molten steel, they say, which most logically could come from thermite or thermate, not from airplane fuel. The photo below at right shows examples of molten steel.

9 11 wtc squibs Custom 2

 

A federal grand jury should investigate the collapses of the World Trade Center Twin Towers during the 9/11 attacks, as well as WTC 7, according to a petition that an expert lawyers group filed on April 10 in New York City's federal court.

The 54-page petition and its 57 exhibits detail the evidence that explosives were used to destroy the WTC buildings during the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The non-profit Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry demands that the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York convene and submit the evidence in the petition to a grand jury.

The petition's executive summary and full text are now posted on the Lawyers' Committee website.

"The failure of our government to diligently investigate this disturbing evidence that has emerged over the past sixteen years regarding what occurred at the World Trade Center on 9/11," commented Executive Director Mick Harrison, "has contributed to the erosion of trust in our institutions."

9 11 molten wtc2 pouring Custom 2The lawyers, whose petition is supported by numerous 9/11 family members of victims and first responders, detailed evidence (see below) that they say requires a criminal investigation by prosecutors in the office led by Interim U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman (shown below, at left).

geoffrey berman sdnyPresident Trump and Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions in January named Berman to be the interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Berman's experience includes extensive work as a federal attorney, as well as two years as a law partner of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Giuliani became nationally famous, including selection as Time Magazine's "Man of the Year," for his visible role after 9/11. But he is known also for having authorized the removal and disposal of WTC steel debris in heavily guarded shipments to China.

Petitioners conducted a press conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday on the steps of New York's City Hall in Manhattan. Those who want to add their names to the petition can sign up online here. New names will be displayed on the next filing, which will supplement the one filed this week.

Read more ...

 

As the 50th anniversary of the April 4 murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. approaches, the Washington Post published on its front page this week a news report quoting the King Family and other experts as expressing doubt about the official story that the convicted killer acted alone, or even at all, to  kill the nation's pre-eminent civil rights leader of modern times.

This is the way that Tom Jackman, an experienced reporter, began his in-depth analysis titled The Past Rediscovered: Who killed Martin Luther King Jr.? His family believes James Earl Ray was framed:

In the five decades since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead by an assassin at age 39, his children have worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy, sometimes with sharply different views on how best to do that. But they are unanimous on one key point: James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King.

For the King family and others in the civil rights movement, the FBI’s obsession with King in the years leading up to his slaying in Memphis on April 4, 1968 — pervasive surveillance, a malicious disinformation campaign and open denunciations by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover — laid the groundwork for their belief that he was the target of a plot.

The story represented a major breakthrough in mainstream news coverage, according to King’s friend Dr. William F. Pepper, whom Jackman quoted extensively because of Pepper's decades of work as a street-savvy investigator, an attorney, and a best-selling author seeking to solve the murder.

Pepper's 2003 William Pepper Act of Statebook An Act of State, shown at left and featuring King and his wife Coretta Scott King on the cover, is the second of a trilogy by Pepper documenting evidence that conspirators murdered the civil rights leader to stop his evolving social movement. At the time of the 1968 assassination, that movement was expanding from a largely civil rights movement with roots in the Jim Crow Deep South to nationwide anti-war and economic justice crusade that some believe threatened the nation's power structure, not just bigots.

Pepper, also a noted human rights advocate who has taught at Oxford University, worked with King family members who also believe that a plot by power brokers to remove King from the American political scene included a media-assisted frame-up of the accused killer Ray, a petty criminal and eighth-grade dropout who could be vilified as a lone-nut murderer.

“The article,” Pepper told the Justice Integrity Project regarding Jackman's Post piece, “is a major breakthrough for the mainstream media, which has refused to cover the truth about the murder of Dr. King."

"Hopefully," Pepper continued in an exclusive interview with the Justice Integrity Project, "this initiative will extend to others in the mainstream media who will be reporting on the 50th anniversary in June on the death of Robert F. Kennedy, whose accused killer Sirhan Sirhan was another patsy like James Earl Ray.”

William Pepper and Martin Luther King Jr.Pepper, a friend also of Kennedy, is shown with King in a 1967 photo by Ben Fernandez as Pepper and King conferred before King's keynote speech at the National Conference for New Politics in Chicago. King was evolving his message then to a much broader movement than anti-segregation efforts in the South.

Pepper was a journalist and political activist in the 1960s and later found himself in the unusual position of becoming convinced that the convicted killers Ray and Sirhan of Pepper's friends King and Kennedy were innocent of their deaths  as shown by ballistics evidence.

Read more ...