Memorial for Civic Activist John Judge Sustains His Legacy

John JudgeTwo hundred friends and admirers of the late civic activist and historical researcher John P. Judge fostered his legacy during a memorial service May 31 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D), a next door neighbor and close friend, described Judge as an extraordinary truth-seeker in the spirit of the ancient Diogenes. Kucinich continued, "What better place for it than Washington, DC -- the capital of smoke and mirrors?"

Kucinich, 67, was a longtime member of the House until 2013 who said he often benefited from Judge's insights about why American democracy and the economy have deteriorated in recent decades. Kucinich said he intends to keep hundreds of emails from Judge on current and historic events. "One day, they'll be put to good use."

Other eloquent tributes followed. Judge died April 15 at age 66 following a stroke two months previously.

Speakers portrayed, sometimes using music or photos, how the Washington-reared only son of two doting Department of Defense employees embarked on a lifelong quest to explore the nation's "hidden history." The search began during his days as a student at University of Dayton beginning in 1965, just as the Vietnam War was ratcheting up.

Judge's late mother had been a Pentagon specialist in planning to fulfill the nation's personnel needs via the draft. One of Judge's disclosures was that his mother, Mary Cooley Judge, was instructed just three days after Kennedy assassination to revise upward the Pentagon's personnel needs for the Vietnam War-era draft under incoming President Lyndon Johnson.

In a 1992 speech at American University cable cast on C-SPAN's "JFK: Cinema as History," Judge recalled, "They [the Joint Chiefs of Staff] told her on Nov. 25, 1963 that the war in Vietnam would last for 10 years and that 57,000 Americans would die, and to figure that in."

Judge's major effort of recent years was leading the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA), which showcased serious alternatives to official accounts of the JFK assassination and such other notable deaths during the 1960s as those of Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Judge presided at COPA's 20th annual conference last November in Dallas, which I attended for three days along with 300 other researchers. The focus was on the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. The program's title was "50 Years is Enough! Free the Files, Find the Truth."

Dealey Plaza Panorama (Andrew Kreig Photo)

The conference featured medical, security, investigative and other experts challenging various aspects of the 1964 Warren Commission Report. In its 1964 report that closely tracked immediate announcements after the death, the commissioners blamed the killing on Lee Harvey Oswald. The report claimed that Oswald acted alone and fired all shots from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository Building.

The book building is the one at left of my photo of Dealey Plaza, shot during the conference. The Warren Commission stated that Oswald was in the square window at the building's far right, second from the top. The light-colored car in the middle lane is in the approximate location of the JFK limo when the president was fatally hit.

Other experts and witnesses believe shots were fired from at least one other location, and perhaps several others that include the locale from behind a picket fence at the top of the grassy knoll in the photo at leftDealey Plaza Picket Fence (Andrew Kreig Photo).

The fence is still in place, as indicated in the other photo. As indicated, an unknown person or persons has repeatedly and surreptitiously painted a cross on the street to mark the limo's locale when the fatal bullet struck. In the spirit of the "Out damned spot" scene in MacBeth, Dallas authorities have kept obliterating the mark. 

Judge's best estimate, he has told interviewers, was the Joint Chiefs of Staff played a role in organizing the JFK killing and a cover-up. “I don’t think this is an insoluble parlor mystery,” he once told the Dallas Morning News.

Speakers at the memorial included David Ratcliffe, who authored a book on special operations during the Vietnam War. It drew on the insights of retired Air Force Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, Defense Department Chief of Special Operations and liaison to the CIA during the Kennedy administration.

Before his death in 2001, Prouty provided his views in two books, The Secret Team (1973) and JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy (1996). In the latter, Prouty provided many specifics in arguing that the CIA was instrumental in planning the JFK assassination and a cover-up on behalf of elite figures who benefited from $6 trillion in war spending between 1945 and the subsequent half century. Prouty wrote that Kennedy had intended to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam, smash the CIA "into a thousand pieces" in actions that the military-industrial complex would not tolerate. Prouty argued that Oswald was a "patsy" framed in advance to avoid investigation of the real killers, and that all presidents after JFK have learned, just like the Warren Commission and the media, to go along with the agenda's of what Prouty called the nation's elite, also known as a "High Cabal" or "Secret Team."

As described by Ratcliffe, Judge's work ranged across many cutting-edge issues. In 1985, he co-founded CHOICES, a group countering military recruitment in DC-area high schools. He and his colleagues counseled students on their options in the military and elsewhere.

As an aide to Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, he helped her prepare articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush for, among other things, initiating war against Iraq under the false claim that Iraq had been developing weapons of mass destruction. She introduced the articles in December 2006.

"A conversation with John," his friend Joseph Green recalled, "was like talking to the best and most entertaining professor you ever had." Others described Judge as optimistic and joyful even in seeking to illuminate dark deeds with slender finances because "he rarely sought or received" compensation for his public interest work.

At the time of his death, John Judge was working to create a Hidden History Library and Research Center. He intended to preserve his collection of thousands of books and documents and to educate a new generation. According to his bio, "He hoped to support the work of investigative researchers looking into the National Security State, the rise of secrecy, threats to civil liberties, government plans for extra-Constitutional jurisdiction during emergencies, and the ever-increasing power of the military industrial complex."

His companion and other friends are currently sorting through their best options to achieve those results.

The spirit of the memorial was captured by Judge's friend Patrick Elder, a longtime colleague in the peace movement.

"We've lost John Judge!" Elder said he heard last April.

In reflecting on a powerful life's work and an inspirational memorial, Elder told the audience a better view is, "We haven't lost him. We're just finding him. Have you ever felt John more alive?!"

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Related News Coverage

Family Obituary (Excerpt). John Patrick Judge passed at the age of 66, just as he had lived – with courage in the midst of pain. An internationally acclaimed researcher, writer and speaker, as well as a lifelong anti-militarist anti-racist activist, and community organizer, Judge died on April 15 due to complications from a stroke suffered in early March. Judge’s primary areas of research were the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as totally unique research which he conducted on-the-ground about the massacre in Jonestown, Guyana.  He is a co-founder of the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA), and organized COPA's annual conference in Dallas. The 2013 COPA conference drew more than 300 researchers and activists to Dallas on the 50th anniversary of John Kennedy’s death. Some of his writings can be found at John Judge is survived by his long-time companion and life partner, Marilyn Tenenoff and thousands of friends and admirers across the country and around the world. In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations can be made to support the preservation of Judge's books and archives in a new Museum of Hidden History, P.O. Box 772, Washington, DC, 20044. Special highlight video: BrassCheckTV captured an extraordinary segment in an interview where John Judge recalled that his late mother, in charge of estimated U.S. military draft needs, received an order from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on Nov. 25, 1963 to revise upward military draft needs for Vietnam three days after President Kennedy's assassination, thereby voiding an order the previous spring to devise draft needs on the assumption no troops would remain in Vietnam.

Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA), Washington, DC. Founded in 1994 and led by John Judge, the Coalition on Political Assassinations originally included the Committee for an Open Archives, the Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination, and the Assassination Archives and Research Center. The organization currently serves as a network of the serious researchers into the murders of John and Robert Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other political figures. COPA was instrumental in overseeing implementation of the JFK Assassination Records Act, passed in 1992, which has led to the release of over 6.5 million pages of records to date, the second largest release of classified documents in US history. Our network of researchers includes medical and ballistic experts, academics, authors, researchers and concerned citizens. Since 1994, COPA has held a series of national and regional meetings to present the most recent credible research into these unsolved political assassinations.

Popular Resistance, Peace and Justice Movement Loses A Long-Time Advocate, John Judge, David Swanson, April 16, 2014. Our society has lost a great activist today with the death of John Judge. No one spoke more clearly, strongly, and informedly on political power, militarism, and activism for positive change. While John lived next door to Dennis Kucinich — and with one of the best views and one of the best collections of political books and documents — in Washington, D.C., it was as staff person for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney that he advanced numerous causes of peace and justice and accountability for the powerful on Capitol Hill. John’s expertise reached back into history and across continents. From the Kennedy assassination to conscientious objection to how-a-bill-becomes-a-law, he was a person to turn to for information and wisdom who was never anything but helpful, friendly, cheerful, and energetic. He will be missed.

L. Fletcher Prouty Vimeo, The Final Analysis: ...that whole Bay of Pigs thing (2 hour, 33 minute video), Producer, Writer, Editor and Co-Director Angela Jackson and Creator, Director and Writer James O'Shaughnessy. Documentary about the policies and death of President Kennedy, focusing especially on the Bay of Pigs invasion that led to Kennedy's firing of the CIA's three top officials and a rupture with the Defense Department's Joint Chiefs of Staff. The film draws heavily on the 1999 book Understanding Special Operations by David Ratcliffe, who attended the John Judge Memorial, as did the two film makers. The documentary also draws heavily on the recollections of the late Air Force Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, the Pentagon's liaison to the CIA during the Kennedy Administration. Prouty, shown in a file photo, was best known as 'Mr. X' in the film "JFK" by Oliver Stone. 

Washington Post, John Judge, independent investigator of historic events, dies at 66, Emily Langer, April 24, 2014. John P. Judge, an independent researcher who tirelessly amassed and disseminated evidence supporting alternative explanations — some called them conspiracy theories — for President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other historic events, died April 15 at a nursing facility in the District. He was 66. Through years of investigation and activism, Mr. Judge developed a devoted following in the community of skeptics who question official or commonly accepted narratives of the past. He co-founded and directed the Coalition on Political Assassinations, an organization whose activities include investigating the deaths in the 1960s of John Kennedy, his brother Robert F. Kennedy, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and black nationalist leader Malcolm X. News outlets, with some frequency, featured Mr. Judge and his work. He turned his Washington home into a repository of thousands of volumes and documents on political assassinations and other matters, supporting himself over the decades through odd jobs and fundraising work. He considered himself an “alternate historian,” according to his Web site,

YouTube, Richard Ochs and Barry Kissin perform the song "Magic Bullet is a Lie" at the Celebration of the Life of John Patrick Judge, National Press Club, May 31, 2014. "JFK Assassination Song: Magic Bullet is a Lie!" By Richard J. Ochs (To "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan). For lyrics and footnotes, please visit Free From Terror.


Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination

Dealey Plaza Grassy KnollThe Justice Integrity Project has so far published 12 parts of Reader's Guide to the JFK assassination beginning in late 2013 to assist other researchers. The guide will continue with updates and new material as the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report approaches in September 2014. The photo at right shows a picket fence hidden behind a white wall that many alternative researchers regard as an ideal ambush site for a killer. The fence and "grassy knoll" are also the place identified by most witnesses as the main location of gunfire. The photos was taken Nov. 25, 2014, three days after the 50th anniversary of the killing. Mourners had left flowers on the knoll, adjoining the approximate location on the street of the murder.

In the Readers Guide columns below, major segments are denoted with a red asterisk.

  1. Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013. The Justice Integrity Project will provide a consumer's guide this fall to the many books and events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
  2. Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos , Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films this year.
  3. Project Lists JFK Assassination Books, Archives, Reports & Videos, Nov. 2, 2013. Provided below is a leading books, films and archives from the last 50 years regarding the JFK assassination in 1963. *
  4. Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
  5. Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
  6. 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,’ Nov. 19, 2013.
  7. Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. The past week's news coverage of President Kennedy's 1963 assassination provides a stark view of self-censorship.
  8. JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
  9. JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The Central Intelligence Agency implicated itself in the 1963 murder of President Kennedy and its ongoing cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out recently. *
  10. JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Expert reactions to our Dec. 9 argument against the Warren Commission's finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President Kennedy. *
  11. Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
  12. Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *


Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

NSA Official LogoNew York Times, N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images, James Risen and Laura Poitras, May 31, 2014. The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents. The spy agency’s reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly over the last four years as the agency has turned to new software to exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences and other communications, the N.S.A. documents reveal. Agency officials believe that technological advances could revolutionize the way that the N.S.A. finds intelligence targets around the world, the documents show. The agency’s ambitions for this highly sensitive ability and the scale of its effort have not previously been disclosed. The agency intercepts “millions of images per day” — including about 55,000 “facial recognition quality images” — which translate into “tremendous untapped potential,” according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets, the documents show.