Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 4 Num. 60

("Quid coniuratio est?")


My transcription of a talk by Dr. Michael Parenti. Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 1962. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, and is the author of many books, including Democracy for the Few (St. Martin's; sixth edition); Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media (St. Martin's; second edition); and *Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America (St. Martin's). I will include a list of his audio taped lectures at the end of this transcript.

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MICHAEL PARENTI [continues]:
This was only one of a number of very strangely favorable treatments that the U.S. government began to give Lee Harvey Oswald. He then defected to the USSR -- but how? Phillip Melinson raises the question. To get to Russia in those days would have cost $1,500. Lee Harvey Oswald's bank account showed a deposit of only $203. He got (after he arrived in London, and was there), he left London and went to Helsinki on October 11, on a day when there were no available commercial flights that would have allowed him to make it in one day. He had some kind of private transportation, to get to Helsinki.

In Russia, he announced that he was renouncing his U.S. citizenship, and that he had lots of secrets that he was going to give to the Soviets. He even went into the U.S. embassy and announced that, and made sure they all knew it.

The Soviets didn't bite. They let him stay, but they at no time thought he could be an agent of any use to them. They kept him under constant surveillance.

He worked in the factory. He showed no particular interest in guns, but he belonged to the factory's gun club. He used to join in the rabbit shoots, and he could never hit the rabbit. Always, someone had to come behind him and shoot the rabbit while he was firing. Otherwise, they would've been there all day. It was a joke. He was a miserable marksman -- as he had been in the U.S. Marines. He had been flagged, again and again, on the... He had missed the whole target. [After] a number of times, you get the flag. So Lee Harvey Oswald showed... [he] couldn't hit the side of a barn.

Now if Lee Harvey Oswald was really a defector, and not a U.S. spy, then U.S. Intelligence could well have taken the view that his was one of the most damaging defections in history. Now what's done in all defections, especially those connected with... definitely those connected with government and military, is that there's a damage assessment. No damage assessment was ever made on Oswald's defection! This did come out, in the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee. Why was... There was no damage assessment! Guess it was just overlooked. I don't know.

After two-and-a-half years, he applies to return to the U.S. This is after renouncing his citizenship, announcing he was going to give away secrets! And instead of being grabbed when he comes out, and tried as a traitor, the U.S. accepts him back! And he says that he was never de-briefed! In fact, he was de-briefed, in Holland, in Amsterdam. But the CIA had no record of de-briefing him. Doesn't, "doesn't know" who he is, never touched him, was never near him. And their explanation before the [Warren] Commission was that "there were so many tourists, coming in and out." That "there was nothing, particularly, about him that would catch our attention." One might wonder, what is needed to catch your attention!? [audience laughter] A defector, secrets and all that. [audience laughter]

After the assassination, the CIA claimed that they suspected that he was a Soviet spy. They still didn't de-brief him. That makes it more curious.

He gets out of Russia, and what does the State Department do? They give him money. They give him money to travel back to the U.S. and get set up. They pay all his travel and moving expenses, and those of his wife! He's given back his passport, with full rights to travel anywhere -- and denounce the U.S. government again, someplace else! His wife is exempted from usual immigration quotas -- no waiting. No exclusion for having belonged to the Soviet Comsymal(?), which was the communist youth organization. Which is a violation of U.S. immigration laws. Yet she was allowed in.

Once back in Dallas, Lee Harvey Oswald settles in, under the wing of one George DeMohrenschildt, a right-wing Russian with CIA ties. And this begins a whole pattern that goes on in Dallas and New Orleans: namely, sort of "forays", short-lived forays out into the public eye as a "leftist". He starts a one-person "Fair Play for Cuba" organization in New Orleans -- never has another member! Never recruits another member. All his time in New Orleans and in Dallas, he never once contacts a single member of the Communist Party or any other "left" organization. Although... He writes lots of letters to the Communist Party USA and to the Socialist Workers Party -- two groups which, at that time, weren't even talking to each other. [Mimicking Oswald] "Dear Comrade, How are you? We fight forward, and we go on," "Yes, what should I do," and this and that. "Send me instructions," you know. [audience laughter]

He blazes a trail! Local TV, fist fights, inflammatory incidents, leaflets. One of the leaflets shows that his organization was on Camp Street, in the very same building that Guy Bannister had his office. (Guy Bannister was an FBI agent.) And a whole bunch of other Cuban emigre, right-wing groups were there.

And his personal relations were with right-wing, anti-Communist Cubans, or with right-wing crypto-fascists or CIA types or others: George DeMohrenschildt (as I said); David Ferrie, he was a friend of David Ferrie's; Robert Murrow(sp?), a right-winger. Very interesting credibility, because Murrow is a right-winger. He's a businessman who worked for the CIA. And when he was in the CIA, he was a pilot, and one of the guys he worked with was David Ferrie. It was known that David Ferrie was CIA. He also knew, Lee Harvey Oswald knew, Guy Bannister, and knew Clay Shaw.

So while he supposedly was this "leftist"... And if you ever heard any of the tapes of him speaking and explaining what communism was and what socialism was, it's laughable. It's this little rote, superficial thing. While he was a "leftist", in fact, all his personal associations were with right-wing people linked to the intelligence community.

He also knew Jack Ruby.

-+- We Are Asked To Believe... -+-

Now they would have us believe that this man, who couldn't hit the side of a barn, took a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle (whose sights were not even set)... An Italian weapon, by the way, which the Italians said: "The weapon that never killed anyone on purpose." [audience laughter] -- and he fired and killed the President of the United States.

[We are asked to believe] that he got a job, just at that time, at the Texas Book Depository -- three weeks before, when nobody knew that Kennedy's limousine was gonna pass right in front of the depository. He got a job right there and... fortuitously, happened to be up there that day.

[We are asked to believe] that he would forego shooting President Kennedy when he had a full body shot of him, coming right at him down Houston street, right toward the Texas Book Depository, where he could go at him like a shooting gallery that's coming closer and closer. Perfect. The ideal thing. He didn't shoot him then. He waited until the car turned at a 110-degree angle down Elm street. And as he went by, and only had his head, and a little portion of his shoulders. And then, firing through the trees, he rapidly got off three shots in a few seconds -- something which the best marksmen in the country were not able to emulate until after much practice and after the sights on the Mannlicher-Carcano were re-set and brought into a laboratory and fixed in there. And they had all sorts of remarks to make about the awful performance of this rifle. (By the way: right through a tree that was later cut down.)

We are asked to believe that a treasure of physical evidence -- the interior of the limousine, the presidential limousine itself, which would also have evidence -- bits of shrapnel, whatever else, from bullet parts, blood, lines of fire -- which was just "accidentally" taken, instantly torn out, destroyed, and totally re-built -- that this was not a deliberate cover-up.

We're asked to believe that Kennedy's brain just "disappeared".

[We are asked to believe] that the X-ray, which now shows a re- constructed head, with no exit wound, is, oddly, taken with no jaw! So it could be anybody's! You can't do any kind of dental identification to see if that X-ray is President Kennedy's.

[We are asked to believe] that the autopsy was just botched innocently.

We're asked to believe that Jack Ruby, a gambler and gangster with links to the Cuban exiles and an acquaintance of Oswald's, who once worked for congressman Richard Nixon (for the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in Chicago, when his name was still Jack Rubenstein... before he changed it to Ruby)... We're asked to believe that he just "took it upon himself" to kill Oswald, because he was so moved by the suffering that Oswald had caused the Kennedy family. (Although Ruby, later, in jail, repeatedly kept alluding to the fact that "You don't know the whole story; there's much more behind all of this; there's something really deep and sinister here" and all this. And he was just, simply, dismissed, by a media that was taking its cues.)

We're asked [to believe] that the 21 witnesses -- persons otherwise related to the case, in some close way, with some information, privy to some conversations or whatever else -- all of whom met violent deaths, were part of a colossal coincidence (like the one the Washington Post was talking about.)

[We're asked to believe] that later on, in 1978, the second round of killings that started, after the House Select Committee investigation -- 16 more, who died violently. They just "happened" to die, coincidentally, violent deaths. Including, one of them being George DeMohrenschildt himself: killed by a gun blast to the head, three hours after a House Assassinations Committee investigator had tried to contact him. (He was being set up for an interview... He was being set up for a lot more than that.)

George DeMohrenschildt was not only close to Oswald, but in his telephone book there was found an inscription or, I should say an insert: "To George 'Pappy' Bush". That he was a close friend of George Bush and there was a correspondence between them.

The Sheriff's Office in Palm County, Florida, found that his shooting was very strange. And it was ruled a "suicide".

William Sullivan, a third guy in the FBI, who was supposed to appear before the House committee... By the way: Sullivan was on CIA (according to Robert Murrow), he was on the CIA payroll. He was shot right outside his home by a man who claimed to have mistaken him for a deer. [audience laughter] He was charged with misdemeanor, and released into the custody of his father, a state policeman.

[ be continued...]

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