Thursday, 29 August 2013 19:48

John McAdams and the Siege of Chicago, Part 2

Written by

Examines McAdams' relationship with Wikipedia, his ground rules for debates, his rightwing politics and activism, his upcoming (2013) PBS special, and his recruitment help for the CIA.

with Brian Hunt

Upon the 48th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, John McAdams brought out a book on the case. That book, entitled JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think About Claims of Conspiracy, was oddly titled. For the simple reason that most people who have encountered McAdams come away thinking that his thought process concerning the JFK case is anything but logical. In fact, as we have seen, it is actually kind of warped.

That book has been reviewed on this site more than once. (Click here for one.) Therefore, here I would like to discuss an interview the author gave about the book to the Hartford Books Examiner. First, I think it is interesting that McAdams got an endorsement from the former House Select Committee on Assassinations Chief Counsel Robert Blakey. Blakey, of course, is credited with being the last person in an official position who actually could have done something about the JFK case. And he didn't. Most objective observers would say, he did all he could to cover up the case. For instance, he accepted the evidence at the so-called sniper's nest window. Well Blakey is quoted as saying about JFK Assassination Logic, "McAdams gives you a crucial road map-not to decide what you should think, but how to make up your mind in the face of conflicting information." Let us examine some of that conflicting information.


"The evidence linking him [Oswald] to the weapon is overwhelming."

John McAdams, JFK Assassination Logic

In that interview the professor was asked to summarize the evidence in the Warren Commission that validates its conclusion about Oswald. McAdams responded thusly: "A solid paper trail connects Oswald to the rifle. Hard forensic evidence (bullet fragments, shell casings) connect the rifle to the shooting. Oswald almost certainly brought the rifle in to work on the morning of the assassination."

This might impress someone who knows nothing about the JFK case. To someone who does know something about the case, it is simply dishonest. And knowingly so. The paper trail that connects the rifle to Oswald is not at all solid. Researchers like Gil Jesus and John Armstrong have raised serious doubt about whether Oswald ordered the rifle in question, or picked it up. (Click here for Gil's work.) The incredible part of their work is that they have brought every single step of that rifle transaction into question, and on both sides of the equation i.e. the mailing of the money order, and the picking up of the rifle through the post office. It is true that the first generation of critics accepted this part of the Commission's case i.e. Josiah Thompson, Harold Weisberg, Sylvia Meagher, Mark Lane etc. But since the film JFK came out, there has been a whole new rank of writers and researchers who have rethought the case anew. And this includes its very foundations e.g. the provenance of the Mannlicher Carcano rifle. That is not a given anymore. As far back as 1998, the late Raymond Gallagher brought up a rather logical question that McAdams-or Robert Blakey for that matter--did not confront. The official story says that Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago got the money order on March 13, 1963 and deposited it that day. But the mailing envelope is stamped as leaving Dallas on March 12, 1963. (Probe Magazine, Vol. 5 No. 6, p. 10) How could an envelope travel over 700 miles, be resorted at the main Chicago post office, be rerouted to a delivery route carrier, be dropped off, be resorted at Klein's, and then be run over and deposited in their bank--all within 24 hours and all before the advent of computers. This is logical thinking?

But further, the way McAdams treats this subject in his book is even worse than in the interview. With hyperbole worthy of a lawyer, namely Vincent Bugliosi, McAdams writes that the evidence linking Oswald to this weapon is "overwhelming". (McAdams, p. 158) But yet on the next page, he is quite unconvincing on how the rifle could be delivered to Oswald's post office box in Dallas. For if he had ordered it in the name of Alek Hidell-which the Commission says he did--there were postal rules that prevented the package from being deposited in Oswald's box. Because the box itself was not rented in that name-it was in Oswald's name. And according to postal rules, that rifle shipment should have been marked "returned to sender." In other words, the rifle should have never gotten to the box. (Armstrong, p. 453; Post Office letter to Stewart Galanor, May 3, 1966)

It is humorous to note the illogical way McAdams weasels out of this evidentiary corner that the facts paint him into. The problem is that the post office, most likely FBI informant Harry Holmes, discarded the third part of the box application, which allows others to pick up merchandise from that box. McAdams first says that just because regulations dictate that applications must be preserved for two years, why, that does not mean that all parts of the application had to be preserved. Think of the logic here: This is a crucial part of the application, since it allows other people to pick up merchandise sent to the actual box holder. In other words, it protects the post office. So why would they discard it? And in fact, this is simply another dodge by the professor. For in 1966, the post office sent a letter to researcher Stewart Galanor that explicitly stated that all parts of the application should be preserved, including part 3. (Letter to Galanor dated May 3, 1966)

Whiffing there, he then says that since Oswald listed the name Hidell on his New Orleans box, it's quite plausible that he did so on the Dallas box. He does a nice Fred Astaire tap dance around the fact that the New Orleans post office kept the entire application. Therefore if the Dallas application said the same, why would it be discarded? The answer is they would not have done so. And in fact, in a report to J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI stated that their investigation "revealed that Oswald did not indicate on his application that others, including A. Hidell would receive mail through the box in question ..." (CE 2585, p. 4) Since Holmes was a long time FBI informant, I would like to ask the professor what the logical inference of this finding would be?

We could go on and on in this regard. But the bottom line is that McAdams does not want to. For example, he just dismisses the fact that the rifle in evidence today is not the same rifle that was ordered through Klein's. (McAdams, p. 160) Which, of course, when piled on top of all the other evidence-the vast majority of which he leaves out-strongly indicates Oswald never ordered that rifle. And in fact, there is a piece of sensational illogic that, quite naturally, McAdams leaves out here.

The official story has Oswald turning over evidence of an Alek Hidell card to FBI agent John Quigley after his August 1963 arrest in New Orleans. Now, if we believe McAdams, knowing he had already ordered the rifle in that name, and knowing the FBI had that card in their files, Oswald still used that rifle to kill JFK-- knowing the FBI could track it down!

So much for the solid paper trail connecting Oswald to the rifle. Let us go to what McAdams quoted next, the projectiles and shells. Wisely, he did not specifically name CE 399. For as we noted at the end of Part One, there is no evidence that the Magic Bullet was even fired in Dealey Plaza that day. The paper trail actually indicates that CE 399 was substituted. (See James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, Second Edition, pgs 344-45) Then, when one adds in the work of Robert Harris demonstrating that another, separate bullet hit John Connally, the whole myth of the Magic Bullet is completely undermined. (Click here.)

There is also the fact of CE 543. This is the dented shell found on the sixth floor that defies any kind of logic. As marksman Howard Donahue said of this shell, he had never seen a shell dented that way, and he doubted very much if a rifle could make that kind of dent. But further, he noted that the Mannlicher Carcano could not fire a projectile deformed like that properly. (Bonar Menninger, Mortal Error, p. 114) Josiah Thompson tried to see if a shell could be deformed like that discharged from the rifle. It could not. (Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas, p. 144) British researcher Chris Mills experimented with this issue for hours on end. He concluded that this defect could only be reached using an empty shell that had previously been fired. And even then, he could only do it very infrequently. (See Michael Griffith's web site, article entitled, "The Dented Bullet Shell", dated 4/26/01)

But further, there is strong witness testimony that all the shells were, at the very least, rearranged. The first civilian to enter the crime scene was photographer Tom Alyea. He said that when he first saw the shells, they were not dispersed as they are today in photographs. He said they were all within the distance of a hand towel. As Alyea and researcher Allen Eaglesham indicate, the shells were picked up and then dropped again by either Captain Fritz or police photographer R. L. Studebaker. (See Eaglesham's web site, "The Sniper's Nest: Incarnations and Implications".) For as subsequent FBI experiments showed, the dispersal pattern after ejection would not have been anywhere near that neat. Something that, evidently, the police understood. (See Destiny Betrayed, Second Edition, pgs. 343-44)

Considering the fact that the so-called test Blakey used to enforce the Single Bullet Fantasy, termed Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis, has been thoroughly discredited, what is now left from McAdams's list are the fragments from the head shot that killed Kennedy. These were allegedly found in the front seat of the limousine. I could not find anything about these fragments in the McAdams book. We will now explain why he ignored them.

These are supposed to be the head and tail of the bullet that went through Kennedy's skull. The reader might naturally ask: Where is the middle of the bullet? Well, if you can believe it, according to the x-rays, it is in the back of JFK's skull. The question is: How did it get there? That question must be asked because none of the autopsy doctors, nor the radiologist, nor his first assistant testified to seeing it on the night of the autopsy. When author William Law asked FBI agents Jim Sibert and Frank O'Neill, they said they did not see it either. (Law, In the Eye of History, pgs. 166, 257, 267) And they were responsible for securing evidence, since Oswald was still alive that night. Therefore, using the professor's logic, if it was there, would not one of these men have noted it in some fashion? Well unless we are living in Orwell's 1984 and are afraid of being arrested for 'thoughtcrime', we have to answer, yes they would have.

If they did not see it, then who did? Well, now we get to understand why McAdams does not want to discuss this issue. That 6.5 mm fragment at the rear of Kennedy's skull first appeared on the x-rays in 1968, five years after the autopsy. This was when Ramsey Clark's review of the medical evidence first mentioned it. Why did Clark order a review of the medical evidence? Because, as Pat Speer discovered, he was very disturbed by the material in Thompson's book. According to Clark Panel chief Russell Fisher, the Attorney General was very upset with Thompson's book and the panel was created "partly to refute some of the junk" in that book. (Maryland State Medical Journal, March of 1977) As Speer writes, the origin of the newly found 6.5 mm fragment is very likely in the Thompson book, on page 111. (Click here for a reproduction.)

As the reader can see, Warren Commission exhibit 388 lies about the position of Kennedy's head at Zapruder frame 312, the instant before Kennedy was fatally struck. If the bullet entered at the base of the skull, it is very hard to imagine it would emerge at a higher point on the right side. Therefore, Fisher did two things to vitiate Thompson. He moved the wound higher, and he now "discovered" the middle of the bullet at the top rear of the skull. To say this created all kinds of new problems is an understatement of titanic proportions. (These issues are thoroughly aired in Chapter 7 of Jim DiEugenio's upcoming book Reclaiming Parkland.) But that is how determined Clark and Fisher were to answer the critics and counter Jim Garrison. Because the results of this panel were kept on ice for about seven months. They were released during jury selection for Clay Shaw's trial.

This is the sum total of McAdams' so-called called "hard evidence" against Oswald. The use of the buzzwords "hard evidence" is another trick by the professor. Because with what we know about it today, it can be shown to be so lacking in credibility and integrity that each piece of it, is now soft as mush. It can be deftly and powerfully questioned in every aspect. It simply will not withstand any kind of logical scrutiny. Which is why McAdams avoids that exercise in his book. Which is more aptly titled: How to Avoid Logic in the JFK Case.


"Ok, but none of that Paul Nolan or disinformationist stuff"

John McAdams to Len Osanic

In the summer of 2009, Frank Cassano suggested to Jim DiEugenio that he debate one of the bigger names from the Krazy Kid Oswald camp. So, on Len Osanic's show, the host conveyed invitations to Gary Mack, Dave Reitzes, David Von Pein, and John McAdams. None of them replied to Len. This went on for a few weeks with the same negative results. Finally, Len went ahead and e-mailed the first three individuals. They all declined. Assuming that McAdams had already heard of the offer, Osanic only extended a formal invite to him last. To his credit, and our surprise, he replied in the affirmative. It took awhile for the format of the debate to be finalized. But just about a week before it was, McAdams relayed the above demands to Osanic. We agreed to them since Len had already announced the debate date and time.

Today, knowing what we do about the professor, we probably would not have given in to that particular request. For from the first formal question, McAdams started making preemptive strikes and smears against his opponent. When Osanic asked him about the viability of the Single Bullet Theory, the professor said that "And I'm guessing Jim is going to go into an ad hominem attack against Lattimer or Failure Analysis Associates, and into an ad hominem attack against everybody who creates any evidence he doesn't like." In the reply, DiEugenio did no such thing. But in his rebuttal to that reply, this was the first thing from McAdams: "Sure. What we have is the usual collection there on this or that factoid this or that gripe or this or that complaint." As anyone can see from the debate transcript at the Black Op Radio site, there was nothing like that in DiEugenio's first answer. But McAdams was so eager to inject the word "factoid" into the ebb and flow, that he couldn't help himself.

This was repeated upon DiEugenio's answers to Osanic's next question about who Oswald really was. Right after Jim's answer, McAdams replied with, "What a massive collection of factoids." McAdams then said that Oswald was in David Ferrie's Civil Air Patrol unit when he was 15, way, way before either of them was in New Orleans. What a stunning statement for even McAdams to make. Because DiEugenio made no mention of any specific time the two were in the CAP together. Plain and simple: Oswald was in Ferrie's CAP unit when both of them were in New Orleans. Period. And Ferrie was in New Orleans for a long time before Oswald joined his CAP unit. But these are the lengths the professor will go to in order to avoid the factual record. He then said in reply, "Jim's doing what conspiracists typically do..." McAdams also said Jim was using Jack White "crackpot photo analysis", when, in fact, DiEugenio never used White's work at all during the debate. In talking about Mexico City, McAdams said DiEugenio was using a "LaFontaine Factoid". This is ridiculous on two counts. First, DiEugenio did not use any information from the LaFontaine book Oswald Talked during the entire debate. Second, that book does not deal with Mexico City anyway. For instance, the name Valery Kostikov, the secret KGB agent at the Soviet consulate, is not in the book's index.

In other words, it was OK for McAdams to unjustly smear his opponent by saying he was using "ad hominem attacks", that he was using "factoids", he was a natural born "conspiracist", and he was using "crackpot" photo analysis. But, DiEugenio could not use any kind of demeaning or derogatory smears about McAdams. Those are nice rules of debate if you can get them.

But where the professor really went off the boards was when he was called on his mangling of facts about Jim Garrison and New Orleans. Let us be clear. Like every alleged Warren Commission supporter, McAdams has a special place in his pantheon for Garrison. Because Garrison was the first man to put the Kennedy case where it belonged, in a legal venue. Therefore, the DA was clobbered by the intelligence assets in the MSM, infiltrated by the CIA, and electronically bugged by the FBI. This is all proven today with declassified documents and latter day interviews and research. (See especially Chapters 11 and 12 of Destiny Betrayed, Second Edition.) On his (unintentionally) humorous web site, McAdams denies that any and all of this happened. And what makes it even more of a joke is that he actually uses CIA memoranda to deny it! Inside the CIA, the monitoring of the Garrison inquiry was being run by Ray Rocca, James Angleton's number one assistant. That in and of itself makes these denials ridiculous. Because as John Newman demonstrates in his milestone book Oswald and the CIA, it was Angleton who was very likely Oswald's ultimate control agent. If you can believe it, McAdams even says that Gordon Novel and Bill Boxley were not CIA infiltrators in Garrison's office. When, in fact, Novel was hired by Allen Dulles to wire Garrison's office. Which he did. (DiEugenio, pgs. 232-35) Boxley gave Garrison a false address that he never lived at, and a phone number that was not at the false address. He then tried to ensnare him in bear trap after bear trap. When he was finally discovered by Vincent Salandria, he refused to show up for questioning. And he signed off with this: "Tell Big Jim, we're coming after him-with it all!" He then laughed and hung up. (ibid, p. 284) When Boxley said "we're coming after him", did McAdams think he was coming at the DA with his wife. kids and dog? (Click here for an expose of another McAdams page.)

McAdams keeps this up in his book. In his treatment of Perry Russo, he actually tries to take us back to the days of James Kirkwood's hatchet job of a book, American Grotesque. A book that was actually commissioned by Clay Shaw. But again, he also uses James Phelan. Even though today, Phelan has been exposed as a habitual liar on many subjects dealing with Garrison. But important to this issue, he has been so exposed on the subject of Perry Russo. (DiEugenio, pgs. 243-49) More so, Phelan has been revealed as a longtime government asset by the ARRB declassified files. And that is information you will not find on the McAdams web site, or in his book. In his book, in his discussion of Russo, the professor essentially gives us the banal and stilted Phelan-Kirkwood version of his testimony. Except to jazz things up, he tries to relate this to modern day "recovered memory syndrome". (McAdams, pgs. 44-53) There is no reference to any author interviews with Russo, Garrison, or Andrew Sciambra. And there is no mention of Matt Herron, even though Herron is in Kirkwood's book. Where Kirkwood draws him as a key witness who props up Phelan's version of the story.

Except this was another Phelan lie. Herron did not back up Phelan's story. He blew it up. He told Jim DiEugenio on two occasions that Russo said he mentioned both the gathering at Ferrie's apartment and the presence of a man named Bertrand to Sciambra when he first met him in Baton Rouge. (Ibid, p. 246) Phelan told Kirkwood the opposite. In other words, he lied. And Kirkwood printed that canard without calling Herron. And McAdams does the same thing. Which makes him, what? A buff? It sure does make him look like a propagandist.

But then McAdams does something that is possibly even worse. He says that the first time Corrie Collins saw a photo of Clay Shaw he was not sure about the identification. (McAdams, p. 53) But he later positively identified Shaw as the driver of the black Cadillac containing Oswald and Ferrie during the voter registration drive in Clinton Louisiana. What does the good professor leave out of this? The rather important fact that Collins was black. And that Feliciana Parish, where the incident took place, had a strong racist element in it. And that this was an era of cross burnings and beatings and lynchings. So if Collins was at first hesitant to go on record, that is quite understandable. The man had a family to worry about. Because, in fact, Guy Banister had several friends in the area. And they would naturally not look kindly to a black man testifying against their friend. And in her book, Joan Mellen notes that there were attempts in Clinton at bribery and intimidation. For example, Kirkwood actually visited Collins' father. (A Farewell to Justice, p. 236) Hugh Aynesworth tried to bribe Sheriff John Manchester. (Ibid, p. 235) And some of the Clinton/Jackson witnesses met with early and untimely deaths during the Garrison investigation e.g. the incredibly important Gloria Wilson, and Andrew Dunn. (ibid, pgs. 237-38) So yes, Corrie Collins had extenuating circumstances to ponder before going on record. He had a family to protect. But he told the truth, which was corroborated by several other witnesses, and a photograph. How any alleged scholar, especially one who grew up in George Wallace's Alabama, could leave all of this information out of his book is simply inexcusable. But it shows a remarkable lack of empathy and sensitivity.

McAdams exhibited even more of his uncontrollable irresponsibility during the debate. He said so many erroneous things in that it would take too long to recount and correct all of them here. But let us mention what he said about Dan Campbell. Campbell was a former Marine who worked for Banister infiltrating student organizations. According to McAdams, Tony Summers wrote that a Marine was arrested on the day that Oswald was arrested. And this word came down to Banister's office. The professor then said that it was Summers who made the connection that this was Oswald. But since Oswald was in jail, then Campbell and Summers were wrong about his identification.

This rendition of Dan Campbell's testimony is not what Summers wrote. For there is nothing in his book that says Campbell saw Oswald on the day Oswald was arrested. All it says is that he heard about it from someone soon afterwards. (Summers, p. 293, emphasis added) Which could mean a day or two afterwards. And there is nothing in the book that says Campbell heard a Marine was arrested. And it was not Summers who made the connection, it was Campbell. He said he saw a young man with a Marine haircut come into Banister's to use the phone one day. The next time he saw him, his face was on TV being accused of killing President Kennedy.

What McAdams said about Michael Kurtz during the debate was more of the same rigmarole. The professor said that Kurtz said on television in 1993 that he was there with Banister and Ferrie. (Its hard to discern here if McAdams means by "he", Oswald or Kurtz) But McAdams added, this information was not entered in the first edition of Kurtz's book, Crime of the Century.

Again, this is not correct. DiEugenio corrected him on the air (which the professor got very angry about afterwards). As far back as 1980. in Louisiana History, Kurtz did write that these men associated together, and he himself saw Oswald with Banister. And Kurtz referenced that article, and used some material from it, in the 1982 edition of Crime of the Century. McAdams, through his ally David Von Pein, later tried to save himself by saying that he really meant the second edition of the Kurtz book. Well, the problem for both McAdams and Von Pein is that much the same information is in that second edition. (See pages 202-04) And in that second edition, Kurtz also references his more detailed 1980 article. (See page 271) Clearly, McAdams and Von Pein were desperately grasping at straws. And they didn't check the straws before they tried to use them.


"I note the wiki Fletcher Prouty page is under the control of Gamaliel. He has BLACKLISTED the official website of Col. Fletcher Prouty."

Len Osanic to a Wikipedia Volunteer

To understand how the above happened, that is the lockout of Len Osanic's valuable Prouty page--which is a font of primary sources on the man--one has to understand who 'Gamaliel' is. But beyond that, the reader must also understand the close relationship between Gamaliel and John McAdams.

Three years ago, CTKA reader and supporter J. P. Mroz penned an extraordinarily important article about Wikipedia and its co-founder Jimmy Wales. This article, perhaps one of the most important pieces CTKA ever published, provided rare insight into the history and, even more importantly, the structure of Wikipedia. Mroz explained that, far from being a "people's encyclopedia", it is heavily regulated by different levels of administrators. Beyond that, it has its own rules as to what can be used--not just as sources, but also as what is termed, External Links. (Click here for the article.) Mroz found out firsthand just how regulated the "people's encyclopedia" was. But specifically, just how quick the Wales bureaucracy was in detecting any attempt by its users to break open the mythology of the Warren Report in the pages of Wikipedia. For when he tried to link an article criticizing the acceptance of the backyard photographs to Wiki's Lee Harvey Oswald page, he got what is called a Wiki-ticket. That is a warning as to what was acceptable, and what was not, in reference to the JFK case.

In his fine article, Mroz traced his Wiki-ticket to the notorious Gamaliel. Most of the huge bureaucracy that runs Wikipedia use false names. But indefatigable Wiki critic Daniel Brandt found out who Gamaliel really was. In fact, Brandt exposed many of the real people behind these false names. (Click here for a directory.) Gamaliel's real name is Rob Fernandez, and he lives in Tampa, Florida. And therein lies a tale that reveals much about the influence of McAdams' site on an unsuspecting public.

For Fernandez is the perfect gatekeeper for the professor. Consider some of the firsthand comments by Fernandez quoted by J. P. Mroz:

What I'm proudest of and spent more time working on than anything else are my contributions to Lee Harvey Oswald. The Oswald entry is even mentioned in a newspaper article on Wikipedia. If you want to witness insanity firsthand, try monitoring these articles for conspiracy nonsense.

Don't worry, we have years of experience dealing with the conspiracy folks. If you are really bored, check out the talk page archives-its like a never ending series of car crashes.

As I said in my edit summary, conspiracy theorists take issue with every detail of the Kennedy assassination. To include each of their challenges would overwhelm the text.

In other words, Fernandez and McAdams are soul brothers on the matters of 1.) Oswald's guilt in the JFK case, and 2.) Critics of the Warren Commission being just street corner "buffs". Therefore--like McAdams' moderation on his forum-Fernandez swoops down on anyone who dares defy the Commission and its efficacy. In fact, in his obeisance to the Warren Report, Fernandez is roughly the equivalent of Orwell's Thought Police. And that comparison is not made by me. It is made by him. For, as more than one observer has noted, Fernandez once had a Nazi Swastika on his web site. And there is a famous picture of him wearing a white T -shirt with a giant scissors imprinted on it.

Now, how close are McAdams and Fernandez? According to Wikipedia expert Tom Scully, McAdams' biography at Wiki was first started by Fernandez. One will see not one negative sentence in that entry about McAdams. In fact, one will see his JFK web site both singled out and praised. At the bottom, one will see an External Link to the McAdams JFK page. With this kind of built-in bias, it is no wonder that John McAdams is one of the most active editors of JFK material on the "people's encylopedia". That Fernandez allows this is really kind of shocking. But it shows how Wikipedia, like much of the "online revolution", has grown into a huge disappointment. Because Fernandez is about as objective on the JFK assassination as say Anthony Lewis or Tom Wicker from the New York Times were. Therefore, the Times championed books by writers like David Belin and Gerald Posner. Today, Fernandez paves the way for someone as agenda driven and factually challenged as McAdams. As many commentators have stated, this illicit union between Fernandez and McAdams does much to drive the unsuspecting public to the professor's boondoggle of a web site. The damage inflicted on what may be thousands, or tens of thousands, of unwary neophytes is staggering to imagine. For when one Googles the name "Lee Harvey Oswald", the number one reference that comes up is Wikipedia's. If one looks at the External Links list at the bottom, one will see not one, but two references to McAdams' site.

Therefore, Fernandez is able to propagate McAdams' disinformation at the same time that he is able to deprive the reader of sources of contrary information. And Len Osanic and Fletcher Prouty are the newest victims of this horrendous double standard. For Fernandez is very eager to use what can be called 'branding irons' on sources of information. For example, the reader will look forever on Wikipedia to see an article or essay referenced to Probe Magazine. Even though that journal was universally praised as perhaps the finest ever in the field. And almost each article was academically footnoted to credible sources in the literature. Here is the question: Why does something like McAdams' fatally flawed web site qualify as an External Link, but neither Probe Magazine, nor CTKA, makes the cut? As per scholarly approach and quality information, there is simply no comparison. Therefore, as the reader can see, Fernandez is not after those qualities. His journey starts in reverse. If the source states Oswald is guilty it can make the cut. The way you get there doesn't really matter.

Now, the biggest shock to the system since 1967 in regards to the Kennedy case was Oliver Stone's film JFK. The late Col. Fletcher Prouty was influential in the making of the film, and he was actually a character in the picture. Portrayed by actor Donald Sutherland, he was code named Mr. X. It was through him that much of the material relating to Kennedy's intent to withdraw from Vietnam was conveyed. This is anathema to McAdams. (As it was to Gary Mack's friend and fellow propagandist Dave Perry.) Therefore, on his web site, he tries to discredit Prouty. For instance, he actually uses an essay by Chip Berlet, who could be called as anti-conspiracy as McAdams. He then uses a long essay originally posted on CompuServe to critique Prouty's work on the Vietnam War. Throughout this page, he makes several inaccurate statements about what Prouty has actually said in interviews and in books. Or, he tries to makes things he did say sound as if they are completely wild and unfounded. For instance, Prouty disputed the idea of petroleum as a "fossil fuel". McAdams tries to say that this makes Fletcher a crackpot. But yet the idea of abiotic oil is not uncommon at all. In fact, today, many people agree with it; and some would say that the new Russian deep well drilling proves it. (Click here for an interesting essay on the topic.) What this really shows is McAdams' restricted mode of thought, combined with his overreaching goal of smearing the critics. Which, with the aid of Fernandez, he has been successful at doing on Wikipedia.

That Jimmy Wales allows this kind of conflict of interest by McAdams to run amok under the protection of Fernandez is a disgrace. Anyone interested in the true facts of the JFK case should never give a dime to any of Wales' recurrent pleas for donations. For as we can see, Wales' constant refrain about this democratic and free "peoples' encyclopedia" is false. It is neither free nor democratic. On the JFK case, Fernandez has guaranteed it is under the control of a blinkered street cop.


"People who are mentally disturbed have the right to sleep in parks."

John McAdams

As we have seen in abundance, McAdams is a pure propagandist on the JFK case. That is, even when he knows better he chooses to spout disinformation. As a further example of this, let us return to the case of Jack Ruby being injected with cancer cells. Greg Parker has informed me that McAdams was aware that Ruby himself thought this was happening. Because he informed the professor about it via the professor's newsgroup. He also informed him that human experimentation with cancer injections had been going on since at least 1956, and was continuing in 1964. Parker sourced his post to magazines like Time and Newsweek, and newspapers like the New York Times. In other words, even though the professor knew it had actually happened, he still misinformed his audience in Chicago.

But one of the worst errors that those in the JFK community can make about McAdams is to limit him to being a provocateur in the Kennedy assassination field. For make no mistake, that is not all he is concerned about. One way to illuminate that fact is to go back to the McAdams/DiEugenio debate. At one point I said that Kennedy was the most liberal president since Franklin Roosevelt. McAdams replied that both Truman and Johnson were more liberal than Kennedy. In a nutshell, this tells us much about where the man is coming from. And that he is not just about the technicalities of Kennedy's assassination. To make a statement like that is a telltale sign of a large and hidden agenda.

As most historians understand today, Harry Truman pretty much reversed Roosevelt's plans for the postwar world. Roosevelt always had a much more liberal view of the USSR than Winston Churchill did. In fact, with Operation Unthinkable, Churchill had planned on World War III breaking out in 1945 in Europe. The two men had different views on this point. But if FDR had lived, there is little doubt he would have prevailed on the issue since Churchill was unceremoniously voted out of office at the end of the war. When Truman took office the White House hawks, whom Roosevelt had deftly kept at bay, now circled around the foreign policy ingenue and Missouri machine politician. And within a matter of months, Roosevelt's vision of cooperation was now turned into a Churchillian apocalyptic Cold War. The best book on this key point in history in Roosevelt's Lost Alliances by Frank Costigliola. In his introduction, he quotes no less than Churchill's foreign secretary Anthony Eden as saying that the death of FDR was fatal to the continuance of the Grand Alliance. And Eden directly blamed Truman and Churchill for breaking with Roosevelt's plans and policies and causing the Cold War. (Costigliola, pgs. 1-2)

As many authors have pointed out--Richard Mahoney, John Newman, Gordon Goldstein, James Blight, David Kaiser--Kennedy was not a Cold Warrior. He was actually trying to achieve detente with both Cuba and Russia at the time of his death. He was also trying to support independence or neutralization in the Third World e.g. Congo, Laos, Indonesia. All of these forays by JFK were torn asunder by President Johnson in a remarkably short time after Kennedy's murder. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, Second Edition, pgs. 367-77) So by what kind of logic or historical facts can any so-called Political Science professor conclude that Truman, who broke with FDR and helped start the Cold War, and Johnson-who broke with Kennedy and reasserted the Cold War-were both more liberal than JFK? The answer is: there is no logic or historical facts to support that false conclusion. The professor doesn't need one. Why? Because John McAdams is not only a JFK assassination informational provocateur. He is a rightwing political operative who would be comfortable spending a night in a New Orleans bistro sharing his world-view with the likes of Guy Banister.

For example, back in 1995, the infamous Chase Manhattan memo surfaced. This was a paper written by Riordan Roett of the Emerging Markets division of the Rockefeller controlled bank. Mexican president Ernest Zedillo was being faced with a guerilla uprising by a group called the Zapatistas led by Subcomandante Marcos. Zedillo was trying to negotiate out of the crisis in Chiapas province. Roett's paper urged Zedillo to go in and militarily end the problem for his investors. Roett said that this may provoke some negative reactions internationally, but there were "always political costs in bold action." (Counterpunch, February 1, 1995) The revelation of this internal memo created a firestorm of controversy and picketing of the bank. Therefore the bank backed off the memo once it got too controversial. Wisely, Zedillo ignored Roett. Agreements were reached and lives were spared. That disappointed our political science professor. He wanted Zedillo to obey the memo and go in and wipe out the rebels. (Probe Magazine, Volume 3 No. 3, p. 13)

But it's not just in foreign policy where McAdams has fascist tendencies. He was also all for Ronald Reagan's trickle-down economics. In a dialogue with Greg Parker, the professor of Poly Sci wrote, "A lot of people care about how well Americans, rich and poor, are doing. They were all doing better during the Reagan years, and indeed have been doing better since." This, of course, is the common rightwing mantra about Milton Friedman, and Reagan's implementation of the Austrian School of Economics. Which reversed the primacy of Keynesian economics. That reversal has done much to devastate the middle class; and has done even more damage to the poor in this country. One of the best books about how far the American economy has fallen since the Kennedy-Johnson years is Winner Take All Politics by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. (For the author's review, click here.)

Contrary to what the professor spouts, there are clear economic indices which show that the American standard of living has seriously declined since the sixties. And that it does not compare well with other Western industrialized countries. That book illustrates in detail-with reliable data-- how the Friedman model performed a reverse Robin Hood in macroeconomics: It took from the middle class and gave to the rich. As Parker noted to McAdams, trickle down--or as Reagan called it, supply side--should have really been called trickle up. Just how extreme is McAdams on this issue? Later on in his dialogue with Parker he actually wrote the following in regard to the plight of the homeless: "It really has more to do with American notions of 'liberty' that hold that people who are mentally disturbed have a right to sleep in parks." This of course clearly echoes the famous adage by author Anatole France: "The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread." The difference is that Anatole France was being satirical. The scary part is that McAdams means it. It really does not matter to him that tens of thousands of Americans who cannot take care of themselves now sleep in parks, on the stairs of public buildings, and in parking lots. After all, with them on the streets, people like Henry Kravis and Joseph Cassano and Angelo Mozilo were free to pay less taxes on their illicit gains that helped cause the greatest economic disaster since 1929. A catastrophe that the American taxpayer, in large part, ended up paying for.

One should add, McAdams does not just talk like this in chat groups. He is an active agent for the power elite. An elite that doesn't give a damn as America more and more resembles a Third World country. For instance, the New York Times broke a story about Wal Mart having a list of bloggers it used to get out its party line about its (lamentable) company practices. Well, McAdams was one of those bloggers. He got his marching orders from a man named Marshall Manson of the communications company called Edelman. (New York Times, May 7, 2006) Manson structured his communications like blog entries, with a pungent sentence atop what appears to be a news story, but is really more like an editorial. For example, one entry Manson sent out was against Maryland state legislation requiring companies to devote part of their payroll to pay for employee health insurance. Something, of course, which Wal Mart opposes. McAdams was a recipient of some of these Manson written "blog posts". And he printed some of them on his Marquette Warrior blog. Without telling the reader they were from Wal Mart's public relations department. (ibid)

McAdams may have gotten on the Wal Mart list through his association with another rightwing group called The Heartland Institute. All one needs to know is that The Heartland Institute holds as its poster boy none other than Friedrich A. Hayek, the father of the Austrian School and the idol of Friedman. I can do no better than link the reader to this fine expose of The Heartland Institute by Joseph Cannon. As Cannon and the New York Times have noted, Heartland has been the most assiduous institute to push the denial of climate change. (New York Times, May 1, 2012) Just how extreme is this group? They once paid for a Chicago digital billboard featuring Ted Kaczynski-the Unabomber-with the caption, "I still believe in global warming, do you?" The plan was then to switch the faces to Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro. (Washington Post, May 5, 2012) These are the kinds of people McAdams links arms with and calls his political comrades.

But perhaps the most bizarre thing McAdams ever wrote on his blog was when he called Father Bryan Massingale a "politically correct race hustler". In fact that was the title of the blog entry about the man. Massingale is a fellow professor at Marquette who believes in using the teachings of Christ to further progressive causes, like workers' rights. (Click here for an example.)

After calling a black Catholic priest a race hustler, McAdams did not note the irony that he grew up in Alabama when George Wallace was governor, and that his father served on local school boards for decades. Yet, here he was smearing Massingale's belief that elements of our society contain a doctrine of "white privilege" as being those of a "race hustler". When, in fact, only someone who came from that kind of background could ignore that fact so completely. (See Tuscaloosa News, September 11, 1997 for the information about McAdams' father. It was surfaced by ace internet researcher Tom Scully.) This shows not just a lack of sensitivity, but also a disturbing lack of self-knowledge.

But it's not a complete lack of self-knowledge. McAdams is quite aware that his neo-fascist politics present a liability to his pose as a researcher on the JFK case. After all, as anyone can see, his entire belief system about the USA is about 180 degrees away from where Kennedy was trying to go. As we have seen, he is so aware of this that he tries to deny who Kennedy was. But there is also a compliment to his reactionary politics. He doesn't want the public at large, especially at Wikipedia, to know just how rightwing he really is. Therefore, as Tom Scully has discovered, he erases references that others try and place in his Gamaliel penned entry there. And presumably, with Fernandez' help, they stay erased. The professor's excuse for cutting it? According to him it was "a bunch of irrelevant stuff". As the reader can see, the incredible extremes and volume of this material is anything but irrelevant. And anyone who understands who Kennedy was, will know that. For as I showed in my essay, The Posthumous Assassination of John F. Kennedy, the smearing of Kennedy's legacy, as well as the deliberate confusion about his death, these are two conscious aims of the hard right. (See The Assassinations, edited by DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, pgs 325-373, for that essay.)

But conversely, as Scully also points out, McAdams thought it was important to add to the Jim Douglass bio at Wiki. He added the sentence that Douglass was a member and co-founder of a religious group that questions the official story about 9-11. So with McAdams its important that Wiki readers know that about Douglass; but it's not important that they know-among many other things-that McAdams wanted to wipe out the Zapatistas.

That's a nice double standard if you can get it. And with Fernandez as his ally, he can.


"Sorry conspiracy theorists, modern forensic science show that John F. Kennedy was likely killed by one guy with a grudge and a gun."

John McAdams

Everyone knows that PBS had been under attack for a long time by the rightwing. In fact, as far back as 1995, Newt Gingrich tried to eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting. In 2005, Patricia S. Harrison, a former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, became president of the CPB, the parent company of PBS. Harrison was appointed by former CPB Chair Kenneth Tomlinson. Tomlinson was once editor-in-chief at Reader's Digest, and was formerly the Director of Voice of America. At that position he became close friends with Karl Rove. While at the CPB he consciously encouraged PBS to hire more conservative voices.

As the years have gone by, this effort has picked up bipartisan steam. In 2008 President Obama even appointed a famous Republican entertainment lawyer, Bruce Ramer, to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. And Ramer became board chairman from 2010 to 2012. (Obama appointed Ramer again for the board in 2013.) In 2011, the House actually passed a bill that cut all financing for the CPB for 2013.

The people who work at PBS are quite aware of this threat. (New York Times, February 27, 2011) They therefore know just how far they can go in their programming. And they won't go any further. In 1993, Frontline presented a pro Warren Commission special on the 30th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? was produced by the late Mike Sullivan and worked on by the likes of Gus Russo and Dale Myers. It was not until after Sullivan died that Myers finally revealed that the script was more or less rigged from the start. On his blog, "Secrets of a Homicide" Myers revealed that Sullivan suggested that Russo and Myers "start with finding out who pulled the trigger in Dallas first and then worked backward from there to find out if anyone else was involved." Question: With Russo and Myers as his consultants, whom did Sullivan think they were going to say pulled the trigger in Dallas?

PBS and its Nova series is about to do it again. Except this time, its not with Russo and Myers. If you can believe it, it's with McAdams. Question for producer/director Rush DeNooyer: Have you ever heard of the phrase, gigo? This is computerese for "Garbage in, garbage out". In other words, the state of the art technology one uses is worthless unless it is guided by the best information available on the JFK case.

What good is it to test the rifle and ammunition if you say that "it was used by Lee Harvey Oswald". As I showed at the beginning of this article, that is certainly not a given. And there is no evidence that Oswald ever purchased that ammunition.

What is the point in showing us high-speed photography of the Western Cartridge Company bullets in flight if there is no evidence that CE 399 was fired that day, or that the Magic Bullet ever traversed Kennedy's body?

And what in heaven's name is a "Virtual Autopsy"? Frank O'Neill, one of the FBI agents at the autopsy later said about Arlen Specter, anytime one does an autopsy without the body, that is not medicine. It is magic. Which is how the autopsy by the Clark Panel in 1968 moved the head wound up four inches in Kennedy's skull. And why the HSCA in 1979 stuck with that higher wound but lowered the back wound. Will this show explain how and why these events happened? And will the show explain that this is very, very unusual, that is bullet wounds moving around in corpses.

Will the "virtual autopsy" explain why, if Kennedy was killed by two bullets, neither of the bullet tracks was dissected? Will the "virtual autopsy" explain to the viewers why Kennedy's brain was not weighed the night of the autopsy? Will the "virtual autopsy" explain why none of the malleable probes used that night even remotely matched up with the needed trajectory of the magic bullet? If one cannot even pose these questions, then what is the program about?

Well, we know what it is about, because McAdams is associated with it. Its about PBS preserving its funding by covering up the death of President Kennedy. And with the use of McAdams, DeNooyer is not even making an effort to cover up his tracks. He wants to keep his job. He wants Nova to stick around. And if he has to (literally) walk over the dead body of President Kennedy, hey that's fine. People have to make a living. Therefore, DeNooyer is still going to recycle the whole Warren Commission spiel about the Magic Bullet, and the 6.5 Carcano and can this rifle do this and can this bullet do that and could Oswald do what no other marksman had ever done.

Oh, my aching back. Please give us all a break from this stale, hoary, antique and sickening charade. PBS was created as an alternative to the MSM. Here, they have become so susceptible to political pressure they are now imitating the MSM. Why not get Dan Rather to host the show?


"Liberals are like ducks in water in academia."

John McAdams

Which leaves us with a question about McAdams: who is he actually? As I have tried to show here, to think of him purely in relation to the JFK case is a grave error. His domain is wider than that. Which is why he does such lousy research on the Kennedy murder. But we should recall, many rightwing operatives do the JFK hit piece first to prove their bona fides to their benefactors e.g. David Horowitz.

In recent years, the CIA has had an officer in residence program. That is a CIA officer takes a sabbatical or is retired and takes up teaching duties at a university. (Independent Online, "CIA's Man on Campus", by Jon Elliston, November 29, 2000) Various big universities were cooperating with the program. One of them was Marquette. The CIA proudly said the program was overt. So the invaluable Daniel Brandt decided to test the CIA's word on this issue. He wrote a letter to the CIA in February of 2001. He asked them for a list of all CIA personnel who participated in the this program since it began in 1985. Daniel wanted the years of participation, the campus, and the name of the participant. After one year, he got no reply.

So in March of 2002, he filed a Freedom of Information Act request on this same subject. Three months later, he got a reply. The reply said that "the information you seek must be denied since it is classified under the provisions of Executive Order 12958." Brandt concluded that the CIA's overt academic program was a PR front. And the campus was just another tool used for the CIA's secret operations.

Consider one last interesting twist to our story of John McAdams. In early 2009, researcher Pat Speer happened to google the name of the professor. He came upon an acappella internet radio station that the professor ran as a sidelight. Or was it just a sidelight? Because Speer noted that the ads on the web site were all paid for by the CIA. They had the CIA emblem on them. One read things next to the emblem like, "The Work of a Nation, the Center of Intelligence". Another recruitment ad read, "You can make a world of difference: National Clandestine Service Careers." When Pat asked the professor about his sponsor, McAdams said he was innocent, it was all just a coincidence.

Oh really? I suppose the CIA meeting about discrediting COPA occurring before Paul Nolan met Matt Labash was also just a coincidence.

We should all now be a little wiser about the associate professor and his transparently phony products.

Last modified on Saturday, 17 April 2021 05:44
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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