Sunday, July 14, 2013

10 Years Ago Today - Valerie Plame's CIA Cover Was Compromised FOR THE SECOND TIME

July 14, 2003:  I thought I had seen the breadth and depth of how low the Bush administration was willing to sink in defense of the lies that drove this country to go to war in Iraq.  Finally, as the promised finds of WMD failed to materialize, exposure of one of the primary lies arose in the form of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's column, What I Didn't Find in Africa, published eight days earlier.  Suddenly, the prick-waving "Mission Accomplished" crew was in damage control; first shamefacedly admitting that the infamous 16 words in the State of the Union address "should never have been included", then backtracking the regret by going into attack-the-messenger mode, which the ever-compliant mainstream media (MSM) went along with, making the headlines about Wilson's character, as opposed to the content of his message.  But it wasn't enough to just smear Wilson.  On this day 10 years ago, conservative columnist Robert Novak scraped the bottom of the barrel with this particular revelation:

"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me that Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report."

There was nothing in Novak's column to disprove that the Bush propaganda about WMD in Iraq was a lie; now that MSM had followed the reich-wing wurlitzer into Get Wilson gear, there was no need to even try.  But the two "senior administration officials" who told Novak that Wilson's wife is a CIA operative crossed a line they shouldn't have.  At the time of this revelation, Plame was covert.  Publicly stating her employment by the CIA compromised her cover.  As David Corn pointed out a couple days after Novak's column, by exposing Plame the Bush administration may have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982.  The CIA requested an investigation through the Department of Justice which, under the leadership of John Ashcroft, dragged their heels until the fall of 2003, when he reluctantly announced they had opened an investigation. 

MSM interest in the story briefly heated up around this time.  There were news accounts that Karl Rove was a possible target which noted that he had once done campaign work for Attorney General John Ashcroft.  Many Congressional Democrats pushed for a special counsel and even Republican Senator Arlen Specter said, “Recusal is something Ashcroft ought to consider.”  Press Secretary McClellan told the White House press corps that he had spoken to Rove, Vice President Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and National Security Council (NSC) aide Elliott Abrams and that each had categorically denied they had leaked information on Valerie Wilson.  Novak doubled down on his earlier damage by publishing a column in October that revealed the name of her cover company, stating that when Valerie Wilson made a contribution to Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 1999, she listed her employer as “Brewster-Jennings & Associates”.  Fascinated with these revelations and hoping to learn more from a group as interested in finding out the truth behind this story as I was, I joined Democratic Underground (DU) on October 14, 2003. Through following their Latest Breaking News forum, I found out in December that Ashcroft was indeed recusing himself and that Deputy AG James Comey had appointed Patrick Fitzgerald as Special Counsel to handle the grand jury investigation.

But in early 2004, news on the Valerie Plame case seemed to have dried up. I noticed
while the rest of MSM was more absorbed in trivialities like Howard Dean’s Scream, DU turned out to be a great place to discuss not only the news covered on TV and newspapers, but also stories from alternative media outlets.  Nobody felt compelled to shy away from stories that explored the possibility of conspiracy where the government was concerned.  It was in this manner that I first discovered the story of Sibel Edmonds while looking for stories on Valerie Plame.  I found the similarities fascinating: two beautiful women, both doing classified work for the government, both betrayed by the government during the Bush administration, both seeking justice in a court of law.  But at that time, I had no proof their stories were connected in any way.

I tried to keep abreast of any new developments in Plame’s case looking at Latest Breaking News, but rarely found news in the spring of 2004.  Often I would see people post questions in General Discussion wondering how Fitzgerald’s investigation of the case was going.  I would try participating in these threads and on days when I didn’t see one, I would type up my own OP and try to find out if there had been any new revelations.  Post by post, I began to notice it was a lot of the same posters who kept showing up at these threads about the Plame case.  They all seemed to be dedicated to the same quest for the truth that attracted me, but there never seemed to be any cohesiveness in any thread in the pursuit of information. 

On July 1, 2004, a member of DU with the username shraby started a thread with the title “If and when indictments come down in the Plame case."  Somehow, something struck a collective chord which generated a huge response.  When the moderator locked the thread after 311 posts, it was not to discourage activity, but to encourage it because the length of the thread was creating loading problems for users with a dial-up internet connection.  (Remember those days?!)  The second thread created by the moderator titled “If and when indictments come down in the Plame case-thread2” attracted even more members and was locked for the same reason after 295 posts.  By the time the third thread was opened, everyone there was aware of what was being referred to as “The Plame Threads.”

What was it that made these threads so popular?  There were a number of great contributions, but what really jumpstarted the first thread was a member with the username H2O Man highlighting Joe Klein’s recent article in Time magazine revealing that Valerie Plame, at the time she had her cover blown, was working on a “sting operation” regarding the trafficking of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  Suddenly, there was tangible proof that Plame was no simple secretarial desk jockey, as the neo-con meme of that time went; this was a serious undercover agent in a serious covert operation.  It made the possibility of indictments seem imperative.  This, along with H2O Man’s opinion that the indictments from the grand jury proceedings would come out soon and could create a constitutional crisis unlike any in our nation’s history, was what really got the ball rolling. 
Throughout that summer until August 19, 2004, when after over 5,600 posts the moderator locked the 20th and final Plame Thread, we became a team of detectives dedicated to discovering the evidence detailing this operation.  While I got to know some better than others, the most dedicated researchers each had their own distinctive approach to fueling the collective effort.  Sometimes conflicts would erupt over the significance of certain pieces of evidence and sometimes just over personality conflicts, but for the most part the collaboration was beautiful harmony as each new revelation in DU's own organic "think tank" built upon the next.  In addition to uncovering what evidence I could by googling leads, I felt my role was to compile as much evidence by everyone from the Plame Threads as I could into a cohesive structure to illustrate the hypothesis we were testing.  In the context of trying to discover the details of the “sting operation”, many on the Plame Threads devoted their time to researching the dark underworld of WMD proliferation.  One possible lead presented in the first thread by a member with the username seemslikeadream concerned a possible connection Plame had through her cover company Brewster, Jennings & Associates tracking the nuclear proliferation network of A.Q. Khan.

Khan turned out to be the most promising lead in WMD proliferation, because VP Dick Cheney knew about Khan's nuclear black market since he was Secretary of Defense in 1989 and did nothing to stop it.  Cheney was fast becoming the Plame Threads' Most Likely Mastermind orchestrating the outing of Valerie Plame due to the wonderful Waterman Paper written by H2O Man.  After uncovering deeper financial links between Khan's chief financial officer and a subsidiary company of Halliburton, I presented my compilation of our research to explore The Waterman Paper's Goal #3: Why Cheney Exposed Plame.  I titled my paper American Judas.  Our think tank had tested the hypothesis and now had a "peer-reviewed" theory we could stand behind as we spread the word in pursuit of justice.

In the aftermath of the Plame Threads, my focus renewed on the possibility of a connection between the Plame case and Sibel Edmonds.  Through my own research and the help of other DU investigative threads between 2004 and 2007, I wrote American Judas 2nd Edition: INVESTIGATE CHENEY & UNRAVEL THE CABAL.  This was published here while the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was still ongoing.  There had been a great amount of publicity on MSM that Dick Armitage had actually been the first person in the Bush administration to leak the CIA identity of Valerie Plame to a reporter, Bob Woodward.  Popular opinions over blame in the Plame case seemed to be divided into two camps: either the benign, "Armitage-the-gossiper-made-a-boo-boo" or the malignant, "Neo-cons-made-Plame's-CIA-cover-Fair-Game-for-hubby-criticizing-Bush."  While I always leaned toward blaming the neo-cons, I knew from my research that the reality behind this crime was something deeper.  Something darker.  Uglier.  Something like a military-industrial complex on steroids

Why did Armitage feel so secure in telling Woodward that "everyone knows" Wilson's wife works for the CIA as early as June 13, 2003?  It's important to remember his social milieu as Deputy Secretary of State, the Department's second ranking official; the third ranking State Department official was Marc Grossman, who told Libby that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA on June 11 or 12, 2003, right around the time Cheney told Libby. According to the FBI, Libby admitted that he and Cheney may have talked of outing Plame to reporters one month later.  Cheney's motive has been established, but what motive would Grossman have?  According to Sibel Edmonds, Grossman was one of three officials – the other two, she says, are Richard Perle and Douglas Feith – who had been watched by both Valerie Plame's Brewster Jennings & Associates CIA team, and by the major FBI investigation of organized crime and governmental corruption on which she herself was working until being terminated in April 2002.  Edmonds always intimated there was more she could reveal, but the multiple gag orders placed on her by Attorney General John Ashcroft prevented her from doing so.

Prevented, that is, until August 8, 2009.  Edmonds was subpoenaed for a case before the Ohio Elections Commission; Schmidt v. Krikorian.  This was the first time during the Obama administration that an opportunity arose where her attorneys requested that Attorney General Holder review the state secrets privilege invoked in her case and reverse the decision made under former President Bush. While the FBI attempted to block her testimony with a two page letter of objection to her attorneys and the Department of Justice pressured the Ohio Commission to drop the subpoenae, ultimately no one showed up in court to stop her deposition and on August 8, 2009, she provided what any rational person would describe as explosive testimony.  MSM gave the news a complete blackout.  Too bad, they missed out on informing the world about how Valerie Plame's CIA cover company, Brewster Jennings & Associates, initially had their cover blown:

"Basically," she said, "I told them how [third-ranking State Dept. official in the Bush Admin and former Ambassador to Turkey] Marc Grossman disclosed" that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company to the target of an FBI investigation. 

"Grossman and [Richard] Armitage, they are the only two people involved. Later on Cheney and his people may have used it, but it had nothing to do with those other things, [Brewster Jennings] was completely destroyed and gone by the summer of 2001."

Does this revelation absolve Cheney?  Absolutely not!  First, the Grossman/Armitage revelations do not change the documented links between Cheney and the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network where the motive to blow Valerie Plame's CIA cover is concerned.  Second, considering both Cheney and Armitage were affiliated with the Project for the New American Century, it's quite possible Cheney already knew Plame's cover company had essentially been gutted from the inside two years prior which gave him further justification.  Third, Cheney's and Armitage's affiliation with the American Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (AACC), which I proved in American Judas 2nd edition, shows that they are part of the "other things" that Edmonds has elaborated on: a criminal network described by the FBI as Gladio B, whose roots trace back to 1947 under the stewardship of former Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles.

While the pathway to understanding the truth was long and circuituous, I think the best way to commemorate this shameful anniversary is to celebrate the contributions of everyone who participated in the Plame Threads.  I might not have uncovered the full story if not for their commitment and devotion.  There are some in particular I want to single out, though many may have left DU over the years.  First, I must give a shout out to H2O Man, who I believe still posts at DU.   Your wisdom, insight and hope provided an inspiration to everyone who dared to dream that there might be some measure of justice against the criminal Bush administration.  Pallas180: you were not only the "den mother" who organized so many of the threads, you gave me the name American Judas to describe what we had discovered.  seemslikeadream: you were one of the biggest diggers and unearthed mountains of evidence; I'm so glad our paths crossed.  arbustochupa, who I believe now posts under the name coeur_de_lion, you not only organized one of the threads, you were one of the biggest contributors and helped get the conversation flowing.  Me., you got your start at DU on the Plame Threads and did some great digging yourself.  RebelYell: you helped me distinguish valuable alternative media from trash and did some excellent detective work.  calimary: you always kept us updated with media contact info so we could alert them to our discoveries.  kohodog: you wrote a great form letter for alerting the media and many other contributions to the Plame Threads.  Finally, I want to thank shraby for starting it all and keeping the ball rolling in DU's finest moment.

Here is the honor roll:

Thread 1 - shraby, LosinIt, fizzana, seemslikeadream, ewagner, tnlefty, GreenPartyVoter, gandalf, billybob537, Cyrano, Rosco T., are_we_united_yet, H2O Man, chiburb, lancdem, sniggles, merh, redstateliberal, frank frankly, truth2power, Eloriel, Fla Dem, goclark, TNOE, lil-petunia, Jazzgirl, dweller, juajen, Political_Junkie, FoeOfBush, calimary, burrowowl, kgfnally, scottxyz, scarletwoman, mzmolly, maxpower, Jim Sagle, thinkingwoman, TreeHuggingLiberal, jubug3, Waverley_Hills_Hiker, 2dumb2beprez, serryjw, Stephanie, LizW, Ugnmoose, Dookus, jmowreader, cryingshame, TruthIsAll, iconoclastic cat, Disturbed, wrate, Marianne, Generator, shimmergal, NRK, birdbrain, LeftHander, TWiley, Ripley, hansolsen, KoKo01, PATRICK, StandUpGuy, alfredo, Bush_Eats_Beef, KYDEM, loudsue, hedda_foil, arbustochupa, leftchick, Cheswick, oasis, Oaf Of Office, HootieMcBoob, Dems Will Win, tableturner, Zynx, 0007, FrustratedDemInNC, SharonAnn, Kimber Scott, vidali, kohodog, faithnotgreed, VoteDemocratic2004, cease_fire, floda, Pallas180, flpeach, Rockholm, TacticalPeak, mopaul, nolabels, Wilber_Stool, Moderator

Thread 2 - steviet_2003, Lone_Wolf, Ewan I Bushwackers, ClassWarrior, RainDog, Zan_of_Texas, Swamp_Rat, TheStranger, wtmusic, Crisco, AlinPA, Tellurian, Roon, ABB_15501, RFSea, Mallove Fan 71, bigskydem, Crachet2004, RightDem, Hippo_Tron, Lars39, party_line, Bleachers7, ktf23t, Pobeka, myrna minx

Thread 3 - newyawker99, azmesa207, legolassie, dansolo, OhMyGod, spokane, Kool Kitty, starroute, Zorra, Tight_rope, cthrumatrix, amBushed, Beetwasher, rman, fedupwithbush, xocolatl, mdmc, Papa, jumptheshadow, Snazzy, daria_g, Lestatdelc, LibertyorDeath

Thread 4 - beam_me_up, Kanary, juslikagrzly, GoreN4, catlawyer, librechik, SpiralHawk, robertpaulsen, yodermon, NewJeffCT, flutter by

Thread 5 - RatTerrier, spotbird, Cassandra, lanparty, AZDemDist6, ramblin_dave, nannah, johnfunk, salin, tblue37, JellyBean1, pbl, demgrrrll, KleverKittie, tjfreeman, Me.,

Thread 6 - swag, 7th_Sephiroth, Prodemsouth, progressivebebe, wurzel, Mike Niendorff, FascistAdder, milkyway, alilenas, DeepModem Mom, liberalnproud, KansDem, TacoUnderpants, Langis

Thread 7 - doctorbombeigh, Elginoid, jbutsz, DavidFL, leesa, donkeyotay, ralps, wishlist, RebelYell, Timefortruth

Thread 8 - Jacobin, BeFree, yowzayowzayowza, warrior1, saywhat, ozymandius, TheCentepedeShoes, huckleberry

Thread 9 - MidwestTransplant, liburl, sadiesworld, bobbieinok, sal, midwayer

Thread 10 - Trajan, seventhson, mandyky, sampsonblk, Gregorian, zidzi, lastknowngood, maggrwaggr, zydeco

Thread 11 - LunaC, mountainvue, DrBB, SayitAintSo, bezdomny, Sugarbleus

Thread 12 - NightOwwl

Thread 13 - ayeshahaqqiqa, wolfgirl, snippy, SilasSoule, skip fox, shockingelk, ignatius 2, tom_paine, sheelz

Thread 14 -  Scagbearer, crozet4clark, napi21, linazelle

Thread 15 - PDittie, carols, gtrump, maryallen, grasswire, muriel_volestrangler

Thread 16 - democrat_patriot, pacoyogi, bobbyboucher, Roy Robertson, stepnw1f, donhakman, dist22dem

Thread 17 - teryang, drfemoe, Minstrel Boy, wiggs, proud patriot, FizzFuzz

Thread 18 - whistle, LiberalSam, slutticus, Dr_eldritch

Thread 19 - Tweedtheatre, tishaLA, peace4allpeople, sgr2

Thread 20 - buycitgo, Sophree

I salute you all!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

National Security and the Death of US Journalists

"Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."
-Jim Garrison

This quote, from an interview Garrison gave to Playboy magazine in October 1967, was an observation based on his experience investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the 50th anniversary which our nation will be observing this November 22.  Garrison's investigation brought him to the conclusion that JFK's assassination was not the result of Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, as the Warren Commission reported, but through a wide conspiracy involving elements of our military and intelligence community.  What's really astounding to me is how prescient his observation above is.  We have seen, in the years after 9/11 and the passage of the draconian Patriot Act, just what lengths the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) is willing to go to protect their interests in the name of "national security."

I say MIC to distinguish from the vague attacks against "the government"; as the revelations about Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and the NSA internet surveillance system PRISM from Edward Snowden show, the real threat to our freedom is a collusion between state and corporate power.  In the case of both Snowden and Bradley Manning, to try to alert the American people about what this collusion of power is doing in our name and with our money is tantamount to treason.  Not only are they treated as enemies of the state, Manning currently on trial and Snowden forced to bunker down in a Russian airport terminal to escape charges in the US of violating the Espionage Act, but the journalists to whom they leaked have also been targeted to varying degrees.  In the case of Glenn Greenwald, who Snowden revealed his information to, he has become the target of a smear campaign that he is not a "serious journalist."  The campaign against Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks who Manning leaked to, has gone even further.  He has been forced to seek political asylum in Ecuador against two charges, coincidentally made after the Manning cables were published, of rape.  Now that doesn't necessarily mean the charges are false.  But as Naomi Wolf wondered, when was the last time Interpol made pursuing accused rapists a primary focus?  Makes you wonder, what are they going to do to journalists next?

When I woke up to see Channel 5's coverage of this crash, without having knowledge of who the victim was, my first thought was, "That's strange."  I've seen plenty of high speed crashes end up with cars wrapped around trees or telephone poles, but if the car exploded, it usually took some time after the engine caught fire for the flames to reach the gas tank.  But not only did this car explode on impact, the engine and transmission were ejected from the car by over 100 feet.  Then things really got strange when the identity of the deceased driver was released: Michael Hastings, journalist for BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone, among other publications.  Only 33 years old, he was best known for a Rolling Stone article that led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal in 2010.  Naturally, the usual "conspiratainment" voices like Alex Jones chimed in immediately that Hastings was murdered.  But then I read an article that corroborated my initial reaction to the strangeness of this "accident."  Now, while I don't appreciate the author's glib tone over such a tragic event and his dismissiveness toward Hastings' career accomplishments, I found this piece fascinating because this is not a conspiracy website, it's devoted to analysis of automobile performance. But in his analysis, this writer is noticing that Hastings' Mercedes-Benz doesn't seem to be behaving the way a C-250 normally would. In Mr. Baruth's words:

"But I’m not here to speak ill of the dead. I’m here to state that I’ve seen dozens of cars hit walls and stuff at high speeds and the number of them that I have observed to eject their powertrains and immediately catch massive fire is, um, ah, zero. Modern cars are very good at not catching fire in accidents. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is an evolutionary design from a company known for sweating the safety details over and above the Euro NCAP requirements, should be leading the pack in the not-catching-on-fire category."

It's certainly conceivable that someone could have planted a bomb in Hastings' car.  Just 15 hours before his death, Hastings sent out an email that "the Feds" were interviewing his "close friends and associates" so he needed "to go off the rada[r] for a bit."  It was around this time that WikiLeaks claims he contacted their lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, to say the FBI was investigating him (which the FBI has denied).  This article by Jeremy Scahill (whose documentary Dirty Wars was screened by Hastings the week before his death) does a great job detailing how Hastings stood out in contrast to other reporters who become part of the system sucking up to powerful people by not being afraid to antagonize powerful people like General McChrystal in order to report the truth.  I also think it's conceivable the LAPD could suppress evidence of a bomb in his car; they certainly did a great job suppressing the truth that the total number of gunshots fired when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated (10-13) didn't match the total number of bullets that could fit in Sirhan Sirhan's gun (eight).  But why was Hastings speeding so fast down Highland Avenue in the first place?  It doesn't appear from the tape from Loudlabs News that he was being chased by another car.  So I see two possible explanations.  One is that, as a recovering alcoholic, he relapsed in a huge way, perhaps due to the stress of believing the FBI was hounding him, and crashed his car and killed himself, no conspiracy whatsoever.  The other possibility was incredibly offered by Richard Clarke:

Was Michael Hastings' Car Hacked? Richard Clarke Says It's Possible

Posted:   |  Updated: 06/26/2013 7:24 pm EDT

The peculiar circumstances of journalist Michael Hastings' death in Los Angeles last week have unleashed a wave of conspiracy theories.

Now there's another theory to contribute to the paranoia: According to a prominent security analyst, technology exists that could've allowed someone to hack his car. Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post that what is known about the single-vehicle crash is "consistent with a car cyber attack."

Clarke said, "There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers" -- including the United States -- know how to remotely seize control of a car.

"What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it's relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn't want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn't want the brakes on, to launch an air bag," Clarke told The Huffington Post. "You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it's not that hard."

"So if there were a cyber attack on the car -- and I'm not saying there was," Clarke added, "I think whoever did it would probably get away with it."


Clarke worked for the State Department under President Ronald Reagan and headed up counterterrorism efforts under Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He also served as a special adviser on cyberterrorism to the younger Bush and published a book on the topic, Cyber War, in 2010.
"I'm not a conspiracy guy. In fact, I've spent most of my life knocking down conspiracy theories," said Clarke, who ran afoul of the second Bush administration when he criticized the decision to invade Iraq after 9/11. "But my rule has always been you don't knock down a conspiracy theory until you can prove it [wrong]. And in the case of Michael Hastings, what evidence is available publicly is consistent with a car cyber attack. And the problem with that is you can't prove it."


How has the media responded to this possibility?  MSM either noted it with bemused curiosity or ignored it completely.  That doesn't really surprise me.  What does surprise me is the reaction to the possibility of conspiracy by left-wing alternative media.  The only journalist I know of to explore this possibility seriously is Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks.  But the reaction among the rest of that community can best be summed up in the title of this particular Salon article, Stop Speculating About Hastings' Death.  They're more concerned about looking like loons than asking questions to inquire about the truth.  Is it so difficult to believe that powerful groups in this country could be threatened by investigative journalists enough to kill them?  That question brings us back to the JFK assassination.

Jim Koethe

Biography : Biography
Jim Koethe worked as a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald. He was involved in the investigation of the killing of President John F. Kennedy. On 24th November, 1963, Koethe and Bill Hunter of the Long Beach Press Telegram interviewed George Senator. Also there was the attorney Tom Howard. Earlier that day Senator and Howard had both visited Jack Ruby in jail. That evening Senator arranged for Koethe, Hunter and Howard to search Ruby's apartment.

It is not known what the journalists found but on 23rd April 1964, Bill Hunter was shot dead by Creighton Wiggins, a policeman in the pressroom of a Long Beach police station. Wiggins initially claimed that his gun fired when he dropped it and tried to pick it up. In court this was discovered that this was impossible and it was decided that Hunter had been murdered. Wiggins finally admitted he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer, Errol F. Greenleaf, testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place. In January 1965, both were convicted and sentenced to three years probation.

Jim Koethe decided to write a book about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, he died on 21st September, 1964. It seems that a man broke into his Dallas apartment and killed him by a karate chop to the throat. Tom Howard died of a heart-attack, aged 48, in March, 1965.

Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen : Biography
Dorothy Kilgallen, the daughter of James Kilgallen, a successful journalist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 3rd July, 1913. Kilgallen studied at New Rochelle College before beginning work as a journalist at The New York Journal, a newspaper owned by William Randolph Hearst.


John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on 22nd November, 1963. Kilgallen took a keen interest in the case and soon became convinced that Kennedy had not been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Kilgallen had a good contact within the Dallas Police Department. He gave her a copy of the original police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department on the day of the assassination, as reflected in the radio communications. This enabled her to report that the first reaction of Chief Jesse Curry to the shots in Dealey Plaza was: "Get a man on top of the overpass and see what happened up there". Kilgallen pointed out that he lied when he told reporters the next day that he initially thought the shots were fired from the Texas Book Depository.

Kilgallen also had a source within the Warren Commission. This person gave her an 102 page segment dealing with Jack Ruby before it was published. She published details of this leak and so therefore ensuring that this section appeared in the final version of the report. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the leak and on 30th September, 1964, Kilgallen reported in the New York Journal American that the FBI "might have been more profitably employed in probing the facts of the case rather than how I got them".

In another of her stories, Kilgallen claimed that Marina Oswald knew a great deal about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. If she told the "whole story of her life with President Kennedy's alleged assassin, it would split open the front pages of newspapers all over the world."

Kilgallen's reporting brought her into contact with Mark Lane who had himself received an amazing story from the journalist Thayer Waldo. He had discovered that Jack Ruby, J. D. Tippet and Bernard Weismann had a meeting at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination. Waldo, who worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was too scared to publish the story. He had other information about the assassination. However, he believed that if he told Lane or Kilgallen he would be killed. Kilgallen's article on the Tippit, Ruby and Weissman meeting appeared on the front page of the Journal American. Later she was to reveal that the Warren Commission were also tipped off about this gathering. However, their informant added that there was a fourth man at the meeting, an important figure in the Texas oil industry.

Kilgallen published several articles about how important witnesses had been threatened by the Dallas Police or the FBI. On 25th September, 1964, Kilgallen published an interview with Acquilla Clemons, one of the witnesses to the shooting of J. D. Tippet. In the interview Clemons told Kilgallen that she saw two men running from the scene, neither of whom fitted Oswald's description. Clemons added: "I'm not supposed to be talking to anybody, might get killed on the way to work."

Kilgallen was keen to interview Jack Ruby. She went to see Ruby's lawyer Joe Tonahill and claimed she had a message for his client from a mutual friend. It was only after this message was delivered that Ruby agreed to be interviewed by Kilgallen. Tonahill remembers that the mutual friend was from San Francisco and that he was involved in the music industry. Kennedy researcher, Greg Parker, has suggested that the man was Mike Shore, co-founder of Reprise Records.

The interview with Ruby lasted eight minutes. No one else was there. Even the guards agreed to wait outside. Officially, Kilgallen never told anyone about what Ruby said to her during this interview. Nor did she publish any information she obtained from the interview. There is a reason for this. Kilgallen was in financial difficulties in 1964. This was partly due to some poor business decisions made by her husband, Richard Kollmar. The couple had also lost the lucrative contract for their radio show Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick. Kilgallen also was facing an expensive libel case concerning an article she wrote about Elaine Shepard. Her financial situation was so bad she fully expected to lose her beloved house in New York City.

Kilgallen was a staff member of Journal American. Any article about the Jack Ruby interview in her newspaper would not have helped her serious financial situation. Therefore she decided to include what she knew about the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Murder One. She fully expected that this book would earn her a fortune. This is why she refused to tell anyone, including Mark Lane, about what Ruby told her in the interview arranged by Tonahill. In October, 1965, told Lane that she had a new important informant in New Orleans.

Kilgallen began to tell friends that she was close to discovering who assassinated Kennedy. According to David Welsh of Ramparts Magazine Kilgallen "vowed she would 'crack this case.' And another New York show biz friend said Dorothy told him in the last days of her life: "In five more days I'm going to bust this case wide open." Aware of what had happened to Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe, Kilgallen handed a draft copy of her chapter on the assassination to her friend, Florence Smith.

On 8th November, 1965, Kilgallen, was found dead in her New York apartment. She was fully dressed and sitting upright in her bed. The police reported that she had died from taking a cocktail of alcohol and barbiturates. The notes for the chapter she was writing on the case had disappeared. Her friend, Florence Smith, died two days later. The copy of Kilgallen's article were never found.

Some of her friends believed Kilgallen had been murdered. Marc Sinclaire was Kilgallen's personal hairdresser. He often woke Kilgallen in the morning. Kilgallen was usually out to the early hours of the morning and like her husband always slept late. When he found her body he immediately concluded she had been murdered.

(1) Kilgallen was not sleeping in her normal bedroom. Instead she was in the master bedroom, a room she had not occupied for several years.

(2) Kilgallen was wearing false eyelashes. According to Sinclaire she always took her eyelashes off before she went to bed.

(3) She was found sitting up with the book, The Honey Badger, by Robert Ruark, on her lap. Sinclaire claims that she had finished reading the book several weeks earlier (she had discussed the book with Sinclaire at the time).

(4) Kilgallen had poor eyesight and could only read with the aid of glasses. Her glasses were not found in the bedroom where she died.

(5) Kilgallen was found wearing a bolero-type blouse over a nightgown. Sinclaire claimed that this was the kind of thing "she would never wear to go to bed".

Mark Lane also believed that Kilgallen had been murdered. He said that "I would bet you a thousand-to-one that the CIA surrounded her (Kilgallen) as soon as she started writing those stories." The only new person who became close to Kilgallen during the last few months was her new secret lover. In her book, Kilgallen, Lee Israel calls him the "Out-of-Towner".

According to Israel she met him in Carrara in June, 1964, during a press junket for journalists working in the film industry. The trip was paid for by Twentieth Century-Fox who used it to publicize three of its films: The Sound of Music, The Agony and the Ecstasy and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Israel claims that the "Out-of-Towner" went up to Kilgallen and asked her if she was Clare Booth Luce. This is in itself an interesting introduction. Kilgallen and Luce did not look like each other. Luce and her husband (Henry Luce) however were to play an important role in the events surrounding the assassination. Luce owned Life Magazine and arranged to buy up the Zapruder Film . Clare Booth Luce had also funded covert operations against Fidel Castro (1961-63).

It has been suggested by John Simkin that Kilgallen suspected that "Out-of-Towner" was a CIA spy. She therefore told her friends this is what he said so that if anything happened to her, a future investigator would realize that he was a CIA agent with links to Clare Booth Luce.

Ron Pataky with Dorothy Kilgallen
Ron Pataky with Dorothy Kilgallen
Lee Israel has always refused to identify the "Out-of-Towner". In 1993 the investigative reporter, David Herschel, discovered that his real name was Ron Pataky. In 1965 he had been a journalist working for the Columbus Citizen-Journal. He admitted that he was the "Out-of-Towner" and that he worked on articles about the assassination of John F. Kennedy with Kilgallen. Pataky also confessed to meeting Kilgallen several times in the Regency Hotel. However, he denied Lee Israel's claim that he was with her on the night of her death.

In December, 2005, Lee Israel admitted that the "Out-of-Towner" was Ron Pataky and that "he had something to do with it (the murder of Dorothy Kilgallen)".

I think it's possible we're seeing this scenario play out again.  Same as it was 50 years ago, all in the name of "national security."