Saturday, April 11, 2009

Edward R. Murrow: Why the Fairness Doctrine Must be Restored

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The Communications Act of 1934 had affirmed the principle that the 'airwaves' belonged the people. Thanks to GOP/right wing policies, the airwaves have been stolen. 'Public ownership' of the airwaves is under attack by GOP regimes primarily and the large corporations benefiting from so-called 'de-regulation' during the Reagan years. More recent legislation also took its toll. Clear Channel Communications, for example, grew to include some 1200 radio stations as a result of the GOP assault upon fairness.

Formally adopted in 1949, the Fairness Doctrine had required broadcasters to devote air time to the discussion of 'controversial matters of public interest'. To maintain a 'license' broadcasters were required to 'air' opposing and contrasting opinions and viewpoints. Given wide latitude, TV and radio outlets really had little to complain about. Nevertheless, the doctrine was all but repealed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan’s pro-big business FCC.

The doctrine can be traced back to the early days of broadcast regulation. It was the 'teeth' in the federal law that affirmed the public ownership of the 'airwaves'.

Your right to challenge the licenses of abusive outlets is now severely restrained or non-existent. Because there is no real competition, 'big media' can lie to you, slant the news, fill up air time with Billo and bullshit. Big media can jack up the rates on air time and other advertising.

'Fair and balanced'?? I don't think so! What you really get are corporate, focus group approved 'talking points' --not facts! You get Wolf Blitzer cliches and banalities passed off as 'analysis'. You don't get the news; you get right wing propaganda. Millions have been 'brainwashed' and don't even know it.

The Fairness Doctrine had required broadcasters to devote air time to the discussion of 'controversial matters of public interest'. To maintain a 'license' broadcasters were required to 'air' opposing and contrasting opinions and viewpoints. Given wide latitude, TV and radio outlets really had little to complain about.

There is precedent for a 'people's revolution' that will take back our media.

Edward R. Murrow "Wires and Lights In a Box" Remembered
A license permits broadcasting, but the licensee has no constitutional right to be the one who holds the license or to monopolize a...frequency to the exclusion of his fellow citizens. There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others.... It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount.

--U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the constitutionality of the Fairness Doctrine in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 1969.

Certainly, broadcasting has become subservient to the ruling oligopoly of less than one percent of the population, an oligopoly which spawned it and expects it to serve them --not you, not the public! Public access had been guaranteed by law. It is now restricted or non-existent.
What happened to the American Media? After Nixon's demise, the right wing of the Republican party decided that they could no longer afford to allow the free dissemination of information to the US public. The simple solution? Have their friends buy up the major networks, newspaper chains and magazines, so they could be controlled from the top on the corporate level. The Left's Media Miscalculation was to stand by and watch them do it.
"The American Fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

-- Henry A. Wallace, Vice President to FDR, 1944, The Danger of American Fascism
Having wrested control over the channels of public information, they went on to remove any impediment to their injecting their poisons into the public dialogue. The first step was to get rid of the fairness doctrine.

--Sadbuttrue, What Happened to the American Media?
Certainly the relationship between the American media and the increasingly tiny elite, a 'ruling oligopoly' is entirely too convenient to have come about by chance.
The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General "Wild Bill" Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that "OSS" stood for "Oh, so social!"

Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite.

By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives. Their employment with the agency took a variety of forms, which included:

  • Leaving one's profession to work for the CIA in a formal, official capacity.
  • Staying in one's profession, using the job as cover for CIA activity. This undercover activity could be full-time, part-time, or on-call.
  • Staying in one's profession, occasionally passing along information useful to the CIA.
  • Passing through the revolving door that has always existed between the agency and the business world.
Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have been one and the same people. This means that their interests and goals are one and the same as well. Perhaps the most frequent description of the intelligence community is the "old boy network," where members socialize, talk shop, conduct business and tap each other for favors well outside the formal halls of government.


Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.

The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)

MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda.

At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism:
  • Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
  • William Paley (President, CBS)
  • Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
  • Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
  • Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star)
  • Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
  • Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
  • James Copley (Copley News Services)
  • Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
  • C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
  • Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • Associated Press
  • United Press International
  • Reuters
  • Hearst Newspapers
  • Scripps-Howard
  • Newsweek magazine
  • Mutual Broadcasting System
  • Miami Herald
  • Old Saturday Evening Post
  • New York Herald-Tribune
Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.

--Steve Kangas, The Origins of the Overclass
One wonders how many of the more obvious shills have been recruited for their abilities to 'serve' the ruling oligopoly. These 'super-wealthy' have, over the years, consolidated many ways by which they may acquire more wealth and power. By 1912, a year in which the Los Angeles Times building was bombed, the Scripps-Howard organization had already become a media powerhouse with newspapers in many American cities.

By the mid-1970s these methods became a well-oiled, efficient propaganda machine, a Ministry of Bullshit! By 1975 it had became a slick noise machine for advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms. Who benefited? Just one percent of the US population, the 'ruling elite' that profited by the dumbing down of America.

Local markets are served by a limited number of stations, because radio stations are local in reach and licensed to utilize a specific frequency that is assigned by the Federal Communications Commission. A similar system exists for television, cable systems, et al. The communications industries are thus characterized by the Concentration of 'large scale ownership', in other words, 'media consolidation. Most recently, it is reported that only seven major corporations own 99 percent of all media outlets in the United States.

The biggest owners include: Disney, National Amusements, Viacom, CBS Corporation, Time Warner, News Corp, Bertelsmann AG, Sony, General Electric, Vivendi SA, Hearst Corporation, Organizações Globo and Lagardère Group. None of them are 'liberal'. The consequences are measurable.
  • Fewer jobs for media workers
  • More homogenization of music on radio
  • Less community-oriented programming
  • Loss of local control over programming decisions Less independently-produced programming
  • Increased censorship of divergent views
  • Less political discussion
  • Inadequate emergency weather/disaster warnings
  • Fewer minority-owned broadcast stations.
  • The 'brain-washing' of the American public by FOX
  • The media has become the propaganda arm of the GOP
At last --the idea that media is 'liberal' is, therefore, a myth. The handful of large corporations owning the media are 'conservative' --not liberal. In fact, the 'liberal voice' is essentially non-existent in today's monopolistic BIG MEDIA.

The following video featuring Bill Moyer exposes a clear and present danger to dissent and to the very lives of those who dare dissent in the United States. When you watch this video, keep in mind that the ugly hatred, bigotry and venom that is revealed is the result of right wing attacks upon the Fairness Doctrine. Clearly --there is only one reason anyone would oppose 'fairness' and that is that they wish to be 'unfair'; they wish to shout, scream and accuse while muzzling you. They wish to lie while shutting you up. They wish to deny you the right of free speech that had been guaranteed to us in the US Constitution.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Origins of US Illegitimacy: Fatal Flaws that Sink the Warren Commission

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

It might have been so simple. JFK is gunned down in Dallas. The fall guy du jour --Lee Harvey Oswald --would take the rap. The patsy was said to have fired three shots from the Texas School Book Depository. One of them was said to have created injuries in both President John F. Kennedy and Texas Gov John Connally. Another --said to have killed the President --is likewise attributed to the single shooter in the famous sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository.

The Warren Commission's 'official theory' is shot through with more holes than Swiss chesse. If Lee Harvey Oswald had gone to trial he would have walked.
  • The fatal shot came from the front.
  • A 'Magic Bullet' was said to have defied the laws of physics (primarily gravity), requiring an elaborate and ex post facto violation of Occam's Razor to make it sound remotely plausible.
  • The 'Magic Bullet' --CE-399 --may have been planted or, more innocently, misidentified; the 'chain of evidence' is non-existent; and, had the case gone to trial, it would have been thrown out of court.
It is claimed that CE-399 was fired from what is 'said' to have been Oswald's rifle, an assertion that is impossible to support. The famous photo linking Oswald to the rifle is an obvious fake. It has been said that the 'chain of evidence' was broken. In fact, CE-399 --found on John Connally's gurney at Parkland Hospital --has no traceable history that places it at the scene of the crime.
I asked myself, Is the bullet sitting in the National Archives today really the same bullet recovered at Parkland Memorial Hospital in the wake of the Kennedy assassination? I decided to put the issue to the test.

Phantom Identification

It was on March 16, 1964 during James Humes' testimony before the Warren Commission (WC) that CE-399 was first introduced into evidence. Arlen Specter related on the record that CE-399's bone fides were "subject to later proof," but would be introduced with the proviso that the bullet was the same "missile which [had] been taken from the stretcher which the evidence now indicates was the stretcher occupied by Governor Connally." The fact that Humes was the first witness to testify about CE-399, yet had played no part whatsoever its chain of custody, forced Specter to introduce CE-399 "subject to later proof." Fifteen days later, Specter queried SA Robert Frazier on CE-399's provenance:
Mr. EISENBERG. Mr. Frazier, I now hand you Commission Exhibit 399, which, for the record, is a bullet, and also for the record, it is a bullet which was found in the Parkland Hospital following the assassination. Are you familiar with this exhibit?

Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir. This is a bullet which was delivered to me in the FBI laboratory on November 22, 1963 by Special Agent Elmer Todd of the FBI Washington Field Office.

Mr. EISENBERG. Does that have your mark on it?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, it does.

Mr. EISENBERG. The bullet is in the same condition as it was when you received it?

Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; except for the marking of my initials and the other examiners.(3H428) [March 31, 1964]

Frazier established that the CE-399 bullet before him was the same one he'd received from SA Elmer Todd on 11/22/63. But Frazier's testimony that CE-399 was the same bullet handed to him by SA Todd, in and of itself, does not begin to establish whether or not it was the same bullet that actually came off the stretcher in Dallas.

Oddly, Elmer Todd was never called to testify before the WC. Nor were SA Richard Johnsen, or chief of Parkland Hospital security and former DPD detective, O. P. Wright, whom both figure prominently in the chain of custody of CE-399.

The WC did call on the employee who actually found the bullet. On March 20, 1964 the WC took Parkland Hospital orderly, Darrell Tomlinson's testimony. That was a mere four days after CE-399 was introduced during Humes' testimony. Incredibly, Tomlinson, whose testimony was taken in Dallas, was queried extensively about where he found a bullet (which stretcher), but was never shown CE-399 or asked to identify it as the bullet he found the day Kennedy was assassinated. Having Tomlinson ID the bullet is the "proof" that would have established that the bullet's bone fides were in order. But that didn't happen. What did happen was that the day after Tomlinson testified, Robert Frazier delivered CE-399 to the WC (See Figure 1).

--John Hunt, The Phantom Identification of the Magic Bullet: E. L. Todd and CE-399
A key phrase is 'non-fatal'. Had this case gone to court, a single fatal wound might have been sufficient to get a conviction. Not even the Warren Commission believed the 'magic bullet' to have been fatal. That dubious honor belongs to the single bullet that struck JFK in the right forehead driving his head '...back and to the left'. The Warren Commission, however, failed to acknowledge the fact that whatever struck the President on Frame 313 of the Zapruder film came from the front --the grassy knoll. The elaborate 'magic bullet' upon which Arlen Specter gambled his good name and credibility, is irrelevant!
In contrast to the testimony of witnesses who heard and observed shots fired from the depository, the commission's investigation has disclosed no credible evidence that any shots were fired from anywhere else.

--Warren Commission Report, JFK Assassination
The Warren Commission knew that it could get away with such an absurdity. There were big names on the commission. But so egregious is this error, one must ask the obvious question: what was the Warren Commission deliberately trying to hide? Quick response: the government's own complicity in murder.

The Warren Commission did not fear a sudden outbreak of truth. The Zapruder Film, it was believed, had been sealed. Everything had been nailed down, covered up, or cover storied!

But since it was broadcast by Geraldo Rivera, the Zapruder film has gone mainstream. Until it can be demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt to have been tampered with, Zapruder remains a yardstick against which all other 'said' evidence must be measured for consistency. Frame 313, for example, is a dramatic moment of less than a tenth of a second in which the President was struck dramatically and mortally. All other timelines must conform to this and other key moments recorded on film.

Gerald Ford admitted to tampering with evidence while he was on the Warren Commission. In other words, Ford committed a federal crime the effect of which has kept the truth from the American people since 1963.
The initial draft of the report stated:
    "A bullet had entered his back at a point slightly above the shoulder to the right of the spine."
Ford wanted it to read:
    "A bullet had entered the back of his neck slightly to the right of the spine."

--Gerald Ford's Terrible Fiction
Too timely, too convenient, the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by known mobster Jack Ruby necessitated the creation of the Warren Commission, a 'weighty' panel of well-known public figures, in other words 'big wigs' who could get away with promoting the official cover story.
"According to the Warren Report the missile hit JFK in the posterior neck, then without striking any hard object passed through the neck to exit at the front of his throat. It then entered Texas Governor John B. Connally's back at the right arm pit, sliding along his fifth rib, demolishing four inches of the rib before it exited his chest below the right nipple. The bullet then allegedly struck and shattered the radius of the right wrist on the dorsal side, then exited at the base of his palm and hit his left thigh just about the knee.

The Report then asserts that CE 399 traveled about three inches beneath the surface of the skin, hit the femur and deposited a lead fragment on the bone. Then, sometime later, with a spasm of reverse kinetic energy it spontaneously exited the hole in Connally's thigh and neatly tucked itself under the mattress of a stretcher parked in a hallway of the Parkland Memorial Hospital that the Report asserted was linked to the wounded governor. There it rested calmly under the mattress waiting for its rendezvous with history."

--Gerald McKnight, Researcher

The death of Lee Harvey Oswald who had always maintained that he was a 'patsy' was improbably convenient. It relieved the government of having to get a conviction. Most importantly, however, the Warren Commission could not risk a trial that would have exposed the cover up. That is motive enough to order a 'hit'. Certainly --a trial of Oswald would have been disastrous for a corrupt and perhaps illegitimate government. Oswald knew too much. And what he knew might have been made public. Would the 'powers that be' risk that?

The Zapruder film would have been played back in court, proving to any intelligent jury that the 'magic bullet' was not only wrong and inadmissible, it was irrelevant. The fatal shot came from the front, striking JFK just above his right eye, exploding his skull and driving his head back and to the left. Backward and to the left! If you doubt this, here is a link to a unique site: Zapruder Film Frame by Frame. Every frame of Zapruder is enlarged and accessible with a link. Zapruder can be examined, literally, frame by frame.

The murder of JFK may not have been the classic coup d'etat --but coup d'etat it was.

The many official lies about JFKs murder deflect attention from the real evidence that disproves the official narrative. Had this evidence been followed up it might have been proven that Lee Harvey Oswald:
  1. could not have fired the fatal shot;
  2. was probably not even in the depository window at the time of the murder
  3. would have been ill-placed as a shooter even IF he had a part of the bigger conspiracy.
  4. that the Depository is the least desirable location from which to pull off a hit.
See pictures of the 'magic bullet' [CE 399, click for larger image] at the JFK LANCER. This is the very picture of pristine. It is highly doubtful that it had even been fired, let alone create multiple wounds and extensive bone damage. Secondly, Zapruder frame 230 proves that John Connally had not been hit by the same bullet that magic bullet theorists say struck JFK. On this point, the expert testimony of a pathologist may be seen in the second video in the playlist posted below.

The Warren Commission simply discounted anything that didn't fit officialdom. The magic bullet was concocted by Arlen Specter though he has no experience in forensics! My opinion is, at least, as good as his and most certainly less biased in favor of anything that might benefit the GOP, the MIC, or the CIA.

Specter may have hoped to deflect attention from the real source of the fatal bullet that struck JFK just above his right eye from the front. Specter may have hoped to paper over the holes. Specter's motives are relevant to the Warren Commission's credibility. If it was Specter's motive to cover up the truth by diversion, then he is guilty of obstruction of justice --a Federal crime! Moreover, if the fatal shot came from the front, the 'magic bullet' is just another establishment red herring at best, a federal crime at worst. It hinges upon Specter's motives.

The Magic Bullet was entered into the chain of evidence before it had been taken out of Connally's leg --evidence that the 'official magic bullet theory' was concocted in advance of the investigation. The 'state' desparately sought anything that might shore up the cover story. Real investigations are not conducted in this manner. Cover ups are! Indeed, even the FBI and the Secret Service had stated in their separate reports that JFK and John Connally were struck by separate bullets. John Conally himself stated flatly that separate bullets had struck him and the President. The Warren report is a lie.

Planning for the JFK murder probably began with his historic inaugural address. Subsequently, he promised to smash the CIA into a 'thousand pieces'; he threatened to expose 'secret societies' and 'cults' that he believed posed a threat to the republic [Skull and Bones?]; he promised to abolish the FED. The nation, having endured the seemingly endless and tragic Viet Nam quagmire, abominable abrogations of Civil Rights, a war waged by the CIA and the FBI against civil liberties, it is easy to forget how revolutionary were JFKs words. His words were a threat, a 'clear and present danger' to the entrenched and corrupt establishment, the 'invisible government'.
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

--John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
Likewise, the entrenched establishment of about one percent of our own population could not have been happy with JFKs commitment to human rights.
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

--JFK, Inaugural Address
In 1961, many powerful forces in and out of the US government would have felt threatened by JFKs commitment to the United Nations, a body not merely opposed but reviled by powerful entrenched forces and interests inside the US.
To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far out paced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support—to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective—to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak—and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

--JFK, Inaugural Address
And then JFK struck at the very source of an evil 'livelihood' --the Military/Industrial complex about which Dwight Eisenhower had but recently warned.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors.

--JFK, Inaugural Address
The MIC is simply not interested in the 'freedom of man'. usually announced amid great chest beating and displays of arms and/or militia. This coup d'etat was an covert takeover by the low profile beneficiaries inside the Military/Industrial complex and throughout the CIA.

As subsequent events have proven since that date, Lincoln's vision of a 'government of the people, by the people and for the people' did, indeed, perish from this earth. If it was not the classic coup d'etat, we might have been better off if it had been. Our traitors are cowards who subvert us with secrecy, lies, and subterfuge. Some prefer the tyrant that can be seen to unseen 'spooks' who murder by stealth and proxy.

I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future--for reducing this threat or living with it--there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security--a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.

This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President--two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.

The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

--Secret Society Speech, President John F. Kennedy, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, April 27, 1961
Was JFK warning of the Military/Industrial complex as his predecessor had done? Was he referring to the CIA? The Skull and Bones? Most certainly, all of the above given the proprietory interest Skull and Bones has in the world's number one terrorist organization --the CIA! Like the Mafia, the Axis of CIA/MIC/Skull and Bones is in the death business. Under the regimes of Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr, the nation itself become Murder, Inc.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
The following You Tube playlist is worth watching start to finish if one is interested in the truth about a coup d'etat that changed America for the worst, the state sponsored murder of John F. Kennedy.