Friday, March 29, 2013

50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination: Author of The Plan: A Novel Speaks Out On Assassination Conspiracies, Oswald, Eastland, Banister

"On the assassination of John F. Kennedy? The American media failed us. They were compromised, frightened, incompetent, greedy (pick one or all) and still fight to keep us from learning the truth -- because they screwed up. Check out what journalists around the world have reported over the years. Only American journalists keep pumping up the Oswald lone nut story. I think they've simply given up on digging up the facts and telling the story. Citizens will find truth when listening to people like Mark Lane. ('Anyone who believes the Warren Commission, hasn't read the report.' Mark Lane, attorney  and my hero)." Susan Klopfer, author (The Plan: A Novel. Set for release: May 2013)

By Susan Klopfer
Author, The Plan

On Friday November 22, 1963, news bulletins hit the airwaves as rifle shots interrupted President John F. Kennedy's Dallas motorcade. While conspiracy theorists and others have kept the debate alive over what happened fifty years ago, who was involved, and why, no one ever mentions Mississippi's links.

As a journalist and writer, I became even more intrigued with the JFK assassination when coming across information linking a Mississippi icon to several people often associated with the tragic event.

Seven years before JFK was assassinated, the magnolia state's Sen. James O. Eastland met for the first time with Guy Banister, a controversial CIA operative and retired FBI agent in charge of the Chicago bureau.

"Banister was later linked to Lee Harvey Oswald and Mississippi's senator through involvement with Eastland's Senate Internal Security Subcommittee or SISS (sometimes called "SISSY").

I bumped into this strange fact when doing research for my books  Where Rebels Roost, Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited, Who Killed Emmett Till? and  The Emmett Till Book.

Mississippi and JFK’s assassination?

The "New Orleans Times-Picayune" on March 23, 1956, reported that Robert Morrison, a former chief counsel for Sen. Joseph McCarthy's House Unamerican Activities Committee or HUAC, and Banister traveled to Greenwood, Mississippi, to confer personally with Senator Eastland for more than three hours.

Describing the conference as "completely satisfactory," Morrison told the reporter that "Mr. Banister has complete liaison with the committee's staff which was the main object of our trip."

Apparently cozying up to Eastland and "SISSY" was Banister's goal. And it looks like it worked. Who would NOT have wanted others to know of this relationship? Think about it.

Known as a notorious political extremist who was later described as the impetus for James Garrison’s 1967-1970 Kennedy assassination probe, Banister earlier became a brief focus of Mississippi's secret spy agency, the Sovereignty Commission, when it was suggested Banister should be hired to set up an 'even tighter' domestic spying system throughout the state.

It has also been suggested that this detective was used by the Mississippi Sovereignty Comission in several of Mississippi’s “affairs” including the near ambush of James Meredith when as the first black American he entered the segregated  University of Mississippi in the fall of 1962.

A second Eastland operative, private investigator John D. Sullivan of Vicksburg, suggested hiring Banister to the Commission just months after the JFK assassination, as reported in released Sovereignty Commission records.

Mississippi Detective 'Kills Himself' -- After Working For Guy Banister

Former FBI agent Sullivan had worked under Banister (both inside the FBI and privately) and as a private self-employed investigator who often did work for hire for the Commission as well as for the private white Citizens Councils, of which he was an active member; and for SISS, as had Banister and Lee Harvey Oswald.

When Sullivan reportedly committed suicide following the Kennedy assassination, Sovereignty Commission investigators tried to acquire his library and files, but most of his confidential files were either reportedly burned by his widow or they had been lent out, and she 'could not remember' who had them, Sovereignty Commission files disclose.

Sullivan died when he was cleaning his rifle while sitting on the edge of his bed. He accidentay shot himself in the groin and bled to death after a hunting accident. This happened in the same year that David Ferrie, a potential and important witness in the Garrison trial against Clay Shaw took place -- before the trial. A family member told me that he’d confided he was in over his head while working in New Orleans for Banister – and that he’d been talking to a local judge about what he knew that scared him. The judge is now deceased.

Some twenty-nine years later, in testimony before the Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board during a Dallas hearing on November 18, 1994, the late Senator Eastland was directly implicated in the president’s assassination by one of the author/theorists invited to testify.

Lee Harvey Oswald Worked For Senator James O. Eastland's Security Committee

Lee Harvey Oswald was quite possibly an agent of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee and he was doing the bidding of [Sen. Thomas J.] Dodd and Eastland and Morrison, author John McLaughlin swore.

It’s a shame the University of Mississippi was given Eastland’s files, and that officials allowed a friend of Eastland to scrub these files clean before release to researchers.
Still, documentation that could support or even discredit such assertions could be present in the Eastland archives kept at the University of Mississippi, but until very recently no objective scholar was allowed to search these archives since the day they arrived on campus.

Instead, Eastland's records were managed for years by a former associate and devotee who followed the papers from Washington, D.C. to Oxford where he kept an office in the law school.

University of Mississippi Scrubs Eastland Records; Dean tosses FOIA into Waste Can

Finally in 2005, after my unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act or FOIA request to the dean of the law school,  a historian was hired to organize the archives based in the James O. Eastland School of Law at Ole Miss. But there was still be a lengthy waiting period before any of the files could be viewed.

The plan was to release first all press releases, according to one Ole Miss historian who also told me that many important files were probably missing -- that the files looked 'cleaned out'.

When I presented the Dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law (unofficially the James O. Eastland School of Law – they just never got brave enough to make this official), a freedom of information act request or FOIA for access to Eastland archives, he asked, while laughing, if he could “just show the rejection letter written to the last person who asked for this information."

Then he wadded up the FOIA and threw it ito his waste basket! Later, it came back to me that “people at Ole Miss were really angry” over the FOIA request.

Enter Wickliffe Draper, Eugenicist, Friend of Big Jim Eastland

All I can say is, it’s been quite a journey seeking the truth on what happened to President John F. Kennedy – and why. Plus -- I haven't even gotten started on what I think about Wickliffe Draper and his involvement -- I'm saving it for my book!

[1] “Banister, FBI Chief Since February, to Leave Post Nov. 30,” Chicago Daily Tribune, Nov 19, 1954, Part 2, Page 12.
[2] Citation for this newspaper article (“NOTP, March 23, 1956, p. 1”) comes from the online Jerry P. Shinley Archive “Re: Jim Garrison and the SCEF Raids.”
[3] William Davy, “Let Justice Be Done,” (Jordan Publication, May 12, 1999), 1. On the weekend of the assassination, Banister pistol-whipped his employee Jack Martin, after Martin accused him of killing Kennedy. Martin eventually spoke to authorities. [4] Sovereignty Commission documents SCR ID 7-0-8-89-1-1-1 and SCR ID 2-56-1-20-1-1-1.
[5] Sovereignty Commission documents SCR ID 99-36-0-2-1-1-1 SCR ID 1-16-1-21-1-1-1, SCR ID 1-26-0-5-2-1-1, SCR ID 2-2-0-19-1-1-1, SCR ID 1-24-0-11-1-1-1
[6] After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, A. J. Weberman, a “Dylanologist,” “garbologist” and Kennedy conspiracist wrote that he received this communication from Sullivan's grandson, Jeremy Sullivan: "I was told that he committed suicide but my dad didn't think so. He told me there was an investigation and the FBI was involved. They deemed it suicide. The story I heard had changed depending on who told it, I believe that they had been out fishing all day and John Daniel had been drinking. After they got home, he was alone in his room and there was a gunshot, and he was found dead." Also, Weberman stated that Jim Garrison had an undisclosed case against Sullivan in 1961. Per a “Memo for the Director” by Betsy Palmer on April 19, 1978, regarding the “HSCA.” From A.J. Ajweberman and Michael Canfield, “Coup D'Etat in America, The CIA and the Assassination of John Kennedy,” (New York City, The Third Press, 1975) Nodule II.
[7] Online minutes of testimony before the Assassination Records Review Board, November 18, 1994. Dallas, Texas. Testimony of John McLaughlin aka John Bevilaqua, Harvard University graduate and systems analyst, also a Kennedy assassination theorist. McLaughlin was testifying why he needed to see documents from HUAC and SISS. He had also requested military records of Wycliff P. Draper, head of the Draper Committees and Pioneer Fund. Mississippi had been the benefactor of Draper money in its fight against the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and in funding of private white academies per Sovereignty Commission reports.
[8] Eastland’s name has also been associated with the murder of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Dr. Martin Luther King, U. S. Senator Robert Kennedy and with the mass murder at a U. S. Army base located in Mississippi of potentially 1,000 black soldiers during World War II.
[9] The former Eastland aid has since retired.

No comments:

Post a Comment