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Fred Koch, the John Birch Society and the JFK Assassination

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Lee Harvey Oswald: Ersatz Communist

COMMENT: Jane Mayer’s Dark Money has received considerable discussion and media play over the last couple of years. In past discussion of the Koch family, we noted that patriarch Fred Koch worked with Hitler building one of Nazi Germany’s most important refineries–one capable of refining the high-octane fuel needed by fighter planes.

In addition, we noted that Fred Koch was one of the first members of the John Birch Society.

Mayer notes that Fred Koch helped finance ads in the wake of the JFK assassination that pinned responsibility for the crime on the Soviet Union–one of the primary levels of disinformation.

We have covered the “painting of Oswald Red” in numerous programs, including FTR #’s 925 and 926.

In the 1960s, the John Birch Society intersected with the American Nazi Party, the paramilitary Minutemen and other domestic far right and fascist groups.

There is good discussion of the roles of the JBS and the other groups in the JFK assassination in the recent, massive volume General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy by Jeffrey H. Caufield M.D. NB: For a seasoned researcher, this is a useful and important book, however it MUST be handicapped–the author is dismissive of the [by now recorded fact] that elements of the intelligence community were involved in the killing. Of course, they were.

Notwithstanding that significant flaw, the book features a treasure trove of information about Nazi and fascist connections to the assassination of JFK. A veteran researcher can–and should–easily take the information from Caufield’s book and collate it with the intelligence community elements with which the “radical right” individuals and institutions are affiliated.

Dark Money by Jane Mayer; Anchor Books [SC]; Copyright 2016, 2017 by Jane Mayer; ISBN: 978-0-307-94970-1; p. 49.

 . . . . The family’s admiration for the John Birch Society, however, proved somewhat embarrassing on November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. As Lee Gang recounts in his book, The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right, when President Kennedy arrived in Dallas that morning, he was confronted by a hate-stoked, full-page newspaper ad paid for by several Texas members of the John Birch Society, accusing him of treasonously promoting “the spirit of Moscow.” At the time, Kennedy had moved from trying to ignore the Birchers to realizing he needed to confront their increasingly pernicious fearmongering, which he denounced as “crusades of suspicion” and “extremism.”

In a hasty turnabout, soon after the assassination, Fred Koch took out full-page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post, mourning JFK. The ads advanced the conspiracy theory that JFK’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had acted as part of a Communist plot. The Communists wouldn’t “rest on this success,” the ads warned. In the corner was a tear-out order form, directing the public to sign up for John Birch Society mailings. . . .


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