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For The Record  

FTR #751 Interview with Russ Baker

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Lis­ten: MP3

FTR #751 (30-min­utes, only)

The death of Robert F. Kennedy

Intro­duc­tion: Revis­it­ing Russ Bak­er, the author of Fam­i­ly of Secrets, we cov­ered a num­ber of top­ics.

We began with a recent addi­tion to a long line of intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty dis­in­for­ma­tion about the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. A retired CIA offi­cer named Bri­an Latell has pub­lished a book hint­ing that Oswald was fol­low­ing “com­mu­nist” han­dlers, a line of dis­in­for­ma­tion that helped to dis­suade many from a seri­ous inves­ti­ga­tion of the assas­si­na­tion at the time.

Arguably the best known of the ped­dlers of dis­in­for­ma­tion about the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion is Ger­ald Pos­ner. We detailed Russ’ arti­cle about Ger­ald Pos­ner’s most recent line of endeav­or–flack­ing for the broth­er of Hamid Karzai, the pres­i­dent of Afghanistan. Ahmed Karzai has been accused of ties to drug smug­gling and of accept­ing gra­tu­ities from the CIA.

Not­ed as being one of the most suc­cess­ful and high pro­file of the res­i­dent attack dogs at Fox News, Bill O’Reil­ly did some good work on the JFK assas­si­na­tion, once upon a time.

We con­clud­ed the inter­view with the top­ic of the assas­si­na­tion of Robert Kennedy. We dis­cussed the RFK assas­si­na­tion’s return to the court­room, behind the efforts of attor­ney William Pep­per.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: the inter­est­ing back­ground of Sirhan Sirhan’s first attor­ney, Grant Coop­er; Bill O’Reil­ly’s Dam­as­cus Road con­ver­sion to the “Lee Har­vey Oswald as lone nut” view of the JFK assas­si­na­tion; review of the fact that more shots were fired in the Ambas­sador Hotel than Sirhan could pos­si­bly have dis­charged; review of the coro­ner’s evi­dence in the RFK assas­si­na­tion; review of some of the basic facts of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion.

1. Begin­ning with a recent addi­tion to a long line of intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty dis­in­for­ma­tion about the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. A retired CIA offi­cer named Bri­an Latell has pub­lished a book hint­ing that Oswald was fol­low­ing “com­mu­nist” han­dlers, a line of dis­in­for­ma­tion that helped to dis­suade many from a seri­ous inves­ti­ga­tion of the assas­si­na­tion at the time.

2. Arguably the best known of the ped­dlers of dis­in­for­ma­tion about the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion is Ger­ald Pos­ner. We detailed Russ’ arti­cle about Ger­ald Pos­ner’s most recent line of endeav­or–flack­ing for the broth­er of Hamid Karzai, the pres­i­dent of Afghanistan. Ahmed Karzai has been accused of ties to drug smug­gling and of accept­ing gra­tu­ities from the CIA.

3. Not­ed as being one of the most suc­cess­ful and high pro­file of the res­i­dent attack dogs at Fox News, Bill O’Reil­ly did some good work on the JFK assas­si­na­tion, once upon a time. We not­ed that O’Reil­ly’s pro­fes­sion­al sit­u­a­tion was per­fect­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pro­fes­sion­al jour­nal­is­tic land­scape in Amer­i­ca. Shunned for his good report­ing of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty’s efforts at sup­press­ing New Orleans DA Jim Gar­rison’s inves­ti­ga­tion of the JFK assas­si­na­tion, O’Reil­ly head­ed for­mer George H.W. Bush cam­paign man­ag­er Roger Ailes’ admo­ni­tion to drop that line of inquiry if he want­ed his career to stay on track. (Ailes is now the head of Fox News.)

4. Much of the dis­cus­sion focused on the assas­si­na­tion of Robert F. Kennedy. We dis­cussed the RFK assas­si­na­tion’s return to the court­room, behind the efforts of attor­ney William Pep­per.

We high­light­ed a num­ber of aspects of the inves­ti­ga­tion, includ­ing: the alleged pres­ence of CIA offi­cer George Joan­nides at the Ambas­sador Hotel on the night Robert Kennedy was killed; Joan­nides’ work as the liai­son between the CIA and the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions; review of “the girl in the pol­ka dot dress”; evi­dence that more shots were fired in the pantry of the Ambas­sador Hotel than Sirhan could have fired; a wit­ness’ claim that there should be “no more cov­er-ups”; the stun­ning account of Sirhan Sirhan’s first attor­ney, Grant Coop­er, who behaved more like a pros­e­cu­tor than a defense attor­ney; Coop­er’s links to John­ny Rosel­li, believed by many to have been one of the orga­nized crime fig­ures involved with the assas­si­na­tion of JFK.

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #751 Interview with Russ Baker”

  1. When Fox News gets its claws on your brains, some sort of flights of fan­cy are to be expect­ed. Just imag­ine what it does to peo­ple that actu­al­ly work there:

    TPM Livewire
    Reporter: No Way O’Reil­ly Wit­nessed Sui­cide — He Even Got Loca­tion Wrong
    By Bren­dan James
    Pub­lished March 10, 2015, 11:05 AM EDT

    A reporter who said he was “the actu­al — and only — reporter” to have seen a JFK fig­ure before he com­mit­ted sui­cide in 1977 wrote that Bill O’Reil­ly was def­i­nite­ly not present at the time, and got his facts wrong in claim­ing he was.

    In a piece for Newsweek pub­lished on Tues­day, the biog­ra­ph­er of JFK assas­sin Har­vey Lee Oswald, Edward Jay Epstein, rebuked O’Reil­ly’s claim to have been on the scene when George de Mohren­schildt, a friend of Oswald, killed him­self.

    O’Reil­ly has repeat­ed­ly said and writ­ten that while report­ing on the assas­si­na­tion inves­ti­ga­tion for Texas sta­tion WFAA, he was at the doorstep of the house in Flori­da where Mohren­schildt killed him­self.

    Epstein explained that he had inter­viewed de Mohren­schildt only hours before the Russ­ian emi­gré died, and wrote that “O’Reilly’s sto­ry does not fit the facts.”

    “For one thing, O’Reilly put him­self at the wrong house,” Epstein wrote, point­ing out that O’Reil­ly claimed to have heard the shot­gun blast at de Mohrenschildt’s daugh­ter’s house. Accord­ing to Epstein, de Mohren­schildt killed him­self at the home of C.E. Tilton.

    ...

    In audio record­ings of a 1977 phone call with inves­ti­ga­tor Gae­ton Fonzi on the day of the sui­cide, O’Reil­ly can be heard say­ing he had not yet trav­eled to Flori­da and had heard of the death sec­ond­hand. Ex-col­leagues have also told the lib­er­al watch­dog Media Mat­ters that O’Reil­ly was in Texas at the time.

    Iron­i­cal­ly, in those same record­ings, O’Reil­ly can be heard ref­er­enc­ing “Epstein,” say­ing, “he knows what hap­pened.”

    “We got­ta get this guy Epstein,” O’Reil­ly said on the tapes. “I’m comin’ down there tomor­row, I’m comin’ to Flori­da.”

    “We got­ta get this guy, he knows what hap­pened,” O’Reil­ly said in the record­ing.

    Keep in mind that O’Reil­ly’s rev­e­la­tion came out in his 2012 book Killing Kennedy, where O’Reil­ly con­cludes that Oswald act­ed alone.

    In oth­er news...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 10, 2015, 11:58 am

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