News Archive - Mar 2006
Furor Over Nation Article by Max Holland
Mar 3, 2006: In its Feb 20, 2006 issue, the Nation magazine published an article by Max Holland entitled The JFK Lawyers' Conspiracy, in which Holland disparaged the AARC's 2005 conference and blamed the JFK conspiracy phenomenon on KGB manipulation, in conjunction with lawyers who "have been chiefly responsible for putting the Warren Report into undeserved disrepute." This article sparked many angry letters, and the Mar 20, 2006 issue prints letters from Joan Mellen, Mark Lane, Jim Lesar, Ralph Shoenman, and J.W. Rush, along with a reply by Holland (these links require Nation sign-in). Two of the letter-writers, Lane and Lesar, are among the lawyers denounced by Holland. In response, some of the letters mentioned a 1967 CIA memo sent to station chiefs abroad, instructing them to use their media assets to "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics," and "point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists."
Reclassification at National Archives Halted
Mar 3, 2006: The New York Times today published a story by Scott Shane which began thus: "After complaints from historians, the National Archives directed intelligence agencies on Thursday to stop removing previously declassified historical documents from public access and urged them to return to the shelves as quickly as possible many of the records they had already pulled." The reclassification story was first reported by the Times in a February 21 article. The new article states that Chief Archivist Allen Weinstein announced a moratorium on reclassification pending an audit, and will be meeting with intelligence agencies officials on March 6.
Cyril Wecht Defense Fund
Mar 1, 2006: Dr. Cyril Wecht, longtime outspoken critic of the Warren Commission, has created a legal defense fund. Dr. Wecht was indicted last January 20 on charges of misuse of his office. The seriousness of the charges weighed against the nature of the alleged offenses leads some to question whether the case is politically motivated ( see Jan 23 news story). Dr. Wecht has written an open letter to JFK assassination researchers requesting their support. The letter follows:
Dear JFK Assassination Researcher,
By now, I'm certain you are aware of the serious legal problems with which I have been confronted in recent weeks. It is not possible to discuss this matter in any detail within the context of this letter, but I will simply state that my attorneys -- who include former U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh and J. Alan Johnson, former U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania -- strongly believe the charges against me are unjustified. All of them agree that this vindictive inquisition is completely indefensible and that ultimately, I will prevail.
Unfortunately, the legal defense that I must mount all the way through a prolonged trial will be astronomically expensive. But I have no choice. My entire life is literally at stake -- personally, professionally and financially. And most important, the incredible emotionally traumatic impact this investigation has had on my wife, children and grandchildren must be reversed.
Your financial assistance in this critical matter would be deeply appreciated and, together with similar contributions from other key individuals, might even prove life-saving. Should you find yourself in a financial position to contribute to this cause, please direct it to the "Wecht Legal Defense Fund" at 1119 Penn Ave., Suite 404, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.
Thank you for your consideration of this fervent plea.
With kind regards,
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.
p.s. There is no particular reason to believe that my four decade-long search for the truth in the assassination of John F. Kennedy is the cause of this prosecution, but neither is there reason to believe that resistance to that work is not one of the government's motivating factors. It is of note, for instance, that the F.B.I. has seized all of my JFK assassination files and correspondence, even though none of the allegations against me have been related in any way to that case.