Hugh’s News: More misinformation from the mainstream media
BY HUGH TURLEY — Noted Catholic thinker Thomas Merton once wrote, “[I]n addition to the sheer volume of information, there is the even more portentous fact of falsification and misinformation by which those in power are often completely intent not only on misleading others but even on convincing themselves that their own lies are ‘historical truth.’ ”
Merton wrote those words in 1968, but the misinformation continues today. New York Times reporter Tim Weiner’s new book, Enemies: A History of the FBI, repeats the popular error that “Secretary of Defense James Forrestal … suffered a psychotic breakdown and jumped from his high window at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.”
In January 2009, this column reported findings from the official Willcutts Report of Forrestal’s death, released after 55 years and available at Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library of Princeton University. The official report did not conclude that Forrestal “jumped” or committed “suicide”; instead, is strong evidence that he was assassinated.
More significant even than the errors Weiner repeats are the important names he leaves out, like former FBI official Larry Potts. Terry Nichols, the convicted accomplice, alleges Potts guided Timothy McVeigh in bombing the Alfred P. Murrah building as part of an FBI plot. Potts was also present at Ruby Ridge in 1992, where Vicki Weaver was killed by an FBI sniper while holding her daughter; and at the Waco standoff in 1993, where approximately 80 people were killed, including more than 20 children.
On July 27, 1995, Weiner called Reed Irvine, chairman of Accuracy in Media, to discuss an article he was writing with another New York Times reporteron the death of deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster. Weiner and Irvine discussed evidence uncovered by Associate Independent Counsel Miguel Rodriguez, who led the Foster death investigation until his January 1995 resignation.
Rodriguez contacted journalists to blow the whistle about the FBI cover-up of Foster’s murder, but no story about it ever appeared in The New York Times. I found Rodriguez’s resignation letter to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr at the National Archives. He wrote that he “was forced to offer [his] resignation” and he was being “closely monitored by deputy Independent Counsel [Mark] Tuohey and an FBI agent.” Rodriguez told Starr FBI interview reports of witness statements were untrue.
One of those witnesses, Patrick Knowlton, was harassed by FBI agents trying to coerce him to say he saw Foster’s gray car at Fort Marcy Park when he did not. Knowlton sued FBI agents and others for violating his civil rights. The three judges who appointed Starr ordered him to include in his final report evidence of murder and FBI witness intimidation submitted by Knowlton’s lawyer.
Although many alleged FBI cover-ups remain unmentioned, Weiner’s book does give an accurate account of the FBI “investigation” of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy: “Oswald did it. Case closed.”
Remarkably, this conclusion was reached by J. Edgar Hoover on the day of the assassination.