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The Assassination Story -- Part 2

In my last post I reviewed the first half of the collector’s item, The Assassination Story (1963) published by General Walker and Robert Alan Surrey, through their American Eagle Publishing Company. There are approximately 300 newspaper clippings in this item – taken almost exclusively from two Dallas newspapers: the Dallas Morning News (DMN) and the Dallas Times Herald (DTH).

Their selection of articles covers about three weeks of daily news after the JFK Assassination. There are about 60 pages here; the first 30 pages (approximately) are devoted to the DMN, and the final 30 pages (approximately) are devoted to the DTH. The articles are roughly in chronological order.

In my last post I reviewed about 10% of the DMN clippings because they focus on General Walker instead of the JFK Assassination. Walker and Surrey clearly intended to link General Walker with the JFK Assassination. These clippings consistently blamed the Soviets and Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) for the JFK Assassination, with a secondary aim to shift blame away from the Dallas Radical Right.

In the second half of The Assassination Story (1963) with its special focus on the DTH, I found again that about 10% of the articles focus on General Walker and his agenda. I begin my review with some political editorials printed three days before the JFK Assassination. We often forget that the Dallas humiliation of UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson occurred only four weeks before the JFK Assassination. The Dallas Times Herald – a newspaper somewhat more conservative than the Dallas Morning News, published editorials taking sides against Adlai Stevenson.

1. DTH: Tuesday 11/19/1963


ARTICLE: This editorial strongly objected to anybody calling Adlai Stevenson a martyr after his Dallas humiliation on 10/24/1963.

ANALYSIS: This was Walker propaganda. General Walker had boasted to reporters that he personally trained the mob who had loudly disrupted UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson’s speech in Dallas on 10/24/1963. (This was documented in 1993 by historian Chris Cravens.) The Dallas Radical Right was convinced that everybody in the UN was Communist and would not tolerate when anybody defended Adlai Stevenson.

2. DTH: Tuesday 11/19/1963


ARTICLE: This editorial contrasted the sharp differences between General Walker’s US Day event of 10/23/1963 and Adlai Stevenson’s UN Day event of 10/24/1963. They were both held in the same Dallas auditorium, but the striking contrast was between them was Christian vs. Atheist; as well as Free Enterprise vs. Communism.

ANALYSIS: This was Walker propaganda. Walker had sufficient "Friends of Walker" members in Dallas to write editorial opinions for daily newspapers. Before the JFK Assassination, the Dallas humiliation of UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was General Walker’s frequent boast (Cravens, 1993).

3. DTH: Saturday 11/23/1963


ARTICLE: This article reports that the Secret Service and FBI researched threats to JFK coming out of Houston, Texas, before his visit to Texas in late November 1963.

ANALYSIS: This was Walker propaganda. There were two main implications: (1) that the city of Dallas was not the only Texas city to threaten JFK; and (2) that the great Secret Service and FBI did their due diligence in tracking down open threats to JFK in Texas – so it was impossible for anybody to properly protect JFK.

4. DTH: Sunday 11/24/1963


ARTICLE: This article was among the first to report on Lee Harvey Oswald’s activity inside New Orleans. It refers not only to LHO’s alleged leadership of an FPCC branch in New Orleans, but also to LHO’s appearance on Bill Stuckey’s NBC radio program, “Latin Listening Post” in New Orleans on August 17, 1963. Bill Stuckey reported that LHO told him that the NOLAs FPCC branch had 12 or 13 members.

ANALYSIS: This was Walker propaganda. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison revealed in 1968 that the 1963 FPCC in New Orleans was a fake branch with no members, established by LHO and Guy Banister in order to infiltrate the FPCC. Walker – a friend of Banister – most likely knew this. In 1963 LHO publicized himself as the alleged “secretary” of the NOLA FPCC, while “Alek J. Hidell” was the alleged “president.” The Friends of Walker in Dallas quickly obtained the NBC radio transcript of this New Orleans show, in which LHO boasted that he was a secretary of Fidel Castro’s favorite US group, the FPCC. General Walker knew that the evidence was fake – but struggled to present it to the world as real.

5. DTH: Sunday 11/24/1963


ARTICLE: General Walker offered no actual words of sympathy, yet this headline fudges in order to domesticate Walker’s image. Walker actually said: (1) the JFK Assassination was not as surprising as it was tragic; (2) all soldiers killed in the wars against Communism were equal to JFK; and (3) never underestimate the Communist threat in America. Robert Alan Surrey added his bit; the possibility that LHO was also General Walker’s April 1963 shooter, “had occurred to us.”

ANALYSIS: Walker’s remark that the JFK Assassination was “not as surprising as it was tragic,” meant only one thing – that he was not surprised in the slightest. Walker’s remark that all soldiers killed in wars against Communism were equal to JFK merely muted the Presidential Assassination and presumed that JFK was clearly killed by Communists. Walker’s warning to never underestimate the Communists was a counterweight to the frequent question about why a Communist sympathizer could kill a comrade. Finally, Robert Surrey’s remark about LHO possibly being General Walker’s April 10th shooter may just be the very first time that any American newspaper printed this speculation.

6. DTH: Monday 11/25/1963


ARTICLE: Here we are, only three days after the JFK Assassination, and the Dallas press had somehow obtained a classified government report about LHO in Mexico City, applying for a Soviet Visa at the Cuba Consulate.

ANALYSIS: This is Walker propaganda. We must ask – how could a local newspaper get this classified information? The likely answer is that General Walker’s secret Friends in the Dallas FBI had access to this story and gave it to Walker. Walker leaked it to the press. ‘Here’s that Red LHO, trying to get back to Russia!’ It also insinuated that LHO was in Mexico City making deals with the Communists – possibly to assassinate JFK in a Communist plot, to sow confusion in the US.

7. DTH: Sunday 11/24/1963


ARTICLE: Musician Bill DeMar worked as a pianist at the Carousel Club. He told reporters that he saw LHO inside the Carousel Club on at least one occasion. He added that he was “almost sure.”

ANALYSIS: This was Walker propaganda. This rumor, later debunked by the Warren Commission, suggested that LHO and Jack Ruby were partners. General Walker suggested this theme to the WC several times. Ruby “must have been” a Communist too. Ruby “might have been” the second shooter at General Walker back in April 1963. Ruby killed LHO to conceal their relationship, obviously. This “sighting” by DeMar was solid evidence, insisted Walker. His Friends shared it with the press.

8. DTH: Wednesday 11/27/1963


ARTICLE: This article claimed that LHO had been discharged by a downtown typographical firm “for Communist tendencies.” Although the article didn’t name the firm, the only downtown Dallas typographical firm in 1963 that had discharged LHO was, Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall. LHO had started work there in 1962 and let go as a result of low marks on his six-month performance review in March.

ANALYSIS: This is Walker propaganda. The WC directly asked the principals of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall why they discharged LHO. They all said – job performance. His co-worker added that LHO often used company equipment for personal projects. None testified that LHO was let go because of “Communist tendencies.” Still, LHO had openly flaunted Russian newspapers at work, so there may have been some rumors. Since Robert Alan Surrey was also in the printing business in Dallas, he might have heard those rumors, and took them to Walker, who leaked them to the Dallas Times Herald – adding some guesswork of his own.

9. DTH: Thursday 11/28/1963


ARTICLE: This article features a photograph of LHO in handcuffs giving a defiant, upraised fist salute. The article claims that LHO’s salute was “the Communist symbol of the triumph of Marxism by revolutionary violence.” The article added that “Communist Justice is served by world-wide assassinations which will result in anarchy, chaos, disorder…” The article concludes that “there has been an incredible attempt” in the USA and USSR, “to transfer responsibility” for the JFK assassination from LHO to “the forces of Communist resistance” in the USA.

ANALYSIS: This was Walker propaganda. The John Birch Society reprinted this article multiple times in subsequent years. Actually, the ‘clenched fist salute’ has a long history as a symbol of defiance by many causes – right-wing as well as left-wing. It was popular among the Republicans in the 1937 Spanish Civil War, for example. The article also omitted the fact that LHO’s large, USMC “Semper Fi” signet ring had been brushed out by the editor.

10. DTH: Thursday 11/28/1963


ARTICLE: This article quotes Dallas County Assistant DA Bill Alexander who announced to the press that LHO wrote letters to the CPUSA. LHO also had FPCC letterhead among his possessions. So, Bill Alexander concluded publicly about LHO that “he is a New Yorker and active Communist!”

ANALYSIS: This is Walker propaganda. Any Dallas officials friendly to General Walker continued to feed propaganda to the press that LHO was a Communist in every way conceivable, in order to blame the Communists for the JFK Assassination.

11. DTH: Saturday 11/30/1963

HEADLINE: FUNDS WIRED TO OSWALD: Western Union Recalls Sending Message Prior to Assassination

ARTICLE: This article claims that LHO received small amounts of money through Western Union for several months prior to the JFK Assassination. It also claims that LHO sent a telegram himself a few days before the JFK Assassination. The article concluded that, “presumably, the FBI is investigating all messages involving both Oswald and his slayer, Jack Ruby.”

ANALYSIS: This was Walker propaganda. Robert Alan Surrey’s WC testimony also cited these claims about alleged Western Union money orders to LHO. The rumor implied that LHO was secretly paid as a part of a conspiracy to kill JFK. They paid LHO regularly through Western Union. The WC would interview multiple witnesses about the rumor – including the DTH reporter (Gene Fenley), the WU clerk who started the rumor (C.A. Hamblen), an associate clerk (Aubrey Lewis), the WU District Manager (Larry Wilcox) and the WU Vice President (W.W. Semingsen). Semingsen testified that a full audit of Western Union records for all Dallas money orders from October through November 1963 showed none at all for LHO or any of his aliases. Fenley testified that Hamblen later recanted his story.

12. DTH: Sunday 12/01/1963


ARTICLE: This article notes that LHO’s Dallas post office box listed the FPCC as his associated business.

ANALYSIS: Walker used this as propaganda. LHO continued to claim the fictitious title of “secretary” of the FPCC, even when he was in Dallas. This makes sense because nothing much had changed during the few days between LHO taking his fake FPCC resume from New Orleans to Mexico City, and his application for a Dallas P.O. Box. Walker would spin this fact to support his claim that LHO was a Communist, and so the Communists must have killed JFK.

13. DTH: Monday 12/02/1963


ARTICLE: This article reports that a Long Island hotel manager canceled a speech by General Walker because the hotel endured several threatening phone calls and marching protesters.

ANALYSIS: This is Walker propaganda. We can see no connection to the JFK Assassination, except that Walker's political position is central to both events. Less than two weeks after the JFK Assassination, the appearance of General Walker as a speaker in New York was ominous to too many.

14. DTH: Thursday 12/05/1963


ARTICLE: This article reports Walker contemplating another run for Texas Governor. Walker claimed that he was “approached constantly” about the possibility.

ANALYSIS: This is Walker propaganda. It has nothing to do with the JFK Assassination. Naturally, Walker’s sycophants would continually urge him to run for Texas governor – and then for US President. In the context of the JFK Assassination, this story amounts to grandstanding.

15. DTH: Friday 12/06/1963


ARTICLE: This article reports that Marina Oswald finally told the US Secret Service and the FBI that LHO had boasted to her that he had shot at General Walker only hours after the shooting. The FBI and Secret Service had been taken by surprise by this news, but they accepted it without further comment.

ANALYSIS: This fell well into Walker’s agenda. Walker had been hinting this fact to the world ever since his 11/23/1963 early morning interview with the German newspaper, Deutsche Nationalzeitung. Walker didn’t guess it – he knew it four days after the April shooting, because the Dallas FBI told him. Robert Alan Surrey hinted it in the DTH two days after the JFK Assassination. Walker was vindicated – his name would forever be linked with the JFK Assassination through LHO – exactly as he’d wanted.

16. Chicago Sun-Times: Saturday 12/07/1963


ARTICLE: This article falsely claims that the FBI found documents written by LHO about plans to shoot General Walker. No such documents ever existed. The article claims that the FBI was keeping the documents secret – to explain why no such documents ever surfaced. The article then offers a conclusion – the alleged documents are solid proof that the Dallas Radical Right was innocent of the JFK Assassination.

ANALYSIS: What? How were the two connected? Only in Walker’s mind. This is Walker propaganda. Most likely, General Walker and Robert Surrey wrote this fiction and sent it to the Chicago Sun-Times. The conclusion gives them away, since there is no visible connection between LHO’s shot at Walker in April, and the absolution of the Dallas Radical Right in the JFK Assassination.

17. Chicago Sun-Times: Sunday 12/08/1963


ARTICLE: This article falsely claimed that the FBI was very busy collecting more and more evidence to prove that LHO was General Walker’s April shooter.

ANALYSIS: This is more Walker propaganda. After Marina Oswald had told the FBI that LHO was General Walker’s April shooter, and gave the FBI the Russian letter that LHO had written to her that evening, the FBI closed the case. The FBI had no other evidence, nor did they need any more evidence. The bullet fragment found at General Walker’s home in April was mutilated beyond recognition. The case was closed. The Walker shooting no longer interested the FBI. It was only interesting to Walker.

So, that’s what I found in the second half of The Assassination Story (1963) with its special focus on the DTH. About 10% of DTH articles directly address General Walker and his agenda. General Walker and Robert Alan Surrey clearly intended to link General Walker with the JFK Assassination. Perhaps every DTH article insinuating a collusion between LHO with the Communists was reproduced here – superficially shifting national attention away from the Dallas Radical Right. To some it might seem like a confession of sorts.

The WC would have nothing to do with Walker’s Communist plot theory of the JFK Assassination. The WC would insist that LHO was a Lone Nut. The US Government maintained this position starting on the afternoon of 11/22/1963 until the 1979 findings of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, when they admitted that LHO probably acted as part of a conspiracy – of rogue Americans.


--Paul Trejo

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