Letter Of The Month

Len: This is a response to Tony Pitman on the subject of the Christchurch STAR coverage of the JFK assassination, and related items.

Dear Mr. Pitman:

I am pleased to have a copy of your research in Christchurch about the STAR newspaper's issue of Saturday, November 23,1963. In many ways what you have learned locally verifies the information I got from the STAR and many other papers that were issued on that same day from around the world. (We are allowing for the time change over the Int'l Dateline when applicable.)

JFK was hit at 12:30 pm on Nov 22, Dallas time. I was in the hotel (Hermitage?) at the foot of Mt. Cook in the N.Z. Alps having breakfast at 07:30 am on Nov 23 when the hotel speaker system reported:

"BBC have just reported that President Kennedy has been shot... dead, in Dallas, Texas." (Silent thereafter.)

The U.S. Congressman, who was with me at breakfast, and I left the hotel as soon as possible and were driven back to Christchurch without delay. We arrived there around 1 pm. We found a newspaper being sold by a newsboy on the street. This is the source of my "official" copy that day.

The point of this timing is that much of the "news" items about the assassination, that appeared in that issue of the STAR, had to have been written before the shooting took place. The paper was printed before Oswald had been arraigned for the crime of killing the President.

We must keep in mind that Oswald, although picked up by the police on suspicion for the murder of a Dallas Patrolman J.D. Tippet, 35 minutes after Kennedy was shot, was not arraigned for the assassination of JFK for another twelve hours, i.e. early on the morning of Nov 23rd, Dallas time.

This account becomes pivotal in understanding the sources of the around-the-world news that contained considerable biographical items (true or contrived with respect to the assassination) that we found on the pages of the STAR early that afternoon.

A newspaper on the streets between 1300 and 1400 hours on the 23rd, in Christchurch, had to have been printed and on the streets at least 6 hours before Oswald had been arraigned for JKK's murder. This time gap itself creates a very doubtful possibility for anything but the most rudimentary account. Reporters would not have started on the collation of such bizarre data as was created for the Oswald scenario. They had to collect it, verify it, and then write their columns, first - let alone the time consumed in publication and distribution required for true news data.

What has concerned me, since that date, is that this early afternoon newspaper, published in New Zealand, has many columns of Lee Harvey Oswald's biography that must have been assembled, written and transmitted around the world many hours before Oswald had been arraigned. Other papers were given the same material about Oswald. They printed it too.

Keep in mind, he was picked up by the police as a suspect in the crime of killing a Dallas policeman. That certainly could not have been the basis for reporters to begin a world~wide search for "Oswald News Items". Such activity could only have begun, properly and lawfully, after the court had charged Oswald with the crime.

With these questions in mind, let's take a look at the newspaper itself:

a) Only a few sentences into the lead story that is accompanied with a full-faced photo of Kennedy on one side, and a full ground to roof shot of the building from which the fatal shots were alleged to have been fired, there is an on-the-spot release of singular content for those of us who are familiar with the content of the Warren Commission Report and other "factual" data. This immediate release states:

"Three bursts of gun-fire, apparently from automatic weapons were heard. Secret service men immediately unslung their automatic weapons and pistols.

NOTE: Those two "on-the-spot" sentences wipe out the entire "Oswald did it, alone" cover story that appeared near the top of this front page of the Christchurch STAR. Notably, they were also the very first remarks broadcast by the nation-wide CBS TV network when they hurriedly shut down their scheduled programs and broke in with the news of the President's assassination. They appeared also around the world in story~breaking broadcasts and newsprint.

These two sentences do not appear in the Warren Report, and do not appear again in any media sources after this first release. After that release they began to get a steady stream of "cover story" material about Oswald and other matters related to JFK's death.

It is up to the reader/listener to decide, a) are they the curb-side actual truth, or b) were they contrived to lead the breaking story? *`(a) is the truth. It was the earliest phone call by an alert, on-site source that was flashed around the world. He simply reported what he heard, and it was factual. It was not written by the conspiracy team.

This calls for another few words of personal information. have written about, spoken about, and have had inserted into Oliver Stone's film "JFK", this source of information about the Christchurch STAR, for one reason, and one reason only. I just happened to be in New Zealand that day... on my way back to Washington from a brief military assignment to Antarctica. I had no other reason the make reference to the STAR. I just happened to be there, and it was the local paper.

Once I returned to Washington, DC and to my assigned military office in the Joint Chiefs of Staff area of the Pentagon, on Nov 28, 1963, I made it a goal to assemble as many "First Day" sources of JFK Assassination news as I could locate. This led me to the U.S. Library of Congress and to its vast, world-around files of newspapers. By doing this I discovered that for the most part they had access to, and printed, the same words from the same news sources as did the STAR. The conspiracy really got out there first. It became clear that the biographical material on the assassin, reportedly Oswald, had to have been put together before the shooting took place. It's simply a factor of job scope and timing. I won't go into a lot of detail; but in the lower left-hand corner of the front page there is a story under the heading, "Arrested Man Lived in Russia." At that time the STAR, and other papers around the world, also published a fine studio photo of Oswald. There is no way that the newspapers could have run that select photo unless it had been provided to them before the murder and his arraignment. Oswald, who had yet to be charged, was wearing street clothes that day, not a suit coat and tie.

There can be no question but what this "Oswald biography" that was flashed around the world even before he was charged with the crime was a preplanned part of the conspiracy.

The STAR proved to me that a major conspiracy was behind this murder. There is a large photo of the Dallas Textbook Depository building, where Oswald worked and where they say the shots came from on the left side of the front page. This photo was taken right after the shooting. Look at it closely. Note how many windows are open.

During my military years in the Pentagon, 1955-1964, I had worked with military and on occasion Secret Service "Presidential Protection" units. I know that it is mandatory in those jobs that all windows over-looking the route of a Presidential procession must be closed. Then ground observers watch to see that they are not re-opened; and, if opened, that radio calls to men in the building and on nearby roofs will alert rifle marksmen, and will cause others to go into those rooms and have all windows closed. None of this standard procedure was done as this photo confirms right at the time of the shooting. This is a powerful and key factor of the existence of a conspiracy.

This photo tells a major story. The Secret Service and the Military Presidential Protection units were not there, they were not on the job. They could only have been removed, or over- looked for duty in Dallas, as the result of a massive conspiracy. This building photo with open windows is proof, beyond doubt. Why weren't the Presidential Protection units there and on duty? Who had the influence, or power to have given them bogus orders not to go to Dallas, i.e. "Other units will cover Dallas?"

By the time, the Congressman and I had scanned this important publication that day in Christchurch we were sure that the murder had been the result of a conspiracy. This newspaper, and others around the world, tell the story.

I am well aware of the fact that global communications in 1963 was fast and effective everywhere. I find no fault with that part of the game. What is clear is that the "Oswald did it alone" story was contrived, and the cover story had been printed and made available around the world even before Oswald had been arraigned.

This is the significance of the Christchurch STAR as published on Nov 23, 1963. A careful study of its content destroys the "Lone Assassin" theory, and gives irrefutable evidence of a major conspiracy at work in Dallas and around the world that day.

Fletcher Prouty

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