ebehereJFK Murder Part 4Sat Jan 27, 2007 17:53
effort to appease the right wing of the Republican Party in Oregon to enhance his election chances.
Similarly, McCloy had the Peck commission to advise him. The Peck Commission consisted of David Peck, a judge in the New York Appellate Division, Fredrick Moran, chairman of New York Board of Parole and Brigadier-General Conrad Snow. The Peck commission was only authorized to reduce sentences and not to challenge the legal decision of guilt. While the Simpson Committee was limited to reviewing the trials held at Dachau, the Peck commission was limited to the trials at Nuremberg.
While McCloy blocked the executions of some war criminals before his appointment as High Commissioner of Germany, it wasn’t until after his appointment as High Commissioner that he opened the doors to Landsberg Prison. McCloy insisted until his death that releasing the war criminals was not politically motivated. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
The industrialists' trial, once considered to be of equal importance to the main Nuremberg Trial concluded as the Soviets blockaded Berlin. Even as the convicted directors of Krupp and I.G. Farben were being taken to Landsberg, they knew there was little prospect of having to serve out their sentences. Germans and the fascists within America believed that they were just the innocent victims of left wing fanatics. The Nazi’s allies within the United States had been successful in smearing the trial as such. In Landsberg, the prisoners settled into a comfortable routine. Flick maintained control over his empire through weekly visits from his lawyers accompanied by whichever business associates that were needed. Flick also chosen Hermann Abs as his financial advisor. Abs was "rehabilitated" already with the aid of General Clay and was heading up the Reconstruction Loan Corporation.
By the time McCloy arrived as High Commissioner there was a concerted drive to rebuild German industry as a bulkhead against he Soviets. Abs informed McCloy that the key to Germany’s recovery and cooperation was the release of the industrialists from Landsberg. McCloy was also told the same by Karl Blessing, a war criminal that Allen Dulles saved. In fact, McCloy was told that by any German he cared to listen to.66
On August 28, 1950, McCloy received the recommendations of the Peck Commission. The commission had been appointed on March 20, 1950 and was controversial from the beginning. In fact, under various state laws it would have been illegal. Some of the cases that the commission was to examine had already been reviewed three times. Under most state laws, it was illegal to appoint a second appellate court to reexamine the findings of another appellate court. Nor would an appellate court have the authority to pardon criminals, they would be limited to reducing the sentence or commuting death sentences to life in prison. Nevertheless, the Peck Commission was given such authority.
On the morning, the Peck commission reported their findings they stated they had examined the judgements upon all of the prisoners, along with interviewing them and their lawyers. While that sounded reasonable enough to the inexperienced, it wasn’t.
Even in a clemency hearing in front of a governor, the views of the district attorney and trial judge are presented. Yet not a single prosecutor or judge from the tribunals were consulted. Nor had the Peck Commission opened a single page of the transcripts and documentary evidence. In fact, the crates of transcripts and evidence made available to the commission were never opened. The only materials from the trials that were reviewed, were the verdicts, which spanned 3000 pages. The task of reviewing all of the material from the trials would have been an impossible task in the time McCloy allotted for the Peck Commission. The transcripts exclusive of the briefs and documents filed spanned some 330,000 pages. A speed reader reading the at the rate of 1,200 a minute would need seventeen months to get through the Nuremberg transcripts. 67
In reality, the Peck Commission served as nothing more than a politically motivated blue ribbon panel. McCloy use the commission’s recommendations as an excuse to justify his actions in freeing war criminals.
Both the Simpson and Peck commissions were politically motivated. The Nazis were counting on their agents and sympathizers in other countries--- including the United States--- to do their bidding after the close of the war. The conservative faction of Congress did not disappoint the Nazis. In fact, the conservative Republicans by the end of the 1940s had succeeding in perpetrating the myth that the Nuremberg war criminals were not criminals but were instead the victims of Roosevelt. By the decade’s end, many people had come to accept that myth. This conservative faction was aroused to action by the Malmedy Trial and the false charges made by Nazis within Germany of torture and brutality. Included in this fraction was John Rankin and Harold Knutsen, the pro-fascist Minnesota congressman. Also, included were Francis Case Republican representative from South Dakota and John Taber Republican representative from New York.
John Jay McCloy died in Stamford, Connecticut, on 11th March, 1989.
Clinton Murchison was born in Dallas, Texas, on 12th September, 1923. His father was a successful businessman who had made a fortune from investments in real estate and construction, railroads, and oil. He studied mechanical engineering at Duke University a in electrical engineering before obtaining a master's degree in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
After the death of his father, Murchison and his brother inherited the family fortune. Based in Dallas the brothers owned the Daisy Manufacturing Company, the Centex Corporation; Field and Stream magazine, Henry Holt Publishing Company (later known as Holt, Rinehart, and Winston) and Delhi Oil. Murchison also formed a company to collect manure and process it to produce methane gas. The remaining nutrients were then recovered and sold as commercial cattle feed. He named his method the Calorific Reclamation Anaerobic Process (CRAP).
In the late 1940s, Murchison and another Texas oil mogul, Sid Richardson, met J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was the start of a long friendship. In 1952 the men worked together to mount a smear campaign against Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Party candidate for the presidency. Hoover and his friend, Clyde Tolson, also invested heavily in Murchison's oil business.
Murchison was also closely liked to the Mafia. In 1955 a Senate committee discovered that 20 per cent of the Murchison Oil Lease Company was owned by Vito Genovese and his family. The committee also discovered Murchison had close financial ties with Carlos Marcello. Later, Bobby Baker claimed that. "Murchison owned a piece of Hoover. Rich people always try to put their money with the sheriff, because they're looking for protection. Hoover was the personification of law and order and officially against gangsters and everything, so it was a plus for a rich man to be identified with him. That's why men like Murchison made it their business to let everyone know Hoover was their friend. You can do a lot of illegal things if the head lawman is your buddy."
Murchison developed extreme right-wing political opinions and along with his friend, Haroldson L. Hunt, was a supporter of the John Birch Society. Murchison funded the anti-communist campaign of Joseph McCarthy. According to Anthony Summers, Murchison was also "a primary source of money for the American Nazi Party, and its leader, Lincoln Rockwell".
In 1954 Murchison joined forces with Sid Richardson and Ralph Young to gain control of the New York Central Railroad. This involved buying 800,000 shares worth $20 million.
Murchison also owned Tecon, a construction company. It was involved in several projects including the St. Lawrence Seaway, the maintenance of the Panama Canal, and the construction of a tunnel under Havana harbor for Fulgencio Batista, the military dictator of Cuba. In 1959 Murchison purchased the Dallas Cowboys for $600,000 and helped fund the Texas Stadium.
Rumours began to circulate that Murchison might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A friend of Murchison, Madeleine Brown, claimed in an interview on the television show, A Current Affair that on the 21st November, 1963, she was at his home in Dallas. Others at the meeting included Haroldson L. Hunt, J. Edgar Hoover, Clyde Tolson, John J. McCloy and Richard Nixon. At the end of the evening Lyndon B. Johnson arrived. Brown said in this interview: "Tension filled the room upon his arrival. The group immediately went behind closed doors. A short time later Lyndon, anxious and red-faced, reappeared. I knew how secretly Lyndon operated. Therefore I said nothing... not even that I was happy to see him. Squeezing my hand so hard, it felt crushed from the pressure, he spoke with a grating whisper, a quiet growl, into my ear, not a love message, but one I'll always remember: "After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again - that's no threat - that's a promise."
In 1970 Murchison's fortune was estimated to be $350 million. However, in the early 1980s he suffered from the fall in the price of oil. In 1984 he had to sell the Dallas Cowboys for $80 million. The following year he was forced into bankrupcy.
Clinton Murchison died on 30th March, 1987.
1) Anthony Summers, The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover (1993)
Texan oil moguls Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson... had assets in excess of $700 million, not counting as much again in untapped oil reserves.
Recognizing Edgar's influence as a national figure, the oilmen had started cultivating him in the late forties - inviting him to Texas as a houseguest, taking him on hunting expeditions. Edgar's relations with them were to go far beyond what was proper for a Director of the FBI. And although the Murchison milieu was infested with organized crime figures, Edgar considered him "one of my closest friends."
"Money," the millionaire used to say, "is like manure. If you spread it around, it does a lot of good." Murchison and his Texas friends spread a great deal of dollar manure on the political terrain.
They had traditionally been conservative supporters of the Democratic Party - until the presidency of Harry Truman. He enraged oil men by publicly denouncing their tax privileges, and by vetoing bills that would have brought them even greater wealth. Murchison habitually spelled Truman's name with a small t, to show how little he thought of him.
Murchison's political instincts were of the far, far Right. He was a fervent supporter of states' rights, reportedly funded the anti- Semitic press and was a primary source of money for the American Nazi Party and its leader, Lincoln Rockwell, who considered Edgar "our kind of people.'
During the Truman years, musing in private about the perfect political lineup, Edgar had named Murchison and Richardson as ideal candidates for high office - or at least as financial backers for politicians to his liking. Murchison had been obliging ever since. He threw money at Edgar's friend Joe McCarthy, placed airplanes at the Senator's disposal and promised him support "to the bitter end."
(2) Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993)
The Hunts and the Murchisons present the images of different versions of right-wing politics, with the Hunts allied to opponents of Washington, particularly when they were supporting southern resisters to integration, and the Murchisons playing their connections to Washington, Johnson, and Hoover, for all they were worth. Nelson Bunker Hunt was behind the hostile ad that confronted Kennedy in the November 22 edition of the Dallas Morning News.
(3) Bobby Baker, interviewed in 1990.
Murchison owned a piece of Hoover. Rich people always try to put their money with the sheriff, because they're looking for protection. Hoover was the personification of law and order and officially against gangsters and everything, so it was a plus for a rich man to be identified with him. That's why men like Murchison made it their business to let everyone know Hoover was their friend. You can do a lot of illegal things if the head lawman is your buddy.
(4) David E. Scheim, The Mafia Killed President Kennedy (1988)
While ignoring the Mob in his official capacity. Hoover was less exclusive in his personal relationships. He often stayed for free at the Las Vegas hotels of construction tycoon Del E. Webb, whose holdings were permeated with organized crime entanglements. Hoover and Webb also met frequently on vacations in Del Mar, California. During Hoover's annual trips to that city's luxurious Del Charro Motel, his bill was paid by its owner, Clint Murchison, Jr., Hoover's "bosom pal. Murchison, a Texas oil tycoon who backed Lyndon Johnson, was questionably involved with both the Teamsters and Bobby Baker, infamous LBJ aide whose misdeeds will be discussed. But Hoover continued to accept Murchison's hospitality, even while Murchison's dealings with Baker were being investigated by both the Senate and Hoover's own FBI.
(5) Madeleine Brown, interviewed on the television programme, A Current Affair (24th February, 1992)
On Thursday night, Nov. 21, 1963, the last evening prior to Camelot's demise, I attended a social at Clint Murchison's home. It was my understanding that the event was scheduled as a tribute honoring his long time friend, J. Edgar Hoover (whom Murchison had first met decades earlier through President William Howard Taft), and his companion, Clyde Tolson. Val Imm, the society editor for the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald, unwittingly documented one of the most significant gatherings in American history. The impressive guest list included John McCloy, Richard Nixon, George Brown, R. L. Thornton, H. L. Hunt and a host of others from the 8F group. The jovial party was just breaking up when Lyndon made an unscheduled visit. I was the most surprised by his appearance since Jesse had not mentioned anything about Lyndon's coming to Clint's. With Lyndon's hectic schedule, I never dreamed he could attend the big party. After all, he had arrived in Dallas on Tuesday to attend the Pepsi-Cola convention. Tension filled the room upon his arrival. The group immediately went behind closed doors. A short time later Lyndon, anxious and red-faced, reappeared I knew how secretly Lyndon operated. Therefore I said nothing... not even that I was happy to see him. Squeezing my hand so hard, it felt crushed from the pressure, he spoke with a grating whisper, a quiet growl, into my ear, not a love message, but one I'll always remember: "After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again - that's no threat - that's a promise."
(6) Madeleine Brown, Texas in the Morning (1998)
Just a few weeks later (after the assassination) I mentioned to him that people in Dallas were saying he himself had something to do with it. He became really violent, really ugly, and said it was American Intelligence and oil that were behind it. Then he left the room and slammed the door It scared me.
(7) Anthony Summers, The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover (1993)
Murchison, Snr., like almost all oilmen, had backed Johnson for the White House in 1960, and his fears about Kennedy turned out to be justified. The young President made no secret of his opposition to the oil moguls' extraordinary tax privileges, and moved quickly to change them. Murchison and his associates, it turns out, were linked to the assassination saga by a series of disconcerting coincidences.
George de Mohrenschildt, an oil geologist who knew Murchison and had worked for one of his companies, was on intimate terms with alleged assassin Oswald. He would be found shot dead in 1977, an apparent suicide, on the day an Assassinations Committee investigator called to arrange an interview.
Within four days of the assassination, the FBI receiv
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