Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ned Touchstone, David Ferrie, and Jim Garrison

As everyone who saw Oliver Stone's JFK knows, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, acting on a tip that David Ferrie might have been involved in some way in the assassination of the President on November 22, 1963, had him picked up and held for questioning by the FBI--who promptly let him go. Garrison assumed that they knew what they were doing and and didn't give the matter another thought until he had a conversation with Senator Russell Long, in late 1966, if memory serves. In his book On the Trail of the Assassins, Garrison sums up the interval between these two events in three words: "Nearly three years passed." But is this the whole story?

Journalists Sandy Hochberg and James T. Valliere went down to New Orleans to see what Jim Garrison was up to and also interviewed the District Attorney. They published the results of their inquiry in Win magazine, a publication of the War Resister's League, in February 1969, in a special issue called "The Conspirators." I quote from their chronology:

Fall, 1964 Without fanfare, Garrison reopens his investigation into events in New Orleans leading up to the Kennedy assassination.

November, 1966 This is the date Garrison uses as the "official" beginning of his investigation. Actually, he has been working on the investigation for almost three years and has questioned many of its important figures.

I recently received a 46-page manuscript from the Noel Memorial Library, at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. The untitled manuscript is written by Ned Touchstone, the editor of a rightwing publication The Councilor. Regular readers will recall my earlier posts concerning the correspondence between Touchstone and Joseph Milteer, who so eerily predicted the assassination. I will quote a few excerpts:

He [Garrison] knew about David Ferries part in the Kennedy killing by early March, 1964--THREE YEARS AGO. His files on March 1, 1964 already contained more volatile information about the killing than the soup-thin oupouring to the public in the Clay Shaw hearing.
Garrison continued to gather information about the Kennedy assassination--after I learned in 1964 what he had. I kept pace by turning over the same headstones he looked under watching David Ferrie's actions, and using some of the same sources Garrison doubtlessly used.
We scheduled a giant rally [Summer of 1965] on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, only a few feet from where Dr. Carl Weiss assassinated Senator Huey Long almost 30 years earlier. Were were determined that the facts of the JFK murder would not be successfully swept beneath the rug as were the facts of the Huey Long death.

Speaking with me that day were General Edwin Walker and Judge John Rarick. (Rarick was later elected to Congress.) Nearly 8,000 people were on hand to hear that talk.
Whether any of this had an effect on Jim Garrison is anybody's guess. Jim never indicated one way or another but apparently he had his assistant gathering tidbits of information through most of 1965.

In October of 1966 Garrison's investigation of the Kennedy death was renewed.

Tomorrow: Ned Touchstone's investigation of the assassination.


Blogger Patrick Henry said...

What a fascinating concept: The actual perps putting themselves in charge of investigating the plot.
Edwin A. Walker (who led the Ole Miss insurrection and was later represented by Atty. Robert Morris from Condon's Man Cand fame), Ned Touchstone who was very close to both Joseph Milteer and "Klan lawyer" Elmore Greaves who helped start both The White Citizens Councils and The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission all helping to uncover the identify of the "real" perps. Guffaws and belly laughs resounding should be inserted here. Wickliffe Draper of course fund both the Miss Sov Comm AND The White Citizens Councils. Talk about Twisted, Sister, this is like putting the foxes in charge of guarding the hen house and taking inventory every night. What a brilliant coup though. Looks like many fell for that ruse. Even Senator James Eastland from Mississippi started The Eastland Commission to Investigate the Assn of President JFK as a "public service" for the good of mankind. You can fool some of the people, ALL of the time after all.

6:41 AM  

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