Talking with Jim Marrs about JFK and 9/11 Parallels
Morgan Reynolds — September 22, 2006
Jim Marrs is a native Texan and he is “agin” Yankee carpetbaggers, one reason among many for his intense dislike of the Bushes. Jim is a wonderful guy to talk to because he is a very nice man, an unpretentious man, an opinionated man, and a man who can back his opinions up. Jim earned his degree in journalism at the University of North Texas. He covered the police beat, courts, military and local government as a news reporter for major publications. He served in Army counter-intelligence, covered aerospace and aviation and was one of that disappearing breed known as an investigative reporter. Over the years his travels have taken him to the Middle East and other points around the globe. He taught a course on the JFK assassination at UT-Arlington and his books include Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, Rule by Secrecy, War on Freedom, Inside Job: The Shocking Case for a 9/11 Conspiracy, and his latest, The Terror Conspiracy: Deception, 9/11 and the Loss of Liberty with an appendix on the Pentagon incident by Barbara Honegger
MOR: How did your interest in the JFK murder develop?
JM: I was in the Dallas area and a journalism student in 1963, so it was natural. I even have a picture of me with Jack Ruby at the Carousel Club. Contrary to popular impression, it was not just a strip club. It had a live band, stand-up comics, entertainers of all stripes, kind of like the last vestiges of vaudeville. They had strippers, yes, but they only went down to a g-string and some kind of bra. It was Baptist country, you can see more on regular television today. My fraternity brothers said that if I wanted to join a high-stakes poker game, I could find it in Dallas with Jack Ruby. But they also warned me to be careful with Ruby as he had connections to the underworld. We had never heard the term “Mafia” in those days.
MOR: So what were your first impressions about the JFK event?
JM: I liked him as a person but the churches here had told us that JFK in office meant the Pope would run the country. I was horrified by his murder, of course, but it was kind of a gift and cheered in the DFW area. Just weeks before, UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was spit upon in Dallas amid cries to “Get out of the UN.”
MOR: JFK made powerful enemies and too many professional gunmen have taken “credit,” so who killed Kennedy?
JM: The key is not who could have shot him, but who had the ability to pull down the normal protection. The Secret Service guys were drinking at the Cellar Club the night before, but it was not about partying, they were violating Secret Service regulations, drinking vodka in grim fashion, whispering, trying to get their courage up or forget what was going to go down the next day. They put the president on a 110° turn which violated the regulations. At Love Field, film shows Secret Service guys shrugging their shoulders in disbelief as they were ordered off the presidential limousine by superiors.
There is a parallel with George W. Bush at Emma Booker elementary school the morning of 9/11 because the president received a coded message, “Angel is next,” an overt threat as this was the code word for Air Force One. Yet he sat in the classroom for almost 20 minutes and everything proceeded on schedule. When he left Florida, Air Force One was unescorted which indicated to me that Bush did not feel any threat.
There are lots of clues about how these things work. At Parkland Hospital LBJ said, “This could be the start of a nuclear threat,” yet he ran off to the airport without the military officer carrying the nuclear launch codes. LBJ obviously did not believe there was a threat of nuclear war.
MOR: When did you suspect JFK was an inside job?
JM: I began to suspect it immediately. I remember talking to others, more than a hundred witnesses near the grassy knoll who heard a bang, then a pause, then a bang, bang, in a rapid-fire sequence not possible with a bolt action rifle. There was synchronization, three salvos or volleys, as many as nine total shots fired. One hit the street, three hit JFK, two hit John Connally, one nicked James Tague, one hit near a manhole cover and one hit a highway sign. All those shots can be accounted for, but, of course, the Warren Commission stuck with the story of only three shots were fired along with their cockamamie magic bullet theory which stated that one bullet caused seven wounds to two men, including a strike on bone, yet emerged unscathed and was found on a hospital stretcher later.
Another smoking gun was that we watched the Dallas cops bring Lee Oswald out handcuffed in a way I’d never seen before, cuffed to two cops spread eagle style so he could not protect himself.
In September 1964 the Warren Commission put out a detailed and complete report, impressed a lot of people. I was the only person I knew who read the whole thing. The Warren Report persuaded a lot of people to believe in the lone nut theory. Yet we had all these witnesses saying shots came from the grassy knoll, not the book depository.
I had an epiphany in late 1972 when we had the Watergate CREEP scandal. I saw that an American President would lie to us, so my confidence went from 50% to 100% that JFK’s murder was an inside job. In 1974 I wrote a major newspaper article about the Congressional JFK investigation and stated it was an inside job, a coup d’etat, when the powers-that-be killed Kennedy in 1963.
I began teaching a JFK class at UT-Arlington in 1976, and students could vote at the end of class and they voted unanimously that it was coup d’etat, there was no proof on the other side.
MOR: No evidence?
JM: Actually the last two pieces of evidence pinning the crime on Oswald have recently collapsed:
1) On the Monday following the Friday assassination, Dallas DA Henry Wade blurted out to the news media, “We have his fingerprints on the gun…” But the rifle had been shipped to the FBI that weekend and no usable prints were found on it. Then the gun was shipped back to Dallas on Sunday and taken to Miller Funeral Home in Fort Worth on Monday morning. I interviewed the funeral director, Paul Groody, and he told me how the FBI came in and placed Oswald’s dead fingers on the rifle.
2) Neutron activation analysis supposedly had long ago identified the bullet fragments in JFK, Connally and the limo as “similar,” whatever that means. It’s not the same as identical. Only a few weeks ago the Lawrence Livermore Lab said that the data had been misinterpreted. That was an AP report. Those were the last two pieces of proof that Oswald did it and now they are gone.
MOR: Do you see similarities with 9/11?
JM: A huge similarity between JFK and 9/11 is the lack of connecting dots. For instance, eight months before The Warren Commission came out from behind closed doors, Lee Oswald was convicted in the minds of the public because of a famous photo of him holding a rifle which was published on the cover of Life magazine with the caption, “Lee Oswald with the weapons he used to kill President Kennedy and Officer Tippit.” So much for presumed innocence until proven guilty. Oswald told the Dallas Police that his face had been superimposed on another’s body and that the photo was a fake. That fakery was well proven and even Scotland Yard, said yes, it was phony but would not say this publicly because they said they didn’t want to offend the FBI.
Here is another parallel: after the assassination, there was an aura of fear in Dallas. Officials were fearful because they knew the official story was not true. Witnesses in interviews said don’t use my name. That’s the nature of the beast when certain people pull off a successful coup d’etat: the rulers let those who are aware know who rules but it’s kept a secret from the general public.
MOR: The villain I think of is Allen Dulles, the deposed former head of the CIA.
JM: It was the Dulles brothers, Allen and John Foster, who were founders of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). LBJ was surrounded by 16 CFR members in his administration. They were known as his “wise men.”
The only two presidents to go up against the big money bankers were Lincoln and JFK: both issued currency from the US Treasury and both were assassinated. That’s no coincidence.
MOR: What other parallels do you see between JFK and 9/11?
JM: Within hours the media publicized the blame on Oswald and Osama. They usurped any other thinking. Then FEMA investigated, specialists convened but were blocked from making a thorough and impartial investigation by federal officials.
MOR: We sat at the same table at the Kean-Hamilton luncheon. What did you think of them?
JM: Kean-Hamilton just published a book, Without Precedent, and probably got a multi-million dollar deal, knowing how these things work. In their book they tell us they considered filing perjury charges against FAA and NORAD officials because they could not get their stories straight. They also said their investigation was hindered by the Bush White House. Why didn’t tell us this at the time when something might have been done about it, not two years later?
Now they claim they got what they needed, and claim, “We could find no evidence about XY or Z.” Well of course they found no evidence about XY or Z because they did not want to find any evidence. It’s the same old political dog and pony show.
MOR: They were asked about conspiracy theories gaining popularity.
JM: It’s the same response with JFK or 9/11: any alternative conspiracy theory is nutty or unpatriotic. They actually mentioned FDR knowing in advance about Pearl Harbor and John Wilkes Boothe escaping to the south. Well, I’ve read the book reporting on the autopsy of JW’s remains in 1931 and Booth died in 1909. There is not much dispute about it. Then there is the Roswell, New Mexico event with over 400 witnesses and the government story that nothing happened there. Well, something happened there. So, isn’t it ironic that the very things they mentioned as absurd conspiracies are actually true?
MOR: How can government and the media steer this thing so effectively even today?
JM: You’ve got ridicule as an all-purpose device. The government hires experts and they began with a theory about 19 hijackers, etc., and they go out and disregard anything else. This is the exact opposite of an investigation. There is a big difference between today and 1963 however. Back in 1963, most people did not bother to ask questions, it was unthinkable that the federal government might be involved, but since then we have had Watergate, Iran-Contra, and other events that have spread distrust of the government. After only five years, national polls show many, many — from one-third to more than one-half — of the US population disbelieves the government’s official 9/11 conspiracy theory.
MOR: So, is an end game underway? Are they running out of credibility?
JM: Yes, the globalists or New World Order types want to dissolve the USA and put in its place the North American Union, just like the European Union. We have a heritage of individual liberty and freedom and they want to destroy us, but their big problem is we have guns. They can’t even secure the borders…they’re dumbing us down…75% of college graduates can’t locate Iraq on a map. They are using fear to stampede us all into this Union.
MOR: Can we win on 9/11?
JM: Yes, we are as far along today as we were on JFK after 40 years. That MSNBC online poll showed 59% believed the US government is complicit on 9/11 vs. 30% and 11% not sure. So the 11% probably suspect 9/11 involvement, that puts us near 70% or seven out of ten. It’s amazing.
Before long it will all crack open. The real powers have left the Bushes with enough rope to hang themselves, and then they will put Hillary Clinton in to carry the flag. They will sell 2008 as, “Now the Democrats are in there, wow, got rid the Bushes and whew! Everything is solved.” That’s no different from Nixon getting caught. He resigns. Gerald Ford becomes an unelected president, pardons Nixon and nothing changes. Dick Cheney was chief of staff for Gerald Ford, same deal, Jimmy Carter, same deal. One good thing is that we have rehabilitated the word “conspiracy,” which was anathema to the mass media. But there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that 9/11 was the result of a conspiracy — the question is whose conspiracy was it?
MOR: What about infighting among 9/11 activists and researchers? Was it the same among JFK researchers?
JM: Yes, there was, and still is, tremendous backbiting. One small group of people were simply “aginners,” against everything and anything. Then another layer came with their own pet theories no matter what. At another level were debaters who want to pick-pick-pick. And finally there were the agents provocateur doing anything to cause trouble and intelligence agents who know just which buttons to pull to get people emotional. All this goes on in every group investigating government conspiracy, from UFO’s on up.
MOR: What about Mark Lane? He is the guy I think of first on JFK.
JM: Mark Lane was employed by Ms. Oswald to be defense counsel for Lee Oswald before the Warren Commission. The Commission refused this and then went ahead and blamed it all on Oswald. In 1965 Lane filmed all these alternative witnesses for the film “Rush to Judgment,” and he has got the actual witnesses on film, a tremendous resource. I tell students, “Just watch the witnesses and make up your own mind, you don’t have to listen to Mark Lane’s commentary.”
It’s the same with 9/11: it is amazing how the government and the controlled media can make people doubt their own senses, from the grassy knoll to the Pentagon.
MOR: What role does celebrity play in molding opinion?
JM: On Hollywood, the conservative commentators say these liberals have got their own agenda. But, you see, people in politics and in the corporate and academic world have power and prestige they fear to lose. Therefore, they will be exceedingly guarded in what they say. But Hollywood celebrities have independent wealth and prestige. They have nothing to lose by telling the truth. The news media is often criticized as having a liberal bias but the truth is that the media is only as liberal as their conservative owners allow. Where are the hard-hitting stories on corporate or government malfeasance? Not there.
MOR: Reminds me of a young James Caan starring in the movie “Rollerball,” where he becomes bigger than the invisible government, with fans shouting, “Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan,” and so he has to be squashed.
JM: Or Tom Cruise or Charlie Sheen speaking their minds. John Lennon was such a threat and they tried to deport him for years. In 1980 Ronald Reagan was elected and the neocons were starting to foment plans for war in central America, and John Lennon could have been the focus of a new anti-war movement. In December 1980, they staged a preemptive strike to protect their plans and Mark David Chapman killed Lennon. It was not the first time that a Manchurian candidate’s attack was triggered by J.D. Salinger’s book, Catcher in the Rye.
MOR: Returning to 9/11…
JM: We’ve been handed this Official Government Conspiracy Theory (OGCT) about young Arab hijackers taking over four airliners, putting them under their control and crashing them in suicides. It is ridiculous. None of this has been proven. Osama Bin Laden is wanted by the FBI but with no mention of 9/11 involvement because an FBI spokesman, correctly, stated that the bureau has no hard evidence connecting OBL to 9/11.
How can one cling to that outlandish government conspiracy theory? There are wild alternative conspiracy theories, yes, but let’s keep agnostic about it. Don’t be fighting amongst yourselves over pet theories. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. We can all disagree to disagree, but we don’t have to be disagreeable. That is healthy but name-calling and personal attacks are unhealthy. Simply soak in all the available information, including the theories and then think about what makes the most sense. The flaky stuff will get sorted out in due time.
MOR: What’s your take on the Pentagon event?
JM: The official theory is a lie. The height of a Boeing 757 is four stories but the hole has a 20’ circumference. Time magazine this week defends the official theory by stating that the wings sheared off. This means they should have been lying on the lawn outside the Pentagon. But they are not there! In fact, we have not seen any photos of a giant Beoing 757, no engines, wings, or landing gear. And we have not seen the security camera tapes from either the Pentagon or surrounding hotels and gas stations. Why not? Is there something to hide?
MOR: What do you say to people who ask, “What happened to Flight 77?”
JM: I didn’t plan 911, so I don’t know.
MOR: And the World Trade Center?
JM: It was demolitions. When steel cutter charges go off, huge slabs of concrete fall to the ground and have to be broken up later. The WTC towers were turned to dust. Fires and a simple building collapse cannot do that, something else did it.
MOR: There is fierce debate over what brought the twin towers down.
JM: Yes, there is considerable bickering and backstabbing. If some exotic technology unknown to the public was used to bring down the twin towers, it provides a perfect foil for the government. They give out any cover story they want and no one can offer any acceptable alternative. And, since the official explanation for 9/11 is nothing but a conspiracy theory, the average citizen is free to propose his own theory and we are left with the healthy Alternative Conspiracy Theory (ACT) debate. Let’s see where the truth emerges. Some of the hard feelings being engendered are natural, it’s human nature, but some are the result of psychological warfare techniques.
MOR: On November 10, 2001, George W. Bush said to the United Nations, “We must never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories.”
JM: I agree with him, we must not rest until we find the truth of 9/11, not just blindly accept the official conspiracy theory. And we must not rest until the perpetrators have been brought to justice.
I felt like I’m trying to help my president find the truth of 9/11. But when I follow the trail of evidence, it starts turnin’ back and headin’ toward him.
MOR: How can we bring them to justice?
JM: One is the legal way, to convene a citizen’s grand jury, present evidence and bring indictments. Mounds of evidence has been given to New York Atty. General Eliot Spitzer with the request for him to convene a grand jury, but he has not done it. Now it looks as if he will be the next governor of NY state. That is how it works, if you help ‘em by covering up, you get promoted. Then we had Sen. Max Clelland asking hardball questions while on the 9/11 Commission. But then he’s named to the Export-Import Bank board by Bush and he quits.
MOR: What about defenders of the establishment line on JFK like Posner?
JM: Gerald Posner told me that it was not his idea to write the JFK book but that Random House approached him and pledged him the full cooperation of the CIA. I guess that lets you know where that book came from.
MOR: Give me some names on JFK.
JM: There was a commanders’ meeting at oilman Clint Murchison’s home the night before the assassination. LBJ, Hoover, Nixon, and maybe even George Herbert Walker Bush were there. When LBJ came out of this meeting, he told his mistress Madeline Brown, “After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again – that’s no threat – that’s a promise.”
MOR: In 9/11 research there is a big emphasis on physical evidence.
JM: The devil is in the details. Circumstantial evidence often may be the best evidence. The circumstances are the circumstances, they are what they are, but with physical evidence you can’t trust anything. It can be fabricated, planted, etc.
MOR: You have so many JFK stories, give me one.
JM: I once met this fellow whose parents were big Democrats and they were invited to this big Barbeque at the LBJ ranch scheduled for the night of November 22, 1963. These barbeques were huge events. They would put a whole cow on a spit for days. They said, “Let’s drive up from Houston in advance and watch the preparations.” They got to the LBJ ranch about noon that Friday and they found nobody setting up tables, nobody cooking, nobody around, nothing happening, so they drove back to Houston. On the way, they learned JFK had been assassinated in Dallas. Obviously, someone knew in advance there would be no big barbeque that night.
Another suspicious circumstance of the assassination is the fact that when Oswald was arrested, he was carrying two sets of identification — one in the name of Lee Harvey Oswald and another in the name of Alex James Hidell. The Dallas police asked him which one was legitimate but he was uncooperative. “You’re the cops, you figure it out,” he told them. Yet, at this exact time — less than two hours after JFK was shot — FBI documents released in the 1980s show that Director J. Edgar Hoover called Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy and told him, “We have our man in Dallas…he’s Lee Harvey Oswald…a pro-communist who defected to Russia…a mean spirited individual in the category of a nut.” So, Hoover was already laying down the “lone nut” assassin idea at a time when the Dallas authorities were not even certain who they had in custody.