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Sun Feb 8, 2015, 07:25 PM

Daniel Schorr was fired by CBS over the Richard Welch case too ..

...On January 16, 1975 he held a White House luncheon for the editors of the NY Times. Someone asked why Ford had picked such a conservative and defense minded panel to make up the Rockefeller Commission (e.g. Ronald Reagan was a member). The president said he needed people who would not stray from the straight and narrow. If they did, they could stumble upon matters that might hurt the national interest. The editor asked "Like what?" Ford replied with, "Like assassinations!" (Schorr, p. 144) Ford added that this was off the record. But reporter Daniel Schorr deduced that since the Rockefeller Commission was investigating domestic matters, Ford must have meant American assassinations. (ibid) But later CIA Director William Colby effectively spun Ford's comment . He told Schorr that the CIA had run assassination plots abroad, but not in America. (ibid) This deftly neutralized Ford's slip. The committees would now look at CIA assassination plots against foreign leaders. In regards to the JFK case, the Church Committee would only investigate the performance of the intelligence agencies in investigating Kennedy's murder.

But even Colby was too much for Ford. He was deemed too open with congress. After all, when mobster Sam Giancana was murdered before testifying, Colby went out of his way to say the CIA had nothing to do with it. (ibid, p. 155) Colby was later fired for being too forthcoming. Ford picked George Bush to replace him. And as further signal of his new "get tough" policy, Ford made a young Dick Cheney his Chief of Staff, and moved Donald Rumsfeld into the Pentagon.

With all these elements in place, Ford decided to use the 1975 murder of a CIA officer as a way to squelch and smear any further investigation. Richard Welch was the CIA station chief in Athens. The CIA and Ford blamed his death on the fact that his name had been exposed by an American journal called Counterspy. In fact, the leftist rebel group who killed him had issued a communiqué beforehand that revealed they knew his name then. (Schorr, p. 191) In a classic case of political propaganda, Ford and the CIA pulled out all the stops in using Welch's funeral as psychological warfare against the committees. Welch's body was flown into Andrews Air Force Base. But the plane circled the base for 15 minutes to time the landing for the morning news shows. (ibid) Ford attended the chapel service. But the press was barred in order to suggest that they were to blame for Welch's murder. Colby issued a statement saying that Welch's death was the result of a "paranoiac attack on ... Americans serving their country." David Phillips was interviewed by CBS and said, American agents are in less danger today from the KGB than from the "moral primitives" who "condemn my label". (ibid) Welch's body was buried at Arlington with full military honors. His coffin was carried on the same horse-drawn caisson that carried President Kennedy's. Colby gave the flag draped over it to Welch's widow. As Schorr wrote, "This is the CIA's first secret agent to become a pubic national hero." (ibid)

It worked. Henry Kissinger jumped on the committees: "I think they have used classified information in a reckless way ... " (ibid p. 194) Both committees closed up shop shortly after. Ford and the CIA held veto power over what could be published. When Otis Pike defied that agreement, Congress bottled up his report. A copy was smuggled to Daniel Schorr. As he was arranging to have it released, his boss, Bill Paley, lunched with Bush. (ibid, p. 201) The Pike Report was published in a special issue of The Village Voice. Forgetting his own use of classified material for his Oswald book, Ford now proposed an FBI investigation to find out who gave the report to Schorr. (ibid, p. 208) After Paley's meeting with Director Bush, Schorr was taken off the air by CBS. After a two hour impromptu interrogation – during which he was not represented by counsel – Schorr was fired by the network. He was later investigated by the House but refused to reveal his source for the report...


William Colby stipulated to "foreign assassination plots"

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