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Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

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Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

Post by greg parker on Thu 24 Nov 2011, 8:07 am

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/11/21/opinion/100000001183275/the-umbrella-man.html

According to Tink, Witt's story was so wacky, it had to be true.


_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

Post by greg parker on Fri 09 Dec 2011, 10:38 am

Umbrella man exposed

Umbrella Man - more doubts

Jefferson Morley's response to the second article:

The story of Umbrella Man was told by Tink Thompson, one of the first and best JFK assassination researchers who has since gone on to distinguished career in forensic investigation. Thompson--not anyone from the New York Times--effectively dismantled the notion that Umbrella man had anything to do with the assassination. People who are skeptical about the official JFK story can and should accept Thompson's point here without sacrificing their skepticism that we have the whole truth.

The story is important, as Thompson notes, as a cautionary tale about interpreting the evidence in the JFK story. When you are skeptical it is tempting to read evidence as sinister but it is not always justified. The test is what is credible based on the evidence. There is no evidence that the man with the umbrella (or Dark Complected Man) was involved in the assassination. Not in the forensic evidence, not in eyewitness testimony, not in the investigative record. None

Thompson (not the New York Times) presents the eyewitness testimony of Steven Witte, the man with the umbrella. WWW presents no evidence contradicting his account. There is no evidence that the gunmen coordinated their actions via signals from the umbrella. None.

John Simkin's claim that "everybody had a bowler and umbrella" in those days reflects his Anglo-centrism more than anything else. He is unacquainted with the iconography of Munich in the American mind in which the tap-tap-tapping of Chamberlain's umbrella on the cobblestones was important. To dismiss Witt's eyewitness account in favor of Simkin's speculation is unjustified.

To play up the Umbrella man story as relevant to the causes of JFK's death is worse than a distraction. It undermines the effort to get the full story that began with Tink Thompson's seminal work "Six Seconds in Dallas," and continues to this day.

My response to JM

Whilst I usually find myself agreeing with Jeff on most major JFK related issues, I have to make this a rare exception. Jeff may be right that the so-called Umbrella Man is a non-issue, but he is dead wrong for accepting Thompson's piece as going any where near demonstrating that. The SOLE reason he could muster for dismissing TUM was that Witt's story was so weird it just had to be true. On that basis, we may as well accept Harvey & Lee, Judyth Baker and the Gemstone Files. When pressed by WWW for anything else which convinced him, all Tink could come up with was that another "respected" researcher had told him that someone had mentioned that Witt had told his dentist he was the Umbrella Man. What???? So now we are accepting 3rd or 4th hand hearsay as solid evidence?

But it gets worse. The "respected" researcher turned out to be David Lifton - he of body alteration fame and a one time proponent of shooters from fake trees. Mr Lifton has been repeatedly asked for the name of his informant as well as the name of Witt's dentist, but will not respond. In any case, the story has been debunked through the location of a 1978 article in which Witt was quoted a saying he had not followed any assassination stories and was totally unaware of any controversy over the course of the previous 15 years. Another factor is that Witt claimed, not that he remembered anything about Chamberlain himself, but that he had heard from co-workers that JFK (and/or family members) had been heckled in Arizona by protesters using umbrellas as signifying Chamberlain/Joe Kennedy appeasement policies. But there is NO verification of this story. I have searched newspaper archives and simply cannot find any mention of any such heckling of this type anywhere, nor any mention in any book on the Kennedys that they had any weird umbrella phobias traceable to Chamberlain, Mary Poppins , or any other Brit or Non-Brit.

So to recap -- to accept Witt, we have to agree to accept a whole raft of claims that don't seem to have any support - not in this world at least, as well as take the word of a former supporter of shooters from fake trees.

If you cannot bring yourself to accept TUM as part of any ambush based on lack of evidence, you should not be accepting Witt as TUM for the very same reason.

One last thing (for Russ), the Rio Grande Building also housed the law office of Mr & Mrs Grier Raggio. Who were they? Louise Raggio was Ruth Paine's divorce lawyer - a member of the AFSC (but later joins the Unitarian Church with her husband) and a former WH intern who befriended LBJ during that period. Grier had allegedly been rejected by Army Intelligence after Pearl Harbor because of his "leftist" background. As a member of the ACLU, it was Grier who suggested to Greg Olds that they form a delegation to check on Oswald's "rights". The result? They reported Oswald's rights were being respected - without even talking to him. Were the Raggios, given especially Grier's past (alleged) rejection by Army Intel, really the sort of people you'd expect to be saying "good morning" every morning to those same spooks as they entered the Rio Grande and took the elevator to their office? More here:
Send Lawyers Guns & Money Pt2



Last edited by greg parker on Fri 09 Dec 2011, 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Re: Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

Post by greg parker on Fri 09 Dec 2011, 12:03 pm

I fully understand Jefferson does not want to be personally embarrassed, nor see the case be side-tracked by supporting anything which may in and of itself be subject to ridicule. But here, in order to dismiss a "wacky" theory, he is ironically forced to accept a "wacky" story which suffers from even less support than any TUM theory.

My view is, when assessing evidence you need to suck it up and go where it goes - no matter how "out there" - and conversely, not matter how mundane or "non-fitting" of your own perceptions of the crime it may be.

Supporting something simply because it is conspiratorial is one definition of "wacky". But rejecting it on less even than wafer thin evidence simply because of any fear it brings the case ridicule also leads us nowhere fast.

Accept Witt as TUM by all means -- but show us REAL evidence. Provide some names of these people who knew about Witt PRIOR to the HSCA publishing the photos.

And accept Witt's story concerning the umbrella by all means - but again - show us the evidence that he was inspired by stories of past umbrella protests against JFK.

If you, JT or Lifton cannot provide the above, then you all you really have are your own opinions.


Last edited by greg parker on Sun 11 Dec 2011, 9:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
Admin

Posts : 3450
Join date : 2009-08-21
Age : 58
Location : Orange, NSW, Australia

View user profile http:// http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IXOA5ZK/ref=s9_simh_

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Re: Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

Post by Guest on Sat 10 Dec 2011, 6:59 am

My own opinions, please, and nothing more.

In Russ Baker’s first response to the _New York Times_ and the video on The Umbrella Man, he writes:

[SNIP ARTICLE/QOUTE]

And so it presents the ridiculous, and asks us to believe it. Cutting to the chase, the man seen opening an umbrella comes forward to explain why he did it. Reason: in 1963, he was still mad at Britain’s pre-war Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement of Hitler, and held JFK’s father to blame as US ambassador to England in that period. Chamberlain was famed for carrying an umbrella. So—get this—Umbrella Man, hoping to make a statement about what happened in the late 1930s to JFK in 1963, pumped his umbrella at the time the fatal shots were fired…only for this obscure purpose.

[SNIP ARTICLE/END QOUTE]



This does not seem to be the “reason”, according to the testimony of the supposed Umbrella Man, Louis Steven Witt. Witt was still not “mad” about Chamberlain, or his appeasement of Hitler, nor did he hold Kennedy Sr. to blame for his support of said policies.

Nor is it accurate that Witt was hoping to make the statement of what happened in the late 1930s to JFK in 1963 by pumping his umbrella.

At least according to Witt’s testimony:

[SNIP TESTIMONY/QOUTE with my comments inserted in brackets]



Mr. GENZMAN. Why were you carrying an umbrella that day?

Mr. WITT. Actually, I was going to use this umbrella to heckle the President's motorcade.

Mr. GENZMAN. How had you gotten this idea?

Mr. WITT. In a coffee break conversation someone had mentioned that the umbrella was a sore spot with the Kennedy family. Being a conservative-type fellow, I sort of placed him in the liberal camp and I was just going to kind of do a little heckling.



[THERE ^^^ does that state he was heckling the appeasement policies of Chamberlain and Kennedy Sr.?]



Mr. GENZMAN. Are you saying you were going to use the umbrella as a symbol for the purpose of heckling?

Mr. WITT. I think that would cover it. . .

Mr. GENZMAN. You testified that you were opening the umbrella to use it as a symbol hoping to catch the President's eye?

Mr. WITT. Yes, sir.

Mr. GENZMAN. Could you elaborate further as to the type of symbol you thought you were applying?

Mr. WITT. . . . I just knew the vague generalities of it. It had something to do with something that happened years ago with the senior Joe Kennedy when he was Ambassador to England. . . .(3)



[THERE ^^^ does that appear his intent was a protest at policies of 1938?]



Mr. GENZMAN. Mr. Witt, some assassination critics have alleged your actions with your umbrella were a signal to an assassin or to assassins to fire or a signal that the President had in fact been hit. Were you signaling to anyone besides the President?

Mr. WITT. No; no one. . . .(4)

Mr. FAUNTROY. I wonder if you would care to tell us a little more about your understanding of the significance of the umbrella, and why you felt that it would heckle the president to raise the umbrella?

Mr. WITT. . . . It had something to do with . . . when the senior Mr. Kennedy was Ambassador to England, and the Prime Minister [Neville Chamberlain], some activity they had had in appeasing Hitler. The umbrella that the Prime Minister of England came back with got to be a symbol in some manner with the British people. By association, it got transferred ot the Kennedy family, and, as I understood, it was a sore spot with the Kennedy family, like I said, in coffee break conversations someone had mentioned, I think it is one of the towns in Arizona, it is Tucson or Phoenix, that someone had been out at the airport or some place where some members of the Kennedy family came through and they were rather irritated by the fact that they were brandishing the umbrellas. This is how the idea sort of got stuck in my mind. . . . This was in a conversation somewhere at work. I wish that I could remember now who brought the subject up and put this idea in my head. I am sure that I would have taken that umbrella and clouted him over the head somewhere in this last 2 or 3 weeks.(5)



[THERE ^^^ it appears it was an irritation to members of the Kennedy family...as Witt understood it]





Mr. WITT. [After the assassination occurred] I was somewhat stunned . . . Once the realization . . . [that something terrible had happened] . . . I was stunned. . . . I think one [of] my reactions was knowing that I was there with this stupid umbrella and heckling the President and -- of course, I didn't know that the President had been killed. As a matter of fact, I didn't know he had been shot. I just knew that something had happened by the activity and what seemed to be in the air around me. But I think my own thinking may have been at the time that -- I would have to describe it as a -- kind of like a bad joke that had gone sour, or a practical joke you pulled on someone that had gone sour, since I was there with this thing, and for that purpose.

[SNIP TESTIMONY]

Full testimony is in the link below; the above has been SNIPPED repeatedly.



[[NOTE: due to Forum Rules for New Members, I was not allowed to post the links for my qoutes...my apologies. The first was from Russ Baker's site and the second was the online AARC Public Digital Library]]

My sole intention here is to simply point out that to belittle the idea of The Umbrella Man as making a protest over the policies of 1938-1940 in 1963 to JFK is in error with the actual testimony. Witt appears to have gotten the idea that somehow waving umbrellas at the Kennedys is an irritation, and is a way for him to “heckle”.

Now, for my own, hmmmm…”conclusions”:

· For those with much invested in years of work on the assassination, I can understand the anger over The Umbrella Man in the NY Times. I consider that in Tink’s “…a cautionary tale…”, there is a lesson to be learned, even given what I say above.

· Greg Parker is right when he asks for some sort of proof of the validity of whether Witt is TUM besides just a “belief/faith” that his story is real, particularly because it seems to be so fantastical.

· Now…sighs…I will profess I lean towards Witt as being the TUM and not involved for the simple reason that to accept that BOTH he and DCM (Dark Complected Man) are “signalmen/spotters” for other shooters is something I find extremely improbable.



MS/2011-12-09/2.46PM EST


Last edited by Admin on Mon 20 Feb 2012, 7:09 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Attempting to change font color)

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Re: Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

Post by greg parker on Sun 11 Dec 2011, 6:47 pm

Mark,

I agree that Witt wasn't claiming any protest about Chamberlain or Kennedy or their policies. Russ assumed that was the case since that was at least the reason given for the alleged Arizona incident that Witt was mimicking.

I pointed out the same thing above when I said Another factor is that Witt claimed, not that he remembered anything about Chamberlain himself, but that he had heard from co-workers that JFK (and/or family members) had been heckled in Arizona by protesters using umbrellas as signifying Chamberlain/Joe Kennedy appeasement policies.

So, in short, his testimony was that he'd heard the umbrella pointing was a a sore point to the family and somehow related back to Chamberlain/Kennedy appeasement policies. It's a fine point that makes not a great deal of difference in assessing the incident.

I do not think it is necessary to try and weave any theory around TUM. But until anyone can confirm some details such as the name of Witt's dentist, and supply some evidence of any similar incident in Arizona - or indeed, anywhere else in the world, it is as unsafe to take TUM off the the list of "persons of interest" as it is to accept Witt as TUM.

Sorry you had trouble posting links. Not sure why... but will try and look into it when I get a chance.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
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Posts : 3450
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Re: Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

Post by Guest on Tue 13 Dec 2011, 8:57 am

I'm a newcomer here -- not unfamiliar with many of the threads of discussion regarding the assassination by any means, but generally a lurker and not a participant in those discussions.

That said, I think it important to add that the reason we are interested in TUM these days is more important than his identity, associations or motive.

The reason we are talking about him is this misleading clip published by the New York Times, which doesn't even have the courtesy to identify Tink as being one of the earliest and most well-known of Warren Commission doubters. In his rebuttal, Russ adeptly details the NYT's head-in-the-sand, orthodoxy-enforcing approach to valid questions about the assassination of JFK. Critiques such as Russ's must continue, and be widely circulated.

Otherwise intelligent individuals who know of my conviction that a conspiracy operated to kill JFK have sent me a link to the Thompson clip, saying, in so many words, that "even Tink Thompson has been convinced of the folly of the conspiracy crowd. Their arguments all have been debunked."

Of course it doesn't debunk a thing. But it provides a simplistic answer to those who have a shallow understanding of the matter and, frankly, just wish we would stop bothering them with complicated details. The Times should be ashamed, of course. But I'm also interested in Tink Thompson's strange response that he was "delighted" with the presentation. He may have been pleased that his little morality tale was told, but was he also pleased that it led so many people to a false conclusion about his beliefs?

Or was the conclusion false? Certainly Thompson has, to his credit, refused to accept the arguments, claims and scenarios of many less-than logical conspiracy advocates. But has he now been convinced the Warren Commission was correct? I don't think so, but I've seen no statement to reaffirm his suspicions. I've sent an unanswered query to Tink, asking for a link to his current beliefs. There's been no response. I've looked for a fuller reaction to the NYT clip from Thompson. I haven't found one. I may have missed it, and would be grateful if anyone can point me to it. But if not, I wonder why he is so silent on the matter.

And thanks, Russ, for trying to keep the Times honest. It gets increasingly difficult, unfortuunately.

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Re: Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

Post by greg parker on Thu 15 Dec 2011, 6:57 am

Thanks for the post.

I can only agree with you 100%.


_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

greg parker
Admin

Posts : 3450
Join date : 2009-08-21
Age : 58
Location : Orange, NSW, Australia

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Re: Tink Thompson on Umbrella Man

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