NY Times' Umbrella Man Exposed
More and more, one is struck by the extent to which the New York Times is disassociated from reality. One might judge the paper’s publishing of official falsehoods as the occasional and accidental byproduct of the pressure to produce so many articles, were it not for the consistency and rigidly sclerotic way it loyally foists patently untrue material upon the public.
I say this as someone who still reads the Times, still has friends working there, and still retains some isolated pockets of fondness for it.
But it is hard to overlook these constant transgressions. As we note here at WhoWhatWhy, these range from ignoring the real reasons for the invasion of Libya to apologizing for fraud perpetrated by its favorite Afghanistan propagandist (and the author of Three Cups of Tea). It surely includes the paper’s failure to share with its readers overwhelming and constantly refreshed documentation of an organized coup that resulted in the death of President John F. Kennedy and the end of meaningful reform in America. I addressed that latter issue in the article, “NY Times’ Ostrich Act on JFK Assassination Getting Old.”
Far from proper journalistic curiosity, the paper sees its job as enforcing orthodoxy, and shutting down consideration of anything untoward. According to the New York Times’s peculiar brand of journalism, coups and plots happen with regularity abroad, but never, never, in the United States.
It is important to include the pejorative phrase “conspiracy theorist” in every article, even acknowledging concern about the health of democracy in America. It is important to have a good laugh at the expense of those poor souls who trouble themselves inquiring into the darker precincts of this country’s history.
So it is with the 48 th anniversary of Kennedy’s death. Instead of assigning a single reporter to scrutinize the hundreds or thousands of meaningful, documented facts that do suggest more than “the lone nut did it,” the Times gets busy with the disinformation business.
Here are two Times “contributions” on this occasion:
On the 48 th anniversary of Kennedy’s murder, the Times ran an op-ed piece and short film by documentary maker Errol Morris about another man’s research into “umbrella man.” Umbrella Man is the nickname for a fellow who famously brought an umbrella on a sunny day for the president’s visit to Dallas November 22, 1963, stood on the “grassy knoll,” and, just as the president’s car passed, he opened the umbrella and pumped it in the air. Many have speculated as to the significance, or lack of significance, of this strange behavior. Some wonder if Umbrella Man was part of the assassination scenario, perhaps signaling to shooters. There was even the September 1975 Senate intelligence committee testimony by Charles Senseney, a contract weapons designer for the CIA, that the agency had perfected an umbrella that shoots undetectable poison darts that can immobilize and kill, raising questions about whether this was in play that day. (See P. 168 in the Senate committee testimony , where Senseney explains specifically about the agency’s use of a toxin and the ability to fire it from a modified umbrella.)
The self-described Umbrella Man, Louie Steven Witt, came forward to offer his testimony in 1978, or three years after the CIA expert provided this now forgotten testimony on umbrellas as weapon. Umbrella Man came forward just as a special House Select Committee on Assassinations was focusing on the possibility of a conspiracy (which, it concluded in its final report…was likely.) (You can order a video of a report on Witt’s testimony, by then ABC News reporter Brit Hume, here)