Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 5 Num. 83

("Quid coniuratio est?")

I spoke by phone with Mr. Skolnick on August 18, 1995. Note that in what follows I neither necessarily agree nor disagree with either all or parts of statements made by Mr. Skolnick. Persons mentioned are invited to send rebuttals, of reasonable length, for probable distribution.

-- Brian Francis Redman, Editor-in-Chief

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-+- The "Vacuum Pump" and the "Faucet" -+-

Yeah, another one of my readers suggested that that's the weak link in all this, is that [James] Norman is a financial and business writer.

Well let me tell ya what happened in the beginning, from the circumstances, that he went around questioning everybody. And then it did not appear that his publication, Forbes magazine, was gonna publish anything.

We put him in the category of a "vacuum pump". That is, on behalf of certain un-named principals, he was trying to "pick our brains". And establishment journalists act as purported spies all along: they show up, they question you, they lead you to believe that it's going on the air -- it is not going on the air. A transcript of their notes is then shared with the FBI, the NSA, the CIA. I know a lot about that.

Yeah, in fact that rings true, that, down in Arkansas, there have been "journalists" doing videos of people who were witnesses or whatever in a lot of the stuff that's goin' on there. And I've been hearing that these videos never get marketed but that the people on them who volunteer to go "public" wind up in trouble over what they say.

Let me just give you an example. I've already confronted a long- time radio broadcast journalist here in Chicago, Alan Bickley. And in 1970, when I had worldwide publicity on a story, a lawsuit I brought regarding the National Archives covering up documents they had which related to a plot against JFK, two-and-a-half weeks before Dallas, he interviewed me -- apparently not to go on the air -- and then he sort of off-handed admitted to me that he was in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. And to disarm me from any questions said, "Well yeah, the CIA tried to recruit me, Skolnick." I said, "Oh really."

But then what I found out is, that thereafter -- and prior to that time -- Alan Bickley used to interview "peaceniks". You know, get all kinds of personal and biographical information from them, interview them on tape, and it never went on the air!

So then I ran into a courier for a service for "spooks" -- espionage. And he says that (the "spooks'" courier), told me how they transcribe these things, called "out-takes". Out-takes are film, tape, and notes that do not go on the air.

And Alan Bickley, from what I found out, specialized in out- takes. That is, he was a journalist-spy! (At least it seemed to me.) Because he interviewed a lot of peaceniks and people like me, not for the purpose of ever going on the air with any of it, but a transcript or copy of his notes, or tapes, would then end up with the FBI or the CIA.

The station that, I believe he still works for, [is] WBBM-AM radio in Chicago. An FBI official once ran the station. The place is loaded with FBI types, purporting to be technicians, etc., running the radio station, which is in Chicago.

But the point is, therefore when I ran into Norman, he seemed to be more of the same. He seemed to be more like Alan Bickley.

Yeah, okay, and when he's purportedly complaining that he can't get you to produce what he purportedly calls "something real", in other words, there's a possibility that he may not be all he seems to be.

All right, in the early 1970s, Carl Bernstein (he by-lined a story about Watergate with Bob Woodward) wrote a piece... I think it was in Rolling Stone, that somewhere between 200 and 400 mass media types are actually spies!

Yeah. In fact, I think I've got that. I think I had xeroxed that article {3}.

I got in trouble with the media, prior to that story, by identifying who they were in Chicago. I was called a liar all the way around. Then when Bernstein's story came out, nobody apologized to me.

I got taken off the air in the early 70s. I had been a media hero prior to that time. I used to be able to hold a press conference on my lawn at the drop of a hat. But because I did a forbidden thing, which was to identify who in the local media were assets of CIA, FBI, and NSA, I got blanked out, as if I ceased to exist.

And Norman acted in that pattern. If it's not true about him, all I can say is he acted in that pattern.

Then, he did a very mysterious thing: on Internet, in signed articles, either with his initials or actually signed by him, James Norman, he then attacked his employer, Forbes magazine, and mentioned that there was a conflict of interest {4}; that one of the bosses of Forbes magazine, Caspar Weinberger, the former secretary of defense, who was listed as "publisher emeritus" (that's like a title where he's... You know what "emeritus" means.)

"Semi-retired" but involved.

But the point is, he hinted at things that were already in my story ["Foster, Bush, Weinberger -- And Pollard" by Sherman H. Skolnick; see CN 5.49] and which Norman knew about. Namely, that Weinberger and [George] Bush were involved with Vincent W. Foster, Jr., the White House aide; that before he got into the White House, Foster was an NSA official, and with the help of Weinberger and Bush had released nuclear secrets to Pollard, who gave 'em to Israel for money.

But the strange thing is that, so far as I know, Norman has not been fired. Although I think the rationale behind that is, he may be threatening his boss with what is known in law as a "retaliatory discharge" case. That is, if you get fired because you did something that's good for the public, you can sue your employer. So it may be they figured out it will cost them more to defend such a lawsuit than to fire him.

So he continues to put stories on Internet condemning his employer {5}. He continues, apparently, to work as the senior editor. And he puts these stories that are not published in Forbes on the Internet, or Media Bypass magazine, about what he calls "Fostergate". And he updates some of these stories from time to time, according to signed items by him on Internet.

So, I mean, is he a possible questionable quantity? It may well be.

He seems to be a nice fellow, in discussions on the phone.

All right. And moving along to this person, Orlin Grabbe...

All right. As to him, he was formerly a professor at the Wharton School of Business. (Which is supposed to be a distinguished business school.) He purports to be the director of a conservative think tank, called the Cato Institute. And he purports to be an expert on bank encryption -- satellites. And he puts... As of now, I think he's put 18 different stories on Internet, under his by-line -- that relate to my story, by the way! -- and are very interesting and appear to be correct.

He apparently is what is known in the trade as a "faucet", which is a leaking apparatus on behalf of some faction that opposes some other faction in espionage. (In the espionage agencies they have different factions.) But [he seems to be] a front for a leaking faction.

[ be continued...]

---------------------------<< Notes >>--------------------------- {3} "The CIA And The Media" by Carl Bernstein. Rolling Stone magazine, October 20, 1977.

{4} I, personally, have never seen the alleged articles that Skolnick mentions. If anyone has copies of same (i.e., besides "Fostergate", which I already have a copy of), please send them to me at

{5} Again, I have not seen such stories as Skolnick mentions. If anyone has copy/copies, please e-mail them to me.

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Brian Francis Redman "The Big C"

Coming to you from Illinois -- "The Land of Skolnick"