Sherman Skolnick Passes (Steamshovel Press)

Sherman Skolnick (right) and Kenn Thomas photo: Sherman Skolnick (right) and Kenn Thomas

by Kenn Thomas

Word of Sherman Skolnick's passing came to Steamshovel first from APFN (which used an old Steamshovel photo of Sherman with editor Kenn Thomas cropped out) then from CBS. As the news came from such disparate sources, it seems very sad but true: Sherman Skolnick has passed away.

CBS reported it like this:

May 21, 2006 8:20 pm US/Central

Activist Sherman Skolnick Dies

(CBS) CHICAGO Community activist and cable television host Sherman Skolnick has died at the age of 73.

Mr. Skolnick died at his home. Some dismissed Mr. Skolnick as a conspiracy theorist, but some have credited him with exposing a bribery scandal within the Illinois court system in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in a corruption scandal that led to the indictment of former Gov. Otto Kerner.

Mr. Skolnick founded the group the Citizen's Committee to Clean up the Courts in 1963. He was also the host of the cable television program "Broadside."

((c) MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

   I note with some measure of satisfaction that CBS, this mainstream media source, did not call Skolnick a "conspiracy theorist" in death as the mainstream did so often in life. Sherman had a profound effect on how the Supreme Court shaped "in pauperis" law in this lifetime. (Through the influence of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. See the book Illinois Justice by Kenneth Master for the full details.) He figured out Illinois parapolitics enough to get Otto Kerner ousted and get those corrupt judges ejected from the bench. These are not theories, but legal realities.

   Sherman, of course, was also a master storyteller and a conduit of all kinds of information that rarely surfaced into the mainstream, but he was a great hero to all of us who swim under that same thin ice. He was on the scene a good long while and he leaves behind a legacy that does him proud. I was glad to have been his friend many years and sad now to say goodbye.

   Below is the Steamshovel Press interview with Sherman, from 1994, perhaps the best he ever gave:

Sherman Skolnick Sounds Off!
An Interview by Kenn Thomas

   Steamshovel Press editor Kenn Thomas recently had the distinct pleasure of having dinner with legal researcher Sherman Skolnick at his usual haunt, the River Flame restaurant off Highway 94 outside of Chicago. Sherman Skolnick has been on the scene since his early courtroom victories regarding the corruption of Illinois state courts and congressional reapportionment in that state. His research has made him a perennial figure in national politics. He helped expose the existence of a Chicago-area assassination plot against JFK involving a Lee Harvey Oswald. He demonstrated that sabotage was the probable reason for a United Airlines crash that killed the wife of E. Howard Hunt and eleven other Watergate figures. He surfaced a great deal of information regarding witnesses to events surrounding the Inslaw investigation. In fact, he continually exposes interesting and under-reported details about current political scandals on the hotline of his group, the Citizens Committee to Clean Up the Courts (312-731-1100), which also has helped many people with their struggles in bankruptcy court. Sherman also produces a Chicago public access cable television program that further documents the issues and cases he has brought to public scrutiny. Virtually dismissed entirely by the mainstream and often labeled a kook even by some in the conspiracy research community, Skolnick's work has nevertheless had a remarkable staying power and his successes in court and in the media have earned him much respect as a champion dirt-digger and exposer of hidden truth. This interview provided a rare opportunity to discuss history with him, his own as well as that of the people and events he has investigated over the years.

Q: How did you get in to this line of work, Sherman?

A: It's not a line of work. It's unpaid work if I ever saw it. I lived all my life with my parents. Since the age of six I have been a paraplegic from polio, similar to the late President Roosevelt, who was a hero when I was a child. In later years, I didn't consider him so much of a hero, I considered him one of the greatest counter-revolutionaries of American history in that he prevented a genuine upheaval against the ruling elite in this country which was overdue.

Q: They also went to great pains to hide his disability.

A: Right, although the Chicago Tribune use to call him the cripple in the White House. In some ways the Tribune wasn't nicer to me either. What I should have learned from Roosevelt about the media because I was often videotaped sitting in my wheel chair and I didn't realize they were looking at me as a crippled bug in a wheel chair, a nut, a crackpot.

Q: That's precisely why they tried to cover up Roosevelt's disability, so he wouldn't look weak or infirm.

A: It took me up to about 1979 to figure this out, after my friend says, "Hey, no more videotaping by the media, only sitting at a table in a restaurant like everybody else. None of this standing on your crutches, none of that sitting in the wheel chair, and stuff like that." My father was a Ladies Garment Worker and I was born in the bad years, 1930, and my folks had a very great problem in taking care of me. In fact, the only way I could get hospital treatment, no hospital would let me in and my folks didn't have any money, so my mother took a long shot and she wrote directly to Roosevelt. She said, "I got a son that seems to be like you. What do you want to do about this?" And we got a letter back from the labor secretary, Francis Perkins, and that letter opened a lot of doors for me. It got me into the HDCC, which is the Home for Destitute Crippled Children, which was a hospital on the University of Chicago campus.

Q: So you do owe Roosevelt a debt.

A: Yeah. He was a hero because he looked very much like me, he had braces, he was paralyzed from the legs down just like me and he needed a wheelchair. But he could walk a hundred feet, like I can. I can walk a hundred, two hundred feet max. The only difference was that I was poor and he came from a rich, aristocratic, up-state scene.

So my parents were always concerned over the years with what will be with me. I had sixteen experimental operations and I thank heaven that I didn't get into the anti-doctor field, as some people are, you know, rapping doctors, because there is no way I could be objective. One of my doctors was Mary Sherman, who was murdered as result of the Jim Garrison investigation in New Orleans. She was my doctor until about 1954. She was an orthopedic specialist. (Steamshovel Debris: a new book, Mary, Ferrie and the Monkey Virus by Edward Haslam, not available at press time, connects Mary Sherman and Oswald associate David Ferrie with an underground medical laboratory experimenting with monkey viruses to develop a biological weapon.) As I got older, I was very good at the special school I went to. Early on my folks bought a car and had it equipped with hydraulic controls. So as a teenager, I drove all over.

Q: In the late 40s you had that?

A: Oh, yeah. At the end of the second war they came out with the special cars for legless veterans. They put in an electric clutch, because they didn't have automatic transmissions. And they had hand controls for the gas and so on. So I learned how drive and I drove until 1959, when the car got too old to go anymore. I learned from an early age that there are what's now called "politically incorrect" people. I don't know what they called them years ago. My teachers at the Spalding High School for Crippled Children here in Chicago were political outcasts. For example, my teacher in mathematics, Dr. Bernard Anderson, was politically incorrect. Previous to this, he was a protege of Albert Einstein but there was something wrong with his politics. So they had him previously teaching at the jail. I had Einstein's protege teaching me mathematics in small school and I was at the top of the class!

Q: You graduated from Spalding in 1948?

A: I graduated salutatorian in my class. I would have been first in my class except for my politics. I was forever railing against the government. In high school I had a small mimeograph machine and I used to print an underground thing investigating all the teachers except my math teacher. I learned at an early age that if you find out the secrets, you have a got a weapon bigger than a sixteen inch cannon on a battleship. I suppose that's what I have been doing the rest of my life. If you can't persuade them on the law, the facts and the merit of a thing, then you better do closet work. You go into their closet, "what about your bank?", etc. I took a city-wide scholarship test from Roosevelt College, a so-called left-wing school, a hotbed of liberal politics, and I scored first place. So they said I could go for five years but after three semesters I gave it back to them because getting there was such a problem. It was hard to park my special car. I had to bribe the policemen to do that. So for a few years thereafter I ran a small printing business in a basement.

Q: You weren't producing radical literature then?

A: No, just printing jobs for people in my neighborhood. So as my parent got older, they became worried about what was going to happen to their life savings. They didn't save much. How could they have saved much with the limited income my father, as a Ladies Garment Worker, you know?

Q: They were surviving mostly.

A: Yeah! I don't think he made more than $5000 in the best year of his life. So they had saved up $7500, which was a fantastic sum, by not taking vacation, not buying a new car, all that, and by living in a very reduced house. So they ran into a broker that was Jewish who talked their lingo from the old country. And he sweet-talked them into turning their life savings over to him and he's going to make it into something with me as a beneficiary. Well, he lost all the money on margin, without us ever signing any papers authorizing him to gamble with the money on margin. When he got through with it, not only was the $7500 not there anymore, he claimed my folks owed him $20,000.

So we hired a lawyer and we spent I don't know how many years fighting. I used to go myself all the time with the lawyer.

Q: This was your first experience with the court?

A: Yeah, and my lawyer used to say, "Look sad. Tell your parents to cry a little bit." And I thought this was humiliating. In other words, a cripple and his parents are coming there to get their money. So he says, "Go to your ward committeeman." And I say, "What do you gotta do?" And he says, "You got to give him something. He's got to intercede with the judge." And I says, "What does that mean?" "He's got to go and do something. There's so many voters for the Democratic Party at your address. You're willing to contribute to the judge or the Democratic Party or his campaign. You gotta send him about $300 minimum." And I says, "To do what?" "For a proper hearing!" And this first lawyer urged me to study law, which I did.

Q: After he introduced you to corruption.

A: Yeah. Well, the first trial we had by jury was fixed.

Q: So you hadn't come up with money for the judge?

A: No. First of all, we didn't have it and number one, we wouldn't do it! The bailiff in charge of the jury was the neighbor of the forelady that ran the jury. The judge goes home and puts the bailiff in charge and the bailiff tries to kick me and my dad out of the courtroom. We stood there and the bailiff lets Hornblower and Weeks, that's the stock broker's lawyer, big-shot, stand by the jury door to talk and tell them that Skolnick is a rat, he's no good, he's a liar all his life, at the jury door! Right there at the keyhole! This is all documented. It became a federal lawsuit. I says, "Hey, bailiff! Me and my father, we'll come there and talk how nasty they are!" "No, no, no, get the hell away." When the trial ends, I call up my lawyer at 11:30 because the jury comes out of there with no verdict, and I tell the bailiff, "Hey, before we go home, where are the papers?" "I didn't find any." "Wait a minute, they went in there with evidence." "It's all gone, we don't know where it is." So I call up my lawyer at home and I wake him up. He went home. He left me and my father to be in the courtroom near the jury door. He says, "Listen. What are you, tired of living Skolnick? The sheriff is in with the mob here. What's with you? Are you and your parents tired of living? You got paid up insurance? If you go and complaint about these methods, which have been going on for decades, you're dead." I say, "what are you going to do tomorrow morning?" "I'm going to go there and ask the judge if he knows there's a verdict." So the next morning he goes there and the bailiff says, "I didn't find any verdict. I didn't find any papers. The jury went home." And that was the end of it.

Q: No verdict?

A: Somewhere down the road some judge got the case and they called for a status hearing again and he suggested a settlement. We were out $7500, which was a lot of money in the 1950s into the early 1960s. And so the judge suggested $500. Hornblower's lawyers are very big, Bell Boyd and Lloyd (?), and they say "we ain't giving Skolnick $500 now or ever. We've never lost a security case in Illinois and we're not starting with Skolnick." When I heard that, I figured that's the end. War! So I told my parents I'm going to wreck them. They say, "how can a small man like you in a wheelchair wreck them? You don't know what you're doing." I says, "I don't know, I'm good in math and I'm good in all these things. I'm pretty clever. I got a high IQ. There must be something I can do." So I started in about 1963, I began to run into other victims of injustice. I found out that the woods are filled with them, and I became the beacon, where they can come to me, cry on my shoulder, "look what happened, I lost my wife, I lost house, I lost my this, my car, and on..."

So we formed this little group. Now the original name of the group was the Committee To Smash the Courts. And my friend says, "No, no, no, no. That sounds bad. It's got to be a name that's acceptable." So the next name was the Committee To Protect Patent Owners. The first group that I helped were all patent owners that had been swindled out of their patent through the corruption in the courts. At one time I had the attic in my house filled with prototypes--the butterfly bandage, the high speed ice machine. We finally changed the name to the Citizens Committee, not to Smash The Courts, that was too strong, Citizens' Committee To Clean Up The Courts. It sounded rather...

Q: You're cleaning now, not smashing. This was 1963, the year Kennedy was shot?

A: Yeah, but I wasn't interested in that. I was looking for a way to get in the public eye. A family friend was telling me, "you're not objective anymore about the Hornblower thing. Nobody wants to listen anymore. Certainly not your friends, not your relatives."

Q: So your case was not resolved and you were taking on all these other cases.

A: It went on for years and years. A couple of my cases ended up before the state supreme court in 1960s. I argued my own case. They had to carry me up twenty stairs because the crooked judges wouldn't allow me and the wheelchair through their entrance that had an elevator in Springfield. The high court in Springfield is on a hill.

Q: Literally a high court.

A: Through a series of circumstances, in 1969, we continued our closet work. We found out that there are little-known bank ownership records that only Illinois has. Illinois requires public disclosure of bank ownership, which was so secret that it was in the basement of one of the government buildings on microfilm so dusty that nobody knew it until a lady friend of mine discovered it. She said, "Look at this. Across from the local courthouse there's a bank and thirty judges and nine gangsters own the bank." So we start checking and found out that most of the state supreme court are owners of this bank with mafioso. Anyway, I got to know some Springfield reporters and I made a mimeograph list of this and I offered to show them the microfilm pages.

Q: Falling back on your high school experience here.

A: Yeah. Closet work! We can't deal with them on the law and the facts, we've to deal with them on the dirt. So I found two young reporters from the Alton Telegraph, real old newspaper, and they ran a big story about the bank across from the courthouse. At that time the local courthouse had the local office of the Supreme Court on the top floor. The main state supreme court courthouse was in Springfield on a hill. But they had an office in Chicago called the Civic Center. Diagonally across the street was a bank called the Civic Center Bank. It was owned by thirty judges and nine gangsters. And we had the proof. I told this to the Alton Telegraph and they started a series of stories that implicated the local newspaper guy. The editor in chief of the Sun Times and the Daily News was one of the largest stockholders with the gangsters and the thirty judges.

Q: He also happened to be a competitor of the Alton newspaper.

A: I don't know about that, but they wouldn't run the story. So they found a way to get around it by running the story on the Associated Press hub in St. Louis. The governor was a stockholder, who later became a federal appeals judge. By the time I started the scandal, he was no longer the governor, Otto Koerner, Jr. So the story started running with big headlines. I filed a motion to be appointed amicus curiae, friend of the court, and as a friend, I would point out that I was not a party to this case but the judges in this case took a bribe. I found the leading case that this bunch of judges who were stockholders in the bank, the largest stockholder was the former revenue director, Theodore Isaacs. So I sound that he had a case in their court on criminal conflict of interest. Two weeks before they heard the oral argument in the state supreme court he does a thing natural for Illinois, he brings all the judges of the court into the bank as stockholders. So I filed a friend of the court petition in the Isaacs case. They got upset and wanted to know how I knew. they claimed that the Daily News had instigated me and had paid me, which was false. then they said that if I don't tell them exactly how I found this. They didn't know that this was in the public record. I didn't want to tell them. I accuse you of bribery and you want to know how I found out?

So they put me in jail and the picture made Time magazine because they couldn't get me into the paddy wagon. So there were four sheriffs trying to put me into the paddy wagon through a narrow door. They took me from the courthouse where the judges put me in contempt for not telling them how I knew they took a bribe, they wanted to put me in this paddy wagon to take me to the jail.

Q: To make a public display.

A: Two got on one side, two on that side. I didn't fit through the door. The sheriff was the brother of Rosemary Woods, Nixon's secretary. He liked me. For every hour I was in jail, I was in four hours, one judge bit the dust. They put up a special commission that investigated judges and found that most of them were guilty as charged and recommended that they all leave. They resigned August 4, 1969. The third judge I accused died. So they I got three of them, the chief judge, the associate judge and a third one. But the fraud is still going on all these years later.

They committed a fraud on the court for the benefit of the governor. There was a lawsuit challenging the validity of the state income tax being pushed by the governor. It was pending in their court at the time of my scandal. In the name of the judges, they issued a decision August 14, 1969, ten days after they weren't there anymore. You can't do that. I recently asked state attorney general Rollin Burse (?), we asked him about this and he got all puffed up and said, "If any of you don't pay your state income tax, I don't want to know about this. I'm going to put you in jail." I said, "This is a fraud upon the court!" I have been talking about this for twenty years and nobody's listening. A fraud upon the court doesn't go away. Anyway, that's what made me world famous. It was the biggest judicial scandal in the history of the United States. I had collapsed the state supreme court and as result I got to know victims all over. What I did over the years, I didn't want publicity to make money, I wanted publicity so that the press would listen to me. I got in to the biggest controversies because it enabled me to get publicity for my point. For a while there I was able to say whatever I wanted about the courts, about voting and reapportionment case, corruption, and so on, up to a point. And I got to know all these victims that came to me.

Q: How do you make that leap from working on local court cases to these national things?

A: Well, for instance, I taught civic investigation for would-be journalists and in the same building where the college was, on the third floor was a strange outfit with no name on the door. And they filmed or taped every talk show in the Chicago area and then sold the tape, the film or the transcripts to certain offices in Washington and the Pentagon. And the courier for that got to know me and he says, "I got something for you, some documents about the Kennedy thing." I says, "I don't have any money to go to Dallas, don't tell me about no Kennedy thing." This was 1970. So I met him and he gives me this pile of documents about the Chicago plot against Kennedy, that there was a plot two and half weeks before. So I was worried and I wrote him a $5 check for xerox expense and on the back I put down "For the Kennedy documents, full payment." The $5 check saved me from the rope, I tell you! Because what they wanted me to do was to blow the cover of certain police that worked for CIA in Chicago. And if I could they would terminate these police. They never intended that I as a loud-mouth would get into the courts. When I started the plan to go to courts is when I got in trouble. Harold Weisberg says, "Skolnick, come to my goose farm." I say, "I don't know you." He says, "Oh yeah, I'm a leading writer of books about the Kennedy assassination." I say, "I'm not into the Kennedy thing. I'm on the Chicago thing. I don't know nothin' about Dealey Plaza." I never went to his goose farm. These were all the secret documents that a black secret service agent put together, Abraham Bolden.

Q: You got documents directly from Abraham Bolden?

A: No, not from him. I got them from this guy, this mysterious courier that delivered the film and tapes to a secret office in the Pentagon which he thought to be the CIA.

Q: But they originated with Bolden.

A: What I later found out was that this was the first time in the 200 year history of the National Archives that someone stole this out of the archives. So I was planning to go to court, and luckily I didn't go to Weisberg's thing because Weisberg, after I went to court, threatened to sue me that I stole the documents from him. Luckily, I had this $5 check endorsed by the one that I bought them from, full payment for the documents. David Lifton, who was just getting started on the west coast, I never heard of the guy, I got a letter in the file from 1970 saying "You stole the documents from me!" Lifton writes me from the west coast, Weisberg writes from his goose farm, both say that I stole the documents from them and I bought them from this strange character. Through my late friend, James Albright, who owned the patent for the high speed ice machine, he knew where to find Bolden at an unlisted address on the south side. So he arranged for me to meet with Bolden. So I went with a lady friend of mine in her car to meet Bolden.

Q: I should say for the readers that Abraham Bolden was the first black Secret Service agent, appointed by Kennedy, and after the assassination...

A: First black in the White House guard.

Q: ...he was apparently thrown in jail on trumped up charges.

A: So I came with my lady friend in her little red car and we sat in front of Bolden's house and I had these documents, eleven of them, mounted in one of those salesmen's books with the plastic pages, under celluloid. And Bolden sits in the back and looks at them and looks at each one and says, "I knew it. You are here to put me back in prison. I'm on parole!" I says, "Bolden, I want to clear you." "Like hell you do! You're part of a government effort to put me back." And I say, "I think Mark Lane didn't do right for you when you were down there in Springfield, Missouri. I think all your lawyers put together have not done right for you. I am here to clear you." "Like hell you are. You got my secret report. It's not supposed to be out until 2039. You got it. You stole it. And I'm going to be blamed that I gave it to you and I'm going to be sent back to jail and you are going to get publicity and I am going to get jail." I says, "For godssakes Abraham Bolden, I am here to do good for you. I'm going to court and attach all these documents and I'm going to confront the goddam government and I'm going to put in there how they framed you." I didn't know anything about Garrison or Dealey Plaza, I kept no clippings, I was not interested in that.

Q: Garrison tried to do something and failed and here you're coming to this guy saying you're going to do the same thing, take it to the courts. If he was following the Garrison case, I could imagine that he would not have the same faith that you had that you could do something in the courts.

A: And so I went to court and I sued, Skolnick vs. National Archives and Records Service and I set forth the whole thing about Cuba, about Kennedy, about Bolden and the fact that Bolden was framed. On the day we brought the lawsuit, one of the major 50,000 watt stations here had a good young reporter that I knew and he put a major story out on it. He eventually was run out of Chicago. There aren't any happy endings to any of this. Stuart Pahn. He went into the brokerage business.

Q: What was in Bolden's report?

A: It was on the plot to kill Kennedy in Chicago by a person named Lee Harvey Oswald and an Oswald double, Thomas Arthur Vallee, both of whom were apprehended. Vallee was arrested on a $5 traffic rap and the traffic ticket was suppressed and put in the National Archives. Two blocks off the Northwest Expressway, which is now called the Kennedy Expressway. And they were going to go through a hairpin turn just like they ended up going in front of the Book Depository. They found a hairpin turn in the route from the airport to the college football game where on November 2nd Kennedy was to go to a football game in Chicago. He didn't come, but his route was to go through a hairpin turn where they had another guy who was working at a CIA printing office with the window looking right down at Kennedy. The complaining witness against Vallee was Daniel Groth, not listed as policeman, listed as a witness. Groth came with a machine gun, kicked in Fred Hampton's door and assassinated people there.

Q: The Black Panthers.

A: 1969. The same guy. But no author has ever called me to ask for copies of Bolden's documents. A day after I filed the lawsuit in April of 1970, they tried to revoke Bolden's parole. And my friend on a major radio station here went on the air and saved him.

Q: So Bolden was right. They came after him.

A: If it wasn't for the radio station, Bolden would have gone back to jail. I got world-wide publicity, except in Chicago. The Chicago press ignored it. But I also got on the crap list with almost every assassination researcher. Sylvia Meaghre, who wrote Accessories After The Fact, called me up and says , "Who the hell are you? Do you know about the Dallas thing?" I says, "Not a word." "Did you read the Warren Commission documents?" "Does not pertain to my thing." "You're a fraud, Skolnick." I says, "I am not investigating which way the bullets went in Dealey Plaza. I'm only on the Chicago plot."

Q: So she took it as intruding on her turf.

A: Yeah. David Lifton writes me a letter, and I can give you a xerox copy, "You are a fraud and you stole the documents from me." "I don't know who the fuck you are, David Lifton!" Weisberg sends me a thing in the form of a legal paper which he never filed, Weisberg vs. Skolnick, he wanted damages for me stealing the eleven documents from him. Nobody to this day has made an accurate chapter or sub-chapter on the Bolden thing.

Q: So the researchers all converged on you even though you're making a contribution to a case that they're supposedly trying to help solve themselves.

A: They've all got a vested interest. Peter Dale Scott for reasons I do not know has taken to the lecture platform and accused me of being a fraud. As you know, when I come to the assassination conferences, I'm the one they always want to throw out of the place. Now why is that?

Q: Carl Oglesby still likes you, doesn't he?

A: In 1974 or '75 I was giving a speech in Boston and I met him for a couple of hours while I was there. He lives in Cambridge. I raised the issue about Rennie Davis, the Chicago 7 and the CIA and I tell you, Carl almost took my crutch and wrapped it around my throat. He says, "That's a forbidden subject. You are not asking this!"

Q: Could you restate what you said about Rennie Davis?

A: I came out with a documented thing about all the CIA front foundations, which I'm an expert on. I found a way to identify CIA front foundations through 990AR, which is the foundation tax return that's a public record. I proved that the CIA financed Rennie Davis and the Chicago 7 to down the Democrats and put in Nixon. And when I raised this with Oglesby, he had been a big shot with the Students for Democratic Society, and when I was in Cambridge in '75, he got livid. So he's got this mixed feeling about me. He's always worried that at some public place I'm going to say something about that and I'm going to get around to him.

Q: So Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, all on the payroll?

A: Not Bobby Seale, but the others were part of the game. They were getting money from CIA foundations. I got arrested confronting Rennie Davis on a local TV station on a live program. Rennie had me arrested.

Q: The Chicago police came to the defense of Rennie Davis?

A: Eighteen police, yeah. Channel 44.

Q: I didn't realize until recently that it was your work that helped expose the story about E. Howard Hunt's role in the downing of the airplane that killed his wife Dorothy.

A: I sued the National Transportation Safety Board and I didn't tell them that I had their file, all the pictures, all the documents, showing they knew it was sabotage where Dorothy Hunt and the eleven other Watergaters died. So in front of 250 reporters that gathered from all over the world for the re-opened air crash hearings, I laid all the documents on the table and I says, "Alright NTSB, now is the time to arrest me. This is your stuff. My friend swiped it from you. What are you going to do about? Arrest me in front all these reporters?" The Associated Press ran a story on the A wire: "Chicago legal researcher Sherman Skolnick presented today a heavily documented case of what he claims is sabotage based on government documents." Only one paper in the country ran the story even though it was on the international wire. The Seattle Intelligencer is the only one that ran the stories. The Tribune ran a cropped picture of me sitting at the table and says "Skolnick has no documents to support his contention of sabotage." CBS had a live thing closed circuit that they didn't used on the air for their executives, because UAL Incorporated, the parent company of United Airlines, whose flight 553 crashed, exactly one month after Nixon's re-election. A month before they killed Hale Boggs, from the Warren Commission. Dorothy Hunt and the eleven Watergaters who had blackmailed two million dollars out of the Nixon White House. During the hearings, on the second day I was tired and told this joke. I says, "I'm here to absolutely and categorically admit that I have no proof whatsoever that Edward Carlson, the head of United Airlines and Richard Nixon were on the plane with a .38 and shot Dorothy Hunt. I admit it!" I figured it was going to be a joke and everybody was going to laugh. The next day it comes out: "Skolnick has no proof whatsoever." And they show this cropped picture, I'm sitting in front of the table and I figured the photograph was bound to show the documents. No way: they cropped to where the documents are not shown.

Q: That's what you get for being funny. At that time, Hunt was known only as a Watergate figure. This whole business about him being one of the tramps and all that had not happened. You weren't making connection between Watergate and the Kennedy assassination, were you?

A: The one who was working on that was my friend A. J. Weberman. When he went on the road with Mike Canfield after the publication of their book, Coup D'Etat in America, his editor was from Nigeria, Opaku, for reasons that I do not know, insisted that he put in a thing there condemning Skolnick. Weberman says that they insisted that the book wouldn't be published if he didn't allow them to condemn me. I am not pertinent to the Dallas thing. Why was it necessary to say that Skolnick is a complete liar? A year ago I talked to Weberman and he didn't even remember it.

Q: Weberman is virtually called an agent for Mossad in a new book published by the Liberty Lobby. Could you describe your relationship with the Liberty Lobby?

A: Many in the left wing and the liberal press are tied in, like Chip Berlet, with that Cambridge group, that are in with foundations connected with the CIA, Z Magazine and that, and they accuse me and my late friend Mae Brussell of being Nazis. If time permitted, I could tell you how in 1976 I ran the first large seminar in America about Nazi war criminals in the United States--before Howard Blum's book came out, before all this stuff came out--and at my own expense came up with every rare book on the Nazi question and the companies that were in with Hitler and the American connection. I was condemned all the way around. I mean, I've been condemned by Chip Berlet that I am a Nazi and yet I ran the first seminar and nobody in the liberal press gave a single word to. I was the only knowledgeable journalist that came to a press conference of Simon Weisenthal and they took me away under arrest because it was a private club.

I deeply resent Chip Berlet, Z Magazine, various books, that run stories that I am a Nazi. The problem is that the liberal press will not run stories about what I do. The CIA and Rennie Davis. The CIA and the foundations, the 990AR, the public tax returns. Most of the so-called left press is financed by the intelligence agencies. I can prove that. So they're not independent. I know it's a terrible thing...and I could go into a long rap about how the ACLU has been taken over by the Baldwin Foundation, which runs The Nation magazine, which is very liberal and runs a lot of good stories but heaven help you if you raise a thing about the CIA and the Baldwin foundation. It's because of my work in that area that I get rapped by the left. So they won't publish me in any of their magazines. The only one that would publish my stories, about the Banca La Varo, this different stuff, is the right-wing press. I'm an orthodox Jew. My mother and her whole family died in the Warsaw ghetto, the Lubesky family. To say that I'm a Nazi and promote the Nazi cause is the most horrendous thing that you could say about me. Also, Mae Brussell. She's dead and can't speak. She showed how the Nazis were involved with the JFK thing. To say that Mae Brussell and Sherman Skolnick are Nazis, this is the worst defamation!

Q: The left won't listen to you so you're kind of pushed into the arms of the Liberty Lobby.

A: Since 1987 we have passed out these leaflets about the judges and the CIA but the public doesn't dig leaflets. It's seventeenth century stuff. They want TV, they want radio. And none of the liberal press would have me. In These Times, Joel Bleifuss, you know what that guy did to me? Sent a letter to all my friends that Skolnick is a Nazi, stay away from him. Leaflets don't do the trick. I've got to be in the media eye. I have been blotted out since '71. So I started with my five minute recorded message. And then in the 70s I got to know Tom Valentine and he wrote about me in his magazine, The National Tattler, and then he became the associate editor of The Spotlight and through him they would run my stuff verbatim. He'd get me on his radio program and they did an accurate transcript of what I said. They didn't butcher up the words. There's no free press in America. We must face that. A magazine like yours is rare. So the press is the bus company. What my left wing critics are saying is that before you get up on the bus, you must investigate the politics of the bus company. Otherwise, walk. Pass out leaflets! Holler on the street! With no free press in America, if they print my stories verbatim, the fact that they got naked women on the other side, like the LA Star which used to run my stuff verbatim with the naked pictures on the other side. So Chip Berlet and others say Skolnick is a Nazi, he's in with a paper that repudiates the Holocaust. And Tom Valentine has mentioned on his program that Skolnick does not repudiate the Holocaust. It happened. I prefer to talk about the major companies in America that financed Hitler. To call me a Nazi...I can't think a worse thing you can call me, honestly. Even A.J. Weberman calls me up and says, "Skolnick why aren't you at the Holocaust Museum? Why are you with Spotlight, which repudiates the Holocaust Museum?" So I says, "Listen, they're the bus company. They print my stuff verbatim!" "But you're in with Nazis!" I can't help it. Find me a better place. I'd like to be printed on the front page of the New York Times and a cover story of all my friends on Time magazine. What can I do?

Following this interview, Skolnick discussed his recent work with the involuntary bankruptcy case of caulking contractor Joseph Andreuccetti, which has led to his involvement with scandals of the Clinton era. Mr. Andreucetti was present at this dinner table discussion, as was Skolnick associate Mark Sato, another person helped by the Citizen's Committee To Clean Up The Courts. They explained the connection between Mr. Andreuccetti, a descendant of Italy's House of Savoy, and over $10 billion in gold stolen from the Italian treasury by the OSS in 1943 and now located in Building 4 of King's Point Condominium in Addison, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. The story is rich with detail and suitable for expanded treatment in a future issue of Steamshovel. It includes charges by Inslaw informant Michael Riconoscuito that gold mesh filters made by a company named Wirecloth Products was used as a currency within intelligence circles. The story also suggests that the gold was used as collateral in the early 1980s to support the opening of the Chicago branch of the Banca Del Lavoro, long connected to the JFK assassination, BCCI and Household International, a successor to Nugan Hand Bank of Inslaw infamy. From the gold as well, a $50 million contingency fund was established by the Resolution Trust Corporation to cover liabilities from the liquidation into Household Bank of American Heritage Savings and Loan, the S&L; that purported to lend Mr. Andreuccetti money to finish the King's Point condos. According to Skolnick and associates, the fund disappeared and ended up in Little Rock to make the Madison Guaranty S&L; look incompetent instead of criminal when its financial improprieties are finally examined closely. The Committee To Clean Up The Courts can be reached at:
9800 South
Oglesby Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617.


He was an amazing man.

Kenn Thomas
May 22, 2006