Reineck’s 1997 Earhart plea to Bill Clinton rejected: “Our tax dollars at work in Washington”

Rollin Reineck, perhaps best known for his failed attempt to resurrect the Irene Bolam-was-Amelia Earhart lie in his 2003 book Amelia Earhart Survived, is familiar to readers of this blog, and so I will forego further introductions. 

This letter from the retired Air Force colonel who once navigated B-29s launched from Saipan against the Japanese mainland, appeared in the November 1998 Amelia Earhart Society Newsletters.  Here Reineck discusses with friends Bill Prymak and Joe Gervais an official response he received to one of many requests he had sent to Washington, D.C., this one to then-President Bill Clinton — which Clinton certainly never saw — seeking answers to the Earhart question. (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)

Dear Joe and Bill,

Friday I received a response to my recent letter to the President, in which I asked that he direct the release from the various military intelligence sources and the CIA of all AE matter.

The response from the Director, Freedom of Information, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, is not exactly what I had in mind, and practically puts us back to square one.  However, there may be some information we can use.

Joe Gervais, left, and Rollin Reineck, circa mid-1990s, overlooking Honolulu, Hawaii. Still esteemed by some as the greatest of Earhart researchers, Gervais can count among his contributions the vile and false Irene Bolam-as-Amelia Earhart theory, which his friend Reineck unsuccessfully tried to reprise in his 2003 book, Amelia Earhart Survived.

Paragraph four of the letter is a brief summary of the Executive Order that releases all classified information that is over 25 years old.  I have a copy of the Executive Order, and made reference to it in my letter.  Mr. Passarella points out that there are some exceptions concerning the release of info, and to be sure that I understand them, he has enclosed a copy of the pertinent parts to the Executive Order.

I am aware of the exceptions, but find it odd that he would point them out.  I can’t help but have the feeling that he is trying to tell me something.  Generally the exceptions do not fit the Earhart case except Sec. 3.4.(b)(6). – . . . “reveal information that would seriously and demonstrably impair relations between the United States and a foreign government.”  If my gut feeling about this is right, we might just as well fold up our tent and move on, as the foreign government involved is Japan, and no one is going to upset relations with Japan at this time over Amelia Earhart.

In the Goerner book, he talks about an aide to the Secretary of Defense who pointed out that there was more to the Earhart matter than anyone suspected and, “There are some possible international repercussions.” (pp. 314)  It would appear that we now have gone the whole circle and we are no further ahead than we were in 1966.  However, there is always the chance that we will find something that has been overlooked by the government that could add to our knowledge.

Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye, circa 2009, the only U.S. senator to ever actively advocate for total disclosure of the secret Earhart files

Passarrella also includes part of another Executive Order (#12937) dated 10 Nov. 1994.  This EO would appear to offer some help as it is already effective and deals with the type of information we are interested in.  Note the second half of the first page (just below the President’s signature), are record groups RG127 and RG226.  I am trying to get an index of the material contained in these two groups.  Perhaps you may have some ideas about the other groups.  Let me know what you think.

I also got a letter (enclosed) from Senator [Daniel] lnouye [D]  (rhymes with “annoy me), which is in response to a letter that I sent to [Senator] Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D).  It is typical of the innocuous trash we get from our representatives.  Aloha, RCR

Just five years earlier, Bill Prymak couldn’t restrain his enthusiasm when he saw a September 1992 letter from the same Senator Inouye (below) to Reineck promising legislation that would finally break open the longstanding stone wall that has surrounded the Earhart case since its earliest days.  Prymak was so overcome that he devoted the front pages of two AES Newsletters, the November 1992 (“Special Newsletter”) edition, headlined, in all caps, “Senator Dan Inouye, Hawaii, To Help Solve 55 Year Old Amelia Earhart Mystery,” and few months later, his February 1993 edition (below), screamed “FINALLY, PAYDIRT FOR COLONEL REINECK!!!

Inouye was the only U.S. senator to ever actively advocate for total disclosure of the secret Earhart files.  Ironically, he was a Japanese-American citizen who narrowly escaped internment during World War II.  Inouye was one of only seven members of the U.S. Senate to be awarded the Medal of Honor;  five of those were cited for their valor during the Civil War.  With 50 more like him, we might write “Case Closed” to the problem of the Earhart disappearance — it’s never been a mystery to the Deep State in Washington. 

For much more on Rollin Reineck’s attempts to break down the stone walls Washington long ago erected around the Earhart case, please see my Jan. 28, 2020 post,  “Rollin Reineck’s 1990s Earhart work bears fruit: Hawaii senator pledges to open secret Earhart files, and “Senator Inouye’s Earhart legislation would ‘declassify any records that have been classified’of Feb. 11, 2020. 

21 responses

  1. The more things change, the more the stay the same..the lies, and coverups and CYAs continue to this day..One can understand your feelings on this, Mike, it’s like squeezing blood out of a rock.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Mike, for another interesting post in the long history of the fight for the Truth. I had not seen this before.

    Like

  3. Christopher Roman | Reply

    Joe Gervais and Rollin Reineck were right. Without a doubt. The truth hurts,and it is Top Secret. Ask Chester Nimitz.

    ________________________________

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  4. Kind of like an earlier version of the Kobe Bryant disaster. It seems like the AE story is just loaded with sadness and unanswered questions. As long as airplanes keep flying, we are going to have crashes that are heartbreaking–comes with the territory. Hoping that the govt secret state is going to reveal anything is looking for something unrealistic. Good luck in trying. The tiimes in 1937 were so different than they are now. If info on AE surfaced now, it would be spread around the world in 10 seconds, but it is not likely. A strange dichotomy.

    Like

  5. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    Executive Order 10328, “Prescribing Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards for the Classification, Transmission, and Handling by Departments and Agencies of the Executive Branch, of Official Information Which Requires Safeguarding in the Interest of the Security of the United States” was signed on 24 September 1951 by President Harry S. Truman — 14 years after the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. This E.O. established our current basic system for classifying national defense information.

    Could it be that all the many requests and petitions over the years by Fred Goerner, Rollin Reineck, and others for declassification of all AE related material have come to nothing simply because any AE material, which would have originated with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in 1937, was never formally “classified,” or even entered into any accountable file system, and therefore not technically subject to either E.O. 10328 or later Freedom of Information Act? Think about it. It’s the perfect loophole. If it was never formally classified, it can’t be declassified, and if it’s unclassified, but has never been consigned to a formal, accountable filing system and is not “retrievable,” it can’t be released under FOIA.

    All best,

    William

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    1. William,

      Very good point, and one that Reineck did attempt to investigate. He did find something exactly as you describe, and I’ll try to find it and get back to you here. Bottom line, however, is that they’ve managed to keep the goods out of sight of the public all these years, by hook and crook.

      Mike

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      1. Weren’t the “top secret” files Fred Goerner and Ross Game were given access to during the JFK administration “classified”?

        Like

      2. Tom,

        These files were classified “Top Secret” and were not among the files released by the Navy and State Department in 1967. See TAL pages 271-274.

        Mike

        Like

    2. William,

      This adds up to little, but your comment triggered some memories I had about the beginnings of the Weishien Telegram controversy on the AES Forum, where it came from and who was involved.

      First, here’s a partial message from Rollin Reineck to Joe Gervais from April 2006:
      “First you are right about my attempts to obtain the War Problem Files. I had one of my Senators write to the Secretary of the Treasury for the files that were in the basement. I gave the numbers and details of the file and their precise location. The response to the Senators letter from a ranking Government employee (I cant find that letter right now) said that the files in question were turned over to the National Archives. That was the end of the search on my part, as they would have been swallowed up in a quagmire of unknown dimensions in the National Archives.”

      Next, here’s an April 2006 letter message from Bill Prymak to the AES Forum:

      Fellow Researchers,

      For eleven years, Columnist Jack Anderson attempted to obtain the State Department’s War Problems Files, which Joe Gervais and a friend had learned were filed, unclassified but kept secret, in the basement of the State Department Bldg in Washington.

      We even had the file number, as did Rollin Reineck, also unsuccessful, even with the help of a Senator, in obtaining the same files. [Note that they were not classified in any normal way.]

      We knew they contained more than the 1939 letter, leaked to Joe and his friend, from Mrs. G.P Putnam, sent from Japan, asking that henceforth she be considered “a citizen of the Imperial Islands of Japan,” or language very similar to that.

      Lord knows what other information Anderson found, but not published, about Amelia Earhart, whom he believed had survived. It would all be in those “War Problems Files,” never released to any of us.

      From a June 28, 1987 L.A. Times story by Paul Dean:
      “A veteran State Dept employee says she has a copy of an unpublicized government telegram indicating that the famed flier was a prisoner of the Japanese until the end of World War II.

      “Patricia Morton, 52, a deputy examiner of foreign service applicants for the State Department in Washington and an Earhart hobbyist, said she found the telegram and related correspondence three years ago in an obscure National Archives [note: unclassified] file on WWII American POWs in Asia.

      “It implies that Earhart, who disappeared over the South Pacific on July 2, 1937, while attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world, was interned bv the Japanese at Weihsien, China, at least until Aug, 24, 1945.”

      This was the genesis of the notorious “Weishien Telegram,” which was totally debunked by AES researcher Ron Bright.
      For more, see my Jan. 3, 2017 post:
      “The Weishien Telegram: Another Sensation that fizzled”: https://earharttruth.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/weishien-telegram-another-sensation-that-fizzled/

      Like

      1. Sorry to say, Joe Gervais, Rollin Reineck and Bill Prymak had no idea what they were talking about.

        No one at the National Archives and Record Administration is deliberately hiding records. The problem arises when records still classified are requested by a FOIA. NARA then asks the originating agency if they can be released. If the response comes back no, then the agency gives you a response citing one of the nine exemptions. It’s a bit more complicated than that – but it will suffice for now.

        I have taken one of my Earhart requests that was denied all the way to the Ninth Circuit – and lost on appeal. It takes years, patience, and money to fight these FOIA lawsuits in federals court.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. William H. Trail | Reply

    Mike and Tom,

    It certainly says something when a United States Senator’s request gets deflected with a response that’s essentially ,”Oh yeah, we had that but we don’t anymore. We sent it to….”

    As for the “Top Secret” material that JFK allowed Fred Goerner and Ross Game to view via Pierre Salinger, assisted by Chester V. “Ted” Clifton, and with a CIA Security Officer present, who knows where that material came from, or the Original Classification Authority? Like Mike said, they were not part of the classified holdings released by the Navy/State in 1967.

    Yes, JFK’s hands probably were tied by FDR’s “secret executive order.” Those elected to the Presidency are members of a small fraternity. In the history of our nation, there have only been 46. Traditionally, they tend to respect the secrecy of their predecessors and don’t break precedent. One note about FDR’s secret executive order — today there are regulatory prohibitions in place specifically to prevent classification for the purpose of shielding the U.S. Government or government persons from embarrassment, to hide wrong doing, etc.

    Not surprising that after the fateful events of November 1963 that LBJ, as Ross Game put it, “They shut the door tight.” Keep in mind, LBJ disliked John and Robert Kennedy. He’d also been a political disciple of FDR. Additionally, all of this occurred long before the push for “openness” and “transparency” in government.

    All best,

    William

    Like

    1. William,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I feel compelled to add that LBJ was more than just a “disciple of [the deceitful] FDR,” he was a psychopath and a murderer whose reputation has been completely protected by our corrupt media. See Phil Nelson’s fine book, LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination for all the gory details. I will restrain myself at this point.

      Mike

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Executive Orders are not secret nor can there be a secret executive order.

      It’s possible there could be a presidential proclamation that could be secret and the contents maintained at a secret or top secret level. However, I have done some research in this area and am doubtful there is one.

      In order to have such a proclamation released, one would have to know the original classifying agency (In this case the executive branch and the name of the President,) the topic, and the agency responsible for maintaining the document.

      There are a few classified files in the various Presidential Libraries at least symbolically. My guess is if they would be assigned a file location at the National Archives rather than at the Presidential Library.

      Les Kinney

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your comments, Les, I can appreciate how long and hard you’ve worked to pry the truth out of a government that refuses to release it. I’m convinced beyond all doubt that all the normal rules of information classification and security have no bearing on the Earhart case. No other explanation suffices after 83 years of stonewalling.

        Mike

        Liked by 1 person

      2. William H. Trail

        Les,

        How right you are! A formal, numbered Executive Order issued by POTUS is not classified. No quibbling or hair-splitting on that point — just clarifying that I was simply quoting Ross Game’s use of the phrase, “FDR’s secret executive order” as it appears on page 273 of TTAL 2nd Ed. As Game, like Goerner, was a newsman and not a Federal public servant steeped in the subtle nuances of official language, I interpreted his use of “secret executive order” (lower case) as nothing more than a confidential order/directive/guidance issued by the Chief Executive — FDR.

        All best,

        William

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Gentlemen –

    I’ve been reading the book – Lee & Me – by Judyth Vary Baker. What a page turner & can’t put down……… She wrote: From their perspective, the country was being held hostage by a President (Kennedy) slow to welcome a war, which would bring Communism to it’s knees and reap lucrative benefits for Texas and it’s power brokers, such as *Lyndon Johnson and others in our government. To them all, Lee Oswald was a pawn to use or to discard, as they saw fit. Realizing his fate was in their hands, Lee weighed his options. They didn’t look good.

    Lee’s own words – “My concern is this. They want to kill the Chief. And as the only “insider” with a publicly provable motive to shoot him —– since I’ll look like Castro’s agent —– they could set me up so easily. I can see it coming.”

    Doug

    Like

  8. William H. Trail | Reply

    Doug,

    I haven’t read that one, but I have read Judyth V. Baker’s, “David Ferrie — Mafia Pilot, Participant in Anti-Castro Bioweapon Plot, Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, And Key To The JFK Assassination.” Interesting book.

    All best,

    William

    Liked by 1 person

    1. William –

      I hadn’t realized, Judyth wrote this book over 10 years ago. Wish I had read her book sooner than later. She provides the reader with dates, places, pictures, names, events and all the * FACTS. No mysteries about her detailed, daily diary of events in 1963, with Lee Oswald in New Orleans.

      Everyone should read this book, it clears up all the FOG, QUESTIONS, DOUBTS about Lee Oswald not being some lone nut, who had nothing better to do, than to shoot/murder the President of the United States. The CIA/Mob/FBI/ONI/ pulled the wool over on the American Public then and even now.

      What I have learned, when Lee said – “I’m just a Patsy!” it was the nail in his coffin. Once he said this, in front of the reporters & police, the CIA/Mob/FBI had to *silence him and FAST! In stepped Jack Ruby to do the dirty work. They couldn’t let the cat get out of the bag/the*Truth. Lee Oswald was on the 2nd floor drinking a Coca Cola and not perched up against a window frame, on the 6th floor shooting at the President. 58 years of LIES, covering up the truth and blaming the ASSASSINATION of President Kennedy on Lee Oswald, is a CRIME itself……………

      Doug

      Like

      1. William H. Trail

        Doug,

        If you haven’t done so, I highly recommend you read, “I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank The Irishman Sheeran & Closing The Case On Jimmy Hoffa” by Charles Brandt. There is a JFK assassination tie-in to Frank Sheeran’s story. I think you will enjoy reading it.

        From all I’ve read over the years, I truly believe that the genesis of the JFK assassination lay with Sam Giancana, leader of the Chicago Outfit. Giancana brought in fellow mob boss Carlos Marcello of New Orleans. I’ll tell you something else I believe — LHO was not meant to survive his encounter with Dallas police officer J.D. Tippett and be taken in alive; hence, the active participation of mob-connected Dallas nightclub operator, Jack Ruby.

        All best,

        William

        Like

    2. The Oswald story is the Covid of 1963.

      Like

  9. I guess in the end, it should be Bill Clinton that should be rejected.

    Like

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