Introduction to A Certain Arrogance, by George Michael Evica
To Withdraw From the Tumult of Cemeteries
By Charles R. Drago
… human kind
Cannot bear very much reality
— T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton,” Four Quartets
Let me be clear from the outset: A Certain Arrogance is no more or less “about” the assassination of John F. Kennedy than cancer surgery is “about” the tumor.
George Michael Evica, one of the preeminent prosectors of the malignant growth that disfigured the American body politic on November 22, 1963, for decades focused his intellect and intuition on the search for a cure for the underlying disease. In the course of forty years of research, analysis, writing, broadcasting, and teaching, he followed its devastating metastasis through the vital organs of politics (deep and otherwise) to the extremities of business, culture, and religion. All the while he cut away necrotic tissue and struggled valiantly, in the company of a surgical team as distinguished as it is obscure, to keep the patient alive.
Professor Evica, author of And We Are All Mortal: New Evidence and Analysis in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1975; University of Hartford), must be numbered among the most honored of the so-called second generation of Kennedy assassination researchers. Their labors to refine, reinforce, expand upon, and draw attention to the discoveries of their predecessors validate this direct statement of fact:
Anyone with reasonable access to the evidence in the homicide of JFK who does not conclude that the act was the consequence of a criminal conspiracy is cognitively impaired and/or complicit in the crime.
A Certain Arrogance stands as Professor Evica’s response to the unavoidable question: How do we define and effect justice in the wake of the world-historic tragedy in Dallas?
Clearly he understood that, at this late date, being content merely to identify and, if possible, prosecute the conspiracy’s sponsors, facilitators, and mechanics would amount to hollow acts of vengeance. Cleaning and closing the wound while leaving the disease to spread is simply not a survivable option.
With the nobility of knowledge comes obligation: How can we utilize all that has been learned through our post-Dallas investigations to heal and immunize the long-suffering victims of the malady of which the assassination of John F. Kennedy is but the most widely appreciated and putrescent manifestation?
The method by which Professor Evica honored his noblesse oblige is, at first blush, hardly novel. Like many other researchers, he chose to begin his exploration by focusing on an aspect of the complex life of the lead character in the assassination drama, Lee Harvey Oswald. To carry the cancer metaphor forward: Think of the falsely accused killer as a tumor cell whose sojourn through the host organism in theory can be traced back to its source.
Oswald’s movements, however, are not easily discerned. False trails and feints abound. Promising clues have been obscured by a host of ham-handed interlopers and sinister obfuscators.
Rather than traverse well-worn pathways, Professor Evica set out by following one of the few remaining under-examined passages of an otherwise over-mapped life. His uniquely painstaking investigation of Oswald’s involvement with Albert Schweitzer College (hereinafter ASC), including the processes and implications of his application, acceptance, and nonattendance, has led both to major discoveries and to significant refinements of previously developed hypotheses.
In the former category our attention is drawn to what Professor Evica termed “one of U.S. intelligence’s last important secrets,” the involvement by the Central Intelligence Agency and psychological operations (psyops) in student and youth organizations – especially those with religious affiliations.
The U.S. government’s faith-based initiatives, it seems, did not originate with George W. Bush’s alleged presidency.
As he meticulously followed Oswald’s ASC paper trail, the author was led not toward the Swiss campus, but rather into brick walls and empty rooms. A prime example: Oswald applied to the college on March 19, 1959. Less than two months later, when the chairman of ASC’s American Admissions Committee (and, at the time, the pastor of the First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island) submitted to Switzerland the applications and related materials of prospective American students, Oswald’s folder was included.
Today those documents – critically important evidence in the investigation of the crime of the 20th century – do not exist in any official repository. Yet copies, or perhaps even originals, were in the Providence ASC file seized by the FBI after the assassination. This troubling absence, within a broader context fully substantiated in A Certain Arrogance, inevitably lead the author to conclude that Oswald’s application to ASC is “a still-protected American intelligence operation.”
I do not wish to spoil the bittersweet joy of discovery to be experienced as readers accompany Professor Evica on his journey through terra incognita. Yet the methodology and ultimate value of A Certain Arrogance as a “whodunit” (as opposed to the “howdunit” nature of the overwhelming majority of JFK assassination-related volumes) must be fully appreciated. To discover the identities of Oswald’s early manipulators is to be drawn into the necrotic nucleus of the disease. And so, thanks to the Evica investigation of the ASC charade, we are left with a preliminary, shattering conclusion regarding the “who” we seek.
“Whoever directed the Oswald [assassination] Game was thoroughly knowledgeable about both the OSS’s and CIA’s counterintelligence manipulations of Quakers, Unitarians, Lutherans, Dutch Reformed clerics and World Council of Churches officials as intelligence and espionage contacts, assets, and informants.”
From the mountains and snowfields and quaint villages of Switzerland, Professor Evica chose to escort us through a darker, more mysterious inner landscape. Examinations of what he neatly summarized as “U.S. covert intelligence operating under humanitarian cover” leads us to a confrontation with psychological operations – psyops and its propaganda, disinformation, and morale operations alter egos.
Professor Evica was the first to understand the Kennedy assassination and other intelligence operations as by-design theatrical productions, replete with all the essential elements of drama – including shameless manipulations of audiences’ minds and emotions. Within these pages he further supported and refines this hypothesis.
“Psychological manipulations of individuals and groups, whatever the procedure may have been called in the 18th and 19th centuries, drew upon discoveries in anatomy, mesmerism, hypnotism, counseling, studies in hysteria, rhetorical theory, psychoanalysis, advertising, behavior modification, and psychiatry. In the same periods, the literary forms of irony, satire, and comedy and the less reputable verbal arts of slander, libel, and manufactured lies were applied.”
Before we are tempted to argue that the realities of war often require an honorable combatant to mimic, for a limited period and with noble intent, the darker designs of an evil foe, note that Professor Evica reminded us that, “Most of these genres and strategies were enlisted in the service of social, class, and political power.” He then identified the likely director of the propaganda component of the aforementioned Oswald Game.
C. D. Jackson was “the psyops expert who organized and ran General Dwight David Eisenhower’s Psychological Warfare Division at SHAEF … an official of the Office of War Information … [and] a veteran of the North African campaign.”
Jackson’s career and its impact upon American history, heretofore marginally understood at best (he is widely identified as the Time-Life editor who purchased the Zapruder film) are major focuses of A Certain Arrogance. Nowhere is both the validity of Albert Einstein’s observation that “the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion” and the contemporary relevance of Professor Evica’s discoveries more clearly evident than in the author’s exposition of the Jackson oeuvre. In particular we are drawn to the discussion of how mass media early on was identified as a key weapon in the mind control arsenal. In a 1946 letter to Jackson, General Robert McClure, at one time Eisenhower’s chief of intelligence for the European theater, boasted to his psyops counterpart of the scope of their manipulation.
“We now control 137 newspapers, 6 radio stations, 314 theaters, 642 movies, 101 magazines, 237 book publishers, 7,384 book dealers and printers, and conduct about 15 public opinion surveys a month, as well as publish one newspaper with 1,500,000 circulation … run the AP of Germany, and operate 20 library centers.”
Fairness and balance, it seems, did not originate with the Fox Network’s alleged news division.
Haunting the pages of A Certain Arrogance in the company of the shades of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald is a revelation so menacing in its assault on convention as to provoke a reflexive shielding of our eyes from its searing light. Yet the author could not spare us the psychic pain that is the unavoidable side effect of his scholarship, insofar as such suffering remains the sine qua non for the eradication of our common malady and the return to robust good health.
Within the nucleus of the disease, Professor Evica discovered “a treasonous cabal of hard-line American and Soviet intelligence agents whose masters were above Cold War differences.”
In light of this revelation, we are left with no choice but to embrace a new paradigm of world power.
Professor Evica revealed the universally accepted vertical, East v. West Cold War confrontation to have been a sophistic construct, illusory in terms of its advertised raison d’etre, all too real in its bloody consequences, created by the powerful yet outnumbered manipulators of perception to protect what they recognized to be an all too fragile reality. The true division of power, he taught us, then as now is drawn on a horizontal axis.
Envision the earth so bifurcated, with the line drawn not at the equator, but rather at the Arctic Circle. Above the line are the powerful few – the “Haves.” Below the line, in vastly superior numbers, are the powerless many – the “Have-Nots.”
Can we bear so much reality?
While contemplating the implications of Professor Evica’s research, I was reminded of how Francis Ford Coppola struggled to find the best thematic hook on which to hang the plot of The Godfather, Part III. It is said that he considered and ultimately rejected a treatment of the Kennedy assassination as the most cinematically viable expression of systemic evil in full flower. Instead – perhaps wisely, perhaps not – he opted to dramatize the Vatican Bank scandal.
Upon initial examination, the conjoined stories of the looting of the Banco Ambrosiano, the perfidy of Roberto Calvi and P2, the assassination of John Paul I, and the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church at its highest levels present as the cellular components of yet another tumor, arguably the most horrific manifestation imaginable of the disease being probed by Professor Evica.
We are incredulous. We are outraged.
Then reason returns.
The manipulations of religious institutions for unholy purposes by elements of the deep political structure should provoke neither surprise nor anger. For is not organized religion merely politics by other means? Are not the most powerful bishops – of the wandering and Maurice varieties, among others – devoted to the same dark liturgy?
The assault on Albert Schweitzer, however, is another matter.
“The ethical spirit … must be awakened anew,” Dr. Schweitzer instructed at the height of the Cold War. The defiling of the name and the perversion of the mission of that saintly man no doubt provoked sweet satisfaction within the breasts of those for whom a worldview informed by ethics is simply not a survivable option.
What then of justice? Have we any reason to expect the guilty to be punished, the disease to be eradicated? The novelist Jim Harrison:
“People finally don’t have much affection for questions, especially one so leprous as the apparent lack of a fair system of rewards and punishments on earth … We would like to think that the whole starry universe would curdle … the conjunctions of Orion twisted askew, the arms of the Southern Cross drooping. Of course not; immutable is immutable and everyone in his own private manner dashes his brains against the long suffering question that is so luminously obvious. Even gods aren’t exempt; note Jesus’ howl of despair as he stepped rather tentatively into eternity.”
It is for us to deliver justice and heal ourselves, to muster the courage to ask questions and the strength to endure answers.
Within the pages of A Certain Arrogance, George Michael Evica continues to lead us by example.
Autumn Too Long: A Remembrance
November is a cruel month, and one that figures all too prominently in the life and times of George Michael Evica.
It was on a brilliant, unnaturally warm November morning in 2007 that loved ones laid to rest my friend and mentor, my confidante and comrade-in-arms, my spiritual guide and now my spirit guide.
As I carried the incongruously small urn that contained his physical remains, my thoughts drifted to another November day, when George Michael and I had found ourselves in Dealey Plaza at dusk, far from the madding crowd. Light was filtered thinly through brittle leaves and sorrow. And I asked if he too sensed the presence of unquiet spirits.
As usual, George Michael was years ahead of me. He said that he had experienced the same feelings on many occasions in that place. He spoke at length, his voice subdued yet redolent with conviction, about his certainty that the fight against the forces that struck John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the same forces that today prowl the killing fields of the Middle East and Africa and Asia and the Americas, endures into the next world.
The calm of Saint John’s churchyard where he rests represents but a temporary respite.
Again I am drawn to the words of James Lee Burke, who showed us that he understands this immutable truth when he wrote the following ruminative passage for his fictional Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux:
“Down the canyon, smoke from meat fires drifted through the cedar and mesquite trees, and if I squinted my eyes in the sun’s setting, I could almost pretend that Spanish soldiers in silver chest armor and bladed helmets or a long-dead race of hunters were encamped on those hillsides. Or maybe even old compatriots in butternut brown wending their way in and out of history … gallant, Arthurian, their canister-ripped colors unfurled in the roiling smoke, the fatal light in their faces a reminder that the contest is never quite over, the field never quite ours.”
George Michael Evica was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 8th December, 1927. He studied at the Case Western Reserve University (1945-49) and Columbia University (1951-55).
He taught at the Rutgers University (1956-57), Columbia University (1957), Wagner College (1957-59), Brooklyn College (1957-1960), San Francisco State (1960-1964) and the University of Hartford (1964-1992).
Subjects taught included Myth and Ritual in Literature, Genre Studies in Literature, Literary Criticism, Consciousness Development and the Symbolic Process, Linguistics, Film Studies, Creative Writing, Investigative Reporting, and Investigative History. He also published papers on John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, and Jimmy Hoffa He also studied Advanced Studies in Linguistics and Anthropology at Columbia University (1957-1960) and Advanced Studies in Myth and Literature at Hartford Seminary Foundation (1971-73).
In 1977 George Michael Evica provided evidence to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He also wrote extensively about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This included, And We Are All Mortal: New Evidence And Analysis in the Assassination Of John F. Kennedy (1978). It was described by Mary Ferrell as the “best documented” of the books on the assassination.
Evica organized and hosted the first national conference on the JFK Assassination in October, 1975, at the University of Hartford. Attendance exceeded 2,500. Jim Garrison participated and praised Evica for his groundbreaking work.
Evica was director of the Connecticut Citizens Commission of Inquiry (1975-76). He published twelve major articles and presented twenty-two major papers at conferences on the assassination in the United States and Europe.
Evica also produced a weekly half-hour radio program which initially focused on the JFK assassination and related matters, and later covered a wide range of political topics from a so-called “radical” perspective. “Assassination Journal,” which was modeled on I.F. Stone’s weekly news publication, was broadcast by the University of Hartford’s radio station WWUH from 1975 to 2007; he continually expanded its investigative scope to include coups, murders, and mysteries such as TWA 800, the Gulf War Syndrome, and the failed war on drugs.
In 1992 he delivered a major paper at the JFK assassination conference in Chicago, and a year later co-hosted, with Charles Drago, the Providence JFK conference of “The Third Decade.” He ran seven Dallas conferences (1994-2000) for JFK Lancer.
Evica received the Mary Ferrell Lifetime Achievement Award in November, 1997. His final book, A Certain Arrogance, was published in 2006.
He was a lifetime fellow, elected by the Board of Directors, of the Society for the Advancement of the Arts, Religion, and Contemporary Culture.
George Michael Evica died on November 10, 2007 of chronic pulmonary obstruction brought on by eight cases of pneumonia suffered before and during his treatment for lung cancer that had metastasized into brain cancer, and which was cured. At the time of his death he was working on three projects: “The Iron Sights”, a series of studies on the JFK assassination (including an expanded version of “The 81 Promises,” which will be completed posthumously by Charles Drago); “The Horned Hind”, on the ancient origins of cuckoldry; and “The Blood Mysteries of Brian De Palma”, on recurring patterns of ritual and myth in De Palma’s films.
DRAGO’S THOUGHTS ON EVICA’S LEGACY
Among a significant majority of serious (self-styled and otherwise) JFK assassination researchers, the Kennedy-related literary oeuvre of George Michael Evica remains neglected, minimally understood, and in some instances unknown. The abandonment of this accumulated institutional knowledge has resulted in inferior duplications of effort that contribute mightily to the delay and to date denial of justice for the murdered president and the countless millions who make up the collateral damage of the Dealey Plaza attack.
A rhetorical question – at least for me: How can we account for this absurd state of affairs in light of Evica’s monumental, ground-breaking contributions to our work? Evica’s book length And We Are All Mortal: New Evidence And Analysis in the Assassination Of John F. Kennedy, published in 1978, was described by Mary Ferrell as the “best documented” study of the assassination. In 2006, his A Certain Arrogance delivered truly revolutionary research into the manipulation of Cold War liberal religious and educational institutions by American intelligence agencies in furtherance of their masters’ criminal global agendas.
In terms of Evica’s multi-disciplinary scholarship, humanities-driven insights, and sheer eloquence, only Peter Dale Scott stands as a true peer.
Further, in October, 1975, Evica organized and hosted the first national conference on the JFK Assassination at the University of Hartford. Attendance exceeded 2,500. Jim Garrison participated and praised Evica for his groundbreaking work.
And yet …
For now I’ll refrain from providing answers to the rhetorical question posed above. But the poseurs and profiteers — not to mention the agents provocateur – who pollute the JFK assassination research community and who would minimize the value of Evica’s life-long labors know who they are and why they act as they do.
[Editor’s note: George Michael Evica served on the Board of Directors of the AARC.]
History in the Making: Important New Works by Dr. John Newman
Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume I, Revised Edition
Revised edition, 2017, the first in a series of volumes on the JFK assassination, Where Angels Tread Lightly is a unique scholarly examination of historical episodes that go back to WWII, the Office of Strategic Services, and the early evolution of the CIA—up to and beyond Castro’s assumption of power in Cuba in 1959. This book is a groundbreaking investigation of America’s failure in Cuba that uncovers the CIA’s role in Castro’s rise to power and their ensuing efforts to destroy him. This work retraces the paths taken by many of the key players who became entangled in the CIA’s plots to overthrow Castro and the development of the myth that Castro was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy. With rigorous scholarship and the brilliant insight of a trained textual records interpreter and document forensic specialist, Dr. John M. Newman sheds new light on the multiple identities played by individual CIA officers. Where Angels Tread Lightly deciphers the people and operations that belong to a large number of CIA cryptonyms and pseudonyms that have remained, until now, unsolved.
Countdown To Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume II
The second volume in a series on the assassination of President Kennedy, “Countdown to Darkness” describes events during a dangerous quickening of the Cold War. The book’s first chapter contains new revelations about how Oswald was a witting false defector to the USSR in a CIA plan to surface a KGB mole in the CIA. The race for a long-range delivery system for nuclear weapons came to its final, unexpected, and unstable conclusion—the “missile gap” favored the United States, not the Soviet Union. The European colonial empires were collapsing in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, spawning Cold War hot spots, where Moscow and Washington rushed in to fill the void. The inevitable consequence of Castro’s revolution played itself out as communism established itself—armed to the teeth by the Soviet Bloc by early 1961—a few miles from the American underbelly. This book reveals how deeply the Eisenhower Administration was in denial about the entrenched Castro police state, the complete penetration of all anti-Castro groups by Cuban intelligence, and the convulsive spectacle of the exiled Cuban leaders. As Eisenhower marshaled his subordinates to overthrow Castro, the president lost patience with DCI Allen Dulles. Eisenhower wanted a Cold War triple play—the elimination of Castro and, to ensure support from Europe and Latin America, the simultaneous elimination of Congolese Prime Minister Lumumba and Dominican Republic Dictator Trujillo. Dulles approved a CIA plan to use the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro in the fall of 1960, as the Democratic and Republican nominees entered the U.S. presidential election campaign. The Nixon-Kennedy debates turned into a spectacle over the crisis in Cuba. JFK pummeled Nixon for not standing up to Castro and not arming the rebels inside and outside of Cuba, while Nixon, who knew that was exactly what the administration was doing, was unable to respond due to the covert nature of the plan. In the NSC, the president had demanded, “Everyone must be prepared to swear that he has not heard of it.” Unfortunately for Vice President Nixon, Kennedy had heard all about it. By the fall of 1960, the principal Cuban exile groups in Miami, and their underground sections in Cuba, had long since descended into chaos. The principal CIA officer responsible for holding them together, Gerry Droller, was singularly incompetent. But that mattered little, as the rate at which Soviet Bloc weapons were pouring into Cuba rendered the exile leadership problem irrelevant. The exile government would never be put ashore in Cuba. All of this came together in a terrible ending. The covert CIA paramilitary plan was unable to keep pace with the consolidation of the regime in Havana, and that plan breathed its last before Kennedy was inaugurated. It did not take long for Allen Dulles and the Pentagon chiefs to figure out that if they told the president the truth about Cuba and Laos, he would abort in Cuba and negotiate over Laos. So they lied to President Kennedy about their views. They assumed that when the exile invasion force was being slaughtered on the beachhead, the president would change his mind and send in the marines and airplanes. The lie about Laos nearly worked. But when the lies about Cuba—that the brigade could succeed and the Cuban people would rise up in rebellion to assist it—did not work, the countdown to darkness came to its tragic, and ignominious end. Once past that foreboding event horizon, political and economic forces inexorably cleaved inward like matter pulled into the singularity of a black hole. Within a year, Kennedy would fire the top three men at the CIA, most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and its chairman.
Click HERE for a new postscript to Countdown to Darkness: SY HERSH AND THE KENNEDY-CAMPBELL AFFAIR
JFK and Vietnam, Second Edition
The publication and suppression of JFK and Vietnam was a watershed event in 20th Century American history. The book revealed, for the first time, how President Kennedy’s opposition to sending U.S. combat forces to Vietnam led those favoring intervention to concoct a false story of battlefield success to prevent a complete withdrawal from Vietnam. The book detailed the intense struggle that erupted in the administration over the president’s decision to withdraw from Vietnam in the fall of 1963. JFK and Vietnam exposed how President Johnson ordered key changes be made to a National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 273) two days after the assassination, opening the door to the direct use of conventional American military forces in Vietnam. In 1992, JFK and Vietnam received high praise from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. It was favorably reviewed by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in the New York Times Book Review. Elsewhere the book caused a media firestorm with proponents of conflicting views making absolute declarations in opposition to Dr. Newman’s basic thesis: Kennedy was opposed to U.S. intervention in Vietnam and was withdrawing the U.S. advisors at the time of his assassination in November 1963. The National Security Agency attempted, unsuccessfully, to block the publication of JFK and Vietnam. Shortly after publication, the publisher, Warner Books, suppressed the book. Six months later, the Galbraith family intervened with Time Warner Inc., and the copyrights were yielded back to the author. JFK and Vietnam, second edition (2017), represents the continuation of Dr. John M. Newman’s research, progress in his understanding and perceptions, and describes the fascinating sequence of events that unfolded following publication in 1992, including the consequential relationship that was formed between Dr. Newman and former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara following the book’s debut. That relationship led McNamara, after 25 years of silence, to publish his memoir on the Vietnam War–In Retrospect. In its original form, JFK and Vietnam was a landmark work that illuminated the false calculations, mistakes, manipulations, deceptions and intrigue which led to the Vietnam War. A quarter century later, JFK and Vietnam, second edition, expands upon and adds to what so powerfully defined its original impact.
JFK and Vietnam
“This commanding essay in critical history is the most authoritative account anywhere of President Kennedy’s Vietnam policy–and it is fascinating reading as well.” — Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Special Assistant to President Kennedy
“A brilliant, meticulously researched and fascinating account of the decision-making which led to America’s long agony in Vietnam. Mr. Newman has added to our history–and hopefully our modesty–as we approach the decisions of the future.” –William E. Colby, former director, Central Intelligence Agency
“This great book brought to light the dark mystery of John F. Kennedy’s decision to withdraw from Vietnam. Celebrated on first publication, JFK and Vietnam has been confirmed by many new sources, witnesses, papers and tapes. This new edition is a triumph of history over evasion.” –James K. Galbraith, The University of Texas at Austin.
Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume I
“John Newman is one of this country’s greatest scholars on Cuba, the CIA and the JFK assassination. This book is a ground-breaking investigation of America’s failure in Cuba that uncovers the CIA role is Castro’s rise to power and their ensuing efforts to destroy him. It exposes the genesis of one of America’s darkest deceptions — the myth that Castro was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy.” –Eric Hamburg, Producer, NIXON film and former aide to Senator John Kerry
“John Newman has done more to advance the work begun by the House Select Committee on Assassinations to explore the CIA’s connections to Oswald than anyone else. Where Angels Tread Lightly is a meticulously researched, in-depth account of U.S. policies and operations during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that were designed to eliminate a perceived communist threat in Cuba, but instead brought together the forces that eventually led to the assassination of JFK. This extraordinary volume shines new light on the CIA officers and operatives who were involved in those operations.” –Dan Hardway, investigator, House Select Committee on Assassinations
Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume II
“This is a definitive study of the disastrous hand-off from Eisenhower to Kennedy on Cuba, Laos, and the Congo — by the man superbly qualified to carry it out.” —Peter Dale Scott, author of essential works which include The War Conspiracy, American War Machine, The American Deep State, The Road to 911, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. His most recent book on American history is Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House
“This important new work on the roots of the JFK assassination delves deeply into the deception and intrigue during the buildup to the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. Newman examines the shocking conflict between President Kennedy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff over Laos and Cuba, and offers a dramatic introduction of Lee Harvey Oswald and his probable role as a false defector to the Soviet Union.” –Bill Simpich, author of State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald
Dr. John M. Newman is the author of 1992’s JFK and Vietnam, republished as an updated and expanded 2017 Second Edition, 1995’s Oswald and the CIA, which was updated for a 2008 edition, 2011’s Quest for the Kingdom: The Secret Teachings of Jesus in the Light of Yogic Mysticism, 2015’s Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume I, which has just been revised and republished, and 2017’s Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume II, all of which are now available for purchase from Amazon.com
Dr. Newman is a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer who served for two years as Executive Military Assistant to the Director, General William Odom at the National Security Agency. He has testified before various sub-committees of the U.S. House of Representatives, and has worked as a consultant on two major motion pictures and to various U.S. and foreign media organizations including PBS Frontline, the History Channel, C-Span, NBC, and other news organizations. For the past quarter century his work has introduced revelations about America during the Cold War.
Visit Dr. Newman’s author’s page at Amazon.com
February 2017: Alan Dale Speaks with Dr. John Newman on THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF THE JFK ASSASSINATION
Interview transcript: John Newman Feb 2017
Publication Spotlight: THE CIA AS ORGANIZED CRIME How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World
Author of three books on CIA operations, Douglas Valentine’s research into CIA activities began when CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in various aspects of the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. It was a permission Colby was to regret. The CIA would rescind it, making every effort to impede publication of The Phoenix Program, which documented the CIA’s elaborate system of population surveillance, control, entrapment, imprisonment, torture and assassination in Vietnam. While researching Phoenix, Valentine learned that the CIA allowed opium and heroin to flow from its secret bases in Laos, to generals and politicians on its payroll in South Vietnam. His investigations into this illegal activity focused on the CIA’s relationship with the federal drugs agencies mandated by Congress to stop illegal drugs from entering the United States. Based on interviews with senior officials, Valentine wrote two subsequent books, The Strength of the Wolf and The Strength of the Pack, showing how the CIA infiltrated federal drug law enforcement agencies and commandeered their executive management, intelligence and foreign operations staffs in order to ensure that the flow of drugs continues unimpeded to traffickers and foreign officials in its employ. Ultimately, portions of his research materials would be archived at the National Security Archive, Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center, and John Jay College. This book includes excerpts from the above titles along with subsequent articles and transcripts of interviews on a range of current topics, with a view to shedding light on the systemic dimensions of the CIA’s ongoing illegal and extra-legal activities. These terrorism and drug law enforcement articles and interviews illustrate how the CIA’s activities impact social and political movements abroad and in the United States. A common theme is the CIA’s ability to deceive and propagandize the American public through its impenetrable government-sanctioned shield of official secrecy and plausible deniability. Though investigated by the Church Committee in 1975, CIA praxis then continues to inform CIA praxis now. Valentine tracks its steady infiltration into practices targeting the last population to be subjected to the exigencies of the American empire: the American people.
“…courageously takes us inside the CIA’s most shameful extralegal operations, exposing an intelligence service gone rogue. He is a sentinel of the public interest, and his book is a public service.” — John Kiriakou, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.
“Valentine’s two books on the FBN/DEA are a major achievement.” — Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State
“Doug Valentine was examining the dark underbelly of American foreign policy years before people recognized the ‘Dark Side’ of torture camps and secret wars.” Robert Parry, Consortium News
AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW * * * * *
Of the extraordinary, valuable and informative works for which Mr. Valentine is responsible, his latest, CIA As Organized Crime, may prove to be the best choice as an introduction to the dark realm of America’s hidden corruptions and their consequences at home and around the world. This new volume begins with the unlikely but irrevocable framework by which Mr. Valentine’s path led to unprecedented access to key Agency personnel whose witting participation is summarized by the chapter title: “How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom.”
By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America’s seemingly perpetual war against terror.
Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and “brute force” interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, “…America’s ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are ‘humanitarian’ and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys.”
Mr. Valentine has presented us with a major body of work which includes: The Strength of the Wolf; The Strength of the Pack; The Pheonix Program, to which we may now add The CIA as Organized Crime, and for which we are profoundly indebted.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Douglas Valentine is an American journalist and author of four
works of historical non-fiction: The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix
Program, The Strength of the Wolf (winner of the Choice
Academic Library Award), and The Strength of the Pack. His
articles have appeared regularly in CounterPunch,
ConsortiumNews, and elsewhere.
Publication Spotlight: Orwell Triumphant by Professor David R. Wrone
Strictures Against Howard Willens and Richard Mosk’s “The Truth About Dallas,” Being an Article That Affirms the Warren Commission’s Conclusions about the Murder of JFK in Broad Daylight on the Street of an American City and Their Refutation of the Critics of Its Findings.
Howard Willens and Richard Mosk were staff members on the Warren Commission. In “The Truth About Dallas,” published in The American Scholar the summer of 2016, pages 52-63, they “lay out one last time” how, after exhaustive research, The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy known as the Warren Commission arrived at its findings. And, they assert, they are “as confident as ever” about its conclusion. They are also weary of the long battle they have waged in defense of the investigation and the Report’s doctrines as well as their rebuttal efforts against the unwashed denizens of denial. Their work is framed in heroic terms.
They concur with the findings of the seven Commission members, holding that: a book handler Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots from the easternmost window of the Texas School Book Depository’s 6th floor. They assert: the first bullet hit JFK in the back of the neck went through the neck and continued on to wound Governor John Connally; the second bullet missed both men; and the third bullet hit JFK in the back of the head and killed him. In addition, there was no conspiracy.
As is so often the case in these brief troglodytic defense articles of the official findings of the federal investigation, two factors interfere with a full responsible address of their arguments. It would take a small volume to address each of the false factual and conjured theoretic assertions found in Willens and Mosk’s pages with notes to refute their position with the federal investigation’s own documents.
Not only does space restrictions limit the ability to address all of and in full the article’s errors and misdirections, there is the further problem of finding a responsible medium to publish a serious, fact-based rebuttal.
“Freedom shrieked when JFK fell, and hope, for the moment, bade the world farewell,” to paraphrase a line from one of Abe Lincoln’s favorite poems that expresses the denial of freedom of expression to dissenters. The blind adherents to the official conclusions have erected an authoritarian bulwark against those who dissent from the official findings. To them and their partisans, most dissent is properly relegated to the dark corners of minor circulation alternative history journals and newsletters when not found buried on obscure internet websites avoided by the public and politicians. Only the most bizarre and weird conjectures regarding the Commission’s findings are permitted to find a national coverage. This device enables the authoritarians to tar serious, scholarly and responsible, work by erudite critics with the claim that all criticisms of the government conclusions are from nuts.
Willens and Mosk’s criteria for separating the sound from unsound literature about The President’s Commission on Assassinations investigation of the murder is whether an author accepts or rejects the Commission’s findings. If he or she argues Oswald alone and unaided killed JFK, it is good. If Oswald did not murder the 35th president or multiple shooters participated, the Commission’s work is, ipso facto, fraudulent, a type of offal generated by the madness of the crowds. The Warren Commission conclusions are held by defenders of the official findings under the legal-political principle of Rex non potest pecarre, “The King can do no wrong.” The Commission is the king.
That the literature of dissent cleaves critics of the Commission’s conclusions into responsible or sound and irresponsible or false categories is a reality. The responsible critics embrace the finest modern scholarship that is faithful to the highest standards of thorough objective research and careful reasoned judgments. The irresponsible critics conjecture with little factual basis blind support for the official findings with reprehensible scholarship. That Willens and Mosk throughout their article considers responsible critics to be scholarly lepers to be shunned and isolated is outrageous, a sin and a shame, certainly anti the principles that made America a great and good and thriving nation.
On page 59 the two state, “Our conclusion that Oswald fired the shots that wounded Connally and killed Kennedy was, and is, firmly based on the available evidence.” In fact the evidence states the contrary.
The first point for examination is their treatment of the murder scene. They state Oswald owned and used the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository. The documentary evidence, however, proves beyond doubt that Oswald did not purchase, possess, own or use that particular rifle. For example, the Commission’s lawyers used a certain magazine issue for the source of the coupon Oswald allegedly used to purchase the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. The actual different magazine did not contain the order blank and was published after he allegedly had the rifle in hand. Further to note, the Oswald connection to the order coupon is based on analysis of the 26 hand printed characters found on a single tiny 35mm frame of the sporting goods store record. No question was ever raised on the possibility of forgery and police departments across the nation constantly confront forgers and some are in the Rembrandt class. In addition, hand printed characters are of no probative value.
Willens and Mosk omit that the alleged assassin killed JFK using a truly junky rifle that had to be twice repaired by officials in order to test it, that it had a misaligned telescopic sight that required shims to stabilize it and a rough two stage trigger pull. In fact, during Oswald’s sojourn in the Soviet Union his associates in hunting related that he was such a poor shot that he could not kill a rabbit with a shotgun at close range. Yet, the Commission and the two staff attorneys allege he performed a feat of marksmanship that the best rifle sharpshooters in America that the Commission could assemble could not duplicate either for speed or to match the accuracy.
Purchase aside, the evidence that Oswald had his Mannlicher-Carcano posted to his Dallas post office box does not exist. Post office records reveal the section of the document on who could receive packages at the Oswald post office box was mysteriously torn off. To assert he retrieved the rifle rests on no evidence whatsoever. Pictures of him with the rifle cannot be authenticated as the Carcano found in the Depository.
Willens and Mosk assert that Oswald’s palm print was found on the rifle barrel just as the Report so says, which is the sole evidence he owned and used it. The investigative record, however, is unimpeachable in Commission and FBI documents and court records that prove otherwise. As the Commission work drew to a close in late August two Commission staff, Liebeler and Stern, Willens and Mosk’s Commission cohorts, were deeply upset about whether the print was legitimate. Chain of possession was questionable. The print lift had arrived from Dallas to the FBI days after the rifle had been examined by the FBI laboratory where they had found no evidence of such print on the barrel of the rifle.
In memos Liebeler and Stern expressed doubt as to the palm print lift’s authenticity as the print was from a flat surface whereas the barrel was round. The barrel, moreover, presented no evidence of a lift existed: No photo of it in place had been taken as is normal police work, no lifting powder residue could be found and no standard tape cover of the print had been made, again both standard operations.
The staff and the chief counsel J. Lee Rankin, two weeks before the Commission issued its Report, got around the vexing problem by use of a solicited authentication document from the FBI. The Bureau mailed one in (!) with the unsworn (!) statement of an FBI official with no forensic credentials (Hoover) (!) who just said it was legitimate. It was hearsay five times removed—Dallas to the FBI lab to Alan Belmont administrator to Clyde Tolson second in command of the organization to Hoover to Rankin–as well as false to the fact.
This blatant piece of corruption was put to rest finally in a New Orleans trial four years later, when FBI agent R. Frazier, who had assisted in the lab study of the print, swore under oath that all concerned knew the print was a fake. Why? In addition to the specious evidence we just recounted, the poor metal of the junky rifle in fact could not take prints. The palm print was impossible to have been on the rifle. In this connection we note for the record that when the Dallas Police lab made copies of LHO’s prints they used a flat surface.
Willens and Mosk state the three cartridges found on the sixth floor came from the rifle. To assert this as valid evidence linking the scene to the murder they clipped out of their text the results of the FBI study of the cases. The cartridges, the commissioners and its staff were told, had also been chambered in an entirely different rifle. Further, Willens and Mosk assume and assert as a fact that the rifle had been fired. The standard test determining that a rifle was fired is the running a cotton swab down the barrel to evaluate the presence of gunshot residue. If there is no residue in the barrel, the rifle was not fired or has been cleaned. Frasier swore under oath had not been tested to see if had been fired. It is an invention to say it had been fired that day.
The legal duo further wrote “eyewitnesses saw a man with a rifle at this window.” Evidence is otherwise. The Commission Report claimed only one citizen, Howard Brennan, sitting outside across the street on a low wall looked up and saw a person in that window and that person was Lee Harvey Oswald. However, Howard Brennan committed perjury that day, first saying the man (Lee Harvey Oswald) in a line up was not the one he saw and then in a second lineup after being told Oswald was a commie swore that was who he saw. The Zapruder film, however, shows Howard Brennan sitting on the low wall not looking up at the window at the time of the first shot but rather over his shoulder at the Sheriff’s buildings behind him.
Other film is vital here. The Robert Hughes film, for example, shows an empty window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository at the alleged sniper location just 3 seconds before the shooting. Further refuting the integrity of the Howard Brennan’ testimony, Warren Commission attorneys in 1965 public talks in New York City told an audience that Brennan’s eyesight was so bad he could hardly even make out the building. The staff simply did not address the eyesight in the Report and set up a grossly corrupt exhibit where attorneys guided his testimony before the Commission. Even then he failed to pick the right window. They had no shame.
Inside the building we find Willens and Mosk errors and assumptions continue. Dallas Police official photographs of the alleged scene at the 6th floor window as they first came upon it show the window was not open far enough. The rifle could not have been poked through, scope and all, and cocked over the 12 inch sill at an angle sufficiently steep to hit JFK 61 feet below. To assert Oswald fired a rifle from that window, Willens and Mosk had to spurn physical facts. Only by firing through two panes of glass could Oswald have gotten a rifle aimed at a steep enough angle to do so. No glass was broken.
The most telling piece of evidence for Oswald not having fired a shot that day requires Willens and Mosk to excise a troublesome fact from their public “education” article. The crucial fact can be found in an FBI document [62-109060 Serial 3816 not recorded #2], which is a memo between FBI’s #3 official, Alan Belmont, to Clyde Tolson, dated September 23, 1964. [See, discussion in Wrone, Zapruder Film, 172.] This memo was sent the day before the Report was released. In it Belmont relates that the Neutron Activation Analyses [NAA testing] at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, of the paraffin casts taken of Oswald’s cheek on the 22d prove he had not fired a rifle that day. The paraffin casts of seven control subjects who fired the rifle and were positive for gunshot residue on their cheeks as identified by NAA testing of their casts. Oswald was demonstrated to have no gunshot residue on this hands or cheeks; control subjects did have gunshot residue on their cheeks and hands. Oswald did not shoot a rifle before his arrest. Oswald was innocent.
Willens’ and Mosk’s contention that there is no evidence for any other bullets being fired that day has no merit. In the official records of the Commission and the FBI are numerous references to other shots being fired and bullet impacts that the FBI sought to hide, lie about, and control. Two bullets struck the inner grass, one hit a manhole cover, one hit in front of the limousine on the street, one behind the limousine on the street. A whole bullet, .45 caliber, was found under the viaduct, a 6.5mm steel jacketed slug was found atop the viaduct, on the north sidewalk a bullet left a fresh scar with lead smear in its trough, a .30 caliber cartridge was found on the roof of a near building. A motorcycle policeman riding on the left of the limousine later told family members he had experienced a bullet striking part of his cycle and bouncing off.
Another bullet struck the curbing on Commerce Street resulting in the wounding of James Tague. The damage the size of a silver dollar with lead in the base Willens and Mosk render, like Tague, invisible. Imagine discussion the assassination as self-proclaimed authorities and leaving out one of the persons wounded. An evidentiary factor intrudes here for the FBI studies, diagrams, etc., showed the bullet came from the grassy knoll.
Yet another bullet is proved to have existed by study of the wounds. Army Colonel J. Dolce, America’s foremost ballistics expert, a surgeon with 3 years battlefield experience, years of research experience, and author of The Edgewood Arsenal report, concluded without doubt the hit to John B Connally’s arm came from the grassy knoll and was impossible to have been caused by a bullet exiting his chest.
Another factor comes into play here too. From a ballistics perspective, it was not possible for the bullet to have transited Connally’s body and exit his chest and continue on to strike his wrist as is postulated by Commission staff attorney Arlen Specter’s single bullet hypothesis espoused by Willens and Mosk and the Commission. Why is this? Connally held his hand palm side to his chest and the surgeons who operated on him were vehement that the bullet entered from the back of the hand. The Commission attorneys simply ignored this and shunted Dolce aside and refused to let this most qualified national expert to testify.
Evidence in the form of Dr. R. Robertson’s forensic study of the head wounds and skull fractures establishes two bullets hit JFK’s head, at least one coming from the grassy knoll area. His report is buttressed by the reports of seven spectators standing or sitting and two policemen on their motorcycles riding escort, from 3 to 15 feet away from JFK who saw the bullet hit his right temple. Additional weight is added when the effluvia blown from the head by the force of the temple shot is looked at. The force of impact splattered over one of the motorcyclists riding to the far left and rear of the presidential limousine.
Willens and Mosk claim a single proved bogus threat on JFK existed and that was summarily dismissed by subsequent federal investigations of the murder. The records, however, give a starkly different picture. The records reveal many threats on JFK’s life in this time period. In Miami they were two solidly recorded threats, one by a right wing mendicant fascist Cuban and one by a National States Rights party figure. There are records of threats on JFK’s life in Tampa, in New Orleans by right wing business-political organizations, in Richardson, Texas, in Denton, Texas, by a student Young Republican organization, in Dallas by a political Cuban working in Parkland Hospital, by folks in a meeting in a Dallas bank’s public room three weeks before comprised of Americans and Cuban right wing fanatics that was taped and names recorded. They vowed to kill JFK. The Dallas Police intelligence division officer told an investigating critic in 1968 that in Dallas alone there were “50 organizations” it listed for him, ranging from far right to extreme left, who wanted JFK dead and had the skills and abilities to do it. Yet, none were investigated by the federal officials.
The treatment of Oswald’s background is chimerical in nature. Willens and Mosk delete the rightist element in Oswald’s background. In the Marines he had a crypto clearance that is above a top secret clearance. In the 26 volumes of the Commission it has the records of Oswald’s August of 63 speech at a Battles Wharf Jesuit college where he damned communism, Marxism, and socialism. He had an intelligence number of 110669 and seemingly had connections with some unknown branch of federal intelligence. Earl Warren held a one man fake Commission meeting at Dulles airport on January 24 with Dallas authorities where he was able to obtain the thick Dallas records on Oswald’s relationship to U. S. intelligence and later, presumably, destroyed them. This is attested in Commission files and by Warren Commission critic Harold Weisberg’s interviews with the Texas judges, lawyers, and elected officials involved along with several documents they gave him relating to their flight to Dulles airport.
In a further striking omission Willens and Mosk did not tell their readers of one of the most critical facts in the assassination investigation. There were dissenters on the Warren Commission to the Commission’s own report conclusions. How can this be? They proclaim they know the facts of the case and are professionals. But, of the seven commissioners four did not accept the Report. Earl Warren himself in after years did not accept the lone assassin theory. Hale Boggs in 1965-66 in interviews with critics did not. John Cooper and Richard Russell vigorously protested in the last secret executive session that Russell forced upon Warren.
Russell forced the Commission to include in its Report his dissent from the findings, but Rankin and Warren forged minutes of the meeting and modified Russell’s dissent in the Report to render his dissent meaningless. This is sustained by records from the Russell library, Cooper’s records (he concurred with Russell’s statements), Warren Commission records; correspondence of Russell with vociferous critic Weisberg whose manuscript “Russell Dissents” brilliantly relates the event.
Russell who was in failing health issued a cri de coeur and urged the critics to fight the cover-up of the assassination. Joining the dissent of the commissioners were three important legal and political figures. The District Attorney of Dallas Henry Wade, the Chief of Police of Dallas Jesse Curry, and LBJ himself (!). All did not accept the findings of the Warren Commission investigation. Wade kept the case open for years waiting for enough solid information to come forth that he could charge someone. For Willens and Mosk to omit this dissent by commissioners and by two key Dallas public figures, and by LBJ is unconscionable.
Willens and Mosk’s article must be judged as a piece of state propaganda as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984.
What do we know for certain about the murder of JFK? In the end bullets struck Kennedy from the front and from the rear and none came from the sixth floor of the Depository. Further, Lee Harvey Oswald fired no shots and played no role. Ten witnesses even placed him on the lower floor of the building at the time of the assassination. The crime was never honestly investigated and truths embedded in the historical record at the National Archives underscore that this was an Ameriform coup d’etat.
David R. Wrone, Ph.D is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, recipient of the “Excellence in Teaching Award” for 1969-1970 and the “Scholar Award” for 1993-1994, a specialist in the fields of Native American history and political assassinations, and the author of 2003’s The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK’s Assassination.
Publication Spotlight: CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley
As the editor of JFKFacts.org, a website devoted to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jefferson Morley is asked, “So who killed JFK? What’s your theory?”
Morley, a former reporter for the Washington Post and author of Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA, invariably disappoints. “I don’t know. It’s too early to tell.”
Fifty-plus years after JFK’s death, this answer is laughable but serious. The JFK story remains unsettled well into the 21st century, no matter what the various conspiracy and anti-conspiracy theorists may proclaim. Indeed, the complex reality of how a president of the United States came to be gunned down on a sunny day, and no one lost his liberty — or his job — continues to live and grow in popular memory.
This is a book that reveals deceit and deception on the part of the CIA relating to the Kennedy assassination and why the CIA should reveal to the American people what it is still keeping secret.
Employing his investigative reporting skills through interviews and examination of long-secret records, Morley reveals that the CIA was closely monitoring the movements of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the months preceding the assassination of President Kennedy.
Questions naturally arise: Did the CIA suspect that Oswald was up to no good? Or was its surveillance part of a CIA scheme to frame Oswald for the assassination of President Kennedy? Why did the CIA keep its surveillance secret from the Warren Commission?
Morley also reveals a close relationship between the CIA and an American anti-Castro group that began advertising Oswald’s connections to communism and the Soviet Union immediately after the assassination.
That raises questions: Why didn’t the CIA reveal that relationship to official agencies investigating the assassination of President Kennedy? Why did a federal judge and the chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations accuse the CIA of deceit and deception?
The U.S. government retains almost 3,600 assassination-related records, consisting of tens of thousands of pages that have never been seen by the public. More than 1,100 of these records are held by the CIA.
What is in those secret files? What do they reveal about JFK’s death? Why has the CIA been so reluctant to release them? And when will they finally be revealed to the public? Will they answer the disturbing questions that the revelations in this book raise?
Visit Jeff Morley’s Amazon page HERE.
Publication Spotlight: Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House (Forbidden Bookshelf) by Peter Dale Scott
“[A] staggeringly well-researched and intelligent overview not only of the JFK assassination but also of the rise of forces undermining American democracy. . . . A kind of Rosetta stone for cracking open the deepest darkness in American politics.” —Kirkus Reviews on Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
“Highly recommended.” —Library Journal on Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
“May well be the most thoughtful and serious-minded of the 2,500 titles on the subject published over the years.” —Toronto Star on Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
“Peter Dale Scott is our most provocative scholar of American power. Scott picks up where the pioneering C. Wright Mills left off, shining a light on the dark labyrinth of power—a shadow world that has only grown more arrogant and wedded to state violence since the days of the ‘power elite’ and the ‘military-industrial complex.’ There is no way to understand how power really operates without daring to follow Scott’s illuminating path.” —David Talbot, Salon, on The American Deep State, author of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, and The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government
“Breaks new ground on the deceptions that covered up anti-Castro assassination plots and protected the operation to assassinate JFK . . . an essential read.” —John Newman, author of JFK and Vietnam, Oswald and the CIA, Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy Vol. I
“An incandescent affirmation of Peter Dale Scott’s stature as our sharpest and most discerning historian whose works expose and document the intricacies, concealed alliances, and underlying continuities that exist between a public state which is bound by the checks and balances of constitutional authority, and a deep state which is neither influenced nor informed by constitutional constraints. Highest recommendation.” —Alan Dale, host of JFK Conversations
Peter Dale Scott is an historian and poet; a scholar whose artistry is directed towards revealing truth as an author and educator; a translator of poetry; a former diplomat; an investigative writer of political prose; Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkeley; a lover of words, and the author of Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House (Forbidden Bookshelf).
With a foreword by Rex Bradford and a preface by Bill Simpich: From deep within American society emerged the plot that killed a president
Beneath the orderly façade of the American government lies a complex network, only partly structural, linking Wall Street influence, corrupt bureaucracy, and the military-industrial complex. Here lies the true power of the American empire: This behind-the-scenes web is unelected, unaccountable, and immune to popular resistance. Peter Dale Scott calls this entity the deep state, and he has made it his life’s work to write the history of those who manipulate our government from the shadows. Since the aftermath of World War II, the deep state’s power has grown unchecked, and nowhere has it been more apparent than at sun-dappled Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
The central mystery of the JFK assassination is not who fired the guns that fateful day, but the untouchable forces behind the shooters. In this landmark volume, Scott traces how culpable elements in the CIA and FBI helped prepare for the assassination, and how such elements continue to influence our politics today.
In his 1993 publication Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Scott looked closely at the foreground of the assassination: Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and their connections to Dallas law enforcement, to the underworlds of Dallas and New Orleans, and to Cuba. This new book, in contrast, looks at the assassination as an event emanating from the American deep state, including actions of the CIA and FBI in Washington and Mexico City, and apparent continuities with later deep events, notably Watergate, the Iran-Contra affair, and 9/11. Dallas ’63 concludes with an overview of the 2 pivotal decades between the death of JFK and the Reagan Revolution, when all 4 presidents following Kennedy were increasingly at odds with deep state ambitions for world hegemony and saw their presidential careers prematurely terminated.
Professor Scott’s most recent political books are The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (2007); The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (2008); American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (2010); and The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy (2014).
His books have been translated into six languages, and his articles and poems have been translated into twenty. The former US poet laureate Robert Hass has written that, “Coming to Jakarta is the most important political poem to appear in the English language in a very long time.” In 2002, Dale Scott received the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry.
Professor Scott’s 2014 address to the AARC Conference may be viewed here.
Publication Spotlight: State Secret: Wiretapping In Mexico City, Double Agents and the Framing of Lee Oswald by Bill Simpich
The Mary Ferrell Foundation is pleased to present the online serialization of this book by Bill Simpich. State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald delves deeply into the strange story of the Oswald Mexico City trip two months before the assassination, and how these events were used as part of the framing of Oswald after 11/22/63. With a focus on the wiretap operation and the curious manipulation of CIA information on Oswald, and based on voluminous research using the MFF’s CIA records, Bill presents a compelling new analysis of this mysterious event.
“State Secret recounts an oft-told tale in the events leading to the Dallas tragedy: the story of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City in September and October 1963. Bill Simpich adds revelatory new detail along with minimal theorizing and maximum lucidity about what we don’t know. To put it simply, he lays bare a state secret: the fact pattern of a counterintelligence operation.” Jefferson Morley, Investigator; Journalist; author of “Our Man In Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA” and “Snow-Storm In August: The Struggle For American Freedom and Washington’s Race Riot of 1835;” Editor In Chief, JFKFacts.org.
“The most important recent development in the JFK research community has been the ability to data-mine thousands of pages of primary material in record time. The ability to find leads, collate and cross reference data, and share information through sites like Mary Ferrell and the AARC is a quantum leap for serious researchers who are willing to put in the effort to run down each angle. No one has illustrated the power of these new tools like Bill Simpich, whose original and thorough examination of the intelligence connections to Lee Harvey Oswald is some of the most important work to be introduced in the past decade. That he has freely provided the fruits of his intense labor is a tribute to his sincerity and a model for other researchers.” Stuart Wexler, Historian; Researcher; Lecturer; co-author of “The Awful Grace of God” and “Shadow Warfare,” with Larry Hancock, and most recently, “America’s Secret Jihad,” his first solo effort.
“Standard intelligence requires that the identity and activities of virtually everyone associated with both operations and intelligence collection be protected from foreign espionage though the use of cryptograms (crypts), cover names and cover identities – as well as the use of aliases by operational personnel. While necessary for operational security, those practices make the historical study of intelligence documents extremely difficult, even once they are released in full. It requires intense study and comparison of literally thousands of both field and headquarters documents to determine the true names of both individuals and operations – such extreme efforts have been undertaken by no more than a handful of researchers. Simpich is clearly among the leaders in such work. In State Secret, Simpich has taken us beyond spy novels into the real world of intelligence operations – a world far more complex in fact than in fiction.” Larry Hancock, author of acclaimed volumes on America’s hidden histories: “Someone Would Have Talked,” “Nexus,” co-author with Stuart Wexlar of “The Awful Grace of God” and “Shadow Warfare.” His newest work is “Surprise Attack: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 to Benghazi,” publication date, September 15, 2015.
State Secret: Wiretapping In Mexico City, Double Agents and the Framing of Lee Oswald
This book is about the counterintelligence activity behind the JFK story and its role in the death of President Kennedy. It examines how the existence of tapes of a man in Mexico City, identifying himself as Oswald, were discovered before the Kennedy assassination and hidden after the assassination. On November 23, 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote President Lyndon Johnson and the Secret Service chief, telling both of them that the caller was not Lee Harvey Oswald. These tapes showed that the supposed “lone gunman” had been impersonated just weeks before the killing of JFK, tying him to Cuban and Soviet employees in a manner that would cause great consternation in the halls of power on November 22.
The other aspect of this book is about how the importance of the Mexico City tapes collided with the national security imperative of hiding American abilities in the field of wiretapping. These tapes were created by wiretapping the Soviet consulate. World leaders prize wiretapping because it enables them to find out the true motives of their friends and adversaries. It’s no wonder that Edward Snowden was castigated for daring to reveal the nature of these jewels. Back in 1963, wiretapping was the domain of the CIA’s Staff D, the super-secret division that did the legwork for much of the signals intelligence or ‘sigint’ that was provided to the National Security Agency.
The hiding of the tapes paralyzed any effort to conduct an honest investigation into what happened. Within days of the assassination, the agencies were flooded with phony evidence tying Oswald to a Soviet assassination team and Red Cuban plots. Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy probably knew little about the tapes, but acquiesced to the cover-up rather than run the risk of a war on Cuba which might include the USSR. This story explains why LBJ was so insistent that Chief Justice Earl Warren chair the investigating commission and prevent the possibility of “40 million dead Americans”, and why the Warren Commission was denied access to the investigators, witnesses and documents needed to solve the case.
To win over Warren, LBJ said that “I just pulled out what Hoover told me about a little incident in Mexico City.” The purpose of this book is to bring this state secret into the sunlight. Sunlight on this secret dissipates idle talk of mystery. The more facts we can expose to the cold light of day, the less time is spent feeling our way through the dark. […]
The cover-up of the President’s death is a state secret. The tale of the Mexico City tapes is a state secret. Much of the history of the United States is hidden from us, behind a wall of overclassifications and redactions. By comparison, we know more about the JFK case than I ever thought was possible. Much more of it sits in the National Archives and on the websites of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, the Poage Legislative Library at Baylor, the Harold Weisberg Archive at Hood College, the National Security Archive, the presidential libraries, and many more locations, waiting for us to read it, sift through it, and analyze it. The hyperlinks in this story enable the reader to view the original documents and engage in the hunt. Are we interested in serious work, or would we rather argue about it as a form of entertainment?
The JFK case is not an insoluble mystery, but more of a steeplechase. What we need is access to our history and a passion for tough-minded analysis. It’s not a lot different than a clear-eyed examination of the roots of war, or what it will take to end world hunger or global warming. Errico Malatesta was a well-known Italian agitator who spoke throughout Europe about his vision for a better world. Malatesta would often suggest that “everything depends on what the people are capable of wanting.”
*The Mary Ferrell Foundation and the Assassination Archives and Research Center have been able to publish 1.5 million documents and provide a variety of research tools because of the financial support of people like yourself. Rather than charge money for his efforts, Bill Simpich asks you to contribute a donation at the home page of either or both of these invaluable organizations.
Publication Spotlight: Where Angels Tread Lightly by John M. Newman
Fifty years ago the darkest secrets about the assassination of President Kennedy were secretly hidden underneath of the CIA’s plots to destroy Castro—and they have remained so until now.
“John Newman is one of this country’s greatest scholars on Cuba, the CIA and the JFK Assassination. This book is a ground-breaking investigation of America’s failure in Cuba that uncovers the CIA’s role in Castro’s rise to power and their ensuing efforts to destroy him. It exposes the genesis of one of America’s darkest deceptions — the myth that Castro was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy.” Eric Hamburg, Producer, Nixon film and former aide to Senator John Kerry
“Where Angels Tread Lightly builds upon Newman’s previous works, JFK and Vietnam and Oswald and the CIA. Newman puts the past histories, cryptonyms, and pseudonyms of CIA officers and operatives who became entangled in the plots to overthrow Castro under a powerful microscope. This work is essential reading for anyone interested in the dark operations that produced the false story that Castro was behind the Kennedy assassination.” Peter Dale Scott, author of Deep Politics and the Death of JFK and The American Deep State
“John Newman has done more to advance the work begun by the House Select Committee on Assassinations to explore the CIA’s connections to Oswald than anyone else. Where Angels Tread Lightly is a meticulously researched, in-depth account of US policies and operations during the late 1950s and early 1960s that were designed to eliminate a perceived Communist threat in Cuba, but instead brought together the forces that eventually led to the assassination of JFK. This extraordinary volume shines new light on the CIA officers and operatives who were involved in those operations.” Dan Hardway, investigator, House Select Committee on Assassinations
Where Angels Tread Lightly
The Assassination of President Kennedy
There is no darker story in our recent history than how the American struggle with Fidel Castro became entangled with the assassination of President Kennedy.
CIA operatives use pseudonyms when they handle their sources. The Agency also uses cryptonyms for people and for operations. The original intended use of these methods was not simply to keep the American public in the dark. The CIA’s pseudonyms and cryptonyms have been and still are also used internally at the secret level. The internal use of cryptonyms and pseudonyms was designed for CIA counterintelligence operations. Their use makes it difficult for moles to piece together sensitive operations generally. It is the foundation of what is called “compartmentalization” and the “need to know.” However, keeping these cryptonyms and pseudonyms secret forever is unnecessary and even harmful. It can undermine the faith of the people in their institutions of government— especially if something goes wrong with intelligence operations. And something did go terribly wrong with American intelligence operations before, during, and after the assassination of President Kennedy.
The main lens for the entire series of volumes is the period 1959-1963—perhaps the most seismically active period of the Cold War. The struggle between Fidel Castro and John Kennedy cannot be understood outside of the context of the Cold War any more than the Cold War can be understood apart from the struggle between Castro and Kennedy.
MAJOR WORKING HYPOTHESES
The following working hypotheses pertain to the entire series of volumes in the present work. The substance of Hypotheses Three and Four was presented in the 2008 edition of my previous work, Oswald and the CIA. We will build upon them as the volumes of this series unfold.
- Hypothesis One: At some point in 1962, regardless of how much earlier someone might have wanted President Kennedy to be assassinated, the contours of the plot that eventually emerged began to fall into place: an American Marxist, Lee Harvey Oswald would assassinate JFK and appear to have done so for Fidel Castro with the assistance of the KGB.
- Hypothesis Two: The plot was also designed to make it appear that the Kennedy brothers’ plan to overthrow Castro had been successfully turned around by Fidel, resulting in the assassination of President Kennedy.
- Hypothesis Three: Lee Harvey Oswald was sent by his agent handler to New Orleans in the summer of 1963 to build upon his pro-Castro Cuban legend that he had begun to establish in Dallas at the beginning of that year.
- Hypothesis Four: Oswald’s CIA files were manipulated by CIA counterintelligence in the weeks before the assassination to support the design mentioned in Hypothesis One and Two. In this connection, Oswald (or an imposter) traveled to Mexico City (28 September-3 October 1963) and spent time in the Cuban Consulate and met with a Soviet diplomat, Valery Kostikov, who was known to U.S. intelligence to be the head of KGB assassinations (Department 13) in the Western Hemisphere.
- Hypothesis Five: An essential element of the plot was a psychological operation to raise the specter of WWIII and the death of forty million Americans. This threat of a nuclear holocaust was then used by President Johnson to terrify Chief Justice Earl Warren and some of the other men who served on the Warren Commission to such an extent that they believed there was no alternative to writing a report stating Lee Oswald alone had assassinated the president.
When I returned to active investigation of this case I knew straight away that I had to make a critical decision: all in or stay out. I also knew that all in meant do more than a new book. It meant perhaps three, four or even more volumes. It also meant testing hypotheses, making mistakes, and readjusting the investigation to follow the evidentiary trail. That is what is supposed to happen in murder investigations.
In this investigation, however, we are attempting to look inside a very dark box. The people involved in the design of the plot, even if it was only a few, were very sophisticated in propaganda and deception operations. In his book The Craft of Intelligence, former Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles wrote about the “collateral effect” of a successful deception operation. He used the term “black operation,” which is similar to the term used in this volume, “dark operation.”
Dulles explained the “collateral effect” this way: once a “single piece” of the enemy’s deception has succeeded in its purpose, “then almost anything that happens can be taken as one of his tricks.” This is what happened when British and French intelligence failed to believe some half-burned documents “from the complete plans of the German invasion of France through Belgium, for which Hitler had already given marching orders.” British and French officials felt that“the whole thing was a German deception operation.” The point that Dulles was driving at was this: “Often the very fear of deception has blinded an opponent to the real value of the information which accidents or intelligence operations have placed in his hands.” The burned documents had fallen into British and French hands by accident, when a German plane landed in the wrong place.
It is worthwhile pondering how Dulles’ point might apply to the Kennedy assassination. As stated in the Introduction to this work, in this case a very big “single piece” of deception succeeded in its purpose:
The plot to assassinate President Kennedy was designed to deceive both people in the government and the public at large. A convincing trail of evidence was established to make it appear that the Kennedy brothers’ plan to overthrow Castro had been turned around and used against them by Fidel himself, resulting in the assassination of President Kennedy.
We should heed Dulles’ advice and not fear that “almost everything” is a successful deception operation. We should, as Dulles advises us, realize that accidents in intelligence operations happen. Such accidents have occurred in this case too. They have placed important clues into our hands.
Where Angels Tread Lightly is available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Angels-Tread-Lightly-Assassination/dp/1478302410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429988328&sr=8-1&keywords=where+angels+tread+lightly
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ADDENDUM TO AFTERWARD