Review: JFK and the Unspeakable–Why He Died & Why It Matters

6 Star Top 10%, Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), History, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Justice (Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Security (Including Immigration), Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Stake in the Heart of National Security State

September 28, 2009
James W. Douglas

The premise is that JFK went against the national security establishment, notably the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the military-industrial complex, and was assassinated by deliberate plan of the CIA, with Richard Helms, David Atlee Philips, David Sanchez Morales, and Desmond Fitzgerald specifically culpable for high crimes of treason.

As with 9/11 and the documented culpability of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Larry Silverstein, and Rudy Gulliani, there is insufficient proof in this book for conviction, but it is more than ample to demand a very intrusive and comprehensive investigation of the CIA, the Secret Service, and the FBI. I *want* to believe Helms when he says CIA did nothing not ordered by a President.  However, if the premise of this book is proven, CIA should be abolished, its HQS demolished, and salt plowed into the earth at Langley.

The book's most positive account is of the back-channel dialog JFK developed with Khrushchev, Castro, and the Pope, dialog that not only defused the confrontations of the time, but also ended the Cold War. The theology of peace, the role of Monk Thomas Merton, the role of Norman Cousins (author of The Pathology of Power – A Challenge to Human Freedom and Safety), the role of the Pope and Pacem in Terris, and the strength JFK drew from a single meeting with Quakers are moving. This is in many ways a resurrection of JFK and both an epitaph worthy of his unsung accomplishments, and a call to arms for achieving closure–truth and reconciliation–with respect to his assassination by US Government personnel committing treason.

The book's most negative account is about “mind-set” and how the national security establishment, consisting of the CIA as a covert action arm authorized to break laws and lie (“plausible deniability” created a “void in accountability”), the Joint Chiefs of Staff as in the mode of General Curtis Lemay, and the Secret Service and the FBI, all treasonous, all betraying the public trust. My heart shrivels and my stomach turns, for I sense the truth of this.

Notes from the book pertaining to CIA:
+ CIA ran its own foreign policy, especially in Laos, Africa
+ JFK blamed CIA for deaths of Diem and also Patrice Lumumba in Africa
+ JFK clipped CIA's wings with NSAM 55 & 57, ending CIA PM ops.
+ JFK fired Dulles, Bissell, & Cabell (general), cut CIA budget
+ CIA briefed LBJ on Oswald transcripts as real, with Hoover's help he did not buy it
+ Desmond Fitzgerald posed as US Senator speaking for Attorney General Robert Kennedy and ordering assassination of Fidel Castro in his name
+ Bay of Pigs was a trap intended to force JFK to approve use of US military forces
+ Hue 8 May 63 bombs courtesy of the CIA, US military officer placed them
+ JFK rejected CIA pressure to order assassination of Castro
+ CIA may have routed around Hoover to get FBI SA Marvin Geesling to take Oswald off the FBI watchlist so Oswald would not be routinely swept up prior to JFK in Dallas
+ Interesting discussion of Focal Point as CIA's means for creating its own chain of command within the Pentagon, one able to issue order as if from SecDef but not
+ Good discussion of CIA's Office of Technical Services (OTS) routinely forging Secret Service credentials for covert use
+ LBJ fully understood that CIA sought to blame Soviets for JFK's assassination, he was not willing to confront them over it but he did not buy it either
+ Truman's letter in Washington Post of 22 December 1963 provided grave warning [Read Truman's Op-Ed]
+ Best compiled coverage drawing on others of how there were multiple Oswalds and much of what was offered by CIA against him was actually fabricated by CIA
+ Persuasive case that Oswald was recruited by CIA while guarding U-2 base on Okinawa, used as a line crosser into USSR, and badly managed by CIA, then repurposed as a patsy

My notes on Treason and the Unspeakable:
+ Kennedy, Castro, & Khrushchev all forced to circumvent their own internal hard-liners
+ Averill Harriman betrayed Kennedy, communicated the opposite (escalation) to North Viet-Nam instead of JFK's intended message of de-escalation
+ Henry Cabot Lodge betrayed JFK to allow Diem's assassination
+ Active cover-up of kill shot into front of throat blowing out back of head
+ Secret Service rushed body away from autopsy, turned over to the military which not only fabricated the autopsy and x-rays of an intact skull, but conspired with CIA to have one honest Navy officer murdered in his own office after he took photos of the entire body that would have broken the cover-up
+ Most detailed evidence of a systematic cover-up, goes beyond earlier books in integrating varied books
+ Book is intended as a “truth force” or as Gandhi called it, “Satayagraha”
+ Reminds us that Malcolm X was also assassinated
+ Connects assassination of two Kennedy brothers (JCS & CIA) and two black leaders (FBI with Army help)
+ “Plausible deniability” led to a “void in accountability”
+ Trial concluding MLK was killed by conspiracy explicitly including US government agencies re-opened JFK cover-up
+ Chicago plot for 1 Nov 63 busted, same pattern of patsy on the loose
+ Dramatically shows JFK surrounded by treason within while reaching out to Khrushchev
+ JFK “crossed over” 10 June 1963 calling for end to Cold War. Speech in Appendix
+ JFK issues NSAM 263 “out of Viet-Nam” on 11 Oct 63 and then was killed
+ JFK went against the complex on USSR, Laos, VN, Cuba, Indonesia, and steel prices
+ Secret Service detail “hated” JFK and joked about getting out of way of any threat

In terms of US culpability for the Cold War, this book observes that Truman started the Cold War by using “atomic diplomacy”, and that the Bay of Pigs was what inspired Castro to ask for and Khrushchev to deliver strategic nuclear missiles to Cuba.

Other books helpful to understanding the truth force of this one:
Someone Would Have Talked: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Conspiracy to Mislead History
An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, New and Updated Edition
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
Wilson's Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power

See Work Table of Notes as Sorted

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