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.
Brilliant Detailed Exposure of Power Killing Intelligence,
August 16, 2003
Edit of 22 dec 07 to add links.
This book richly merits republication, and it is fortunate that so many copies are still available. Consider the author's opening statement:
“Connected to the tendency of power to corrupt are yet other tendencies that emerge from the pages of the historians:
* The tendency of power to drive intelligence underground;
* The tendency of power to become a theology, admitting no other gods before it;
* The tendency of power to distort and damage the traditions and institutions it was designed to protect;
* The tendency of power to create a language of its own, making other forms of communication incoherent and irrelevant;
* The tendency of power to spawn imitators, leading to volatile competition;
* The tendency of power to set the stage for its own use.
This is simply a brilliant, reasoned, well-documented and well-structured look at the greatest threat to any Republic's national security and prosperity: absolute power with its attendant absolute corruption. All that the author has to say over his 13 chapters, from why Hiroshima to the reality of General MacArther to General and President Eisenhower's prophetic emphasis on “true” security rather than the “cooked books” false security of the military-industrial complex, every bit of this is directly applicable to the national security challenges–and the internal ethical challenges–facing the American people are their largely corrupt national political system at the dawn of the 21st Century. Of course it applies to all other nations as well, but as the Americans are the largest bull, they do the most damage to themselves as well as to others.
The author concludes with some “first principles” that are alone worth the price of the book, these are abbreviated here:
* security of the human commonwealth above security of the state
* well-being of mankind above well-being of any one nation
* needs of future generations above the needs of current generation.
* rights of man over the rights of the state
* private conscience over public edict
* ordeal of peace over easy drift of prosperity
His final sentence will not be understood by those who “do not do nuances.” He says: “The challenge, therefore, is to recognize that national security depends on a wide range of factors, some of them nonmilitary in nature.” He goes on to list the freedoms and well-being of the society itself, the focus on making human development the highest national security priority; the selection of creative transformative rather than manipulative leaders; the articulation of national goals that win foreign support on their merits; the strengthening of international institutions; and finally, the recognition that governance must be focused on the common good, not on retaining power. To lead properly is to be free of corruption. Anything else is pathological and undermines national security.