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David Talbot's New Book Brothers


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#1 Nathaniel Heidenheimer

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 04:02 AM

I began hearing about the new book by David Talbot more than a year ago and it is due for realease on May 8th.

I looked up an old article by Talbot from 2003, that seems to focus more on the mafia, but then I looked at the summary of the new book and it barely mentions the mafia, instead focussing on foreign policy, the military buraucracy, and seemingly the CIA.

I am getting more and more curious as to how close Talbot has moved to the core of the CIA, in his search for the truth. (Maybe the concept of a "core of the CIA" is problematic. I find it interesting that one reads a lot more of "rogue elements of the CIA" than of any "core group" This might be a function of poorly mediated history.)

http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/1aa/1aa291.htm


http://dir.salon.com...racy/index.html

Does anyone else notice a big differeence of focus in these two articles?

#2 Myra Bronstein

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 04:26 AM

I began hearing about the new book by David Talbot more than a year ago and it is due for realease on May 8th.

I looked up an old article by Talbot from 2003, that seems to focus more on the mafia, but then I looked at the summary of the new book and it barely mentions the mafia, instead focussing on foreign policy, the military buraucracy, and seemingly the CIA.

I am getting more and more curious as to how close Talbot has moved to the core of the CIA, in his search for the truth. (Maybe the concept of a "core of the CIA" is problematic. I find it interesting that one reads a lot more of "rogue elements of the CIA" than of any "core group" This might be a function of poorly mediated history.)

http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/1aa/1aa291.htm


http://dir.salon.com...racy/index.html

Does anyone else notice a big differeence of focus in these two articles?


I haven't looked at the links you provided Nathaniel, but I seriously doubt David Talbot would write a mob dunnit book given what he said in his review of "Ultimate Sacrifice" (the ultimate "mob dunnit" tome):

"If C-Day is a stretch, the second part of the book's argument -- that the Mafia assassinated Kennedy with complete government immunity, using their inside knowledge of the top-secret plan to escape prosecution -- is even harder to swallow. Waldron and Hartmann portray a group of mobsters so brilliant and powerful they are able to manipulate national security agencies and frame one of their operatives, Lee Harvey Oswald; organize sophisticated assassination operations against JFK in three separate cities (including, finally, Dallas); and then orchestrate one of the most elaborate and foolproof coverups in history. Think of some awesome hybrid of Tony Soprano and Henry Kissinger.

It is true that Santo Trafficante, Carlos Marcello and Johnny Rosselli -- the three mobsters whom the authors accuse of plotting JFK's demise -- were cunning and cruel organized crime chieftains. And they hated the Kennedys for allegedly using their services and then cracking down on them. But even they lacked the ability to pull off a brazen regicide like this by themselves. And if they did, "national security concerns" might have been enough to stop investigators like Waldron and Hartmann, but never Bobby Kennedy, whose protective zeal toward his brother was legendary. All the attorney general would have had to do was explain the national security concerns in the judge's private chambers, and once the coup plan was safely under wraps, his prosecutors would have been free to take the gloves off and go after his brother's murderers. "
http://archive.salon...iew/index1.html

#3 John Simkin

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 06:30 AM

I began hearing about the new book by David Talbot more than a year ago and it is due for realease on May 8th.

I looked up an old article by Talbot from 2003, that seems to focus more on the mafia, but then I looked at the summary of the new book and it barely mentions the mafia, instead focussing on foreign policy, the military buraucracy, and seemingly the CIA.

I am getting more and more curious as to how close Talbot has moved to the core of the CIA, in his search for the truth. (Maybe the concept of a "core of the CIA" is problematic. I find it interesting that one reads a lot more of "rogue elements of the CIA" than of any "core group" This might be a function of poorly mediated history.)

http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/1aa/1aa291.htm


http://dir.salon.com...racy/index.html

Does anyone else notice a big differeence of focus in these two articles?


David Talbot has agreed to be interviewed by this forum when the book is published. Unless he has changed his mind since the last time I talked to him, he will not be arguing that JFK and RFK were murdered by either the Mafia or rogue elements in the CIA.

#4 Dawn Meredith

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 03:14 PM

David Talbot has agreed to be interviewed by this forum when the book is published. Unless he has changed his mind since the last time I talked to him, he will not be arguing that JFK and RFK were murdered by either the Mafia or rogue elements in the CIA.
[/quote]


That's great John. I am going to order his book today. I have been waiting for its release for sometime now.

Dawn

#5 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:09 PM

David Talbot has agreed to be interviewed by this forum when the book is published.



Editorial Reviews

Book Description
For decades, books about John or Robert Kennedy have woven either a shimmering tale of Camelot gallantry or a tawdry story of runaway ambition and reckless personal behavior. But the real story of the Kennedys in the 1960s has long been submerged -- until now. In Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, David Talbot sheds a dramatic new light on the tumultuous inner life of the Kennedy presidency and its stunning aftermath. Talbot, the founder of Salon.com, has written a gripping political history that is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

Brothers begins on the shattering afternoon of November 22, 1963, as a grief-stricken Robert Kennedy urgently demands answers about the assassination of his brother. Bobby's suspicions immediately focus on the nest of CIA spies, gangsters, and Cuban exiles that had long been plotting a violent regime change in Cuba. The Kennedys had struggled to control this swamp of anti-Castro intrigue based in southern Florida, but with little success.

Brothers then shifts back in time, revealing the shadowy conflicts that tore apart the Kennedy administration, pitting the young president and his even younger brother against their own national security apparatus. The Kennedy brothers and a small circle of their most trusted advisors -- men like Theodore Sorensen, Robert McNamara, and Kenneth O'Donnell, who were so close the Kennedys regarded them as family -- repeatedly thwarted Washington's warrior caste. These hard-line generals and spymasters were hell-bent on a showdown with the Communist foe -- in Berlin, Laos, Vietnam, and especially Cuba. But the Kennedys continually frustrated their militaristic ambitions, pushing instead for a peaceful resolution to the Cold War. The tensions within the Kennedy administration were heading for an explosive climax, when a burst of gunfire in a sunny Dallas plaza terminated John F. Kennedy's presidency.


Based on interviews with more than one hundred fifty people -- including many of the Kennedys' aging "band of brothers," whose testimony here might be their final word on this epic political story -- as well as newly released government documents, Brothers reveals the compelling, untold story of the Kennedy years, including JFK's heroic efforts to keep the country out of a cataclysmic war and Bobby Kennedy's secret quest to solve his beloved brother's murder. Bobby's subterranean search was a dangerous one and led, in part, to his own quest for power in 1968, in a passion-filled campaign that ended with his own murder. As Talbot reveals here, RFK might have been the victim of the same plotters he suspected of killing his brother. This is historical storytelling at its riveting best -- meticulously researched and movingly told.


Brothers is a sprawling narrative about the clash of powerful men and the darker side of the Cold War -- a tale of tragic grandeur that is certain to change our understanding of the relentlessly fascinating Kennedy saga.

http://www.amazon.co...2538988-3819257

#6 Pat Speer

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 06:00 PM

A few years back, Talbot wrote an article on Blakey, and took the mafia-did-it angle seriously. When preparing this book, however, he asked members of this forum for any evidence they had regarding the CIA or Pentagon. Evidently he took us seriously as well. The one thing I sent him was my research regarding the altered HSCA testimony of Larry Sturdivan. When discussing wound ballistics, Sturdivan testified about the wound ballistics of subsonic .22 ammunition. In his published testimony, however, the velocities of these tests had been changed to reflect supersonic ammunition. As elsewhere in his testimony, Sturdivan had misidentified an exhibit, only to have it corrected in the transcript, it's obvious someone was double-checking his references to his exhibits, and correcting them. And yet here they corrected it incorrectly, and hid that he'd been working with subsonic (silenced) ammunition. I told Talbot I suspected it was more than a coincidence that the CIA's manual on assassination recommended the use of subsonic ammunition, and that .22s equipped with silencers was the CIA's assassination weapon of choice in Guatemala.

#7 Charles Drago

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 03:26 PM

From page 3:

"Bobby Kennedy was America's first assassination conspiracy theorist."

I have read the first chapter of Brothers, and the experience must be described as both enlightening and moving in the extreme. All Saturday plans are now cancelled.

My sense of what's to come is that those of us who are mystified, angered, and troubled by the post-assassination behavior of the Kennedys are about to be shaken to the cores of our conceits.

Charles

#8 Dawn Meredith

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 04:52 PM

From page 3:

"Bobby Kennedy was America's first assassination conspiracy theorist."

I have read the first chapter of Brothers, and the experience must be described as both enlightening and moving in the extreme. All Saturday plans are now cancelled.

My sense of what's to come is that those of us who are mystified, angered, and troubled by the post-assassination behavior of the Kennedys are about to be shaken to the cores of our conceits.

Charles




Charles, have you obtained an advance copy of the book? I am going to amazon right now.

Dawn

#9 Charles Drago

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 05:20 PM

From page 3:

"Bobby Kennedy was America's first assassination conspiracy theorist."

I have read the first chapter of Brothers, and the experience must be described as both enlightening and moving in the extreme. All Saturday plans are now cancelled.

My sense of what's to come is that those of us who are mystified, angered, and troubled by the post-assassination behavior of the Kennedys are about to be shaken to the cores of our conceits.

Charles




Charles, have you obtained an advance copy of the book? I am going to amazon right now.

Dawn


Hi Dawn,

No, I purchased the book at my local Borders store. It's also listed as "in stock" on Amazon.

There are three Borders stores within 50 miles of my southern New England home, but only one carried it when I checked yesterday at noon.

Believe me, it would be worth the effort for you to hunt it down today.

Charles

#10 Dawn Meredith

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 05:35 PM

I just ordered it from amazon, it will be here Monday! Yea! I had read- on amazon, about a month ago, that it would not be released until 5/8...

I am curious as to what stores will carry it. I was at Book People last Sunday to see John Kerry and they did not have it. Reminds me of when Barr McClellan's book came out. Stores had no more than 2-3 copies. Jay Harrison and I spent days calling stores all over the country, same story: Just 2-3 books or none at all. Bookstores aren't big on who killed JFK books. I got my friend (Barr's ) book directly from him and gave many personalized- by Barr- copies to people as Christmas presents in 03.

Glad I don't have court on Monday! I'll be reading.

Dawn

#11 Pat Speer

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 09:47 PM

I'm wondering if Talbot concluded that Bobby, much as Kennedy's secretary Evelyn Lincoln, came to suspect that JFK was killed by Johnson and Hoover. I came across something that makes me think that the Johnson/RFK rift was over this very issue. Bobby suspected LBJ and LBJ knew it and resented him for it.

The other day I was listening to a Johnson/Katzenbach 1-25-67 phone call. They are discussing William Manchester's book. Johnson is deeply upset by his portrayal in the book. He is appealing to Katzenbach--whom he sees as a go-between--to get Bobby to issue a statement or something saying he disavows the book. While I haven't yet double-checked his words against Holland's transcripts, or searched out any other transcripts, it seems clear that at one point Johnson says "or get him over here with a bolt rifle." I interpret this to mean "I'm sick and tired of his bad-mouthing me behind my back and in the press, and if he thinks I killed his brother then tell him to get his ass over here and kill me in the same fashion he thinks I killed his brother, and be done with it." To this suggestion, Katzenbach goes quiet and then laughs nervously. Like I said, I haven't double-checked this against any of the transcripts, or searched this out in any of Johnson's biographies, but to me it said it all. LBJ believed that Bobby suspected him. Now this could be his guilty conscience at work or merely his assessment of Bobby's behavior. Presumably, Talbot gets into this.

#12 Sid Walker

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:06 PM

Just so I'm clear, is this the same David Talbot , whose war-supporting views were discussed in antiwar.com in early 2002: David Talbot and the rise of Warrior Liberalism?

I'd just like to get a sense of the author's credibility and track record for good judgment.

The David Talbot I've heard about wrote:


"From the Gulf War on, the hawks have been on the right side in all the major debates about U.S. intervention in the world's troubles. The application of American military power to drive back Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, stop Slobodan Milosevic's genocidal campaigns in the Balkans, and destroy the terrorist occupation of Afghanistan has not just protected US interests, it has demonstrably made the world safer and more civilized."


Is that the same guy?

#13 Pat Speer

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:26 PM

Just so I'm clear, is this the same David Talbot , whose war-supporting views were discussed in antiwar.com in early 2002: David Talbot and the rise of Warrior Liberalism?

I'd just like to get a sense of the author's credibility and track record for good judgment.

The David Talbot I've heard about wrote:


"From the Gulf War on, the hawks have been on the right side in all the major debates about U.S. intervention in the world's troubles. The application of American military power to drive back Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, stop Slobodan Milosevic's genocidal campaigns in the Balkans, and destroy the terrorist occupation of Afghanistan has not just protected US interests, it has demonstrably made the world safer and more civilized."


Is that the same guy?


Probably. But what has that got to do with this book? Do people have to pass some litmus test in order to be credible? Should we apply that litmus test to yourself as well?

I, for one, suspect the world did benefit from forcing Saddam from Kuwait, stopping Milosevic's reign of terror, and overthrowing the Taliban. Are you really defending these regimes, or are you merely questioning the U.S.' right to use force for any reason, good or bad?

I visited Australia a few years back, by the way, and was surprised by the lack of Aborigines in the cities. Based on movies, I thought I'd see them everywhere. I asked a few locals. They told me that "abbos" were essentially a waste of flesh, and that they were lazy and no better than dingoes and roos. I heard this both in Queensland and Sydney. As a result, I'm always skeptical when an Australian complains about America's record on human rights.

#14 Sid Walker

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 11:31 PM

Just so I'm clear, is this the same David Talbot , whose war-supporting views were discussed in antiwar.com in early 2002: David Talbot and the rise of Warrior Liberalism?

I'd just like to get a sense of the author's credibility and track record for good judgment.

The David Talbot I've heard about wrote:


"From the Gulf War on, the hawks have been on the right side in all the major debates about U.S. intervention in the world's troubles. The application of American military power to drive back Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, stop Slobodan Milosevic's genocidal campaigns in the Balkans, and destroy the terrorist occupation of Afghanistan has not just protected US interests, it has demonstrably made the world safer and more civilized."


Is that the same guy?


Probably. But what has that got to do with this book? Do people have to pass some litmus test in order to be credible? Should we apply that litmus test to yourself as well?

I, for one, suspect the world did benefit from forcing Saddam from Kuwait, stopping Milosevic's reign of terror, and overthrowing the Taliban. Are you really defending these regimes, or are you merely questioning the U.S.' right to use force for any reason, good or bad?

I visited Australia a few years back, by the way, and was surprised by the lack of Aborigines in the cities. Based on movies, I thought I'd see them everywhere. I asked a few locals. They told me that "abbos" were essentially a waste of flesh, and that they were lazy and no better than dingoes and roos. I heard this both in Queensland and Sydney. As a result, I'm always skeptical when an Australian complains about America's record on human rights.


Pat

I think you are comparing apples with oranges.

Please understand that, whatever the views of others on this forum, I am NOT 'anti-American'. I spent time in the USA. I have American friends. I have a great deal of respect for many Americans, past and present. I love the continent itself and its amazing wildlife.

My ancestral heritage is British. The British track record of exporting violence around the world is disgraceful. You will not find me extolling Britain without qualification either. I am not a nationalist. Nationalism leaves me cold (at best). Even sports tribalism turns me off.

As for Australia, it has always - since 'independence' - served as a poodle to the interests of others. You won't find me bragging that Australia has it's policies right - foreign or domestic. Your points about the fate of the Aboriginal people are well taken. Don't get me started on what Anglo-Saxon culture has done to the biodiversity of this land...

Yet in our spook-ridden world, where the notion of a "free media" has been turned into a travesty by corrupt, collusive interests - and when discussing a case like the snuffed-out Kennedy brothers, a case in which we know from long, long experience that dubious characters have muddied the waters since day one - is it really unfair to inquire about the full ideological background of an author, whose work is being discussed by some as though it may represent a significant breakthrough in the case?

I don't think so, Pat.

In 2002, even an iconoclast like me in a far-flung continent could see that we were being set up for war against Iraq, irrespective of the 'evidence' of WMDs (and so what anyway - since when do we invade countries just becasue they possess WMDs... what about Israel, for God's sake?)

As for the alleged benefits of removing Milosevic, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein from power... I would say that overall, the result has been disastrous. It came at massive loss of life in each case. Foreseeable and consequential chaos and bloodshed continues to this day in at least two of those places.

By 2002, we already knew the Kosovo invasion was based on gross lies (remember the quarter million Albanians the Serbs were alleged to have massacred?). Did Talbot miss this? How could he make such a crass statement about Yugoslavia - let alone Iraq and Afghanistan. Was he unaware of the consequences of "success" in Iraq? Half a million kids died as a result of sanctions in the 1990s - a figure not disputed by Secretary of State Albright. Had Talbot missed that? Or did he also think the toll was "worth it"?

The alleged 'crimes' of all three regimes, IMO, were never fairly assessed in the western media. These regimes had good points and bad points. So do our governments in western countries. What unspeakable arrogance on our part to think that we can attack them militarily to improve their lot, on our own say so. What kind of international justice is that? And if our mission in life is really to send in the military to turf out 'undemocratic' regimes, what about Burma?

Of course, it was not really "on our say-so". That's where compliant politicians and orchestrated media commentators come in. They told us we should be terrified of Iraq. They lied to us. A wide spectrum, form left to right, colluded in a pack of lies and indulged in an orgy of bias. Let's attack a country in the middle east beginning with 'I' that has WMDs, regularly attacks its neighbours and constitutes a threat to the world... let's get Iraq!

"The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once. and set people arguing which one is true"

Having a right and left wing is useful if you control them both. That way, it all appears like a fair and open system to most participants and observers.

Of course, not all major commentators on the "left" the "right" are "controlled". But the more I observe world politics, the more I notice more of them who seem to merit that term: Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, I.F. Stone, George Monbiot... it's a long list.. Smart minds with (apparently) inexplicable intellectual blind-spots.

Pardon me if I keep my eyes open.

I'd rather be a kill-joy than a fool.

Edited by Sid Walker, 28 April 2007 - 11:44 PM.


#15 Myra Bronstein

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 04:40 AM

Just so I'm clear, is this the same David Talbot , whose war-supporting views were discussed in antiwar.com in early 2002: David Talbot and the rise of Warrior Liberalism?

I'd just like to get a sense of the author's credibility and track record for good judgment.

The David Talbot I've heard about wrote:


"From the Gulf War on, the hawks have been on the right side in all the major debates about U.S. intervention in the world's troubles. The application of American military power to drive back Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, stop Slobodan Milosevic's genocidal campaigns in the Balkans, and destroy the terrorist occupation of Afghanistan has not just protected US interests, it has demonstrably made the world safer and more civilized."


Is that the same guy?


David Talbot is founder, chairman and editor-in-chief of Salon.com, which I consider about the best progressive news site on the web. Based on that background, and things he's written (e.g., his review of Ultimate Sacrifice which I thought was spot on), I expect his book to be something very worthwhile for truth buffs.




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