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Rob Couteau

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Everything posted by Rob Couteau

  1. Robert Parry dead

    A great man. https://fair.org/home/a-tribute-to-robert-parry-independent-journalism-at-its-best/
  2. Thanks Jim. https://kennedysandking.com/robert-f-kennedy-reviews/john-r-bohrer-the-revolution-of-robert-kennedy
  3. Great piece. The RFK quote at the end is brilliant, and summarizes not only what happened to the Alliance but also what U.S. foreign policy was all about. (And what the Kennedys were all about.) "When Senator Robert Kennedy was preparing for a journey to several countries in South America, he was briefed by the State Department. After listening to their instructions, he replied it looked to him as if what the Alliance for Progress had come down to was that you can “abolish political parties and close down the Congress and take away the basic freedoms of the people … and you’ll get a lot of our money. But if you mess around with an American oil company, we’ll cut you off without a penny. Is that it?” His briefer said that that was about the size of it. As he walked out RFK told an assistant, 'It sounds like we’re working for United Fruit again.'”
  4. Kennedy, Tibet and the Sino-India War

    I just finished reading the Riedel book and thought it was really interesting and well written. The JFK / Galbraith relationship gives you a good sense of who Kennedy really was. There's not much on the book out there other than your in-depth review, but I did find this brief interview in which Riedel is even more forthright in his praise of Kennedy. A few key quotes: "Had that crisis not have been resolved the way it was, it would have meant the end of mankind. The risk of failure in the Cuban Missile Crisis was nuclear Armageddon. It tended to push out everything else." "It would have been worse had Kennedy not intervened. If you look at the two, you think the Cuban Missile Crisis was John F. Kennedy’s finest hour, but [considering the two crises together] makes the finest hour even more fine. That’s the real message of the book. The guy multitasked…at a level that was extraordinary." That's high praise indeed coming from an author who spent 30 years working for the CIA. Then there's his appraisal (in this same interview, link posted below) of why Kennedy was wise to turn to Galbraith: "What’s interesting is that in dealing with Cuba, Kennedy turned to a collection of aides, his Cabinet and senior former officials to get advice—the ExComm. The advice was very hawkish, and in the end, he rejected the advice—he did not go for a preemptive strike, but a naval quarantine, and behind the scenes he was offering Khrushchev a way out. In the China-India, crisis, he relied almost exclusively on his ambassador in India, John Kenneth Galbraith, a personal friend, a person he’d turned to for advice for years. He relied on Galbraith’s advice. I speculate in the book that I suspect by the end of October, when the Cuban Missile Crisis was fading out, Kennedy came to the conclusion that the wisdom of collective advice was not wisdom, and that he was better off relying on somebody he could trust. The two decision-making processes reflect a learning curve. If you ask a group of people for advice, you get group-think." http://deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com/2016/01/q-with-bruce-riedel.html Thanks again for calling our attention to this book in your review, Jim.
  5. Angleton and Mark Lane experts, your thoughts?

    More character assassination against Mark Lane, a great American and true patriot. And notice how the following quote is slipped into the piece as if to cast doubt on JFK himself: "Shamrock further stated that the Soviets mourned President Kennedy’s death, a situation which Shamrock considered very unique inasmuch as the person being mourned was the leader of another country.” This article is another great example of how the MSM work diligently to twist things out of proportion (or simply put - to disinform). One way they do this is to purposely fail to provide proper context. As we all know, shortly after Kennedy was elected, Dulles and the Joint Chiefs were urging JFK to launch a nuclear first strike against the USSR. During the Missile Crisis, the Joint Chiefs demanded a nuclear strike against Cuba that would have triggered a nuclear Armageddon. It was only because JFK and Khrushchev each worked together to avoid the crisis that we're here today. (During the Missile Crisis, Khrushchev even told Andrei Gromyko: “We have to let Kennedy know that we want to help him. Yes, help. We now have a common cause, to save the world from those pushing us toward war.”) If the Kennedy brothers had not kept the right-wing fanatics in the government at bay, apocalypse would have been the result. Nobody knew this better than Khrushchev, who had his own right-wing war hawks to deal with. Of course he mourned JFK's loss! Norman Cousins quotes Khrushchev as saying: "The Chinese say I was scared. Of course I was scared. It would have been insane not to have been scared. I was frightened about what could happen to my country – or your country and all the other countries that would have been devastated by a nuclear war. If being frightened meant that I helped avert such insanity then I’m glad I was frightened. One of the problems in the world today is that not enough people are sufficiently frightened by the danger of nuclear war." Our media continues to portray Khrushchev as a raving maniac while the real maniacs were the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Which is why Kennedy had to open a secret channel of communication with him during the crisis. I suppose that Mark Lane should be honored that the powers-that-be are still so afraid of the truth he unearthed. No wonder Khrushchev's son Sergei told author Jim Douglass "I think if Kennedy had lived, we would be living in a completely different world."
  6. Poking through "My Life: A Spoken Autobiography" by Fidel Castro, with Ignacio Ramonet. He briefly discusses the JFK assassination and Oswald on pp.289-292. And he very succinctly gets right to the heart of things: "Thank goodness we didn't give that guy [Oswald] permission to visit Cuba ... they could have used that to implicate Cuba." "Oswald may have been a double agent." The book also has some good material on the missile crisis. Link to those pages: https://books.google.com/books?id=45yJZHaan-8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=fidel+castro+my+life&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjT-6Cn087YAhVG5YMKHaTrAnkQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=oswald&f=false
  7. Many thanks for this. I have been following what you have said about CMC and Permindex on the forum with great interest. (And also thanks to your post had a chance to read Metta's interview with Jim, which I enjoyed.) I find that all this links up well with many of the points raised in Dick Russell's book on Nagell, in terms of a hidden international right-wing nexus, pushing a right-wing economic agenda.
  8. Hi Paz, You can see my work here (below). I do mostly interviews with literary authors but now I'm interested in doing a series of conversations with some of the leading JFK-assassination authors. http://www.tygersofwrath.com/publications.htm
  9. Jim, Thanks for keeping me posted. I'd like to arrange to do an interview with you about the book once it's finished and I have a chance to carefully read the revised version. This is my email: rob_couteau@yahoo.com I also have a piece of info that I'd like to pass along to you.
  10. You are right, Paz; I was referring to Borghese. But now I am suspicious of everything in this book including how he portrays this episode.
  11. Jim, have you started to read the Morley book? Will your revised "Reclaiming Parkland" have revisions throughout or instead will you simply be adding a new section?
  12. Yes, and Morley does go into that in the book. Have you read it yet, Paz?
  13. Jim, I remember reading somewhere, years ago, how Dulles and Angleton would begin each day by combing over all the wiretapping info that came in the night before from every congressman's house in Georgetown, where they'd managed to have all their phones and bedrooms bugged. You get none of that in this book. (Yet Lisa Pease mentions something similar in a lecture that is posted on Morley's site!) He acknowledges in a cursory way how Dulles helped him get into the Agency, but there is very little about their interaction during all those years that they worked together. Or I should say, plotted together against JFK. Check the index: Dulles appears on just 11 pages, and most of those mentions are fleeting. (The word "ghost" in the title should really refer to the invisible specter of Dulles, who is rarely incarnate here.) One gets the sense that Angleton is working within a bubble that is rarely punctured by Dulles. Then we have this description of Dulles contacting Angleton right after the assassination: "...the phone rang. It was Allen Dulles calling. He said that President Johnson had asked him to serve on a blue-ribbon commission that would investigate the assassination. Dulles wanted to talk about the history of such commissions, and whether he should accept. Angleton wasn't fooled. 'I could tell very easily that he wanted to be on it,' Angleton recalled. 'He was looking for approbation from me and not criticism....He said he wanted tips on anything relevant to the Agency.'" I mean, I really had to laugh when I read that. (As if these guys were completely out of touch until that very moment!) Mary Meyer and her diary, however, get ten full pages of attention. Morley not only quotes Leary's line from "Flashbacks" about JFK supposedly dropping acid - "They couldn't control him anymore" - he repeats it and underscores it in dramatic italics to end a section on Mary diary (the one supposedly filled with ribald tales of their "affair"). Then I had a flashback: about how you had to comb through all of Leary's prior books (talk about a bad trip) to see if he'd ever mentioned this before. Which of course he hadn't. Morley also doesn't fail to mention that JFK had a tryst with Mimi in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I also read Mimi's book and, like most accounts based on b.s., the prose has a certain cardboard quality. There's just too much missing: a lack of vital, visceral detail that would otherwise exist if the author had really done all that. More importantly, I could think of many other authors who would have been more important to cite here, rather than Mimi Beardsley and Tim Leary.
  14. Jim, Morley does note that when George Kalaris replaced Angleton, "Kalaris ordered some of them [Angleton's JFK files] to be shredded and the rest integrated into the Agency's file registry." (Page 239.) As I mentioned above, I was deeply disappointed by this book. It's Angleton and JFK "Lite." Lisa Pease's lectures on Angleton for example are far more illuminating as far as the bigger picture is concerned. The book has nowhere near the amount of detail that one finds in Talbot's work on Dulles. After I finished reading it, I tried to find out if anyone else had similar misgivings. If I had known that Morley had listed John McAdams's JFK website as one of the three "best" and Len Osanic's as one of the worst I probably wouldn't have purchased this text. Morley's reasoning behind this decision is fatuous at best: http://jfkfacts.org/lisa-pease-reads-me-the-riot-act-on-john-mcadams/#more-5978
  15. I just finished Morley’s “Ghost” book and am really disappointed by it. He actually cites the Timothy Leary (“Flashbacks”) and Peter Janney (“Mary’s Mosaic”) b.s. about JFK doing LSD with Mary Meyer as if it’s factual. Also includes the Mimi Beardsley dubious quote of JFK saying “I’d rather my children be red than dead.” (I think James DiEugenio has already done a splendid job of discrediting this nonsense, and Morley should have been aware of that.) He makes no mention of the likelihood of Oswald having been part of a fake defection program to the USSR masterminded by the U.S. intell services and instead presents Oswald’s defection as if he did it on his own and was _subsequently_ monitored by Angleton and the CIA. Also there is no mention here about how Dulles continued to exert influence on the CIA after he was canned by JFK and that he was even on CIA premises when the assassination went down. Dulles's influence on Angleton is extremely minimized in this account. Oswald is portrayed in such a way that we are led to believe he probably played a key role in killing the president rather than serving merely as a patsy. (This is also echoed in the leadin to Morley’s latest Salon piece: “The latest batch of JFK assassination files, released December 15, illuminate a story that the CIA still denies: the surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the years before he shot and killed President John F. Kennedy.”) There is also no mention of Richard Case Nagell or of the many crucial discoveries made by Dick Russell in his Nagell bio. No mention of how, above the CIA, there were the powers-that-be pulling strings; and no mention of the enlightened JFK foreign policy that was costing them plenty. Throughout the bulk of the book there is no hint that the CIA at the highest levels may have engineered the assassination. Eight pages before the books ends Morley finally asks: “Was Angleton running Oswald as an agent as part of a plot to assassinate President Kennedy? He certainly had the knowledge and ability to do so.” That’s about as far as he goes. At the bottom of the page he concludes: “Whether Angleton manipulated Oswald as part of an assassination plot is unknown.” “Whoever killed JFK, Angleton protected them.” These are questions that a good editor might have placed towards the beginning of a book, and a good author might have exerted a more serious effort in attempting to answer them. I have to say I learned very little about assassination-related information from reading this book. More importantly, readers who don't have the background of serious JFK research will be seriously misled by all this.
  16. The Newly Declassified JFK Files

    I didn't know that you were publishing a revised edition Jim. Any idea of when it should be available?
  17. The Newly Declassified JFK Files

    Spot on. A very telling memo indeed.
  18. The Newly Declassified JFK Files

    Great piece on Hinckle, thanks! I like Morley's work and am looking forward to reading his book on Angleton, but I really don't know why he recently said on his site that the Washington Post was doing such a great job of reporting on the JFK files. I'm somewhat baffled by that. BTW, yesterday Jim Hougan posted this wonderfully laconic remark on the JFKfacts site: "I would add two other reasons that make me question his [Oswald's] guilt. Oswald seems to have forgotten his revolver on the way to work, or hadn’t anticipated that he might need it. (An unusual oversight for someone planning to kill a head of state.) So, too, his plan to escape by municipal bus was unusually optimistic and in need of work." In case you haven't seen it before, one of the recently released CIA files is titled: "MHCHAOS Material Included Among JFK Documents." It dates from 1993. It reads in part: "the Agency did undertake to destroy all MHCHAOS material in 1990." Apparently some slipped under the radar, and the discussion concerns what to do about this: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/docid-32404173.pdf
  19. Where Were You, 11/22/63.

    Hi Ron, I'm glad that you posted this question. My parents took me to see JFK campaign where we lived in Gravesend, Brooklyn, in 1959. I was about three years old, so I don't remember it. On Nov 22, 1963 I was in the second grade when an announcement came over the loud speaker that JFK was assassinated. Our second grade teacher was a crabby, grumpy old woman who never smiled, named Mrs. McNamara. She burst into tears and ran out the room. We all had the impression that she didn't want us to see her in an emotional state, out of control. The following year, just short of my eighth birthday, when Bobby Kennedy ran for the Senate, he also campaigned in our neighborhood. My mother and I were waiting right up front at the speaker's dais, and when he finally appeared I was nearly crushed by the surging crowd. So I darted under the raised wooden platform, where I listened to the remainder of the speech crouched down, just inches below Bobby Kennedy.
  20. Does any of that seem to tie up in any way with all the Japanese (and Asian) connections that Dick Russell explores in his book on Richard Case Nagell? And has anyone come across any new info in the files on Nagell?
  21. Sandy, Thanks, that answers my question. Very interesting. And this clarifies that Cabell probably fell into the operational interest category.
  22. The Newly Declassified JFK Files

    Wow, that's really interesting; I didn't know MHCHAOS began with Ramparts. Making RT register with FARA directly parallels what they did to the underground press in the 60s and early 70s, in that they just want to eradicate any alternate model, esp ones that deliver the truth. And those who weren't yet alive during the period of the underground press are so much easier to deceive with ersatz "left" media such as Rachel Maddow.
  23. Sandy and Michael, I should clarify that I have no doubt that the Oswald was a CIA asset of some sort; I am raising the question in a more general sense regarding anyone who has a 201 file. And Sandy, you are right about Angleton and his crew. Richard Bissell directed William Harvey to create ZR/RIFLE, part of which according to Harvey was to "create phony 201" files, in order to create scapegoats. Phony can also mean doctoring existing 201 files. Michael, this along with Egerter's testimony from the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), is covered in detail, for example, in JFK and the Unspeakable, pp. 143-146, most of which you can see here (below). She is asked: " ... it seems that the purpose of CI/SIG was very limited and that limited purpose was [sic] being to investigate Agency employees who were for some reason under suspicion." To this she replies "That is correct." Douglas concludes that she was in this way tricked into admitting that Oswald was an employee (since the discussion was about 201s and not about Oswald, she fell into the trap). But my question concerns whether 201s may in fact be opened for reasons other than someone being "suspected one way or another.” https://books.google.com/books?id=KS-6XrdalGkC&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=ann+Egerter+testimony+hsca+oswald&source=bl&ots=1jO79VtQDB&sig=pA3pTsg3Jlje3jENRBRiDy0jnd8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4iuHKg8zXAhWFRCYKHbLlDJcQ6AEIUjAI#v=onepage&q=ann Egerter testimony hsca oswald&f=false This is from Jim D's site, regarding Earle Cabell and his 201 file: https://kennedysandking.com/news-items/what-is-new-in-the-files
  24. A great list, and thanks for the scan of the article which is most revealing.