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Douglas Caddy

John Newman's new book now available

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WHERE ANGELS TREAD LIGHTLY is interesting and fascinating but stops abruptly, and probably makes more sense in conjunction with COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS, where you can see where things were starting to go. Robin Ramsay did a funny review of it - “What does this have to do with the JFK assassination? Nothing, as far as I can tell..” I disagree but it won’t really serve readers as a stand-alone book.

I should start another thread on Richard Pipes at some point, and how his son Daniel made a point of repeatedly attacking JFK assassination researchers. A few of those articles are here.


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Thank you, Ron. I appreciate your points. We who write books on the case

and don't follow the official line do so out of love and dedication, and readers

of such books mostly share the same motivations. We don't expect wide audiences

or "general" readers, but when we find some of those readers we are pleased, and by and large

we get readers who are informed and thoughtful and, like us, want to

advance our understanding of this extraordinarily complex case. Such as you.

Edited by Joseph McBride

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Here is my review of Volume 1


The problem I have with what John is doing is that by going on so long, it becomes more like history of the JFK administration than the Kennedy assassination.

In Destiny Betrayed, second edition, I did some of this, but only to contrast it at the end with how the forces that killed Kennedy altered those policies he began.  


Edited by James DiEugenio

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From memory ARMAGEDDON is the Cuban Missile Crisis and somewhat beyond it, and from comments John made on Facebook I don't believe he hits the assassination until book 5. Which is frustrating but kind of okay if he's able to dig up a lot of new stuff relevant to the assassination. Six books would definitely be pushing things though.

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John Newman posted this on Facebook today:


Note: I published Into the Storm on Kindle at 6 this morning; it should be available on Amazon in a day or two--I'll post here when it is.

Here is a new review of the book on Amazon this morning--by a very important friend whose many years of crucial work on the case (see the acknowledgements in the book) many of you are familiar with:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Outstanding Work
February 7, 2019
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

I read parts of this book in advance of publication and provided some help to Dr. Newman in the preparation of the book. Now that it’s been published, I have read the whole book and I cannot say enough about the value of this work. Dr. Newman takes care to ferret out established facts, tying down timelines, and putting the facts in proper chronological and historical perspective, thereby laying a solid foundation for his outstanding analysis. It is very refreshing to read a book on the assassination of President Kennedy that minimizes speculation and replaces it with solid factual development and analysis. On one level, in this book, Dr. Newman picks up on the historical context work of David Talbot in Brothers, and Jim Douglass in JFK and the Unspeakable, but with more precision and detail in laying out the political developments of the Kennedy administration that laid the foundations for the widespread animosity the establishment had when it came to John Kennedy. On another level, Dr. Newman tackles the myths and propaganda canards that have arisen from the events leading up to the assassination and does a very good job of laying important myths and deceptions to rest. The chapters in the book dealing with the issue of what Bobby Kennedy knew about the CIA’s plotting with the Mafia to kill Castro are, alone, well worth the price of the book. His analysis of the Yuri Nosenko case is, likewise, outstanding and sets a standard for research and analysis in this area. Finally, his work in regard to Antonio Veciana’s story makes an invaluable contribution toward clarification of events surrounding the assassination. You need to read this book.

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The Kindle version is now available. It’s here.


Amazon has stupidly put the ebook version on a different page to the paperback and John is still getting that fixed. 

The comments below are also from John today on Facebook.  

- - - - - - - - 

“Pertinent to the above thread: Houston also told the committee that during the briefing Robert Kennedy was told that the Mafia assassination attempt against Castro had been dropped:

Senator Mondale: Would the attorney general have gotten a clear understanding as it appears to be reflected in this memo that this was an attempt that was over?

Mr. Houston: My recollection is that we told him the activity had been terminated as of that time.

Senator Mondale: Now, were you speaking in terms of the attempt through the Mafia?

Mr. Houston: That’s correct, sir.

Senator Mondale: Or were you talking in terms of all attempts?

Mr. Houston: I knew of no other.

Senator Mondale: So, he would have had the clear impression that this was the only attempt, that there was none other, and that it had been dropped.  That’s your opinion? 

Mr. Houston: That was certainly my feeling at the time, and I thought that’s what we were telling him. 

However, we can be certain that was a lie.  According to the IG report, at the time of the 7 May 1962 briefing for RFK, Harvey had just been introduced—on 8 April—to Chicago mobster Johnny Roselli and Cuban exile leader Manuel Varona, whose team had been given the lethal pills, arms, and related support equipment in late April: 

The attorney general was not told that the gambling syndicate operation had already been reactivated, nor, as far as we know, was he ever told that CIA had a continuing involvement with U.S. gangster elements.  When the attorney general was briefed on 7 May, Edwards knew that Harvey had been introduced to Roselli.  He must also have known that his subordinate, James O’Connell, was in Miami [with Harvey] and roughly for what purpose (although he does not now recall this).  [Emphasis added]
The Church Committee’s Interim Report—Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders—found “implausible” the above statement by Edwards that he was unaware of the continuing Mafia operation.

Incredibly, Harvey testified that Edwards not only knew the Mafia operation was still ongoing but also that Edwards told him about the briefing for the attorney general afterward.  According to Harvey, Edwards confirmed that he had made a false statement in a 14 May memorandum—that he (Harvey) had dropped the operation.  Edwards did this, Harvey explained, so that the record would incorrectly show that the Mafia assassination operation had been terminated.  

In an interview with Hersh, Halpern speculated that “Bobby Kennedy’s primary purpose in dealing with Charles Ford was to do what Bill Harvey was not doing—finding someone to assassinate Fidel Castro.”   Fate was cruel to Halpern.  He did not learn the truth about the CIA-Mafia assassination plot until his RFK charade had become baked into the fabric of the Kennedy assassination coverup.  When Halpern died, on 7 March 2005, his undying coat of arms, awarded by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, was his RFK chimera.

Allen Lowe — Unfortunately, RFK never left us a memo about what he knew or didn't know.  As such, and as controversial as this subject is, especially given the four decades of lies by Halpern on this subject (which I detailed very carefully in the book), I thought it best to stick to the facts and leave you to your own counsel at this point.  I will have more to say about this in volume IV, but only after much more research and careful analysis.  It's the best I can do for the moment.

For all who have been watching the above thread, I will leave one impression of mine on the table before moving on today to new business: If RFK really had been involved in a separate plot of his own, behind everyone else's back, both Lansdale and Harvey, who hated RFK would have glommed onto to it lies flies on sh*t.  But they didn't; not under oath, and not privately to their biographers.  The trail of crumbs Halpern laid down implicating RFK in a plot of his own to assassinate Castro leads nowhere.  That is just my impression.

In fact, that's why I pulled down the curtain early in Volume III, ended with an "Intermission" instead of a concluding chapter, and backed out until I have Volume IV ready;  volume IV will be revisiting the Mongoose/Northwoods/Castro plots etc. very closely--probably 200-plus pages before proceeding further into late 1962.  I prefer to move slowly rather than talk about things I am still working on.  I didn't plan for this work to take this long; but then, I did not anticipate how much deception I would have to untangle first.”

Edited by Anthony Thorne

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Newman has done a good job in this book of knocking down some of Veciana's tales. Despite the fact that some individuals think Veciana a CIA "agent" he was nothing of the kind. He was an "asset" of sorts and was approved for use in anti-Castro operations by the agency. But due to various reasons, which Newman tries to document, those operations did not happen and Veciana soon lost his POA. He then approached the Army through an intermediary (Jordan Pfuntner) and started working with them. Of course, all of this was essentially already known to researchers and Veciana was confronted at the 2014 AARC conference by Malcolm Blunt and others with some of this information which he sidestepped.

But probably the main revelation from Newman's book is that shortly after his initial interview with Fonzi in 1976, Veciana told his friend Felix Zabala that he needed to "publicly establish himself as a former CIA operative." The reasons for this were not revealed to Zabala. Veciana then asked Zabala to use his sister, who was married to a highly placed Cuban official, to transmit a letter to Castro describing Veciana's involvement in a CIA backed 1971 plot to kill the Cuban leader. Zabala was to tell his sister that he had a falling out with Veciana and was taking the action as a form of revenge. Veciana believed that the hot-headed Castro would take to the airwaves and reveal this plot and Veciana's involvement, thereby establishing him as a former CIA operative as he desired. Zabala was an FBI informant, so all of this is documented.

The bottom line is all of this shows that Veciana was plotting to establish himself as a former CIA operative when his primary association was actually with the Army. The timeframe for this is important to remember and was in 1976 after his initial interviews with Fonzi but before his HSCA testimony. In other words, he was attempting to establish a false CIA legend for himself, probably to bolster his Oswald-Bishop story. What he expected to gain from that canard other than notoriety is unclear at this point. Newman apparently believes that Veciana did have an association with David Phillips but it happened in the seventies rather than beginning in 1959 as he now claims. We will see if Newman can document this in his forthcoming books.

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Very interesting, thanks. I've just bought John's book and look forward to reading it. 

I cover Zabala's encounter with Cuban intelligence in my book Dirty Tricks: Nixon, Watergate and the CIA and a recent Washington Post article, which John references. The approach was heavily scripted by Veciana and designed both to establish his CIA credentials and to undermine the Carter administration's attempts at rapprochement with Cuba through Bernardo Benes (another fascinating story). Here are some of the key documents on the Zabala affair: 




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