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Joseph McBride

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  1. INTO THE NIGHTMARE: MY SEARCH FOR THE KILLERS OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY AND OFFICER J. D. TIPPIT has never been out of print since it was published in 2013. It can be ordered through Amazon.com or directly through Vervante, the fulfillment house. We regularly get many orders from buyers in the US as well as in other countries.
  2. I am sorry you are having trouble buying INTO THE NIGHTMARE. You can order the paperback through Amazon.com for $48.50, and the fulfillment house, Vervante in Utah, will ship it anywhere. We get many orders from all around the world. Shipping can be costly, but those are postal rates beyond our control. (There is also a Kindle edition, but you say you aren't into Kindle.) You can also order the book directly from the Vervante website. They also are the fulfillment house for my second book on the subject, POLITICAL TRUTH: THE MEDIA AND THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY.
  3. I called Jack Revill to ask for an interview. He was cordial but declined; another frustrating dead end. But he then surprised me by wishing me "good luck" (spoken without apparent irony) with my investigation of the case. Clearly he knew a lot but wouldn't reveal it.
  4. I interviewed Jack Daniels about his film while he was standing on that site. I asked him why the limousine is just a blur when it goes past, and the camera basically loses the occupants. He told me he was not looking through the camera but holding it at chest height and panning it with his body as it passed him and his sons, who are the boys seen waving as the car approaches, seemingly oblvious to what had happened in Dealey Plaza.
  5. "[Kennedy] died because he lost the support of his peers." -- Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, 1980-84, herself assassinated.
  6. A solid, experienced reporter. His book about Ruby is good. His typed notes about his Dallas reporting that weekend are in a Warren volume and are fascinating.
  7. What you are referring to is just part of a 675-page book in which I explore many complex facets of Tippit, his life and murder, and the Kennedy assassination. Rather than taking it out of context, I will just refer readers to the book itself.
  8. My book INTO THE NIGHTMARE goes into the questions and remaining mysteries of what Tippit was doing on the day of November 22, 1963, leading up to his death.
  9. From my book INTO THE NIGHTMARE, about strange discrepancies in accounts of when McNamara heard the news of the assassination. I find it patently unbelievable that I learned about the assassination twenty minutes before the Secretary of Defense supposedly heard the news, and I was a high school junior in Milwaukee: Another indication of the way things were rapidly threatening to spiral out of control for Johnson in the immediate aftermath of the assassination is this report in Jim Bishop’s 1968 book The Day the President Was Shot: “Officials at the Pentagon were calling the White House switchboard at the Dallas-Sheraton Hotel asking who was now in command. An officer grabbed the phone and assured the Pentagon that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff ‘are now the President.’” This indication of a possible military coup underway, whether Johnson was wittingly involved in it or not, could have influenced his first decisions, including his controversial and seemingly somewhat irrational choice to be sworn in on Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas. Delaying his departure for Washington to take the oath was unnecessary since he had become president, according to the Constitution, immediately upon Kennedy’s death. An ulterior motive beyond what was publicly stated would help account for Johnson’s decision to commandeer Kennedy’s plane, for which he would take severe criticism from Kennedy aides and others. William Kelly, writing on his website JFK Countercoup, theorizes that Johnson made that decision partly because Air Force One enabled him to make use of the most advanced and secure presidential communication lines at a time of maximum crisis: “All of the president’s communications were controlled by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), then led by Colonel George McNally (code name ‘Star’), who was having lunch at the airport terminal when the assassination occurred and returned to Air Force One to ensure that the new president could communicate with anyone in the world. . . . The WHCA Command Center and base station for the Dallas portion of the Texas trip was set up in a room or suite of rooms at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel.” Kelly proposes that the strange message from the WHCA Command Center about McNamara and the Joint Chiefs being “the President” did not have to do simply with presidential succession but with the National Command Authority (NCA) nuclear release authority, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower had set up to control the command of nuclear weapons if the nation’s chief executive were disabled or killed. Kelly notes that under that plan, if a president were disabled or missing, the authority to use nuclear weapons would have passed to the secretary of defense. . . . Where was McNamara at the time of the assassination? He and Attorney General Robert Kennedy were the most important members of the Kennedy cabinet still in Washington at the time; fully half of the ten-member cabinet, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon (the cabinet officer responsible for the Secret Service), were in a plane bound for Japan, following a meeting in Honolulu to help decide Vietnam policy. But one of the many oddities of the official account of the assassination is that there are starkly contradictory accounts of McNamara’s whereabouts and activities in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Dallas. In his 1995 book In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam (with Brian VanDeMark), McNamara reports that he was at the Pentagon holding a conference about the defense budget that Kennedy planned to submit to Congress in January. With the secretary were with McGeorge Bundy; Kermit Gordon of the Budget Bureau; and Kennedy’s science adviser, Jerome Wiesner. Manchester reports in The Death of the President that during the meeting, McNamara was handed the first wire-service bulletin about shots being fired in Dallas, sent out at 12:34 by United Press International. Simultaneously the Pentagon’s command center sounded a buzzer, awakening [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman] General Maxwell Taylor, who was napping in his office between sessions with the Germans [the commanders of the West German Bundeswehr were meeting with the Chiefs that day]. . . . [McNamara] kept his head and made all the right moves. An ashen-faced aide came in with the bulletin. Jerry Wiesner studied the man’s expression as the secretary read it. Wiesner thought: The Bomb’s been dropped. McNamara quietly handed the slip around -- Wiesner felt momentary relief; anything was better than a nuclear holocaust -- and then the Secretary acted quickly. Adjourning his conference, he sent Mac Bundy back to the White House in a Defense limousine and conferred with Taylor and the other Joint Chiefs. Over the JCS signature they dispatched a flash warning to every American military base in the world. 1. Press reports President Kennedy and Governor Connally of Texas shot and critically injured. Both in hospital at Dallas, Texas. No official information yet, will keep you informed. 2. This is the time to be especially on the alert. McNamara’s book, on the other hand, gives a considerably later time for when he learned the news, about 2 p.m. Eastern time, or 1 p.m. in Dallas. This seems bizarre, since it would mean that much of the world (including even me, a high school junior in Milwaukee) had known about the shooting for more than twenty minutes before the secretary of defense of the United States. McNamara writes about that meeting at the Pentagon: In the midst of our discussion -- at about 2:00 p.m. -- my secretary informed me of an urgent, personal telephone call. I left the conference room and took it alone in my office. It was Bobby Kennedy, even more lonely and distant than usual. He told me simply and quietly that the president had been shot. I was stunned. Slowly, I walked back to the conference room and, barely controlling my voice, reported the news to the group. Strange as it may sound, we did not disperse: we were in such shock that we simply did not know what to do. So, as best as we could, we resumed our deliberations. A second call from Bobby came about forty-five minutes later. The president was dead. Our meeting immediately adjourned amid tears and stunned silence. Strange as it may sound, indeed. Why McNamara chose to put out that patently incredible story, twenty-eight years after Manchester published his far different report of a quickly-moving defense secretary working in concert with the chiefs to send out a worldwide alert, remains unclear. It’s conceivable that McNamara’s account represents a memory lapse or sloppy research, though he was always renowned for his sharp memory (it is still on display years later in Errol Morris’s 2003 film, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, although McNamara’s memory conveniently falters briefly when he claims not to be sure whether he authorized the use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War, a toxic chemical used while he was secretary of defense). McNamara’s account in his book of his actions on November 22, 1963, conflicts oddly with Bishop’s report that the White House Communication Agency was claiming that the defense secretary and the chiefs were “the president” (Bishop doesn’t offer an exact time for that story, but he suggests it was while Johnson and Air Force One were still at Love Field). What is clear from these muddled accounts is that important events were taking place at the highest level of power that the public was not supposed to comprehend, even decades later.
  10. Chomsky once "joked" that his salary since 1955 has been paid by the military-industrial complex. That was the year he started teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He remains an Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT even though he has moved to Arizona, where he is a Laureate Professor of Linguistics at Arizona State University. Freud once observed that there is no such thing as a joke. Chomsky has also declared that the two subjects he won't touch are the JFK assassination and 9/11, although he has published books about both subjects. His 1993 book RETHINKING CAMELOT: JFK, THE VIETNAM WAR, AND U.S. POLITICAL CULTURE is a not-so-oblique attack on and response to Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK.
  11. Obama killed about 10,000 people with drones. He joked to his staff about being a good killer. They had a day each week when they would meet about who to whack with drones.
  12. When someone writes "factoid," you know the person "learned" about the assassination from the late disinformation agent John MacAdams, who used the term as a childish code word to disparage something he didn't like before making or not making a case against it. The use of "factoid" is similar to the common disparaging use of the term "conspiracy theory" to end discussion.
  13. Keep doing what you're doing, Gil. It's appreciated.
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