Jump to content

Jim DiEugenio’s review of David Talbot’s book Brothers


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 43
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Jim DiEugenio’s review of David Talbot’s book Brothers has been posted on the CTKA web site.

http://www.ctka.net/brothers.html

Ron W

I learn more from DiEugenio's reviews than I do from most books.

Thanks for posting this Ron.

Sure wonder what the real story is with Sheridan...

He went way beyond merely assessing Garrison's case.

So, in sabotaging Garrison was he representing RFK or betraying him?

And in any case, why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim DiEugenio’s review of David Talbot’s book Brothers has been posted on the CTKA web site.

http://www.ctka.net/brothers.html

Ron W

Excerpt:

"Finally, in this regard, I must comment on the book's treatment of JFK and Mary Meyer. I was quite surprised that, as with Sheridan, Talbot swallowed the whole apple on this one. As I have written, (The Assassinations pgs 338-345), any serious chronicler has to be just as careful with this episode as with Judith Exner -- and to his credit, Talbot managed to avoid that disinformation filled land mine. Before criticizing him on this, and before I get smeared by people like Jon Simkin, I want to make a public confession. I actually believed the Meyer nonsense at one time. In fact, to my everlasting chagrin, I discussed it -- Timothy Leary and all -- at a talk I did in San Francisco about a year after Oliver Stone's JFK came out. It wasn't until I began to examine who Leary was, who his associates were, and how he fit into the whole explosion of drugs into the USA in the sixties and seventies that I began to question who he was. In light of this, I then reexamined his Mary Meyer story, and later the whole legerdemain around this fanciful tale. Thankfully, Talbot does not go into the whole overwrought "mystery" about her death and her mythologized diary. But he eagerly buys into everything else. Yet to do this, one has to believe some rather unbelievable people. And you then have to ignore their credibility problems so your more curious readers won't ask any questions. For if they do the whole edifice starts to unravel.

Foremost among this motley crew is Leary. As I was the first to note, there is a big problem with his story about Meyer coming to him in 1962 for psychedelic drugs. Namely, he didn't write about it for 21 years previous --until 1983. He wrote about 25 books in the meantime. (Sort of like going through 25 FBI, Secret Service, and DPD interviews before you suddenly recall seeing Oswald on the sixth floor.) Yet it was not until he hooked up with the likes of Gordon Liddy that he suddenly recalled, with vivid memory, supplying Mary with LSD and her mentioning of her high official friend and commenting, "They couldn't control him any more. He was changing too fast" etc. etc. etc. "

That's exactly what I was trying to discuss with post #291 here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...9824&st=285

"David,

The material in your book about the motivation behind Mary Meyer sharing LSD with President Kennedy was pretty jaw-dropping, certainly a revelation to me.

And the entire time I was wondering about Timothy Leary and whether or not he was CIA.

If Leary was CIA then Meyer, presumably inadvertently, played right into the CIA's hands by giving them one more thing to use against JFK and/or one more reason to hate JFK. (Actually you make the case that the episode(s) hurt him anyway since the CIA was aware of them.)

Do you think Leary was CIA? Did you find any evidence that he was CIA?

Thanks.

Myra"

It was never answered.

So, does anyone have any insights into Mr. Leary that may help clarify?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim DiEugenio’s review of David Talbot’s book Brothers has been posted on the CTKA web site.

http://www.ctka.net/brothers.html

Ron W

********************************************************************

Ron, this is outstanding! Thank you, so much for posting this relevant information. I've taken the liberty of quoting, and bolded some of the passages of the review that I thought were important enough and needed to be stressed. I hope you don't mind.

Before I go any further could you clarify something for me regarding the person, Robert Blakey?

"His name was Robert Blakey and his book Fatal Hour presented " a compelling case for a darker interpretation of Camelot." (Ibid)"

Any relation to G. Robert Blakey?

The rest is superb writing, thanks to Jim DiEugenio:

Finally, in this regard, I must comment on the book's treatment of JFK and Mary Meyer. I was quite surprised that, as with Sheridan, Talbot swallowed the whole apple on this one. As I have written, (The Assassinations pgs 338-345), any serious chronicler has to be just as careful with this episode as with Judith Exner -- and to his credit, Talbot managed to avoid that disinformation filled land mine. Before criticizing him on this, and before I get smeared by people like Jon Simkin, I want to make a public confession. I actually believed the Meyer nonsense at one time. In fact, to my everlasting chagrin, I discussed it -- Timothy Leary and all -- at a talk I did in San Francisco about a year after Oliver Stone's JFK came out. It wasn't until I began to examine who Leary was, who his associates were, and how he fit into the whole explosion of drugs into the USA in the sixties and seventies that I began to question who he was. In light of this, I then reexamined his Mary Meyer story, and later the whole legerdemain around this fanciful tale. Thankfully, Talbot does not go into the whole overwrought "mystery" about her death and her mythologized diary. But he eagerly buys into everything else. Yet to do this, one has to believe some rather unbelievable people. And you then have to ignore their credibility problems so your more curious readers won't ask any questions. For if they do the whole edifice starts to unravel.

Foremost among this motley crew is Leary. As I was the first to note, there is a big problem with his story about Meyer coming to him in 1962 for psychedelic drugs. Namely, he didn't write about it for 21 years previous --until 1983. He wrote about 25 books in the meantime. (Sort of like going through 25 FBI, Secret Service, and DPD interviews before you suddenly recall seeing Oswald on the sixth floor.) Yet it was not until he hooked up with the likes of Gordon Liddy that he suddenly recalled, with vivid memory, supplying Mary with LSD and her mentioning of her high official friend and commenting, "They couldn't control him any more. He was changing too fast" etc. etc. etc. Another surprising source Talbot uses here is none other than CIA counter-intelligence chief James Angleton, the guy who was likely handling Oswald until 1962. Talbot actually quotes the nutty Cold Warrior, Kennedy antagonist and Warren Commission cover up artist waxing poetic about Kennedy being in love with Mary: "They were in love ... they had something very important." (p. 199) This from a man who, later on, Talbot admits loathed JFK and actually thought he was a Soviet agent.! (p. 275). A further dubious source is Jim Truitt, the former friend of Ben Bradlee who used to work for him at the Washington Post and was also friends with Angleton. Consider: Truitt had been trying to discredit President Kennedy while he was alive by saying he was previously married and had it covered up. In fact, he had pushed this fatuous story on Bradlee. And it appears that Truitt then started the whole drug angle of the story as a way of getting back at Bradlee and the Post for firing him. By 1969 he was so unstable that his wife sought a conservatorship for him and then divorced him in 1971. Truitt tried to get a job with the CIA and when he did not he moved to Mexico into a colony of former CIA agents. There he grew and smoked the mescaline-based hallucinogenic drug peyote. This was his sorry state when he first reported to the press about the "turned on" Meyer/JFK romance. He then shot himself in 1981. Here you have a guy who was a long-time Kennedy basher, became mentally unstable, was a CIA wannabe, and was planting and taking hallucinogenics with other CIA agents-- and then accuses JFK of doing the same, 14 years after the fact. Some witness, huh? I don't even want to mention the last major source Talbot uses to complete this rickety shack. I have a hard time even typing his name. But I have to. Its sleazy biographer David Heymann. Heymann wrote one of the very worst books ever published on Bobby Kennedy, and has made a lucrative career out of trashing the Kennedy family. For me, Heymann is either a notch above or below the likes of Kitty Kelley. But when you're that low, who's measuring?

"The worst chapter in the book, by far, is entitled "New Orleans". This is allegedly about Robert Kennedy's reaction to the investigation of the JFK case by local DA Jim Garrison. I have to use the word "allegedly" here because it seems to me that Talbot started this chapter with an assumption in mind and then piled the material in to fill out that assumption -- whether it actually did or not. Authors get in trouble when they shoehorn evidence to fit a preordained verdict. And this chapter seems to me to be troublesome from the start.

One problem seems to be a hangover from the David Talbot of 1992, the man who thought that Blakey was the ultimate authority on the JFK case and Garrison was somewhere between a circus clown and a charlatan. To say the least, the releases of the ARRB have not borne this out. And, to his credit, the author seems to have amended this judgment a bit. In spite of that, he presages his New Orleans chapter by calling it "a gaudy Louisiana legal spectacle" (p. 308). The whole first page of his introduction to Garrison the man is in a similar vein and he plays this off against the standard packaged tourist image of New Orleans pre-Katrina. (p. 319) When he introduces Garrison's investigation it is essentially more of the same. For instance, about the arrest of Clay Shaw, Talbot writes, "But to Garrison, he was a CIA-linked international businessman. . .." Today, there can be no "buts" about it. Shaw was not just "linked" to the CIA, he worked for them. We have this not just from the declassified files, but from FBI agent Regis Kennedy, who said, in referring to Shaw's association with Permindex, that Shaw was a CIA agent who had worked for the Agency in Italy. (Let Justice Be Done, by William Davy, p. 100) To further downplay the importance of what Garrison uncovered, Talbot quotes former RFK aide, Ed Guthman. Guthman was working as an editor for the Los Angeles Times in early 1967. He tells Talbot that he sent his ace reporters to New Orleans and they discovered that Garrison had no evidence for his charges. Guthman calls them "great reporters". If Talbot would have dug a little deeper he would have found out a couple of interesting things these "great reporters" had done. One of the "great" reporters was Jack Nelson. Nelson's source for Garrison not having any evidence was former FBI agent and Hoover informer Aaron Kohn. Kohn was, among other things, an unofficial assistant to Shaw's defense team. Another of Guthman's "great" reporters was Jerry Cohen. Cohen cooperated with FBI informant Larry Schiller in keeping Garrison from extraditing Loran Hall. This cooperation extended up to flying with Hall to Sacramento to speak to Edwin Meese. Further, Cohen kept up a correspondence with Shaw's lawyers and even Shaw himself. This is great reporting?

By page 325, we see why Talbot has set things up this way. And this directly relates to Talbot's portrait of Walter Sheridan. I was going to write that it is so warm and fuzzy that it could have been written by Sheridan's family. But I can't write that because, in large part, it was written by Sheridan's family. Namely his widow and son. Talbot interviewed the woman five times and uses her profusely and without question. Now if you are going to use people like Guthman, and Sheridan's family to profess to his good character, it leaves you with a serious problem. You now have to explain all the ugly and unethical things Sheridan did to destroy Garrison. Talbot achieves this in two ways: 1.) By recycling debunked mainstream media deceptions, and 2.) By leaving out integral parts of the story.

Concerning the former, Talbot tries to excuse Sheridan by saying that Sheridan thought Garrison was ignoring mobster Carlos Marcello. He even goes as far as saying that Garrison gave Marcello a "free pass" and referred to him as a "respectable businessman" (p. 327) This canard has been exposed for years, in fact for over a decade. Garrison busted at least three bars in New Orleans which were run either by Marcello or his associates. (Davy, pgs 154-155) Talbot does not source his "businessman" quote, but it appears he has confused Garrison with one or more local FBI agents. And it is not true that Garrison never investigated the Mafia aspect, he did. (He actually wrote a memo on it.) But he came to the conclusion, as many others have, that the Mob was a junior partner in the crime, not the engine running the machine.

Talbot then writes something even more unsubstantiated. He says that what really got Sheridan upset with Garrison is that Garrison had somehow discovered the CIA Castro assassination plots, and how they might have backfired against JFK. For one, in the book's own terms, this is illogical. For this chapter, Talbot now writes that the plots had been "supervised by Bobby". Yet, he has clearly established previously, and convincingly, that this was not the case. The CIA had done them on their own. Secondly, I have been through a large part of the extant Garrison files. His son Lyon Garrison allowed me to copy them in New Orleans. I then had them shipped to Los Angeles and filed them in chronological and subject order. I found no evidence that Garrison himself had discovered these CIA managed plots in early 1967, which would have to be true if Talbot's thesis is to hold water. Interestingly, Talbot gives no source for Sheridan's knowledge of what Garrison was on to or how he discovered it. Even more interesting, he avoids mentioning the famous Jack Anderson/Drew Pearson story, which aired at the time. This story actually did mention the CIA plots, and did say that RFK was involved with them. And considering Anderson's role as an FBI informant on Garrison, it was probably done to confuse the DA. But there is no evidence Garrison ever took the (false) insinuation of RFK's involvement seriously.

Having no factual basis for this concept, Talbot then uses the bare assumption as the excuse for why Sheridan went to the CIA to get their input on Garrison. By this time, I had become quite curious as to why Talbot was cutting Sheridan so much slack. So I flipped a few pages forward and discovered the reason. The book maintains that Sheridan in New Orleans was not acting as any kind of intelligence operative, but rather on RFK's behalf. He goes on like this for a couple of paragraphs -- quoting Sheridan's reliable wife again--and then comes this stunning statement: "And there is no evidence Sheridan and agency officials did in fact end up joining forces against the DA." (p. 331) When I read that my eyes popped. Consider: in a legal deposition, among other places, Gordon Novel admitted that he was being paid by Sheridan on a retainer basis for spying on Garrison. Since Novel was writing letters to people like Richard Helms at the time, it's fair to say he was working with the Agency. Further, Garrison discovered that Sheridan was getting the expense money for people like Novel through a local law firm, which was laundering it for the CIA. And a declassified FBI memo reveals that NBC had given instructions that the special was meant to "shoot him [Garrison] down". Further in Robert Kennedy and his Times, Arthur Schlesinger quotes Kennedy as saying that it was NBC who sent Sheridan to New Orleans, and further that he felt Garrison might be on to something. (p. 616) As many commentators have noted, including Carl Bernstein -- who Talbot uses (p. 390) -- the major networks worked with the CIA on issues like defending the Warren Report. And the chairman of NBC at the time, General David Sarnoff, had worked in intelligence during World War II. In a further imbalance, Talbot barely discusses Sheridan's intelligence background, devoting all of two sentences to it. (p. 330)

I could go into much more length about Sheridan's activities in New Orleans, and how they continued even after RFK was dead. And I could point out even more errors Talbot makes on this issue. For instance, he writes that Garrison "turned the tables" on Sheridan and arrested "him for bribing witnesses. (The charges were later dropped.)" (p. 329) Thus he insinuates that it was Garrison who was bribing witnesses and not Sheridan. Which is exactly wrong. (Davy on pgs 135-137 chronicles some of Sheridan's efforts in this aspect.) Further, the charges were not dropped. Sheridan got an entourage of proven CIA affiliated lawyers for his defense. (Ibid, p. 143) And in a recurrent tactic, they got the charges switched to federal court where they were eventually thrown out. Finally, let me make one more cogent observation about Sheridan. He clearly did not like Garrison's focus on the CIA in the JFK case. He then worked a lot with the HSCA, Dan Moldea, and Robert Blakey pushing the Mafia/Hoffa angle, which was certainly prominent in the HSCA Report and volumes. Yet on the day the report was issued Marcello's lifelong friend, lobbyist Irving Davidson, told an acquaintance that he had talked to Sheridan and that he agreed that the HSCA report was a piece of crap too. (Vincent Bugliosi, Reclaiming History, p. 1175) So if Sheridan did not believe the CIA was involved, and he thought Blakey's focus on the Mafia was B.S., what did he believe then? The Warren Report maybe?

The mystery of Walter Sheridan -- who he was, and why he did what he did -- is a long, serious, and complex one. Talbot does not even begin to plumb its depths. For that reason, among others, I believe -- and I can demonstrate -- that every tenet of this chapter is just plain wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Finally, in this regard, I must comment on the book's treatment of JFK and Mary Meyer. I was quite surprised that, as with Sheridan, Talbot swallowed the whole apple on this one. As I have written, (The Assassinations pgs 338-345), any serious chronicler has to be just as careful with this episode as with Judith Exner -- and to his credit, Talbot managed to avoid that disinformation filled land mine. Before criticizing him on this, and before I get smeared by people like John Simkin, I want to make a public confession. I actually believed the Meyer nonsense at one time. In fact, to my everlasting chagrin, I discussed it -- Timothy Leary and all -- at a talk I did in San Francisco about a year after Oliver Stone's JFK came out.” (James DiEugenio)

James suggests that he is in danger of being smeared by me for his criticism of the Mary Pinchot story. The reason for this hostility is that I included passages from books by Dale Myers and Gus Russo that were critical of him on the page I created on James DiEugenio. The reason that I include different views on the people that I write about is because of the British educational system. In history we have to teach different interpretations of the past. We encourage students to be critical of the sources. All the people I write about are treated in this way. However, James took offence at this approach to education and insisted I removed these critical comments. It seems that James only likes me to encourage educational debate about establishment figures. For example, I have posted James’ comments about me on my page and the one on Mary Meyer. I have also added some of his harshest criticisms of David Talbot to his page.

I have in fact removed the comments made by Dale Myers and Gus Russo as it seems that James DiEugenio cannot take criticism. I don’t expect David Talbot to make demands that I remove James’ comments about him.

“It wasn't until I began to examine who Leary was, who his associates were, and how he fit into the whole explosion of drugs into the USA in the sixties and seventies that I began to question who he was. In light of this, I then reexamined his Mary Meyer story, and later the whole legerdemain around this fanciful tale. Thankfully, Talbot does not go into the whole overwrought "mystery" about her death and her mythologized diary. But he eagerly buys into everything else. Yet to do this, one has to believe some rather unbelievable people. And you then have to ignore their credibility problems so your more curious readers won't ask any questions. For if they do the whole edifice starts to unravel.

Foremost among this motley crew is Leary. As I was the first to note, there is a big problem with his story about Meyer coming to him in 1962 for psychedelic drugs. Namely, he didn't write about it for 21 years previous --until 1983. He wrote about 25 books in the meantime. (Sort of like going through 25 FBI, Secret Service, and DPD interviews before you suddenly recall seeing Oswald on the sixth floor.) Yet it was not until he hooked up with the likes of Gordon Liddy that he suddenly recalled, with vivid memory, supplying Mary with LSD and her mentioning of her high official friend and commenting, "They couldn't control him any more. He was changing too fast" etc. etc. etc.” (James DiEugenio)

It is true that Tim O’Leary is an unreliable source. However, that does not mean that everything he said is untrue. Is it not possible that he kept quiet for 21 years because he was afraid? After all, O’Leary believed that Mary Pinchot Meyer had been murdered because of what she knew about the events surrounding JFK.

Another surprising source Talbot uses here is none other than CIA counter-intelligence chief James Angleton, the guy who was likely handling Oswald until 1962. Talbot actually quotes the nutty Cold Warrior, Kennedy antagonist and Warren Commission cover up artist waxing poetic about Kennedy being in love with Mary: "They were in love ... they had something very important." (p. 199) This from a man who, later on, Talbot admits loathed JFK and actually thought he was a Soviet agent.! (p. 275). (James DiEugenio)

This is of course ridiculous. David Talbot does not quote Angleton in support of his story about the possibility that Mary Pinchot Meyer was murdered by the CIA. In fact, we know that Angleton lied about certain aspects of the case during Raymond Crump’s trial. Does James DiEugenio believe that Crump was guilty of this crime or was he set-up by the CIA? Is he aware that one of the main witnesses against Crump at the trial was a CIA contract worker?

It seems that James DiEugenio is against using quotes from Angleton as evidence is because he “loathed JFK”. Therefore he is seen as another unreliable source of information. I know some researchers are very protective of JFK and are unhappy when historians criticise him. I believe this creates a major problem. JFK was indeed a very flawed individual. Historians must not see the world like a black and white hat cowboy movie.

A further dubious source is Jim Truitt, the former friend of Ben Bradlee who used to work for him at the Washington Post and was also friends with Angleton. Consider: Truitt had been trying to discredit President Kennedy while he was alive by saying he was previously married and had it covered up. In fact, he had pushed this fatuous story on Bradlee. And it appears that Truitt then started the whole drug angle of the story as a way of getting back at Bradlee and the Post for firing him. By 1969 he was so unstable that his wife sought a conservatorship for him and then divorced him in 1971. Truitt tried to get a job with the CIA and when he did not he moved to Mexico into a colony of former CIA agents. There he grew and smoked the mescaline-based hallucinogenic drug peyote. This was his sorry state when he first reported to the press about the "turned on" Meyer/JFK romance. He then shot himself in 1981. Here you have a guy who was a long-time Kennedy basher, became mentally unstable, was a CIA wannabe, and was planting and taking hallucinogenics with other CIA agents-- and then accuses JFK of doing the same, 14 years after the fact. Some witness, huh? (James DiEugenio)

It is true that Jim Truitt was extremely hostile to Ben Bradlee when in March, 1976, he gave an interview to the National Enquirer. Truitt told the newspaper that Meyer was having an affair with JFK when he was assassinated. He also claimed that Meyer had told his wife, Ann Truitt, that she was keeping an account of this relationship in her diary. Meyer asked Truitt to take possession of a private diary "if anything ever happened to me".

Ann Truitt was living in Tokyo at the time that Meyer was murdered on 12th October, 1964. She phoned Bradlee at his home and asked him if he had found the diary. Bradlee, who claimed he was unaware of his sister-in-law's affair with JFK, knew nothing about the diary. He later recalled what he did after Truitt's phone-call: "We didn't start looking until the next morning, when Tony and I walked around the corner a few blocks to Mary's house. It was locked, as we had expected, but when we got inside, we found Jim Angleton, and to our complete surprise he told us he, too, was looking for Mary's diary."

James Angleton, CIA counterintelligence chief, admitted that he knew of Mary's relationship with Kennedy and was searching her home looking for her diary and any letters that would reveal details of the affair. According to Ben Bradlee, it was Mary's sister, Antoinette Bradlee, who found the diary and letters a few days later. It was claimed that the diary was in a metal box in Mary's studio. The contents of the box were given to Angleton who claimed he burnt the diary. Angleton later admitted that Mary recorded in her diary that she had taken LSD with Kennedy before "they made love".

As you can see, it was not only Jim Truitt’s evidence that supports this story. Ann Truitt, Ben Bradlee, Antoinette Bradlee and James Angleton also agree that it happened. The disagreement concerns the motivation for looking for the diary. According to both Jim and Ann, there was something in that diary that posed a threat to the life of Mary Meyer.

Leo Damore claimed in an article that appeared in the New York Post that the reason Angleton and Bradlee were looking for the diary was that: "She (Meyer) had access to the highest levels. She was involved in illegal drug activity. What do you think it would do to the beatification of Kennedy if this woman said, 'It wasn't Camelot, it was Caligula's court'?" Damore also said that a figure close to the CIA had told him that Mary's death had been a professional "hit".

There is another possible reason why both Angleton and Bradlee were searching for documents in Meyer's house. Meyer had been married to Cord Meyer, a leading CIA operative involved in a variety of covert operations in the early 1950s, including being in charge of Operation Mockingbird. Was the CIA worried that Mary Meyer had kept a record of these activities? It has to be remembered that both Cord and Mary Meyer had held left-wing views in their youth.

We also know that in August, 1953, Richard Helms, Wisner's deputy at the OPC, told Cord Meyer that Joseph McCarthy had accused him of being a communist. The FBI added to the smear by announcing it was unwilling to give Meyer "security clearance". However, the FBI refused to explain what evidence they had against Meyer. Allen W. Dulles and both came to his defence and refused to permit a FBI interrogation of Meyer. The FBI eventually revealed the charges against Meyer. Apparently he was a member of several liberal groups considered to be subversive by the Justice Department. This included being a member of the National Council on the Arts, where he associated with Norman Thomas, the leader of the Socialist Party and its presidential candidate in 1948. It was also pointed out that his wife, Mary Meyer, was a former member of the American Labor Party. Meyer was eventually cleared of these charges and was allowed to keep his job.

Cord’s political opinions changed dramatically after joining the CIA. Mary remained true to her views and politics became a source of conflict between them and was one of the reasons why they were eventually divorced. The CIA would have been very concerned that Mary would have known about Mockingbird and other illegal CIA operations. Did she record these events in her diary? Was this why Mary Pinochet Meyer had been murdered?

“I don't even want to mention the last major source Talbot uses to complete this rickety shack. I have a hard time even typing his name. But I have to. Its sleazy biographer David Heymann. Heymann wrote one of the very worst books ever published on Bobby Kennedy, and has made a lucrative career out of trashing the Kennedy family. For me, Heymann is either a notch above or below the likes of Kitty Kelley. But when you're that low, who's measuring?” (James DiEugenio)

One again the source is considered to be unreliable because he has in the past criticised the Kennedy family. James does not explain what evidence that Heymann provides. From the passage above it would seem to be about JFK’s reputation. That is not true. This is the passage from Heymann’s book, Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club (2003) that he is referring to:

“Cord Meyer gave expression to his support of Angleton in, "Facing Reality," an autobiography subtitled, "From World Federalism to the CIA." In the same volume, he comments briefly on the murder of his wife: "I was satisfied by the conclusions of the police investigation that Mary had been the victim of a sexually motivated assault by a single individual and that she had been killed in her struggle to escape." Carol Delaney, a family friend and longtime personal assistant to Cord Meyer, observed that, "Mr. Meyer didn't for a minute think that Ray Crump had murdered his wife or that it had been an attempted rape. But, being an Agency man, he couldn't very well accuse the CIA of the crime, although the murder had all the markings of an in-house rubout."

Asked to comment on the case, by the current author (C. David Heymann), Cord Meyer held court at the beginning of February 2001 - six weeks before his death - in the barren dining room of a Washington nursing home. Propped up in a chair, his glass eye bulging, he struggled to hold his head aloft. Although he was no longer able to read, the nurses supplied him with a daily copy of The Washington Post, which he carried with him wherever he went. "My father died of a heart attack the same year Mary was killed , " he whispered. "It was a bad time." And what could he say about Mary Meyer? Who had committed such a heinous crime? "The same sons of bitches," he hissed, "that killed John F. Kennedy."

In other words, Mary Meyer was killed as part of the cover-up to the JFK assassination. James is wrong to suggest that the only sources that we have for this story are the ones mentioned in his review. My main source is someone who knew Mary and Cord Meyer when they lived together in Washington. In fact, he was the son of one of Cord’s colleagues at the CIA. He knows a great deal about this case. I have asked him to post what he has on the Forum. However, he has declined the offer.

He also has a copy of Leo Damore’s unpublished manuscript on Mary Meyer. In it Damore names the CIA contract worker who murdered Mary Meyer. He has given me this name and details of his background. Damore “committed suicide” in October 1995 and the book has never been published. It is therefore understandable why this person is unwilling to post on this forum. Does that make him an unreliable source? In my opinion he is reliable but one of course never really knows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Finally, in this regard, I must comment on the book's treatment of JFK and Mary Meyer. I was quite surprised that, as with Sheridan, Talbot swallowed the whole apple on this one. As I have written, (The Assassinations pgs 338-345), any serious chronicler has to be just as careful with this episode as with Judith Exner -- and to his credit, Talbot managed to avoid that disinformation filled land mine. Before criticizing him on this, and before I get smeared by people like John Simkin, I want to make a public confession. I actually believed the Meyer nonsense at one time. In fact, to my everlasting chagrin, I discussed it -- Timothy Leary and all -- at a talk I did in San Francisco about a year after Oliver Stone's JFK came out.” (James DiEugenio)

James suggests that he is in danger of being smeared by me for his criticism of the Mary Pinchot story. The reason for this hostility is that I included passages from books by Dale Myers and Gus Russo that were critical of him on the page I created on James DiEugenio. The reason that I include different views on the people that I write about is because of the British educational system. In history we have to teach different interpretations of the past. We encourage students to be critical of the sources. All the people I write about are treated in this way. However, James took offence at this approach to education and insisted I removed these critical comments. It seems that James only likes me to encourage educational debate about establishment figures. For example, I have posted James’ comments about me on my page and the one on Mary Meyer. I have also added some of his harshest criticisms of David Talbot to his page.

I have in fact removed the comments made by Dale Myers and Gus Russo as it seems that James DiEugenio cannot take criticism. I don’t expect David Talbot to make demands that I remove James’ comments about him.

“It wasn't until I began to examine who Leary was, who his associates were, and how he fit into the whole explosion of drugs into the USA in the sixties and seventies that I began to question who he was. In light of this, I then reexamined his Mary Meyer story, and later the whole legerdemain around this fanciful tale. Thankfully, Talbot does not go into the whole overwrought "mystery" about her death and her mythologized diary. But he eagerly buys into everything else. Yet to do this, one has to believe some rather unbelievable people. And you then have to ignore their credibility problems so your more curious readers won't ask any questions. For if they do the whole edifice starts to unravel.

Foremost among this motley crew is Leary. As I was the first to note, there is a big problem with his story about Meyer coming to him in 1962 for psychedelic drugs. Namely, he didn't write about it for 21 years previous --until 1983. He wrote about 25 books in the meantime. (Sort of like going through 25 FBI, Secret Service, and DPD interviews before you suddenly recall seeing Oswald on the sixth floor.) Yet it was not until he hooked up with the likes of Gordon Liddy that he suddenly recalled, with vivid memory, supplying Mary with LSD and her mentioning of her high official friend and commenting, "They couldn't control him any more. He was changing too fast" etc. etc. etc.” (James DiEugenio)

It is true that Tim O’Leary is an unreliable source. However, that does not mean that everything he said is untrue. Is it not possible that he kept quiet for 21 years because he was afraid? After all, O’Leary believed that Mary Pinchot Meyer had been murdered because of what she knew about the events surrounding JFK.

Another surprising source Talbot uses here is none other than CIA counter-intelligence chief James Angleton, the guy who was likely handling Oswald until 1962. Talbot actually quotes the nutty Cold Warrior, Kennedy antagonist and Warren Commission cover up artist waxing poetic about Kennedy being in love with Mary: "They were in love ... they had something very important." (p. 199) This from a man who, later on, Talbot admits loathed JFK and actually thought he was a Soviet agent.! (p. 275). (James DiEugenio)

This is of course ridiculous. David Talbot does not quote Angleton in support of his story about the possibility that Mary Pinchot Meyer was murdered by the CIA. In fact, we know that Angleton lied about certain aspects of the case during Raymond Crump’s trial. Does James DiEugenio believe that Crump was guilty of this crime or was he set-up by the CIA? Is he aware that one of the main witnesses against Crump at the trial was a CIA contract worker?

It seems that James DiEugenio is against using quotes from Angleton as evidence is because he “loathed JFK”. Therefore he is seen as another unreliable source of information. I know some researchers are very protective of JFK and are unhappy when historians criticise him. I believe this creates a major problem. JFK was indeed a very flawed individual. Historians must not see the world like a black and white hat cowboy movie.

A further dubious source is Jim Truitt, the former friend of Ben Bradlee who used to work for him at the Washington Post and was also friends with Angleton. Consider: Truitt had been trying to discredit President Kennedy while he was alive by saying he was previously married and had it covered up. In fact, he had pushed this fatuous story on Bradlee. And it appears that Truitt then started the whole drug angle of the story as a way of getting back at Bradlee and the Post for firing him. By 1969 he was so unstable that his wife sought a conservatorship for him and then divorced him in 1971. Truitt tried to get a job with the CIA and when he did not he moved to Mexico into a colony of former CIA agents. There he grew and smoked the mescaline-based hallucinogenic drug peyote. This was his sorry state when he first reported to the press about the "turned on" Meyer/JFK romance. He then shot himself in 1981. Here you have a guy who was a long-time Kennedy basher, became mentally unstable, was a CIA wannabe, and was planting and taking hallucinogenics with other CIA agents-- and then accuses JFK of doing the same, 14 years after the fact. Some witness, huh? (James DiEugenio)

It is true that Jim Truitt was extremely hostile to Ben Bradlee when in March, 1976, he gave an interview to the National Enquirer. Truitt told the newspaper that Meyer was having an affair with JFK when he was assassinated. He also claimed that Meyer had told his wife, Ann Truitt, that she was keeping an account of this relationship in her diary. Meyer asked Truitt to take possession of a private diary "if anything ever happened to me".

Ann Truitt was living in Tokyo at the time that Meyer was murdered on 12th October, 1964. She phoned Bradlee at his home and asked him if he had found the diary. Bradlee, who claimed he was unaware of his sister-in-law's affair with JFK, knew nothing about the diary. He later recalled what he did after Truitt's phone-call: "We didn't start looking until the next morning, when Tony and I walked around the corner a few blocks to Mary's house. It was locked, as we had expected, but when we got inside, we found Jim Angleton, and to our complete surprise he told us he, too, was looking for Mary's diary."

James Angleton, CIA counterintelligence chief, admitted that he knew of Mary's relationship with Kennedy and was searching her home looking for her diary and any letters that would reveal details of the affair. According to Ben Bradlee, it was Mary's sister, Antoinette Bradlee, who found the diary and letters a few days later. It was claimed that the diary was in a metal box in Mary's studio. The contents of the box were given to Angleton who claimed he burnt the diary. Angleton later admitted that Mary recorded in her diary that she had taken LSD with Kennedy before "they made love".

As you can see, it was not only Jim Truitt’s evidence that supports this story. Ann Truitt, Ben Bradlee, Antoinette Bradlee and James Angleton also agree that it happened. The disagreement concerns the motivation for looking for the diary. According to both Jim and Ann, there was something in that diary that posed a threat to the life of Mary Meyer.

Leo Damore claimed in an article that appeared in the New York Post that the reason Angleton and Bradlee were looking for the diary was that: "She (Meyer) had access to the highest levels. She was involved in illegal drug activity. What do you think it would do to the beatification of Kennedy if this woman said, 'It wasn't Camelot, it was Caligula's court'?" Damore also said that a figure close to the CIA had told him that Mary's death had been a professional "hit".

There is another possible reason why both Angleton and Bradlee were searching for documents in Meyer's house. Meyer had been married to Cord Meyer, a leading CIA operative involved in a variety of covert operations in the early 1950s, including being in charge of Operation Mockingbird. Was the CIA worried that Mary Meyer had kept a record of these activities? It has to be remembered that both Cord and Mary Meyer had held left-wing views in their youth.

We also know that in August, 1953, Richard Helms, Wisner's deputy at the OPC, told Cord Meyer that Joseph McCarthy had accused him of being a communist. The FBI added to the smear by announcing it was unwilling to give Meyer "security clearance". However, the FBI refused to explain what evidence they had against Meyer. Allen W. Dulles and both came to his defence and refused to permit a FBI interrogation of Meyer. The FBI eventually revealed the charges against Meyer. Apparently he was a member of several liberal groups considered to be subversive by the Justice Department. This included being a member of the National Council on the Arts, where he associated with Norman Thomas, the leader of the Socialist Party and its presidential candidate in 1948. It was also pointed out that his wife, Mary Meyer, was a former member of the American Labor Party. Meyer was eventually cleared of these charges and was allowed to keep his job.

Cord’s political opinions changed dramatically after joining the CIA. Mary remained true to her views and politics became a source of conflict between them and was one of the reasons why they were eventually divorced. The CIA would have been very concerned that Mary would have known about Mockingbird and other illegal CIA operations. Did she record these events in her diary? Was this why Mary Pinochet Meyer had been murdered?

“I don't even want to mention the last major source Talbot uses to complete this rickety shack. I have a hard time even typing his name. But I have to. Its sleazy biographer David Heymann. Heymann wrote one of the very worst books ever published on Bobby Kennedy, and has made a lucrative career out of trashing the Kennedy family. For me, Heymann is either a notch above or below the likes of Kitty Kelley. But when you're that low, who's measuring?” (James DiEugenio)

One again the source is considered to be unreliable because he has in the past criticised the Kennedy family. James does not explain what evidence that Heymann provides. From the passage above it would seem to be about JFK’s reputation. That is not true. This is the passage from Heymann’s book, Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club (2003) that he is referring to:

“Cord Meyer gave expression to his support of Angleton in, "Facing Reality," an autobiography subtitled, "From World Federalism to the CIA." In the same volume, he comments briefly on the murder of his wife: "I was satisfied by the conclusions of the police investigation that Mary had been the victim of a sexually motivated assault by a single individual and that she had been killed in her struggle to escape." Carol Delaney, a family friend and longtime personal assistant to Cord Meyer, observed that, "Mr. Meyer didn't for a minute think that Ray Crump had murdered his wife or that it had been an attempted rape. But, being an Agency man, he couldn't very well accuse the CIA of the crime, although the murder had all the markings of an in-house rubout."

Asked to comment on the case, by the current author (C. David Heymann), Cord Meyer held court at the beginning of February 2001 - six weeks before his death - in the barren dining room of a Washington nursing home. Propped up in a chair, his glass eye bulging, he struggled to hold his head aloft. Although he was no longer able to read, the nurses supplied him with a daily copy of The Washington Post, which he carried with him wherever he went. "My father died of a heart attack the same year Mary was killed , " he whispered. "It was a bad time." And what could he say about Mary Meyer? Who had committed such a heinous crime? "The same sons of bitches," he hissed, "that killed John F. Kennedy."

In other words, Mary Meyer was killed as part of the cover-up to the JFK assassination. James is wrong to suggest that the only sources that we have for this story are the ones mentioned in his review. My main source is someone who knew Mary and Cord Meyer when they lived together in Washington. In fact, he was the son of one of Cord’s colleagues at the CIA. He knows a great deal about this case. I have asked him to post what he has on the Forum. However, he has declined the offer.

He also has a copy of Leo Damore’s unpublished manuscript on Mary Meyer. In it Damore names the CIA contract worker who murdered Mary Meyer. He has given me this name and details of his background. Damore “committed suicide” in October 1995 and the book has never been published. It is therefore understandable why this person is unwilling to post on this forum. Does that make him an unreliable source? In my opinion he is reliable but one of course never really knows.

"Damore than began investigating the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer. In an article that appeared in the New York Post Damore claimed that he believed that the Central Intelligence Agency had something to do with the death of Meyer. He pointed out that on the night of the murder James Angleton and Ben Bradlee were in Mary's home looking for her diary. He added: "She (Meyer) had access to the highest levels. She was involved in illegal drug activity. What do you think it would do to the beatification of Kennedy if this woman said, 'It wasn't Camelot, it was Caligula's court'?" Damore also said that a figure close to the CIA had told him that Mary's death had been a professional "hit"."

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAdamore.htm

John,

Do you know if Damore's book has the same JFK-bashing "Caligula's court" slant that the New York Post article seems to have? Do you know when the book was written? Was it long before his "suicide" or around the same time?

Is there some way for forum members to see Damore's manuscript and/or get the name of the supposed CIA contract agent who he says did the professional hit?

Does anyone have the entire NY Post article?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Simkin:

Jim DiEugenio is a RESPECTED JFK researcher.

Gus Russo and Dale Meyers are NOT RESPECTED JFK researchers.

In fact, respected researchers call them government whores. Gus

himself once bragged "At the CIA, they call me Gus" (story by Kenn

Thomas in Steamshovel Press).

Jack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very interested in getting that book by Nina Burleigh: A Very Private Woman: the Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer. In the mean time, does anyone know where Mary Meyer was on November 22, 1963? Could she have been the one who made the Oxnard call? She would have to be in California early that day. Supposedly, the distraught woman was calling from a legal practice and was screaming and whispering, "They're going to kill the President."

It doesn't hurt to inquire. Also, where can I get that book on Mary Meyer?

Nina Burleigh is a member of this forum and discussed the book with us when it was first published. It was because of this discussion that the person who knew Mary Pinchot Meyer and Cord Meyer made contact with me. He had been a major source of information for Burleigh's book. However, she refused to use any of the information that showed the CIA was involved in her death. He came to the conclusion this was a "limited hangout".

And I never believed Leo Damore committed suicide, but I don't know the circumstances. When it was announced in the 80's, he was making a lot of appearances and I was reading Senatorial Privilege at the time in paperback. Also, I don't believe Phil Graham killed himself either. And for that matter, some time later, I don't believe Hunter S. Thompson killed himself either. And 2 other mysterious deaths were Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. And of course John Lennon's death.

Leo Damore clearly did pull the trigger. He did it in front of witnesses. That is not the point. The CIA have different ways of destroying people's lives. The CIA killed Damore in the same way they killed Gary Webb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there some way for forum members to see Damore's manuscript and/or get the name of the supposed CIA contract agent who he says did the professional hit?

I have asked my informant if I can name Mary Pinchot Meyer's killer on the Forum. I am awaiting his reply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there some way for forum members to see Damore's manuscript and/or get the name of the supposed CIA contract agent who he says did the professional hit?

I have asked my informant if I can name Mary Pinchot Meyer's killer on the Forum. I am awaiting his reply.

Hello -

My name is Peter Janney and I am the person John is referring to. I have actually been researching the life and death of Mary Pinchot Meyer for over thirty (30) years now. I am in the midst of producing a full length Hollywood drama called "Lost Light" which deals with Mary's relationship with JFK and her death. I also writing a book on the same subject ("Mary's Mosaic") which I am hard at work at.

I am going to post a much larger reply than I can at the moment in few days or so, but let me say this as an introduction:

Mary Meyer most certainly had a relationship with Tim Leary. I own all of Leo Damore's research on Mary Meyer. Damore was a prodigious researcher, just read his book Senatorial Priveledge and you can see for yourself. Damore even knew what room number Mary stayed in at the Ritz Carlton when she first came to meet Leary in the Spring of 1962. I also have a two hour tape recorded interview with Leary and Damore talking about the Meyer-JFK relationship. There are details on that tape that Leary talks about that he could have never known about if he had not known Mary back in the 1960s. Mary Meyer and JFK did take LSD together at Joe Alsop's house in Georgetown in the early Spring of 1963. I believe this experience was a catalyst for JFK's evolution of his political dispostion toward world peace initiatives. Soon after this experience JFK gave his legendary commencement speech at American University on June 10, 1963. More on that later.

Mary Meyer was not murdered; she was assassinated. I believe I am well on my way to proving this. The assassin's name was William L. Mitchell and he testified at the Crump murder trial as the "jogger" who passed Mary on his way back to Key Bridge. He testified that a black man, allegedly Ray Crump, was following Mary after he passed her. It was a complete frame up, again generated by certain individuals within the CIA.

Leo Damore interviewed "William L.Mitchell" ("Mitchell" told Damore that his name was an alias and that he had several aliases that he used) on March 31, 1993 on the phone for several hours. He allegedley recorrded the call but I could never find the tapes. "Mitchell" confessed to Damore that he had been ordered to take out Mary Meyer. Immediately, after the call, Damore called his attorney. His attorney took five (5) pages of notes on that call and he saved them and has given the notes to me.

Damore told me personally in 1993 that he had interviewed the assassin, but I was too heart broken at the time from a broken engagement to really get into it with him at the time.

I shared my taped interview between Leary and Damore with David Talbot and he credits me for that in his footnote. As much as I respect Jim Eugenio, he is wrong about Leary and Mary Meyer and I believe I have enough evidence to prove that.

Please feel free to post questions and I will try to respond. More later. Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there some way for forum members to see Damore's manuscript and/or get the name of the supposed CIA contract agent who he says did the professional hit?

I have asked my informant if I can name Mary Pinchot Meyer's killer on the Forum. I am awaiting his reply.

Hello -

My name is Peter Janney and I am the person John is referring to.

...

Thank you for posting Peter.

Your information is much appreciated.

Good luck with both of your projects on Mary Meyer.

Mary Meyer most certainly had a relationship with Tim Leary.

Do you have an opinion on whether or not Leary was a CIA employee/asset?

Why do you think Leary waited so many years before revealing his relationship with Mary?

Mary Meyer and JFK did take LSD together at Joe Alsop's house in Georgetown in the early Spring of 1963.

Well given the fact that Alsop was a major CIA asset in Operation Mockingbird, that had to have worked against President Kennedy. Any idea why in the world they'd get together at Alsop's house? Even if they didn't know about his CIA links, they had to know he was a widely syndicated journalist.

Mary Meyer was not murdered; she was assassinated. I believe I am well on my way to proving this. The assassin's name was William L. Mitchell and he testified at the Crump murder trial as the "jogger" who passed Mary on his way back to Key Bridge. He testified that a black man, allegedly Ray Crump, was following Mary after he passed her. It was a complete frame up, again generated by certain individuals within the CIA.

Do you know why she was assassinated?

Was it because of her knowledge of Operation Mockingbird from her husband's work in it?

Was it because of her relationship with the President?

Was the patsy, Ray Crump, selected in advance or was he a patsy of convenience?

It was clearly a flimsy frame which indicates lack of planning.

I find that odd.

Do you think there was any ulterior motive to their selection of a black man as the patsy?

Possibly to cause additional racial tension in the civil rights era (as if any more was needed)?

Leo Damore interviewed "William L.Mitchell" ("Mitchell" told Damore that his name was an alias and that he had several aliases that he used) on March 31, 1993 on the phone for several hours.

Do you know any of Mitchell's other aliases?

Any idea why Mitchell is willing to talk?

Do you have any reason to doubt his credibility?

Is he still alive?

"Mitchell" confessed to Damore that he had been ordered to take out Mary Meyer. Immediately, after the call, Damore called his attorney. His attorney took five (5) pages of notes on that call and he saved them and has given the notes to me.

Did he say who in the CIA ordered the hit and why?

Do you think Cord Meyer was part of it?

And what can you tell us about Mary Meyer's infamous diary?

Was Mary's assassination timed so that her friend Ann Truitt was gone and therefore unable to retrieve the diary herself?

Please feel free to post questions and I will try to respond. More later. Thank you.

Oh you bet.

Thank you again.

Myra

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting Peter.

Your information is much appreciated.

Good luck with both of your projects on Mary Meyer.

Hello Peter. I would like to join Myra in thanking you for sharing some of your research.

I think she asked some very good questions, and look forward to your thoughts.

Do you believe that all of Mr. Damore's major conclusions reached in Senatorial Privilege are accurate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And what can you tell us about Mary Meyer's infamous diary?

Was Mary's assassination timed so that her friend Ann Truitt was gone and therefore unable to retrieve the diary herself?

I am sure that this was the case. In 1963 Ben Bradlee sent Jim Truitt to Tokyo in order to become the Japan bureau chief for Newsweek. This of course meant that Mary Meyer's closest friend, Ann Truitt, would be out of the country. We also know that Ben Bradlee was at this time a CIA asset. For example, see Deborah Davis' book on Katharine Graham, for evidence of this.

On the evening that Mary Meyer was murdered, Ann Truitt phoned Antoinette (Tony) Bradlee and asked her to go and get the diary. Unfortunately, she told her husband, Ben Bradlee about this. Bradlee later recalled what he did after Truitt's phone-call: "We didn't start looking until the next morning, when Tony and I walked around the corner a few blocks to Mary's house. It was locked, as we had expected, but when we got inside, we found Jim Angleton, and to our complete surprise he told us he, too, was looking for Mary's diary."

In 1965 Katharine Graham appointed Bradlee as assistant managing editor of the Washington Post under Alfred Friendly, his former colleague at USIE. Bradlee then recruits Jim Truitt to the Washington Post. However, Bradlee sacks Jim Truitt in 1969. As part of his settlement he took $35,000 on the written condition that he did not write anything for publication about his experiences at the Washington Post that was "in any way derogatory" of the company.

It is worth quoting Deborah Davis in Katharine the Great (1979) for an explanation why Jim Truitt went public with his information about the Meyer murder: "It is only a matter of time, Angleton feels, until Bradlee makes a serious mistake, as he eventually does with the publication of Conversations with Kennedy, in which he mentions that Mary Meyer was murdered, but only in a footnote. A former Post editor named James Truitt is enraged at this; according to Truitt, Bradlee has forced him out of the paper in a particularly nasty fashion, with accusations of mental incompetence, and now Truitt decides to get back at Bradlee by revealing to other newspapers his belief that Bradlee's story on the Cord Meyers in Conversations with Kennedy was not the whole story; that Mary Meyer had been Kennedy's lover and that the day of her murder, James Angleton of the CIA searched her apartment and burned her diary."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...