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New Book: JFK and the Unspeakable


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Citizens who have read this book:

PLEASE HELP GIVE IT A NUDGE IN SALES.

I have been posting about it on 30 different sites. I of course take full credit its continued stay inside the Amazon top 3,600 as I am a passive-agresive megalomaniac--which requires a very nutritious breakfast.

No but seriously folks....

How often do we hear requests for Congress to do this or that about JFK records. Have we forgotten that MEDIATING knowledge ABOUT THE ASSASSINTION TO OUR FELLOW CITIZENS IS A PREREQUISITE FOR THIS TO HAPPEN?

Without Oliver Stones movie > no JFK records act

There simply is no reason -- espeically after 9/11 for congress to REALLY listen to us. Not until more of the younger set have crossed the portable siberia of the typed words "conspiracy theory" that moats 1960-63 from the rest of American History like a media induced black hole.

This book is a gamechanger. The media will not let the word go out?

Will you? (maybe of course, you are; still i think this site could do with a little bit more epistomological chat about the kennedy assassination, connceting it to changes in US history since then, and how to get this out to a wider audience)

Sorry; annual evangelical sermon from the Summer Institute of Linguistics (reformed).

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INTERESTING COMMENT BY FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMAN PUBLISHED DECEMBER 22 1963.

Also interesting that we rarely hear of this comment. The first I heard of it was as quoted here in James W. Douglass' incredible book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.

--------------

On December 22, 1963, one month to the day after JFK's assassintion,

Former President Truman published a very carefully worded article in the

Washington Post warning the American people about the danger of the CIA

taking over the government. He wrote:

"I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and

operations of our Central Intelligence Agency--CIA...for some time I

have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original

assignment. It has become an operational and at time a policy-making

arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have

compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. We have grown up

as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to

maintain a free and open society. THere is something about the CIA

has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historica position

and I feel that we need to correct it" (note 678, Chapter 6)

Trumans's warning, with its ominous post-assassination timing, was greeted

by total silence (note 679) Had it been noticed and heeded the , the

contraversial ex-president might have been accused more justly this time

of trying to abolish the CIA, since he did indeed want to abolish its covert

activities. Ptesident Harry Truman had himself established the CIA in

1947, but not he thought, to do what he saw it doing in the fall of 1963.

He restated his radical critique of the CIA in a letter writeen six months

later (note 680, Chapter 6). The managing editor of Look magazine had

sent Truman the latest Look featuring a piece on the CIA. Truman wrote

back:

"Thank you for the copy of Look with the article on the Central Intelligence

Agency. It is, I regret to say, not true to the facts in many respects. The

CIA was set up by me for the sole purposse of getting all the available

information to the president. It was not inteneded to operate as an

international agency engaged in strange activities" (note 681, Chapter 6)

(pp.332-333, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters)

------------

"It has become an operational and at times a policy-making

arm of the Government. " Well Douglass book is full of examples of this

generalization by Truman.

John Ranelagh. The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA, p.217:

“The origins of CAT highlight the divergence between public American policy, which in Truman’s first year was directed toward establishing a harmonious world order, and the conviction of many powerful and influential men that Truman’s policy was misconceived and that the United States would have to take steps to counter Soviet encroachments worldwide. In many ways the Office of Policy Coordination came out of this ‘private’ effort. For the story of CAT, see William M. Leary, Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Operations in Asia (University of Alabama Press, 1984).”

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Citizens who have read this book:

PLEASE HELP GIVE IT A NUDGE IN SALES.

I have been posting about it on 30 different sites. I of course take full credit its continued stay inside the Amazon top 3,600 as I am a passive-agresive megalomaniac--which requires a very nutritious breakfast.

No but seriously folks....

How often do we hear requests for Congress to do this or that about JFK records. Have we forgotten that MEDIATING knowledge ABOUT THE ASSASSINTION TO OUR FELLOW CITIZENS IS A PREREQUISITE FOR THIS TO HAPPEN?

Without Oliver Stones movie > no JFK records act

There simply is no reason -- espeically after 9/11 for congress to REALLY listen to us. Not until more of the younger set have crossed the portable siberia of the typed words "conspiracy theory" that moats 1960-63 from the rest of American History like a media induced black hole.

This book is a gamechanger. The media will not let the word go out?

Will you? (maybe of course, you are; still i think this site could do with a little bit more epistomological chat about the kennedy assassination, connceting it to changes in US history since then, and how to get this out to a wider audience)

Sorry; annual evangelical sermon from the Summer Institute of Linguistics (reformed).

I ordered it from Amazon a couple of months ago and I am still waiting for it. According to Amazon UK it is out of stock.

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Here's my review of JFK & The Unspeakable.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/

JFK And the Unspeakable Why He Died & Why It Matters (Orbis Books, 2008),

by James Douglas.

As a sensitive and serious subject, the assassination of President Kennedy has been approached from many different ways by journalists, historians, psychologists, witnesses and even suspects who have acknowledged their roles in a conspiracy.

But James W. Douglas comes down a very different and spiritual path.

A Catholic theologian, anti-war activist, conscientious objector and peace activist, Doublas was slow to connect the death of the President with the constant threat of war, but he did with the help of Thomas Merton, a monk who had attended Cambridge and Columbia.

Merton, whose autobiography The Seven Story Mountain, has been compared to the Confessions of Saint Augustine, thought deeply and wrote often about war and racism (including Peace in the Post-Christian Era), until he was banned from doing so by his order. The prohibition led him to conduct lengthy correspondence with a wide variety of people, including RFK's wife Ethel Kennedy, Clare Booth Luce, Evora Arca de Sardinia, wife of a Bay of Pigs commander, and Douglas.

"The Unspeakable," according to Douglas, "is a term Thomas Merton coined at the heart of the sixties after JFK's assassination – in the midst of the escalating Vietnam war, the nuclear arms race, and the further assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. In each of those soul-shaking events, Merton sensed an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe."

"One of the awful facts of our age," wrote Merton in 1965, "is the evidence that [the world] is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."

"The Vietnam War, the race to a global war, and the interlocking murders of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were all signs of the Unspeakable," explains Douglas. "It remains deeply present in our world."

"Those who are at present so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of the Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see."

"It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said;" wrote Merton, "the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his obedience…"

"In one his letters, Merton even foresaw Kennedy's murder when he wrote, "I have little confidence in Kennedy, I think he cannot fully measure up to the magnitude of his task, and lacks creative imagination and the deeper kind of sensitivity that's needed. Too much the Time and Life mentality,…What is needed is really not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don't have: depth, humanity and a certain totality of self-forgetfulness and compassion, not just for individuals but for man as a whole: a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe Kennedy will break through into that some day by miracle. But such people are long marked out for assassination."

And Douglas argues, Kennedy did have an epiphany, a sudden (or maybe it was a slow and gradual) realization that war could not be fought on the same terms as it was before because of the development of nuclear weapons. Douglas had his own epiphany when he realized that JFK's conflicts with his own generals and administrators led to his death, the why of his assassination. And now he wants to do something about it.

"When we become more deeply human, as Merton understood the process," says Douglas, "the wellspring of our compassion moves us to confront the Unspeakable."

For Douglas, as with most of us, we would prefer not to confront the Unspeakable, but Douglas goes into their Nest, and in this book he reports back what he found there.

"By overlooking the deep changes in Kennedy's life and the forces behind his death, I contributed to a national climate of denial," he writes. "Our collective denial to the obvious, in the setting up of Oswald and his transparent silencing by Ruby, made possible the Dallas cover-up. The success of the cover-up was the indispensable foundation for the subsequent murders of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy by the same forces at work in our government – and in ourselves. Hope for change in the world was targeted and killed four times over. The cover-up of all four murders, each leading into the next, was based, first of all, on denial – not the government's but our own. The unspeakable is not far away."

"The unspeakable is not far away. It is not somewhere out there, identical with a government that became foreign to us. The emptiness of the void, the vacuum of responsibility and compassion, is in ourselves. Our citizen denial provides the ground for the government's doctrine of 'plausible deniability.' John Kennedy's assassination is rooted in our denial of our nation's crimes in World War II that began the Cold War and the nuclear arms race…By avoiding our responsibility for the escalating crimes of state done for our security, we who failed to confront the Unspeakable opened the door to JFK's assassination and its cover-up. The Unspeakable is not far away."

Most important, notes Douglas, "…The story of JFK and the Unspeakable is drawn from the suffering and compassion of many witnesses who saw the truth and spoke it." Douglas introduces us to those witnesses and lets us hear what they have to say. "In living the truth, we are liberated from the Unspeakable."

With his chronological time line, and compare and contrast style, Douglas shows that the assassination of President Kennedy was not the work of one lone, deranged gunman, or the act of Cubans, mobsters or renegade government agents, but whatever happened at Dealey Plaza was a well planned and executed coup d'etat.

By chronologically comparing and contrasting the lives and experiences of Kennedy and his accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, Douglas reasonably demonstrates that Oswald was not the lone nut loser that Warren Commission apologists portray, but an active player in the big game, though only as a pawn and patsy.

According to Douglas, the paths that led Oswald and Kennedy to Dealey Plaza were divergent but pushed along by the same hidden forces, with the motive for the assassination found with Kennedy rather than in the mind of his accused assassin.

Like David Talbot's book Brothers before him, Douglas reframes the Kennedy presidency to include the backstage manipulations that we've only recently learned about.

The conflicts with the CIA after the Bay of Pigs, with the Joint Chiefs of Staff during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and with the racists in his own party fighting the civil rights revolt, as well as his determination to withdraw from Vietnam and establish a dialog and diplomatic resolution to the Cuban problem, were all forces that set Kennedy up for retaliation by those who made the Unspeakable happen.

Kennedy, more than once, reflected that a Seven Days in May style military coup could occur in the United States if there was a Bay of Pigs type conflict, and then another similar situation, like the Cuban Missile Crisis presented. Then, if there was a third Bay of Pigs type event, Kennedy reasoned, a coup was possible.

Douglas says that Kennedy's "third Bay of Pigs" was his "Peace Speech" at American University on June 10, 1963, which he reproduces in full as an appendix.

But while being threatening to the military-industrial complex, the American University speech was not the straw that broke the camel's back if you believe (as I do) that Col. Jose Rivera (USAR) had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination and of Oswald's patsy role, as early as mid-April, 1963, months before the Peace Speech.

Douglas starts out with a brief, but incomplete chronology at the beginning, but then jumps around a little in his six chapters, each dealing with various people and events that lead up to what happened at Dealey Plaza.

In his first chapter, A Cold Warrior Turns, Douglas show how JFK's slow evolving epiphany brings him to the realization that war is not the answer, and he turns to backchannel diplomacy when his own administration balks at talking with the enemy (does this sound familiar?).

If the President's assassin was a real psychotic, lone-nut, spree killer, as the official story makes him out to be, then it could all be explained psychotically, like other real psycho spree killers (Howard Unruh for instance), and it would be disjointed from the real world and reflect the insane world that the assassin inhabited.

But if that lone assassin is Lee Harvey Oswald, then his background, history, personal profile and every attribute we know about him, as well as his associates, indicate that he was a covert intelligence operative affiliated with a domestic, federal intelligence agency/network. (One that is still in operation, I might add – BK)

Oswald's background fits like a glove into to the covert history of the Cold War, as Douglas so artfully demonstrates by zig zagging the lives of Kennedy, the King, and Oswald, the Pawn, showing how hidden hands put the Pawn into position to checkmate the King.

Limiting his chronology from January 17, 1961, when President Eisenhower gave his farewell address and warned of the "military-industrial-complex," and ending at 11:21 AM, November 24, 1963, with the murder of Oswald, Douglas focuses on what he deems necessary to conclusively show that JFK was the victim, not only of a conspiracy, but a high level coup. And he succeeds.

Although only 24 years old, Oswald had been involved in at least a half dozen major covert intelligence operations, beginning with his radar monitoring and guarding of the U2 spy plane in Japan. On Holloween, October 31, 1959, Oswald turned his passport, which identified him as an "Import – Export" agent, over to State Department officer Richard Snyder. Oswald threatened to give the Soviets information he had learned in the Marines. Although there is no record of Oswald ever being questioned by the KGB, six months after he defected, Gary Powers was shot down in a U2 over Russia, which forced cancellation of a meeting between Eisenhower and Kruschev.

Douglas speculates that Oswald did tell them all that was necessary to know in order to shoot down a U2, which was the speed and altitude of the plane. Gary Powers himself speculated that Oswald gave the Soviets the information they needed to shoot him down. Oswald, it turns out, had a US Military ID card identical to the card Powers had on him when he was shot down. There was also speculation that Oswald was in attendance at Powers' trial.

In any case, Oswald was not prosecuted, or even officially debriefed when he returned home with his Russian wife and baby. George De Mohrenschildt, at the request of the CIA's J. Walton Moore, met the Oswalds and introduced them to his circle of friends, including Everett Glovedr, who led to Ruth and Michael Paine.

While under the guidance of De Mohrenschildt, in October, 1962, Oswald got a job at the graphic arts firm Jaggers-Chiles-Stoval, that did work for the Army Security Agency, placing captions on maps and photographs taken by the U2. So during the Cuban Missile Crisis that month, when President Kennedy held up enlarged photos of Cuban missile sites, the man who would be accused of killing him may have placed the arrows and captions on those very photographs.

Douglas says that the Oswalds were "handed off like a football," from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines. Douglas says that J. Walton Moore, of the Dallas Domestic Contacts Division of the CIA, had his longtime contact George de Mohrenschildt meet Oswald, saying that sometime in the summer of 1962 one of Moore's associates gave him Oswald's address in Fort Worth, and De Mohrenschildt called Moore on the phone to confirm the mission.

So it was Moore, of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas who had De Mohrenschildt befriend Oswald, and it was De Mohrenschildt who arranged for the Oswalds to meet Ruth and Michael Paine, who became sponsors and benefactors of the accused assassin and his family.

With the assistance of the Paines, the Oswald family moved to New Orleans in the wake of the Walker shooing, which was later blamed on Oswald. Going into all the sorid details of Oswald in New Orleans, Douglas brings out the founding of the Fair Play for Cuba chapter, and the ru-ins with Carlos Bruingier and the DRE, but doesn't get into the whole Morley vs. CIA over the Joannides records.

Most important however, Douglas correctly fits in the anti-Castro Cuban training camp operations, the CIA maritime raids on Cuba and the backchannel negotiations that were suppose to be secretly going on between JFK and Castro.

In the Chapter on Kennedy, Castro and the CIA, Douglas writes that, "It was while John Kennedy was being steered into combat with the CIA and the Pentagon at the Bay of Pigs that Thomas Merton was being blocked from publishing his thoughts on nuclear war by his monastic superiors. Merton, like Kennedy, decided to find another way. The words pouring out of Merton's typewriter were spilling over from unpublished manuscripts into his Cold War letters." (p.17)

"On December 31, 1961, Merton wrote a letter anticipating the Cuban Missile Crisis ten months later. It was addressed to Clare Booth Luce, wife of Time-Life-Fortune owner Henry Luce, a Cold War media barron," who financially supported the maritime raiders, and wrote stories about them for Life. (p.18)

"As Merton challenged the Cold War dogmas of Clare Booth Luce, he was raising similar questions of conscience to another powerfully situated women, Ethel Kennedy…" (p.19) and Merton began to see a change in Kennedy's political thought.

At a speech the president gave at the University of Washington, Kennedy said, "It is a curious fact that each of these extreme opposites resembles the other. Each believes that we have only two choices: appeasement or war, suicide or surrender, humiliation or holocaust, to be either Red or dead." (p.19)

Douglas says that JFK's "fourth Bay of Pigs" was the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and he notes the role Norman Cousins played, and the methodology he used in changing public opinion on the issue. Douglas notes that the Senate vote on ratification of the treaty, approved by a vote of 80–19, was held on September 24, not an unimportant date on the Road to Dallas.

"One pawn in the Cold War who needed a way out before it was too late was a young ex-Marine, Lee Harvey Oswald. In following Kennedy's path through a series of critical conflicts, we have been moving more deeply into the question: Why was John Kennedy murdered? Now as we begin to trace Oswald's path, which will converge with Kennedy's, we can see the emergence of a strangely complementary question: Why was Lee Harvey Oswald so tolerated and supported by the government he betrayed?" (p. 37)

"The same government issued a report that described Oswald as unable "to establish meaningful relationships with other people. He was perpetually disconnected with the world around him. Long before the assassination he expressed his hatred for American society and acted in protest against it….He sought for himself a place in history – a role as the 'great man' who would be recognized as having been in advance of his times. His commitment to Marxism and communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation." (p.39)

Of course this alleged motive, contrived by the Warren Commission, doesn't take into account the fact that Oswald, who "sought for himself a place in history," denied killing anybody and claimed to be a "patsy."

As Douglas puts it, "If we turn from Warren Report psychology to Cold War history, why was the ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald not arrested and charged a year and a half before the assassination when he came back to the United States from the Soviet Union, where he had announced at the American Embassy in Moscow that he would hand over military secrets (about U2 flights) to the Soviets?" (p.39)

"Oswald's trajectory, which would end up meeting Kennedy's in Dallas, was guided not by the heavens or fate or even, as the Warren Report would have it, by a disturbed psyche, Oswald was guided by his intelligence handlers. Lee Harvey Oswald was a pawn in the game. He was a minor piece in the deadly game Kennedy wanted to end. Oswald was being moved square by square across a giant board stretching from Atsugi to Moscow to Minsk to Dallas. For the sake of victory in the Cold War, the hands moving Oswald were prepared to sacrifice him and any other piece on the board. However, there was one player, John Kennedy, who no longer believed in the game and was threatening to turn over the board." (p.41)

In the chapter on JFK and Vietnam, Douglas bring in Operation Northwoods, which many believe was incorporated in the assassination planning.

"On March 13, 1962, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whom Kennedy inherited from the Eisenhower, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, proposed 'Operation Northwoods.' It's purpose was to justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba, in which a "Remember the Main incident could be arranged in several forms. We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba…" (p.96-97)

Kennedy rejected Northwoods, and his solution to the Vietnam problem was "Easy" the president said, "Put a government in there that will ask us to leave." (p.134)

In Marked Out for Assassination, Douglas says that, "Investigative journalist Joseph Trento testified in a 1984 court deposition that, according to CIA sources, James Angleton was the supervisor of a CIA assassination unit in the 1950s. The 'small assassination team' was headed by Army colonel Boris Pash. At the end of World War II, Army Intelligence colonel Pash had rounded up Nazi scientists who could contribute their research skills to the development of U.S. nuclear and chemical weapons…" (p.143)

Douglas brings out the individual stories of a number of important witnesses, most of whom we have heard from before, but Boris Pash is one of the few individuals Douglas introduces who has managed to avoid the limelight, even in death.

Douglas gives much play to James Wilcott (p. 146-148), a CIA accountant stationed in Tokyo (1960 – 1964) who claimed that it was common knowledge in the CIA station there that Oswald was an agent who was disbursed CIA funds from a case officer. Both Wilcott and his wife were CIA administrators.

"In the decade following his HSCA testimony," notes Douglas, "Jim Wilcott joined Vietnam veteran Brian Willson and the Nuremberg Actions community outside the Concord Naval Weapons Station in nonviolent resistance to weapons shipments to the CIA sponsored Contra war in Nicaragua. While sitting on the railroad tracks, Willson was run over by a weapons train, which severed both his legs. Undeterred, Jim Wilcott was arrested for blocking a later train." (p.147)

We're going to hear more about Mr. Wilcott, but as Douglas surmises, "Thus, even the assassination of a president could be funded unconsciously by American taxpayers and carried out unknowingly by government employees, while only a few such as CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Helms and Counter-intelligence head James Angleton knew the intended result beforehand." (p.148)

In Saigon and Chicago (Chapter 5), Douglas reinforces the image of Kennedy losing grip on his government, especially in Saigon, where his ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was pushing for a coup to oust Diem, while Kennedy wanted Lodge to use diplomacy.

It's quite apparent, in retrospect that Kennedy's attempt at appeasement of conservative Republicans by appointing two of their own – Lodge in Vietnam and John McCone as head of the CIA, backfired in Kennedy's face.

There are a few little gems in "The Unspeakable," like Boris Pash, and Marvin Gheesling (p.177), the FBI agent who, on October 9, 1963, took Oswald off the FLASH notice, and effectively "turned off the alarm switch on Oswald literally an instant before it would have gone off."

While the coup in South Vietnam was being undertaken, the FBI and Secret Service were uncovering a plot to kill the President in Chicago (p.200-207).

"Thomas Vallee had been led along a trail that Lee Oswald would follow after him…" writes Douglas. The ex-Marine who worked at a CIA sponsored Cuban commando training camp in Levittown, Long Island, "Thomas Arthur Vallee and Lee Harvey Oswald, two men under the CIA's thumb for years, were being set up, one after the other, as scapegoats in two prime sites for killing Kennedy." (p.205)

In Chicago, Douglas visits the building on the parade route Kennedy would have used, and visits the assassin's lair where Vallee would have been placed and branded as the assassin if JFK had gone to Chicago that day. Into the Nest of the Unspeakable.

Douglas makes the point that if Kennedy had been killed in Chicago on November 1, we might have known Thomas Arthur Vallee as his deranged, ex-Marine, lone-nut assassin rather than Oswald.

"Lee Harvey Oswald was being systematically set up for his scapegoat role in Dallas, just as Thomas Arthur Vallee had been set up as an alternative patsy in Chicago," writes Douglas. "Vallee escaped that fate, when two whistleblowers, Chicago Police Lieutenant Berkeley Moyland an FBI informant named 'Lee,' stopped the Chicago plot. Oswald was not so fortunate in Dallas. His incrimination by unseen hands continued…" (p.221)

Douglas also outlines the original cover story, that is still propagated in some quarters.

"Just as Chicago was the model for Dallas, Saigon was the backdrop for Chicago…." says Douglas, indicating a connection between what was going on. "…The legend created for the Dallas scenario of the gun-toting malcontent Lee Harvey Oswald followed a similar pattern. From the claims made by a series of CIA officers to the authors of widely disseminated books and articles, John Kennedy had been convicted in his grave of having tried to kill Fidel Castro, whose supposedly deranged surrogate, Lee Harvey Oswald, then retaliated. As a successful Chicago plot would have done, the Dallas plot ended up blaming the victim. 'Kennedy tried to murder Castro, and got what he deserved.'" (p.218)

Douglas wrote that, "Those who designed the plot to kill Kennedy were familiar with the inner sanctum of our national security state,...The assassins' purpose seems to have encompassed not only killing a president determined to make peace with the enemy but also using his murder as the impetus for a possile first strike against that same enemy."

The inclusion of Northwoods in the Dealey Plaza operation is the lynchpin that proves that the bullets that killed the President came from the Pentagon, and the assassination is the most significant national security issue yet to be resolved.

We've come to learn a lot since JFK was buried, and one of the most important things we should have learned is that the assassination of President Kennedy was a terrorist attack on our nation, as well as one man, and that we must now, or eventually, come to face the Unspeakable and confront it with the truth we've come to know.

As Douglas puts it, "Unknown to ordinary citizens watching President Kennedy's funeral on their television sets, the agencies of a national security state had quickly formed a united front behind the official mourning scenes to cover up every aspect of JFK's assassination. National security policies toward enemies beyond the state (with whom the slain president had been negotiating a truce) made necessary the denial of every trace of conspiracy within the state. As a saddled, riderless horse followed the coffin through the capitol's streets, plausible deniability had come home to haunt the nation." (p.82)

And now the game tables are being overturned, and what was once kept secret for reasons of national security, must now be revealed for reasons of national security, so the Nest of the Unspeakeable can be confronted and purged.

Bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Edited by William Kelly
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Here's my review of JFK & The Unspeakable.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/

JFK And the Unspeakable Why He Died & Why It Matters (Orbis Books, 2008),

by James Douglas.

As a sensitive and serious subject, the assassination of President Kennedy has been approached from many different ways by journalists, historians, psychologists, witnesses and even suspects who have acknowledged their roles in a conspiracy.

But James W. Douglas comes down a very different and spiritual path.

A Catholic theologian, anti-war activist, conscientious objector and peace activists, Doublas was slow to connect the death of the President the with constant threat of war, but he did with the help of Thomas Merton, a monk who had attended Cambridge and Columbia.

Merton, whose autobiography The Seven Story Mountain, has been compared to the Confessions of Saint Augustine, thought deeply and wrote often about war and racism (including Peace in the Post-Christian Era), until he was banned from doing so by his order. The prohibition led him to conduct lengthy correspondence with a wide variety of people, including RFK's wife Ethel Kennedy, Clare Booth Luce, Evora Arca de Sardinia, wife of a Bay of Pigs commander, and Douglas.

"The Unspeakable," according to Douglas, "is a term Thomas Merton coined at the heart of the sixties after JFK's assassination – in the midst of the escalating Vietnam war, the nuclear arms race, and the further assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. In each of those soul-shaking events, Merton sensed an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe."

"One of the awful facts of our age," wrote Merton in 1965, "is the evidence that [the world] is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."

"The Vietnam War, the race to a global war, and the interlocking murders of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were all signs of the Unspeakable," explains Douglas. "It remains deeply present in our world."

"Those who are at present so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of the Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see."

"It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said;" wrote Merton, "the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his obedience…"

"In one his letters, Merton even foresaw Kennedy's murder when he wrote, "I have little confidence in Kennedy, I think he cannot fully measure up to the magnitude of his task, and lacks creative imagination and the deeper kind of sensitivity that's needed. Too much the Time and Life mentality,…What is needed is really not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don't have: depth, humanity and a certain totality of self-forgetfulness and compassion, not just for individuals but for man as a whole: a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe Kennedy will break through into that some day by miracle. But such people are long marked out for assassination."

And Douglas argues, Kennedy did have an epiphany, a sudden (or maybe it was a slow and gradual) realization that war could not be fought on the same terms as it was before because of the development of nuclear weapons. Douglas had his own epiphany when he realized that JFK's conflicts with his own generals and administrators led to his death, the why of his assassination. And now he wants to do something about it.

"When we become more deeply human, as Merton understood the process," says Douglas, "the wellspring of our compassion moves us to confront the Unspeakable."

For Douglas, as with most of us, we would prefer not to confront the Unspeakable, but Douglas goes into their Nest, and in this book he reports back what he found there.

"By overlooking the deep changes in Kennedy's life and the forces behind his death, I contributed to a national climate of denial," he writes. "Our collective denial to the obvious, in the setting up of Oswald and his transparent silencing by Ruby, made possible the Dallas cover-up. The success of the cover-up was the indispensable foundation for the subsequent murders of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy by the same forces at work in our government – and in ourselves. Hope for change in the world was targeted and killed four times over. The cover-up of all four murders, each leading into the next, was based, first of all, on denial – not the government's but our own. The unspeakable is not far away."

"The unspeakable is not far away. It is not somewhere out there, identical with a government that became foreign to us. The emptiness of the void, the vacuum of responsibility and compassion, is in ourselves. Our citizen denial provides the ground for the government's doctrine of 'plausible deniability.' John Kennedy's assassination is rooted in our denial of our nation's crimes in World War II that began the Cold War and the nuclear arms race…By avoiding our responsibility for the escalating crimes of state done for our security, we who failed to confront the Unspeakable opened the door to JFK's assassination and its cover-up. The Unspeakable is not far away."

Most important, notes Douglas, "…The story of JFK and the Unspeakable is drawn from the suffering and compassion of many witnesses who saw the truth and spoke it." Douglas introduces us to those witnesses and lets us hear what they have to say. "In living the truth, we are liberated from the Unspeakable."

With his chronological time line, and compare and contrast style, Douglas shows that the assassination of President Kennedy was not the work of one lone, deranged gunman, or the act of Cubans, mobsters or renegade government agents, but whatever happened at Dealey Plaza it was a well planned and executed coup d'etat.

By chronologically comparing and contrasting the lives and experiences of Kennedy and his accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, Douglas reasonably demonstrates that Oswald was not the lone nut loser that Warren Commission apologists portray, but an active player in the big game, though only as a pawn and patsy.

According to Douglas, the paths that led Oswald and Kennedy to Dealey Plaza were divergent but pushed along by the same hidden forces, with the motive for the assassination found with Kennedy rather than in the mind of his accused assassin.

Like David Talbot's book Brothers before him, Douglas reframes the Kennedy presidency to include the backstage manipulations that we've only recently learned about.

The conflicts with the CIA after the Bay of Pigs, with the Joint Chiefs of Staff during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and with the racists in his own party fighting the civil rights revolt, as well as his determination to withdraw from Vietnam and establish a dialog and diplomatic resolution to the Cuban problem, were all forces that set Kennedy up for retaliation by those who made the Unspeakable happen.

Kennedy, more than once, reflected that a Seven Days in May style military coup could occur in the United States if there was a Bay of Pigs type conflict, and then another similar situation, like the Cuban Missile Crisis presented. Then, if there was a third Bay of Pigs type event, Kennedy reasoned, a coup was possible.

Douglas says that Kennedy's "third Bay of Pigs" was his "Peace Speech" at American University on June 10, 1963, which he reproduces in full as an appendix.

But while being threatening to the military-industrial complex, the American University speech was not the straw that broke the camel's back if you believe (as I do) that Col. Jose Rivera (USAR) had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination and of Oswald's patsy role, as early as mid-April, 1963, months before the Peace Speech.

Douglas starts out with a brief, but incomplete chronology at the beginning, but then jumps around a little in his six chapters, each dealing with various people and events that lead up to what happened at Dealey Plaza.

In his first chapter, A Cold Warrior Turns, Douglas show how JFK's slow evolving epiphany brings him to the realization that war is not the answer, and he turns to backchannel diplomacy when his own administration balks at talking with the enemy (does this sound familiar?).

If the President's assassin was a real psychotic, lone-nut, spree killer, as the official story makes him out to be, then it could all be explained psychotically, like other real psycho spree killers (Howard Unruh for instance), and it would be disjointed from the real world that the victim inhabited.

But if that lone assassin is Lee Harvey Oswald, then his background, history, personal profile and every attribute we know about him, as well as his associates, indicate that he was a covert intelligence operative affiliated with a domestic, federal intelligence agency/network. (One that is still in operation, I might add – BK)

Oswald's background fits like a glove into to the covert history of the Cold War, as Douglas so artfully demonstrates by zig zagging the lives of Kennedy, the King, and Oswald, the Pawn, showing how hidden hands put the Pawn into position to checkmate the King.

Limiting his chronology from January 17, 1961, when President Eisenhower gave his farewell address and warned of the "military-industrial-complex," and ending at 11:21 AM, November 24, 1963, with the murder of Oswald, Douglas focuses on what he deems necessary to conclusively show that JFK was the victim, not only of a conspiracy, but a high level coup. And he succeeds.

Although only 24 years old, Oswald had been involved in at least a half dozen major covert intelligence operations, beginning with his radar monitoring and guarding of the U2 spy plane in Japan. On Holloween, October 31, 1959, Oswald turned his passport, which identified him as an "Import – Export" agent, over to State Department officer Richard Snyder. Oswald threatened to give the Soviets information he had learned in the Marines. Although there is no record of Oswald ever being questioned by the KGB, six months after he defected, Gary Powers was shot down in a U2 over Russia, which forced cancellation of a meeting between Eisenhower and Kruschev.

Douglas speculates that Oswald did tell them. All that was necessary to know in order to shoot down a U2, was the speed and altitude of the plane. Gary Powers himself speculated that Oswald gave the Soviets the information they needed to shoot him down. Oswald, it turns out, had a US Military ID card identical to the card Powers had on him when he was shot down. There was also speculation that Oswald was in attendance at Powers' trial.

In any case, Oswald was not prosecuted, or even officially debriefed when he returned home with his Russian wife and baby. George De Mohrenschildt, at the request of the CIA's J. Walton Moore, met the Oswalds and introduced them to his circle of friends, which included Ruth and Michael Paine.

While still under the guidance of De Mohrenschildt, in October, 1962, Oswald got a job at the graphic arts firm Jaggers-Chiles-Stoval, that did work for the Army Security Agency, placing captions on maps and photographs taken by the U2. So during the Cuban Missile Crisis that month, when the President held up photos of Cuban missile sites, the man who would be accused of killing him, may have placed the arrows and captions on those very photographs.

Douglas says that the Oswalds were handed off like a football, from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines. Douglas says that J. Walton Moore, of the Dallas Domestic Contacts Division of the CIA had his longtime contact George de Mohrenschildt meet Oswald, saying that sometime in the summer of 1962 one of Moore's associates gave him Oswald's address in Fort Worth, and de Mohrenschildt called Moore on the phone to confirm the mission.

According to Douglas, it was Moore, of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas who had De Mohrenschildt befriend Oswald, and it was De Mohrenschildt who arranged for the Oswalds to meet Ruth and Michael Paine, who became sponsors and benefactors of the accused assassin and his family.

With the assistance of the Paines, the Oswald family moved to New Orleans in the wake of the Walker shooing, which was later blamed on Oswald. Going into all the sorid details of Oswald in New Orleans, Douglas brings out the founding of the Fair Play for Cuba chapter, the run ins with Carlos Bruingier and the DRE, but doesn't get into the whole Morley vs. CIA over the Joannides records.

Most important however, Douglas fits in the anti-Castro Cuban training operations, the CIA maritime raids on Cuba and the backchannel negotiations that were suppose to be secretly going on between JFK and Castro.

In the Chapter on Kennedy, Castro and the CIA, Douglas writes that, "It was while John Kennedy was being steered into combat with the CIA and the Pentagon at the Bay of Pigs that Thomas Merton was being blocked from publishing his thoughts on nuclear war by his monastic superiors. Merton, like Kennedy, decided to find another way. The words pouring out of Merton's typewriter were spilling over from unpublished manuscripts into his Cold War letters." (p.17)

"On December 31, 1961, Merton wrote a letter anticipating the Cuban Missile Crisis ten months later. It was addressed to Clare Booth Luce, wife of Time-Life-Fortune owner Henry Luce, a Cold War media barron," who financially supported the maritime raiders, and wrote stories about them for Life. (p.18)

"As Merton challenged the Cold War dogmas of Clare Booth Luce, he was raising similar questions of conscience to another powerfully situated women, Ethel Kennedy…" (p.19) and Merton began to see a change in Kennedy's political thought.

At a speech the president gave at the University of Washington, Kennedy said, "It is a curious fact that each of these extreme opposites resembles the other. Each believes that we have only two choices: appeasement or war, suicide or surrender, humiliation or holocaust, to be either Red or dead." (p.19)

Douglas says that JFK's "fourth Bay of Pigs" was the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and he notes the role Norman Cousins played, and the methodology he used in changing public opinion on the issue. Douglas notes that the Senate vote on ratification of the treaty, approved by a vote of 80 – 19, was held on September 24, not an unimportant date on the Road to Dallas.

"One pawn in the Cold War who needed a way out before it was too late was a young ex-Marine, Lee Harvey Oswald. In following Kennedy's path through a series of critical conflicts, we have been moving more deeply into the question: Why was John Kennedy murdered? Now as we begin to trace Oswald's path, which will converge with Kennedy's, we can see the emergence of a strangely complementary question: Why was Lee Harvey Oswald so tolerated and supported by the government he betrayed?" (p. 37)

"The same government issued a report that described Oswald as unable "to establish meaningful relationships with other people. He was perpetually disconnected with the world around him. Long before the assassination he expressed his hatred for American society and acted in protest against it….He sought for himself a place in history – a role as the 'great man' who would be recognized as having been in advance of his times. His commitment to Marxism and communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation." (p.39)

Of course this alleged motive, contrived by the Warren Commission, doesn't take into account the fact that Oswald, who "sought for himself a place in history," denied killing anybody and claimed to be a "patsy."

As Douglas puts it, "If we turn from Warren Report psychology to Cold War history, why was the ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald not arrested and charged a year and a half before the assassination when he came back to the United States from the Soviet Union, where he had announced at the American Embassy in Moscow that he would hand over military secrets (about U2 flights) to the Soviets?" (p.39)

"Oswald's trajectory, which would end up meeting Kennedy's in Dallas, was guided not by the heavens or fate or even, as the Warren Report would have it, by a disturbed psyche, Oswald was guided by his intelligence handlers. Lee Harvey Oswald was a pawn in the game. He was a minor piece in the deadly game Kennedy wanted to end. Oswald was being moved square by square across a giant board stretching from Atsugi to Moscow to Minsk to Dallas. For the sake of victory in the Cold War, the hands moving Oswald were prepared to sacrifice him and any other piece on the board. However, there was one player, John Kennedy, who no longer believed in the game and was threatening to turn over the board." (p.41)

In the chapter on JFK and Vietnam, Douglas bring in Operation Northwoods, which many believe was incorporated in the assassination planning.

"On March 13, 1962, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whom Kennedy inherited from the Eisenhower, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, proposed 'Operation Northwoods.' It's purpose was to justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba, in which a "Remember the Main incident could be arranged in several forms. We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba…" (p.96-97)

Kennedy rejected Northwoods, and his solution to the Vietnam problem was "Easy" the president said, "Put a government in there that will ask us to leave." (p.134)

In Marked Out for Assassination, Douglas says that, "Investigative journalist Joseph Trento testified in a 1984 court deposition that, according to CIA sources, James Angleton was the supervisor of a CIA assassination unit in the 1950s. The 'small assassination team' was headed by Army colonel Boris Pash. At the end of World War II, Army Intelligence colonel Pash had rounded up Nazi scientists who could contribute their research skills to the development of U.S. nuclear and chemical weapons…" (p.143)

Douglas brings out the individual stories of a number of important witnesses, most of whom we have heard from before, but Boris Pash is one of the few individuals Douglas introduces who has managed to avoid the limelight, even in death.

Douglas gives much play to James Wilcott (p. 146-148), a CIA accountant stationed in Tokyo (1960 – 1964) who claimed that it was common knowledge in the CIA station there that Oswald was an agent who was disbursed CIA funds from a case officer. Both Wilcott and his wife were CIA administrators.

"In the decade following his HSCA testimony," notes Douglas, "Jim Wilcott joined Vietnam veteran Brian Willson and the Nuremberg Actions community outside the Concord Naval Weapons Station in nonviolent resistance to weapons shipments to the CIA sponsored Contra war in Nicaragua. While sitting on the railroad tracks, Willson was run over by a weapons train, which severed both his legs. Undeterred, Jim Wilcott was arrested for blocking a later train." (p.147)

We're going to hear more about Mr. Wilcott, but as Douglas surmises, "Thus, even the assassination of a president could be funded unconsciously by American taxpayers and carried out unknowingly by government employees, while only a few such as CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Helms and Counter-intelligence head James Angleton knew the intended result beforehand." (p.148)

In Saigon and Chicago (Chapter 5), Douglas reinforces the image of Kennedy losing grip on his government, especially in Saigon, where his ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was pushing for a coup to oust Diem, while Kennedy wanted Lodge to use diplomacy.

It's quite apparent, in retrospect that Kennedy's attempt at appeasement of conservative Republicans by appointing two of their own – Lodge in Vietnam and John J. McCloy as head of the CIA, backfired in Kennedy's face.

There are a few little gems in "The Unspeakable," like Boris Pash, and Marvin Gheesling (p.177), the FBI agent who, on October 9, 1963, took Oswald off the FLASH notice, effectively "turned off the alarm switch on Oswald literally an instant before it would have gone off."

While the coup in South Vietnam was being undertaken, the FBI and Secret Service were uncovering a plot to kill the President in Chicago (p.200-207).

"Thomas Vallee had been led along a trail that Lee Oswald would follow after him…" writes Douglas. The ex-Marine who worked at a CIA sponsored Cuban commando training camp in Levittown, Long Island. "Thomas Arthur Vallee and Lee Harvey Oswald, two men under the CIA's thumb for years, were being set up, one after the other, as scapegoats in two prime sites for killing Kennedy." (p.205)

In Chicago, Douglas visits the building on the parade route Kennedy would have used, and visits the assassin's lair where Vallee would have been placed and branded as the assassin if JFK had gone to Chicago that day. Into the Nest of the Unspeakable.

Douglas makes the point that if Kennedy had been killed in Chicago on November 1, we might have known Thomas Arthur Vallee as his deranged, ex-Marine, lone-nut assassin rather than Oswald.

"Lee Harvey Oswald was being systematically set up for his scapegoat role in Dallas, just as Thomas Arthur Vallee had been set up as an alternative patsy in Chicago," writes Douglas in Washington and Dallas. "Vallee escaped that fate, when two whistleblowers, Chicago Police Lieutenant Berkeley Moyland an FBI informant named 'Lee,' stopped the Chicago plot. Oswald was not so fortunate in Dallas. His incrimination by unseen hands continued…" (p.221)

Douglas also outlines the original cover story, that is still propagated in some quarters.

"Just as Chicago was the model for Dallas, Saigon was the backdrop for Chicago…." says Douglas, indicating a connection between what was going on. "…The legend created for the Dallas scenario of the gun-toting malcontent Lee Harvey Oswald followed a similar pattern. From the claims made by a series of CIA officers to the authors of widely disseminated books and articles, John Kennedy had been convicted in his grave of having tried to kill Fidel Castro, whose supposedly deranged surrogate, Lee Harvey Oswald, then retaliated. As a successful Chicago plot would have done, the Dallas plot ended up blaming the victim. 'Kennedy tried to murder Castro, and got what he deserved.'" (p.218)

Douglas wrote that, "Those who designed the plot to kill Kennedy were familiar with the inner sanctum of our national security state,...The assassins' purpose seems to have encompassed not only killing a president determined to make peace with the enemy but also using his murder as the impetus for a possile first strike against that same enemy."

The inclusion of Northwoods in the Dealey Plaza operation is the lynchpin that proves that the bullets that killed the President came from the Pentagon, and the assassination is the most significant national security issue yet to be resolved.

We've come to learn a lot since JFK was buried, and one of the most important things we should have learned is that the assassination of President Kennedy was a terrorist attack on our nation, as well as one man, and that we must now, or eventually, come to face the Unspeakable and confront it with the truth we've come to know.

As Douglas puts it, "Unknown to ordinary citizens watching President Kennedy's funeral on their television sets, the agencies of a national security state had quickly formed a united front behind the official mourning scenes to cover up every aspect of JFK's assassination. National security policies toward enemies beyond the state (with whom the slain president had been negotiating a truce) made necessary the denial of every trace of conspiracy within the state. As a saddled, riderless horse followed the coffin through the capitol's streets, plausible deniability had come home to haunt the nation." (p.82)

And now the game tables are being overturned, and what was once kept secret for reasons of national security, must now be revealed for reasons of national security, so the Nest of the Unspeakeable can be confronted and purged.

Bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Hi, Bill

Thank you for your review of 'Unspeakable'. Having been immersed so deeply in

those described activities, shadowy operations and associations in those times

in so many ways, I salute your very important 'review' of this vitally important

book.

Harry

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Here's my review of JFK & The Unspeakable.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/

JFK And the Unspeakable Why He Died & Why It Matters (Orbis Books, 2008),

by James Douglas.

As a sensitive and serious subject, the assassination of President Kennedy has been approached from many different ways by journalists, historians, psychologists, witnesses and even suspects who have acknowledged their roles in a conspiracy.

But James W. Douglas comes down a very different and spiritual path.

A Catholic theologian, anti-war activist, conscientious objector and peace activists, Doublas was slow to connect the death of the President the with constant threat of war, but he did with the help of Thomas Merton, a monk who had attended Cambridge and Columbia.

Merton, whose autobiography The Seven Story Mountain, has been compared to the Confessions of Saint Augustine, thought deeply and wrote often about war and racism (including Peace in the Post-Christian Era), until he was banned from doing so by his order. The prohibition led him to conduct lengthy correspondence with a wide variety of people, including RFK's wife Ethel Kennedy, Clare Booth Luce, Evora Arca de Sardinia, wife of a Bay of Pigs commander, and Douglas.

"The Unspeakable," according to Douglas, "is a term Thomas Merton coined at the heart of the sixties after JFK's assassination – in the midst of the escalating Vietnam war, the nuclear arms race, and the further assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. In each of those soul-shaking events, Merton sensed an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe."

"One of the awful facts of our age," wrote Merton in 1965, "is the evidence that [the world] is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."

"The Vietnam War, the race to a global war, and the interlocking murders of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were all signs of the Unspeakable," explains Douglas. "It remains deeply present in our world."

"Those who are at present so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of the Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see."

"It is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said;" wrote Merton, "the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss. It is the void out of which Eichmann drew the punctilious exactitude of his obedience…"

"In one his letters, Merton even foresaw Kennedy's murder when he wrote, "I have little confidence in Kennedy, I think he cannot fully measure up to the magnitude of his task, and lacks creative imagination and the deeper kind of sensitivity that's needed. Too much the Time and Life mentality,…What is needed is really not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don't have: depth, humanity and a certain totality of self-forgetfulness and compassion, not just for individuals but for man as a whole: a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe Kennedy will break through into that some day by miracle. But such people are long marked out for assassination."

And Douglas argues, Kennedy did have an epiphany, a sudden (or maybe it was a slow and gradual) realization that war could not be fought on the same terms as it was before because of the development of nuclear weapons. Douglas had his own epiphany when he realized that JFK's conflicts with his own generals and administrators led to his death, the why of his assassination. And now he wants to do something about it.

"When we become more deeply human, as Merton understood the process," says Douglas, "the wellspring of our compassion moves us to confront the Unspeakable."

For Douglas, as with most of us, we would prefer not to confront the Unspeakable, but Douglas goes into their Nest, and in this book he reports back what he found there.

"By overlooking the deep changes in Kennedy's life and the forces behind his death, I contributed to a national climate of denial," he writes. "Our collective denial to the obvious, in the setting up of Oswald and his transparent silencing by Ruby, made possible the Dallas cover-up. The success of the cover-up was the indispensable foundation for the subsequent murders of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy by the same forces at work in our government – and in ourselves. Hope for change in the world was targeted and killed four times over. The cover-up of all four murders, each leading into the next, was based, first of all, on denial – not the government's but our own. The unspeakable is not far away."

"The unspeakable is not far away. It is not somewhere out there, identical with a government that became foreign to us. The emptiness of the void, the vacuum of responsibility and compassion, is in ourselves. Our citizen denial provides the ground for the government's doctrine of 'plausible deniability.' John Kennedy's assassination is rooted in our denial of our nation's crimes in World War II that began the Cold War and the nuclear arms race…By avoiding our responsibility for the escalating crimes of state done for our security, we who failed to confront the Unspeakable opened the door to JFK's assassination and its cover-up. The Unspeakable is not far away."

Most important, notes Douglas, "…The story of JFK and the Unspeakable is drawn from the suffering and compassion of many witnesses who saw the truth and spoke it." Douglas introduces us to those witnesses and lets us hear what they have to say. "In living the truth, we are liberated from the Unspeakable."

With his chronological time line, and compare and contrast style, Douglas shows that the assassination of President Kennedy was not the work of one lone, deranged gunman, or the act of Cubans, mobsters or renegade government agents, but whatever happened at Dealey Plaza it was a well planned and executed coup d'etat.

By chronologically comparing and contrasting the lives and experiences of Kennedy and his accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, Douglas reasonably demonstrates that Oswald was not the lone nut loser that Warren Commission apologists portray, but an active player in the big game, though only as a pawn and patsy.

According to Douglas, the paths that led Oswald and Kennedy to Dealey Plaza were divergent but pushed along by the same hidden forces, with the motive for the assassination found with Kennedy rather than in the mind of his accused assassin.

Like David Talbot's book Brothers before him, Douglas reframes the Kennedy presidency to include the backstage manipulations that we've only recently learned about.

The conflicts with the CIA after the Bay of Pigs, with the Joint Chiefs of Staff during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and with the racists in his own party fighting the civil rights revolt, as well as his determination to withdraw from Vietnam and establish a dialog and diplomatic resolution to the Cuban problem, were all forces that set Kennedy up for retaliation by those who made the Unspeakable happen.

Kennedy, more than once, reflected that a Seven Days in May style military coup could occur in the United States if there was a Bay of Pigs type conflict, and then another similar situation, like the Cuban Missile Crisis presented. Then, if there was a third Bay of Pigs type event, Kennedy reasoned, a coup was possible.

Douglas says that Kennedy's "third Bay of Pigs" was his "Peace Speech" at American University on June 10, 1963, which he reproduces in full as an appendix.

But while being threatening to the military-industrial complex, the American University speech was not the straw that broke the camel's back if you believe (as I do) that Col. Jose Rivera (USAR) had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination and of Oswald's patsy role, as early as mid-April, 1963, months before the Peace Speech.

Douglas starts out with a brief, but incomplete chronology at the beginning, but then jumps around a little in his six chapters, each dealing with various people and events that lead up to what happened at Dealey Plaza.

In his first chapter, A Cold Warrior Turns, Douglas show how JFK's slow evolving epiphany brings him to the realization that war is not the answer, and he turns to backchannel diplomacy when his own administration balks at talking with the enemy (does this sound familiar?).

If the President's assassin was a real psychotic, lone-nut, spree killer, as the official story makes him out to be, then it could all be explained psychotically, like other real psycho spree killers (Howard Unruh for instance), and it would be disjointed from the real world that the victim inhabited.

But if that lone assassin is Lee Harvey Oswald, then his background, history, personal profile and every attribute we know about him, as well as his associates, indicate that he was a covert intelligence operative affiliated with a domestic, federal intelligence agency/network. (One that is still in operation, I might add – BK)

Oswald's background fits like a glove into to the covert history of the Cold War, as Douglas so artfully demonstrates by zig zagging the lives of Kennedy, the King, and Oswald, the Pawn, showing how hidden hands put the Pawn into position to checkmate the King.

Limiting his chronology from January 17, 1961, when President Eisenhower gave his farewell address and warned of the "military-industrial-complex," and ending at 11:21 AM, November 24, 1963, with the murder of Oswald, Douglas focuses on what he deems necessary to conclusively show that JFK was the victim, not only of a conspiracy, but a high level coup. And he succeeds.

Although only 24 years old, Oswald had been involved in at least a half dozen major covert intelligence operations, beginning with his radar monitoring and guarding of the U2 spy plane in Japan. On Holloween, October 31, 1959, Oswald turned his passport, which identified him as an "Import – Export" agent, over to State Department officer Richard Snyder. Oswald threatened to give the Soviets information he had learned in the Marines. Although there is no record of Oswald ever being questioned by the KGB, six months after he defected, Gary Powers was shot down in a U2 over Russia, which forced cancellation of a meeting between Eisenhower and Kruschev.

Douglas speculates that Oswald did tell them. All that was necessary to know in order to shoot down a U2, was the speed and altitude of the plane. Gary Powers himself speculated that Oswald gave the Soviets the information they needed to shoot him down. Oswald, it turns out, had a US Military ID card identical to the card Powers had on him when he was shot down. There was also speculation that Oswald was in attendance at Powers' trial.

In any case, Oswald was not prosecuted, or even officially debriefed when he returned home with his Russian wife and baby. George De Mohrenschildt, at the request of the CIA's J. Walton Moore, met the Oswalds and introduced them to his circle of friends, which included Ruth and Michael Paine.

While still under the guidance of De Mohrenschildt, in October, 1962, Oswald got a job at the graphic arts firm Jaggers-Chiles-Stoval, that did work for the Army Security Agency, placing captions on maps and photographs taken by the U2. So during the Cuban Missile Crisis that month, when the President held up photos of Cuban missile sites, the man who would be accused of killing him, may have placed the arrows and captions on those very photographs.

Douglas says that the Oswalds were handed off like a football, from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines. Douglas says that J. Walton Moore, of the Dallas Domestic Contacts Division of the CIA had his longtime contact George de Mohrenschildt meet Oswald, saying that sometime in the summer of 1962 one of Moore's associates gave him Oswald's address in Fort Worth, and de Mohrenschildt called Moore on the phone to confirm the mission.

According to Douglas, it was Moore, of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas who had De Mohrenschildt befriend Oswald, and it was De Mohrenschildt who arranged for the Oswalds to meet Ruth and Michael Paine, who became sponsors and benefactors of the accused assassin and his family.

With the assistance of the Paines, the Oswald family moved to New Orleans in the wake of the Walker shooing, which was later blamed on Oswald. Going into all the sorid details of Oswald in New Orleans, Douglas brings out the founding of the Fair Play for Cuba chapter, the run ins with Carlos Bruingier and the DRE, but doesn't get into the whole Morley vs. CIA over the Joannides records.

Most important however, Douglas fits in the anti-Castro Cuban training operations, the CIA maritime raids on Cuba and the backchannel negotiations that were suppose to be secretly going on between JFK and Castro.

In the Chapter on Kennedy, Castro and the CIA, Douglas writes that, "It was while John Kennedy was being steered into combat with the CIA and the Pentagon at the Bay of Pigs that Thomas Merton was being blocked from publishing his thoughts on nuclear war by his monastic superiors. Merton, like Kennedy, decided to find another way. The words pouring out of Merton's typewriter were spilling over from unpublished manuscripts into his Cold War letters." (p.17)

"On December 31, 1961, Merton wrote a letter anticipating the Cuban Missile Crisis ten months later. It was addressed to Clare Booth Luce, wife of Time-Life-Fortune owner Henry Luce, a Cold War media barron," who financially supported the maritime raiders, and wrote stories about them for Life. (p.18)

"As Merton challenged the Cold War dogmas of Clare Booth Luce, he was raising similar questions of conscience to another powerfully situated women, Ethel Kennedy…" (p.19) and Merton began to see a change in Kennedy's political thought.

At a speech the president gave at the University of Washington, Kennedy said, "It is a curious fact that each of these extreme opposites resembles the other. Each believes that we have only two choices: appeasement or war, suicide or surrender, humiliation or holocaust, to be either Red or dead." (p.19)

Douglas says that JFK's "fourth Bay of Pigs" was the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and he notes the role Norman Cousins played, and the methodology he used in changing public opinion on the issue. Douglas notes that the Senate vote on ratification of the treaty, approved by a vote of 80 – 19, was held on September 24, not an unimportant date on the Road to Dallas.

"One pawn in the Cold War who needed a way out before it was too late was a young ex-Marine, Lee Harvey Oswald. In following Kennedy's path through a series of critical conflicts, we have been moving more deeply into the question: Why was John Kennedy murdered? Now as we begin to trace Oswald's path, which will converge with Kennedy's, we can see the emergence of a strangely complementary question: Why was Lee Harvey Oswald so tolerated and supported by the government he betrayed?" (p. 37)

"The same government issued a report that described Oswald as unable "to establish meaningful relationships with other people. He was perpetually disconnected with the world around him. Long before the assassination he expressed his hatred for American society and acted in protest against it….He sought for himself a place in history – a role as the 'great man' who would be recognized as having been in advance of his times. His commitment to Marxism and communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation." (p.39)

Of course this alleged motive, contrived by the Warren Commission, doesn't take into account the fact that Oswald, who "sought for himself a place in history," denied killing anybody and claimed to be a "patsy."

As Douglas puts it, "If we turn from Warren Report psychology to Cold War history, why was the ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald not arrested and charged a year and a half before the assassination when he came back to the United States from the Soviet Union, where he had announced at the American Embassy in Moscow that he would hand over military secrets (about U2 flights) to the Soviets?" (p.39)

"Oswald's trajectory, which would end up meeting Kennedy's in Dallas, was guided not by the heavens or fate or even, as the Warren Report would have it, by a disturbed psyche, Oswald was guided by his intelligence handlers. Lee Harvey Oswald was a pawn in the game. He was a minor piece in the deadly game Kennedy wanted to end. Oswald was being moved square by square across a giant board stretching from Atsugi to Moscow to Minsk to Dallas. For the sake of victory in the Cold War, the hands moving Oswald were prepared to sacrifice him and any other piece on the board. However, there was one player, John Kennedy, who no longer believed in the game and was threatening to turn over the board." (p.41)

In the chapter on JFK and Vietnam, Douglas bring in Operation Northwoods, which many believe was incorporated in the assassination planning.

"On March 13, 1962, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whom Kennedy inherited from the Eisenhower, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, proposed 'Operation Northwoods.' It's purpose was to justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba, in which a "Remember the Main incident could be arranged in several forms. We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba…" (p.96-97)

Kennedy rejected Northwoods, and his solution to the Vietnam problem was "Easy" the president said, "Put a government in there that will ask us to leave." (p.134)

In Marked Out for Assassination, Douglas says that, "Investigative journalist Joseph Trento testified in a 1984 court deposition that, according to CIA sources, James Angleton was the supervisor of a CIA assassination unit in the 1950s. The 'small assassination team' was headed by Army colonel Boris Pash. At the end of World War II, Army Intelligence colonel Pash had rounded up Nazi scientists who could contribute their research skills to the development of U.S. nuclear and chemical weapons…" (p.143)

Douglas brings out the individual stories of a number of important witnesses, most of whom we have heard from before, but Boris Pash is one of the few individuals Douglas introduces who has managed to avoid the limelight, even in death.

Douglas gives much play to James Wilcott (p. 146-148), a CIA accountant stationed in Tokyo (1960 – 1964) who claimed that it was common knowledge in the CIA station there that Oswald was an agent who was disbursed CIA funds from a case officer. Both Wilcott and his wife were CIA administrators.

"In the decade following his HSCA testimony," notes Douglas, "Jim Wilcott joined Vietnam veteran Brian Willson and the Nuremberg Actions community outside the Concord Naval Weapons Station in nonviolent resistance to weapons shipments to the CIA sponsored Contra war in Nicaragua. While sitting on the railroad tracks, Willson was run over by a weapons train, which severed both his legs. Undeterred, Jim Wilcott was arrested for blocking a later train." (p.147)

We're going to hear more about Mr. Wilcott, but as Douglas surmises, "Thus, even the assassination of a president could be funded unconsciously by American taxpayers and carried out unknowingly by government employees, while only a few such as CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Helms and Counter-intelligence head James Angleton knew the intended result beforehand." (p.148)

In Saigon and Chicago (Chapter 5), Douglas reinforces the image of Kennedy losing grip on his government, especially in Saigon, where his ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was pushing for a coup to oust Diem, while Kennedy wanted Lodge to use diplomacy.

It's quite apparent, in retrospect that Kennedy's attempt at appeasement of conservative Republicans by appointing two of their own – Lodge in Vietnam and John J. McCloy as head of the CIA, backfired in Kennedy's face.

There are a few little gems in "The Unspeakable," like Boris Pash, and Marvin Gheesling (p.177), the FBI agent who, on October 9, 1963, took Oswald off the FLASH notice, effectively "turned off the alarm switch on Oswald literally an instant before it would have gone off."

While the coup in South Vietnam was being undertaken, the FBI and Secret Service were uncovering a plot to kill the President in Chicago (p.200-207).

"Thomas Vallee had been led along a trail that Lee Oswald would follow after him…" writes Douglas. The ex-Marine who worked at a CIA sponsored Cuban commando training camp in Levittown, Long Island. "Thomas Arthur Vallee and Lee Harvey Oswald, two men under the CIA's thumb for years, were being set up, one after the other, as scapegoats in two prime sites for killing Kennedy." (p.205)

In Chicago, Douglas visits the building on the parade route Kennedy would have used, and visits the assassin's lair where Vallee would have been placed and branded as the assassin if JFK had gone to Chicago that day. Into the Nest of the Unspeakable.

Douglas makes the point that if Kennedy had been killed in Chicago on November 1, we might have known Thomas Arthur Vallee as his deranged, ex-Marine, lone-nut assassin rather than Oswald.

"Lee Harvey Oswald was being systematically set up for his scapegoat role in Dallas, just as Thomas Arthur Vallee had been set up as an alternative patsy in Chicago," writes Douglas in Washington and Dallas. "Vallee escaped that fate, when two whistleblowers, Chicago Police Lieutenant Berkeley Moyland an FBI informant named 'Lee,' stopped the Chicago plot. Oswald was not so fortunate in Dallas. His incrimination by unseen hands continued…" (p.221)

Douglas also outlines the original cover story, that is still propagated in some quarters.

"Just as Chicago was the model for Dallas, Saigon was the backdrop for Chicago…." says Douglas, indicating a connection between what was going on. "…The legend created for the Dallas scenario of the gun-toting malcontent Lee Harvey Oswald followed a similar pattern. From the claims made by a series of CIA officers to the authors of widely disseminated books and articles, John Kennedy had been convicted in his grave of having tried to kill Fidel Castro, whose supposedly deranged surrogate, Lee Harvey Oswald, then retaliated. As a successful Chicago plot would have done, the Dallas plot ended up blaming the victim. 'Kennedy tried to murder Castro, and got what he deserved.'" (p.218)

Douglas wrote that, "Those who designed the plot to kill Kennedy were familiar with the inner sanctum of our national security state,...The assassins' purpose seems to have encompassed not only killing a president determined to make peace with the enemy but also using his murder as the impetus for a possile first strike against that same enemy."

The inclusion of Northwoods in the Dealey Plaza operation is the lynchpin that proves that the bullets that killed the President came from the Pentagon, and the assassination is the most significant national security issue yet to be resolved.

We've come to learn a lot since JFK was buried, and one of the most important things we should have learned is that the assassination of President Kennedy was a terrorist attack on our nation, as well as one man, and that we must now, or eventually, come to face the Unspeakable and confront it with the truth we've come to know.

As Douglas puts it, "Unknown to ordinary citizens watching President Kennedy's funeral on their television sets, the agencies of a national security state had quickly formed a united front behind the official mourning scenes to cover up every aspect of JFK's assassination. National security policies toward enemies beyond the state (with whom the slain president had been negotiating a truce) made necessary the denial of every trace of conspiracy within the state. As a saddled, riderless horse followed the coffin through the capitol's streets, plausible deniability had come home to haunt the nation." (p.82)

And now the game tables are being overturned, and what was once kept secret for reasons of national security, must now be revealed for reasons of national security, so the Nest of the Unspeakeable can be confronted and purged.

Bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Hi, Bill

Thank you for your review of 'Unspeakable'. Having been immersed so deeply in

those described activities, shadowy operations and associations in those times

in so many ways, I salute your very important 'review' of this vitally important

book.

Harry

Hey Harry,

Thanks for reading it and taking the time to comment. Am trying to clean up typos and mistakes before I send it out for wider distribution and possible publication.

You are one of the witnesses to the Truth that Douglas talks about when he writes, "Whether or not JFK was a martyr, his story would never have been told without the testimony of risk-taking witnesses to the truth. Even if their lives were not taken- and some were - they were all martyrs in the root meaning of the world, witnesses to the truth."

"The belief behind this book is that truth is the most powerful force on earth, what Gandhi called satyagraha, 'truth force' or 'soul force.' By his experiments in truth Gandhi turned theology on it head, saying 'truth is God.' We all see part of the truth and can seek it more deeply. Its other side is compassion, our response to suffering."

"The story of JFK and the Unspeakable is drawn from the suffering and compassion of many witnesses who saw the truthand spoke it. In living out the truth, we are liberated from the Unspeakable."

BK

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Here's my review of JFK & The Unspeakable.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/

JFK And the Unspeakable Why He Died & Why It Matters (Orbis Books, 2008),

by James Douglas.

...So it was Moore, of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas who had De Mohrenschildt befriend Oswald, and it was De Mohrenschildt who arranged for the Oswalds to meet Ruth and Michael Paine, who became sponsors and benefactors of the accused assassin and his family.

Bill,

I'm puzzled. How do you get from the above, to the below?

The inclusion of Northwoods in the Dealey Plaza operation is the lynchpin that proves that the bullets that killed the President came from the Pentagon...

I don't mean to suggest senior members of the armed forces we're not complicit - Bethesda proves that - but don't you things the wrong way round? The CIA was the dominant force in the setting up of the patsy, not the Pentagon, or the FBI.

Paul

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Here's my review of JFK & The Unspeakable.

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/

JFK And the Unspeakable Why He Died & Why It Matters (Orbis Books, 2008),

by James Douglas.

...So it was Moore, of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas who had De Mohrenschildt befriend Oswald, and it was De Mohrenschildt who arranged for the Oswalds to meet Ruth and Michael Paine, who became sponsors and benefactors of the accused assassin and his family.

Bill,

I'm puzzled. How do you get from the above, to the below?

The inclusion of Northwoods in the Dealey Plaza operation is the lynchpin that proves that the bullets that killed the President came from the Pentagon...

I don't mean to suggest senior members of the armed forces we're not complicit - Bethesda proves that - but don't you things the wrong way round? The CIA was the dominant force in the setting up of the patsy, not the Pentagon, or the FBI.

Paul

I don't blame any one agency or department. Only individuals can be indicted for murder, not the organizations they are affiliated with, be it the Mafia, CIA or ONI.

It is easy to blame the CIA, who may be just as much a scapegoat as Oswald, since they gave us Oswald and he appears to be CIA. Why would the CIA set themselves up?

If it was a coup d'etat, then EVERY significant agency and player were compromised or a part of the coup.

Focus on individuals, not the agency they ostensibly represent.

And the bullets, according to Warren Commission records, came from a batch of bullets that were purchased by the USMC in 1958, the last know record of them, even though they couldn't be used in any official USMC issued weapon.

BK

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James Douglas includes some new angles on some witnesses, some of which I'm still not conviced of yet.

Such as the man in the doorway is Oswald, based what former USMC bunkmate Bothello told him - Oswald had a habbit of pulling down on his t-shirt colar so it was real loose.

Bothello also said a lot of other important things, but that's a new one on me.

Can somebody post a close up of the man in the doorway?

Thanks,

BK

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I was sent a free advance copy of the book by the publisher (anyone else?).

That always raises my suspicions.

I have not read any of it yet.

Jack

Amazon UK finally came up trumps yesterday mid-morning: Chapter 5, “Saigon and Chicago” (pp.174-218), contains much to admire, but also errors, some minor, others seriously troubling. Here are some of them:

1) Douglass erroneously claims that both Starnes’ “’Arrogant’ CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam” (Washington Daily News, 2 October 1963, p.3) and Arthur Krock’s “The Intra-Administration War in Vietnam” (NYT, 3 October 1963, p.34) appeared on “the same day” (p.186). How Krock managed to cite a despatch in another paper from the same day is necessarily left unexplained. To compound the matter, The Washington Daily News was an afternoon paper, the NYT a morning one, rendering Krock’s feat even more remarkable.

2) As I have observed before, Arthur Krock’s In the Nation column, “The Intra-Administration War in Vietnam,” was, very obviously and quite contrary to the impression left by Douglass (pp.185-6), a defence of the CIA and an attack on JFK (1). Krock did not attack the messenger, Starnes, for the very tactically sound reason that he was impregnable: The CIA, working in conjunction with a senior Scripps-Howard exec., had offered Starnes the chance to go Lumumba’s Congo in early 1960, shortly after he had resigned – in February 1960 - as managing editor of the New York World-Telegram & Sun.

2) Douglass regurgitates the tired old nonsense that John H. Richardson, the CIA chief of station outed by Starnes, was removed because Lodge thought him “too close to Diem” (p.186). As Richardson’s telegram to HQ of August 28 reveals, nothing could have been further from the truth: The agency man was gung-ho for a coup (2). Douglass ignores that telegram: why? Nor was this the only evidence. The Times of Vietnam had named Richardson as the coup-instigator-in-chief in its edition of 2 September 1963.

3) And if Richardson was so dedicated to the preservation of the Diem government, why did he not act to preserve it? He was station chief, after all, a position of considerable bureaucratic heft: He could have restrained, disciplined, and/or sacked the agency men agitating for Diem’s removal at any point prior to his recall. He did nothing of the sort.

4) Douglass further claims, immediately after introducing Starnes’ momentous “’Arrogant’ CIA” despatch, that Ambassador Lodge’s “response to the CIA’s ominous seizure of power in Vietnam was to harness that power to his own ambition to overthrow Diem” (p.186). What, by publicly suggesting that the CIA now posed as big a threat to Kennedy in Washington as he did to Diem in Saigon? This is absurd.

5) Another discredited claim, again targeting Lodge, is that Starnes’ primary source – there were in fact a number for the piece, as even the most cursory reading of it reveals – for “’Arrogant’ CIA” was the Ambassador. He wasn’t. Starnes emphatically repudiated the claim, one much advanced by John McCone at the time, in print in December 1963 (3).

Notes:

1. Krock’s reply to Starnes:

New York Times, 3 October 1963, p.34

Intra-Administration War in Vietnam

By Arthur Krock

The Central Intelligence Agency is getting a very bad press in dispatches from Vietnam to American newspapers and in articles originating in Washington. Like the Supreme Court when under fire, the C.I.A. cannot defend itself in public retorts to criticisms of its activities as they occur. But, unlike the Supreme Court, the C.I.A. has no open record of its activities on which the public can base a judgment of the validity of the criticisms. Also, the agency is precluded from using the indirect defensive tactic which is constantly employed by all other government units under critical fire.

This tactic is to give information to the press, under a seal of confidence, that challenges or refutes the critics. But the C.I.A. cannot father such inspired articles, because to do so would require some disclosure of its activities. And not only does the effectiveness of the agency depend on the secrecy of its operations. Every President since the C.I.A. was created has protected this secrecy from claimants – Congress or the public through the press, for examples – of the right to share any part of it.

This Presidential policy has not, however, always restrained other executive units from going confidentially to the press with attacks on C.I.A. operations in their common field of responsibility. And usually it has been possible to deduce these operational details from the nature of the attacks. But the peak of the practice has recently been reached in Vietnam and in Washington. This is revealed almost every day now in dispatches from reporters – in close touch with intra-Administration critics of the C.I.A. – with excellent reputations for reliability.

One reporter in this category is Richard Starnes of the Scripps-Howard newspapers. Today, under a Saigon deadline, he related that, “according to a high United States source here, twice the C.I.A. flatly refused to carry out instructions from Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge …[and] in one instance frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought from Washington because the agency disagreed with it.” Among the views attributed to United States officials on the scene, including one described as a “very high American official…who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy…are the following:

The C.I.A.’s growth was “likened to a malignancy” which the “very high official was not sure even the White House could control…any longer.” “If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the C.I.A. and not the Pentagon.” The agency “represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.”

Whatever these passages disclose, they most certainly establish that representatives of other Executive branches have expanded their war against the C.I.A. from the inner councils to the American people via the press. And published simultaneously are details of the agency’s operations in Vietnam that can only come from the same critical official sources. This is disorderly government. And the longer the President tolerates it – the period is already considerable – the greater will grow its potentials of hampering the real war against the Vietcong and the impression of a very indecisive Administration in Washington.

The C.I.A. may be guilty as charged. Since it cannot, or at any rate will not, openly defend its record in Vietnam, or defend it by the same confidential press “briefings” employed by its critics, the public is not in a position to judge. Nor is this department, which sought and failed to get even the outlines of the agency’s case in rebuttal. But Mr. Kennedy will have to make a judgment if the spectacle of war within the Executive branch is to be ended and the effective functioning of the C.I.A. preserved. And when he make this judgment, hopefully he also will make it public, as well as the appraisal of fault on which it is based.

Doubtless recommendations as to what his judgment should be were made to him today by Secretary of Defense McNamara and General Taylor on their return from their fact-finding expedition into the embattled official jungle in Saigon.

2. Saigon, Richardson wrote, was an “armed camp,” and the situation there at a “point of no return.” The generals backed by the CIA understood “that they have no alternative but to go forward” or else, by their inaction, permit a sharp reduction in the American presence and their country “stagger on to final defeat.” (Francis X. Winters. The Year of the Hare: America in Vietnam, January 25, 1963 – February 15, 1964 [university of Georgia Press, 1997], p.66.)

3. Starnes reveals Lodge not his source for “’Arrogant’ CIA”:

The New York World-Telegram & Sun, Tuesday, 24 December, 1963, p.13

Truman and the CIA

The murmuring chorus of Americans who are deeply concerned with the growing power and headlong wilfulness of the Central Intelligence Agency has been joined by former President Truman.

Mr. Truman must be accounted an expert witness in this matter, because it was under his administration that the CIA came into being. In a copyrighted article he wrote recently that the CIA had strayed wide of the purposes for which he had organized it.

"It has," he wrote, "become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas."

For writing substantially the same thing from South Viet Nam last fall, this reporter was (and still is) subjected to a calculated behind-the-scenes campaign of opprobrium at the hands of the CIA. So, indeed, has the United States' ambassador to Saigon been subjected to the same sort of behind-the-hand attack, on the theory that he was the source of my account of the CIA's heedless bureaucratic arrogance in Saigon.

Mr. Lodge, it is now charged by CIA apologists, destroyed the effectiveness of one of the CIA's most skilful agents. It is also charged that this reporter violated a gentleman's agreement in naming the agent.

Both charges are false, meaching and disingenuous.

The name of the agent, hurriedly summoned home from Saigon within 24 hours of my account of his stewardship of the huge spook operations, was John Richardson. In my several conversations with Ambassador Lodge, Richardson's name never passed between us.

It was, indeed, not necessary for any wayfaring journals to go to any such exalted figures to descry the activities of the CIA's station chief in Saigon. Richardson, a frequent visitor at the presidential palace and a close adviser to the devious and powerful Ngo Dinh Nhu, was widely known in the Vietnamese capital. Until Mr. Lodge replaced Frederick Nolting as ambassador, most knowledgeable Americans and sophisticated Vietnamese regarded Richardson as the most powerful foreigner in Viet Nam.

It is nonsense to say that Lodge destroyed Richardson's value as a CIA agent. In Saigon, Richardson was as clandestine as a calliope with a full head of steam. It is, moreover, a libel to allege (as high CIA officials have alleged) that this reporter violated an agreement to shield Richardson's identity. In all my assiduous inquiries about the man, never once was it suggested that there was an agreement to keep his identity secret. If there had been any such agreement, I would, of course, have respected it even though it would have been plainly absurd in view of Richardson's notoriety.

This is, unfortunately, more than a parochial dispute between a reporter and a writhing, unlovely bureaucracy. The President of the United States himself has been misled by the CIA mythology regarding just how and by whom Richardson's utility as chief resident spook was destroyed. Neither Lodge nor any journalist cast Richardson in his role in Saigon. If CIA chief John McCone really believes that his man in Saigon was compromised by my dispatches (and presumably he does believe this or he would not have planted and cultivated the tale as thoroughly as he has) then he does not know what is going on in the huge, bumbling apparatus he nominally leads.

Mr. Truman knows whereof he speaks. Wise in the ways of malignant bureaucracy, he knows that unfettered and unaccountable power such as is vested in the CIA is bound to feed upon itself until it poses a threat to the very free institutions it was founded to safeguard. No man alive knows the enormous power that is now vested in the CIA, nor the wealth it dispenses, nor the policy it makes. Most people in government would be appalled if they knew that already the CIA has overflowed its huge new headquarters building in McLean, Va., but it is fact that it has done.

There is far, far too much about the CIA that is unknown to far too many Americans. We will, occasionally and from time to time, twang this same sackbut. It is not a pretty tune it plays, but it is an important one.

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I was sent a free advance copy of the book by the publisher (anyone else?).

That always raises my suspicions.

I have not read any of it yet.

Jack

Amazon UK finally came up trumps yesterday mid-morning: Chapter 5, "Saigon and Chicago" (pp.174-218), contains much to admire, but also errors, some minor, others seriously troubling. Here are some of them:

BK: I HOPE JACK HAS READ THE BOOK THAT JD WAS GRACIOUS ENOUGH TO SEND HIM. I HAD TO BUY MY COPY AND IT WAS WELL WORTH IT.

AS FOR JAMES DOUGLAS' TAKE ON VIETNAM, I WOULD CERTAINLY THINK THAT CIA COS SAIGON RICHARDSON BEING CALLED HOME BECAUSE HE WAS OUTED BY A REPORTER (SOUND FAMILIAR?) AND POLITICIAN, WHILE THE COUP TOOK PLACE MEANS SOMETHING.

E. HOWARD HUNT'S FABRICATION OF A MEMO IMPLICATING JFK IN THE COUP CERTAINLY WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO BE FAKED IF IT WAS TRUE.

THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES THAT DOUGLAS BRINGS TO THE TABLE THAT I'D LIKE TO REVIEW, INCLUDING THE MAN IN THE DOORWAY, BUT JFK AND VIETNAM HAS BEEN REHASED TO DEATH, ESPECIALLY AFTER NEWMAN'S JFK & VIETNAM BOOK AND STONE'S MOVIE, WHICH HEATED UP THE DEBATE.

I'D ALSO LIKE TO READ THOMAS MALLON'S REVIEW OF JFK AND THE UNTHINKABLE THAT JIMMY D MENTIONS. DOES ANYBODY HAVE A LINK TO IT?

THANKS, BK

1) Douglass erroneously claims that both Starnes' "'Arrogant' CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam" (Washington Daily News, 2 October 1963, p.3) and Arthur Krock's "The Intra-Administration War in Vietnam" (NYT, 3 October 1963, p.34) appeared on "the same day" (p.186). How Krock managed to cite a despatch in another paper from the same day is necessarily left unexplained. To compound the matter, The Washington Daily News was an afternoon paper, the NYT a morning one, rendering Krock's feat even more remarkable.

2) As I have observed before, Arthur Krock's In the Nation column, "The Intra-Administration War in Vietnam," was, very obviously and quite contrary to the impression left by Douglass (pp.185-6), a defence of the CIA and an attack on JFK (1). Krock did not attack the messenger, Starnes, for the very tactically sound reason that he was impregnable: The CIA, working in conjunction with a senior Scripps-Howard exec., had offered Starnes the chance to go Lumumba's Congo in early 1960, shortly after he had resigned – in February 1960 - as managing editor of the New York World-Telegram & Sun.

2) Douglass regurgitates the tired old nonsense that John H. Richardson, the CIA chief of station outed by Starnes, was removed because Lodge thought him "too close to Diem" (p.186). As Richardson's telegram to HQ of August 28 reveals, nothing could have been further from the truth: The agency man was gung-ho for a coup (2). Douglass ignores that telegram: why? Nor was this the only evidence. The Times of Vietnam had named Richardson as the coup-instigator-in-chief in its edition of 2 September 1963.

3) And if Richardson was so dedicated to the preservation of the Diem government, why did he not act to preserve it? He was station chief, after all, a position of considerable bureaucratic heft: He could have restrained, disciplined, and/or sacked the agency men agitating for Diem's removal at any point prior to his recall. He did nothing of the sort.

4) Douglass further claims, immediately after introducing Starnes' momentous "'Arrogant' CIA" despatch, that Ambassador Lodge's "response to the CIA's ominous seizure of power in Vietnam was to harness that power to his own ambition to overthrow Diem" (p.186). What, by publicly suggesting that the CIA now posed as big a threat to Kennedy in Washington as he did to Diem in Saigon? This is absurd.

5) Another discredited claim, again targeting Lodge, is that Starnes' primary source – there were in fact a number for the piece, as even the most cursory reading of it reveals – for "'Arrogant' CIA" was the Ambassador. He wasn't. Starnes emphatically repudiated the claim, one much advanced by John McCone at the time, in print in December 1963 (3).

Notes:

1. Krock's reply to Starnes:

New York Times, 3 October 1963, p.34

Intra-Administration War in Vietnam

By Arthur Krock

The Central Intelligence Agency is getting a very bad press in dispatches from Vietnam to American newspapers and in articles originating in Washington. Like the Supreme Court when under fire, the C.I.A. cannot defend itself in public retorts to criticisms of its activities as they occur. But, unlike the Supreme Court, the C.I.A. has no open record of its activities on which the public can base a judgment of the validity of the criticisms. Also, the agency is precluded from using the indirect defensive tactic which is constantly employed by all other government units under critical fire.

This tactic is to give information to the press, under a seal of confidence, that challenges or refutes the critics. But the C.I.A. cannot father such inspired articles, because to do so would require some disclosure of its activities. And not only does the effectiveness of the agency depend on the secrecy of its operations. Every President since the C.I.A. was created has protected this secrecy from claimants – Congress or the public through the press, for examples – of the right to share any part of it.

This Presidential policy has not, however, always restrained other executive units from going confidentially to the press with attacks on C.I.A. operations in their common field of responsibility. And usually it has been possible to deduce these operational details from the nature of the attacks. But the peak of the practice has recently been reached in Vietnam and in Washington. This is revealed almost every day now in dispatches from reporters – in close touch with intra-Administration critics of the C.I.A. – with excellent reputations for reliability.

One reporter in this category is Richard Starnes of the Scripps-Howard newspapers. Today, under a Saigon deadline, he related that, "according to a high United States source here, twice the C.I.A. flatly refused to carry out instructions from Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge …[and] in one instance frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought from Washington because the agency disagreed with it." Among the views attributed to United States officials on the scene, including one described as a "very high American official…who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy…are the following:

The C.I.A.'s growth was "likened to a malignancy" which the "very high official was not sure even the White House could control…any longer." "If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the C.I.A. and not the Pentagon." The agency "represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone."

Whatever these passages disclose, they most certainly establish that representatives of other Executive branches have expanded their war against the C.I.A. from the inner councils to the American people via the press. And published simultaneously are details of the agency's operations in Vietnam that can only come from the same critical official sources. This is disorderly government. And the longer the President tolerates it – the period is already considerable – the greater will grow its potentials of hampering the real war against the Vietcong and the impression of a very indecisive Administration in Washington.

The C.I.A. may be guilty as charged. Since it cannot, or at any rate will not, openly defend its record in Vietnam, or defend it by the same confidential press "briefings" employed by its critics, the public is not in a position to judge. Nor is this department, which sought and failed to get even the outlines of the agency's case in rebuttal. But Mr. Kennedy will have to make a judgment if the spectacle of war within the Executive branch is to be ended and the effective functioning of the C.I.A. preserved. And when he make this judgment, hopefully he also will make it public, as well as the appraisal of fault on which it is based.

Doubtless recommendations as to what his judgment should be were made to him today by Secretary of Defense McNamara and General Taylor on their return from their fact-finding expedition into the embattled official jungle in Saigon.

2. Saigon, Richardson wrote, was an "armed camp," and the situation there at a "point of no return." The generals backed by the CIA understood "that they have no alternative but to go forward" or else, by their inaction, permit a sharp reduction in the American presence and their country "stagger on to final defeat." (Francis X. Winters. The Year of the Hare: America in Vietnam, January 25, 1963 – February 15, 1964 [university of Georgia Press, 1997], p.66.)

3. Starnes reveals Lodge not his source for "'Arrogant' CIA":

The New York World-Telegram & Sun, Tuesday, 24 December, 1963, p.13

Truman and the CIA

The murmuring chorus of Americans who are deeply concerned with the growing power and headlong wilfulness of the Central Intelligence Agency has been joined by former President Truman.

Mr. Truman must be accounted an expert witness in this matter, because it was under his administration that the CIA came into being. In a copyrighted article he wrote recently that the CIA had strayed wide of the purposes for which he had organized it.

"It has," he wrote, "become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas."

For writing substantially the same thing from South Viet Nam last fall, this reporter was (and still is) subjected to a calculated behind-the-scenes campaign of opprobrium at the hands of the CIA. So, indeed, has the United States' ambassador to Saigon been subjected to the same sort of behind-the-hand attack, on the theory that he was the source of my account of the CIA's heedless bureaucratic arrogance in Saigon.

Mr. Lodge, it is now charged by CIA apologists, destroyed the effectiveness of one of the CIA's most skilful agents. It is also charged that this reporter violated a gentleman's agreement in naming the agent.

Both charges are false, meaching and disingenuous.

The name of the agent, hurriedly summoned home from Saigon within 24 hours of my account of his stewardship of the huge spook operations, was John Richardson. In my several conversations with Ambassador Lodge, Richardson's name never passed between us.

It was, indeed, not necessary for any wayfaring journals to go to any such exalted figures to descry the activities of the CIA's station chief in Saigon. Richardson, a frequent visitor at the presidential palace and a close adviser to the devious and powerful Ngo Dinh Nhu, was widely known in the Vietnamese capital. Until Mr. Lodge replaced Frederick Nolting as ambassador, most knowledgeable Americans and sophisticated Vietnamese regarded Richardson as the most powerful foreigner in Viet Nam.

It is nonsense to say that Lodge destroyed Richardson's value as a CIA agent. In Saigon, Richardson was as clandestine as a calliope with a full head of steam. It is, moreover, a libel to allege (as high CIA officials have alleged) that this reporter violated an agreement to shield Richardson's identity. In all my assiduous inquiries about the man, never once was it suggested that there was an agreement to keep his identity secret. If there had been any such agreement, I would, of course, have respected it even though it would have been plainly absurd in view of Richardson's notoriety.

This is, unfortunately, more than a parochial dispute between a reporter and a writhing, unlovely bureaucracy. The President of the United States himself has been misled by the CIA mythology regarding just how and by whom Richardson's utility as chief resident spook was destroyed. Neither Lodge nor any journalist cast Richardson in his role in Saigon. If CIA chief John McCone really believes that his man in Saigon was compromised by my dispatches (and presumably he does believe this or he would not have planted and cultivated the tale as thoroughly as he has) then he does not know what is going on in the huge, bumbling apparatus he nominally leads.

Mr. Truman knows whereof he speaks. Wise in the ways of malignant bureaucracy, he knows that unfettered and unaccountable power such as is vested in the CIA is bound to feed upon itself until it poses a threat to the very free institutions it was founded to safeguard. No man alive knows the enormous power that is now vested in the CIA, nor the wealth it dispenses, nor the policy it makes. Most people in government would be appalled if they knew that already the CIA has overflowed its huge new headquarters building in McLean, Va., but it is fact that it has done.

There is far, far too much about the CIA that is unknown to far too many Americans. We will, occasionally and from time to time, twang this same sackbut. It is not a pretty tune it plays, but it is an important one.

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Focus on individuals, not the agency they ostensibly represent.

Bingo!

It appears as a criminal enterprise wherein everyone involved had a common

goal incidental to any institutional interests.

That goal looks from here like an attempt to put together a Laos-to-Havana-to-US

heroin pipeline.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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Focus on individuals, not the agency they ostensibly represent.

Bingo!

It appears as a criminal enterprise wherein everyone involved had a common

goal incidental to any institutional interests.

That goal looks from here like an attempt to put together a Laos-to-Havana-to-US

heroin pipeline.

You say "theory," I say..."dots"...

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...100#entry125833

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James Douglas includes some new angles on some witnesses, some of which I'm still not conviced of yet.

Such as the man in the doorway is Oswald, based what former USMC bunkmate Bothello told him - Oswald had a habbit of pulling down on his t-shirt colar so it was real loose.

Bothello also said a lot of other important things, but that's a new one on me.

Can somebody post a close up of the man in the doorway?

Thanks,

BK

You know, I'm pretty much convinced that its Lovelady and not Oswald in the doorway, mainly because of the other photo of Lovelady from the rear, his head having a bald spot, that Oswald does not.

Other James Douglas stories pan out and provide additional leads worth pursuing, like Wayne January's story of selling a cargo plane to a CIA airline and a pilot/Col. telling him that JFK was going to die within an hour of it happening. That airline can be identified and airplanes, like cars and boats, have records.

BK

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This phrase of James W. Douglass, "accountable only to their own shadows" is a profound one for us today:

In the fall of 1963, as the president ordered a U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, he was being eased out

of control, by friends and foes alike, for the sake of an overriding sision of war. They all thought they

knew better than he did what needed to be done to win the war in Vietnam, and slsewhere across the

globe against an evil enemy. Kennedy's horror of the nuclear was he had skirted during the missile

crisis, his concern for American toppos in Vietnam, andhis tun toward peace with Nikita Khrushchev

and Fidel Castro, had in his critics' eyes, made him soft on Communism.

For our covert action specialists in the shadows, accoutable only to their own shadows, what Kennedy's

apparent defeatism meant was clear. The absolute end of victory over the evil of Communism justified

any means necessary, including the assassination of the president. The failed plot in Chicago had to be

followed by a successful one in Dallas. (p. 218, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters)

Someone said something once about the effect of power, going unchecked for years on end. That is just what

has happened with our National Security State, the foundations of which were laid between 1947 and 1951.

Rarely do I find much speculation or analysis of the CUMMULATIVE EFFECT of this all this absence of checks and

balances. How did a lie told to the American people, say in 1950, involving, say, the CIA intervening to block the

investigation of a protected drug-runner by the FBN (see Douglass Valentine's excellent history of the FBN, The

Stregnth of the Wolf if you think this is pure speculation) have repercussions years later in 1965, and then again in

the 1980's?

Coverups by intelligence agencies have later consequences that are rarely spelled out for the reader of the daily papers. Sixty years of these many many coverups--even if some were done by people with good intentions while

uttering the ecumenical corporate mantra of National Security-- together with their later offspring could produce one very snarled fishing line!

What is the CUMMULATIVE EFFECT of sixty years of the citizen being protected from knowing what the intelligence agencies are doing?

If you block off the basement of our democratic government, and say "you cant look here but everywhere else is open for inspection"... well, just how much of the good stuff you gonna find in the livingroom sixty years later?

This is a question that those charged with the legislative oversite of the CIA and NSA have a democratic duty to mull over speak cleary about with the citizens.

Sometimes I think it's not upermost on the minds of Harmon Harmon and Hoyer, those supple subtle gardners of our Virginia Hothouse, where the weird plants grow. What Would Jefferson--he of the out-of-doors gardens-- Do upon first finding "the shadows accountable only to their own shadows"

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