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In Denial now available

Larry Hancock

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It looks like there hasn't been a lot of new book discussion in this area in recent years, but rather than cluttering up the JFK discussion area I would like to present and answer questions about my newest book here.


In Denial joins Shadow Warfare (with Stu Wexler) and Creating Chaos to complete a three part study of cover warfare in both the 20th and 21st Centuries. 

Shadow Warfare dug deeply into why and how the United States carried out covert action - the tactics, tools, covers, practices and oversight (or lack thereof).  It also exposed the personal and legal risks involved for the personnel involved as well as the consequences for everyone - from collateral damage to the impact on American governance - especially in regard to relationship between the Commander in Chief and Congress. 

Creating Chaos is a study of political warfare, from the basics of political action through propaganda and disinformation and into full blown efforts to fragment and undermine targeted regimes. It examines the historical practices and then extends them through American and Soviet political warfare during the Cold War and into more contemporary political warfare of the Russian Federation, in Europe and against the United Stages. In doing so it details how age old practices have become dramatically more effective in an age of global interconnection, and in particular with global access to advanced targeting capabilities against social networks.

I approached In Denial as a similar study of covert action, comparing its practices in both the 20th and 21st Century.  In one sense it is an exploration of a simple question - why do regimes and political leaders consistently turn to secret warfare when it can be shown to almost always fruitless in the long run, with extremely negative political consequences and collateral damages.

However in doing that study, it quickly became apparent that the most highly visible and well documented example of secret warfare gone wrong was the Cuba Project / Bay of Pigs effort as conducted under the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. And in examining the huge amount of detail, including from a number of new sources, that story emerged into what can only be considered a rebuttal of much of the popular history of that effort - in particular as regards to the Bay of Pigs.

As it turns out much of the popular history and media coverage is based in both outright lies and intentionally planted misinformation. As one reader commented, In Denial is the most heavily cited book I've ever written.  And that's true, when you decide to joust with popular history  you need to be ready for the engagement - and both engagement and detail are what readers will find in the book.  Hopefully they will think it worth the read.




Edited by Larry Hancock
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  • 1 month later...

Well I have to say I'm really surprised that no one in the JFK forum seems to want to discuss my new findings in regard to JFK and the Bay of Pigs or to discuss a variety of things that were going on - especially with the Navy and with Castro assassination efforts - that he was not told about at the time (or ever).  Given the massive impact that had on his activities in Laos, Vietnam, during the missile crisis and quite possibly his assassination I thought there might be more interest.  Surely someone must have taken a look at In Denial by now...or maybe not?

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  • 2 months later...

In reference to In Denial and the previous post, a friend of mine has now obtained the flight deck log books from the Independence super carrier and they confirm that my new findings in the book.  The Independence sailed out of Norfolk in advance of the landings and formed a task group while sailing off Florida. The group included the guided missile cruiser USS Boston and the command ship (heavy cruiser) USS Northampton.

The group was off Cuba and available to deploy strike aircraft; it was operating directly off the island as the Brigade began its surrender - that task group alone had the power to crush the Cuban military; just as the carrier Essex could have taken out much of the Cuban forces on the south side of the island using ground attack aircraft which JFK had been secretly deployed at sea.

 JFK was totally unaware of the ground attack aircraft on the Essex as well as the major deployment of the Independence group - the carriers could have almost immediately crushed the Cuban military if he had granted the Admiral's request to directly attack the Cuban military.

The information about the Independence task group - as well as the ground attack aircraft on the Essex - was totally suppressed and never appears in any of the official inquiries which JFK directed, nor is it mentioned in the CIA study or the CIA historian's extensive writing on the Navy's performance in regard to the Bay of Pigs.

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