John Simkin Posted May 25, 2006 Share Posted May 25, 2006 Don Bohning joined the Miami Herald staff in 1959 as a reporter. Five years later he became a foreign correspondent for the newspaper. Over the next 36 years he reported from every independent country in the Western Hemisphere. This included the overthrow of Salvador Allende by Augusto Pinochet in Chile, the 1978 Jonestown Massacre in Guyana and the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983. Bohning has also written extensively about the Bay of Pigs and the attempts to remove Fidel Castro from power in Cuba. This had included carrying out interviews with CIA officials, Jake Esterline and Jack Hawkins. Don Bohning, who retired from the Miami Herald is the author of the book, The Castro Obsession: U.S. Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-1965 (2005). (1) Could you explain the reasons why you decided to become an investigative journalist? (2) Is there any real difference between the role of an investigative journalist and a historian? (3) How do you decide about what to write about? (4) Do you ever consider the possibility that your research into subjects like the CIA would get you into trouble with those who have power and influence? (5) You tend to write about controversial subjects. Do you think this has harmed your career in any way? Have you ever come under pressure to leave these subjects alone? (6) The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the “committee believes, on the basis of the available evidence, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. However, very few historians have been willing to explore this area of American history. Lawrence E. Walsh’s Iran-Contra Report suggests that senior politicians were involved in, and covered-up, serious crimes. Yet very few historians have written about this case in any detail? Why do you think that historians and journalists appear to be so unwilling to investigate political conspiracies? (7) What is your basic approach to writing about what I would call “secret history”? How do you decide what sources to believe? How do you manage to get hold of documents that prove that illegal behaviour has taken place? (8) Why is it that most books written about political conspiracies; assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc. are written by journalists rather than historians? Is it because of fear or is it something to do with the nature of being a historian? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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