Friday, October 25, 2013

Speaking of spooks...

My readers have behaved themselves. The last few times I mentioned the Great Unpleasantness of fifty years ago, visitors to Cannonfire kindly refrained from inundating me with nonsense about the Illuminati and Skull and Bones and Building Fucking 7. Perhaps, then, I may safely direct your attention to a free online book called State Secret, by Bill Simpich. It's being serialized online, and so far we have only the Preface and the first two chapters. Here they are:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2

What we have of this work seems quite remarkable. A word of warning: Although Simpich is a clear and engaging writer, he gets into some heavy duty Cold War spy stuff, based (mostly) on newly-released documents. We're not talking about bullet trajectories in Dealey Plaza and all of that other familiar -- albeit important -- material.

(The difference between a "conspiracy freak" and a parapolitical researcher is that the latter doesn't mind reading actual documents about actual spies.)

Black Op radio, run by Len Osanic, has interviewed Simpich, who turns out to have a rare ability to make difficult material compelling. In the past, I've hesitated to link to Osanic's podcasts because he has been known to blather on about Building Fucking 7. Long-time readers will know my reaction to that crap: "Slowly I turned...step by step, inch by inch..." But I must admit that his interviews with JFK researchers are highly recommended for students of the case.

Osanic has also come out with a series of brief videos titled 50 Reasons for 50 Years. These short films are often superbly done -- although you do have to make allowances for Osanic's quirks.

For example, he speaks about the Warren Commission as if it were still in session. This oddity gives the impression that the JFK assassination is a topic fit only for greybeards trapped in a 1960s time warp. I hope that's not true. And I certainly hope that future generations have access to (and an interest in) the real research, as opposed to the crap pushed by Bill O'Reilly and Vince Bugliosi, and the different-but-equally-crappy-crap pushed by Alex Jones and his comrades in kookiness.

Speaking of Bugliosi: If all goes well, I should soon have an interview with Jim DiEugenio, the best of the current researchers. He's a frequent guest on Osanic's program. Jim has written an amazing new book called Reclaiming Parkland, which takes the form of a rebuttal to Bugliosi's epic defense of the Warren Commission findings, although Jim's work is really about something more. He meticulously constructs a devastating critique of the way the mainstream media has been bamboozled for decades.

Most of the JFK books in your local Barnes and Noble are blather, but some are worth your time. I can highly recommend anything by DiEugenio, anything by Joan Mellen, Barry Ernest's The Girl on the Stairs, and the re-issue of Gaeton Fonzi's inside account of the HSCA, The Last Investigation.

If you want the motive, study Mexico. Give Osanic credit: The episode of "50 Reasons" embedded below is probably the hippest assassination-related video on You Tube. Unfortunately, the tale of Lee Oswald in Mexico City is extremely confusing (at least to newbies). Worse, Osanic leaves out some important material.

Perhaps confusion is inevitable. Oswald's visits to Soviet and Cuban embassies are of consummate importance: Those who carefully study this episode will, I think, learn both the name of the plot's mastermind and the true motive of the crime. Alas, following the document trail is a daunting task. Anyone who attempts the job will probably feel like a pianist asked to play Rachmaninov's Third while doing calculus with a pencil held between his toes.

Nevertheless, former NSA analyst John Newman and Professor Peter Dale Scott have done remarkable work in this area. If you want to "do Mexico" right, hit those two links.

Before you do, allow me to make make a complex story really, really simple...

Someone in the CIA went to enormous lengths to create the impression that Oswald was taking orders from a KGB assassination specialist named Kostikov. This linkage was phony. The Oswald impersonator who called the Soviet consulate asking for Kostikov spoke Russian poorly. (Oddly, the caller spoke Spanish like a native. The real Oswald probably knew no Spanish.)

The trick might have worked. The CIA wiretapped and recorded every call to the embassy, but usually kept the tapes for only a couple of weeks. After a certain amount of time, only transcripts of the calls would exist. The transcript would give no clue that the "Oswald" who made the call was an impersonator.

Fortunately, the actual tape recording of that call was -- for whatever reason -- not erased. It was sent on to DC, where Hoover's men gave it a listen. They informed President Johnson that the "Oswald" on the tape was not the real Oswald.

There was other concocted evidence against Oswald involving bogus claims by a guy named Alvarado (who turned out to be a Nicaraguan spook close to the CIA) and a right-wing Mexican writer named Elena Garro (who might be considered the Ann Coulter of her time and place).

If this story is starting to sound "Curveball-ish" to you -- well, it ought to. Some things haven't changed much during the last fifty years. When spooks want to gin up a war, they have only so many tactics available to them.

To a small extent, I must criticize Osanic. He says (in the film below) that the purpose of all this deception was to foment an invasion of Cuba. No; the situation was far worse. The purpose was to foment war with the Soviet Union.

That's right. Nuclear war. Millions of deaths.

Yes, there really were people in the military and the intelligence services who wanted that outcome. I can prove the point, if readers wish.

Don't be a cock tease, obviously readers wish.

I seem to have a shortage of JFK materials. On the Trail of the Assassins, one by PDScott, JFK & The Unspeakable, Barry & 'the Boys'... that's it.
Joe, why do you forever say things like "name the plot's mastermind" and "the true motive" without ever actually naming the plot's mastermind and the true motive? Maybe I'm stupid and/or old, but it's still all a blur to me. The only thing I feel at all sure about after reading you all these years is that the Warren Commission report is bogus and there was something hinky going on at the CIA. Some clarity please for those of us who haven't amassed huge libraries and files and don't breath/eat/sleep JFK. Spit it out, man.
Sharon, I've named the mastermind in a number of posts. As for the motive...I could not possibly have been more clear than I was in THIS post.
Angleton was the mastermind, right? I got that, but for whom, for what did he do it? Johnson? Nixon? The Mafia? The CIA? The military? Himself? It had to have been more than pique to explain the complexity of the operation and vast breadth of the subsequent coverup. Sorry to be a nuisance.
"As for the motive...I could not possibly have been more clear than I was in THIS post."

There's very few lines to read between here. Remember that Kennedy pursued rapprochement and was considered too soft by the hardliners. We'd recently finished the existential threat of one world war. Many thought that full on war with the USSR was inevitable, and it was best to get it done with while the US still had military superiority. Seems pretty clear.
Thanks for posting the Newman and Scott Mexico pieces, I've been reading them.

I also posted a review of the first good Kennedy assassination movie "Executive Action".
Several things struck me while watching; The charactors potrayed by Lancaster and Ryan realize at one point that someone at even a higher level is pulling Oswald's strings - which reflects the multilevel complexity of the operation.
Additionally there is an appeal to white supremacy and the reduction of population in the third world - reflecting the politics of todays Tea Party.

The review is here:
C Barr...precisely. Talbot's book "Brothers" makes things crystal clear in that regard. I may quote the relevant passages later today.

I differ from pretty much all others in my suspicion that JFK's actual policies were almost beside the point.

Dojo -- I like your review. Boy, that brings me back. I'm old enough to have seen that movie in theaters.

One thing: The Big Party to which Madeleine Brown refers almost certainly did not happen. The story of the party was first told in one of Penn Jones' "Forgive My Grief" books, and it grabbed the imagination of a lot of people. But many of the listed attendees -- including LBJ and Hoover -- were elsewhere.
I read that Brown account with a grain of salt also. But what may have happened is that they may have "attended" by a secure phone link.
That is what was said of Henry Cabot Lodge. He was in Hawaii frantically shoving quarters in a pay phone on the night of November 21, the night Penn Jones alleged was the meeting.
I will submit there was undoubtedly a "go" meeting of some sort.
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