Thursday, July 23, 2009

Guest review of Jim Douglass's book "JFK and the Unspeakable"

I stumbled upon David Neal's review of Jim Douglass's book, and asked permission to share it with you here. I love his point of view here. You will too.

We are all jurors in an ongoing trial to find the truth of John Kennedy's murder. Most of us have fallen asleep; some left the chamber, and others don't even care anymore.

But a few, a very small few, have been paying attention for the last 45 years as arguments for the prosecution of Lee Harvey Oswald, headed up by government lawyers and their lackeys have been constantly countered by a volunteer and unpaid defense team for the truth made up of laymen, clergymen, historians, teachers, researchers, republicans, democrats, non-affiliates of all ages shapes and sizes.

It has been a bewildering experience to have been patted on the head and told to go to sleep by the Warren Commission only to be rudely awakened by a garrulous DA from Louisiana, followed then by a government report which said, well, there might have been two, but go on back to sleep.

Dazed and confused we began to leave the room but were called back in by Oliver Stone who told us to take a look at his evidence of Oswald's innocence.

We were intrigued, but an impish Gerald Posner convinced Dick Cavett and other icons of American mainstream media that Stone's myth was just that and the case was indeed closed: Oswald did it. But Stone had garnered enough interest to cause Congress to form the ARRB -- under George Bush Sr., no less.

It took Bill Clinton half his presidency to get the thing going, but we watched with bated breath as the Assassinations Records Review Board began pulling from the FBI, CIA, and the rest of the alphabet bits and pieces of information that left gaping holes in the official story.

Most of us didn't believe it anyway, but a few, a small few, did notice that there seemed to have been two brains pulled from John Kennedy's head during the so-called autopsy. In fact so many moles began popping up it was difficult for the gatekeepers to bop them in the head fast enough.

Distracted as we were by 911 and the war on terror, and the revelation that our government has the capacity to pull off an Operation Northwoods, as the ARRB found out, we continued to keep half an eyeball on the story, those of us who were paying attention.

But then just as we were ready to reach a verdict of no true bill, Peter Jennings pops in to save the day for the prosecution. Disregarding all prior logic, evidence and common sense he lulled us back to comfortable numbness as he proved through computer generation, laser beams and some small degree of witch-craft that yes, indeed, that was some magic bullet.

Nevertheless, while almost dozing off again we heard rumblings of another defense witness about to enter the courtroom. He was David Talbot, an almost main-stream media type who was arguing that John and Robert Kennedy were possibly victims of powerful forces in our own government who wanted and needed them gone.

But before he could present his full case a boisterous and bellicose advocate of Governmental Righteousness threw on to the floor, almost breaking it, an objection, claiming his stake in the case with a tome of such immense size and weight that no one, at first, dared to read it or question its obvious Bugliosian authority. When it was finally opened, the muse of Arlen Specter sauntered forth speaking in only a language that he could understand. Talk shows raved about Vince's masterpiece; gatekeepers swooned, and the prosecution let out a huge and foul-smelling sigh of relief as they said, There! That ought to put this damn thing to rest finally!

Everyone began to pack up and leave, most never having read briefs by Scott, Gerald McKnight, Larry Hancock, etc., defense advocates who had built their arguments on the works of Vince Salandria, Marrs, Howard Roffman, Sheim, Weisberg, etc., and the thousands of pages of released and obscure documents.

But just as the courtroom almost emptied, looking like a Senate Chamber with a wobbling old man named Byrd trying to make a point, in comes a Catholic Theologian. I'm no Catholic, I thought, as I was getting up to leave with the two or three other jurors who had sat through the whole case so far, trying to pay attention, but this guy seems to know his stuff. He's talking about everything we have already heard but putting it all into context. His summation is actually making sense -- reason, logic, truth, honesty, footnotes, primary source interviews, follow-up questions, giving the benefit of the doubt to all sides.

I sat back down.

As James Douglass presented his case, scales fell from my eyes. Oswald was innocent. I look around. Is anybody there?

Fortunately, there are a few of us still here, still paying attention. But after Douglass's book, while there is still much to know, I'm confident the nut of what happened has finally been told, in clear prose, in a way any honest person can recognize.

I hope you'll read his book.

Thanks, David, for letting me share this. Please drop by David's blog and drop him a kudo or three.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jim Douglass, Lisa Pease, and Jim DiEugenio will speak at COPA conference in Dallas this November

Hey all - I'll have more to say about this eventually, but this year's COPA conference in Dallas will include some heavy hitters. I hear that Jim Douglass, author of what I consider the single best book on the Kennedy assassination to date, JFK and the Unspeakable, will be doing the keynote address.

Neither Jim nor I will be speaking at that other conference, JFK Lancer. So if you can only go to one, I hope you'll make it to COPA this year.

COPA is the Coalition on Political Assassinations, and the conference will be held the weekend of November 21-22, although it might start Friday night, Nov. 20. I don't have all the details yet.

If you come, please find me and introduce yourself. I love to meet the readers of Real History when I'm out and about!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

RFK Jr. speaks out against an inadequate media

Robert Kennedy Jr. speaks fluently here about the problems with the media and how the degradation of quality information has led to our current political state. Well, current as of a couple of years back.

This is just under 30 minutes, and worth every second of your time.

I rarely post such videos. This one is the best I've seen in a very long time.

Enjoy, and learn. His father would be so proud.

Now, more than ever, it's important to support truly independent media yourself, with your money. If you don't, others will not get the information they need, and your life will be made more miserable.

Watch the video - RFK says it much better than I do.

Then drop by Consortium News and drop off some bucks to support one of the only sites to break real news stories, not just op eds and opinion pieces, or recycled news of the day. Robert Parry, the editor there, wrote for both the AP and Newsweek before breaking out on his own. He is today's George Seldes, a fiercely independent journalist who isn't afraid to go where the mainstream fears to tread.

Please consider supporting him. He actually pays his writers, so you're not just supporting him, but all the people who get published there, including this gal here. Want to see more of my writing? Give him some money. It's much needed, all around.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Did the CIA lie to Congress? Is the Pope Catholic?

As I wrote over at ConsortiumNews today:
On TV this week, with a measure of disbelief in their voices, the pundits ask, did the CIA lie to or deliberately mislead Congress? How is that not a rhetorical question?

The Agency has a long history of manipulating Congress and others to support its programs. That this was posed as an actual question reveals the media’s historical illiteracy in this matter.

In fact, when a House select committee investigated the CIA in the 1970s, the CIA convinced the House to suppress its own report, begging the question of who was overseeing whom. Nevertheless, a copy of the House report was leaked, via Daniel Schorr, to the Village Voice. The report opened with this disturbing sentence:

“If this Committee’s recent experience is any test, intelligence agencies that are to be controlled by Congressional lawmaking are, today, beyond the lawmakers’ scrutiny.”

In the wake of revelations that CIA Director Leon Panetta just recently learned of an eight-year CIA operation that had never been revealed to, much less approved by, Congress, Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-California, and Rush Holt, D-New Jersey, echoed similar sentiments.

Read the rest at