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Posts Tagged ‘JFK assassination’

A Go-Along, at Best

Posted by heyrandy on August 12, 2017

LBJ: the Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination, Philip Nelson, 2010

Who did it? According to the author the answer is obvious: the one who benefited. This is not a new theory. Nor does the author prove it. In 729 pages the author tells us a lot about Lyndon (a crude, lying, murdering thief), fails to make the case that LBJ was behind it all.

There is much about the assassination that we do not know. The Warren  Commission is criticized in this book. That much Nelson get right, but this is nothing new. What government investigation is not just a public-deceiving fraud? the Warren Commission is part of long tradition of reports that do not do what they say they do. The official 9-11 report is the latest piece of junk.

The major thesis is the CIA was behind the killing to keep the agency from suffering the wrath of Kennedy over the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Allegedly the agency feared it demise once Kennedy won re-election. So naturally they took the only reasonable course by killing the president in public. What other plan could they have?

The Warren Report is weak. But the alternative offered by Nelson is weaker. Multiple assassins with much better rifles shooting from much better locations is a difficult case to prove. It is also absurd. If you are going to blame a patsy with an inaccurate gun, why would you equip your assassins with different guns? Why would you equip your patsy with a junk gun? The crime would be investigated. The ballistics tests would prove there were at least two rifles since the bullets would be different even it the bullets were so damaged as to not allow testing to see if they were from different guns.

Why would the CIA worry about what Kennedy did? Yes, it would take a hit, but it would survive and regrow. Bureaucracies simply out wait politicians. Kennedy would have to go through congress to get the budget cut, the only thing that ends a bureaucracy. The CIA had many friends in congress. It had the goods on the others.

The book needs an editor. The book is repetitive, meandering, and full of irrelevant material.

 

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Scatter Shot

Posted by heyrandy on July 9, 2013

Hit List, Richard Belzer and David Wayne, 2013

Belzer and Wayne proceed upon the thesis that the deaths of so many of those involved in the JFK assassination as witness, no matter how peripheral, is evidence of a conspiracy. The authors point out that the statistical probability of this number of people dying in a group of about 1400 is almost too vast to calculate.

The book is a series of short chapters on many people who have died in a short time after the assassination. Some of the people are directly involved in the assassination, e.g., Lee Harvey Oswald, but many of those included in the book are not even tangentially related to JFK’s death. Francis Gary Powers (of U2 fame), really?

Even if we discount the extraneous inclusions, the book still suffers from a lack of real evidence. Yes, the deaths of people like JFK’s paramour Mary Meyer are unsolved, but this does not mean she was on the verge of blowing off the lid on the conspiracy.

The authors admit that some of the people they profile may have died for other reasons than to keep them quiet about the assassination. It is always difficult to interpret the murders of mob bosses. Jimmy Hoffa hated the Kennedy brothers, but Hoffa’s real enemies were the mob thugs who controlled the union. They wanted to keep Hoffa’s replacement in office.

If all the people mentioned by the authors were actually involved in the killing, just how big was this conspiracy? If the conspiracy was as large as the authors imply, it is amazing that we know so little of it. The old saying applies: it is not a secret when if more than one person know it. The authors believe that there were a lot of people involved.

The book is of little value even to the die-hard conspiracy theorists. I found their treatment of the evidence to be superficial. Many of the chapters end on a very tentative notes. There is little concrete here. The dead deserve better.

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Misplaced Tessera

Posted by heyrandy on August 8, 2012

Mary’s Mosaic, Peter Janney, 2011

The only thing certain is that Mary Meyer was murdered on October 12, 1964. The rest is a mass of confusion involving the power élite of Washington, D.C. One of those elite was the author’s father.

The author’s thesis is that Mary Meyer was killed to silence her. She was about to tell the world that the CIA killed President Kennedy and then engaged in a huge cover-up to hide its involvement. She has put all the tiles in place and so knew the truth the mosaic told.

Mary Meyer was the wife of Cord Meyer, a senior CIA official. Unlike other CIA wives, Mary hated the CIA. She thought that it was an impediment to world peace. Mary was very vocal about it. This animosity towards the agency and especially its director, Allen Dulles, cost her her marriage. The author thinks it cost her her life.

The author claims that Mary had put all the pieces together and concluded that the Agency murdered Kennedy to protect itself from Kennedy’s anger about the Bay of Pigs failure. Kennedy was rumored to want the agency disbanded. He was to do it after he was re-elected.

The author gives us a lot of information about the players in this mystery. Included are Philip and Katherine Graham, owners and publishers of the Washington Post;
Ben Bradlee, managing editor of the Post and husband of Tony Pinchot, Mary’s sister; Cord Meyer; Wistar Janney, the author’s father; and some JFK assassination researchers.

The real  problem with the book is that it relies upon unsupported statements. One of the witness at the trial of Ray Crump, the man charged with and acquitted of Mary’s murder was a mysterious William Mitchell.  Mitchell said that he was a Lieutenant in the Army stationed at the Pentagon. Janney checked the 1964 Pentagon telephone directory and found a William Mitchell listed. The 1965 edition did not list him. Mitchell also said that he was a mathematics instructor at Georgetown University. The University said they had never heard of him. But Janney says that while he was talking to an assassination researcher, Leo Damore, Damore said that he used to live in Mitchell’s apartment building and knew Mitchell. Mitchell left no forwarding address, but Damore would try to find him. Janney says that Damore wrote a letter to Mitchell’s last address asking Mitchell to call. Janney never saw the letter, but it must have persuaded Mitchell to call because Damore says Mitchell did.

This is not believable. If Mitchell was a CIA assassin why would he answer the letter? It had been 30 years since the killing. How did the letter get to Mitchell? But the real stunner is that Mitchell confessed to being the killer! Over the phone to a stranger. Why? Why is this considered evidence?

There is no real evidence that Mary had completed her mosaic. Even if she did, so what? Who would believe her? She would have been ignored, or she would have been laughed at and dismissed as just a conspiracy nut. This is usually how such things handled. It is a safe and effective method of dealing with the problem.

One of the things that come through in the book is the Ivy-League elitism. All of these people were the “right sort.” They all went to the right schools. They came from the right families. They were educated, polished, promiscuous. They could not keep their pants on. Mary was JFK’s paramour (his favorite, according to the author). In this role Mary learn many secrets via pillow talk. All the players were all corrupt, self-centered, and vain. There was nothing to like about any of them.

The book’s back cover betrays the book’s flaws. The back cover show several jig saw puzzle pieces, each with a name of a person or thing written on it. Some of the pieces fit, some are loose. The loose one don’t fit.

If you want a few insights into the machinations of the power-elite whoring, read the book. Otherwise go to the art museum. They have real mosaics.

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Lee Was Here Too

Posted by heyrandy on April 19, 2012

Dr. Mary’s Monkey, Edward Haslam,  2007

There is no rest for the dead. Lee Harvey Oswald was a busy guy. Marine, defector, assassin, and now lab technician. The author thinks that in the convoluted world of the CIA Lee played a large role. When he was no longer useful, the Agency set him up to take the blame for JFK’s murder.

Dr. Mary is Mary Sherman, MD. She died of multiple stab wounds. Her body was found in her apartment, badly burned. One arm and part of her rib cage were burned away, completely missing. The fire caused little damage to the apartment. The investigation by the New Orléans Police was shut down the investigation. The crime remains unsolved.

According to Haslam, Sherman and a twice-failed Catholic seminarian, David Ferrie, were running an underground laboratory to develop a cancer-causing virus the CIA would use to kill Castro. Sherman using a liner particle accelerator at the Public Health Service Hospital in New Orléans to modify viruses. An accident badly injured Sherman. In a panic to keep the project secret, the others involved in the project took Sherman to her apartment, stabbed repeatedly, and then set her on fire. The author points out that fire in the apartment could not have burned Sherman so badly.

The author has a point about the fire and the injuries. But what about Oswald? Haslam cites Judy Vary Baker. Baker, author of Me and Lee, claims participation in all this except the death of Sherman. She says she thought she was working on a cancer cure and quit when she found out that she was working on a weapon.

What the book really tells us is that the Warren Commission did a poor job. This is not a surprise. It is common for more details of the assassination to come out. The book gives some points to consider. It is not impossible that the CIA was trying to develop a cancer weapon. The Lone Nut Theory satisfies no one.

There are other points where the book is helpful. It retells the problems with the early polio vaccine. It gives a glimpse of how the cold war was waged and a look at the bizarre world of international espionage. If side-lights of the Kennedy assassination interest you, read the book.

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