The CIA reviews David Talbot’s ‘Devil’s Chessboard’

While it may be uncomfortable for members of the Intelligence Community to read some of these chapters, Talbot has done detailed research in his effort to stitch together a story. It may appear to most readers as prosecutorial or adversarial in tone, but this perspective needs to be read and understood, even if it is only part of the story of the CIA in the 1950s.

Source: The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA and The Rise of America’s Secret Government — Central Intelligence Agency

In an email Talbot calls the CIA’s review of his best-selling book.

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In a new look at LBJ, Joan Mellen debunks the Mac Wallace myth

Joan Mellen on LBJIn her new book about Lyndon Johnson, Faustian Bargains, Joan Mellen does something all too rare in the world of JFK research. She checked an oft-asserted “fact,” and found it isn’t a fact at all, but a fiction.

But first, the book. Faustian Bargains is intended less as a biography of LBJ than a portrait of the “robber baron culture” of Texas” and corrective to Robert Caro’s magisterial multi-volume biography, which Mellen scorns for its favorable depiction of LBJ’s political skills and legislative accomplishments.

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Allen Dulles and the aftermath of JFK’s assassination.

Devil's ChessboardIn an wide-ranging interview with the German publication, Heise, David Talbot talks about his biography of CIA director Allen Dulles, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” which has just been published in German.

Q. Among the most incredible aspects of the Kennedy assassination is the fact that Dulles and his friends were called to investigate in the Warren Commission (1963), as well as Rockefeller Commission (1975). Was Dulles correct in his assessment, that the American people do not read?

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‘Spies in the Congo’: From OSS to JFK

Of interest to Americans in particular is that von Alvensleben journeyed to Dallas, Texas in late 1963 as the guest of D. Harold Byrd, owner of the Texas School Book Depository building. Byrd was reported to be at Safarilandia on the date in November 1963 on which President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, allegedly as a result of shots fired from Byrd’s Texas School Book Depository building

Source: Book Review: Spies in the Congo by Susan Williams

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‘an engaging look at the most enigmatic Kennedy’ 

Tye can often be refreshingly discerning about the mercurial nature of RFK’s growth as a person and a candidate, but he’s neither a curious nor a rigorous assessor of the facts.

Source: ‘Bobby Kennedy’ is an engaging look at the most enigmatic Kennedy –

‘Before History Dies’ introduces the JFK story to a new generation

Before History Dies by  Jacob M. Carter 

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Who was the only man to ever face legal charges for JFK’s assassination?

Clay Shaw, New Orleans businessman

His name was Clay Shaw. He was a wealthy, discreetly gay, businessman in New Orleans. He was indicted by District Attorney Jim Garrison for conspiring to kill JFK. When his case came to trial in 1969, Shaw was swiftly acquitted. He died in 1974. In Oliver Stone’s “JFK”, Shaw was played by Tommie Lee Jones.

In my view, there is no compelling evidence that Clay Shaw was involved in a conspiracy to kill the President Kennedy. Nonetheless, is is  true that a CIA official later described Shaw as “a highly paid contract source” for the agency in the 1950s — something the agency stoutly denied when Shaw was on trial.

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The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates 

In 1960, the group was granted direct access to John F. Kennedy, filming him on the campaign trail and eventually in the Oval Office. This resulted in three films of remarkable, behind-closed-doors intimacy—Primary, Adventures on the New Frontier, and Crisis—and, following the president’s assassination, the poetic short Faces of November.

Source: The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates- The Criterion Collection (HT/ejc)

Watch the trailer for JFK documentary, ‘Killing Oswald’

The film is called Killing Oswald. I haven’t seen it but Mark Groubert has and here is what he said in his review for Crooks and Liars: Read more

Stealing the atom bomb: How Israel did it

In a deeply documented new bookRoger J Mattson tells the story of how denial and deception in Washington helped Israel obtain nuclear weapons in the 1960s, despite the firm opposition of the Kennedy administration. Read more

Stephen King’s JFK myth: the system failed but the system worked

In the finale of  “11.22.63′,” saving JFK doesn’t save the world. It heralds the apocalypse. So what’s the ultimate message of the Hulu series?

Be glad President Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. Read more

The Devil’s Chessboard today

Justyn Dillingham reviews David Talbot. Read more

Stephen Hunter goes ballistic: ‘The Third Bullet’ rethinks the JFK story

Bob Lee Swagger cracks the case.

Stephen Hunter is the cleverest JFK assassination conspiracy theorist to come along in many a year, so clever that few of his fellow theorists have even noticed that he is one.

In his latest novel, “The Third Bullet,” Hunter pulls off a an authorly act of legerdemain: he dresses up a rigorous reading of the forensic evidence about the assassination fo President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in the guise of an international shoot ’em up thriller.

The trail of adventure runs from Baltimore to Moscow to Dallas as Hunter’s creaky alter ego Bob Lee Swagger, a humble soldier of fortune who packs a mean pistol, solves the crime of the century while chatting up old buddies and twitching for a drink.  Read more

‘Suspicious Minds,’ (why we believe conspiracy theories)

David writes:

“I HIGHLY recommend this very accessible, insightful, and well researched book: Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories: Rob Brotherton.

The incubus of intervention: JFK vs. Dulles

Poulgrain questions how history would have unfolded if the US had not trained the Indonesian military to be a pro-Western ‘state within a state’. This action paved the way for the brutal Suharto regime which unleashed the bloody anti-communist purges of 1965-66.  Moreover, he asks the intriguing question of what would have happened if Kennedy had dodged the assassin’s bullet and survived to implement his alternative strategy to use massive civic aid to bring the archipelago into the Western camp

Source: The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesia Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles – Australian Institute of International Affairs