Review

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

Top 10 JFK books of 2015

The best books about the assassination of the 35th president, as selected by the MaryFerrell.org, the premier Web archive of JFK assassination records.

Allen Dulles in the shadows of the Cold War

Talbot writes, “Like many convicted Nazi criminals in the early Cold War years, a number of the Nuremberg defendants sentenced to prison were later the beneficiaries of politically motivated interventions and early releases; few of the many thousand convicted Nazis were still in prison after 1953. A number of those interventions on behalf of fortunate war criminals could be traced to the quiet stratagems of Allen Dulles.”

Source: From the Shadows of the Cold War: the Rise of the CIA

Readers weigh in: JFK video you should watch: Gerald McKnight


JD recommends Episode 33 from Black Op Radio’s series “50 Reasons for 50 Years,” in which Professor Gerald D. McKnight discusses the Warren Commission’s reaction to the rumor that Oswald was an FBI informant.

If you don’t know much about the JFK story, try ‘Before History Dies’

Before History DiesJacob Carter, millennial author, wants his generation to know and care about the JFK assassination story. The result is  “Before History Dies,”  an introduction to the debate over the causes of JFK’s death via interviews with thoughtful people who hold diverse opinions on the subject.

They include: Anthony Summers, David Talbot, Dan Hardway, Marie Fonzi, Dale K. Myers, Max Holland, Judge John R. Tunheim, and Gerald Posner.

I’m not unbiased because I am interviewed too, and because Carter is the social media manager for JFK Facts and a friend. Nonetheless, I have to say this is not just an excellent introduction to the JFK story. Its a model for people of any age for how to think about the JFK story: with humility, tranquility, and courage.

The well-organized pathology of Allen Dulles

As Talbot explains, “What I was really trying to do was a biography on the American power elite from World War II up to the 60s.” It’s a huge, sprawling book, and an amalgam of all the appalling things Dulles and his cohort definitely did, things the evidence suggests they probably did, and speculation about things they might plausibly have done. More than a biography, it’s a exploration of well-organized pathology.

Source: A New Biography Traces the Pathology of Allen Dulles and His Appalling Cabal

Checkmate on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ 

Talbot and his research associate Karen Croft, to whom he dedicated his book, have found all sorts of nuggets in Allen Dulles’s papers, his appointment calendar, oral histories, and other less-used sources. In addition, Talbot infuses his book with anecdotes from interviews he personally conducted. While I found some points I could nitpick in various episodes, overall this is a worthy addition and a much-needed perspective that elucidates how we came to have two governments: the elected one and the one that doesn’t answer to the elected one.

Source: Checkmate on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ | Consortiumnews

Devil’s Chessboard: JFK and the struggle for power France, part 2

In Part 2 of this 3-part series in WhoWhatWhy , President Kennedy learns of Dulles’s involvement in plotting to overthrow de Gaulle, and assures the French of his support for de Gaulle, while issuing a warning:

Read more