Tag Archive for David Talbot

Is David Talbot right that the CIA killed JFK ?

In Salon, David Talbot writes that JFK was assassinated, 52 years ago today, at the behest of a clique of CIA officers led by a highly-praised operator named Bill Harvey.

Is Talbot right?

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‘There was nothing rogue’ about the CIA’s Bill Harvey

When people ask ‘Who killed Kennedy?’ one plausible answer is William King Harvey, a tough and much-praised CIA officer in 1963. In the most popular video ever on JFK Facts  Harvey’s widow, CG Harvey, says on camera that JFK and Jackie were “scum.”
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JFK Lancer conference opens today 

If you’re in Dallas, you’ll want to check out the usual array of excellent speakers, inlcuding David Talbot, Bill Simpich, Marie Fonzie. Larry Hancock, and Bill Garnet, to name just a few. It is a chance to drill down on the key issues raised by the unresolved events of November 1963 with some of the most knowledgable people in the world.

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.

 JFK on John McCone

President Kennedy was aware of McCone’s less than enthusiastic embrace of his administration. As reported by Talbot in The Devil’s Chessboard, “In March, the president’s secret White House recording system picked up a heated conversation between the Kennedy brothers about their increasingly disloyal CIA director. McCone, Bobby informed his brother, was going around Washington feeding anti-Kennedy information to the press. ‘He’s a real bastard, that John McCone,’ responded JFK. ‘Well, he was useful at a time,’ observed Bobby. ‘Yeah,’ replied the president ruefully, ‘but, boy, it’s really evaporated.’”[iv]

Source: Read — 2017 JFK

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:

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New book ties former CIA director to American corporatocracy

This review, I think, captures the core concept of Talbot’s book: The American constitutional system was disrupted on November 22, 1963 and never repaired.

Talbot’s book makes what is perhaps an even more important claim — that Dulles and his allies oversaw a turning point in American history, when the democratic rule of the many became a plutocracy, the rule of the wealthy few.

Source: New Book Ties Former CIA Director To American Corporatocracy, JFK Assassination

Allen Dulles and the conspiratorial mindset of the American media 

The headline, alas, says it all:  Did CIA Director Allen Dulles Order the Hit on JFK? asks The Daily Beast

JFK and Allen DullesIn DB’s clickbait gambit we can see the reductio ad absurdum of a certain conspiratorial mindset, the paranoid style of the American media as it is hard-boiled into a punchy headline.

The problem with this question is that it is based on the pervasive but erroneous assumption that the only way to understand the story of how an American president (JFK) lost power and his life (on November 22) is to talk about conspiracies as depicted in Hollywood movies and crime fiction.

Next up: Did President Nixon supply masking tape to the Watergate burglars?

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Devil’s Chessboard: JFK assassination story foreshadowed in 1961 France

Part 1 of this 3-part series from David Talbot’s new book, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” is about the many reasons why the CIA and the French right wing want to bring down Charles de Gaulle. It is also about the deep connections of the CIA to France’s own intelligence agencies and government, and why de Gaulle wanted to purge his country of these insidious ties.

Source: JFK Assassination Plot Mirrored in 1961 France, WhoWhatWhy

Another gambit on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’

Devil's ChessboardThe headline of the Washington Decoded review,  Who Needs Soviet Propaganda? gives fair warning to the faint-hearted reader that a polemical bog lies ahead. Beyond this billboard, you will find a review enshrouded with disdain, intent on score-settling, and (per the headline) determined to wage Cold War. This is ancient turf haunted by huffy men, Proceed with caution.

[But first, buy “The Devil’s Chessboard,” by David Talbot.]

Reviewer David Barrett is perturbed that David Talbot’s new book, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” portrays CIA director Allen Dulles as a freewheeling power broker, devil-may-care administrator, ruthless philanderer, occasional liar, and amoral covert operator whose actions destroyed lives and democracies.
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RFK and Dulles: A closer look at the record

RFK i shadowedPhil Shenon writes:

“I see there’s a suggestion on your site, in response to my POLITICO piece, that Bobby Kennedy would never have recommended Allen Dulles for membership on the Warren Commission. I continue to believe the record shows that RFK did propose Dulles, and not just because LBJ (more than once) said that was the case.

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David Talbot on the rise of America’s secret government 

Dulles TIME


David Talbot will be talking about his new book, “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government “at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington DC on October 15.

Coming this week: The Devil’s Chessboard

 In the Devil’s Chessboard, David Talbot tells the story of Allen Dulles, a Wall Street lawyer with a soft spot for “good Germans” during World War II and covert operator with a hard-line on any government that dared defy Washington.

Dulles is present at the creation of the hostilities between Iran and the United States, the effects which are still visible in Tehran and Washington.

He antagonized French leader Charles DeGaulle, who faced down a right-wing conspiracy against his government in 1961.

And when he was fired by JFK, he continued to play the spymaster role with cynical–and Talbot would say, sinister–aplomb.

Talbot’s great service is to cast his compulsively readable narrative of post-war American power in the realist’s context of U.S. secret operations and international politics, not in the realm of conspiracy theories or American exceptionalism. Dulles’s story epitomizes how the national security state consolidated its power in Washington

You want to buy “The Devil’s Chessboard.”