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.

Stepping lightly over these last two truths, Barrett rushes to accuse Talbot of exaggeration and dubious sourcing. He concludes by saying the book is “fiction,” and belongs on a shelf with novels. It is a point less clever than silly, with the no doubt unintended effect of undermining every point the critic has made. If ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ is fiction, why does Barrett take such care to fact-check it?

The answer is, of course, because he is concerned not about its fictional qualities, but about its factuality.

As perhaps he should be. One strength of Talbot’s book is that it synthesizes historians’ increasingly subtle depictions of Dwight Eisenhower. In ‘The Devil’s Chessboard,” Ike emerges as a cagey general in a plutocratic government. He worries about the military-industrial complex over which he presides, and gives a free-hand to Dulles and the CIA as a way of keeping U.S. soldiers out of land wars while expanding American markets, profits, and power.

This realistically depicted portrait is a big improvement over long-reigning academic stereotypes of Eisenhower as amiable dunce and Dulles as dashing knight of anti-communism. In his review Barrett urges unsuspecting readers to purchase another Dulles biography, Gentleman Spy, rather than Talbot’s. In that book, Dulles is knightly and dull. Talbot’s Dulles is neither.

The question of sources

I agree with Barrett on one point. I think the evidence supports the notion that Robert Kennedy did want Allen Dulles to serve on the Warren Commission investigating his brother’s murder in Dallas. Talbot says RFK mistrusted Dulles and presents evidence showing that Dulles obtained the position by lobbying for it hard with colleagues.

Talbot’s interpretation may be wrong-headed but its not imagined. I suspect that Dulles wanted to serve on the Commission to protect the CIA’s secrets (especially the very sensitive issue of what the Directorate of Plans knew of Oswald‘s travels and politics).

RFK didn’t object to the idea of Dulles on the Commission because he liked Dulles personally and trusted him implicitly, perhaps unwisely.

[Buy “The Devil’s Chessboard,” by David Talbot.]





57 thoughts on “Another gambit on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’”

  1. Shayne, you need a bit of a historical refresher course; 1) “we never invaded Cuba”; yes but we abandoned the reconciliation that JDK planned, and the CIA, now fully confident of its absolute power, continued to plot invasion, assassination, and overthrow – however – you are right for the wrong reasons. If you read Newman you will understand why those who carried out the mechanics of the killing felt betrayed afterward – because built into the plot were the very elements that would stop a Cuban invasion and, more importantly, protect the top-level plotters like Dulles (I also recommend that you read about Nagell, and also Larry Hancock’s book to get an understanding of the political complexities of these evens; also Newman and Peter Dale Scott). The things which triggered a coverup were primarily related to the alleged threat of nuclear war, which led LBJ and many liberals to panic at the thought of Communist involvement. 2)”We continued to pursue accommodation with the Soviet Union;” not in the same way as JFK, and, as you may have noticed, true detents took another 25 years; 3) “we continued to pursue nuclear arms reduction, we fought and basically lost the Vietnam War, or we at least lost South Vietnam to the North.” True but we went back to the same policies on Cuba and Africa and South and Central America (remember the Contra affair? Chile?); and, as you know, we DID go into Vietnam with hundreds of thousands of troops and massive bombing and firepower. That is a direct reversal of JFK’s plans.

  2. LBJ didn’t order the killing of JFK, he simply acquiesced to such as part of the machine that he was a knowing part of. He was nothing more than a cog in the wheels who couldn’t say no….

    1. You are absolutely on target, sir, it most probably the Rockefeller brothers, and this is somwhat stealthily suggested in the book, and all money trails lead back to them, but most definitely the involvement of Allen Dulles, William Harvey, Edward Lansdale, Lucien Conein, David Atlee Phillips, and Harold Jameson (FBI no. 499 731).

  3. “…Walrter (sic) Jenkins were both sex perverts…” Bill Kelly, commenting at

    While I have a tremendous amount of respect for the research of William (Bill) Kelly regarding his research of the John F. Kennedy assassination, I must say I was shocked and extremely disappointed to read his description of LBJ presidential aide, Walter Jenkins as a “sex pervert” based on the fact Jenkins was a gay man.

    Additionally, I believe the commenter, “Photon” gave the best reply to this demeaning and archaic slur in reply, “He wasn’t a “pervert”- he was a closeted homosexual (not alone in Washington by the way) at a time when gay men were persecuted and regarded as morally repugnant. He had to address his homosexuality in the only way he could preserve his career, family and reputation-in secret.”

    I’m deeply disturbed by someone of Kelly’s character, or least the character I assumed him to be, using language to describe a gay person that I would equate with the “n” word to describe an African-American. Gay people are not perverts, sick, mentally impaired or anything of the sort and tolerance of this type of bigotry needs to be called on the carpet when it’s used.

    1. Shane,

      Bill Kelly replied here:

      This is the text of Bill’s reply:
      “Submitted on 2015/10/26

      I dodnt say LBJ’s aide was a pervert because he was a closet homosexual – I said that the only two sources for the idea RFK asked LBJ to put Dulles and McCloy on the WC – LBJ and WJ were sex perverts – LBJ is worse and I have my sources but WJ because he got his kicks in public restrooms – that’s what makes him a pervert – not his sexual orientation or homosexual tendencies – which is one of the things that got Harry Anglemeyer murdered – see my blog – http://waitingontheangels.blogspot.com

      If seeking sex in a public restroom from strangers isn’t perverted tells what is?

      Bill Kelly”

      1. I hope this post makes it past our new moderator. Strictly speaking, it’s a bit off topic. My apologies.

        How disturbingly judgmental, Mr. Kelly. “Seeking sex in a public restroom from strangers” is primarily an act of desperation by a closeted homosexual. The behavior subsides once a person is out of the closet. Relax. It’s already come to a town near you.

  4. I’ve not yet read David Talbot’s latest book, but I’ve been listening to hours of past interviews he’s given. In particular, one he gave to in 2008 in which he makes the most definitive and flat out statement that JFK was killed as the result of a government conspiracy carried out by the CIA.

    Now, I respect true journalists such as Talbot, and the proprietor of; so when men such as these have something to offer on the death of Kennedy, I listen. However, I can’t get my mind around the notion that our government killed one of our presidents. The line along which I’ve thought about the subject is as to the motive.

    What was the motive? Our government, it’s defense establishment, just up and decides to take out a president because they’ve come to disagree with his or her policies?

    The reason’s I’ve heard given over the years, in part, seem to involve war or détente with Russia, war in Vietnam, invasion or rapprochement with Cuba. Well, following JFK’s death we never invaded Cuba, we continued to pursue accommodation with the Soviet Union, we continued to pursue nuclear arms reduction, we fought and basically lost the Vietnam War, or we at least lost South Vietnam to the North.

    And, as an aside nearly all of our former communist “enemies” have now had to integrate a great deal of free market principals just to survive.

    So, why in the world would ‘The Government’ want to assassinate a president. It just doesn’t make sense in my mind.

    Here is the link to David Talbot’s comment about JFK’s assassination at –

    1. I would also like to not think members of the U.S. govt had any hand in the assassination. But when the top intel agency tries to bury the fact forever that its assets were the ones interacting with Oswald in No, and buries “Oswald’s” voice tapes from Mexico City, it doesn’t give me much choice that I should at least be reasonably suspicious.

      The fact the CIA still refuses to hand over key files doesn’t help.

      The fact that everyone involved successive federal investigations or archive releases — living Warren Commission lawyers, Blakey, Sprague and Tannenbaum from HSCA, and Tunheim and Horn from ARRB — all agree that the CIA stonewalled them, well, that doesn’t help the agency’s case of innocence either.

      Bugliosi used to always say that Oswald’s lies to the DPD revealed a “consciousness of guilt.” Applying that same line of thought to the CIA, what does the agency’s 50+ year prevarication reveal?

    2. Mr. Talbot covers this without really being absolutist or definitive, but he doesn’t gloss over it.

      JFK was going after the super-rich where they were the most sensitive and vulnerable, their offshore money shelters, the taxing of their offshore money and profits, and then there was his support for Rep. Wright Patman of Texas and his pursuit of the super-rich hiding their ownership and wealth through foundations and trusts.

      And the lackeys of the super-rich, the Dulles brothers and their ilk, could certainly drum up support solely on the political level, etc.

    3. You asked: What was the motive?

      Simply read Donald Gibson’s outstanding book, Battling Wall Street: the Kennedy presidency

      There were almost endless motives, JFK was acting presidential, working on behalf of the people, not the super-rich. His issuance of DEBT-FREE money ($4.3 billion) through the Treasury, instead of the usual DEBT-BASED monies through the Fed (which pumps up the national debt, ‘natch) plus his standing up to the Rockefellers, US Steel, GE, etc., his refusal to send in the military to South America, Indonesia (read Andrew Cohen’s incredible book, Two Days in June), etc., etc., etc., and then there’s that withdrawal from Vietnam (NSAM 263).

      Plus his budget to tax corporate profits overseas, plus money held overseas by the super-rich, etc., etc., etc.

  5. The decision to appoint Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission was that of Lyndon Johnson–not Robert Kennedy. RFK had no significant input on the nominees to the President’s commission to study the death of his brother.

    LBJ was formulating candidates for the commission out loud in a phone call to J. Edgar Hoover exactly one week after the assassination. The very first name on LBJ’s list was Allen Dulles. David Talbot explains precisely why Hoover was beholden to Dulles and had to go along with that selection.

    In the immediate aftermath of the assassination, LBJ held all the cards and felt no compulsion to consult with Robert Kennedy about the investigation into the death of JFK. One of the most revealing statements of LBJ in the phone conversation is when he tells Hoover, “I wanna get by with just your report.” And the perfect facilitator for that goal was Allen Welsh Dulles.

    The Johnson-Hoover photo conversation of November 29, 1963 may be accessed at this site:

  6. Talbot does get confused about the head shot, Photon, but if one error was a disqualifier, you would never be allowed to post ever again; as for that Daily Beast review; a mess. Contrary to what the reviewer says, Kennedy’s disagreement with the hardliners was not “tactical” but deep and intellectual; I doubt that guy has read the entire book, which is a problem (because truly the book is about twice as long as it should be and. mark my words, we are going to see a lot of reviews in which the reviewers, though they will not admit it, have not read the entire thing; this is Talbot’s – and his editor’s – fault and extremely unfortunate).

    1. Excellent points, and really the overwhelming overall information, such as the owner of the Texas School Book Depository, D.H. Byrd, and his connections to Lyndon Johnson and his membership in the Dallas Petroleum Club (fellow members: oilmen Richardson, Murchison, George de Mohrenschildt, David Atlee Phillips (Texan and CIA), George H.W. Bush, Earl Cabell (mayor of Dallas and Charles Cabell’s bro, and others I’ve forgotten)), are simply extradinary connections.

      And then that dude who hung with Lee Oswald, George de Mohrenschildt, a high society type and connected guy (and CIA asset), whose aunt was the daughter of the first chairman of the Federal Reserve (fer crissakes!!!), and an uncle who was CEO of Nobel Enterprises in Europe, etc.

      And Ruth Paine, whose mother-in-law was a lifelong close friend of Allen Dulles’ mistress, Ann Bancroft, and Ruth herself was related to John Foster Dulles’ wife, Janet Avery Dulles, and Michael Paine (both a Forbes and a Cabot) was related to Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

      It would take days to list each and every connect, but Mr. Talbot does a fantastic job limiting the information to a brilliant and overall masterful narrative.

  7. Just listened to David Talbot on the radio and found it interesting that there was no mention of Gen. Walter Bedell Smith; or Gen. Ed Lansdale in association with Dulles…who was Deputy Director of the CIA under Smith. Dulles became Director of CIA in 1953, with Gen. Charles Cabell his deputy. Many of the governmental overthrows that were referred to may have been fancied by Dulles, but were orchestrated and carried out by General Ed Lansdale.

    Furthermore, following a question about who could have altered the course of the “parade” route at the eleventh hour, Mr. Talbot suggested the Secret Service; Treasury; and a few other possibilities…yet the House Committee on Assassinations conclusively determined it was Earle Cabell, Mayor of Dallas in 1963, and brother of CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell. That this was not even mentioned or considered within the several possible answers makes me question just how comprehensively this information was researched.

    1. It should be obvious- not very well. I understand why CTers will give Talbot a pass on accuracy-he supports the conclusions, no matter what the facts really are. However, even a cursory review of the “simple”, ” inconsequential” mistakes that Mr. Talbot makes should cause an objective reader to come to the conclusions that Kent does above. Perhaps Mr. Simpich can amplify on Talbot’s claim that the Zapruder film proves that all shots came from the front-a claim at odds with the facts

      1. You mean the “facts” as they are presented by the “findings” of the FBI, lead by J. Edgar “yes I can keep my job because I have a picture of you having sex with a donkey” Hoover, and the CIA, whose official motto, according to you, is “we don’t mean to make mistakes, they just happen.” Are those the facts you are referring to? Because if they are, you had better tell the new people on this site that key members of your “fact finding” heroes disagreed mightily with the findings of the WO. You may want to mention the names of Sibert and O’Neil for starters.

    2. QUOTE:
      Furthermore, following a question about who could have altered the course of the “parade” route at the eleventh hour, Mr. Talbot suggested the Secret Service; Treasury; and a few other possibilities…yet the House Committee on Assassinations conclusively determined it was Earle Cabell, Mayor of Dallas in 1963, and brother of CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell. That this was not even mentioned or considered within the several possible answers makes me question just how comprehensively this information was researched.

      But the parade route was not changed.

      If the HSCA said it was, please point that out to me. Its final report says the route was selected on Nov. 15 and announced in newspapers on Nov. 18 & 19. I see nothing about a change: parade AND route

      Dave Perry and John McAdams gave details on how this myth originated. It apparently started with Garrison’s “On the Trail…” and is still being repeated even though it was debunked long ago:

      Again, it’s a myth that the motorcade route was changed.

      1. This is semantics. The term “altering” the parade route refers to the fact that the general route for parades through downtown would culminate with participants continuing straight thru, but because of the chosen venue for the luncheon it was argued that the route needed to be diverted to accommodate direct access. That can be construed as “altered” but only if the venue at the Trade Mart falls into the equation. That is the full context. The argument has been repeated that the vehicles could not have jumped a low curb so the route was redefined to pass directly by the building at 411 Elm – or ‘altered’. I contend the vehicles could have made their way over that curb but it would not present a decorous image so those insisting on the alteration had a strong case … this trip was all about theatre. And for the record, the welcoming committee would have had some degree of input, whether or not that is recorded may be debated, but they would have weighed in on the choice of route. Close scrutiny of that committee is warranted.

          1. Actually, there were varying descriptions of the parade route in Dallas newspapers the week of November 18th.

            Following is a summary and we have no way of knowing which paper LHO may have read on the 19th – the earliest possible date he could have learned the motorcade would pass by his place of work.

            On November 16th, the Dallas Times Herald reported that while the route had not yet been determined, “the presidential party apparently will loop through the downtown area, probably on Main Street”

            On November 19th, the Dallas Morning Star and the Dallas Times-Herald published printed descriptions of the motorcade route that accurately described the turn onto Houston and then Elm St.

            On November 20th, the Dallas Morning News carried another description of the route, saying the motorcade “will travel on Mockingbird Lane, Lemmon Avenue, Turtle Creek Boulevard, Cedar Springs, Harwood, Main and Stemmons Freeway,” with mention of the Houston-to-Elm stretch omitted.

            On November 21st, the Dallas Times-Herald published a plan of the route which led on Main Street and showed the turn onto Houston and then Elm St

            On November 22nd, the motorcade route appeared on the front page of the Dallas Morning News with a map showing the route as taking Main Street down to Stemmons Freeway, avoiding the cut-over to Elm. “Whitewash”, Harold Weisberg p. 23

            On November 22nd, the Dallas Morning Star published a plan (differing from their 19th version) of the route which led on Main Street and showed no turn onto Houston and then Elm Street.

            Can anyone confirm if JFK’s first Dallas motorcade during the 1960 campaign made the dog-leg turn by the TSBD?

            Revisit John Kennedy’s 1960 motorcade through downtown Dallas in newly discovered footage | @dallasnews

            JFK’s Forgotten Motorcade –

            Forgotten Photos Show Happier JFK Visit to DFW | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth via @nbcdfw

          2. Jean, your attempt to simplify the controversy is transparent. The normal route of downtown parades went straight thru but the Kennedy parade was diverted, altered, changed; and intentionally or not, it passed thru a kill zone without sufficient measures to protect the president of the United States.. The diversion was alleged to have been necessary because of the venue for the luncheon, the Dallas Trade Mart, hosted by among others, the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest whose co-founder, Eric Jonsson was designated MC for the welcome. Jonsson, co-founder of military contractor Texas Instruments said that he felt the same as he did the day of Pearl Harbor when he made the preliminary announcement about the shooting in the kill zone. Jonsson would become mayor of Dallas in 1964 replacing Earl Cabell who helped engineer Kennedy’s body out of the state. I believe that you now all of this.

            Lauriston Marshall, the president of GRCSW coincidentally was responsible for introducing Sam Ballen and Everette Glover and thru them events unfolded bringing about the introduction of Ruth Paine to the Oswalds.

            The conspiracy was a sophisticated, highly compartmentalized operation and wider than any are willing to consider. Economic and ideological loyalties in Dallas held it together. Passing thru the kill zone was the cornerstone of the plan so returning the investigation to the scene of the crime requires careful analysis of the decision to ‘alter’ the route to pass in front of 411 Elm where Oswald had only recently been positioned to act as patsy by none other than Ruth Paine acting in tandem with Roy Truly – employed by Dallasites, at least one of whom made no apology for how he felt about John Kennedy.

            That is a silhouette of the conspiracy; attempts to obfuscate the circumstances around the route, or over simplify them do not serve the instigation.

          3. David,

            In 1963 turning onto Elm was how one got from Main to Stemmons whether Elm was specifically mentioned in the newspapers or not. There were road signs directing traffic on Main onto Elm in order to reach Stemmons.

            (last paragraph):


            There was no viable alternative. To go directly from Main to Stemmons would have involved making an S-curve in the wrong direction around this traffic island at the far left in photo E:


            “Can anyone confirm if JFK’s first Dallas motorcade during the 1960 campaign made the dog-leg turn by the TSBD?”

            In your last link a caption for the next-to-last photo says that the 1960 motorcade went in the other direction down Main. The 1963 direction was because they were going to the Trade Mart.

            Thanks for those links, by the way. I don’t recall ever seeing those photos before. The lack of visible security among those crowds is amazing. Those were very different times.

          4. “….Oswald had only recently been positioned to act as patsy by none other than Ruth Paine acting in tandem with Roy Truly – employed by Dallasites, at least one of whom made no apology for how he felt about John Kennedy.”

            But that’s not the whole story, Leslie.
            Ruth heard about the TSBD job from Wesley Frazier’s sister. Frazier had moved to Dallas from Alabama in September, two months before the motorcade route was announced. He was hired Sept. 13 through an Irving employment agency after applying for and not getting other jobs.
            If he’d been hired somewhere else, his sister might’ve mentioned that place to Ruth, not the TSBD.


            Ruth and Truly didn’t “position” Oswald in the TSBD. A long series of chance events positioned him there.

          5. Jean, if you want a pass for a few “chance events”, that’s reasonable, but you do not get a free pass for the composite of all of the chance events that had to align in order for President Kennedy to be murdered in broad daylight in Dallas. This wasn’t a movie. It was a magic trick perpetrated on the American people and democracy, costing John Kennedy his life and devastating his family and loved ones forever. Cavalier arguments are shameful.

            Frazier, who along with his sister, was raised in Huntsville, TX (a subject for another conversation) and was not hired for another job. He was hired for a job at 411 Elm, not in early 1963, not in the summer of 1963, but 11 weeks prior to the assassination. Approximately one month later Lee Harvey Oswald was working on Elm. Like dominoes, the plan fell into place. How did Frazier end up driving your alleged assassin to work that morning? And further to Frazier’s sister, Linnie Randle – even investigators thought it warranted follow up when her husband was in Austin the evening of the assassination talking about Wesley and Oswald loud enough to raise eyebrows. The authorities were contacted and drove to Austin to interview him.

            The series of chance encounters boggles the mind unless one factors in a compartmentalized operation. Synchronicity happens to all of us some of the time and some of us all of the time, but these coincidences lead to the murder in broad daylight of the president of the United States whose safety was the responsibility of literally hundreds of authorities who were on the ground that day. If you can make sense of this, please, share your wisdom with those of us who cannot accept your hypothesis that Oswald was a spontaneous assassin.

          6. “Chance Events”

            Ruth and Truly didn’t “position” Oswald in the TSBD. A long series of chance events positioned him there. – Jean Davison

            The concept strikes me as a weak argument to apply to the prosecution of Lee Harvey Oswald so I went looking for the origins. It has been a talking point for ‘Nonconspiracists United” for a number of years. (see biographical sketches of its members here:

            “We must realize that this horrible event was not some evil plot. It was the product of chance, not conspiracy.” — Ken Rahn

            Professor Rahn used the term “chance” 7 times in this particular piece. Evidently the meme is still in use today.

            The piece, “Chance, Not Conspiracy, In The Death Of JFK
            Kenneth A. Rahn, 19 November 2003” closes with: “The author is Professor Emeritus at the University of Rhode Island. Co-signed by Steve Barber, John Cahill, Jean Davison, Joe Durnavich, Joel Grant, Martin Kelly, David Reitzes, Rob Spencer, and Larry Sturdivan (in alphabetical order). The group represents 200 years of study into all the facts of the JFK assassination.”

  8. The back and throat shot that supposedly inflicted all of Comnaly’s wounds is the “single bullet” – the head shot that did not originate from the Sixth Floor is a magic bullet that killed JFK and was the subject of a secret FBI – NARA – AARB DNA study that was requested by Asst attorney Gen John Orr – and for good reason – but was never completed – why was this study compromised?

    LBJ and Walrter Jenkins were both sex perverts and.liers and LBJ had people killed – though I don’t believe JFK was one of them – he was not capable of putting the Dealey Plaza operation together that included the psych war Northwoods connection to blame the assassination on Castro – a psych war campaign that continues today.

    Please define sociopath and show how it doesn’t fit LBJ.

    And Walter Jenkins was not an honerable man who jus happened to get his kicks in public restrooms – he was LBJ’s hatchet man.

    And why do the moderators allow someone to slander me and hide behind a false name like Photon and to continue posting without identifying themselves?

    Unlike Photon – I don’t call for him to be prevented from posting – as he wants to censor me – I just want him to be honerable enough to identify himself – as he is posting under a false name for a reason – and we should know what that reason is. He’s the one doing the slandering and hiding.

    Bill Kelly – my real name –

    1. Walter Jenkins was a very honorable man-so much so that real political historians have speculated that had he not left the White House his advice to Johnson might have mitigated some of LBJ’s decisions to escalate in Vietnam .He wasn’t a “pervert”- he was a closeted homosexual (not alone in Washington by the way) at a time when gay men were persecuted and regarded as morally repugnant. He had to address his homosexuality in the only way he could preserve his career, family and reputation-in secret. Who did Jenkins have killed? Aside from two episodes of public homosexual activity what terrible things did he do- aside from being a respected aide to LBJ?
      If Johnson was a pervert, what do you call JFK? The later had documented affairs with women with Mob ties, probable Stasi connections, interns-even his wife’s secretary. Double standard?
      Bill, Johnson was a people person- thriving in politics, rising to the top in the Senate, dealing with and interacting with hundreds of people on a personal level. That is the total antithesis of sociopathy. That term is for persons incapable of forming lasting relationships, for people whose behavior often compromises their ability to hold a job, for people who cannot function appropriately in society-people like Lee Oswald.
      Now Bill, why don’t you clarify your statement about John Orr. He was Assistant Attorney General of WHAT?
      Certainly not the U.S. Certainly not the State of Georgia. The fact is that he wasn’t Assistant Attorney General of anything-he was nothing but another assassination hobbyist who made a ridiculous request to a federal agency which was turned down. That’s right from your own blog.
      I have posted my name on this site in the past. I have also posted my education and employment background.

      1. Photon,

        LBJ was a crook and a sociopath and a scumbag and any other name you can think to add to the list. Yes, he was a people person. He sent 58,000 INNOCENT people in the US alone to their deaths for a “war” that he started with a faulty declaration, the Gulf of Tonkin. Surely, you have heard of that little engagement? The face that he eluded jail time and has a “library” might make him the greatest politician of all time. Or the biggest souls man who ever lived on this planet.

        If you have revealed your “education” on this website, I must have missed it. Care to re-post?

        1. And please don’t forget the attack on the USS Liberty, which the facts surrounding indicate that LBJ urged the Israelis to do this in order to blame it on Egypt and LBJ could send troops in, but for a Soviet trawler showing up and began broadcasting to the world what was occurring (34 Americans, Navy sailors, several Marines and one civilian contractor died as a result).

          Then, the successful CIA-led overthrow of Sukarno, resulting in between one-half to one million Indonesian deaths, and among the first to die were union organizers at Rockefeller-owned Stanvac and Caltex oil companies, and nary a complaint from those corporations!

          And Operation Brother Sam, under LBJ, resulting in Brazilian deaths with the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Brazil.

          And the financial speculation tax ended under LBJ in 1966, which had been in effect since 1914 (Revenue Act).

          And the amendment to the Banking Act (instigated by the Federal Reserve) which allowed for foreign ownership of banks by American banks, under LBJ’s watch and signature.

          And NSAM 273, completing nullifying and the opposite of JFK’s NSAM 263, which would have withdrawn all military advisors from Vietnam, but LBJ’s NSAM 273, began an immediate buildup, laying the foundation for a massive war to occur.

          Plus, all those Vietnamese civilians who died because of LBJ.

          And on and on. . . .

  9. Still reading the book. I just got to what strikes me as a spectacular revelation. At least it’s news to me.

    According to Mark Wyatt, who was deputy CIA chief of station in Rome while William Harvey was chief of station, Harvey was in Dallas in November 1963. Wyatt apparently saw with his own eyes Harvey board a plane bound for Dallas, and Harvey gave a very vague explanation of why he was going there, something like “I’m here to see what’s happening.” Wyatt apparently said this to French investigative journalist Fabrizio Calvi in 1998.

        1. And to point out the date of Wyatt’s promotion without mentioning that he was stationed in Rome before that promotion strikes me as deliberately deceptive.

          Surely someone who knows the date of his promotion also knows his previous history.

          1. in 1962 and 1963 Wyatt was involved in the debriefing of Anatoliy Golitsyn.
            There is no evidence that he was in Rome in November, 1963. The story is unsubstantiated-but very characteristic of Mr. Talbot’s research methods.-one source, and unreliable at that.

          2. This is what the NYT obituary of Wyatt I linked to says: “Mr. Wyatt spent most of his next two decades with the C.I.A. in Italy, becoming deputy chief of the Rome station in 1964.”

          3. Where’s your source that Wyatt was still outside Rome in November 1963 (Golitsyn defected in 1961)?

      1. Right, and Harvey was chief of staff from 1963 to 1966 if my memory serves me right.

        Wyatt became deputy chief of staff in 1964, no contradiction there.

        Again, Photon, it is people like you and me that tend towards being obsessive – not Talbot. Nor, in this case, was he inaccurate.

    1. Further revelation in the book: Allen Dulles, on a book tour for his book The Craft of Intelligence, was in Dallas on Oct. 29, 1963.

      According to Philip Nelson’s LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination, p. 257, LBJ returned to the LBJ Ranch in Texas on Oct. 29. Nelson’s wording suggests LBJ then stayed at the ranch until JFK’s arrival in Texas. LBJ’s Vice Presidential Diary for Nov. 21 has him starting off at the LBJ Ranch before going to meet the arriving JFK party.

      There is a photo to be found on line of LBJ and Allen Dulles together at the LBJ Ranch house. I have seen an assertion on line that the meeting took place Oct. 29, which would seem to make sense if they were both in Texas that day. Talbot’s book seems to suggest the meeting took place the summer of 1963.

      1. This has to stop (not you lysias, authors Nelson, et al)….I worked on this years ago. The photo of Dulles at the LBJ ranch was seen in newspapers at least three months before November, 1963, and may have been taken as far back as in 1960.
        July 28, 1960: Compare the clothing seen in August, 1963 newspaper image:
        Accompanying post with explanation:
        BTW, LBJ returned to DC after Oct. 30, and LBJ arrived in Texas on November 15.=

        1. Talbot doesn’t say that the photo is of LBJ and Dulles meeting in October 1963. As I say, he thinks the photo is from the summer of 1963.

        2. And I( don’t recall Nelson writing about the photo at all. There is apparently evidence putting LBJ at the LBJ Ranch on Oct. 29.

          I don’t know if Nelson’s wording can be pressed to say that LBJ was at his ranch for the whole month until Nov. 21. But I have seen LBJ’s vice presidential diary on line for Nov. 21, and that diary page has LBJ setting off to join JFK in Texas from his ranch.

        3. I’ve done some searching on LBJ’s Vice Presidential Diary on the LBJ Library Web site. Turns out LBJ was at the LBJ Ranch for a lot of time between Oct. 29 and Nov. 21, but not all of it. For example, he was in Luxembourg Nov. 3-5. Besides being at the LBJ Ranch for a few days before Nov. 21, he is also recorded as having traveled to the LBJ Ranch on Oct. 29, arriving at 10:30 PM. He stayed there until Nov. 2, when he flew to Washington, on his way to Luxembourg.

          1. Interesting that Luxembourg was supposed to be the location of Moise Maschkivitzan, most likely this fellow below:


            Still might be a coincidence, of course!

            While those of us true citizens are most grateful to lysias in responding endlessly to those most tediously trolling types (photon, et al.) the four major points which I humbly believe should be repeated most often are:
            [1] Declassified CIA documents indicate that CIA agents met with OAS assassin, Jean Souetre, about six months prior to the murder of President Kennedy;
            [2] Pfc. Eugene B. Dinkin, stationed at an NSA site at Metz, France, intercepted several cables between CIA station in Italy and an OAS site, revealing that Kennedy was to be hit in Dallas between 11/22 to 11/28;
            [3] three weeks prior to the assassination, Allen Dulles and CIA Italy station chief, William Harvey, travel to Dallas; and,
            [4] An expulsion order [# 632-796] is issued to pick up international assassin, Jean Souetre, in Dallas, within hours of the assassination of President Kennedy!

  10. One is to expect such polemics from the majority of mainstream critics. It is increasingly difficult for the aware US person to come to terms with the post-WW2 intelligence communities activities both East and West. It is much easier to remain “comfortably numb” dismissing brave attempts like Mr Talbot’s book in seeking truths, as fiction or conspiratorial in a pejorative manner.

    I read Steven Kinzer’s Dulles book “The Brothers” (2013). That sets a chilling stage for the deeper Dulles dive I’m finding in Talbot’s book. I’m finding both books support each other’s narratives. I’ve got much more to read in The Devil’s Chessboard, but OMG, it is good. Disturbing and nightmare inducing, but good.

    David Talbot was interviewed on “Democracy Now” in two parts. Well worth the look-see.

    Thank you for

  11. So who are the sources for the idea that RFK asked JFK to appoint Dulles and McCloy to the Warren Commission?

    LBJ and Walter Jenkins – to affirmed liars, sex perverts and sociopaths.

    Are we to believe a man who paddles his secretaries and gives orders while sitting on the crapper and his right hand man who was arrested for soliciting homo sex in a public bathroom?

    And if true why can’t any of RFK’s records be sited?

    This is a side show issue but one that makes us consider the source much more closley.


    1. So who is the secretary LBJ paddled? Got any reliable sources?
      Why not bring up Gerri Whittington -the first Afican-American personal White House secretary? LBJ personally called her up to offer her the job. Did he paddle her?
      Walter Jenkins was an honorable man by all accounts. He dealt with his homosexuality in the only way possible in 1964 America- in secret. Remember , this was a period when an innocent gay man was persecuted in New Orleans for helping organize a ” homosexual thrill cime”- the killing of JFK. Even Goldwater didn’t use the Jenkins incident during an extremely rough campaign – out of respect for Jenkins and his family.
      Who are the sociopaths? Johnson was a lot of things, but no sociopath – his entire life is contrary to sociopathy-except to those who are ignorant of the concept.
      Why do moderators allow these unfounded and and frankly slanderous comments to be posted?

  12. I’m in the middle of Talbot’s book now. I was disturbed by the book’s favorable treatment of Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White. I thought the evidence of both men’s guilt was solid.

    1. It is-particularly since 1992.
      What that demonstrates is that Mr. Talbot has an agenda-not to find the truth, but to establish his own interpretation of the facts.It calls into question how accurate his conclusions are and how accurate his sources may be.In his past works I have noticed a reliance on quotes from second and even third hand sources. Has Richard Goodwin ever publically confirmed making the statements Talbot attributes to him?
      This is like claiming Tip O’Neill’s comments about what Ken O’Donnell supposedly told him about a shot from the front must be O’donnell’s genuine belief-when in actuality O’Donnell publically stated that there was no truth to O’Neill’s claim and he reiterated his prior perception of events.
      To perpetuate the canard that Alger Hiss was nothing but a victim of a witch-hunt is to ignore reality based on the very records of the organization he worked for, records that were never supposed to see the light of day.
      If the Hiss comments reflect Mr. Talbot’s level of scholarship, I would wonder what else he has gotten wrong-and if anybody has the desire or will to find those errors.Certainly not those individuals willing to accept obvious errors if the book confirms what they already believe.

      1. Well, that didn’t take long. Mr. Talbot states that “the so called magic bullet that delivered the fatal blow to Kennedy’s skull …” Apparently Mr. Talbot doesn’t even know that the “Magic Bullet” was the back shot and has nothing to do with JFK’s head wound. That is Assassination 101- for LN and CT alike.
        If this is the level of Mr. Talbot’s research expertise I would call into question how rigorous he actually checked the veracity of his sources.

        1. Photon, I was the person who was misquoted – it could have happened in the editing process or in a variety of ways. I can tell you that David Talbot knows the JFK story well, and a number of other stories as well. His grasp of the history of that period is deep. For you to obsess about that detail in the course says more about you than him.

          Unlike you – or me – he is not very focused on the mechanics of the assassination. His focus is on the mechanics of power as wielded by men like Allen Dulles and his secret government buddies. It is not a pretty picture, and David does not flinch from describing it. He tells a powerful story.

          1. Well, I will admit Mr. Talbot knows the JFK Conspiracy story very well, but without a focus on the mechanics of the assassination how accurate can that story be ?
            I am troubled by Mr. Talbot’s eagerness to accept claims that support his position and his reluctance to actually investigate those claims. The most egregious examples are his statements in Salon in 2004 and on “Hardball” claiming that Ken O’Donnell and Dave Powers actually thought that the shots that hit JFK came from the front-based on Tip O’Neill’s book. What he failed to do in both instances was to note that O’Donnell came out after the O’Neill claim was made public and in no uncertain terms REPUTIATED O’Neill. I can find no evidence that Powers ever confirmed O’Neil’s claims. Having had personal evidence of the Speaker’s enjoyment of spirits at the “1789” in Georgetown I certainly would not accept O’Neill’s claim if the subject of that claim contradicts it. Why did Mr. Talbot? Surely he knew what O’Donnell said. Or did he?

        2. And your “sources” comes actually from ONE source—the Warren Omission. The same Omission that now admits they were lied to, stonewalled, or key pieces of evidence were withheld or destroyed. So, if Talbot’s book is flawed, what does that tell you about YOUR ONE and only source?

          1. As I recall the members of the HSCA ( a body chock-full of conspiracy theorists) came to the conclusion that all of the shots that hit Connolly and JFK were fired by Lee Oswald.
            That does not count as a source?

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