I’d never heard of Tommy Carrigan, an enthusiastic podcaster with a taste for military and intelligence books, before he invited me on his show to talk about THE GHOST, my biography of James Angleton, chief of CIA counterintelligence.
We spoke on the day after the 57th anniversary of the assassination of the President John F. Kennedy, and naturally the JFK story came up.
In these terrible days, I got to thinking about Tim Shorrock’s essay/review on Bob Dylan’s JFK opus:
At its most essential level, “Murder Most Foul” marks the collapse of the American dream, dating from that terrible day in Dallas, when a certain evil in our midst was revealed in ways not seen for a hundred years—a day that, for Dylan, myself, and others of our generation is forever seared into our collective memory.
At Medium, Jimmy Falls (also of WhoWhatWhy) breaks down the forensic and eyewitness testimony to JFK’s assassination with a focus on the testimony of three people-John and Nellie Connally and James Tague–who experienced the hail of gunfire that killed the president.
The presentation is careful, the conclusions inescapable.
“With the stunning recent midnight release of Murder Most Foul,Bob Dylan unequivocally declared his deep distress at the unsolved mysteries surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. I wish I’d known about that sooner. It would have saved me a lot of anguish and embarrassment.
It was November, 1975. “Oswald’s November,” as the poet Anne Sexton once branded that gloomy time of year when daylight shrinks, weather turns dank, and hearts feel the chill. Dylan, recently emerged from an extended hibernation, had just launched the now legendary Rolling Thunder Review tour. Nov. 20 at the Harvard Square Theater in Cambridge was among the first dates on the tour. Next was Nov. 21 at the Music Hall in Boston. On Nov. 22, a mass rally calling for a re-opening of the investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination.
Maybe its his Nobel Prize but Dylan seems immune to the normally outspoken camp of JFK anti-conspiracy theorists. Rather his 17-minute rumination of the assassination of President Kennedy has attracted 2.6 million views while impressing critics and scholars of the case.
(This article, titled “Under CIA Eyes,” first appeared in Counterpunch, Vol. 25 published in January 2020.).
“I was struck by the intimacy and the smallness of the whole surroundings,” said retired CIA officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen after his first visit to Dealey Plaza in November 2019.
Dealey Plaza, a grassy Art Deco entry point to downtown Dallas, is where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963. Hundreds of thousands of people still come from around the world to see the spot where the popular liberal president was ambushed. Many of them have the same reaction to the crime scene: the intimacy, the smallness.
“Why am I doing this?” Rolf Mowatt-Larssen asked the audience at the Coalition Against Political Assassinations’ conference in Dallas. “As a CIA officer it’s a little controversial. What is my goal? My goal is to have an answer [about who killed JFK] for myself and my children.” That may sound overly ingenuous to some, but most people in the room, myself included, had the same agenda.
Mowatt-Larssen was nine years old when he heard the news from Dallas.
CIA veteran Rolf Mowatt-Larseen proposed a “thought experiment” to the November 2019 JFK conference in Dallas. He reverse-engineered the lone gunman scenario, posing a question both novel and incisive.
“How can you get away with a really elaborate but very simple plan of deception, to end up in a place where the president is dead and it is blamed on someone else, other than the people who perpetrated it?” he asked. “Not easy.”
The killing of Lee Harvey Oswald is another key to Rolf Mowatt-Larssen’s JFK analysis. He argues that one of the conspirators had to have had access to the Mafia bosses who could induce Jack Ruby to eliminate the accused assassin as a witness.
Jefferson's Morley compulsively readable, and deeply reported biography of CIA spymaster James Angleton is "the best book ever written about the strangest spy chief who ever lived," says Tim Weiner. From the OSS to the CIA to MKULTRA and JFK, Angleton was a ghost of American power. BUY THE GHOST NOW.
About The Deep State news blog
The Deep State is Jefferson Morley’s new blog about the influence of secret intelligence agencies worldwide. Launched in November 2018, Morley has already published his reporting about: