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
32 thoughts on “Checkmate on ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ ”
In the article, Lisa Pease takes issue with Talbot regarding LBJ’s role in the assassination. She asks why LBJ would not run for a second term if he had killed to gain the presidency. He was politically dead by spring of ’68, barely keeping up with Dem challengers, and would almost surely have lost to Nixon. I don’t see why people do not believe he at least was aware of the plot against JFK. Even Dulles would not have acted if he was unsure of LBJ’s response to the killing of JFK.
If LBJ were in on a plot beforehand, he would have wanted to focus blame on an Oswald, quickly and totally, to avoid focus on the legitimacy of his, then, current position. If not in on a plot, a reasonable person, who had just assumed an office with a one in four assassination rate, should have wanted to know , conclusively, that he he was not an additional target and would have tried to eliminate that threat by hunting down. ASAP, ALL involved in a plot. If not in on a plot beforehand and estimating that, though, he was not a present target, a reasonable person, one would think, would want to know the parameters of his role so as not to become a future target (i.e. perhaps, prosecute Oswald, but don’t look too deep). Maybe, LBJ, didn’t run in 1968 out of simple fear. Politically dead, is not dead-dead.
I like Lisa Pease but her LBJ arguements hold little water with me. The circumstances of LBJ unwillingness to stand for re-election are well documented. In sum, his health was poor and he was extremely discouraged by the Viet Nam war. He had achieved his goal of winning the presidency and found the day to day job of it less than thrilling. He feared the war would destroy his domestic legacy.
Although it happened after his decision to not run, LBJ’s reaction to MLKs’ murder is worth noting.
What WAS LBJ’s reaction to MLK’s murder? It was within something like two days of LBJ’s announcement. For me there is no doubt that King was killed by some of the same bunch who killed both Kennedys. Which includes LBJ, with an assist by Hoover and the whole fascist hierarchy in this nation. CIA, MIC, KKK (under various monikers).
I have to know: did LBJ pull a long face in public, as he was expert at doing, but rejoice in private? Do you have some inside or esoteric info?
I am sure there are good LBJ scholars out there but my recollection is that he was genuinely distressed and depressed by it. He had the feeling that “something” had gotten way out of hand and that riots and civil unrest would follow in the wake of MLK’s murder. He was proud of his Great Society policies and was fearful that his historical legacy was tarnished.
I tend to think that “something” could be consistant with your views, but even LBJ would have had his limits. As we all know, depression is anger turned inward. I have seen many crooks and gangsters over the years who think that if donate enough money to hospitals and museums their karma balances out.
Charles, that whole comment is very wise. There’s an epidemic of depression, especially in our young. I don’t believe I have ever heard it put that simply, clearly, “Depression is anger turned inward.” I’ll be sure to tell them that, at the right time of course.
RE LBJ, my opinion of him is lower than Robert Morrow’s opinion of him. You gave his only redeeming feature: “He was proud of his Great Society policies.” And justly so. Johnson genuinely sympathized with working folk who had it so hard. Which he learned first-hand when he pushed harder than anyone for electrification in West Texas.
According to an oral history, one of LBJ’s aides found him cowering in the bathroom on Air Force saying “they’re going to kill us all.”
Hardly the act of a conspirator.
After the fact, he put it together quickly and as someone said in the thread above, knew what he needed to do AND NOT do to avoid becoming the next target. He got the message. And I think he didn’t run again because he couldn’t enjoy being president after that.
Hunt’s story is such BS – Jim D gave me the background on that from the journalist who first went to Hunt, believing there was a story there, who learned quickly Hunt and his son were only doing it for the money.
And Madeleine Brown? So not credible. Every time a new name surfaces in the case she goes oh yeah, that person was at the pre-assassination party too. How people continue to fall for her is hard to understand.
No Lisa,it wasn’t one of LBJ’s aides, it was JFK’s Air Force attaché and former Jackie Kennedy date Godfrey McHugh who never got promoted again after loudly stating ” my President’s back there” pointing toward the coffin.
But I will congratulate you for seeing through a few phony witnesses .I just wish that you and your associate Mr. DiEugenio would apply the same skepticism to the other “witnesses” that you seem to accept without doubt. Jim seems to have a habit of accepting the testimony of virtually anybody who claims to be a conspiracy witness no matter how credible, particularly in regards to the Clay Shaw persecution. Gordon Novel?
I think that some hearty congratulations are due to our new moderator Tom.
He has brought this forum back to life with his quick and expert attendance.
I agree … great work Tom.
To everyone on Jeff’s site, let’s get the focus on the truth fired up again!! We all have a lot of work to do to push for a successful result of the October 2017 JFK Records release date. Let us not let this opportunity pass, as the time is now.
Hear, hear, Willy. The last few days I have thought, “Either Moderator Tom S. is Superman or he has an office full of Evelyn Lincolns.”
I’m no Political Scientist, but I did pass the class on it.
I believe it’s called an oligarchy.
Or, occasionally in the MSM, the “one percent”.
I think one would find in an honest appraisal of known history that all government has been oligarchy. Even in a dictatorship, one man cannot stand alone without the support of the remainder of the politically powerful.
There will always be a facade of appearances and a state of mythology in any tale of a people.
“Government” is a racket – the protection racket.
Insightful thought Willy. Like I said Pol Sci was not my major. I guess JFK’s oligarchy was his Family and the New Frontiersmen. But their was a bigger one they couldn’t protect him against.
That’s Robert Michels’s iron law of oligarchy, that all governments are oligarchies of one form or another.
There is, however,a counterexample to Michels’s law, classical Greek democracy, where most offices, including membership in the upper house of the legislature, were held by people chosen by lot from the whole (male, in the Greek case) citizen body. (The lower house was the people’s assembly, which all adult male citizens could attend.)
“There is, however,a counterexample to Michels’s law, classical Greek democracy, where most offices, including membership in the upper house of the legislature, were held by people chosen by lot from the whole (male, in the Greek case) citizen body. (The lower house was the people’s assembly, which all adult male citizens could attend.)”~lysias
“all adult male citizens could attend” The caveat here is the word “citizens” – this word did not include slaves, who were a substantial portion of the Athens of Greek antiquity.
Do we not have a similar political arrangement in modern Amerika? The Senate and the House. And yet still we bear the burden of oligarchy a kakoracy – an oligarchy of the worst kind.
There’s a big difference between electing representatives — they turn out to be professional politicians, people of a certain character — and choosing them by lot. If you choose them by lot, all segments of the population are proportionally represented in proportion to their share of the population, as are all character types. And since the odds are astronomical against being rechosen, the representatives will only serve one term, not enough time for them to develop a class consciousness distinguishing them from the rest of the population.
Ancient Greece adopted the system precisely so as to minimize the power of the rich. And it worked.
And the fact that ancient Athens excluded slaves needn’t mean we have to do the same. In fact, we can’t, because we no longer have slaves.
Athens also excluded women. But there’s no reason why we have to do that either.
The fact that Athens had these restrictions doesn’t mean they had an oligarchy. The group of citizens was big enough so that wasn’t the case. You seem to think that slaves greatly outnumbered free citizens. The two groups seem to have been about equally numerous.
Yes, we do indeed have a kakistocracy, but that is because of the sort of person that tends to win elections. If you examine the history of Athens, that is not what they had (despite the complaints of philosophers and other members of the elite).
“In fact, we can’t, because we no longer have slaves.” — lysias
With all due respect, that is a naive claim. Can you offer a contemporary definition of “slaves”?
When citizens are burdened with debt that is impossible to repay under our toxic economic system, when corporate employees cannot voice their political views for fear of losing their jobs, when their voice – vis a vis popular elections – goes either uncounted or manipulated, is this not the modern version of enslavement?
Regarding the MSM, it’s interesting to note the have not touched the book or it’s revelations, even with a ten foot pole.
Before it’s publication Amazon pushed it on me daily. After it was shipped they quit. Selective marketing? Or have they quit promoting the book?
Who exactly handed our government over to the “oligarchy.”
Leslie Sharp asks;
“Who exactly handed our government over to the “oligarchy.”
I would answer, “We the People.”
I don’t think any of “We The People” ever knowingly handed it over. The mushroom principle was in effect, we were kept in the dark through the media and fed shit by them. I know I was quite naive growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. Operation Mockingbird was in full effect at the time, as it still is. In the book Talbot or one of his sources refers to our Government becoming a Plutocracy (as opposed to an Oligarchy). Seems true to me.
Somewhere in the book Talbot references a quote of of FDR to one of his early advisers or cabinet members to the effect of: “we both know the government was bought in the 18(80’s-90’s?) “In President (?)’s term by the banking industry”.
Sorry I can’t find the page or name at the moment, I’m away from the book.
Mr. Talbot’s book is an excellent read and well researched. My understanding of his argument is that: a) there exists and has existed a ‘power elite’ inside the USA, b) that there exists and has existed a security apparatus within the USA that is capable of ‘executive’ actions, and 3) the combination of the ‘power elite’s ” perceived desires ( at the time) and the security apparatus’ actions, as coordinated/influenced by Allan Dulles and/or others within the CIA, resulted in JFK’s successful (but immoral) removal from power by violence. The logic is presented clearly, but the ‘hard evidence’ remains ‘murky’ and elusive.
Accordingly, and I wish I could pose the following to Mr. Talbot. If there is a ‘deep state’ that continues to operate unchallenged in the USA, then how would a political scientist describe the type of government that currently exists within the USA? And how would a reformist party succeed against ,what can only be described as the continuation of an imperialistic/colonial type mindset, wielding, what seems to be, unchallengeable power, apparently even more entrenched than it was 50 years ago?
The Boston Globe ran an interesting piece on this very topic last year.
Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change. https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html
The present system survives because a sufficient amount of the population still believes in the reality of the democratic facade.
If it can be made clear to a sufficient number of Americans that it is only a facade, that will rob the system of whatever legitimacy it still has. Systems that lack legitimacy are hollow, in a prerevolutionary situation, that can be brought down with a sufficient push. Like the USSR. Like the French Monarchy.
“The present system survives because a sufficient amount of the population still believes in the reality of the democratic facade.” — lysias
The system has survived for decades because of the tens of millions of American citizens who have been either employed or invested in industries that have relied on the defence/war machine to maintain their lifestyles. A cursory analysis of a half dozen corporate and banking entities flourishing in 1963 reveals that at least 500,000 Americans were employed and at least 50,000 Americans were invested in companies whose success was tied to the economies of Cuba and the military push in Vietnam.
Walter Karp, in his 1973 classic “Indispensable Enemies: The Politics of Misrule in America,” made a similar point:
“The military pork barrel spreads special privilege far beyond the confines of the arms contractors; it directly creates at least two million industrial jobs, every holder of which is all too dependent for his well-being on the well-being of the party oligarchs and the success of their corrupt policies. By virtue of the military budget, a large number of ordinary citizens have been given a direct stake in corrupt power.”
Hear hear. This is the shadow Americans seem to refuse to confront. Had millions of citizens not been vested in some fashion in the economics of the country’s industrial war machine at the moment of the assassination, I think they would have taken to the streets.
Hear, hear again. My dad worked for Bell Helicopter (Michael Paine) and LTV (Ling Temco Vaught) = Harold Dry Hole Byrd, he knew neither of them.
In keeping with both Iysias & Leslie Sharp’s commentary,
Several threads could be put to the analysis of “what went wrong with America”. And how did it become Amerika. I have given this question a lot of thought for the majority of my life here, being born the same year as the National Security State (1947).
I think a good place to start is with the advent of the Prussian system of warehousing students is compulsory indoctrination factories. For a primer on this subject I offer this page (among others) on my own blog: