The fifty-first anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22 underscored a threat that the murder has intimidated JFK successors in both parties.
New historical books and ongoing headlines on current affairs paint a grim portrait of an unpunished assassination by a cabal so powerful that its successors decisively influenced the Johnson, Nixon and Ford presidencies and, arguably, Washington policymaking as recent as this month.
Meanwhile, a complacent mainstream media and academic community gloss over key facts pointing to a CIA-implemented coup d'etat against JFK likely involving as CIA-orchestrated Cuban exiles, Mafia and selected other government personnel or assets, including Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.
The larger import? The JFK murder anniversary shows that the cover-up hurts public confidence in government. Whatever the actual facts behind the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, for example, the obvious irregularities in the JFK murder probe create understandable distrust about other investigations and policies extending to present times.
The cover-up's impact on current policy is illustrated by many current news items, domestic and foreign. Among them besides the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson are: the Nov. 21 House report denying irregularities in the 2012 Benghazi massacre; repeated threats to presidential security; the Obama administration's reluctance to release a Senate report on CIA misconduct; and a Nov. 15 report the U.S. states is planning to ramp up CIA paramilitary activities in Syria and Iraq.
Today's column begins a two-part examination of the CIA's unaccountable power over decades. The topic comprises the twentieth installment of the Justice Integrity Project's "JFK Assassination Readers Guide," whose previous segments are listed below.
The rest of this column suggests:
- a non-partisan method for evaluating evidence of presidential-level intrigues without pointless name-calling;
- an overview of secret CIA operations by the late Air Force Col. Fletcher Prouty, who retired on Jan. 1, 1964 with the rare vantage point as Chief of Special Operations (clandestine activities) for the Joint Chiefs of Staff after pursuing similar work at the Pentagon beginning in 1955;
- a summary of recent revelations regarding the post-JFK era, including Watergate, that arguably stem from the unpunished murder of JFK; and
- why such current CIA paramilitary and propaganda issues as Benghazi, the Ukraine and Senate surveillance arguably have roots also in the JFK murder and cover-up.
First, therefore, we explore why secrets of powerful institutions requires evidence from both documents and witnesses without the pervasive name-calling and partisanship typifying public affairs commentary.
In that spirit, I have found helpful for this column and other research to draw from sources across the political spectrum, not simply the conventional and prestige media.
More specifically, such authors on the right as the aforementioned Stone and Jerome Corsi (each authors of recent books on JFK) and Paul Craig Roberts are able to draw on career-long research in the world of political intrigue.
So are my valued sources on the left, including former professors Peter Dale Scott and Webster Tarpley, and former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen.
The mainstream media have for the most part banned the authors named above on the grounds that their findings represent "conspiracy theory." That censorship is both dangerous and ironic since the ban stems from an April 4,1967 internal CIA memo, now-declassified, instructing CIA personnel to smear critics of the Warren report as unemployable cranks. Those who repeat the insult thereby identify themselves as either witting or mindless tools.
More important in the long-run, a great deal of important evidence is thereby overlooked.
Most of those mentioned hold doctorates from prestigious universities starting them on careers in government and the private sector. Stone, for example, worked on eight GOP presidential campaigns, and Roberts was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and also assistant Treasury secretary in the Reagan administration. Madsen is author of eight books, has appeared on virtually every major U.S. and cable news network and published newspaper op-eds that have appeared in scores of mainstream newspapers in the past two years, even though the anonymous editors of his Wikipedia entry have undertaken a jihad against him since 2009 to denigrate him for his increasingly sharp commentary.
Most of them have written recent books congruent with the views of Prouty (1917 to 2001), shown in a file photo and well-positioned as an expert. He was a military man who observe the Cold War on sensitive missions beginning with his service in World War II. Also, he served on high-level CIA-related tasks under Republican President Eisenhower and his Democratic successor, Kennedy.
One ongoing task, Prouty has said, was helping CIA Director Allen Dulles, a longtime Wall Street lawyer/intelligence executive, shown at right, and other top leadership. Among other tasks, Prouty helped them place personnel within the military, elsewhere in government and in the allied private sector who would have a primary and secret loyalty to the agency regardless of their more formal job title. Prouty said one such Dulles installation was Gen. Maxwell Taylor, personal military advisor to President Kennedy at the White House.
By such placements and other secret practices, Prouty argued, the CIA shirked its original duties under 1947 legislation to serve as an intelligence coordinator for presidents -- and instead expanded into covert warfare, regime change, assassination, and domestic propaganda, activities jocularly known within the agency as "fun and games."
Further, Prouty stated, the primary loyalty of this "Secret Team" of the agency and its moles throughout government, including the White House and Congress, was to an permanent private sector oligarchy. Even Winston Churchill, at the height of his own powers during World War II, called it, "The High Cabal," Prouty wrote.
Describing this High Cabal's operatives on the so-called Secret Team, Prouty said:
Membership on the Team, granted on a "need-to-know" basis, varies with the nature and location of the problems that come to its attention, and its origins derive from that sometimes elite band of men who served with the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under the father of them all, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, and in the old CIA.
The power of the Team derives from its vast intra-governmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with the great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The Secret Team has very close affiliations with the sources of power in three-score foreign countries, and is able when it chooses to topple governments, to create governments, and to influence governments almost anywhere in the world.
Such practices were profoundly dangerous and undemocratic Prouty wrote in his 1973 memoir, The Secret Team, one of the first insider books about the CIA – and a book mysteriously suppressed, perhaps because one of the editors at the publishing house Prentice-Hall was former OSS officer and future Reagan CIA Director William Casey.
Prouty, the model for "Mr. X" in the 1991 Oliver Stone film JFK, went on to publish in 1996 JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Prouty, like other historians but with a rare participation in super-secret deliberations, described the animosity against Kennedy generated in Secret Team circles because of JFK's anger at the botched CIA-led Bay of Pigs invasion and the president's decisions to begin dialogs with Communist leaders in the Soviet Union and Cuba, and withdraw the CIA-led advisors from Vietnam.
Prouty bluntly described the JFK murder as a CIA-led assassination, with ripple effects from the cover-up ensuring that the CIA's power would expand in unaccountable fashion through the decades.
Oswald, Cut-Outs, the JFK Cover-Up and Watergate
The alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was an ex-Marine who had held a high-level security clearance in Japan while working as a radar technician at super-secret U-2 spy plane installation at the U.S. Atsugi Air Force Base, Japan. Oswald is shown in a file photo from his military service,
Researchers have compiled compelling evidence, to be summarized in a future segment in this series, that Oswald secretly served as a CIA asset and cooperated with the FBI in pretending to be a pro-Castro enthusiast. Earlier this fall (and conveniently ignored by Professor Sabato among others), it was revealed, Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing.
Thus Oswald and his killer, the nightclub owner and small-time mobster Jack Ruby (shown in his Dallas mug shot), were what are known in intelligence circles as "cut-outs." These are expendable personnel who have relatively little knowledge of an overall operation in case they are arrested and talk.
The conventional account of the JFK shooting --supposedly by Oswald -- is so well-known, including in our previous segments, that we need not readdress it here in detail.
But it is worth noting that much of the evidence against Oswald could have been orchestrated to set him up as a "patsy" to enable sharpshooters to escape. Furthermore, any mystery about Ruby's motive in killing Oswald b becomes understandable with our current certain knowledge that Ruby was a longtime mobster (which the Warren Commission denied), and thus would have known the mob penalty for failure to follow an order to silence Oswald.
As noted above, several new books have provided detailed arguments that LBJ helped his CIA and other allies orchestrate the assassination, not simply the Warren Commission cover-up.
Roger Stone's new book, Nixon's Secrets, contains a copy of a Justice Department memo from the late 1940s stating that Richard Nixon as a congressman had hired Ruby, then using his birth name Jack Rubenstein. Stone, a former Nixon aide during the presidency and afterwards, explains that Nixon's hiring of Ruby was as a favor to Lyndon Johnson and their mutual financial supporter, Carlos Marcello, the New Orleans-based regional mob boss.
Beyond that, authors Stone and Scott are among those who argue that Nixon immediately suspected after the 1963 killings of JFK and Oswald from his time in government that the killings involved the CIA, Cuban exiles and the mob – and that Nixon later as president tried to obtain more proof from the CIA to protect himself and exert other leverage over the agency.
CIA Director Richard Helms refused to give Nixon the files he sought, claims Stone, thereby illustrating the Prouty-style theme that presidents lack the full powers that the public assumes from our elective system. Stone further argues that Watergate's real story was a second, JFK-style coup against Nixon.
This kind of material is deeply shocking.
Therefore, I am gratified when fellow journalists dare explore the evidence on mainstream outlets. On Nov. 25, I discussed this column on two Connecticut radio shows for an hour apiece. One discussion on WLIS-AM and WMRD-AM in Middletown was with host Phil Mikan, an outspoken conservative. The other show was with Cheryl Curtis, a progressive host on WWUH-FM and WESU-FM in the Hartford-Middletown regions.
On both programs, we explored why the ongoing cover-up of the JFK murder helps us all understand today's biggest headlines domestic and global, including such matters as, U.S. weighs expanded CIA training, arming of Syrian allies struggling against Assad.
Coming next "Like Obama, JFK, Truman, Nixon Struggled Against Powerful CIA," addressing this question: Do last week's developments illustrate continuing improper power by the CIA?
Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination
* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series
At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near at the location of Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting.
- Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
- Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos , Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
- Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. Leading video, events and archives from the last 50 years. *
- Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
- Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
- 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,' Nov. 19, 2013.
- Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. Self-censorship.
- JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
- JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The CIA implicated itself in the cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out. *
- JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column.
- Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
- Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
- Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014.
- Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
- JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
- Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
- JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
- Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
- The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
- JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
- JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
OpEdNews, How the Warren Commission Covered Up JFK's Murder, Bill Simpich (shown in photo), Nov. 19, 2014. This year marks 50 years after the creation of the Warren Report -- an evaluation of the murder of President John Kennedy that devolved into a cover-up. Not everyone was a conscious participant, but some of the Commission and staff members knew they were burying evidence that would exonerate the accused assassin Lee Oswald. Since Oswald consistently declared that he was innocent, it's just not right to proclaim his guilt based on evidence that actually indicates that he was framed. The best way to address such a disaster is with a compelling presentation showing not only reasonable doubt of Oswald's guilt, but that there was never enough evidence for any case against Oswald to go to a jury.
What we need is a citizens' body with subpoena power that can address this outrage and other contested events.
A quick rebuttal of the Warren Report can be done even though we don't have a couple of crucial tools that would make the task much easier. One is to cross-examine the Warren Commission witnesses with first-hand information, which has been described as the greatest engine for uncovering the truth. The other is to work with government-funded defense experts to challenge the Warren Commission experts, who were widely lauded as the leading lights in the land. The approach will be to use the Commission's own evidence to rebut its own findings.
In reviewing the evidence, consider that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told Attorney General Bobby Kennedy that Oswald was the shooter by 4 pm that day. After that point, the die was cast. What happened in those first hours? We'll analyze here the actions on the ground by certain members of the Secret Service and the Dallas police. The role of members of the intelligence agencies and others will be for another day. Here are the top ten arguments of the Warren Commission, as spelled out by their attorney David Belin in the conclusion of his book You Are The Jury.
November in Dallas Conference: 50 Years Since the Warren Report, Adolphus Hotel, Dallas, TX, Nov. 21-22, 2014. Speakers included: Jim Marrs, Gayle Nix Jackson, Bill Simpich, Brian Edwards, Casey Quinlan, Sherry Fiester, Pat Speer, Stu Wexler, Debra Conway, Alan Dale, Larry Hancock, Jim DiEugenio. Organized by JFK Lancer Productions and Events.
JFK Assassination Conference, Sheraton Arlington Hotel, Arlington, TX, Nov. 22-24, 2014. Speakers included: Roger Stone, Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, Dr. Jerome Corsi, George Butler, John B. Wells, Philip Nelson, former Gov. Jesse Ventura, Judyth Vary Baker, Edward T. Haslam, Jim Marrs, Tosh Plumlee, John Barbour, Robert Groden, Wynne Johnson, Gary Severson, Casey Quinlan, Saint John Hunt, Dr. James Fetzer, Gary Fannin, Gary King, Larry Rivera, Antonio Veciana, Richard Charnin, Dennis David, Vince Palamara, Scott Kaiser, George Butler, Kris Millegan, Douglas Horne, and former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Organized by Judyth Vary Baker, TrineDay Publishing, and Conscious Community Events, which announced: A wide array of researchers and witnesses spoke at a historic free conference about the Kennedy assassination and the Warren Report. "Never before has a conference of this size and importance been free to the public,” said Judyth Vary Baker, author of the book Me & Lee, and one of the conference’s producers. “But this one is! That’s because hundreds of Facebook supporters are backing it. These supporters have been inspired by all the new evidence and witnesses who have come forth since the Warren Commission’s 1964 report. They know the report is obsolete, and that people need to know that Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy, just as he said he was.”
Related News Coverage
JFK Assassination and Warren Commission Investigation
Politico, The Never-Ending Replay of November 22, 1963, Will we ever stop reliving the Kennedy assassination? Larry J. Sabato, Nov. 21, 2014. A year ago this week, no one could escape the wall-to-wall coverage of the Kennedy assassination’s 50th anniversary. One effect of the previous November’s concentrated focus on JFK is that people have come forward with new information. None of it, at least that I’ve seen, dramatically re-writes the story of the assassination, but useful details have been added. Larry J. Sabato, at left, is Director of the Center for Politics and University Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is The Kennedy Half-Century.
Boston Globe, Answers sought on CIA role in ‘78 JFK probe; Investigators say files could prove interference, Bryan Bender, Oct. 15, 2014. It was nearly four decades ago that Eddie Lopez was hired by a congressional committee to reinvestigate the 1963 murder of President John F. Kennedy, a role that had him digging through top secret documents at the CIA. In the end, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported in 1978 that it believed the assassination was probably the result of a conspiracy, although it couldn’t prove that, and its conclusions are disputed by many researchers. But now Lopez is seeking answers to a lingering question: Could still-classified records reveal, as he and some of his fellow investigators have long alleged, that the CIA interfered with the congressional investigation and placed the committee staff under surveillance?
Newsweek, The Truth Behind JFK's Assassination, Max Holland (shown in photo), Nov. 20, 2014. On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson directed the Warren Commission to “evaluate all the facts” in the brutal November 22 murder of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy, on a downtown Dallas street in broad daylight. Reduced to its bare essentials, the investigation sought answers to three fundamental questions: Who, why and how? “Why” was entirely contingent on “who,” and that depended on “how.” Thus, the linchpin of the Warren Report—and every subsequent investigation—has always been precisely how Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza. That is the finding from which all the important answers flow; mishandle that question and the credibility of the entire report is undermined. The Warren Commission’s bungling of “how” is a primary reason why there have been so many residual doubts and conspiracy theories over the past 50 years. In the 1964 Warren Report, just seven pages (of 888) reconstruct the shooting sequence. Three spent cartridges were found in the sniper’s nest on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, corroborating the testimony of most ear- and eyewitnesses that three shots were fired. But after 10 months of investigation, the report did not present a compelling explanation of the sequence; instead it offered up three slightly different scenarios. In each, one of the bullets fired by Lee Harvey Oswald fatally hit Kennedy in the head; another struck and passed through the president before hitting Texas Governor John Connally; and the third shot fired by Oswald…well, the commission could not say where that bullet went or even when it was fired. Depending on which of the three scenarios one favored, the total time span of the assassination ranged from as little as 4.8 seconds “to in excess of 7 seconds.”
JFK Countercoup, The Air Force One Radio Tapes Update -- The Story Thus Far, Bill Kelly, Oct. 1, 2014.This was a presentation on the Air Force One radio transmission tapes from Nov. 22, 1963 at the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) conference in Washington D.C. When President Kennedy was originally invited to Dallas, LBJ had arranged for him to receive an honorary degree from Texas Christian University (TCU). However, after it was announced, the TCU trustees rescind the invitation, much to the embarrassment of LBJ and the city of Dallas, whose civic leaders invited the President to address their previously scheduled meeting that was to honor those who founded the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, whose director was Arthur Collins of Collins Radio. If you read Kennedy’s "Undelivered Speech," his copy now stained with his blood, his remarks are clearly aimed towards the people who run these defense industries, and he mentions Collins’ graduate research center in the opening paragraph of his remarks. One of the first things Kennedy did as President was to order the recording of all radio communications made from Air Force One when it was in the air as well as the ability to record his telephone calls and Oval Office conversations, recordings he said he would later use when it came time to write his memoirs.
Jerome Corsi, Who Really Killed John F. Kennedy? New Research into the JFK Assassination reports on the most important new research investigating the JFK assassination. After publishing in 2013 his bestselling book Who Really Killed Kennedy: 50 Years Later - Stunning New Revelations About the JFK Assassination, Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. believes investigations into the JFK Assassination are close to establishing irrefutable evidence documenting the JFK assassination a government-organized coup d’état, not the act of a lone-gun assassin. By summarizing the most current cutting-edge research on the JFK assassination, Who Really Killed John F. Kennedy? – New Research Into the JFK Assassination sets the stage for 2017, twenty-five years after the passage of the JFK Records Act, when the National Archives is scheduled to release the final, yet classified government documents on the JFK assassination. This will hopefully include over 1,000 documents the CIA still withholds from the public on national security grounds. Dr. Corsi fully expects the final true history of the JFK assassination will expose to the American public the history of CIA lies and disinformation that have distorted U.S. history since World War II, in favor of a series of international conflicts and wars favored by the military -industrial complex that JFK lost his life trying to prevent.
Stone Zone, Robert Caro Sins By Omission, Roger Stone, Nov. 19, 2013. I have been asked again and again how Lyndon Johnson's definitive biographer Robert Caro could have missed LBJ's role in an assassination plot. Author Robert Caro wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning four-volume biography of Johnson. In this masterful work, Caro accurately depicts LBJ as an amoral psychopath. Caro's vivid portrait of Johnson shows LBJ's corruption to be of biblical proportions and correctly portrays Johnson as crude, vicious, vindictive, unprincipled, abusive, promiscuous and usually drunk. Yet, Caro's masterful biography is flawed. There were two enormous scandals surrounding LBJ in the fall of 1963. One involved Secretary of the Senate, Bobby Baker, once described by Johnson as "my strong right arm" and the other involved the Texas wheeler-dealer, Billie Sol Estes. A review of news coverage of both scandals reveals substantially more column inches dedicated to coverage of the Billy Sol Estes scandal, yet nowhere in his biography does Caro even mention Sol Estes. Then there is the question of Malcolm Mac Wallace, described by Madeleine Brown as LBJ's "hatchet man". Like Lee Harvey Oswald Malcolm Wallace is a Marine marksman. Robert Caro knows of Malcolm 'Mac' Wallace, and knows his ties to LBJ's sister. He knows the Kinser murder involved a man, John Douglas Kinser, who was blackmailing LBJ with things he learned from the future president's sister, with whom Kinser enjoyed an intimate relationship. Caro knows Wallace worked at a USDA patronage job arranged by LBJ when he murdered Kinser. Caro also knows LBJ camped out at a nearby hotel awaiting Wallace's trial, and that Wallace was convicted of murder and sentenced to a 5 year suspended sentence. Caro knows every other person convicted of murder in that year 1952 in Texas went to the electric chair. Caro has been a paid consultant to the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas as has "Historians" Robert Dallek, Douglas Brinkley and Doris Kearns Goodwin -- a stunning literary conflict of interest for an objective biographer. Shame! If Caro accurately reported this he would not have a Pulitzer, could not cash the checks for the millions his four-volume bio has generated, not be invited to the best cocktail parties in Manhattan and not have his ass kissed by The New York Times. Sadly, Caro chose fame and fortune over truth; he should be stripped of his Pulitzer Prize.
Stone Zone, Miami Book Fair Faux Pas, Roger Stone Nov. 20, 2014. John Dean Says His Ghost Writer Was High on Pot. The Miami Book Fair this November 22nd has probably made an egregious error in its decision to feature both former White House Counsel John Dean and liberal author Rick Perlstein as both have new books that are now under fire. Dean is fighting to maintain his narrative about Watergate, one that hides his true role and culpability in the scandal against mounting new evidence that Dean is the man who planned, executed and then covered up Watergate and the involvement of him and wife in a call girl ring. Investigative Journalist Phil Stanford, using new documentation, proves this in his explosive new book, White House Call Girl. I confronted Dean about his lies on C-SPAN at the Texas Book Festival. In his new book, The Nixon Defense, Dean largely omits his own role in Watergate, saying those who want to understand what he did should read his book, Blind Ambition. Yet when confronted under oath about discrepancies between his sworn testimony and that book, Dean said he didn't write Blind Ambition, blaming it on ghost writer Taylor Branch–(who Dean said was smoking pot!)–and later on his editor Alice Mayhew, both of whom denied those allegations. In fact Dean said he never even read Blind Ambition before it was published. Mr. Dean has airbrushed himself out of the story all right. Gone is Dean’s role in paying hush money to the burglars. Gone is the fact that it was Dean who dangled executive clemency for Watergate burglar James McCord to buy his silence. Gone is the fact that it was Dean who destroyed the operational notebook recovered from E. Howard Hunt’s safe; and it was Dean who added the Watergate break-in to the Gemstone plan.
Daily Caller, Nixon Operative Confronts Watergate Rat John Dean: You Ordered The Break-In! Patrick Howley, Oct. 25, 2014. Former Richard Nixon operative Roger Stone confronted Watergate figure John Dean at the Texas Book Festival in Austin Saturday, prompting a fiery back-and-forth and mutual threats to see each other in court. Dean, who was involved in the Watergate cover-up as White House counsel before providing the testimony that put the nail in Nixon’s coffin, appeared at a forum to promote his book “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It.” Stone, author of the more favorable-to-Nixon book Nixon’s Secrets, accused Dean of ordering the Watergate break-in and pulling Nixon into the cover-up, a charge that Dean denied. Dean unsuccessfully fought behind-the-scenes to prevent Texas A&M associate professor Luke Nichter from appearing on the panel. Nichter, who earned legal threats from Dean after publishing audio recordings purporting to reveal new details about Dean’s involvement in Watergate. Nichter co-authored the 2014 book “The Nixon Tapes” with historian Douglas Brinkley.
Stone Zone, At Least Twelve Questions John Dean Doesn't Want To Answer, Roger Stone, Oct. 25, 2014. In your new book, The Nixon Defense, you largely omit your own role in Watergate saying those who want to understand what you did should read your book Blind Ambition. Yet when confronted under oath about discrepancies between your sworn testimony and that book you said you didn't write Blind Ambition, blaming it on ghost writer Taylor Branch and later on your editor Alice Mayhew both of whom denied it. In fact you said you never even read Blind Ambition before it was published.
United Nations News Center, UN rights experts urge US President Obama to release report on CIA torture allegations, Nov. 26, 2014. The United States must rise to meet the high human rights standards it has set for itself and others around the world, a group of United Nations human rights experts urged today, as they called on President Obama to support “the fullest possible release” of a report detailing Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogation practices. In an open letter addressed to Obama, the six UN rights experts said that much depended on how the President would handle the stalemated issue of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s CIA report, stressing that the stakes were “very high” as his decision would have “far-reaching consequences for victims of human rights violations everywhere and for the credibility of the United States.” The group of independent experts – part of what is known as Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system – is composed of Mads Andenas, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; Ariel Dulitzky, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Gabriela Knaul, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; and Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
UN expert on torture Juan Ernesto Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel treatment, speaks to the press Oct. 21, 2014 at a news conference (UN Photo/Loez Felipe).
WhoWhatWhy, The Benghazi story made the rounds yet again, Russ Baker, Nov. 23, 2014. This time, though, the only one calling “B.S.” on the erstwhile scandal was Sen. John McCain’s perennial understudy—Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC). That’s because the latest GOP-led investigation released an exculpatory report during the news cycle's dead zone of late Friday—a common practice by DC insiders seeking to bury a hot story. The lead Republican on the investigation—Congress’ main NSA supporter Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)—seemed to want to put the whole matter to rest. That was echoed by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Meet the Press. Of course, the White House is criticized for mishandling the affair, but—like all five previous inquires—little was said about the use of the port at Benghazi to ship weapons from the US & NATO-toppled regime of Col. Gaddafi to rebels fighting another long-standing target of the US—President Assad of Syria. Thus far, the claims made by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in a detailed story last April remain off the table in official circles … and now, it seems, they have finally circled the wagons around the CIA. The report determined that the CIA was simply “tracking” the movement of weapons from their catbird seat inside the infamous annex to the Benghazi compound.
AP via Boston Globe, House finds no government wrongdoing in Benghazi, Ken Dilanian, Nov. 22, 2014. A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees. Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, and no missed opportunity for a military rescue.
Washington Post, U.S. weighs expanded CIA training, arming of Syrian allies struggling against Assad, Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung, Nov. 15, 2014. The move would ease an urgent need while the Pentagon builds a similar but slower-to-assemble program.
World Crisis Radio, Obama Repudiates Allen-Gates-Petraeus-Kerry Campaign to Spare ISIS, Bomb Assad, Webster G. Tarpley, Nov. 22, 2014. Pressure Mounting on Turkey’s Erdogan to Slam Terrorists. The world economy is now harvesting the bitter fruits of the neoliberals’ killer austerity. The main central banks are now falling back on the discredited Quantitative Easing, meaning massive purchase of bankrupt and toxic derivatives, with the hope of saving the zombie banks from another round of bankruptcy. But six years of Quantitative Easing have already failed to produce a recovery in the US, where stagnation continues.