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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jason Bourne With A Carcano Rifle / JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary / Signed Book Giveaway

A Secret Order
[Update 08/07: All 15 books have found happy owners. Offer closed for now.]

This November 22nd will mark 50 years since President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination. I was less than two months shy of my seventh birthday...

The highly entertaining Bourne novels and movies tell the tale of an intelligence asset who begins, in disconnected fragments, to recall committing a dark deed, or deeds, on behalf of interests other than his own. This begins a spell of self-loathing that animates the riveting drama of a man who simply will not be left alone, and who turns the black arts that have been soaked into his very DNA against his tormenters.

He "goes rogue."

Decades earlier, a similar story is spun in print and film - The Manchurian Candidate - using language appropriate to the zeitgeist of the Cold War ("commies!") Again, a hapless asset is compelled to murder.

Hollywood has had great fun with the themes of a shadow government, and from Major Marco to James Bond to Jason Bourne (and their epic villains,) we have been entertained by glimpses into the awesome secrecy of these agencies, cutting edge technology, and the preternatural skills of their operatives.

These movies not only entertain, but they also provided a great service - in their precious romanticizations and titillating exaggerations they place these stories into our collective mythology, and rather firmly into the realm of great fiction. No serious person would take The Man With the Golden Arm very seriously, or amnesiac killers triggered by code words and playing cards.

Yet - as ridiculous as the latter sounds, it is clear that our security forces did indeed dabble in such aspirations. Classified information unearthed by authors like H.P. Alberelli Jr., buttressed by interviews with privileged sources, has revealed in carefully researched books like A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments and A Secret Order: Investigating the High Strangeness and Synchronicity in the JFK Assassination the extent to which resources were dedicated to pursuits that seem quite foolish and foolhardy to "normal" folk.

Particularly in the latter book - the one that we are giving away here - there is a great deal of "high strangeness" surrounding Oswald and the characters involved in research and operations involving drugs, hypnotism, torture and generally inhumane treatment of soldiers, agents and private citizens in our dark, unspoken history. Most of it, quite justly I would say, resulted more in embarrassment and accidental disaster than smoothly shaken, not stirred, operational coups.

And so it is with some light amusement - and sinister implication - that I ask the question... was the frightened and confused Lee Harvey Oswald one of the original Jason Bournes? You read, you decide.


We are giving away books here!

I was honored to have been invited to pen the Foreword to this work, and in return I get to give away some autographed copies. Just email me at "" with your mailing address, and I will send one your way.

Hank was also kind enough to provide me with a list of books that he would recommend for further reading. True to his nature, it's a sweeping list, designed to provide plenty of material to help in forming one's own opinion (I've not read all of these, so I have to get cracking myself.) The list, with comments:
  1. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK by Peter Dale Scott [University of California Press, 1993]. - An excellent starting point for critical background information.
  2. Deep Politics II: Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba by Peter Dale Scott [The Mary Ferrell Foundation, 2007]
  3. Oswald, Mexico, and Deep Politics: Revelations from CIA Records on the Assassination of JFK by Peter Dale Scott [Skyhorse Publishing, 2013]
  4. The Man Who Knew Too Much: Hired to Kill Oswald and Prevent the Assassination of JFK by Dick Russell [Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, Revised Edition, 1992]. - For me, in countless ways, a partial Rosetta Stone for the assassination, even apart from the material on Richard Case Nagell.
  5. Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK by John M. Newman. [Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., New York, 2008 edition with epilogue.] - A near masterpiece on Lee Harvey Oswald's possible ties to the CIA and his days in Mexico City.
  6. Bloody Treason: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by Noel H. Twyman [Laurel Publishing, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., 1997]. - Overlooked classic.
  7. Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs [Carroll & Graf, 1989] - An early but excellent examination of the assassination.
  8. Inside The Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination Of JFK, Volumes I, II, III, IV, and V by Douglas P. Horne [self, 2009]
  9. Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace by Peter Janney [Skyhorse Publishing, 2012]
  10. Lee: A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald by His Brother by Robert L. Oswald and collaborators Myrick Land, Barbara Land [Coward-McCann, 1967]
  11. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters James W. Douglass [Touchstone, 2010]
...and for more relevant material on the shadowy side of our government:
  1. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy [The Ecco Press, New York, 1985] - This novel, which does not deal with the assassination, contains the key to unlocking all the high strangeness about the assassination and much more.
  2. Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA by Jefferson Morley [University Press of Kansas, 2008]
  3. The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America's War on Drugs by Douglas Valentine [Verso, 2006]
  4. The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics and Espionage Intrigues that Shaped the DEA by Douglas Valentine [Trine Day, 2010]
OK. Let's get to work and figure this thing out! What do you say?

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