[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 - nonetheless, that day is seared in my memory as it is in most peoples' who were alive on that day.
At my age, it was the trauma of the adults around me that marked it, of course. The tearful school principal announcing the event on the intercom - of a K-6 grade school. My Irish-Catholic mother's grief when I got home. The endless dirge of television coverage in the days following, including the oft-looped footage of Lee Harvey Oswald's murder by Jack Ruby, two days later.
A seven-year-old became a very serious person that day, and it irrevocably fixed his attention on the cornucopia of upheaval that characterized the current events in the years that followed.
It was a hugely visible event, and yet it remains, arguably, the most shrouded. What do we know about what really happened that day? Despite the "conclusions" of the Warren Commission, nearly 6 out of 10 Americans are of the mind that Oswald did not act alone - in other words, that there was a conspiracy to murder the President of The United States. This is my opinion, as well.
Yet, we still have no idea who these conspirators were, and what exactly the motives were for this crime. The Mafia, the CIA; communists, Castro sympathizers; right-wing business interests, anti-Castro forces; Vietnam warmongers, the Vice President - or more likely an unholy alliance of individuals from some or all of these interest groups, at varying degrees willfully, neglectfully, or accidentally involved. The parties involved (and their descendents,) were certainly very close to the centers of power in the most powerful country in the world, and this is a huge reason why it may never be successfully investigated or resolved.
We don't know... but we have some ideas.
H.P. Albarelli, Jr. has painstakingly gone through the available literature and recently declassified information, conducted first-hand interviews with members of the intelligence community, and in general pressed his journalistic skills on the question. His work, A Secret Order: Investigating the High Strangeness and Synchronicity in the JFK Assassination, is a result of these efforts (a Volume Two is already in the works.) While dense and wonky in parts, it also offers intriguing and colorful vignettes of the often bizarre cast of characters in assassination lore. Speculation is scrupulously avoided, and fallacies eliminated, but there are a great deal of coincidences documented here, and it is left to the imagination and deductive reasoning of the readers to perhaps form their own opinions.
A brief overview of some of the material you will find:
...and much, much more, as they say.
- The chimera that is Lee Harvey Oswald - From his childhood on up to the death of a president, and his own murder two days later, Oswald shapeshifts from background to fore, appearing in his own name and with known aliases, here and abroad, brushing strangely close to various suspicious actors associated with the intelligence community.
- The white hat/black hat antics of the CIA's flamboyant LSD interrogator George Hunter White - a character one is grateful to have never met, but at the same time is filled with the most certain fear that there are versions of this White walking (and plotting) amidst us even today.
- Rose Cherami - The woman who warned, "We're going to kill President Kennedy," struck twice by automobile, the second time left broken and dead in the road.
- An attractive neuro-physiologist who almost certainly given hallucinogenic drugs over dinner and possibly hypnotized by a CIA-affiliated pathologist who pressed her to pass strange messages to Lee Harvey Oswald.
- The rendition and enhanced interrogation of a CIA asset. Aside from the JFK connection, it is a disturbing peek into the business-as-usual objectification of a human being by the intelligence community.
- The story of "femme fatale" June Cobb, which I found particularly intriguing (and paranoia-inducing) as it sheds a lot of light on what it might be like to be noticed and recruited by the CIA. As in, you probably wouldn't even know it as it happened, and may never be quite sure if it ever did.
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 "firstname.lastname@example.org" 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:
OK. Let's get to work and figure this thing out! What do you say?
...and for more relevant material on the shadowy side of our government:
- Deep Politics and the Death of JFK by Peter Dale Scott [University of California Press, 1993]. - An excellent starting point for critical background information.
- Deep Politics II: Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba by Peter Dale Scott [The Mary Ferrell Foundation, 2007]
- Oswald, Mexico, and Deep Politics: Revelations from CIA Records on the Assassination of JFK by Peter Dale Scott [Skyhorse Publishing, 2013]
- 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.
- 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.
- Bloody Treason: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by Noel H. Twyman [Laurel Publishing, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., 1997]. - Overlooked classic.
- Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs [Carroll & Graf, 1989] - An early but excellent examination of the assassination.
- 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]
- 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]
- Lee: A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald by His Brother by Robert L. Oswald and collaborators Myrick Land, Barbara Land [Coward-McCann, 1967]
- JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters James W. Douglass [Touchstone, 2010]
- 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.
- Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA by Jefferson Morley [University Press of Kansas, 2008]
- The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America's War on Drugs by Douglas Valentine [Verso, 2006]
- The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics and Espionage Intrigues that Shaped the DEA by Douglas Valentine [Trine Day, 2010]