[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...
My anger often surprises me - my rage, on the other hand, always catches me off guard. I suppose that's true for most people who don't find anger - and its big green cousin, rage - particularly useful or helpful.
I remember last being blindsided with the emotion in the pub a few years back. I was with a couple of young ladies, good friends - always quick with the cheer - and they struck up an amiable conversation with a couple of guys who were new to this neighborhood bar. In return for the fine company , this pair of sociopathic morons roofied my friends' drinks. They miscalculated, as the girls began to pass out right there at the bar and they high-tailed it out of there just as we realized what had happened. I can think of few acts more despicable than that one, and it is fortunate for both them and myself that they ran off*.
Similarly, I find it difficult to appreciate the humor with which popular culture sometimes presents "dosing" of a different sort - like Tyler Durden (Fight Club) urinating in a soup to be served to hapless patrons. I once got quite angry with a bartender who adulterated one of my cigarettes with an exploding load while I was in the restroom. OK, maybe I can be a bit anal (it was just a friendly joke,) but service people have a sacred trust, dammit...
Federal Bureau of Narcotics agent George Hunter White, OSS-trained and most certainly an asset for the CIA, was one of these sociopaths who, with great irony (Bureau of Narcotics?,) found it easy to slip LSD and other experimental drugs to unsuspecting people. I was first introduced to this character in Albarelli's expose on the murder of a CIA scientist (A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments.)
Nobody was safe around this guy, apparently. He did his evil Johnny Appleseed gig in all "sets and settings," as the psychiatrists like to say, to all kinds of people - from subway commuters to party guests to prostitutes. Ostensibly, he was "studying" the effects of these substances in the variety of the aforementioned sets and settings, at least this was his mandate (or cover.) One cannot help but suspect that this required a certain taste for sadism, however, so one would be forgiven if one suspected that a bit of off-the-reservation "free-lancing" was tolerated. You can't blame The Director for every little thing, after all.
We meet this reprobate once again in A Secret Order: Investigating the High Strangeness and Synchronicity in the JFK Assassination, where Hank sketches in more of this character's strangeness. I say strangeness because it was not without a great deal of dark humor that I read of his visceral disgust with the corruption of the Houston Police as regards narcotics. He seemed to be honestly offended - this man who thought nothing of sending a couple of his friends to the hospital after bidding them off on an acid trip that, without prior knowledge or consent, amounted to a psychic Extraordinary Rendition.
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 "email@example.com" 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]
*As it happens, these two showed up again some weeks later. They didn't make it through one drink, however, before one of the victims spotted them and howled a pointed "j'accuse!" We saw their backs before the bartender could pick up the phone...