“There's more to life than just books, you know. But not much more...” - The Smiths
Sunday, July 24, 2011
What I'm Reading
JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass
So I'm reading this book on the JFK assassination "cover-up" just for the hell of it, since Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History answered all my questions already. For the record, I'm 99% convinced that Oswald acted on his own. The 1% consists of the possibility that CIA and/or Mafia elements were involved. But the shots definitely came from Oswald, and there's nothing magical about the "magic bullet". Before you spam me with "BUT WHAT ABOUT....?" comments, please do yourself a ginormous favour and go to your library and get a copy of Reclaiming History. Read all of it - no skimming! - then come back and talk to me. I'm serious. It's an important book and I think anyone seriously interested in JFK should read it. I was extremely annoyed when my local bookstore told me it's "ancient by publishing standards" (2007) and they couldn't possibly be bothered to order a copy for me.
Douglass's thesis is that a militantly anti-Castro cabal within the CIA arranged for JFK to be killed. Not so much because of the Bay of Pigs disaster, but because he was secretly angling for peace with the Soviet Union and Cuba. He apparently brings some new evidence to the table, but I haven't gotten to that yet. Right now it's the same old stuff, like Rose Cheramie. Not to insult the lady's memory or anything, but when people use the term "coked-out whore", they're talking about someone like Rose Cheramie. She was thrown out of a Louisiana bar by one of her pimps, staggered into the road, and was hit by a car. As a police officer was driving her to a state hospital for rehab, she blurted something like, "Me and my friends are gonna go to Dallas, get some heroin, pick up my baby, and kill Kennedy." She wasn't all distraught about it, like in Oliver Stone's JFK. According to Douglass, the bar owner identified her two pimps as guys with CIA affiliations, but I'll have to check into that before I accept it at face value. I remember how excited I got when a dude named Shane O'Sullivan told the BBC he had identified three CIA agents in photos taken at the Ambassador Hotel the night RFK was killed, only to find out that one of the CIA agents (Gordon Campbell) had died years earlier.
Admittedly, I still don't know quite what to make of the E. Howard Hunt deathbed confession. I tend to think he might have been pulling one last epic prank, or was hoping to make some money from it. Or maybe he was senile and his son coached him on what to say.
"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom." - Albert Einstein