Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume I – John M. Newman

1The lone gunman theory remains the official position taken the United States Government with regards to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).  The alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was convicted in the court of public opinion before standing trial in a Dallas courtroom. His assailant, Jack Ruby (1911-1967) permanently silenced Oswald forever and prevented Americans from knowing more about the former Marine that had once lived in the Soviet Union.   The big question surrounding Kennedy’s death is who did it?  The crime is similar to a black hole, puzzling even the most hardened researchers.  The late Jim Marrs (1943-2017) once said that we know who killed Kennedy, we just have to look at the evidence.  Author John M. Newman has joined the group of assassination researchers and has produced this first volume in what will be a multi-volume set about the deadly events in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

In this first volume, Newman sets the tone for what will soon follow. In comparison to other books about the murder, this volume is not focused on Kennedy’s death.  In fact, the murder is only mentioned a handful of times.  The story that is presented here is of the revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro (1926-2016) and Washington’s fears of  Soviet expansion.  As Fulgencio Batista (1971-1973) struggled to maintain control of Cuba,  the CIA was closely watching the events taking place in the streets of Havana.  Students, revolutionary groups and activists formed a nexus of opposition to Batista’s corrupt regime.  At first it might seem counterproductive to write about the Cuban Revolution if the book is about Kennedy’s murder.  But what is important to keep in mind is that Newman is slowly setting the stage for what would eventually happen in Dallas.   It is generally accepted by researchers that Kennedy’s death was by no means the actions of just one person.  In fact, the list of those who opposed the young president was long and for a good explanation of how many forces were conspiring against Kennedy, I strongly recommend Col. John Hughes Wilson’s JFK: An American Coup D’etat: The Truth Behind the Kennedy Assassination, which provides a clear picture of the looming threat to the occupant in the White House.

I strongly believe that to understand Kennedy’s murder, it is necessary to understand exactly what was happening in Cuba and how it played out during Kennedy’s presidency.   Newman’s focus is not on the mission in the jungles of Cuba by bearded revolutionaries.   His goal here is to uncover the actions of the CIA and finally reveal the characters involved and what purpose they played as Castro took power and led Cuba down the communist path.   Acronyms and code names become the norm but if we pay close attention, we come to realize that many of the figures are discussed in other books. However, there are two who stand out here and deserve special mention.  Newman goes into the complicated and mysterious stories of Catherine Taeffe and June Cobb (1927-2015).  The latter has been written about before and her story is still puzzling to this day.   Thousands of pages of records have been released giving us a better picture Cobb’s association with the CIA and Newman ties all of if together here providing a thorough back story as to who she really was.  Taeffe is yet another figure who has eluded scrutiny in many books but it is here that her importance to Washington becomes clear.  And by the time Newman is finished, the reader will surely realize that there was far more taking place in Washington with regards to Cuba than most Americans could have ever imagined.  To be even more frank, things in Cuba had heated up and it is truly a miracle that an all out invasion of the island never materialized.

There are many names in the book and it is easy to get distracted as the author moves through the story.  I do think that a quick primer on the crime will help readers make it through the subject matter.  As a rule, I always recommend Jim Marrs ‘Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy‘, which still remains one of the best-selling books on Kennedy’s death.  With that being said, Newman does an excellent job of focusing on one aspect of the matter and exploring it into exhaustive detail.   I am now on to the second volume and his multi-volume approach will undoubtedly change the way Kennedy’s assassination is viewed through the eyes of even the most ardent researchers.   What I also found to be exceptionally valuable is that Newman does not put forth conspiracy theories, his conclusions are based solely on the evidence that was released.  And it is that approach that makes the book an even more exciting read.

I admit that the Kennedy murder is usually not at the top of the list of books to buy for a majority of readers.  But the crime still remains one of America’s darkest moments.   Perhaps one day we will finally know what really happened that day but until then, we can only reveal the truth layer by layer.  If the author is consistent, the volumes that follow will be nothing short of exceptional.  Good read.

ASIN: B00X3VZED6

 

JFK: An American Coup D’etat: The Truth Behind the Kennedy Assassination – Colonel John Hughes-Wilson

Wilson -JFKLast week I was debating what book to read next and realized that I had not covered anything on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) in quite some time.  To many Americans, his death is in America’s past, and a crime never to be solved.  With that being said, his murder is a reminder of how easy it once was to remove a sitting president from the highest office in the land.  Kennedy’s death endures as one of America’s darkest moments and the unanswered questions surrounding the events in Dealey Plaza still send chills down the spines of even the most seasoned researchers.  Colonel John Hughes-Wilson has taken another look at the crime and lays out his case for what he believes was a coup d’état on November 22, 1963.  In the fifty-years since JFK’s death, researchers have been able to compile a staggering amount of revealing evidence throughout independent research and the release of government files under the Freedom of Information Act and the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.  Incredibly, Hughes-Wilson has managed to compress thousands of pages of information into a book that is less than 400 pages.  But contained within the pages of this book is an excellent summary of what happened before, during and after Kennedy’s murder.

Some readers may be independent researchers in the crime or simply someone that has never believed the official story put forth by the government.  I warn the reader to be prepared for many shocking revelations and the introduction of facts that are simply unbelievable.   If you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was the lone killer,  you may find this book hard to accept.  But I do think that the author provides an incredibly strong position to support his believe that Kennedy’s murder was in effect a change in government by powerful sources hidden behind the scenes.  One of the book’s most interest parts is how the author sets the stage for Kennedy’s murder.  So much focus is often placed on November 22 but it is critical to understand the forces that raged against his administration and their culmination into a deadly web of enemies determined to have the president removed at all costs.  Author James Douglass does a great job of covering topic in his book on the murder “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters“.   The information provided therein if plentiful and highly enlightening.  Hughes-Wilson takes a similar approach but streamlines the information to keep the pace moving at a sufficient pace.

Any book on Kennedy’s murder is sure to contain a long list of characters relevant to the story at hand.  This book is no different and as one would expect, figures such as Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) and J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) are discussed throughout the book.  We also learn about the various groups that came to loathe the president such as Cuban exiles, Texas oil barons, Wall Street bankers, the government of Israel and the Italian American Mafia.   The connections between the various groups will raise eyebrows and cause mouths to drop open in surprise.   But what may truly shock many readers, is their connection to the White House, in particularly Kennedy himself.  I warn some that what is also revealed about Kennedy’s private life may change the way they see the former president.   But if you have read Seymour Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot“,  some of the information may be repetitive.   Kennedy is long gone so we will never known what made him do some of the things that he did.   The author here does provide clues to his sometimes strange behavior but to a point, even his views are somewhat speculative.  Regardless, his assessment of the late president, puts the murder into clear context and also reveals that many great political figures also had a very dark side that the public was not privy to in the age before cell phones and social media.

Hughes-Wilson did an incredible job of staying focused and not straying too far from the main goal of the book.  One can easily spend hours on just one part of the murder.  Whether it is Oswald’s life or the murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippitt (1924-1963),  the amount of information to cover is exhausting.  The author here never lets the reader become overwhelmed with information but wisely keeps things moving along and provides enough information for the reader to continue to piece together the entire puzzle.  In short, I found the book to a collection of information covered separately in other books but told in a way that keeps the reader deeply intrigued.  And even for myself, the book was thoroughly enjoyable even though I have read at least a dozen books and several articles on the crime.

Someone asked me one day if Kennedy’s murder would ever be solved.  Well Jim Marrs once said that we already know who did it, but we just need to look closely at the evidence.  I think that we have many of the answers that have long been sought through the hard work of researchers and the deathbed confessions of individuals long suspected of being part of the plot.  The real question is whether Americans are ready to accept information that will change the way the see the United States Government and politicians many of them have long admired.   It is said that no one who was alive when Kennedy’s murder took place will forget where they were that day.  My father has told me the same thing many times and can easily recall that day from start to finish even at the age of 66.   For my generation, none of us will forget where we were on September 11th.  The future generation will have their own moment in history but what that is remains to be seen.  No matter how many generations pass, the murder of John F. Kenney will remain the biggest unsolved mystery in American history.  But with books such as this by Col. John Hughes-Wilson, we already have many of the answers needed to eventually find the truth.

For readers that are discovering new territory,  I strongly recommend reading the late Jim Marrs’ (1943-2017) “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy“.  It remains one of the best sources for information on the assassination.  Having discovered this gem, I also strongly recommend this compendium as well for those who truly want to know what really happened.

ISBN-10: 1782198547
ISBN-13: 978-1782198543
ASIN: B00GF3MVUS

Best Evidence: Disguise and Deception in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy-David S. Lifton

liftonThe murder of John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) continues to maintain its place among the greatest crimes in American history.  The official story as published by the Warren Commission is that former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963)  fired three shots in six seconds from the sixty floor of the Texas School Book Depository, fatally wounding Kennedy and severely wounding Texas Governor John Connally (1917-1993).  To many, including the author of this book, David Lifton, the government version seemed to be the best and final explanation.  But over time Lifton came to doubt the official story and after obtaining a set of the twenty-six volumes that composed the Commission’s investigation, his doubt turned into disbelief and lead him down the path that culminated with this national bestseller.

At the time his odyssey began, Lifton was a law student at UCLA.  Working on campus was a law professor by the name of Wesley J. Liebeler who served as a Warren Commission attorney.  Disillusioned by the official report, he decided to confront Liebeler about the many discrepancies he found in the final report.  Over the next several years, the two men would become more closely acquainted as Lifton dived deeper into the murder and Liebeler sought to preserve the Commission’s report.  Ironically Liebeler is the person that suggested to Lifton that he should one day write a book.  He eventually did and this is book is a must read for anyone with unanswered questions about the murder of John F. Kennedy.

Having read multiple books on the assassination, I would like to point out that Lifton focuses on the medical evidence surrounding Kennedy’s murder.  He does not go into great detail about Oswald’s life, murder or the life and murder of J.D. Tippit.  This is strictly about the postmortem events from the time Kennedy was declared dead at Parkland Hospital until the official autopsy report was published by the physicians who were on call at Bethesda Naval Hospital when Kennedy’s body was brought in. I warn readers that the subject matter graphic as it pertains to the autopsy and a large number of anomalies with Kennedy’s body that by all appearances, occurred before the official autopsy even began.  Almost like a horror movie, the body tells signs of makeshift surgical procedures, unexplained bruising and conflicting testimony between doctors in Dallas and Maryland.  But as Lifton explains, the body is the evidence.  Skeptics might be tempted to ask how on earth could such changes have been made to Kennedy’s body before it arrived at Bethesda?  Well Lifton asked himself the same question and many others that have been answered through exhaustive research and due diligence in the most plausible manner to date.  But what is even more sound about Lifton’s work is that he supports his conclusion based off of evidence that is publicly available and in some cases, was hiding in plain sight.  His case is further supported by statements he obtained from numerous individuals who were at either Parkland Hospital, Bethesda or part of Kennedy’s entourage that escorted the body all the way back to Washington.

There are those of us who will refuse to believe that the Government could engage in such nefarious activity.  On the surface it simply seems absurd.  But we soon learn that there is far more than meets the eye.   As Lifton is continue to develop his case for a frontal shot a key event takes place changing his life forever.  On a FBI report filed by Agents Francis O’Neill and James Siebert is a section  in which they state that surgery had been performed on the president’s head prior to the autopsy.  I confess that as I read that section of the book I nearly jumped out of my seat.   This statement served as the catalyst for Lifton to change gears and become one of the most respected researchers to date.  As I continued through the book I noticed that at times chills ran down my spine.  As the story progresses, the macabre becomes a reality and it dawns on the reader that there was more to that day that had nothing to do with Lee Harvey Oswald.  This is a story that the Government did not want its citizens to hear.  But like Oswald’s murder, it refuses to be put to rest and leaves many unanswered questions.

There are many books about JFK’s murder, each taking a slightly different approach.  To get an idea of the overall picture of what happened that day, I always recommend to new readers Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by the late Jim Marrs (1943-2017).  For others that have passed beyond that point, Lifton’s work is a critical addition to every researcher’s library.   The narrative is chilling: unexplained changes to the president’s head indicating prior dissection, two ambulances, two caskets, a helicopter and other mind-boggling postmortem incidents reveal a darker and more sinister plan in effect that most could not begin to fathom.   However, there are still many interviews that were classified and thousands of pages of others that remained classified. When they finally are released we can only guess or shudder as to what they might reveal. Until then, we have authors such as David Lifton that force us to take a close look at what is considered to be best evidence.

ISBN-10: 0881844381
ISBN-13: 978-0881844382

A Nation of Immigrants-President John F. Kennedy

jfk1America is often referred to as the land of opportunity for anyone wishing to start a new life far away from home. Since the days of Amerigo Vespucci, the territory we now call the United States has been a primary destination for world travelers.  In recent years, legislation regarding immigration has been an important topic which provokes fierce debate.   Every country has its issues with immigration and none has a perfect regarding the same. However America has been the place where millions of immigrants have made a new home.   The late John F. Kennedy,  formerly the Thirty-Fifth President of the United States, left us with many writings, interviews and speeches before his untimely death in Dallas, Texas.   His sharp wit, uncanny foresight and fierce independence catapulted him to the top of the list of Americans whose names live on forever.  As the descendants of Irish settlers from Ireland escaping the potato famine, his family came to America in search of a new life.  Their journey was long and their assimilation into a new society rough, with prejudice and xenophobia forming substantial obstacles to peace and happiness.  Their plight was never forgotten and is told again in this short but engaging book that clarifies his position that America truly is a nation of immigrants.

Today it is hard for many of us to comprehend that the America as we know it is less than three hundred years old.  In fact, my hometown of New York City did not come into existence until 1898.   The stories of Ellis Island are legend in American history with tales of immigrants from places such as Ireland, Italy, Germany at The Netherlands.  But as Kennedy beautifully explains, America owes its diversity to immigrants from all over. He starts off by giving a brief history of the creation of America before going into the influx of newcomers and their cultures and traditions that they introduced to the American experience.  As I read the book, I thought to myself that although it was written in 1958 and published posthumously in 1964 after his death, his words are still relevant today.  Currently, America finds itself in the midst of a bitter political climate. Immigration remains a hotly contested topic with the lives of millions of people living in the United States at stake. But as we move forward and consider how to approach immigration, it is wise for us to reminder JFK’s words that immigrants are responsible for the building of our country.

One of the tragedies of America’s development, pointed out by Kennedy in the book, is the backlash and discrimination faced by newly arrived immigrants.  Every group of people has had to face discrimination fueled by bigotry and xenophobia.  Regrettably, those who engage in such acts easily forget that all of our ancestors come from foreign land.  Furthermore, the disenfranchisement of the Native Americans, Aborigines and struggle of the African and Hispanic-American and dark periods and a stain on the American conscience.   The more I read his words and listen to his speeches, the more I am concerned that they are more important today.  And his death on November 22, 1963, is still one of America’s darkest moments. My father who will turn sixty-five this year, still recalls with vivid detail, the day that Kennedy died.  And as I listen to him talk, I can feel and see the sense of loss that engulfs him.

St. Augustine remarked that “the world is a book, those who do not travel read only a page”. Truer words have rarely been spoken.  For some of us, it is not merely travel, but a completely new change in life requiring moving from the place known as home to a new land thousands of miles away.  Those of us who have always lived in once place may find it difficult to appreciate the struggle many face as they try to make a new life in the United States.  But as we go about our daily routines and encounter those who are different, it is imperative that we remember this deeply moving compendium and its words by the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

ISBN-10: 0061447544
ISBN-13: 978-0061447549

My Twelve Years With John F. Kennedy-Evenlyn Lincoln

jfkNovember 22, 1963 remains a day seared into the minds of millions of people around the world.  Known informally in the United States as the day Kennedy died, each year it reminds of the tragic events of that day in Dallas, Texas.  The spirit of John F. Kennedy has remained with America and today, decades after his death, his legacy continues to gain in strength.  The debate regarding his accomplishments while in office has raged continuously.  But what cannot be denied is his impact of the conscience of the United States and his status as a symbol of hope for an entire generation.  When he died, he left behind not only a widow and two children, but millions of fans, friends and his personal secretary of twelve years, Evelyn Lincoln.

Kennedy’s administration, named “Camelot” by the press, has been the source of inquisitive researchers and those enamored with his charm and intellectually sharp personality.  In this book, Lincoln has recorded her memories of what it was like for the mythical and tragic young president.   Some readers may be familiar with her other book Kennedy and Johnsonher memoir regarding the relationship between Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon Johnson.  In comparison, Johnson is not seen frequently in this book. In fact, he is hardly mentioned but only a handful of times.  This book is strictly about the relationship between Kennedy and his secretary who devoted twelve long years of her life in service to him.

The book begins as she reflects on the aftermath of the trip to Dallas.  But it should be noted that this book is not about his murder and there is no smoking gun in the book. Researchers and assassination buffs will not find anything of value in here.   Where the book does shine however, is showing Kennedy’s personal side.  In stark contrast to the clean-cut and smooth image presented in public, behind the scenes, the senator and later president is revealed to be as forgetful as the next person,  unorganized as most businessmen and as kind as some of the greatest people I have ever met in life.  Lincoln’s book does an excellent job of showing how and why so many people were inspired to work with and for him.  Furthermore, it adds to his prestige as one of the most different individuals to ever occupy the oval office.

I am sure that some readers will find it interesting that she makes no mention of any of Kennedy’s major shortcomings, particularly his extramarital affairs.   For some it will be hard to accept that his secretary who surely would have been privy to such knowledge makes no mention of it at all.   I firmly believe it was not needed and was not the point of her book.  Similar to Arthur Schlesinger, she makes note of her working relationship with Kennedy which was the goal of the book.   And on this level, she succeeds without question.   The book was published in 1965, roughly two years after his murder.  I can only imagine the amount of grief she endured at the time and the challenge she faced in writing this memoir.  Its publication and existence are a testament to her will and are a fitting tribute to the slain leader.

Anyone who has ever worked as a secretary will appreciate this book.  I personally have worked as a secretarial assistant and found myself nodding my head at times during the book when she relates one of Kennedy’s quirks.  All bosses have them and in all different forms. But their quirks are also what helps to make the unique and unforgettable. Kennedy and Lincoln are both deceased but they shared a time together that stands out in American history both for great reasons and unfortunately for tragic reasons.   Her tribute to her former boss is heartfelt and will be warmly received in any library about the life and political career of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

ASIN: B000UCF0V2

The Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy- Michael Collins Piper

 

515craojyrl-_sx319_bo1204203200_The murder of John F. Kennedy remains one of America’s darkest moments.  His assassination in Dealey Plaza and the murder of his alleged assassin two days later shocked the world and marked a turning point in American history.  The Warren Commission’s report is still the government’s official position on the murder.   It concluded that there was no conspiracy to murder John F. Kennedy and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  In 1966,  Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment was released and became the first major book to challenge the Commission’s conclusions.  Lane became a pioneer in the process with his book being followed by more than 200 hundred others regarding the events of that day. Each has its strengths and weaknesses but all provide a window into what some have called the crime of the century.  There are literally dozens of theories as to how and why Kennedy was killed.  It is up to the reader to cross-reference the facts and reach a conclusion.  However, in the majority of the books regarding the murder, all tend to focus on the complicity of the U.S. Government and organized crime.  The Italian-American mafia has long been suspected in the assassination.  But like everything else regarding the murder, things are not always as they may seem.

Michael Collins Piper has composed this incredibly well researched account of what he calls the missing link in the JFK assassination.  As can been seen on the cover, the book has faced strong opposition resulting in enormous challenges faced by the author to have it published.   To some it may seem strange that a book on a crime that has been written about hundreds of time should face such stonewalling. But as the reader descends into the deep subject at hand, it becomes evidently clear why the book has had so much trouble going to press.  Piper’s missing link is the role of Israel and the Mossad in the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Because Israel is a close ally of the United States and has a strong lobby with American borders, any discussion regarding a possible Israeli link to the murder of a U.S. President is bound to raise suspicion and cause adverse reactions.  Piper has been called a traitor and anti-Semite.  But if the reader has an open mind and considers the many angles to the crime, the book is an invaluable asset for anyone seeking to learn the truth about the forces behind Kennedy’s assassination.

What makes the book stand out is the revelation that takes place early in the book.  Piper is not the first to cover the material as he freely admits. But he is the first to connect many of the dots that have gone unnoticed by other researchers.  What we learn early in the book is a once hidden fact that President Kennedy had been involved in a behind-the-scenes war with Israel over its ability to develop nuclear weapons.  Kennedy had been pressuring Israel to dismantle its nuclear stockpile and made no attempt to hide his disdain.  This serves as the crux of the book and Piper does an incredible job of putting all of the pieces together to give the reader a picture of who benefited from Kennedy’s removal.

For some readers it will be hard to accept that Israel could have played a role in the crime or even that the Mossad is as dangerous as alleged.  But the key to understanding the authors contention is to read while having an open and highly attentive mind.  It should be pointed out that the author is by no means anti-Semitic.  He has simply researched a critical angle of a horrible crime that changed world history.  Through Piper’s work, we can see the spider-web of connections from some of the darkest figures in history.  He takes a closer look at the lives and actions of several well-known figures such as Jack Ruby, David Ben-Gurion, Mickey Cohen and Meyer Lansky, the legendary crime figure.  But he also reveals critical information about lesser-known figures that held parts of the world in an iron-grip which in turns exposes the underlying connections between the CIA, Mossad and even the SAVAK, the Iranian intelligence faction. We are introduced to Tibor Rosenbaum,  Max Fisher, Shaul Eisenberg and Louis Bloomfield.  All of these men are critical to the author’s story and the facts surrounding their actions will prove to be hard to refute.   But Piper does not stop there. In fact, the amount of notorious figures and interconnections between them is nothing short of staggering.  And forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about Kennedy’s death.  The book is not for the faint at heart but if the reader thinks clearly and rationally while reading this incredible book, it will become clear why this is indeed the final judgment.

ISBN-10: 0935036539
ISBN-13: 978-0935036534

Kennedy and Johnson-Evelyn Lincoln

20180603_133855For twelve years Evelyn Lincoln served as John F. Kennedy’s devoted secretary.  Following Kennedy’s murder she penned a memoir of her time as his assistant under the title “My Twelve Years with John F. Kennedy”.  As his secretary she was a first hand witness to his daily routine and the decision making process behind some of the biggest moments in American history.  The relationship between Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson has been documented in scores of books. But Lincoln’s account is a welcomed look into the unusual relationship between two polar opposite individuals.

It will be expected that Lincoln speaks fondly of her boss.  A good secretary becomes an extension of the person that is served listening to their gripes, anticipating their next move and putting the pieces back together again after a major fallout.  Lincoln is all of these but that is not the goal of this book.  This book is the record of what she saw and heard between John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson.   And what we learn in the book will either confirm what many felt all along or seem like the unsubstantiated ramblings of a secretary in mourning and bitter at the new Commander-In-Chief.   In her defense, never in the book does she show a personal vendetta against Johnson.  She only reports what she observed during her time with both of these legendary figures.

The book begins before Kennedy is elected to the presidency. In fact, in the early part of the book, he is about to declare his candidacy and gears up for what turned out to be a bitter campaign against Johnson for the Democratic nomination.  The animosity and sometimes vindictive methods employed during the primaries made it even more unusual that the two former enemies ended up working together in Washington.  But what is clear is that they were never “friends” in any sense of the word.  They established a cordial and professional working relationship that was sometimes fragile and tense.  Tragically it culminated with the events in Dallas.

Lincoln does shed light on two moments in JFK’s campaign that have been the subject of heavy debate for many years.   His decision to accept Johnson as the vice-president caused shock, suspicion and in some cases outrage for Johnson was not liked in many parts of the United States.  The often purported story is that Kennedy offered Johnson the nomination believing that he could help pull the southern states which resisted civil rights legislation and were wary of a Irish-Catholic nominee.  There is also the belief that Johnson blackmailed his way onto the ticket.  What the real reason was for Johnson’s inclusion we will never know for Kennedy took it with him to his grave.   But Lincoln does give us enough to see that Johnson’s version of the events leading up to his appointment as vice-president were way off base.

Towards the end of 1963 as Kennedy was preparing for his reelection campaign in 1964, he began to develop a series of agendas that he was determined to accomplish during a second term.   The biggest question surrounding his administration was if Johnson would remain on the ticket.   Scandals began to surround Johnson through affiliates with the most dangerous being the Bobby Baker debacle.  It has been said that Bobby Kennedy had been monitoring the cases building against Johnson who may have possibly landed in jail.  Apparently Jack had told him they would speak about it when he returned from Dallas.  What would have happened if he did return we will never know.  But what we do know from Lincoln’s journal is that before he left for Dallas he made it very clear exactly who would be his running mate for 1964.  Her admissions which we have no reason to doubt, serve as concrete statement on what was going through Kennedy’s mind in regards to the future of his administration.

The book is only 207 pages but within these pages is a good journal kept by an interesting woman who served one of the greatest political figures this world has ever seen.  And in his short time in office, he touched the lives of many including his own secretary who duly devoted twelve years of her life to him.

ASIN: B0006BUHQK

Mrs. Kennedy and Me-Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin

1The workplace in a sense becomes a second home to the majority of us, and for some of us, they become even closer to us than those with whom we have a biological link. But what happens when you’re an agent in the Secret Service?  There is no set eight-hour workday for agents assigned to the first family. Instead, their hours are often unpredictable, long and extremely fatiguing. Nevertheless, the agents do their jobs to the best of their abilities and in the process create bonds with the members of the first family that sometimes remain in place many years after their service has ended.  Clint Hill, long retired from the Secret Service, is best remembered by many people from the Zapruder film, in which he is the sole agent that attempts to come to the aid of the president as jumps on the back of the motorcade as the Secret Service transports a mortally wounded John F. Kennedy to Parkland Memorial Hospital.  He has written several books on his time as a Secret Service agent with several presidents and the events that took place during that fateful trip to Dallas, Texas.  This is his memoir of his time with the former first lady and the relationship that developed.

The book begins as the JFK wins the election becoming the president-elect.  Hill, who previously served Dwight Eisenhower is assigned to guard Mrs. Kennedy.  At first, we see that he’s not thrilled with the assignment, but as we follow Mrs. Kennedy and Hill on their journey, we come to see that it was nothing short of incredible.  And even years later, the news of her death proves to be as much of a devastating blow as JFK’s death decades earlier. As Hill admits himself, he never fully recovered from Dallas and other agents handed in their resignations, unable to cope with what now be classified as post-traumatic stress disorder.  Cigarettes and alcohol become his sedatives of choice but remarkably, he was able to transform those dreadful memories into several well-written books about the personal lives of the first couple.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, later Onassis, is still recalled as one of the finest first ladies to have ever occupied the White House.  Fluent in several languages, physically agile and highly intellectual,  her poise has been unmatched by many with the possible exception of the current first lady who will depart the White House at the end of year.  For year following JFK’s death, the press continued to follow her and her every move  garnered attention from all over.  In some places, it could  be argued that she might have been even more popular than JFK himself.  Through Hill’s memories, we are able to see her private side; fun-loving, cigarette smoking, thrill taking and highly personal, genuinely concerned about the privacy of her children.   Attempting to live as close to a “normal” life as possible, she takes great strains and places upon Hill, great burdens to maintain the strictest levels of privacy throughout their tenure together.  A monumental feat without question, but time and time again, Hill comes through earning the respect and permanent trust of the first lady.

True friendship is not easy to come by. But during his time as the protector of the first lady, he becomes one of her closest friends and confidants and the memories he shares are that of a man who truly enjoyed his job and lives with those moments, good and bad, every day of his life.

ISBN-10: 1451648464
ISBN-13: 978-1451648461

Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.-Barr McClellan

lbj blood money powerPrior to his death from cancer, Jack Ruby, the convicted murdered of Lee Harvey Oswald who executed his prey live on national television, once remarked that to get answers in the murder of John F. Kennedy, it would wise to ask the man currently in office.  That man as we all know was Lyndon B. Johnson.   In most history classes, Lyndon Johnson or LBJ for short, is seen as a pioneering president, responsible for the passage of the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964.   However, what is often looked over is his role in the escalation of the U.S. military in southeast Asia resulting in the Vietnam War.   As the body count of American soldiers climbed, his approval rate dropped to absurdly low levels, possibly the worst in recent history.  And the announcement of Robert Kennedy for candidacy for president served as a final nail in the coffin forcing Johnson to withdraw his name in the 1968 presidential race.  Many years after his death, the true story of the life of Lyndon Johnson has come to light in dozens of books.  And what we learn through each of these books is that there was a very dark side to the 36th President of the United States.

Barr McClellan worked as an attorney at the firm of Clark, Thomas and Winters, the firm that worked intimately with Johnson, handling many of his private affairs.  This book is McClellan’s recollections of the things he saw, heard and took part in over a multi-decade service to the firm under Johnson’s primary attorney and close friend, Edward A. Clark.  The cover of the book alludes to a smoking gun in the book.  Having read dozens of books on the Kennedy murder, I wouldn’t quite go that far.  And as McClellan points out, many of the discussions that took place among some of the partners and various nefarious figures associated with Clark were never put on record as an official transcript.  While he presents to us a picture of what might have been said, the participants are lone gone and can neither confirm of deny the statements in the book.  Also, the allegations regarding Lee Harvey Oswald are direct but gloss over many important details that not only cast doubt on him being Kennedy’s assassin, but also being the murderer of Officer J.D. Tippit and the attempted assassin of Gen. Edwin Walker.

The beauty in the book are the revelations about the relationships between Johnson, Clark, Thomas, Mac Wallace, Bobby Baker, Clifton Carter and Billie Sol Estes.  This close group of conspirators, pulled off some of the biggest scams in Texas history and are complicit in the murders of several individuals, possibly including John F. Kennedy. Of all of the players, Baker is the only one still alive and has disclosed a lot of what he did for Johnson and other politicians in Washington during his career. However, out of all of these mysterious and fascinating figures, the two that stand out in the book as the most interesting are Edward Clark and Mac Wallace.  Johnson, while complicit in many illegal activities,  always maintained a safe distance in the event that a scandal arose.  However, when problems did come up and people need to be taken care of, Clark and Wallace would prove to be the most loyal and deadly associates of Lyndon Baines Johnson.  Wallace has been long known to assassination researchers and people familiar with Johnson’s activities in Texas.  And if McClellan’s account is correct, then it shows the assassination into an entire different perspective.  Clark is lesser known to those outside of the State of Texas but McClellan clues us in to another major participant of the crime of the century in the United  States of America.

While I do believe that LBJ did have foreknowledge of the crime, I do not think that the law firm of Clark, Thomas and Winters had the sole role they did as described by McClellan. Did they play a part? Absolutely.  But I also believe that there were many things transpiring in Dallas that day that went far beyond the control of both Edward Clark and Lee Harvey Oswald. A conspiracy of that magnitude needs many participants with plans made far in advance in many different sectors of government.  Of interesting note, McClellan does shows that the plan to remove Kennedy began as early as 1961 which coincidentally is when multiple Oswald sightings first began.  Was there a plan to remove JFK from office? Undoubtedly.  Was a sole lawyer the mastermind behind the entire plot? You be the judge.

ISBN-10: 161608197X
ISBN-13: 978-1616081973

The Innocence of Oswald: 50+ Years of Lies, Deception & Deceit in the Murders of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit-Gary Fannin

q1As November slowly approaches this year, the anniversary of one of America’s darkest moments will be upon us once again as we remember the tragic death of the late John F. Kennedy.  His murder continues to stay with us and to this day it is technically an unsolved murder in that his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was never convicted in a court of law.  He had been accused of murdering both President Kennedy and Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit, and convicted in the court of public opinion through misstatements and so-called evidence that wouldn’t hold up in a court of law.  And as author Gary Fannin points out, for over 50 years, lies, deception and deceit continue to be propagated making the truth of the matter seemingly harder and harder to unravel.

This book is not a smoking gun about the assassination.  Fannin examines the major parts of the story, holding them up to the light so to speak, to be examined thoroughly and in the process sheds light on the many contradictions and shortcomings on the official story.  He does point clearly that he does not believe in any way, that Lee Harvey Oswald murdered anyone on November 22, 1963 or even fired a rifle that day.   Oswald was murdered in cold blood by Jack Ruby before he had a chance to tell his side of the story taking any information he could have offered with him to the grave.   Nevertheless, the U.S. Government stands by the conclusion the Warren Report that Oswald as indeed the long gunman.  But upon closer examination as Fannin shows us, the case against him has serious flaws and there were many suspicious events that took place that were beyond Oswald’s control.

Acting as sort of a public defender of Oswald, Fannin methodically tackles each piece of alleged “evidence” against Oswald and refutes each one by one.  And in the process, Fannin brings to our attention, the many fingerprints on the crime of U.S. Intelligence agencies and he even gives a highly plausible scenario of how the shooting might have been carried out.  Fannin points out that he will probably become and an enemy of the government for the book but published it regardless as he believes the American public is owed more than what we’ve been told all of these years.  The next release date for the remaining records held on the assassination are scheduled to be released in October, 2017.  In those records are thousands of pages of documents on many individuals long suspected by researchers as being complicit in Kennedy’s death.

Anyone who’s read books on this subject will know that they tend to be quite large and the information contained in them can be staggering.  The crime itself  is so complex that just one part of it is enough to fill up a shelf on a bookcase.  Fannin did an excellent job of keeping the book straight to the point and it never loses pace.  The information is exactly the right amount to get the reader to ask questions and do their own research. But at no point, does the book feel as if it’s information overload.  For those just starting to dive into the Kennedy assassination, this is a good place to start. And even for those, who are advanced researchers have read dozens of books on the crime, it’s a welcome addition the ever-growing collection of incredible books on this heinous crime.

ISBN-10: 0692532242
ISBN-13: 978-0692532249