JFK – two books

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters, James W. Douglass, 2008. “He chose peace. They marked him for death.” What a remarkable book!

I realize that almost no one believes any longer in the lone, crazed gunman theory of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. So much evidence has come out in the last couple decades that the Warren Commission’s report can be accepted for what it is, a fabricated whitewash. To achieve their aims, the powers-that-be in the 1960’s had to create a believable cover story for who actually was responsible for JFK’s murder.

James Douglass does a remarkable job of detailing the many threads that went into the plot and act of killing the president. Jerome Corsi draws heavily on the Douglass’s research, adding some new information. A few quotes from his book are included below in this review.

I am not going to go into detailed sharing of the exhaustive research Douglass has done in his book. Rather I will focus on some implications and conclusions.

One feature of Douglass’s book is including insights from Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk living in a monastery in the hills of Kentucky. Merton maintained regular correspondence with JFK’s mother, with Robert Kennedy’s wife, Ethel, with Jackie Kennedy, and at least at arm’s length, with JFK himself. For Douglass, Merton gives a unique perspective into the era surrounding the assassination. His was a more detached, spiritual view into the forces at work. Indeed, Merton had foreseen Kennedy’s murder. “Thomas Merton had seen it all coming. He had said prophetically in a Cold War letter that if President Kennedy broke through to a deeper, more universal humanity, he would before long be ‘marked out for assassination.'” (p 94)

Douglass refers to three “Bay of Pigs” which Kennedy experienced in his two and a half years as president. The first was the actual Bay of Pigs fiasco he inherited from President Eisenhower. The second was the Cuban Missile Crisis. During this crisis he established a secret correspondence link with Nikita Khrushchev. This correspondence proved to be very influential in his subsequent policies. He and Khrushchev had come face to face with the possibility of nuclear war, almost assuredly leading to mutual annihilation. Both men were insightful enough to realize that no one would win this war. Everyone would be losers. Kennedy frequently referred to what such a war would do to children. “Children have no lobbyists in Washington.” Out of this missile crisis both Kennedy and Khrushchev began moving toward mutual nuclear disarmament. They got to the point of signing a ban on nuclear testing, but not much further, before Kennedy was murdered.

The third “Bay of Pigs” for Kennedy was a commencement address he gave. “Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins summed up the significance of this remarkable speech: ‘At American University on June 10, 1963, President Kennedy proposed an end to the Cold War.'” (p 31) This speech marked a significant turning on Kennedy’s part, away from war, and toward peace. From the speech:

Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time. (p 36)

[This speech can be heard on YouTube. The transcription of this speech is included in the book as an Appendix.]

These three movements by Kennedy, his three “Bay of Pigs”, are what convinced some of the powers-that-be that he had to be eliminated. And so they killed him in cold blood. Persuaded that they were doing what was in the best interest of their country, they dispassionately murdered him. It is absolutely chilling to face that truth. That US agencies, chiefly the CIA, could, without a second glance, kill their elected leader, is “unspeakable”, as the title of the book states.

Who Really Killed Kennedy?: 50 Years Later: Stunning New Revelations About the JFK Assassination, Jerome R. Corsi, 2013.

The CIA shared a belief with LBJ, Richard Nixon, and the military industrial complex that even if US military action failed in Cuba or in Vietnam, as it had in Korea, the military intervention would be good for business and the US economy. (p 315)


Again, the point is that the New World Order view was comfortable employing the US military to preserve US business interests, as had been done when overthrowing Mossadegh in Iran and Arbenz in Guatemala. . . . Under the ideologies of nationalism and self-determination JFK used to analyze Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam, it was clear he felt US military involvement was required in none of these conflicts. JFK cared about US business interests, but not necessarily to the point of going to war. (p 315)


In the final analysis, JFK was killed because he saw US military action in shades of gray, where the Dulles brothers saw only black and white. Still, despite this, JFK might yet have lived into a second term, but once he called out organized crime and the CIA, threatening to destroy both, he needed to succeed. LBJ and Richard Nixon, the two politicians who stood the most to gain from a JFK assassination, may have resented JFK, but they could do nothing about that resentment without the operational capabilities offered by equally resentful CIA leaders and organized crime bosses. (p 316)


At the top level, E. Howard Hunt, Richard Nixon, and George H. W. Bush are also suspect, if only because all three equivocated when asked where they were when they first heard JFK had been shot. Not providing a forthright answer to this question is a sign of a guilty conscience at a minimum, topped with a desire to hide the truth. What did they have to hide? (p 316)

Some thoughts coming out of reading these two books:

1) The first is hope. James Douglass ends his book with a 2010 Afterword with these words, “The ‘why’ of President Kennedy’s murder can be a profound source of hope to us all.” “Hope comes from confronting the unspeakable truth of the assassination of President Kennedy.” (p 381) “How can we take hope from a peacemaking president’s assassination by his own national security state?” (p 384)

It’s unbelievable–or we’re supposed to think it is–that a president was murdered by our own government agencies because he was seeking a more stable peace than relying on nuclear weapons. It’s unspeakable. For the sake of a nation that must always be preparing for war, that story must not be told. It it were, we might learn that peace is possible without making war. We might even learn there is a force more powerful than war. How unthinkable! But how necessary if life on earth is to continue. (p 385)

2) My own reaction to this is that the few years of Kennedy’s administration presented to us the possibility of living in much greater peace on earth. This possibility was shattered by the events in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Now fifty-some years later, I wonder whether there is another possibility emerging for such a shift towards being able to live in greater harmony. Looking at today’s headlines would not provide much hope in this direction. But if you look at what is happening below the surface, there is an explosion of people waking up spiritually in our day. Are we going to be given the opportunity once again, of creating a peaceful earth?

One small sign of this emerging opportunity is just the opening awareness of the events of 1963. The population is so much more willing to embrace the idea that JFK was murdered by his own national security apparatus than ever before. I was in Grade 10 when the assassination occurred. In the few years following I read a bit about this tumultuous event; I accepted the “party” line that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, out of a frustrated sense of futility with the US government. Even when Oliver Stone made his movie, JFK, in 1991, I was skeptical. But subsequent events, subsequent reading, thinking, considering, have made me much more open to the truth of what actually happened. I don’t think I am alone in this. My perception is that there are millions who are in the same boat, who are willing to ask difficult questions, embrace alternative explanations. 9/11 contributed greatly to this of course. But I sense a shift in society. And that gives me hope.