I’m reading Gus Russo’s book on the JFK Assassination, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I suppose I can enjoy it because I believe that LHO was part of the assassination team. It doesn’t bother me to believe such. I just don’t believe he pulled the trigger.
Why would an assassination architect employ anyone but the best? You would not employ a part time shooter just as you would not employ a D-League basketball player to take the place of Michael Jordan in the NBA finals. Lee Oswald might have become a fine shot given the practice time, but he certainly was no Annie Oakley. No, I think LHO was what he said he was – a patsy.
I’ve been accused of a lot of stuff in my life. I either said I did do it or I didn’t do it. I’ve never once said: I’m a patsy. And that’s because whatever I was doing, I was doing it alone.
Gus Russo does a nice job of describing all the dealings of Bobby Kennedy and the Cuban exiles. He fills in a lot of information I did not know, but who knew that the Kennedys were such good friends with Allen Dulles?
Wo knew they were the kind of buddies who would drink Long Islands at the country club?
On the contrary, I suspect that, like the United States of America, Allen Dulles never had any friends in his life; he had interests. And if your interests happen to contradict what was in his best interest (Indonesia anyone), bye-bye Charlie, nice seeing you. I don’t think Allen Dulles shed one tear when John Kennedy was assassinated. Nor do I think did LBJ. LBJ’s Christmas Day conversation with Amon Carter, Jr. is chilling; it is also a valuable insight into how politicians feel and think about their colleagues.
Gus Russo would have you believe that the CIA had no animosity at all towards JFK. I doubt that. I think a lot of CIA officers resented JFK and his cabinet. I think a lot of military officers resented JFK and his cabinet. I think a lot of military officers resented Robert McNamara. I think a lot of mobsters resented JFK. I think a lot of businessman resented JFK. And, I think they all got together at one time or another and communicated that resentment to Allen Dulles and his senior officers who then promptly put into operation a plan for regime change.
Lee Oswald ultimately became part of that plan.
Gus Russo obviously does not think so.
He evidently sees Oswald as a fuck-up not good enough for American intelligence, or Russian intelligence, but somehow acceptable to Cuban intelligence. What special powers of insight Cubans must have! Everyone sees Oswald as a fuck-up except them. They alone saw the potential. And they hit the jackpot.
I think Gus Russo’s book is written for lone-nut believers who wouldn’t dream of fact checking him in a million years. It can’t possibly be written for people who enjoy reading Warren Commission testimony themselves. There are a lot of factual errors and misstatements of truth in the book.
There are so many examples to select from. I wonder at times if Gus Russo likes reading Warren Commission testimony. For example, why would he even begin to rely on the testimony of Arnold Rowland. Just by reading Rowland’s testimony I can see through the printed page that none of his Warren Commission interrogators believed him. Now, when even the Grand Deceiver, Arlen Specter, doesn’t believe you, that, my friend, is telling! Since Arnold Rowland reportedly saw LHO in the wrong window, it’s worth looking at some of his testimony.
His knowledge of physics.
His expertise as a sound engineer.
His knowledge of the gun used.
His observation of how the man was standing.
The man’s physique and race.
The man’s age.
The man’s relationship to the window.
Which window the man was at.
Whoops, wrong window.
As to why he did not notify a nearby policeman.
Let’s not forget about his IQ.
Someone with that high an IQ and Szilardian command of physics surely could have done the calculations to yield the extreme unlikelihood of Mr. Rowlands seeing much at all given that there was more or less one foot of rise for every two feet of distance from Mr. Rowland’s position. He claims he was 150 feet away from the window in question with the height of the window at mid-window being about 65 feet.
It goes on and on. What is clear from reading this testimony is that Mr. Rowland is most likely an impressionable, well-meaning, young man, wanting to help, but innocently confabulating his place in history. That’s okay. Arlen Specter was an impressionable, well-meaning, older man wanting to help, but not so innocently furthering his place in history. By doing the dirty work of the Warren Commission he secured himself a position as Senator for a lifetime.
We all have faults.
Unfortunately, Warren Commission adherents keep referring to people such as Mr. Rowland as reliable witnesses. It’s clear to me from reading the book that Mr. Russo was primarily interested in Bobby Kennedy’s relationship with Cuban exiles. He appears to have been a little lazy and relied on other authors for his evaluation of the other features of the Kennedy assassination.
Still I enjoyed Mr. Russo’s book. He makes a compelling case for LHO being an operative of the Cuban government. I wish he hadn’t tried so hard though to cement this narrative. I think it would’ve been fine to just raise the possibility. In trying to pound home this narrative, though, he brings up this fantastic story regarding Clare Boothe Luce and secret Cuban operatives who apparently had been working with LHO.
I had to roll my eyes when I heard the name Clare Boothe Luce. Yes, this is the same Clare Boothe Luce of Time magazine. This is the same Time magazine that employed CD Jackson, CIA collaborator, the man who sequestered the Zapruder film away for decades so that Americans couldn’t even begin to get at the truth.
Now, why would any skeptic of the Warren Commission report have one scintilla of an ounce of faith in any story involving Clare Boothe Luce? She was a beneficiary of the empire’s largesse. It borders on arrogance to even bring her name into the discussion.
Does Mr. Russo believe that those of us who challenge the Warren Commission findings are as stupid as the believers of this fairytale?
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