It's time to put the CIA out of business:
It's a shame that Ultimate Sacrifice is hobbled by a cockeyed assassination theory and swollen size. Because buried in this weighty tome are a number of shiny nuggets that shed light on the case. Among the important sources Waldron and Hartmann spoke to was JFK's "Irish Mafia" sidekick Dave Powers, who was riding 10 feet behind Kennedy's limousine in Dallas and told them he clearly saw at least two shots from the infamous grassy knoll in front of the motorcade -- evidence of a conspiracy, since Oswald was allegedly firing from the rear, on the 6th floor of the Texas Book Depository building. Powers, who spoke to the authors before his death in 1998, told them he felt they were "riding into an ambush" and said that he was pressured to change his story by the Warren Commission. (For some reason, the authors perversely stash most of Powers' story in the acknowledgments, at the far end of the book.)
Waldron and Hartmann also chronicle in detail for the first time an aborted plot to kill Kennedy during a motorcade in Tampa, Fla., four days before he was cut down in Dallas -- as well as fleshing out an earlier plot in Chicago not widely known about. These three plots, which bore remarkable similarities, suggest that JFK was being relentlessly stalked in his final days by a sophisticated group of conspirators.
Ultimate Sacrifice also presents a convincing portrait of Oswald as the "patsy" he told the world he was as he was being escorted through the Dallas police station -- a low-level intelligence operative whom the authors contend was being groomed by the CIA as the fall guy in an assassination plot against Castro and was then ensnared in the scheme to kill Kennedy. And the book presents persuasive evidence that Jack Ruby, far from being the distraught citizen who shot Oswald out of deep affection for the Kennedy family, was actually a longtime Mafia errand boy and enforcer who was paid off by associates of Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa, RFK's public enemy No. 1, to silence Oswald before he could tell a court everything he knew.
The authors also examine the numerous tension points between the Kennedys and the CIA, pointing to a number of insubordinate acts by the agency related to the administration's Cuba policy that can only be described as treasonous, including trying to sabotage the Kennedy-Castro peace feelers by pursuing an assassination plot against the Cuban leader without the Kennedys' knowledge or assent.
Also unnerving is the authors' account of Cuban exile Alberto Fowler, a Kennedy-hating Bay of Pigs veteran and probable CIA asset who seemed to be stalking JFK in his final days, moving into the house next door to the Kennedys' Palm Beach mansion on the weekend of Nov. 17, 1963, where JFK was sequestered while finishing a speech he was to deliver in Miami.
While the authors take pains to (repeatedly) exonerate the CIA in the killing of Kennedy, their book actually winds up raising serious questions about the agency's possible role in the crime. Though it's not the authors' scenario, after finishing Ultimate Sacrifice the reader is left with the unmistakable impression that the assassination was probably the work of a conspiracy involving elements of the CIA, Mafia and anti-Kennedy Cuban exiles -- a cabal that was working to terminate Castro's reign (by any means necessary) and turned its guns instead against Kennedy. This is precisely what Robert Kennedy himself immediately suspected on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, though Waldron and Hartmann wrongly assert that Bobby blamed only the Mafia (and New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello in particular) for the death of his brother. In truth, CIA officials like David Atlee Phillips, William Harvey and David Morales; gangsters like Marcello, Trafficante and Rosselli; and anti-Castro Cuban leaders like Manuel Artime and Tony Varona were so intertwined in their blood lust against Castro that it's difficult to separate them.
But Peter, shouldn't try to put all terrorist organizations out of business? Yes, of course, but some will make the case that the CIA are our terrorists, and therefore, should be allowed to continue kidnapping, raping, killing, torturing, and generally terrorizing innocent people the world over. I agree with you that we should try to put all terrorist organizations out of business, but I want to counter this pro-CIA, pro-terror argument by stating the obvious - the CIA is not ours. It is not accountable to the American public, because it is rarely even accountable to the President of the United States or the Congress. So, even if you believe the U.S. government should sustain its own terrorist organizations while condemning those of other countries around the world who do the same, you have to recognize that the development of large, super-secret, spy/intelligence/terror organizations can lead to their becoming completely unaccountable - to the point where we don't really know who is in charge of the U.S. government anymore.
The stories of rogue operations by the CIA are no different than the stories that emanate out from the state terror organizations of any number of other countries - most famously, perhaps, Israel's Mossad, and Pakistan's ISID, who are constantly in the papers for doing things without their government's knowledge and/or approval.
Don't know how much Spielberg's new flick, code-named Munich, will talk about Mossad. And we have Syriana tackling the CIA. I've been interested to check out flicks like Walk on Water, too. We'll see. Anything that gets us talking about these things in the open is probably a good thing at this point.
UPDATE: A quick roundup of the morning fishwrap headlines brought us a couple of whoppers. First, a former US diplomat says Israel/Mossad killed a U.S. General when it downed a passenger plane. And then, the CIA is continuing its kinapping and torture routine in Europe, with expected side effects. Listen, these spy agencies have run amok. They're too secretive, too powerful, and too unaccountable. They have to be shut down immediately.
UPDATE: I'm not looking for these headlines, mind you - they're all the f*ck over the place! Sh*t, just google CIA or Mossad. We have to label these organizations what they are - lawless, terrorist organizations - and then we have to proceed to shut them down, swiftly.