I finally finished reading The Devil's Chessboard by David Talbot tonight, and I would like to make these final observations.
First, is it worth reading? Oh my goodness, yes. It is a masterpiece. It is a book for the ages. It is so rich in information, so enlightening, and so very inspiring. It inspires one to want to fight for JFK truth.
However, the book is not flawless, and I'll point out two errors. The first concerns his biographical chapter on Lee Harvey Oswald, and it simply reminded me that if one fails to study the work of John Armstrong one will never get a handle on Lee Harvey Oswald. For instance, Talbot said that when Oswald went to school briefly in New York City in the early 1950s, that the kids in his class made fun of his Texas/Louisiana accent. But, the Oswald of fame did not have a Texas/Louisiana accent. He didn't even say "New Orleans" like a native, which is "New Aw'lins". He actually said- on the radio- "New Orleans'."
And the second mistake is that Talbot claimed that Oswald went to Mexico City. He did not. If he had, there would be photos of him. The CIA, allegedly, tracked him the whole time. They, allegedly, knew exactly what bus he was on. They, allegedly, knew the hotel at which he stayed; the restaurant at which he ate; the parties that he allegedly attended; the museums that he allegedly visited, and even the bull fight that he allegedly witnessed. So, how could they not have captured a single photo of him in the midst of all that? Furthermore, we know for certain that there were Oswald impersonators there at that time. So, how could Oswald be there at the same time as Oswald impersonators? Wouldn't they have likely run into each other at the embassies or elsewhere? Doesn't the fact that there were impersonators prove that it was a hoax that Oswald was there?
Remember: the official story has it that Oswald did not sync on killing Kennedy until he saw the motorcade route in the newspaper on November 20- or thereabouts. Therefore, absolutely nothing pertaining to the JFK assassination could have transpired in Oswald's mind or in his actions in Mexico City. And since he didn't commit any other crimes there, he had no reason to lie to investigators about having gone there- if he did. But, he didn't. And he said he never went there, that the only place in Mexico he ever went was Tijuana when he was in the Marines.
I know what he meant. He was stationed in Oceanside, CA. I lived in Oceanside and practiced Chiropractic there in the late 1970s. That's North San Diego County, and people there would drive down to Tijuana for fun. It was a common thing to do. And even when I was a student at UCLA, guys would pile into cars and drive down to Tijuana for some hell-raising. That's probably what happened to Oswald; he got invited to go with other Marines down to Tijuana when they were on liberty. The point is: he was being honest.
I'd like to review this last part of the book, about 75 pages.
Talbot wrote at length about the relationship between the two sets of brothers: the Dulles brothers (Foster and Allen) and the Rockefeller brothers (Nelson and David). They were very close. It was partly because, like Allen Dulles, Nelson and David Rockefeller both were involved in intelligence gathering during World War 2. David did it in Algeria, and Nelson did it in Central America. But, they both enjoyed spycraft, and that gave them a natural affinity with Allen Dulles. Of course, the Rockefeller brothers were much richer (though the Dulles were well off) and for a time, Foster Dulles was the head of the Rockefeller Foundation, for which he was paid well. But, once Allen Dulles became CIA chief, he often had clandestine projects that he could not, or wound not, fund through normal government channels. So, he went to the Rockefellers for the money, and they, invariably, gave it to him. An example of that, according the Talbot, was the MK ULTRA mind control program which was funded largely by the Rockefellers, says Talbot.
And Talbot reminded me of something which I had never really thought about:
At the time of the JFK assassination, Kennedy's leading opponent for the White House was Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller had already declared his intentions, and he had already started to attack Kennedy and "run". And I think it's fair to say that at that particular time, everyone assumed that Rockefeller would be the Republican candidate.
So: Kennedy vs Rockefeller. It does have a King Kong vs Godzilla ring to it, doesn't it? Of course, Kennedy would have beaten him. And also, of course, it was Barry Goldwater who ended up winning the Republican nomination. But, if Kennedy hadn't been killed, I think all bets are off about the later. You just don't know. Once you change the course of history to that extent, it's a whole new ballgame.
Talbot claimed that once Kennedy was killed, Dulles, essentially. devoted the remainder of his life to defending the official story of the assassination. But, keep in mind that we are only talking about 6 years since Dulles died in 1969.
You know of course that Dulles became a Warren commissioner, but Talbot claims that it really should have been called The Dulles Commission. Earl Warren was reluctant to get involved. He really didn't want the job, but LBJ forced him into it. But, as Talbot pointed out, he was still Chief Justice of the Supreme Court the whole time. So, Warren's attendance was sporadic at best. The one who had the best attendance record was Allen Dulles. It was Dulles who really ran it, says Talbot. It was Dulles who directed some of the big players in it, like Arlen Specter. And when the Warren Report came out in 1964, Dulles then devoted the rest of his life to defending it. He knew about Mark Lane, and he, personally, sought to defame Lane, even going so far as to claim that Mark Lane, who is Jewish, was really "Negro" or "part Negro".
But, Dulles' most harrowing experience came at the hands of a young David Lifton. Lifton was an engineering student at UCLA at the time, and Dulles had come there to attend a symposium on the JFK assassination in December 1965. It was held in Hedrick Hall. I know about Hedrick Hall. I lived in Hedrick Hall. It is, or at least it was, the largest dormitory on the UCLA campus. I moved into Hedrick Hall in September 1968.
But, less than 3 years earlier, Allen Dulles was there in which he spoke to students about the assassination and then took questions. And that's when David Lifton pounced on him, challenging the WC findings. Lifton even had blowups of Zapruder frames showing Kennedy's head going back and to the left, and saying it was undeniable proof of a shot from the front. According to Talbot, Dulles was quite overwhelmed. He could only respond with bombast, contempt, and denial. He refused to admit that Kennedy's head was doing that. "I don't see that happening at all."
Another target of Dulles' was former President Harry Truman. As you know, Truman wrote that famous editorial for the Washington Post saying that he regretted forming the CIA, that it had become an out of control monster, a government onto itself, answering to no one. And that was just in December 1963, a month after the assassination. He all but said that the CIA killed Kennedy.
Well, Dulles actually traveled to Missouri and demanded that Truman retract what he wrote. Well, Truman held his ground; he refused. So, Dulles went back to Washington, and he started spreading rumors about Truman, that he was senile, that he had dementia. The irony is that Dulles died three years before Truman and with severe dementia.
There is a lot in the book about Robert Kennedy. Talbot laid out the facts about his murder, that there were known to be 13 shots fired- more than could have come from Sirhan Sirhan's revolver- unless you claim he stopped to reload. He also looked at suspicions about other suspects. But, more than that, Talbot examined Robert Kennedy's actions and his lack of action pertaining to the assassination of his brother.
I'll pause a moment to point that I have been greatly influenced by Dr. Eli Schotz, the author of The Waters of Knowledge vs The Waters of Uncertainty. In it, Dr. Schotz makes the case that Robert Kennedy failed, that he effectively chickened out of standing up to the cabal that killed his brother. He argued that an evil as gargantuan as this one required immediate and unrelenting resistance. He meant that Robert Kennedy should have gone public with his rejection- not only of the Warren Report but of the legitimacy of the new government, the Johnson administration, which was born of blood.
But, David Talbot was more forgiving of Robert Kennedy. Here is a very telling statement of his:
"If RFK tried to circumvent the system and take his suspicions directly to the American people, he risked sparking an explosive civil crisis. "
An explosive civil crisis. Hmm. What do you think he meant? Riots in the streets? States seceding? Martial law?
Talbot said that Jim Garrison and his people went directly to Robert Kennedy and implored him to publicly support what they were doing and to become visibly and vocally active in the resistance. And here's what's chilling: Garrison even told him that it might save his life because if he went public, and then got assassinated, the truth would be so obvious that they just wouldn't be able to do it, that they would know better than to try.
I would have taken it one step further by advising RFK to announce publicly that there was a good chance that he was going to be killed, just like his brother. And if happens, don't believe any lies about another lone nut gunman. Now that would have cut them off at the knees.
But, having read both sides on this, and recognizing that reasonable minds can differ, I'm still inclined to agree with Dr. Schotz: that Robert Kennedy made a mistake. He should have resisted from the beginning; he should have fought. He should have gone public. He should never have sanctioned the travesty that followed, even superficially.
But, what about the civil crisis? Well, if you're going to accept that as an excuse, then it's always going to be there. In fact, I would argue that the longer you wait, the worse it gets. Today, for instance, we have the fact that Kennedy was gunned down by an evil cabal in a violent coup d' etat, but we also have the legacy of 52 years of dogged and relentless lying about it by government, media, schools, foundations, and the corporate world. All of the institutions of our society have been lying about it for over half a century. That makes them all complicit. So, the reality of the JFK assassination is worse today than it was in 1963 or 1964.
So, I agree with Dr. Schotz that the time to act was immediately. Robert Kennedy should have acted and so should have countless others. It should have been a "call to arms" although I don't mean that literally.
Talbot included this quote by MS Arnoni from December 1963, and I find it appalling:
"To move against such formidable conspirators might start a disastrous chain of events. It could lead to American troops shooting at other American troops. It could lead to a direct take-over by a military clique. To avert such catastrophes, it might well be considered prudent to pretend utter ignorance, in the hope that the conspirators might be removed from power discreetly, at a later date, one by one."
But, what we got was a disastrous chain of events. In effect, a take-over by a military clique is what happened. Again, that statement is appalling; it is chilling; it makes my skin crawl.
No, the time to stand up to them was then. Of course, we're going to do it now, today, but there's no denying that an opportunity was lost.
So, why didn't Robert F. Kennedy stand up and fight his brother's killers in 1964? You might as well ask why Robert F. Kennedy Jr. doesn't stand up and fight them in 2016.
Talbot did not engage in any speculating about whether Dulles had any involvement in the murders of RFK and MLK. He did say that after RFK's death, Dulles wrote a sickeningly fawning letter to Ted Kennedy which was followed by an equally sickeningly fawning letter back to him from Ted. Let no one ever say that Ted Kennedy was of any worth.
Talbot didn't have much to say about Dulles' death. He mentioned that he suffered mental decline, that he would go out to a restaurant and not know how to get home. But, I have read elsewhere that he was completely out of his mind at the end. Officially, Dulles died in the hospital of influenza complicated by pneumonia on January 29, 1969.
Finally, in this last section of the book, Talbot lays out the case against Oswald, that is, the lack of one. And he pointed out some things I didn't know, such as, that Oswald was really a terrible shot, that when he went hunting with his buddies in Russia, that one of them would have to shoot a rabbit for him just so that he would have something because he was such a lousy shot, that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, or however the cliche' goes in Russia.
And upon reading David Talbot's, you might say, legal brief, I was overwhelmed with the question: How and Why did the American people ever accept the preposterous official story? What is wrong with the American people? I have a close cousin who always gives me the same answer: they are the products of government schools.