And We Are All Mortal, book review by Nick Anez at Amazon
In James W. Douglass’ outstanding new book, “JFK and the Unspeakable,” the author explains the title in his introduction. Coined by spiritual writer Thomas Merton, The Unspeakable refers to “an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe.” Regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Unspeakable succeeded due to deniability by the nation’s citizens of the horrifying truth of the event and to plausible deniability by the government agencies responsible for the murder. (Vincent Bugliosi’s recent fictional paperweight is a perfect example of the plausible deniability that allows the Unspeakable to thrive.)
Many excellent books have proven that the assassination of JFK was the result of a conspiracy. Douglass verifies the certainty of the conspiracy and, as the subtitle of the book states, explains “Why He Died and Why It Matters.” He scrutinizes the historical facts surrounding the assassination, from the creation of the CIA to the gradual obliteration of the freedoms upon which this nation was founded.
This book is primarily the story of John F. Kennedy who changes from a Cold Warrior to an altruistic leader willing to risk his life to ensure that the world’s children will not become victims of a nuclear catastrophe. Equal time is spent on JFK’s presidency as on the assassination but one of the many rewards of this book is the author’s capacity to show the relationship between his policies and his death. And the book is a tragedy because it gradually becomes obvious that each step he makes toward peace steadily increases the hatred of his enemies who will eventually betray him.
It is also the story of the designated patsy, Lee Harvey Oswald. Moved around the country like a pawn by government agencies (as was the second “Oswald”), he was being set up as the scapegoat. Enter some despicable characters, including David Atlee Philips, James Hosty and, of course, Michael and Ruth Paine. Simultaneously, the Soviet Union was being set up as the evil empire behind the assassination, along with its satellite Cuba.
Douglass credibly illustrates the origin of the Crime of the Century. During President Truman’s administration, the CIA was empowered to be a paramilitary organization with unlimited powers. Truman’s successor, President Eisenhower, fell out of favor with the CIA when he planned a summit meeting with Soviet Premier Khrushchev. This was cancelled after a U.S. spy plane crashed in Russia. Eisenhower had reportedly ordered such flights cancelled and had his suspicions about who had ruined his peace plan. He subsequently issued his warning about the “military industrial complex” in his farewell address. But he didn’t defy “this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.” He left that task to his successor, JFK.
The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was planned by the CIA to regain control of the island and to re-open the casinos for organized crime. President Kennedy refused to provide air support for the Cuban brigade because he knew that he had been lied to by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and by the CIA; the invasion had been designed to fail without U.S. support but they hadn’t told this to JFK who refused to fall into their trap. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK once again enraged the CIA and the Joint Chiefs by resisting their tremendous pressure on him to take military action which would have led to nuclear war.
Following that crisis, JFK became intent on ending the Cold War by establishing a peaceful relationship with the Soviet Union. However, many CIA and Pentagon personnel believed that it was better to be “dead than red” and that it was preferable to destroy civilization rather than let the Communists rule. They also knew that war generated billions of dollars into the arms industry. As a result, they would repeatedly subvert the President’s policies and isolate him within his own government. Enter some more despicable characters: Richard Bissell, Charles Cabell, Henry Cabot Lodge, Lyman Lemnitzer, Curtis LeMay and perhaps the most contemptible of all, Allen Dulles. Ironically, JFK learned to trust Khrushchev more than people within his own government.
At American University on June 10, 1963, JFK spoke about his desire for world peace. He communicated his resolve to form a new relationship with Khrushchev. He spoke about the necessity of a pursuit toward disarmament. He related his intentions to establish a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. He acknowledged his country’s past faults and recognized the Russian people as wanting peace as much as the American people. “And we are all mortal,” he stated. Though this extremely important speech was ignored in the United States, it was disseminated throughout the Soviet Union, per order of Khrushchev, who was prepared to respond favorably to JFK’s peace initiative. The speech also certified JFK’s death warrant. With so many powerful enemies opposing his policies and hating him, JFK didn’t have a chance as he was being maneuvered into the crossfire in Dallas.
President Kennedy was aware of the power of his enemies and he knew the dangers facing him. But he persevered and mandated that all U.S. personnel would be withdrawn from Vietnam; he was determined to never send in combat troops even if this meant defeat. He also refused to intervene militarily in Laos. He exchanged private letters with Khrushchev, which infuriated the CIA, and secretly initiated plans to attain rapproachement with Cuba, which further incensed the Agency. Cuba’s Fidel Castro, whom the CIA hated as intensely as it hated Kennedy, was equally eager to begin an American-Cuba dialogue. In fact, Castro was meeting with a JFK representative when the President was murdered. JFK died a martyr and the forces of evil that killed him also killed his vision of peace.
Lyndon Johnson, the CIA’s ally, assumed the presidency. He cancelled talks with Khrushchev and refused Castro’s pleas to continue the dialogue. He reversed JFK’s withdrawal plan from Vietnam as well as his plan to neutralize Laos. The military industrial complex took control of the country. The policy of plausible deniability led the way to assassinations of foreign leaders, the overthrowing of foreign governments and horrors committed all over the globe. If JFK had not been murdered, we would not have had the prolongation of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the purported War on Terror and the steady moral deterioration of America. Interestingly, one month after JFK’s assassination, President Truman wrote an article for The Washington Post cautioning about the threat of the CIA taking over America.
The author meticulously examines the evidence and draws conclusions which ring with unassailable truth: (1) The CIA coordinated and implemented the assassination of President Kennedy, an act of treason which destroyed democracy in the U.S. (2) The Warren Commission was created to propagate lies to conceal the truth from the American people. (3) There has been a continued cover-up by successive administrations and their stooges in the mass media. (4) The murder of JFK is directly related to the current domination of the American people by powerful oppressors within a shadow government that will continue to insist that only sustained war can keep the country safe from its enemies, never admitting that they themselves are the supreme evil.
This is an exceptional book that will be used by future historians to determine the truth about the assassination and how it changed America. And it will also be used to honor John F. Kennedy as a courageous president who believed in doing God’s work on earth. In doing so, he came into conflict with the Unspeakable and his life was extinguished.