Book Reviews: 'Destiny Betrayed' And 'Reclaiming Parkland'

If you only read two books on the Kennedy assassination, make it these two.

If you are planning to read just one book for the 50th Anniversary of the JFK assassination just make sure it is NOT Killing Kennedy - aka the JFK Assassination For Dummies. By the way, inside sources have mentioned his next book will be Killing Hitler (this tome will certainly be followed by Killing Mao, Killing Stalin and a dozen others in the O'Reilly Killing book series).

That being said, if you were to read only two recent books on the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, these are two to read. Incredibly, they are by the same author, the brilliant James DiEugenio:
Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi and the JFK Assassination in the New Hollywood and Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, And The Garrison Case (Second Edition)

I know you think you know everything there is to know about the JFK assassination, but believe me, you don't (I sure don't and my library includes 150 books on the subject). Yet with a new book, movie and DVD being released seemingly every hour this year, how is the discerning progressive consumer to figure out what's state agitprop and what's not?

Well, if you get your JFK assassination book list from the New York Times, a media outlet whose policy is to rarely review a JFK assassination book unless they know the ending, you might be confused. If you are fortunate to have your conspiracy book reviewed by the Old Gray Lady, she is likely to assign the likes of a former Warren Commission lawyer to do the work for her.

She can be vengeful.

Getting any well sourced, footnoted book published on the JFK assassination has been a minefield in the best of times. No major publishing house will touch them, especially if the author touches the third rail of assassination politics: claiming Oswald was innocent.

You can read Jill Abramson's elusive opinion on which JFK assassination books she would like you to read here .

So who actually killed JFK?

In recent years the noose of certainty has been ever tightening around the neck of elements of the CIA. They apparently do not take this lightly have have pushed back with much vigor on all media fronts.

Carl Bernstein fired an early warning shot worth remembering: The CIA and the Media.

"CBS was unquestionably the CIA's most valuable broadcasting asset. CBS President William Paley and Allen Dulles enjoyed an easy working and social relationship. Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees, ...it supplied outtakes of news film to the CIA; established a formal channel of communication between the Washington bureau chief and the Agency; gave the Agency access to the CBS news film library; and allowed reports by CBS correspondents to the Washington and New York newsrooms to be routinely monitored by the CIA. Once a year ...CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings."

Let's not forget Operation Mockingbird, which may still continue to this very day.

Anyone who doubts there is a concerted effort to undermine and belittle JFK assassination researchers might want to check out CIA document #1035-960, "Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report".

It has never been rescinded.

It advises CIA media assets on how to handle Warren Commission doubters:

"Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments."

Here is the CIA's own internal review of assassination books from 1967. (Document was released in 1998 under the JFK Records Act of 1992. Nationwide pressure set up this release of millions of pages of documents from the release of the movie "JFK " by Oliver Stone.)

The CIA continues to use their media assets to publish books and produce films and TV shows following the Warren Commission theme.

Have a look at Max Holland, for instance.

{Holland was recently been outed as working with the CIA. Hey, they even gave him an award and he runs their website. That is, when he's not working as a contributing editor for Katrina vanden Heuvel at The Nation.}
The recent box office and critical dud, Parkland, written and directed by a Peter Landesman, a truth-challenged journalist who left New York under a cloud of controversy, is another failed attempt to write JFK assassination history, as the intelligence community wants the American people to know it.

(For the record, Kill the Messenger, the amazing story of journalist Gary Webb's outing of CIA drug smuggling is being written by none other than ...Peter Landesman. Good luck finding the truth after he gets through with it.)

By the way: One of the producers of Parkland is billionaire democracy-hater Joe Ricketts, former Board Trustee of the American Enterprise Institute. Just saying.

While we're at it let's give out an Honorable Mention to "progressive" filmmaker Alex Gibney, whose tabloid-style hatchet job on Julian Assange, We Steal Secrets, was paid for through a two million dollar "commission" from Universal Pictures. Gibney? Really? The guy who won the Oscar for Taxi To The Darkside?" Come on.

Alex Gibney has been confronted with angry audiences at Q&A sessions following screenings in Britain, where the film was recently released. One person was so outraged that he emailed London cinema managers, pointing out that We Steal Secrets was a “deeply dishonest film containing a staggering number of distortions and omissions."

As one British viewer wrote to the theater chain owner:

“I would like to ask what you are doing to make your patrons aware that this is a highly partisan work, and cannot be viewed as objective or as a work of integrity … I am sure you would not show [the anti-Semitic] Jud Süß or Triumph of the Will without placing them in their proper contexts."

Well, it may interest you to know that not only did Gibney's father work for CIA, but so did his stepfather.

Now ask yourselves if you know anyone like that? Let alone someone making liberal political films. If I told you Michael Moore's father and step-father worked for the CIA, you think that would be news? Ahem.

David Talbot, founder of Salon.com, tells a recent story of trying to make his best-selling book, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years into a documentary in Hollywood. (It's among other things, about RFK's search for the truth about his brother's death.) Talbot had some heavy hitters on board; producer Sid Ganis, Lionsgate Films and Chris Albrecht, head of Starz Channel. But the first pitch meeting they attended Talbot was stunned to see a man he knew to be a CIA operative in the movie studio board room.

Talbot left the meeting. The project was dead.

This story and many others far juicier can be found in Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi, and the JFK Assassination in the New Hollywood by James DiEugenio. DiEugenio was one of the top researchers and consultants on Oliver Stone's "JFK" back in 1991.

In fact, Oliver Stone calls him "one of the smartest, best investigative journalists in our country. .. a brilliant mind." He goes on to add, "This new book will splinter your brain."

Reclaiming Parkland describes Tom Hanks' failed attempt to adapt Vincent Bugliosi's massive book Reclaiming History into an HBO mini-series. It also exposes the origins of that book from a dubious mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. Included is a withering critique of Bugliosi's written work. The author also examines the film script for Parkland as well as the CIA's influence in Hollywood today, plus Tom Hanks' closeness to Washington, and the actor's spurious claim of being a historian.

Also included is the story of the author's apparently unsuccessful attempt to stop Leonardo DiCaprio from making a "Mafia killed Kennedy" film out of the book Legacy of Secrecy.

As for Destiny Betrayed, well:

"If you enjoyed the chilling reading of In Cold Blood and were at the edge of your seat while watching Oliver Stone’s JFK, you’ll love this investigative look into all the facets of one of the top conspiracies of the twentieth century and beyond. DiEugenio, who has spent decades researching the Kennedy assassination, takes both an analytical and conversational approach to his fascinating exploration of the pivotal historical events and scandals surrounding that day."

Oliver Stone insists that Destiny Betrayed is "a worthy and logical response to ...those who destroy Jim Garrison's immense contribution to the truth."

"Twenty years after the first edition of Destiny Betrayed, DiEugenio is back with his ever-expanding investigation into the life and death of JFK. But this is no simple reissue. It is a greatly revised and expanded version of the original book, including updates on all the topics it introduced back in 1992. DiEugenio has used the declassification process of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) to obtain the most current information on topics like the Garrison investigation and Clay Shaw; the newly exposed fallacies of the Warren Commission; U.S.-Cuban policy from 1957 to 1963; Kennedy's withdrawal plan from Vietnam; Kennedy's challenge to the Cold War consensus in 1961, and where those ideas originated; the ARRB medical inquiry demonstrating conspiracy and cover up; and the problems with the investigation of the Kennedy case. DiEugenio’s primary focus is on the Garrison inquiry, the New Orleans aspects of the Kennedy murder investigation, and the revelatory new information that bolsters Garrison’s case and has been withheld from the public. All of this and more are contained in the narrative of this complex crime, with twin focuses on the victim, John F. Kennedy, and the investigator, Jim Garrison."

Folks, 99 % of the factual information Jim DiEugenio has assembled on the Garrison case, 99% of the country has never even heard of. Buy these two books. You owe it to yourselves, your children, and your country.
You won't look at the world the same way again.

DiEugenio runs the most erudite website on the JFK killing. Citizens For Truth About the Kennedy Assassination. For more information go here.

Mark Groubert is a freelance journalist and screenwriter residing in Los Angeles, CA.

About Mark Groubert

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