Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Response To Lone-Nutter McAdams' Review Of Douglass Book

The following review of the book "JFK And The Unspeakable," by James Douglass, is being reprinted here, verbatim, with my response. John McAdams, the reviewer, is a long-time obfuscator and Warren Commission defender. His politics, naturally, are slightly right of Dick Cheney.

John McAdams: Another "Unspeakably Awful" Book About the JFK Assassination
Source: Washington Decoded website (run by Max Holland) (12-12-09)

James Douglass treads a familiar path in JFK and the Unspeakable. It is yet another book that claims John Kennedy was killed because he had decided to withdraw from Vietnam. Kennedy’s “rejection of Cold War politics was considered treasonous by forces in his own government,” according to Douglass, and supposedly made JFK’s violent removal an urgent necessity.[1]

What makes Douglass’s volume unique is that his argument is dressed up in verbiage unfamiliar to JFK assassination buffs. Most authors of books on the assassination Jwd attempt to cloak their political views, and pretend to arrive at the truth about the assassination after a supposedly objective analysis of the facts. Douglass wears his politics on his sleeve. He is a Catholic “peace activist” and disciple of Thomas Merton, whose observations infuse the book. Self-styled activists like Douglass have a long history of being opposed to the use of military power by the United States, although they don’t seem to mind as much when military power is used by America’s adversaries. And while they employ religious rhetoric to justify and rationalize their unilateral pacifism, their worldview, ultimately, is indistinguishable from that of secular leftists like Oliver Stone (who, not surprisingly, is a big fan of Douglass’s book).

Douglass’s key villain—the “Unspeakable” of his title—turns out to be the same kind of opaque nemesis that Stone is fond of conjuring up. The best identification Douglass can offer is “shadowy intelligence agencies using intermediaries and scapegoats under the cover of ‘plausible deniability,’” and even more vaguely, “an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the capacity of words to describe.”[2] How convenient: a culprit who is indescribable. In essence, though, Douglass’s evil-doer is indistinguishable from that bogeyman of vulgar, atheistic, and leftist radicals from the ‘60s: the “military-industrial complex,” except that he adds to the stew the Central Intelligence Agency.

JFK and the Unspeakable is structured so that it develops two parallel but supposedly complementary narratives: Kennedy’s statements and actions regarding Vietnam (in public, private, and in policy-making circles), and, simultaneously, the machinations of those who are conspiring to kill Kennedy. Both story lines are chock full of problems and cannot withstand elementary scrutiny. Long before Kennedy ever arrives in Dallas, Texas, and the strands finally come together, the book ceases to be non-fiction and enters the realm of a self-indulgent political fantasy.

The first narrative tries to portray Kennedy as a politician who started out a Cold Warrior, but broke through to a “deeper, more universal humanity” during his brief time in office.[3] This is not as easy to pull off as it might sound, because Douglass knows full well that many of Kennedy’s statements, as late as the morning of his death, were anti-Communist in thrust and substance. Accordingly, Douglass has to fudge and equivocate constantly, as he tries to depict Kennedy as “trapped in the contradiction between the mandate of peace . . . and the continuing Cold War dogmas of his national security state.”[4]

One particular trick Douglass uses is to conceal sources that show Kennedy to be a Cold War liberal. Douglass devotes page after page of analysis to Kennedy’s American University commencement address from June 1963, and the president’s admonition in this speech that “our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” Coming eight months after the Cuban missile crisis, the address was an inspiring call for keeping the peace in the hair-trigger nuclear age. But Douglass conspicuously fails to mention some other remarks Kennedy made in the same breath. “It is discouraging to think that [the Soviet Union’s] leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write,” Kennedy noted; moreover, the “Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today.”[5]

There is none of the moral equivalence here, in short, that suffuses Douglass’s view of the Cold War, nor any hint of the idea that America’s military-industrial-intelligence complex was primarily responsible for the superpowers’ nuclear brinksmanship. Indeed, on the morning of November 22, during his breakfast address in Fort Worth, Kennedy hailed that city’s role as an arsenal in the Cold War, though one would not know that from reading Douglass’s book.[6]...

My response:McAdams,

Like all disinformationists and lone nutters, you must ignore a mountain of evidence and an ocean of coincidence to expound your dishonest version of events. You excoriate others' work on the matter in the same way. What you left out of your review of Douglass's book is his stunningly rational and meticulously documented evidence for conspiracy.

McAdams, I do not know what your motives are, but you are an unspeakable monster. Each time you open your mouth or tap on your keyboard, you deliver a right cross to the truth. You want names instead of "military-industrial complex"? How about Curtis Lemay, Lyman Lemnitzer, McGeorge Bundy, D.H. Byrd, Kellogg, Brown and Root, and Bell Helicopter (Michael Paine and Walter Dornberger). You want names instead of vague intelligence operatives? How about Allen Dulles, Dick Bissell, Charles Cabell, Ed Lansdale, and David Atlee Phillips.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

General McHugh Lied; He DID leave JFK's Coffin Unattended

Brigadier General Godfrey McHugh, military aide to President Kennedy, always publicly maintained that he never left the dead president's coffin unattended from the time it left Parkland Hospital in Dallas on November 22, 1963, until it arrived at Bethesda Naval Hospital near Washington, DC, that evening. This assertion always made me doubt David Lifton's "body alteration" thesis. Lifton, in 1981, published his book Best Evidence, which asserted that JFK's body had been altered sometime between Dallas and Washington on the day he was murdered, by conspirators who were intent on making it look as if he had been shot from the back instead of the front. This was how, according to Lifton, Lee Harvey Oswald was framed. Lifton had much evidence to support his theory: 1) the wounds as described by the Parkland doctors were not the same wounds described by the Bethesda doctors; in other words, the wounds changed between Dallas and DC; 2) JFK's body arrived in a coffin at Bethesda that was considerably different from the one in which it departed Parkland; 3) James Humes, Bethesda autopsist, stated that " of the head, namely in the top of the skull..." had been performed before the body arrived at Bethesda; the problem was, no such surgery had been performed by the Dallas doctors. Lifton theorizes that someone got access to the body as it lay aboard Air Force One awaiting departure to Washington after the assassination. This required the coffin containing the president's body be unattended for a period of time. All who were aboard the plane, including Jackie Kennedy, admitted that they were not coffin-side for the entire time the plane idled on the runway at Dallas Love Field...except for one General Godfrey McHugh. McHugh never left his dead president's side, or so he said.

A new book makes McHugh out to be a liar. According to Steven Gillon's just published The Kennedy Assassination 24 Hours After: LBJ's Pivotal First Day As President, McHugh DID leave the coffin. He furiously roamed around the plane as it sat on the runway at Dallas Love Field, demanding to know what was causing the delay in takeoff. When the pilot told him they were waiting for the judge to arrive aboard Air Force One to swear in LBJ, McHugh confronted Johnson in the plane's bathroom where the new president was babbling nervously about a worldwide plot. "It's a conspiracy. They're going to kill us all," LBJ sputtered. McHugh was shocked by what he saw, but was oblivious to its real significance. LBJ's erratic behavior might have been a ruse to distract the one person who was most loyal to JFK, thus leaving the coffin unattended for conspirators to highjack the body. What did they do with the body? Lifton thinks they either smuggled it aboard Air Force Two where it was flown to Washington surreptitiously for body alteration at Walter Reed Medical Center...or it was simply hidden aboard Air Force One, and then pirated off the plane when it landed at Andrews AFB. From there it was airlifted by helicopter to Walter Reed. Either way, JFK's wounds, according to the sworn statements of attending physicians who treated him at Parkland and performed the autopsy at Bethesda, changed dramatically between Dallas and DC. Of this there is no question. How did this happen...and why?

As wild as the theory seems, Lifton's book is well worth the read.