Legacy of Secrecy, The long shadow of the JFK assassination, Lamar Waldron, with Thom Hartmann, 2009
Democracies are new to the world stage. And the first, truly world wide power, the United States, is a democracy. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the United States had unprecedented military dominance. The US could and did topple and build whole governments the world over. Yet, according to this book – and many, many similar books – within US boundaries, criminal enterprises with government-like powers, have thrived. It is a curious and unexpected development that such a powerful nation could have had such an astonishing usurpation of its power within its own borders.
If the stories outlined in this book can be believed, rogue elements within the CIA, the FBI and the Mafia, working within, caused more national injury – including presidential assassination and forced presidential resignation – than any outside enemy could have hoped to achieve. Illegal business – drugs, prostitution, protection, gambling, and fraud, etc. – have attained the power of life and death over citizens, the ability to kill and get away with it, even Presidents.
The getting- away- with- it is the stunning story here. With shrewd involvement, calculated funding, and planned compromise of politicians and law enforcers – including the FBI and the CIA – criminal organizations have gained immunity within. And so for these authors, our democracy has become a symbiosis of the legal and the illegal, and there is a tenous balance of crossing the line and not crossing the line. Scandals are the inevitable splashes when crossing the line spills over – think Watergate, the Kennedy and MLK assassinations, Chinagate, and many others.
This book’s story is a long one, of myriad overlappings of the CIA, the FBI, anti-Castro Cubans, and pro-Castro Cubans, organized crime, and political operatives who conspire and commit assassinations, and achieve business and foreign policy manipulation.
And the investigations don’t go anywhere, because they can’t go anywhere, because in all directions compromise is to be found. Indeed it has all been engineered that way, to block the truth. The good guys do some good, and some bad, and the bad guys do mostly bad, and maybe some good, and the whole story gets partially aired in a ‘limited hangout’ that hides the collusion of government and crime.
“A mansion has many rooms, and there were many things going on during the period of the [antiwar] bombings. I’m not privy to who struck John.”
James Jesus Angleton, 31 year veteran of the CIA and Chief of CIA Counterintelligence, New York Times, December 25, 1974
“Mr. Angleton did not deny, however, that he had been named and identified by a British counterspy, Kim Philby, in “My Silent War”, a book published in 1968 after he defected to the Soviet Union.” New York Times, December 25, 1974, Helm’s Disavows ‘Illegal’ Spying by the C.I.A. in U.S, Seymour M. Hersh.