dick russell is definitely one of my favorite respected researchers in jfk assassination lore, mainly b/c he's somewhat out there on his own, not alwadick russell is definitely one of my favorite respected researchers in jfk assassination lore, mainly b/c he's somewhat out there on his own, not always theoretically as much as he doesn't really fit into any clique. he's plenty smart, but no intellectual. he started at sport's illustrated before becoming an investigative reporter who worked for such classy rags as the village voice, high times & tv guide. sounds like I'm ragging the voice. i'm totally not. other than those major players, he mostly wrote for local weeklies & freelance. then he stumbled onto richard nagell, & he became like a real life fletch. this book is a collection of several--twenty, thirty--pieces he's written over the years as he's wandered both the physical & the emotional landscape of the kennedy assassination, casually wondering often if he isn't suddenly in too far over his head, but also just as often as not confirming important information & finding compelling stories from people still caught in the ephemeral outskirts of the twentieth century's great white whale hunt ... he's kind of like a cross b/w don quixote & the dude, except he's pretty successful in his pursuits. some of the information here is source material for his six or seven hundred page tome the man who knew too much, concerning the strange case of military intelligence officer richard case nagell & their relationship & correspondence over a decade & a half, but most of the articles & essays are made up of things tangential or not relevant enough to be included in that already very long book. this by no means takes anything away from the material in this book. i actually probably enjoyed this a little more. the man who knew too much was long enough that it left you a little let down that it was what it said it was gonna be all along, a wild ride that would raise more questions than it answered. that has much to do w/ the appeal of russell's work, & it really works in a short form format. there is some new information regarding nagell, or more so new thoughts, as well as ending w/ a very long interview w/ my current hero, doug horne of the assassination records review board, who--in case yer reading this though you could give a shit b/c you just assumed this thing was gonna be the great boring enigma of yer life--basically solved the crime in the last few years. yeah, all of it ... the who, the how, the why ... nah, but he will. anyway, dick russell is definitely somebody you could drink w/ & talk about a million other things besides the jfk assassination. but he'll do that too if you want....more
some stuff outdated ... some stuff forgotten & sorely needing remembering ... altogether absolutely essential as w/ almost anything attached to pesome stuff outdated ... some stuff forgotten & sorely needing remembering ... altogether absolutely essential as w/ almost anything attached to peter dale scott's name...more
it’s always fun when i come across a kennedy assassination book that is so obviously, from the get go, an obfuscation-for-hire job. the most fun of alit’s always fun when i come across a kennedy assassination book that is so obviously, from the get go, an obfuscation-for-hire job. the most fun of all is when it is, if not, say, original, at least a somewhat novel &or tenable conspiracy treatise written in a salacious style by a third-rate right-wing “pundit” i have to youyahooglepedia to find out who they even are. this book has more tells than an encyclopedia salesman on an all-night drunk in the midwest, w/ its decidedly—& somewhat mystifyingly so, what w/ it being published in 2003 & the whole cold war ending in the late 80s/early 90s—anti-communist bent (seriously, we’ve fought wars on drugs, cancer, gangs, women, poverty, terror, & even christmas, santa bless, since the dumb one from bedtime for bonzo & that guy w/ the thing on his head put an end to all that nonsense w/ all the perestroika & the glasnost, & the berlin wall thing, & that total collapse of the u.s.s.r. thingy—i was in high school at the time, dear reader, & i’m old so this is fairly agreed upon shit), & bubbling over w/ anti-kennedy-anythingness that it not only essentially blames him for his own murder, but also lays the entire ensuing cover-up at the feet of, & this is just a dead giveaway for anybody familiar w/ far-right hatchet jobs on the kennedys, “brother” bobby.
anytime you see robert kennedy referred to as brother bobby, you can call it gold that the speaker is a douchebag & probably—no, most likely—racist. just b/c. this is completely different from the honest opinion that the kennedys were far from saints—personally, politically, whatever—& that they had their thumbs in a lot of morally complicated stews during john kennedy’s abbreviated presidency. it’s not even the same as saying both jfk & rfk should’ve known better. it’s the smug, can’t-hide-how-happy-they-are-that-they-know-they-just-know-it! vogue that they believe john kennedy totally deserved what he got. reading these books is sort of equivalent to watching some schlubb in front of errol morris’ interrotron, prattle on cluelessly about their complicity in genocide, or maybe louie c.k.’s bit about whether sharks would be embarrassed if they knew how easily detectable their fins make them—“cuz i think that sharks think they’re slick. they swim around, like, ‘nobody has any idea what’s going on down here,’ & we’re all up here, like, ’there’s totally a shark right there.’” this is what makes this type of book so abjectly hilarious. the author(s)—b/c the “co-“author (the guy who probably actually “wrote” the thing) is a serial-potboilerer—seem to think they’re getting away w/ something, or at least they seem to be actually trying to, though they lack even the most fundamental self-awareness necessary to realize that the publisher alone gives it away, not to mention a simple glance at brad o’leary’s author photo reveals the tell-tale nature of all right-wing pedo’s (y’know … pedagogues, pedantics, &tc.). namely, that they were fat children that never quite shed enough weight to truly be loved by anyone. shit. i didn’t mean to insult fat people. sorry.
cheap shots get collateral sometimes, but i think you would have to agree w/ the incontrovertible proof so prevalent in the photo above that some of you are picking up what i’m laying down, which is sort of a good example of the method of argument he/they employ in presenting their case for the collusion of the french secret services &or their sworn enemy the oas (organisation de l'armée secrète, or secret army), the far right terrorist organization made up of french army deserters disgusted w/ their former hero, now president, brigadier general charles de gaulle for his abandonment of french imperialism—particularly in algeria, along w/ the marseilles heroin syndicate (yes, the french connection), &, of course, the u.s. mafia, attempting to keep secure their own heroin supply (though the kennedys are also somehow implicitly responsible for this b/c kennedys), &, finally, the govt. of south vietnam (who, incidentally, for all intents & purposes, had been decapitated three weeks earlier w/ the u.s.—no, kennedy-all-by-himself—ordered & sponsored coup that resulted in the murders of south vietnamese president dinh diem ngo & his brother, consigliere, head of the secret police, man in charge of supplying marseilles w/ all the raw opium vietnam could produce, & overall psychopathic shitbag, dinh nhu ngo.
i could go on & on, & usually would, w/ examples of how the book dizzyingly contradicts itself again & again, sometimes on the same page, how the authors’ constant appeals to logic nest comfortably next to words like “demands,” “presumes,” “assume,” usually w/ a “must” lurking nearby, how the encyclopaedia britannica is one of their most sourced references, how when it suits them, the federal b.i. is a distinct operational part of the justice department, but when blaming brother bobby for the cover-up, it is not even mentioned b/c, y’know, anything related to justice is handled by the only person who works there, of course, the attorney general … i guess i did just go on & on. i guess i’ll cite one example while i’m here, w/ just a little context, really, just b/c that whole “brother bobby” things really gets my balls, err … knickers, in a twist. this is from ch. 22, which is entitled “brother bobby’s cover-up”:
instead, the justice department saw fit to secretly fly this terrorist out of the country, as quickly and as quietly as possible, and they never said a word about it thereafter.
[except, of course, for the unclassified memo that is the entire basis for this book, cia document #632-796, which says nothing whatsoever about the justice dept., unless you count the passage, ‘the sdece (french secret service) man had queried the bureau in nyc,’ or this other one, ‘bureau files are negative and …’ that’s it. here, not only is the fbi, in this interpretation, the equivalent of the justice dept., as opposed to, say, the investigative arm of the justice dept., but also nowhere in the document is any reference made to who “secreted” the “terrorist” out, not even the fbi.]
it’s clear who bears responsibility for this: the office of the united states attorney general, robert f. kennedy.
[umm, no it’s not. not only is it not even clear what u.s. govt. agency actually expelled the french army deserter & activist (actual words used in the document, rather than “secreted” & “terrorist,” but the u.s. govt. source cited, a mr. papich, is earlier identified w/ this clear cut statement after the document is introduced in ch. 9:
it’s unclear exactly who “mr. papich” is, but it’s ultimately unimportant.
really? really??!! this is unclear but ultimately unimportant? that’s a lotta words starting w/ the letter ‘u.’ i’m a nerd, but no genius, but regardless i didn’t even need to consult anything but my doddering & foggy memory to know exactly who “mr. papich” was. sam papich was the fbi’s longtime liaison to the cia, a close friend of legendary cia man & kennedy hater william king harvey, &, more specifically, the man assigned by the fbi to coordinate cia information that pertained to lee harvey oswald in the bureau’s official investigation into the murder of president john fitzgerald kennedy to be presented to the warren commission, but that’s logically & presumably ultimately unimportant. what fucking jack-asses.]
we know that bobby kennedy used the power of his office to cover up a great many things during his short-lived career, and all of these cover-ups were directly related to his brother, the president.
[do we? really? i think he might’ve covered up one or two things not ‘directly related to his brother, the president.’ also, if yer gonna be tasteless enough to call his career ‘short-lived,’ why don’t you go all the way & say his ‘short-lived life?’ do we even know his brother was the president? of yeah, we do.]
we know that he covered up the chain of custody of kennedy’s evidence-vital brain and autopsy photographs, and we know that he went out of his way to conceal his and his brother’s direct involvement w/ post-bay of pigs plans to overthrow and assassinate fidel castro,2 all to protect the kennedy family name, and especially the president’s.
[okay. last one, i swear. firstly, you might notice the odd placement of the endnote designation. does it refer to all the information “we know” in the whole sentence that precedes it? in particular, how do we know brother bobby went out of his way to conceal anything? couldn’t it have been directly on his way to perform one of the other duties during his short-lived career? & who’s behind that endnote? lord almighty, it’s gerald posner of case closed fame, that tiny little charlatan who, until vincent bugliosi published his 11,000,000 pp manifesto of unholy ass-suck reclaiming history, was thought to be the last man alive defending the warren report who didn’t help write it. & wtf w/ the grammar here? & just for good measure, i think it would be safe to say that brother bobby probably concealed he & his brother’s direct involvement in plans to overthrow & assassinate castro before the bay of pigs as well, which they totally were. you can say a lot of repulsive & shitty things about brother bobby, & a lot of them would be true, but even carlos marcello & sam giancana would never say that he half-assed anything. when bobby did something, he fucking did it, man.]
one more thing that’s very interesting here also begs mentioning the difference b/w this semi-unique subgenre of kennedy assassination books & ones like the aforementioned case closed & reclaiming history, which both belong to the hapless in defense of the warren commission genre that has seen a great decline in recent years. unlike other right-wing tracts, triangle of death parades as a warren-bashing truth-seeker, even as it can’t help but spread its peacock feathers. in this regard, it towers over others of its ilk, & i leave you w/ this odd ending to ch. 7:
(a final note: it’s not our intention at all to disparage other books written on the subject of the kennedy assassination. in fact, many of the books specifically sourced in this chapter—groden’s the killing of a president, hersh’s the dark side of camelot, karnow’s vietnam: a history, lane’s plausible denial, prouty’s jfk: the cia, vietnam, and the plot to assassinate john f. kennedy, robert’s kill zone, sheehan’s a bright shining lie—are all books that we highly recommend. all are written by consummate experts in their fields with strong credentials. In fact, most are new york times bestselling authors, and oliver stone is an oscar-winning filmmaker. ultimately, while we disagree with some of his contentions, stone’s film jfk is probably the best vehicle produced yet—film or book—to communicate to a large audience the serious problems with the warren commission report and the lie it has injected into the american conscience.)
in other words, triangle of death has the balls to use the research of others while it totally disparages all of the books it mentions & stone’s movie the entire chapter that ends w/ this denial. i believed that’s called ‘chutzpah,’ or i think balls is appropriate as well.
a final note: the one star given is indicative of the reason i read as many moronic kennedy assassination books as i do good ones. you can learn as many, if not more, things from attempts to misdirect as you can from honest attempts at understanding a rare event such as this one. a totally stupid & flawed analogy for me is that when i used to enjoy sports, it was always way more enjoyable to watch teams i hated lose, than to watch teams i loved win. if we live in a sane world, then i’m proud to be fucking crazy.
another final note: apologies for the blue language. i’m fucking working on it. ...more
jesus, this took forever to read. & while it was written during the nixon administration, lens' arguments seem to only gather strength despite thejesus, this took forever to read. & while it was written during the nixon administration, lens' arguments seem to only gather strength despite the dated quality of his endless amounts of evidence to back them, due primarily to the fact that he pretty much accurately predicted the entire course the world has taken since he published this in 1973.
that is, until we get to the 8th, & final, chapter, where he offers, but only after, of course, presenting every other possible theory (& well comprehensively better than whomever might've made them), his alternative to the world created by the inexorable influence of the u.s. military-industrial complex. here, sadly, it's his theory that's impossibly outdated, & while i'd like to think it wasn't when he wrote it as much as i'd like to think it isn't now, i can't. it was a lot closer to possible any time before now, i'll give him that. but the sheer mountain of proof he meticulously builds in the first 7 chapters, leaving no stone unturned in his evidence gathering, sparing the reader nothing, or, at the least, very little to demonstrate the breadth of his knowledge in backing up his argument, in the end, appears to have been driven by a need to build an unbreakable dam against the tide of his naïveté. that's french.
what's that? what was his theory? oh ... yeah. though it is well thought-out & argued w/ real energy & hope, outlined in a 5 point plan, you really only need to hear #1 drop to know that--theoretically, at least--the domino theory is, in theory, sometimes correct. so his call for the complete demilitarization of, if not the world, then at least, for starters, the u.s., sorta comes across as, well, sad, really. sadder still than lens apparently believing that a possibility, is that he actually nails it. the impossibility of it does not rend it unimaginable. it's sort of like uninventing the gun. no. it's exactly like uninventing the gun.
major points though, to mr. lens, for at least presenting an alternative after all he put me through, & the book is filled throughout w/ philosophical insights worth hearing. sadly, again, though, they're obscured somewhat by the relentless flow of information he is using to build his wall. on a slightly more up note, it's likely his inability to edit anything, & thereby produce a more easily digestible book, probably prevented those assholes from killing him. then again, nobody involved in producing the warren report ever thought anyone would read the 26 volumes of unindexed supporting documents released 2 months after the original 889 pp piece of shit that don delillo called "what joyce would've written if he'd moved to iowa city & lived to be a hundred."...more
haven't finished last 3 reviews i've started so feeling a bit lazy.
this collection is comprised of later stories, all but one written after borges hadhaven't finished last 3 reviews i've started so feeling a bit lazy.
this collection is comprised of later stories, all but one written after borges had taken an extensive hiatus from fiction, choosing to concentrate on poetry & short prose pieces. this was likely influenced by the loss of his sight causing an obvious shift in the difficulty & process in both writing &, i imagine as the greater disappointment, reading. also: i can imagine, if not a literal image of borges enraged or even mildly pissed, that going blind is a horror for anyone. for borges though, this particular affliction must've felt, at some point anyway, like a piano virtuoso having his fingers lopped off. if you've read much borges, particularly his earlier fiction, you can actually feel his trepidation as he returns to the form he, imho, mastered long before. the stories are all introduced--not unlike many of his stories, except much simpler & more quickly--by borges himself w/ what little context he's decided to give the reader, a tool he has always used to subvert, conceal, obscure, change, &or render ambiguous meanings in what appear, on the surface, to be the straightforward telling of a--usually--simple tale. in this regard, he hadn't lost a step, despite offering explanations--never, of course, referring to his blindness--that veer, at times, almost into the realm of the apologetic, in both a preface & an afterword, for subtle changes in his writing, such as giving up "the surprises inherent in a baroque style as well as the surprises that lead to an unforeseen ending." he uses the example of kipling's transformation from a writer of short & unambiguous tales in his youth to that of his last ones, which borges calls "no less tormented & mazelike than the stories of kafka or henry james," as his provocation for returning to fiction, writing, "it occurred to me that what was conceived & carried out by a young man of genius might modestly be attempted by a man on the borders of old age who knows his craft." he makes no reference to the reverse nature of the analogy, as the aforementioned modesty would preclude him from comparing himself to such literary heavyweights as kafka & james. as i see it, he's correct to do so, but only because no one compares to him. blind, rusty, old, what-have-you, borges remains peerless to me, even if, on a scale of one to five, this later gem only scores a ninety....more