Dear Real Change,
I am writing in response to the interview conducted by Robin Lindley with Vincent Bugliosi concerning Bugliosi’s new book on the assassination of John F. Kennedy [RC, July 25 - 31, 2007.]
There is something profoundly disingenuous about Bugliosi and his assertion that his new study of the public execution of our 35th President “settles all questions about the assassination once and for all.” Bugliosi himself has stated elsewhere that, despite his many years of voluminous reading and research, he had not completely covered the myriad aspects of this tragic case. In an article by David Mehegan of the Boston Globe (5/28/07) Bugliosi states: “But there is no bottom to the Kennedy case. I would think I had covered all the issues, but then I would have to get 20 more documents from the national archives and make 15 more phone calls. I got sucked into this abyss and couldn’t get out, until my publisher said, ‘Vince, we’re going to press.’” In other words, even though Bugliosi had plenty of more ground to cover, his publisher was antsy to get a book into print.
Moreover, Bugliosi is a signatory to a letter that appeared recently in the New York Review of Books (3/15/07) requesting that Allen Weinstein – Archivist of the United States and head of the National Archives and Records Administration – work to reverse a decision by Judge Richard Leon which prevents the release of important CIA documents. These documents pertain to the late veteran operative George Joannides who was chief of the CIA’s psychological warfare branch in Miami. In recent years - due to the efforts of the Washington Post’s Jefferson Morley - it has come to light that Joannides concealed what he knew about Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination. It seems that Joannides was running an operation designed to connect Oswald with Fidel Castro while keeping the CIA’s involvement in this subterfuge completely hidden. In addition to Morley and Bugliosi, this letter was signed by 18 other individuals including G. Robert Blakey (general counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations), author Don DeLillo, historians David Kaiser and Michael Kurtz, and filmmaker Oliver Stone.
Concerning the importance of the Joannides documents, Jefferson Morley has written: “What everybody from Oliver Stone to Ben Bradlee to Arlen Specter can agree on is that the CIA should account for the actions of George Joannides in 1963. As long as it does not, the agency is violating the spirit and the letter of the JFK Assassinations Records Act [passed by Congress in 1992] and the JFK conspiracy question remains open.”
A few years ago, in the pages of Real Change I reviewed an important book entitled “The Assassinations.” One of the editors of that work is Lisa Pease. Regarding Bugliosi’s new book, Pease states that it “is exactly the one-sided treatment he accuses the [Warren Commission] critics of writing.” Furthermore Pease argues that she would “be the first to concede that no one has yet proved the CIA was involved in the assassination. But there’s a world of evidence that paints direct ties between the CIA and the assassination.”
So Bugliosi is entitled to his opinion about what transpired on Nov.22, 1963. But there is still critical evidence that is being deliberately withheld from scrutiny and Bugliosi knows this. And there are many other learned and meticulous scholars, researchers, and investigators who have spent even more years than Bugliosi examining the multiple dimensions of this sordid case who have concluded that the conspiracy thesis is a valid one.
One last comment for what it’s worth. In 1963, the Olympic rifle champion was a man named Hubert Hammerer. Hammerer admitted that it was highly unlikely that he himself could have performed the deadly marksmanship attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged lone assassin of John F. Kennedy.
Joe Martin | Seattle, WA