WEIRDLAND: The Devil is in the Details (Malcolm Blunt & Alan Dale's conversations on JFK)

Friday, November 06, 2020

The Devil is in the Details (Malcolm Blunt & Alan Dale's conversations on JFK)

This volume is a collection of ten transcribed conversations, recorded 2014 - 2019, between Assassination Archives and Research Center's executive director Alan Dale, and the esteemed British intelligence analyst, Malcolm Blunt. These unscripted conversations elevate the discussion of key assassination investigation areas well beyond the well-worn paths familiar to those who choose to study President Kennedy's life, his career in public service, the Cold War context of his presidency, the true circumstances and meaning of his death, and the alleged facts associated with the U.S. government's investigations into his assassination. Malcolm Blunt is regarded within the assassination research community as an invaluable resource on the CIA's internal systems and management authorities as they existed during the 1950s and '60s; he has invested more time and greater focus than perhaps any other individual on the JFK records held at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, MD.

"Malcolm Blunt is the researcher’s researcher. He turned me on to the ARRB’s hunt for missing Church Committee records, the suppressed story of Oswald and Customs in New Orleans, and more. Like that of Peter Dale Scott and John Newman, Malcolm’s work digging in the mines of CIA routing sheets and information flow gives us valuable insight into Oswald’s connections to U.S. intelligence and how he came to take the fall for Kennedy’s murder in Dallas. Malcolm and Alan Dale in these interviews shine a flashlight in the fog-laden graveyard where the bodies are buried." –Rex Bradford, President of Mary Ferrell Foundation 

"Malcolm Blunt's brilliant work in the deep caves of the National Archives has opened up new perspectives on the Kennedy case for other researchers. Alan Dale's deft questioning of him in this book will help others to emulate his achievements." -Peter Dale Scott, author of Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Dallas '63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House, and The American Deep State

"The devil is in the details -- also the light of truth. For nearly three decades, Malcolm Blunt has been digging through stacks of U.S. government documents and illuminating their meaning. It took an English citizen, working in his spare time and sidetracking his holidays, to burrow deeply into the hidden and hiding-in-plain-sight facts of the John F. Kennedy assassination -- the most earth-shaking American crime of the 20th Century. Countless Kennedy scholars, authors and independent researchers have come to depend on Blunt for eye-popping discoveries that previously eluded them. I count myself among this crowd." -David Talbot, author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government and Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years

“It is the mission of the Assassination Archives and Research Center to obtain, preserve and disseminate information on political assassinations. The founding fathers of this country understood that in order to be their own governors a people must “arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” British researcher Malcolm Blunt’s knowledge of the internal operations of Cold War intelligence agencies is peerless. This collection of conversations with Alan Dale is a fascinating and groundbreaking penetration of the secrecy which warps the roles of all major players on the global stage." -James H. Lesar, president of Assassination Archives and Research Center

"America does not know that over 2 million pages of documents were declassified 22 years ago on the JFK assassination. Those pages redefined the scope and the nature of President Kennedy's murder. Malcolm Blunt is one of the few who has read and collected many of those documents. Not many people know who he is, but for those who do know, he is a hidden hero in the Kennedy case." -James DiEugenio, author of Destiny Betrayed

"Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall listening-in on a conversation between two incredibly intelligent, informed and knowledgeable people as they discuss the CIA, the national security state during the Cold War, how the National Archives, maintains and hides records and documents, how the government hides and keeps its secrets, and the Kennedy assassination? Here’s your chance. Don't miss it." -Dan Hardway, Attorney; Former staff investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations 

"Malcolm Blunt’s encyclopedic knowledge of the inner workings of the CIA during the era of the Cold War is unrivaled. He is the Rosetta Stone for coded intelligence agency cables. Alan Dale’s discussions with Blunt offer an astonishing range of depth and details essential to anyone with an interest in understanding President Kennedy's murder and the hidden machinations of U.S. spy bureaucracies." -Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., author of American Values: Lessons I Learned from My Family

"Malcolm Blunt, an English psychiatric support manager turned forensic analyst, taught me a crucial art: how to understand the flow of information inside the CIA. I thought I understood something of the subject, but Blunt took me to a new level of insight. Alan Dale's fascinating interviews evoke Blunt's ingenious methodology and his wry humor. For anyone who wants to gain a granular understanding of the CIA's paper flow in the 1950s and 1960s, Dale's aptly-named volume, The Devil is in the Details, is essential." -Jefferson Morley, author of Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the Kennedy Years; and The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Angleton

"The most penetrating, influential interviews present not as interrogations, but as dialogues between a deeply informed questioner and a topically masterful subject. Success may be measured in direct proportion to the trust and respect that develop to bridge the gap, so to speak – qualities delivered in abundance by Alan Dale and Malcolm Blunt throughout these historic exchanges. The light they shed on the JFK assassination and associated operations is unlike any illumination you have yet to experience." -Charles R. Drago, co-founder of the original JFK Truth and Amnesty Commission (1997), author of the Introduction to George Michael Evica’s “A Certain Arrogance” (2011) and Afterword to H.P. Albarelli, Jr.’s “Coup in Dallas” (2020) 

"The name “Malcolm Blunt” is synonymous with phrases such as “trusted source” and “detailed insight” in relation to JFK records. That became apparent to me long before I knew anything else about him. It is not mere hyperbole. His abilities in these areas were always going to bring him into the sunlight as the most well-known private source of documents and interpretations of same, outside of the Mary Ferrell Foundation. No mean feat for a lone and modest individual without even a website to call home! With much gratitude, I recommend these interviews to all who care." -Greg R. Parker, author of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War

"When one studies the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, one quickly realizes that there were really two assassinations. One was the assassination of the man. And the other was the assassination of the truth. With The Devil is in the Details, Alan Dale presents a series of conversations with perhaps the utmost expert on this second assassination, Malcolm Blunt. Rich in detail, these conversations with Blunt unveil an aspect to the Kennedy assassination unseen but to a select few. But they're not without their humor. In reading these interviews, in fact, one can't help feeling like a fly on the wall eavesdropping on the most interesting conversation at a D.C. hotel." -Pat Speer, author and producer of JFK: The Mysterious Death of Number 35 

"Malcolm Blunt has tried to familiarize himself with every JFK document in the archives in College Park. One of the best things that happened to me as a JFK researcher was befriending Malcolm Blunt. Malcolm and I were there from the earliest days of the newly formed Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) which had the power to acquire and declassify JFK assassination records. No one had spent more time following the ARRB than I and no one has spent more time in Archives II acquiring and reading the documents than Malcolm. Almost everything I would want to do as a JFK researcher Malcolm has already done." -David Kaiser, author of The Road to Dallas

One of the people Vincent Salandria had accused - Jacob Cohen - pops up periodically in John Kelin's book, Praise from a Future Generation: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report. "Between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1966, there was a debate arranged in Boston about the Warren Report. Epstein was invited to be a participant, but he declined the invitation. Vince Salandria did participate and his main opponent was a young scholar named Jacob Cohen. Cohen had presented an article defending the Commission in the July 11, 1966 issue of The Nation." John Kelin describes Cohen in some more detail. "Cohen was the Yale professor who had published “The Vital Documents” in The Nation the previous summer. He had written a second article, “The Warren Commission Report And Its Critics,” which was in the then-current issue of Frontier magazine. He had also just appeared in a television discussion with Jones, Mark Lane, Leo Sauvage, and Harold Weisberg called “A Reexamination of the Warren Report.” His book, Honest Verdict, had not yet been published but was still being mentioned as a work-in-progress." In November 1975, Cohen was cited as an expert in a NYT hit piece on Jim Garrison, written by James Phelan. In June 1992, Cohen attacked Oliver Stone's JFK. John Kelin describes Cohen as a 'Yale professor', but Cohen had left Yale in 1960, six years prior to the debate. From 1964, to 1968, Cohen was on leave of absence from teaching, and was serving on the staff of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). But prior to 1964, Cohen was at another academic institution. It was a place he'd spent the four years prior to his work with CORE, and it was a place he'd spend the next five decades at, after he finished his work with CORE. He was a member of the Citizens Committee for a Free Cuba, alongside Virginia Prewitt and Hal Hendrix, both of whom had worked with David Atlee Phillips. He served as an advisor to Lyndon Johnson, and worked alongside Walt Rostow, acting as a consultant on Vietnam policy. He also personally drafted letters of advice to the President on the running of the war, and wrote speeches for President Johnson. He maintained high level communications with the CIA. He asked for and received memorandums from George A. Carver, the CIA official who worked as head of the CIA's National Planning Task Force on Vietnam. When he visited Carver in person, memorandums about the visit were sent directly to Richard Helms. He warned Lyndon Johnson that something should be done about the critics of the Warren Commission, and sent a detailed memo to Johnson to that effect. He warned Vincent Salandria: "You'll have to be killed." He sent a letter to the Times Literary Supplement attacking Warren Commission critics. His letter closely matched CIA Dispatch 1035-960, and what he wrote was later used as the basis for an early Time magazine article that defended the official story. He returned to the subject of the assassination in articles throughout the 70's, and continued to attack researchers of the subject. The institute where Cohen took up residence was Brandeis University, and the Dean of the Faculty at the time Cohen arrived was John P. Roche. Roche owed his career in the Johnson administration to Bill Moyers, who he'd known for some years prior, and who had recommended Roche for his position as an advisor to government. When Cohen appeared as a prominent critic, and ultimately debated Vincent Salandria, he likely had an important supporter in government - John Roche. Roche was also LBJ's point man on attacking Bobby Kennedy. In an interview, John Roche emphasised how much he detested Bobby Kennedy, and noted how he’d been in near fistfights with RFK twice at opposite ends of the decade. In 1968, there’s a quote from John Roche telling Johnson that MLK should be ‘destroyed’. According to Ghosts in the White House: LBJ, RFK and the Assassination of JFK by Michael W. Schuyler, Cohen finished this conversation saying ‘of course, John Roche hated Robert Kennedy even more’. Jacob Cohen, more than almost any other academic, has devoted his life to protect the official story, and to attack researchers of the subject. He began doing this in 1966, and continued until he retired from academic life a half century later in 2017. 

“Carolyn threw Michael Bergin in John’s face,” the Hollywood producer Clifford Streit told Vanity Fair. “I think she used Michael Bergin in any way she could to get a reaction out of John. The only one in the world who thought Carolyn would choose Michael over John was John.” Michael Bergin's memoir is discredited, as well as the crude attempts to smear the beautiful love story of JFK's son and Carolyn Jeanne Bessette. Dottie Randazzo: "Some things just don't add up in Bergin's book. I mean you are going to write a book about your relationship with someone who has passed away, and can't defend herself. On top of that, many names of people in the book are made up, which the author admits to. At the end Bergin says that he wrote the book to clear up any bad rumors about Carolyn. He doesn't mention that he's making money off the book. Throughout the entire book he is chasing money. Another example of an incident which doesn't ring true: You go on this romantic vacation with Carolyn to the Florida Keys. She won't come out of the room for a week, so no one sees the two of you together. She destroys the pictures that were taken of the two of you. Why wouldn't she put the pictures in the box with all the other mementos that she kept that had your name or picture on it? Such a disappointment! The Other Man consists of Michael Bergin primarily painting his autobiography. His relationship with Carolyn Bessette & JFK, Jr. is given little or no detailed info. It seemed Bergin wrote his book as an outlet to whine on end about his life. Carolyn Bessette never considered him her boyfriend, she never told anyone they were dating, and she kept herself very closed off him. Michael Bergin's dislike for John Kennedy Jr. does shine throughout, dislike and jealousy. Maybe because John Jr was really a gentleman? Or a better lover than him, despite Bergin's (and Gordon Henderson) malicious hints? 

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