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110 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far better than Ultimate Sacrifice
After having read Ultimate Sacrifice, Joan Mellon's book was a joy. It is by far the better written book literarily and offers a superior balance of investigative research. By contrast, Ultimate Sacrifice comes off as more CIA apologism and disinformation, trying to sell out and blame the Mafia while continuing to conceal their own involvement.

Mellon's book...
Published on January 8, 2006 by Scout

46 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Admirable attempt, mixed results
With the JFK assassination, as with 9/11, there are a very wide

range of opinions/conclusions as to whether it was a conspiracy, and

reading through the reviews already posted of this book I can say that

it is simply impossible to find a balance. Both sides are 100% entrenched,

not surprising given this seminal event took place...
Published on January 23, 2006 by S. A. Felton

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110 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far better than Ultimate Sacrifice, January 8, 2006
After having read Ultimate Sacrifice, Joan Mellon's book was a joy. It is by far the better written book literarily and offers a superior balance of investigative research. By contrast, Ultimate Sacrifice comes off as more CIA apologism and disinformation, trying to sell out and blame the Mafia while continuing to conceal their own involvement.

Mellon's book will suffer from the vast character assassination that the CIA aimed at her subject, Jim Garrison and his criminal investigation into the murder of John Kennedy. Owing to CIA and FBI efforts, many people failed to take Mr. Garrison seriously. Mellon thoroughly rehabilitates Garrison, proving him to be the leader of a courageous group of state law enforcement people who took on the federal government and particularly the CIA in their attempt to identify and bring to justice the real murderers of JFK.

In the process of writing about Garrison and his investigation, Mellon covers some of the same ground and furthers the evidence against the CIA. She examines Garrison's witnesses (called and uncalled in the trial of Clay Shaw) and then takes his research a step further with followup revelations from those and others. With some key witnesses, they later admitted that their testimonay to Garrison were lies, under pressure from the CIA. She also links numerous people to that organization and develops a sound thesis that mid and high level CIA personnel were the decision makers and implementors of the assassination of the American President. She details their extensive attempts to cover up their crime through later congressional investigations right up to the present.

Where Ultimate Sacrifice contends that the plot to kill JFK was strictly a Mafia affair, Mellon demonstrates that it was primarily a CIA operation. She admits that, because the Mafia participated in CIA covert operations, and wanted JFK dead for their own reasons, that they were involved and the CIA kept them informed. However, the prime mover was the CIA and related intelligence agencies.

Like Ultimate Sacrifice, she agrees that Oswald was a patsy but shows more convincingly that it was the CIA who set him up over a long period of time, as well as others as a backup plan. One piece of information that Ultimate Sacrifice missed which Mellon cites is evidence that Oswald was also in the pay of U.S. Customs.

All in all, this seems to be the more accurate expose' of the JFK assassination. I highly recommend it, far more so than Ultimate Sacrifice. The latter is worth reading for the research it presents but A Farewell to Justice seems to have gotten the whole pitcure and gotten it right.
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68 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sufficient to Impeach the Warren Commission; CIA Now Proven Complicit, April 4, 2006
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Edit of 11 Dec 07: Since I wrote this review, another book has come out, Someone Would Have Talked: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Conspiracy to Mislead History and it conclusively documents two points:

1) JFK was assassinated by a Cuban exile team trained by CIA to assassinate Castro, that used their training against JFK, ostensibly for the Bay of Pigs mess. CIA then covered this up.

2) JFK was warned by Bobby that there were strong indications of a plot to kill him, and JFK himself blew it off, entrusting his safety to a Secret Service with no idea a professional CIA hit team was coming in.

As a former clandestine case officer for the CIA who served in Latin America and also lived in Viet-Nam during the ten coups, one of which killed Ngo Dinh Diem, I picked this book up with some trepidation.

It is an exhausting review, a truly incredible accomplishment for a single human being without any visible corporate resources for doing machine processing or visualization of all of the information.

Here's my bottom line as a 54-year old with over 30 years government service:

1) The Warren Commission, like the 9-11 Commission, blew it and mis-served the nation. They are retrospectively impeachable for dereliction of duty.

2) The Central Intelligence Agency, and Ted Shackley in particular, have a lot to answer for, and continue to lie and withhold key documents from the American people. We need the moral equivalent of a truth & reconciliation commission on covert action--I thought the Church Commission had done some of that, but clearly there is more to be done.

3) We clearly do not have a government that is capable of being consistently honest, at the same time that we have thousands of dedicated government employees who have no idea what the "cowboys" are doing. The recent outrage over CIA renditions and torture are all too familiar for those who have studied the Phoenix assassination program in Viet-Nam, or the JMWAVE efforts against Castro that blew back against John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy.

4) The time has come for the people to arm themselves with open source intelligence. I want to cut the spines off all these books that are creating new revelations and new detail, put it all in a machine, and makes some sense out of it. We are a few years away from that point, but the day is coming, and when that day comes, we need to hand down some public indictments, including posthumous indictments, and begin to set the stage for honorable governance and ethical intelligence.

This book may not be completely accurate--it tends to assume the worst of CIA at all points--but it is assuredly enough to persuade me that US intelligence has much to answer for, and the Warren Commission *should* be retrospectively impeached.

For those who under-estimate the value of history, see Robert Parry on Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'(Ted Shackley played a big role there as well, allegedly running guns to Central America, drugs back through America to Europe, and cash from Europe home), and also the complaints of the official Department of State historians, who are outraged that the CIA will still not release documents from the 1960's without which we cannot properly evaluate our foreign policy misadventures in retrospect.

See also Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA and Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.
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183 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saint Joan, October 27, 2005
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The United States of America has never truly had its equivalent of Zola's "J'Accuse!" Until now. While the Dreyfus Affair is a joke compared to the far-reaching PERMANENT effects of the National Security State execution of President John F. Kennedy(don't think they're permanent? -- pick up the damn newspaper), quite a few books on the crime have been labeled Zolaesque: "Rush to Judgement", Weisberg's "Whitewash", Sylvia Meagher's "Accessories After the Fact"(a worthy forerunner of "Farewell to Justice" -- Meagher and Mellon are sisters of heart, toughness and understanding), Anthony Summers's "Conspiracy" and, of course, Gerald Posner's "Case Closed"(just kidding). But they weren't. Not even close, because they couldn't be. The cover-up of the crime continued well into the 1990s and -- like the film or not -- it was Stone's "JFK" which caused the break in the dam. The wave of the past 10 years, beginning with the publication and media-embrace of the malignant "Case Closed", has been intensely anti-conspiracy. As all of U.S. society has seemingly moved toward the worship of power for power's sake, leading to the establishment of the Bush Reich, anti-conspiracy ideology has become its own form of totalitarianism. In the power-saturated universe of Millennial America, seething with plots, anti-plot pronouncements have become as necessary as squeals in a slaughterhouse. But, there has been a counterwave. And it's now tidal. More fresh evidence regarding 11/22/63 has become available these past years than was available to the Warren Commission, Jim Garrison or the House Assassinations Committee when they were conducting their investigations or cover-ups. We have had to be patient, and now it's pay-off time. Christopher Lawford on the family, Gareth Porter on JFK and Vietnam, Bradley Ayers and Richard Whalen on Kennedy and Cuba, Gerald McKnight on the Warren Commission, and David Talbot's coming book on Bobby and the murder(`though the Mellen book may have made that release somewhat compromised).

"Farewell to Justice" is the book we have all been waiting for, since the day the music died. Joan Mellen has always been one of the world's best film critics, a magnificent biographer(Kay Boyle, Marilyn Monroe & Bobby Knight!), and a great writing teacher. Now she has broken the case. There's no guessing here. No theoretical chapters on the validity of the Zapruder Film, the DalTex Building vs. a sewer drain opening, no jacket holes or bullet fragments. Just the moment-by-moment narrative of what happened to Jack Kennedy 42 years ago. And, best of all, why. The names are all here: the initiators, the designers, the middle-managers, and the mechanics. Mellen is also overwhelming in her recapturing what was really happening in the early 1960s United States. Not only those who care not about history relive it. As Americans, all of us relive Dallas every day of our lives. Everywhere we look, we can see the ghost of John F. Kennedy - and the shadows of the men and women who killed him. There is only one way to finally let him rest in peace: a cleaning-out from power of all those directly and indirectly responsible for his murder, and all those who have knowingly benefited from it. Germany could only put the ghosts of the Third Reich to rest through a complete de-nazification. The United States must do the same.

There is also sadness in this book too, for those of us who see the Kennedys as true heroes. (And they are.) Mellen has solved many, many mysteries in the book. One of the most startling is her clinching the case as to whether or not Robert Kennedy knew of plots to murder Fidel Castro. As Mellen demonstrates, his involvement went way beyond mere knowledge. By answering this question, she also answers the questions as to why the Kennedy Family has been so forceful in impairing post-Warren investigations of the crime.

Mellen's passion, brilliance, understanding, writing talent and just-plain-sleuthing-genius has resulted in a book which will change history. The corporate media will no doubt try to burn her at the stake. They will fail. Because there is no answer to this book. Except justice and revenge.
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57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mellen's book triumphs over her critics, December 6, 2005
That Joan Mellen's remarkable new book detangling the myriad CIA threads weaving through the fabric of the Kennedy case has drawn the occasional rebuke is about as surprising as Bush spokesman Scott McClelland's having rebuked the suggestion that the Vice President's indicted chief of staff, Scooter Libby, had played any role in outing CIA operative Valerie Plame. The VP's chief-of-staff, McClelland sneered, was, simply, "not involved." [google "McClellan, Plame"] The quip, "Consider the source," about sums it up.

That advice, I submit, is useful when considering Mellen's detractors, at least one of whom happens to be the author of an anti-conspiracy book. The superiority of her work over the weak rejoinders from Warren Commission loyalists offers a glimpse of why I wrote a plaudit that appears on the flap cover of her book.

One critic, rallying to the defense of a former Miami Herald reporter who Mellen said was "CIA linked," quoted a complaining email from the man: "(I) never took a cent from the CIA," reporter Donald Bohning apparently wrote, "and was outraged by the implication - along with the terms `writer asset' and `utilized' ... Top editors at the [Miami] Herald were well aware - and approved - of my contacts with the CIA during the 1960s."

But said critic omits the most incriminating part of the story. Even if money never changed hands, and Mellen nowhere suggests it did, Bohning's relationship with The Agency was far from the routine and casual relationship reporters have with government insiders. As Mellen points out, Bohning was apparently so useful to The Agency it gave him his own, unique cryptonym, "AMCARBON-3." Bohning "had received his Provisional Covert Security Approval as a CIA confidential informant on 8/21/67," Mellen wrote (p. 253), "then Covert Security Approval itself on 11/14/67." And no less than the CIA's Deputy Director of Plans himself "approved the use of Bohning in the CIA's Cuban operations."

For those who have forgotten Carl Bernstein's cautionary tale about the corrosive effect of such relationships on honest journalism [google "Bernstein, CIA and the Media"], or the New York Times's Christmas week 1977 mea culpa for having compromised itself and its readers by similar unhealthy relationships with the CIA, recent events have given us a reminder of the potential dangers of such entanglements as Bohning's.

Judy Miller, the recently disgraced New York Times reporter, was such a darling of the Bush Administration and the military that she was granted a security clearance not unlike Bohning's. [google, "The Mystery of Judy Miller's `Security Clearance' Deepens."] Her bogus, prewar scare stories about the imminence of the Iraqi threat on the front page of the "leftist" New York Times gave a big boost to the strategy of Bush's neocons to manufacture consent for war.

That Bohning's higher-ups at the Miami Herald knew and approved of his cozy relationship only compounds the impropriety. At least The New York Times' "top editors" publicly donned hairshirts and apologized to their readers for their folly. And not without reason. Bernstein documented that the problem wasn't the occasional tainting tie between the rare, lowly stringer and the CIA. It was the myriad, compromising arrangements between The Agency and the higher-ups in outfits such as CBS, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L. A. Times, etc. that really took the bark out of our press watchdogs.

To downplay the links Mellen details between Clay Shaw and the Agency, a Mellen critic invoked the well-known conspiracy exorcist, Max Holland. "In reality, Clay Shaw had simply been one of thousands of businessmen who had once been a source for the CIA through its Domestic Contact Service ... Shaw was a Kennedy supporter (and a) decorated war veteran."

Here, flag-waving is substituted for dealing with Mellen's great spade work on this interesting question. 'Simple businessman' Shaw had in fact been cleared by the Agency for project "QKENCHAT (which) authorized trusted CIA personnel with clearance to recruit or enlist `civilians,' people not officially with the Agency, to discuss `projects, activities and possible relationships.'"

If indeed "thousands" of American businessmen had similarly been empowered by the CIA to "recruit or enlist `civilians,'" as Shaw was, there is no record of it. Moreover, the CIA called QKENCHANT an "operational project," not an intelligence-gathering project. And Shaw's records were kept in The Agency's "operational files," not with the "innocent" Domestic Contact files that housed the routine debriefings of returning American businessmen.

Ironically, Mellen detractors generally ignore what even the anti-conspiracy author, Max Holland, has acknowledged: Shaw lied under oath in denying his association with the CIA. "Have you ever worked for the Central Intelligence Agency?" lead defense attorney F. Irvin Dymond asked Shaw. "No, I have not," replied Shaw." [google "Max Holland, The Lie that Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination."]

Against the interests of his own Agency, CIA director, Richard Helms, put the lie to that. Holland notes that Shaw had had an [at least] eight-year relationship with the CIA, sending the Agency information on 33 separate occasions that the CIA invariably graded as "of value" and "reliable." [google "Max Holland. The Lie that Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination."]

In the spirit of considering the source, Warren Commission loyalists bent on diverting suspicion from the CIA and focusing it instead on Garrison would do well to direct readers elsewhere than to Max Holland's on-line essay, "The Lie That Linked the CIA to the Kennedy Assassination." For that poorly conceived and poorly executed anti-Garrison tirade was published by the CIA itself!

Holland's CIA-sponsored thesis - that it was a KGB propaganda conspiracy, and not anything the CIA had done, that hornswoggled Garrison into believing that the CIA was behind the tragedy in Dealey Plaza - has already been discredited. In a debate with me in Washington, D.C. in September 2004, Holland declined even to defend it before C-SPAN cameras and a live audience.

His refusal may have stemmed from the fact that not only had I proved the theory wasn't even Holland's own idea [google "Dorril, Permindex, Lobster"], something Holland had never disclosed but sheepishly admitted during our debate, I had already debunked the silly theory in detail in an on-line rejoinder, "Max Holland Rescues the Warren Commission and The Nation." [Google "Probe V7N6: Max Holland"]

And the beat goes on. Besides demolishing the myth the CIA played no part in JFK's demise, Mellen also demolishes the loopy legend of Oswald as loner. And she establishes quite convincingly that Clay Shaw's International Trade Mart in New Orleans was a hornet's nest of activity undoubtedly related to The Agency.

The past 41 years have seen a steady erosion of the many fables upon which the Warren Commission was founded. Mellen's book completes the demolition. Commission loyalists will just have to learn how to get over it.

Gary Aguilar, San Francisco
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solving the National Obsession, November 5, 2005
Truth is an absolute necessity for societies and peoples to function, and even more so to flourish. In reviewing Joan Mellen's epic, A Farewell to Justice it is virtually impossible to adequately express the significance of her work, and at the same time ignore, or to remain mute of the implications that Farewell to Justice has for America, even 43 years after the assassination of the nation's thirty-fifth President, John F. Kennedy.

As a person who has researched the subject, the book will hold special appeal to those who have studied the assassination throughout the years. Joan reveals for the first time, the utter savagery that the government, the print and news media employed in attempting to discredit Jim Garrison, as strange deaths happened to a select few who "knew too much." Jim Garrison is vindicated not only as far as his assertions about the plot, but as far as his indictment of Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie; had Ferrie not died mysteriously before the Shaw trial.

Garrison was simply a man who was too intelligent to accept the fallacies of the Warren Commission.

Joan, who has written several other significant biographies, depicts "Big Jim" Garrison as those who knew him, warts and all. Ms. Mellen eloquently and poignantly reveals a man who was, and is a patriot, in spite of a lifelong effort by the powers-that-be to prove otherwise. A man who knew there was more to the story, than a lone nut with the aid of a magic bullet. Garrison would sacrifice his life, his family and his future in a Herculanean effort to "uncover the truth" of November 22 in Dallas. Contrast that to the hate-filled venom of the indictments of America's 1960's media, political and intelligence structure towards Jim Garrison and you get a bird's-eye view of a government (or at the least, a considerable portion of it, getting the shakes about what Big Jim was unearthing about Shaw, Ferrie and others in the Big Easy.)

You can say that Jim Garrison did not succeed in revealing what really happened on November 22, in Dallas, but I say he did in a way that speaks about the heart of America, and the heart of Americans. Because "Big Jim" inspired Joan Mellen and, Joan in turn spent seven years of her life on this work and interviewing over 1,000 individuals in a quest for truth, one that delivers, both factually in regards to the real story of the assassination and as a literary work. Without Jim Garrison, there would be no Joan Mellen, at least in the context of the Kennedy assassination. A Farewell to Justice settles incontrovertibly, once and for all the divide between the Warren Commission believers and the "conspiracy theorists," and the result is that the apologists for the Warren Commission need to find another line of work. I hope a certain high-profile prosecutor/writer is reading.

Indeed, if a person based their perception of Jim Garrison based on a great portion of the entire media apparatus of the United States virulent attacks on him, one would have to believe he was blood brothers with Rasputin rather than a patriot who sacrificed his life to reveal that high ranking members of the CIA directed the conspiracy that ended on November 22, 1963, with a new President, who had no reservations about "nailing the coonskin to the wall" in Vietnam, an action that filled the coffers of American arms suppliers, and sent thousands of American servicemen home in body bags. It is demonstrated that the assassination of JFK emanated from within the CIA's Clandestine Services Division, the Big-Fishes, Deputy Director of Plans Richard Helms, Western Hemisphere-Chief David Atlee Philips, Counter Intelligence's James J. Angleton and others. Particularly intriguing is the fact that Big Jim hit it right on the head, and if he hadn't had the entire apparatus of the US Government waging an un-holy war against him, he would have nailed it during the Shaw trial. Joan methodically dissects the "real story" of Oswald, his affiliation with the CIA, FBI and the U.S. Custom's Service, his "I'm Just a Patsy" statement rings with a truth now incontrovertible; there is another patsy in the ethereal person of Thomas Edward Beckham, who is never needed. Also proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt is the fact that Oswald is America's version of Albert Dreyfuss, with one exception; Dreyfuss lived to see his vindication, and Oswald sadly did not. The assassination of Pres. Kennedy was one of the most tragic events in our country's history, as Joan quotes Jim Garrison. The tragic assassination of President Kennedy has often been called the "Crime of the Century," yet in reality Joan Mellen reveals in incisive and painstaking detail (complete with over one-hundred pages of footnotes, at the back of the book) that there was another Crime of the Century that dark November day, that has continued to this day, and that is the fact that our government denied us access

the truth, ostensibly in the name of national security.

After an in-depth reading of Mellen's epic, I like many American's will now believe that her book has done what more than two behemoth governmental investigations and millions of taxpayer dollars could never do, break the case of the assassination of Pres. Kennedy, and in doing so, break the chain of lies, deceptions and transparencies that have been occurring up to this very day.

A crime that was an assault on every American's most cherished ideals and principles, almost as much as it was a crime that snuffed out the life of one of America's greatest President's. And therein, is the challenge of Mellen's "A Farewell to Justice" one should have, preferably some kind of knowledge of the facts surrounding the assassination itself, or at least an openness to the truth, in reading it.

But if not, plunge ahead anyway. Why? Because this book unearths the truth, not only about the assassination, but the nefarious goings on in the months prior to November 22; The Clinton trip when Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Lee Harvey Oswald and Guy Bannister. Confirmation that Oswald had been led to believe he was to kill "Fidel" in Cuba, not "JFK" in Dallas, confirmation that Shaw was "Clay Bertrand."

Sadly, there is evidence that one of the parties to the "cover-up" was none other than Robert F. Kennedy himself; in that, in not doing so, it would reveal the fact of the Castro assassination plots and Bobby's involvement in directing some of them, something that could have destroyed not only his brothers legacy as President, but RFK's future bid for the presidency, at which point he certainly appeared to plan on getting

to the facts; the sordid details that Joan Mellen reveals to America for the first time. You may ask how it is so certain that Joan has solved the mystery of November 22. The answer is that the true facts have been emerging for over four decades, she has broken through to the other side, and because of that we are all in her debt.

Because the truth, she illustrates can hurt you, ask Jim Garrison, the truth in a sense cost him his life, or at least the duration and quality of it after the Shaw trial. If you, the reader have lived long enough to know what "the truth" can ostensibly "cost" a person, or even a nation, then you will appreciate the significance of this book. John F. Kennedy was the last intellectual President America possessed, and even his enemies cannot deny he had a vision for America; it was a vision of democracy as the greats envisioned it, a democracy in action and not just words. In his time, his political opponents' spouted far-right extremist propaganda, that he was a friend of the communists, was in favor of civil-rights, (on that one you would have had to have been there, America in the 1960's was not a friendly place for people of color, as it is still not today, in many ways; he had chickened-out at the Bay of Pigs. And so why was President Kennedy killed by America's intelligence apparatus, you ask? For the simple reason that the President rightly saw that the CIA was "out of control," they had lied to him about the Bay of Pig's, were up to the months before his brutal murder arranging "provocations" towards Cuba, as he was simultaneously trying to reach a solution to the Castro problem. The "faction" in the CIA that decided Kennedy must die, made that decision because he was in the act of "putting them in their proper place," a government, much more a democracy is not a seven-headed monster, or even a two-headed monster. The CIA resented the idea that the President was going to restore them to a subservient role to the Chief Executive and not the other way around, after all that was the outline in the charter that brought them into existence in the first place. Former Pres. Harry Truman (the chief executive responsible for their creation) himself, admitted the agency was exceeding its mandate, in the same general time frame that the assassination took place. And as the book proves conclusively the CIA's involvement to that day in Dallas, there are justifiable assertions in her book that the information trail might not have stopped at the CIA's door alone. James Angleton it seems was not being even remotely honest when he said "I am not privy to who killed John."

The America of 1963 is as seemingly different from the America of 2005 as night is to day. Yet tragically, there are similarities, the fact of these "seemingly" different America's is alluded to when Joan rightly compares the machinations of Leopoldo, Angel and "Leon Oswald" towards Silvia Odio in 1963, to the revelations of "Able Danger" to the 9-11 Commission, revelations that might have brought out that same elusive truth about 9-11 that the Warren Commission would not reveal about the JFK assassination.

In closing, I would reiterate the two Crimes of the Century; one resulted in the death of an American President, sadly in many young American's minds more of a pop icon than a President who led this country through dangerous times. The second Crime of the Century is the fact that our government deliberately expended every effort to prevent that truth from being made known to the American people, and has been doing so ever since Dealey Plaza.

They know who they are, those who are still alive, but better yet we the People, know who they are. The most famous subterfuge in the denial of political reality is "It can't happen here," that was said in Germany in the 1930's, we as American's live in a mindset of that same statement, but the truth has now slapped us in the face "It did happen here."

The question begs to be asked "What are we going to do about it?" If this book is ignored by the nation's media, or attacked to a degree that it resembles the damage control operation against Jim Garrison, then America will know that what we took for granted, has for the most part been taken from us, with no less violence than the Guns of November 22nd.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally redeems Garrison, but...., March 31, 2007
Dawn Meredith "Dawn Meredith" (Austin, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
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When I first ordered this book now nearly two years ago I was so excited to read it. And for the most part I loved the book. Joan Mellen proves that Garrsion was right all along. (But I already knew that). And the portions on Garrison are so good that this book is definately worth getting. That said two pieces of her "evidence" were very troubling to me.

First, that RFK sent CIA stooge Walter Sheridan to sabotage the Garrison investigation. I know that Ms. Mellen believes Bobby was killed by a conspiracy, (from personal communications with her), so it makes no sense that Bobby would try to sabotage the only true investigation into the murder of his brother. (When we all know that it was the CIA and FBI who sabotaged Garrison).

The second problem I had with this book is the old CIA-disinformation chestnut that the brothers Kennedy were trying to kill Castro. Her proof of this comes from a man named Angelo Murgado. Most of the serious researchers on this case who I know I know did not find any of this credible. I know that Ms. Mellen really believes Murgado. But Ms. Mellen also knows that that JFK was conducting secret plans to meet with Castro and restore relations with Cuba, literally on the eve of Dallas. So plans to kill Castro, which we know the CIA to be engaged in, did not include the Kennedy brothers. Who lead Ms Mellen to Murgado? That most unreliable of sources Gerry Hemming.

I also thought we could have done without the sex in this book.

I still recommend reading AFTJ for the updated information on Garrison's case. It actually brought me to tears. And I agree with her title. Garrison's case should have changed history. But we have a press that is controlled by the CIA (google "Operation Mockingbird").

Thankfully the net is a treasure trove of information on this case. (Beware of McAdams however.)

And forums like John Simkin's "JFK Assassination Debate" a subsection of his Education forum allows people interested in this case from all over the world to converse with each other. The thread there on this book is lively and informative. Ms. Mellen put many years of work into this book- it's well worth reading.

Even better, check out Deep Politics Forum. The one forum with no lone nutters.

Attorney Dawn Meredith

Austin, Tx.

ps. I need to go back and re-read this book in light of some new information, Joan is also doing an update so I think I will just wait and get that.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The elephant in the room, November 14, 2005
David L. Neal (Kitty Hawk NC United States) - See all my reviews
To honest seekers of truth this book could be a goldmine. To veteran students of the Kennedy assassination this book could be confirmation of their worst fears. Although Ms Mellen's emphasis is that Jim Garrison's case came very close to indicting the CIA in the murder of John Kennedy, it actually fleshes out in considerable detail a much larger problem. On page 383 Dr. Robert McClelland, the doctor who stood at the head of the table in Dallas and looked directly into the gaping hole in the back of John Kennedy's head, which he still considers an exit wound, says as late as 2003 that the assassination was "a high level plot to kill the president by the CIA and the FBI, at the upper and middle levels...". But the evidence produced here in toto suggests something much worse. We are quick to find scapegoats for our tragedies that are not easily explained. There have been attempts throughout the years to blame Castro, exiled Cubans, the Mafia, and of course the CIA, mainly because pieces of the evidence often point to some of these groups, especially, as Garrison began to show, the CIA. But even Garrison began to realize the problem was larger, that it was institutional. Though the CIA in 2000 told archivists and librarians who went to the National Archives to view sealed records relating to Kennedy's assassination hoping to recommend whether they should be opened to the public "under no circumstances must they ever reveal to anyone what they had viewed...", this book draws a picture of a larger policy. In a nutshell Garrison began to see, especially after the famous Clay Shaw trial in 1969, that neither the CIA nor the FBI alone killed Kennedy. Powerful forces in government and industry had much to gain by removing Kennedy. This is the elephant in the room that Garrison began to describe by first feeling the trunk and then the tail with his investigation which began to bring into focus the dangers that President Eisenhower had warned. It is too facile to say the military industrial complex killed Kennedy because that is too impersonal, and it lets us all off the hook. Our very institutions of information, entertainment and governance all worked together to dilute and circumvent, confuse and mangle the principles which make us the land of the free and the home of the brave. Johnny Carson had Jim Garrison on his show in 1968, just before the assassinations of Martin Luther King and a few months later, Robert Kennedy. You can listen to that show online. As Garrison tried to explain that our government had killed Kennedy, Carson tried his best to be civil, but having been briefed by those who wanted to stop Garrison, he could barely contain himself in demanding that Garrison prove on the spot every thing he was saying. This public inability to face truth is still with us. As I write this, the hearings chaired by Arlen Specter, yes, that Arlen Specter, to investigate the failures of the 911 Commission and its possible negligence, or dereliction in dealing with Able Danger, a program which identified hijacker Atta a year before September 11, 2001, have yet to be scheduled. The first and only one ended when the Pentagon refused to let the whistleblowers testify.

Mellen's book, with the advantage of 42 years of evidence compiled with painstaking care, despite the index being a page off, as others have noted, presents us with a mirror. We can't just look to the CIA, the FBI, even the Pentagon, for the culprits. It is not that they are not there- it is that we don't care. If we did justice would have been served a long time ago, before the heavens fell. This bleak condemnation is neutralized by the fact that Ms Mellen has written this book, and I want to thank her.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Glance at the Garrison Probe, March 3, 2006
This book is excellent. After studying the Garrison investigation for ten years, I find this book to be a definitive account on Jim Garrison. Some time back, I wrote a review on "False Witness" by Patricia Lambert, stating that it was an utter waste of time and should be thrown in the garbage can. Finally, we have a book that refutes everything Lambert published. Mellen spent time with Garrison's family, and during the course of his investigation, talked with Garrison himself. There is a lot to be learned with the great wealth of information she has brought forward. It might be wise to read Garrison's book "On the Trail of the Assassins" before digging into this volume, because Mellen discusses such material from that volume that she expects you to have read. Also, her sources include many of the National Archives documents released by the ARRB which included Garrison's personal papers, and the New Orleans District Attorney's files. These papers shed much light on the on going struggle to seek the President's killers, and Mellen is the first author to go through all of these papers (other than Bill Davy, who went through the Garrison papers that the AARC had in Washington, DC). Another thing about this book, is it brings out the character of Jim Garrison, the man. I highly recommend this book for all serious researchers, and most of all, for those who seek the truth. Ignore people like Patricia Lambert, who is a very questionable in her research, and who has tended to side with earlier critics of the Garrison investigation. Again, Joan Mellen has set the record straight about a number of flaws that Lambert authored in her book. The great deal of information in "A Farewell to Justice" will blow you away!!!
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't think we're in America anymore..., April 5, 2006
This books is filled with so many facts and sources about the CIA, FBI, and military involvement it will blow your mind. In fact, the waters of Louisiana are so murky that you might actually think that Katrina was some sort of retribution. Bobby Kennedy knew of Lee Harvey Oswald. Jack Ruby knew Lee Harvey Oswald. The CIA and the Kennedy's hated each other. JFK fired CIA director Dulles, who was on the Warren Commission covering up the truth of his death. Dulles deputy director resigned also, and he had a brother who happened to be the Mayor of Dallas in 1963. We all know what a malicious person J. Edgar Hoover was (when he wasn't busy crossdressing). An intricate plot rife with government spooks and double-agents. With the CIA, FBI, the Warren Commission, and the Kennedys all involved in the cover up, and many papers still classified or destroyed, it is no wonder many people in the U.S.A. do not know that we had our own coup-d'etat. It is said Kennedy was the last President to think he had the power to run the country. With George H.W. Bush a former CIA chief, and his son George W. using the NSA, FBI, and CIA to spy on Americans now, it all becomes plain to see. This book will scare you enough to think about never mentioning a political opinion again in your life, I guarantee you.
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46 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Admirable attempt, mixed results, January 23, 2006
S. A. Felton (southern OR USA) - See all my reviews
With the JFK assassination, as with 9/11, there are a very wide

range of opinions/conclusions as to whether it was a conspiracy, and

reading through the reviews already posted of this book I can say that

it is simply impossible to find a balance. Both sides are 100% entrenched,

not surprising given this seminal event took place more than 40 years


Obviously Ms. Mellen is adamantly pro-conspiracy, and she is 100%

certain that the CIA did it, not only because they can kill anyone

they want to (except Castro!), but because only a govt. organization could

cover the crime up. She attempts to prove that Jim Garrison was the "hero"

we saw in Stone's "JFK." I think that she succeeds well, but for reasons

detailed below I cannot give the book more than 3 stars.

I, too, am convinced that the CIA did it, and I am also quite

convinced after reading this book that w/o an act of God or something

more than earthshaking, we will never be able to penetrate the layers of

cover-up by the CIA. As I tried to read through the maze of information,

testimonies, hearsay, etc., in "A Farewell To Justice," I was reminded

of my frustration reading a book she mentions a few times, called

"The Last Investigation," by G. Fonzi, an investigator of the 1970's

HSCA investigation.

I do think that the author proves beyond any doubt that Clay Shaw was

a CIA agent (who used Bertrand as an alias), that he undoubtedly knew

David Ferrie and Oswald, and that he at least knew that the assassination

was going to occur, whether he was part of the planning or not. She has

many witnesses to back her main points up, far more than just Perry Russo

(over-emphasized by other reviewers), whom Garrison himself didn't even use

as a witness. For example, I found the pages covering the testimonies of

the witnesses from Clinton, LA, who saw the three men in that city at the

same time, to be very compelling.

And for those who endlessly try to assassinate Jim Garrison's character,

I ask, why do you think he worked so tirelessly for so many years to expose

the cover-up if he didn't have good cause to believe it? Do you really think

that he would have sacrificed his career if he wasn't sure he was on the

right track? And if the government was so certain that he didn't have a

case, why did they repeatedly try to and succeed in sabotaging his

investigation, and yet still he persisted? Why was he unfairly (I agree

with the author) tried twice by the government on blatantly false charges?

And why did the people in Louisiana elect him to be a judge if he were

so "paranoid?"

One more question - since it has been very widely shown that the

CIA has assassinated foreign leaders, why is it impossible to believe

that they murdered JFK?

However, I am surprised that the author is a professor of journalism.

In certain parts of the book I would give her very low marks on

organization and choice of content. I found many pages of needless

information on a topic that has already been covered in scores of books.

There are many unverified testimonies that basically lead nowhere, other

than showing what she showed much better in other parts of the book, that

if the CIA and its minions planned JFK's murder, it will be next to

impossible to find the actual culprits. Chapter 22, "The Death of Jim

Garrison," is mainly about the 1970's Congressional HSCA re-investigation

of the JFK assassination. Is this proper chapter organization?

Others have mentioned the footnoting, and it is insufficient,

difficult to follow even when the line numbers in the footnotes match

the line numbers in the book, and indeed at some point after p. 150 they

are about 1 page off. Why "normal" footnote numbers and citations aren't

used as in almost all books is beyond me.

Another problem I had with the book was her intermittent discussions

of Oswald. I felt that since she decided to discuss him, she needed to make

some attempt to clarify exactly who he was, though I do think she and

others have proven that he was some kind of low-level intelligence agent.

But my real problem with the Oswald depicted in the book was that he

came across as playing too many different roles in too many places, and I

am not talking about the very strange "multiple" Oswalds that were part

of setting him up as the assassination's "patsy."

The last chapter is an enigma, who can know what is true? Two people

in completely different roles claim to, once and for all, validate what

"A Farewell To Justice" has detailed. One is a ex-Cuban agent who

worked with RFK to try to overthrow Castro (RFK's role in trying to

discredit Garrison's investigation is shocking if true), another is a

CIA "stooge" named Thomas Beckham. If what especially Beckham states is

true, then despite my criticisms of the book, the author has succeeded

beyond any doubt in my mind in proving her main contentions.
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