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Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination Hardcover – November 2, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
For those who love conspiracy theories, especially those about the Kennedy assassination, this is a rich one. Fiction or non-fiction? I will let the readers judge, but Pacepa's book makes for a fantastic read. (Donald T. Critchlow, co-editor of American Conspiracies Revealed and author of The Conservative Ascendancy)
This is a fascinating and provocative book that will definitely change our understanding of one of the 20th century's most disturbing and puzzling episodes. (Vladimir Tismaneanu, University of Maryland, author of Stalinism for All Seasons: A Political History)
As in a novel of Agatha Christie, every chapter of Programmed to Kill tightens the noose around the culprit, leading to the ineluctable conclusion that the whole series of events started from the Kremlin. The story lends perfectly to a non-fictional 'whodunit' movie. (Claude Matasa, professor, University of Illinois)
General Ion Mihai Pacepa has given us a new and very different point of view of the JFK assassination, clarifying what has been the conspiracy theorists' haven in the 20th century. In the FBI we taught that 'the truth is in the details,' and the General exquisitely reveals the truth-with verifiable, consistent, meshing-together, and incontrovertible facts about the involvement of the Soviet leadership and the KGB in this tragedy from start to finish, and even afterward in covering up their malfeasance. The General's credibility—from the time of his initial debriefings and to the present—continues to ring true. He speaks the 'language of intelligence' and admirably translates it for those who lived through that time but were unaware of how to interpret what the plethora of facts really meant. A younger generation can now also profit from the General's insight to see this historic event clearly. (Wayne A. Barnes, retired Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation)
General Pacepa is a former 'voice from within' that tells us how lack of expertise made possible a profoundly incorrect reading of even such clear facts. (Dorin Tudoran, editor-in-chief Democracy at Large, Washington D.C.)
It took a quarter of a century to uncover the KGB hand behind the attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II. And it took the highest ever intelligence defector from the Soviet bloc to unravel President Kennedy's assassination. General Pacepa is the only researcher into the JFK assassination who had direct knowledge of the KGB's ties to Lee Harvey Oswald, and who learned from Khrushchev himself about his deep hatred for Kennedy. Pacepa was also involved in Moscow's frenzied effort to throw the blame for Kennedy's death on the U.S. But that was not enough to answer all the questions about the assassination. It took Pacepa many years to sift through all the information he had gathered and analyze it with American eyes. His Programmed to Kill is meticulously detailed. It covers all the bases left open by government investigations and the hundreds of books published on the assassination. (Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large for UPI and The Washington Times, Director Transnational Threats, Center for Strategic and International Studies)
Programmed to Kill sends a wake-up call about the inherent evil of the KGB, whose former officers are now running Russia. (Nestor Ratesh, former director of Radio Free Europe's Romani)
Answered many lingering questions lying around the JFK assassination landscape. (Bernie Reeves Raleigh Metro Magazine)
Mr. Pacepa's book is valuable . . . confirms what many of us have long believed. (Joseph C. Goulden The Washington Times)
Any . . . collection interested in true crime and American history analysis needs this new survey . . . offering insights into questions left unanswered. (Midwest Book Review)
Fascinating and engrossing account, which should be required reading for the entire American intelligence community. (Justin P. Liuba Epoch Times)
A superb new paradigmatic work on the death of President Kennedy. (Stan Webber H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)
Top Customer Reviews
Looking at the case of Lee Harvey Oswald, Pacepa sees a KGB pattern. In the mid-to-late 1950s the Soviet bloc intelligence services were ordered to recruit American servicemen. To this end, loose women were used as "spotters" at bars and nightclubs located near U.S. military bases in Germany and Japan. They were told to watch for U.S. servicemen sympathetic to left-liberal or Marxist ideas. Lee Harvey Oswald was not only an America serviceman stationed in Japan in 1957. He was fascinated by Marxism. As a Marine Corps radar operator Oswald also possessed clues to the flight altitude of the American U-2 spy plane. It was no accident, therefore, that the Soviet Union shot down a U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers on 1 May 1960.
It was noteworthy that Oswald seemed to live beyond his means while in Japan. He dated a hostess from one of the most expensive nightclubs, whose attentions for one night would cost a month's pay. How could he afford such a woman? The answer becomes obvious, says Pacepa, if we realize that Oswald had "Soviet spy" written all over him. When his work in Japan was finished, Oswald didn't want to be in the Marine Corps any longer.Read more ›
1) All assassinations in history have either been committed by a dedicated, suicidal assassin, or were the product of dumb luck. For example, no writer could have come up with a more improbable story than the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife.
2) There is no worse organization to achieve an assassination than a large, fractured governmental bureaucracy, constantly fighting turf wars and concerned with betrayal and oversight from exogenous personnel. The KGB did not qualify at the time as such an organization but the CIA did (and does today to an even greater extent.)
3) Only the PP department in the Agency (& only a few individuals within it) were severely impacted by the Bay of Pigs. Most of the ill-feelings in the Agency during the remainder of Kennedy's time as President were directed at Robert Kennedy, the inexperienced loose cannon bent on murdering Castro and who was micro-managing Agency operations to that effect.
4) The Cuban Missile Crisis eventually brought about Khruschev's fall, and as he was losing power, could readily have sought to assassinate the individual he blamed for his decline. Whether he did so and how, is central to this book.
5) For the benefit of other reviewers, it should be noted that the firing of the three shots have been reliably replicated, including the "magic bullet" shot. There remains no technical question as of this writing that those shots, although lucky, could have been made by Oswald from his putative firing point.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A key part of the General's thesis is that Oswald's time in Minsk was faked and that there is no evidence he was ever really there, at least not living there. Read morePublished 13 months ago by C. Trew
Few will recognize or admit the evidence outlined in this well-written book due to decades of programming by entertainment, media and education perpetrated by the KGB and those who... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jac
Mihail Pacepa should know. He was high up in Soviet intelligence.That makes this theory of KGB assassination of John Kennedy the most interesting one to date.Published on June 4, 2014 by Robert M.
This is a really good book from an authentic and competent author. Old story - today's problems.
Everyone can be recommended who is interested in the political essence of the... Read more
Simply excellent! Probably the most accurate account of what happened on November 22, 1963. It probably reveals all that can be revealed about the conspiracy.Published on January 12, 2014 by Greg Crowder
To rate this book you have to determine first if it should be classified as fiction or non-fiction. Whatever artistic value the book may have, if I look at it the way it is... Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Tudval
I found this book to be a fascinating and informative experience, Coupled with "Disinformation," one can become much more aware of what President Reagan best described as,... Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Author was debriefed by CIA for a few years, then was given a new identity, citizenship, and a government paycheck. Did he have any motive to cover up for the CIA? Read morePublished on September 28, 2013 by Songs in the Key of Me
Utter rubbish. Is it possible to give "zero" stars rather than 1 star?
Nutshell: the books thesis is that Oswald was trained by the Russians to murder JFK, but then they... Read more