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606 of 689 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are all jurors, May 10, 2008
This review is from: JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (Hardcover)
We are all jurors in an ongoing trial to find the truth of John Kennedy's murder. Most of us have fallen asleep; some left the chamber, and others don't even care anymore. But a few, a very small few, have been paying attention for the last 45 years as arguments for the prosecution of Lee Harvey Oswald, headed up by government lawyers and their lackeys have been constantly countered by a volunteer and unpaid defense team for the truth made up of laymen, clergymen, historians, teachers, researchers, republicans, democrats, non-affiliates of all ages shapes and sizes. It has been a bewildering experience to have been patted on the head and told to go to sleep by the Warren Commission only to be rudely awakened by a garrulous DA from Louisiana, followed then by a government report which said, well, there might have been two, but go on back to sleep. Dazed and confused we began to leave the room but were called back in by Oliver Stone who told us to take a look at his evidence of Oswald's innocence. We were intrigued, but an impish Gerald Posner convinced Dick Cavett and other icons of American mainstream media that Stone's myth was just that and the case was indeed closed: Oswald did it. But Stone had garnered enough interest to cause Congress to form the ARRB- under George Bush Sr, no less. It took Bill Clinton half his presidency to get the thing going, but we watched with bated breath as the Assassinations Records Review Board began pulling from the FBI, CIA, and the rest of the alphabet bits and pieces of information that left gaping holes in the official story. Most of us didn't believe it anyway, but a few, a small few did notice that there seemed to have been two brains pulled from John Kennedy's head during the so-called autopsy. In fact so many moles began popping up it was difficult for the gatekeepers to bop them in the head fast enough. Distracted as we were by 911 and the war on terror, and the revelation that our government has the capacity to pull off an Operation Northwoods, as the ARRB found out, we continued to keep half an eyeball on the story, those of us who were paying attention. But then just as we were ready to reach a verdict of no true bill, Peter Jennings pops in to save the day for the prosecution. Disregarding all prior logic, evidence and common sense he lulled us back to comfortable numbness as he proved through computer generation, laser beams and some small degree of witch-craft that yes, indeed that was some magic bullet. Nevertheless, while almost dozing off again we heard rumblings of another defense witness about to enter the courtroom. He was David Talbot, an almost Main stream media type who was arguing that John and Robert Kennedy were possibly victims of powerful forces in our own government who wanted and needed them gone. But before he could present his full case a boisterous and bellicose advocate of Governmental Righteousness threw on to the floor, almost breaking it, an objection, claiming his stake in the case with a tome of such immense size and weight that no one, at first, dared to read it or question its obvious Buglisosian authority. When it was finally opened, the muse of Arlen Spector saundered forth speaking in only a language that he could understand. Talk shows raved about Vince's masterpiece; gatekeepers swooned, and the prosecution let out a huge and foul-smelling sigh of relief as they said, There! That ought to put this damn thing to rest finally! Everyone began to pack up and leave, most never having read briefs by Scott, Gerald McKnight, Larry Hancock, etc., defense advocates who had built their arguments on the works of Vince Salandria, Marrs, Howard Roffman, Sheim, Weisberg, etc., and the thousands of pages of released and obscure documents. But just as the courtroom almost emptied, looking like a Senate Chamber with a wobbling old man named Byrd trying to make a point, in comes a Jesuit priest. I'm no Catholic, I thought, as I was getting up to leave with the two or three other jurors who had sat through the whole case so far, trying to pay attention, but this guy seems to know his stuff. He's talking about everything we have already heard but putting it all into context. His summation is actually making sense- reason, logic, truth, honesty, footnotes, primary source interviews, follow-up questions, giving the benefit of the doubt to all sides. I sat back down. As James Douglass presented his case, scales fell from my eyes. Oswald was innocent. I look around. Is anybody there?

David Neal
Kitty Hawk, NC
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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 13, 2008 4:28:42 PM PDT
This is an interesting review, but Jim Douglass is not and was never a Jesuit priest. Rather, he is the husband of Shelley Douglass, and co-founder of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action at the Bangor Submarine Base in Washington state, who then moved to the locale of the other Trident base in Kings Bay, Georgia, to live in Birmingham, AL in a Catholic Worker house. He has been an independent theologian and scholar for nearly forty years, and is one of our greatest treasures.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2008 8:15:27 AM PDT
Thanks. I'd love to meet him. He and David Ray Griffin, James Carroll, Steven Jones, Peter Dale Scott, and obviously many more, are indeed national treasures. Truth seekers of the highest order.
David Neal

Posted on May 28, 2008 7:52:45 PM PDT
Hi David,

Great review. I haven't read the book yet, but thanks to your review and others like it, I can't wait to own a copy. You asked if anyone is there. Well, I'm only one person, but I'm here, I care, and there are others out there like us. Don't give up hope. The truth will out.

Posted on Jun 21, 2008 7:22:47 PM PDT
J. R. Mason says:
Does the reviewer know that we now have paragraphs to make reading easier? Sheesh...

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 11:46:06 PM PDT
T. J. Cole says:
I care also, and my eyes and ears are wide open.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 6:01:52 AM PDT
F. P. Kovacs says:
Fine comment, David Neal.

You just cemented my decision to get a copy.

Is anybody there? I guess some of us still are. I was delivering newspapers in '63 when the whole shebang was covered. I'd love to say that I, a 12 year old, smelled a rat. But I didn't. I was only curious. 45 years and at least a hundred books later, the curiousity is still there. I also have contracted a foreboding sense that JFK's public demolition (a fine warning to other would-be boat-rockers, wouldn't you say?) was only the tip of a far bigger trend that is peaking now, and exists to change the course of not only US history but of whatever good was left of Western Civilization.

Kennedy matters more now than he did in the early 60s. Then he was only a politician. Now he, or anyway his death, is a symbol of the gloomy fact we have lost control of the world, we who live and toil in it. That's not myth and charisma. That's the unvarnished truth.

Posted on Sep 27, 2008 9:02:53 PM PDT
D. V Lake says:
Dear David,
There are a lot of us here. I think this book will bring us together again. I am in the midst of reading it now.
My husband blamed Kennedy for Vietnam, for the Bay of Pigs, and for a lot of things that went wrong in the 60's. I don't know how his opinion formed, I think he may have been influenced by his father in the early days. He signed up for the Navy (after college) during Vietnam War, I didn't know him then. I do know that he and his father had very different views about the Vietnam and Nixon. His father was a conservative Republican from Michigan.
I campaigned for JFK when I was a senior in college. He was my generations hope for the future. I was 23 yrs. old, teaching in Berlin, Germany when JFK was murdered.
I believe this book does make sense. It answers some questions with logic and truth.
Yes, we're here, now let's see where we go from here after this book is read.
A few weeks ago my husband and I had dinner at a friend's house. After dinner he read an excerpt from Douglass' book 'JFK And The Unspeakable'. It was a speech Kennedy gave about his desire for peace in the world. The words were stunning, so much so that they moved the reader to tears. This gentleman who read the passage is someone whose opinion my husband respects. I am hoping my husband will read this book and reassess his judgement of John Kennedy.
Dodie Lake
Woolwich, Maine

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 2:27:20 PM PST
M. Reed says:
Your review may be nearly as good as the book, which I plan to read. How ably you capture the "jury's" inability to stay focused, and our immense desire not to contemplate the possible truth. What you do is to place this book in a context that makes me want to read it. Thanks so much. g. reed

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 9:18:48 PM PDT
If the book is as well written and interesting as your review, I will be quite satisfied in the reading. Thanks, David

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 11:00:55 AM PDT

Spot on! Wonderful metaphor. My wife and I have also been in the jury box, and it has been a long haul! We've always wanted to know what happened that awful day in Dallas, and remarkably, after so many years, we think we're approaching a 97% accurate reconstruction. Mark Lane's book, Plausible Denial, was a great summary, Oliver Stone's movie was central, and now it seems a third book is creating an even newer synthesis. The truth -- is ugly. Beyond words ugly. But at least the truth is really available if you want to hear it.
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Location: Kitty Hawk NC United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 31,827,229