Dr. Peter Janney, a psychologist reared amongst Washington's elite in the family of a high-ranking CIA official, undertook a decades-long effort to solve one of the nation's most important murder mysteries.
The result is: Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer and Their Vision for World Peace. Janney, at left, described his findings Aug. 16 on the MTL Washington Update radio show I co-host with network founder Scott Draughon.
Janney's 548-page book is entertaining, courageous, suspenseful, passionate, and so controversial that most media outlets dare not address its themes, although they would doubtless use other excuses if asked.
By the book's end, I am persuaded that major news outlets worthy of the name owe it to their audiences at least to challenge Janney's documentation.
Update: After publication of this column I received emails disputing the book, me and other critics. Those comments are summarized below.
To set the stage for Janney's book:
It would be hard to imagine a more explosive and complex theme in modern politics -- or an independent author better-positioned to provide a best-effort at unraveling the mysteries.
Let's start with the big controversy: Janney concludes that Mary Pinchot Meyer, the beautiful and warm-hearted mother of his best friend, was murdered in 1964 via a well-crafted hit organized by a high-ranking executive at the CIA.
The reason? She was, in Janney's view, on the verge of denouncing as bogus the Warren Commission's then-recent announcement that Lee Harvard Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John Kennedy. Kennedy is now known almost indisputedly as Mary's lover, friend, and sympathizer in reducing Cold War tensions to advance world peace.
Further, Janney argues that the CIA at its highest levels, including his own father, nearly framed an innocent black man for Mary Meyer's shooting death in the C&O canal pathway in Georgetown while she was walking along her regular exercise route.
Janney shows also that Newsweek/Washington Post icon Ben Bradlee had long, compromising ties to the CIA and to the victim. Also: Bradlee was complicit in blocking basic news coverage -- and perhaps in much more sinister activities.
About now, I expect to lose some readers who suspect that none of this could be possible. So be it. For others willing to explore new ideas, read on.
Mary Meyer was Bradlee's sister-in-law and also the ex-wife of Cord Meyer, the CIA's high-ranking covert liaison to the nation's news industry. Descendant of a wealthy and politically prominent family in Pennsylvania, she was lovely, capable, and gracious. This began in her teenage years. Kennedy first became attracted to her at a Choate prep school dance in 1936 when she was 15. She published a poem in the New York Times at age 19, portending her auspicious future.
An independent spirit, she married Cord, a prize-winning Yale grad, after he became a World War II war hero. He went on to become a best-selling author, and worked closely with her to become, at age 26, one of world's most famous and influential peace advocates. He led a global organization, and lectured tirelessly to advocate for a world without war, and joined the CIA fulltime following recruitment by Allen Dulles, the longest-serving CIA director in history.
The CIA, begun in 1947, heavily recruited such well-bred Ivy grads, both as full-timers and part-time "assets" while they pursued work in such fields as business, journalism, and academia. The CIA even funded the Communist Daily Worker and many left-wing groups as part its complex anti-Communist efforts, according to Tom Braden, Cord Meyer's boss and one of the agency's highest-ranking officials before he became a CNN host and syndicated news pundit.
Mary divorced Cord in 1956 when she could not bear his revised mission of working for the CIA, where employees kept their activities secret even from their families.
We now know that he directed such initiatives as Operation Mockingbird. This was a program to tilt the nation's news coverage to CIA-friendly themes by anonymous official briefings and scoops for friendly reporters, along with payments, and threatened or implicit reprisals against unfriendly journalists. Cooperating newspaper publishers in what was regarded as the fight to retain freedom reputedly included Philip Graham, owner of the Washington Post. Thus, lower-level journalists might find it difficult to publish different perspectives, especially since the existence of Operation Mockingbird was unknown except to key supporters at the highest level of government and the media.
Cord Meyer's work included spinning CIA's covert initiatives around the world. Declassified documents and many books have shown that Dulles and Counter-Intelligence Director James Jesus Angleton, among others, pulled off a wide array of activities with scant accountability by anyone. These included overthrow of democratically elected leaders around the world perceived by the CIA as too left-wing, plus bribes, false flag incidents, and assassinations.
Near the end of Angleton's life in 1987, he confided in Joseph Trento, who published a book in 2001 based in part on records that Angleton and two top colleagues had liberated from the CIA and then bequeathed to him. The book is The Secret History of the CIA. Trento, a respected author in other respects, thus has credibility for his long interviews with Angleton, quoted also by Janney. Here is a small part: "You know," Angleton told Trento as saying with regret about his career, "the CIA got tens of thousands of brave people killed."
Camelot in Washington
But that was later, and it was a different story in 1961.
Reuniting with John Kennedy, Mary Meyer had a torrid sexual and spiritual affair with him through most of his White House years. He invited her to many formal appearances throughout his presidency, as well as to many secret liaisons. At times, she even attended official meetings. Kennedy once seated her and her sister, Antoinette "Toni" Bradlee, at either side of him at a formal dinner. For years, the president flirted with Toni, married to the president's pal, Ben. Janney writes that this was to divert attention away from his romance with Mary, portrayed with president at left on Sept. 23, 1963 in photo from the book.
Mary saw in Kennedy a man who increasingly shared her pro-peace viewpoint, as illustrated by his actions to exercise more control over the CIA and Pentagon. The president reportedly undertook confidential efforts to de-escalate war threats with the Soviet Union and Cuba, and to curtail United States military actions in Vietnam at a time when the nation's commitment was just 25,000 troops.
Mary's affair with Kennedy was totally unknown to the general public until 1976, when the National Enquirer revealed it. The affair was apparently Kennedy's most serious, by far, during his many during his marriage. But the romance is a mere fragment of the larger story that Janney describes.
Janney grew up during the Cold War era of the 1950s and 1960s. His father, Wistar Janney, was a senior career CIA official. The Janney family was intimately involved with many of Washington’s social and political elite, as well as other high-ranking CIA officials. Peter Janney is a 1970 graduate of Princeton who earned a Ph.D. at Boston University. He extensively footnoted his book, and drew on previous commentaries, court records and confidential interviews. Some involve the papers of previous researchers, one of whom killed himself after making a breakthrough discovery. Another abandoned a planned book on these themes, reputedly out of fear of deadly reprisal.
The U.S. Department of Justice made a huge effort to convict in Mary Meyer's murder a befuddled day laborer, Raymond Crump, Jr., a black man found drunk in the park. A jury acquitted him after his church persuaded Dovey Rountree to represent him for free. Sensing great injustice, the lawyer put her career on the line to commit to the defense vast time, her personal finances, and her exceptional skill. Against a top prosecutor and the full resources of a Justice Department that introduced into the courtroom one exhibit 55-feet wide, she proved reasonable doubt to the jury. Her main contention was that the slightly built Crump could not have overpowered the taller victim, a fitness buff who was shot twice in a hands-on struggle.
For those with a reasonably open mind or curiosity about history, the book is a trove of insider commentary on an ostensibly glamorous era in Georgetown. Myth-makers portrayed a new "Camelot" at the White House. With a dramatic story-line, Janney assembles scattered evidence to show, for example, that Kennedy planned to dump Vice President Lyndon Johnson from the 1964 re-election ticket, and divorce Jacqueline Kennedy following his political career in order to wed Mary.
Further, Janney assembles evidence that Mary, a former reporter for United Press International, was preparing to challenge the Warren Commission's conclusion in 1964 that former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated the president by himself in 1963 with no known conspirators. Readers can decide whether it is credible that anyone, especially a woman in a pre-feminist era, would dare challenge conventional wisdom. Yet her family and personal history shows considerable independence, and her influential circle of Georgetown/McLean friends included the CIA's own master-spy Angleton and his wife.
The Warren Commission, including Allen Dulles as one of its nine members under Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, used Angleton and his team as a major research resource to shape its findings. The commission received universal acclaim when announced its conclusion in September 1964.
Mary Meyer was killed several weeks later. The murder was on the very same day when Angleton, at left, said he stopped by Mary's home in the evening with his wife so they could all attend a poetry reading.
Angleton and Ben Bradlee later rummaged through the victim's home and garage to find her diary, which presumably included in-depth reflections about Kennedy and their experiences. Bradlee, after parts of the cover-up began unraveling more than a decade later, explained that Angleton and the CIA should keep what they found because it was a "family" matter.
Janney argues that Angleton masterminded the murder plot against Mary as a small-scale replica of Kennedy's death in Dallas. Janneys said the plot used a patsy, Crump, and team of a trained killers, with one disguised in clothing resembling Crump's.
While such evidence, including a purported confession by a member of the team, is necessarily incomplete and of course controversial without any official finding, Janney presents it in a reasonable manner. He asserts that Attorney General Robert Kennedy, right, a resident of McLean, Virginia near CIA headquarters, privately disputed the Warren Commission Report, as did several other close Kennedy confidantes. But they feared President Johnson, his Texas financial backers, and the government apparatus they controlled as too powerful to make any public challenge to the Warren findings, except to try to reclaim the presidency ASAP.
The major news outlets have largely ignored Janney's book, as might be expected. He said my radio show was his only coverage in Washington more than four months after publication. The Boston Globe, one of relatively few mainstream newspaper treatments so far, published a balanced feature May 26, entitled, Peter Janney on JFK confidante Mary Pinchot Meyer’s death.
Nina Burleigh, a previous biographer of Mary Meyer, and Tim Weiner, a specialist author on CIA-related topics, are among those quoted as challenging Janney's thesis. Burleigh still argues that Crump committed the murder. Weiner dismisses CIA complicity as an unproven theory.
The Globe reported:
Most key figures in Janney’s book are long gone. James Angleton died in 1987, Cord Meyer in 2001, Tony Pinchot Bradlee just last year. In 2007, Janney interviewed Ben Bradlee but says his memory of long-ago events was not that sharp. Now 90, Bradlee, through a family member, had no comment on Janney’s book. Janney has also sent copies of the book to congressional leaders and Justice Department officials, asking that Meyer’s murder be reinvestigated. He’s had no response.
Mary’s Mosaic is published by Skyhorse Publishing, an independent, New York firm founded in 2006....Associate publisher Bill Wolfsthal said Skyhorse took on Janney’s book because it “brought something new to the table,” tying Meyer’s murder to JFK’s and to lingering suspicions about covert CIA operations.
More background information, including media coverage and an introduction by the prominent JFK assassination author Dick Russell, is on the book site. Click here to listen to our Update radio interview with Janney, now available nationally by archive. The segment on the My Technology Lawyer (MTL) network comprises about 20 minutes of the show. The full hour of the weekly show is here.
Suggested Reader Perspective
Most helpful now, I believe, is to suggest a reader framework for understanding such controversial matters. Simply excerpting parts of Janney's arguments or that of his critics is inevitably a highly subjective process given the amount of relevant materials and the layers of intrigue that have always permeated this mystery in particular.
Further, huge conflicts of interest exist for many researchers in reporting on this particular story.
Nina Burleigh, for example, is the author of A Very Private Woman, published in 1998 about the murder case. Her view is regret the jury did not convict Crump. Her career is that of a free-lancer, a tough business that requires high skill and good relationships with prestigious outlets willing to pay. She wrote her column (excerpted below) for Daily Beast / Newsweek. Sidney Harman bought Newsweek in 2010 from the Washington Post for just $1 plus debts. The Post announced that its priority was not the highest purchase price, but to maintain the kind of editorial policies prevalent during its Post ownership. The Post still lists Bradlee on its masthead as vice president at large under the leadership of a granddaughter of the publisher when Meyer was murdered.
Burleigh would look like a superficial journalist if any significant part of Janney's thesis is true. She would also risk antagonizing important decision-makers if she granted credibility to Janney's iconoclastic work. That's because the mainstream media, not individuals, theoretically should inform the public about presidential assassinations, advisers and lovers, as well as murder trials and follow-up investigations.
My view is that she is conflicted on this controversy by such factors, perhaps unconsciously. Also, she is demonstrably weaker in research than Janney, whose psychology profession is largely independent from seeking access to officials and media outlets aside from this book.
Instead of an assignment, Janney is on a mission to vindicate lost lives and a history that he lived, not merely researched. Thus, he takes document acquisition and story-telling to a deeper level than most free-lancers can afford.
For example, Burleigh's brief against Crump argues, among other things, that his height, described by Burleigh as 5-foot six in heels, was not that much different than the height of 5-foot eight or ten of the man described by the sole witness. The witness also described a stocky murderer seemingly without fear who sauntered away from the murder scene at a walk with scant concern that he was being observed.
Janney notes that Crump's height was 5-foot 3 and 130 pounds on his driver's license. Further, Janney reports that Crump's timid demeanor made him an implausible candidate for a cold-blooded killer who would overcome the taller Meyer in a struggle, drag her 25 feet, and then non-chalantly stare down an eye-witness.
In sum, Janney's perspective is more in-depth, and less deferential to official reports. That should not be surprising for someone who grew up in an environment of CIA executives like Cord Meyer, who routinely manipulated the media for what most regarded as patriotic purposes. Thiis is not to say he or any other researcher is without potential bias or other flaws, only that every ticket for a reader's journey has its price.
An even greater obstacle for reader understanding than reporter conflicts is continuing reliance on the Warren Commission findings, with scant interest in reopening the matter even as new evidence becomes available, as here.
The courageous journalist, Fred J. Cook, one of the first to attack the findings in print circa 1966, said he had never seen such universal acclaim in his career for an official report than the 1964 praise for the Commission's lone gunman theory. In his memoir, Maverick, Cook wrote that it took him 18 months to find an outlet, The Nation, willing to publish what he regarded as obvious criticism based in part on the Zapruder film of the shooting. He recalled that even his wife told him -- for the first time in his long career including historic scoops -- to back down from a story: "Who are you to criticize the Warren Commission?!"
Showing further what Mary Meyer would have been up against, establishment journalists popularized the term "Conspiracy Theory" during this period to debunk critics of the commission by implying they were borderline crazy. This term, as longtime Washington commentator Sam Smith observes, enables conventional journalists to appear as if they cover all points of view. The term also signals to VIP executives in government and in the newsroom that reporters and their immediate editors remain on message and on the team by scorning dissenters -- and thus worthy of continuing to obtain reporting access to high officials. Access is the basic job requirement of most beat journalists and even book biographers.
The term "conspiracy theory" has been extended to many other criticisms of government. In 2008, Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein, left, co-authored a paper entitled, "Conspiracy Theories." The article stated that millions of voters persist in holding false beliefs. The paper called for the government to respond by secretly paying thought-leaders in academia and journalism to curtail the resulting harm to national security. Sunstein's two alternative options were for the government to forbid those beliefs deemed dangerous, or else heavily tax them.
As it turned out, Sunstein was no mere academic. President Obama would name him to lead the White House office, OIRA, that supervises all federal regulation. He served for more than three years until his resignation in July to return to Harvard. Sunstein's wife, Samantha Power, became a high-ranking adviser on national security issues at the State Department, and remained in a similar role at the White House.
Sunstein, a prominent constitutional scholar, focused on national security in his paper. Yet the Obama administration would implement a plan in similar to Sunstein's favored option in the Obamacare political battles of 2009. This was by arranging little-known federal payments to MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, whom the news media featured as the most prominent independent scholar touting the economic benefits of the health insurance plan.
Updated: Assassination Buffs Against Janney
One group that might, on its face, have a distinct claim to independence is the above mentioned Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination. Organized in 1993, it describes itself as a political action group to "urge the executive branch of our government to re-open the unsolved assassinations of the 1960s -- i.e., the murders of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King.Lisa Pease and James DiEugenio, two columnists for the organization, contacted me Aug. 22 to dispute Janney's conclusions and research methods. In two columns excerpted below, they said many in their organization believe that the CIA was responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Their columns argued that Janney's book drew on dubious evidence to extend the killing conspiracy to Meyer. Yet some who might seem like kindred spirits attack Pease and DiEugenio, as indicated by several readers at JFK Murder Solved.
My view, which is shared by my thoughtful radio co-host, Scott Draughon, is to cut back on the self-censorship, name-calling, and let reasonably diligent authors have their say. Calling something a "conspiracy theory" without examination, for example, is a sign of weak research. Many conspiracies exist and succeed, as Republican Party pioneer Abraham Lincoln argued as a congressman. He opposed what he regarded as pro-slavery President Polk's deceptive descriptions of United State military encounters against Mexico designed to foment war on an unsuspecting public, and expand slave territories.
In that spirit of full debate, we have recently hosted on the show conservative Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground. Kay is the managing editor of Canada's National Post, and is also a Yale Law School graduate. He takes the approach of mocking his targets personally in his 340-page book, not refuting their arguments.
Another of our recent guests from the right has been Robert Keith Gray, White House adviser to five GOP presidents and formerly chairman of Hill and Knowlton, Washington's most important public relations/lobbying firm in his heydey. Our show in June focused on Gray's new book, Presidential Perks Gone Royal. It is is a hard-hitting attack on Obama. Coincidentally, Trento and his wife, Susan, have profiled Gray in their books. They described him as an important CIA asset who held immense influence over the nation's thought-leadership. Gray was hard-working and well-connected, of course. Part of his clout also, they argued, was because he knew how to use his knowledge acquired from CIA contacts to pressure news organizations and reporters.
This week, we provided a forum for another voice, Peter Janney, who also has been diligent, albeit with a different theme. My view is that even those who might disagree with his evidence or conclusions can admire his courage, passion, and craftsmanship.
Or maybe not. After fifty years the jury's still out.
Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination
* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series
At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near the location of President Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting.
- Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
- Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos , Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
- Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. Leading video, events and archives from the last 50 years. *
- Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
- Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
- 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,' Nov. 19, 2013.
- Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. Self-censorship.
- JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
- JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The CIA implicated itself in the cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out. *
- JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column.
- Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
- Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
- Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014.
- Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
- JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
- Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
- JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
- Former U.S. House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
- The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
- JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
- JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
- CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
- Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.
- Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You, March 17, 2015.
Related News Coverage
Mary's Mosaic Foreward by Dick Russell:
Now, with Peter Janney’s remarkable book, Mary’s Mosaic, the questions that long haunted me have been largely answered....
I don’t want to steal the thunder from what also stands as a mesmerizing page-turner, but here are some broad brush-strokes: In Mary’s Mosaic, you will learn not only how covert actions are orchestrated, but the many-layered duplicity it takes to conceal the truth about them. You will see how, to use a cliché, “love conquers all” – when a woman of integrity is able to help bring a transcendent vision to the most powerful man in the world. You will observe her courage in seeking to bring out the truth of what happened to him, even knowing full well the powers-that-be she was up against. And you will contemplate, too, the courage of author Janney in pursuing what became a terribly agonizing truth about the role of his own father.
I wish I could anticipate that Mary’s Mosaic will be widely reviewed by the major media. But after finishing this book, you will know why this cannot be the case. The CIA set out to manipulate the free flow of information long ago, a blow to our democracy that now sees near total control by fewer and fewer large corporate owners. The Rupert Murdochs of today would not have been possible without the Ben Bradlees of yesterday, no matter their seeming ideological differences. That is another sad legacy of what happened almost fifty years ago to JFK and Mary Meyer.
* * * * *
Wall Street Journal, For JFK Authors, the Truth Is, Conspiracy Theories Sell Lots of Books; 50th Anniversary of Assassination Prompts Torrent of Words, Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, June 2, 2013. When it comes to President John F. Kennedy's assassination, no word has been left unturned. As the 50th anniversary draws near, some might think there is little left to say. That turns out not to be the case. Skyhorse Publishing is issuing eight new titles, flanked by 17 reprints. The publisher started the year with 12 JFK-related titles, which means it will have 37 by year's end. Bowker's Books In Print says nearly 1,400 titles related to President Kennedy, including his assassination, conspiracy works, biographies and speeches, have been published in the U.S. over the past five decades. By comparison, the company says there were more than 3,300 titles related to Abraham Lincoln published during the same period, and nearly 800 about the Titanic. Many of the Skyhorse works have vivid titles, among them Mark North's "Act of Treason: The Role of J. Edgar Hoover in the Assassination of President Kennedy" and Patrick Nolan's "CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedys."
Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination, Review of Peter Janney’s Mary’s Mosaic, Part One, Lisa Pease, June 2012. Peter Janney wrote a book entitled Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and their Vision for World Peace. From the subtitle, researchers can be forgiven for thinking that Janney’s book is a serious contribution to our side, as many of us believe that the CIA killed John Kennedy in part because he was trying to end the Cold War and rein in covert operations. But Janney’s book is such a frustrating mix of fact, fiction, speculation and unverifiable data that I cannot recommend this book. Indeed, I’d rather it came with a warning label attached.
So I’ll focus on challenging some specifics regarding the three key points of Janney’s overall thesis, which are: 1) that Mary Meyer was not killed by Ray Crump, the man arrested and tried but not convicted of her murder; 2) that Meyer had an ongoing, serious sexual relationship with a President Kennedy that involved drug use; and 3) that Meyer’s investigation into the CIA’s role in the JFK assassination got her killed. Janney believes these three conclusions to be true. After reading his presentation, and doing a little additional research of my own, I’m convinced that none of these are true.
Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination, Review of Peter Janney’s Mary’s Mosaic, Part Two, James DiEugenio, July 2012.The reader is familiar with the old saying that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. If not, they are reduced to empty bombast. This book is filled with claims and revisionism that are so extraordinary that they are startling. The problem is that there is a paucity of evidence for them that is simply appalling. It is so appalling that, for the experienced and knowledgeable reader, one has to wonder why Janney wrote the book. After reading it, and taking 15 pages of notes, I think I figured it out....For the aggrandizement of Mary Meyer in this book is both unprecedented and stupefying. If Janney could back it up with credible evidence, it would be one thing. He doesn’t. Therefore it gets to be offensive since it says more about Janney’s childhood wish fulfillment than it does about Mary Meyer. But there is something even worse at work here. Since Mary Meyer is to be the exalted center of the book’s universe, this means that all the other personages rotating around her will be defined by Janney’s blinding portrait of Mary.
Amazon.com Mary's Mosaic Reader Reviews, The framing of an innocent man and how it all relates to the JFK assassination, David R. Wayne [Co-author of Dead Wrong, Skyhorse, 2012], April 30, 2012. Mary's Mosaic is one of the most dramatically compelling books to come out in a long time. It operates seamlessly-and at the exact same time- as Murder Thriller, Courtroom Drama, Spy Story and Historical Mystery. The author, Peter Janney, had a unique perspective as an insider growing up in the CIA spy circles of Washington, D.C. and he harnessed those unique connections to weave together the facts on one of the most interesting "cold cases" in history. The book answers questions that are not only intriguing in themselves, but also of great historical importance...This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the 1960s in general and the JFK assassination in particular. It's an important work because it corrects the myth that has surrounded both the relationship between President Kennedy and Mary, as well as the true circumstances of her assassination.
Boston Globe, Peter Janney on JFK confidante Mary Pinchot Meyer’s death: One man's suspicion, obsession, and an unsolved murder, Joseph P. Kahn, May 26, 2012. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, inviting a fresh deluge of books, articles, and documentaries about JFK’s murder and legacy, a legacy colored by ongoing revelations of Kennedy’s many extramarital affairs. It’s doubtful, though, that any forthcoming book will get more personal, or more conspiracy-minded, than the new one produced by Peter Janney, 64, a Beverly psychologist and first-time author. Janney’s 548-page tome, Mary’s Mosaic:The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace, reads like a John Grisham thriller crossed with an Oliver Stone movie. Its sprawling narrative offers spies galore, missing documents, a sprinkling of Georgetown glitter, Cold War geopolitics, and even a role for LSD guru Timothy Leary.
Daily Beast/Newsweek, The Mysterious Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer—Revisited, Nina Burleigh, April 2, 2012. Mary’s Mosaic, a new book about the socialite, artist, and close friend of John F. Kennedy, claims that her death was a CIA conspiracy. Writer Nina Burleigh disagrees. They were the aristocratic Mad Men of the Cold War, the spies, politicians, and journalists sloshing back multiple martinis at lunch (and the world’s finest wine at Georgetown dinners), smoke ever-furling from lip to eye, all the while plotting to kill elected leaders, control dissident minds with LSD, and plant spies in European trade unions and American newspapers.
DC Dave, CNN Censors Richard Belzer, David Martin, Aug. 16, 2012. The celebrity Richard Belzer has a new book out that he wants to plug, and it’s all about politics, which is CNN’s bread and butter. The celebrity certainly seemed to have what it takes to draw an audience. Playing detective John Munch on a number of TV cop shows, most recently “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” Belzer is well known and recognizable, and show business celebrities almost always score higher ratings than political celebrities do. On top of that, his book, Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-ups, co-written by David Wayne and with an afterword by Jesse Ventura, told us with its subtitle that it had plenty of what it takes to pique people’s interest, that is, controversy. It probably didn’t take CNN very long to realize that they had made a big miscalculation. Piers Morgan archly introduced Belzer as a “conspiracy theorist” and the latter was quick to dismiss the term as an essentially meaningless put-down expression and to announce quite seriously that his new book deals only with facts and that he was proud that his new book is properly being placed in the “history” category. Dead Wrong has ten chapters of greatly varying length. Each chapter deals with the unnatural death of one individual. The names of the deceased are Frank Olson, Henry Marshall, George Krutilek, Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Fred Hampton, Vincent Foster, and David Kelly.
U.S. News and World Report, Law & Order's Richard Belzer, Jesse Ventura Allege America's Most Famous Assassinations Were Cover-Ups, Elizabeth Flock, Aug. 14, 2012. In a new book examining the "scientific and forensic facts" of these assassinations, Law & Order star Richard Belzer, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and investigative journalist David Wayne argue that there is more to all of these stories. In Ventura's afterword to Dead Wrong, which was co-authored by Belzer and Wayne, the governor argues that "the fact that we have been lied to about the JFK assassination [among other deaths] is so obvious that it's outrageous." Ventura currently hosts a TV series called "Conspiracy Theory" and is a known conspiracy theorist.
New York Times, The Program, Laura Poitras, Aug. 22, 2012 (Video). The Program: The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data. It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a “target” of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: “I’m tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I’ll talk to you.” Two weeks later, driving past the headquarters of the N.S.A. in Maryland, outside Washington, Mr. Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the N.S.A.’s top-secret domestic spying program begun after 9/11, which was so controversial that it nearly caused top Justice Department officials to resign in protest, in 2004. “The decision must have been made in September 2001,” Mr. Binney told me and the cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. “That’s when the equipment started coming in.” In this Op-Doc, Mr. Binney explains how the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering was turned inward on this country. He resigned over this in 2001 and began speaking out publicly in the last year. He is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying.
New York Times, Giving In to the Surveillance State, Shane Harris, Aug. 22, 2012. In March 2002, John M. Poindexter, a former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, sat down with Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the National Security Agency. Mr. Poindexter sketched out a new Pentagon program called Total Information Awareness, that proposed to scan the world’s electronic information — including phone calls, e-mails and financial and travel records — looking for transactions associated with terrorist plots. The N.S.A., the government’s chief eavesdropper, routinely collected and analyzed such signals, so Mr. Poindexter thought the agency was an obvious place to test his ideas. He never had much of a chance. When T.I.A.’s existence became public, it was denounced as the height of post-9/11 excess and ridiculed for its creepy name. Mr. Poindexter’s notorious role in the Iran-contra affair became a central focus of the debate. He resigned from government, and T.I.A. was dismantled in 2003. But what Mr. Poindexter didn’t know was that the N.S.A. was already pursuing its own version of the program, and on a scale that he had only imagined. A decade later, the legacy of T.I.A. is quietly thriving at the N.S.A. It is more pervasive than most people think, and it operates with little accountability or restraint.
Institute for Political Economy / OpEd News, Amerika's Future is Death, Paul Craig Roberts, Aug. 20, 2012. Conspiracy theories have now blossomed into what the smug presstitute media calls a "conspiracy culture." According to the presstitutes, Americans have to find some explanation for their frustrations and failings, so Americans shift the blame to the Bilderbergers, the Rothschilds, the New World Order and so forth and so on. Readers will not be surprised that I disagree with the presstitutes. Indeed, the conspiracy culture is the product of the presstitute media's failure to investigate and to report truthfully....Americans have been fed lies by "their" government and the government's presstitute media for so long that it is not surprising that Americans increasingly believe that there is a conspiracy operating against them. Millions of Americans have been evicted from their jobs, careers, and homes while the crooks who stole from them run free and bankroll the presidential candidates. The world as millions of Americans knew it has come to an end, and no one has been held accountable
Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues
Legal Schnauzer, Child Rapist Jerry Sandusky Received a Favorable Court Ruling That Was Denied to Don Siegelman, Roger Shuler, Aug. 20, 2012. Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was granted a motion that forced prosecutors to provide specifics about charges in his child sexual abuse case. The defendants in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman were denied a similar motion on charges of public corruption. What does that mean? One judge found that Sandusky was entitled to specifics about charges that essentially alleged he was a serial child rapist. Another judge found that Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy were not entitled to specifics about charges that essentially sought to criminalize a standard political transaction. Does that sound fair to you? Is that what passes for justice in American courts? New York Times, Obama Lags on Judicial Picks, Limiting His Mark on Courts, Charlie Savage, Aug. 17, 2012. President Obama is set to end his term with dozens fewer lower-court appointments than both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush achieved in their first four years, and probably with less of a lasting ideological imprint on the judiciary than many liberals had hoped for and conservatives had feared. Mr. Obama’s record stems in part from a decision at the start of his presidency to make judicial nominations a lower political priority, according to documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former administration officials and with court watchers from across the political spectrum. Senate Republicans also played a role, ratcheting up partisan warfare over judges that has been escalating for the past generation by delaying even uncontroversial picks who would have been quickly approved in the past. But a good portion of Mr. Obama’s judicial record stems from a deliberate strategy.
Salon, Secrecy creep, Glenn Greenwald, Aug 14, 2012. Executive branch agencies have learned well from the Obama administration's fixation on punishing whistleblowers.
That the Obama administration has waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers is by now well-known and well-documented, as is its general fixation on not just maintaining but increasing even the most extreme and absurd levels of secrecy. Unsurprisingly, this ethos — that the real criminals are those who expose government wrongdoing, not those who engage in that wrongdoing — now pervades lower levels of the Executive Branch as well.
Institute for Political Economy, Ecuador President Rafael “We Are Not A Colony” Correa Stands Up To The Jackbooted British Gestapo, Paul Craig Roberts, left, Aug. 16, 2012. The once proud British government, now reduced to Washington’s servile whore, put on its Gestapo Jackboots and declared that if the Ecuadorean Embassy in London did not hand over WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, British storm troopers would invade the embassy with military force and drag Assange out. Ecuador stood its ground. “We want to be very clear, we are not a British colony,” declared Ecuador’s Foreign Minister. Far from being intimidated the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, replied to the threat by granting Assange political asylum. The once law-abiding British government had no shame in announcing that it would violate the Vienna Convention and assault the Ecuadorean Embassy, just as the Islamic students in the 1979 Khomeini Revolution in Iran took over the US Embassy and held the diplomatic staff captive.
Let’s be clear, Assange is not a fugitive from justice. He has not been charged with any crime in any country. He has not raped any women. There are no indictments pending in any court, and as no charges have been brought against him, there is no validity to the Swedish extradition request. It is not normal for people to be extradited for questioning, especially when, as in Assange’s case, he expressed his complete cooperation with being questioned a second time by Swedish officials in London.
Background:News from Underground, Eight BIG PROBLEMS with the “case” against Assange, Naomi Wolf, right, originally published Feb. 11, 2011. (News from Underground republished the column the week of Aug. 16, 2012, listing it at near the top of the best-read columns on the site that week.) "Now that Andrew Kreig of the Justice Integrity Project has confirmed Karl Rove’s role as an advisor to the Swedish government in its prosecution of Julian Assange on sexual misconduct charges, it is important that we note the many glaring aberrations in the handling of Assange’s case by the authorities in Sweden. Dr. Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist at Uppsala University, explained on Kreig’s radio show last month that Karl Rove has been working directly as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party. Kreig also reported, in Connecticut Watchdog, that the Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgström and Bodström, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodström, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice. In that office, Bodström helped approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured. This background compels us to review the case against Assange with extreme care."
Based on my 23 years of reporting on global rape law, and my five years of supporting women at rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters, I can say with certainty that this case is not being treated as a normal rape or sexual assault case. New details from the Swedish police make this quite clear. Their transcript of the complaints against Assange is strikingly unlike the dozens of such transcripts that I have read throughout the years as an advocate for victims of sex crimes. Specifically, there are eight ways in which this transcript is unusual: 1) Police never pursue complaints in which there is no indication of lack of consent. Click here for other reasons and amplification.
Wayne Madsen Report, Judge Fuller's "smoking gun" statement at Siegelman re-sentencing, Wayne Madsen, Aug. 10, 2012 (Subscription required). Judge Mark E. Fuller opened up a can of worms at hearing and implicated himself in a long-forgotten murder conspiracy.
OpEd News, Do You Think Obama Was the First to Order Assassinations? Rob Kall, August 12, 2012.I viewed the new movie, Bourne Legacy, last night. I think that's what inspired the dream. I think I can say, without being a spoiler, that a lot of people are killed in Bourne Legacy at the behest of the US government. Last night, I kept having this repeating dream that someone had to revise some file on the internet -- an article or something -- then, afterward, would be killed....Finally, I got up out of bed and a thought dawned on me. First, was that this dream was probably primed by the movie. But then, the big realization was that Obama's decision to kill Americans extra-judicially, without justice, without judges or courts, was probably based on precedent. It's just not in Obama's DNA to decide to set a policy that it's okay to kill people. But he went public with that policy. We need to go back in history and draw a line and start asking which presidents exercised this power and who they killed. I have zero doubt that Obama did it first. He did it because he wanted to look tough and maybe because he got caught. But it casts a light into a dark, stygian corner of our decaying republic, that some are under the illusion is a democracy. That dark corner needs a lot more light.
OpEd News, Bill Fisher on No-Fly List Lawsuit, Joan Brunwasser, Aug. 12, 2012. Joan: My guest today is journalist and political blogger, William Fisher. Welcome to OpEdNews, Bill. You wrote an article recently about the No-Fly List. What's new with that? Bill: Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the ACLU's lawsuit challenging the U.S. government's secretive No Fly List should go forward. Here's part of the ACLU's press release: "This decision is a true victory for our clients and all Americans," said Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. So now comes the not-so-good news. He explained: "More than two years ago, 15 U.S. citizens and permanent residents, including four military veterans, were denied boarding on planes. None of them know why this happened. And no government authority has ever given them an explanation or a fair chance to clear their names." What does this all mean? And how many people are affected by the No-Fly List altogether? Are we talking about more than a handful? Altogether, there are said to be at least a million names in play....And all these lists have been questioned because of the large numbers of errors -- misidentifications, dead people, and so forth, from which in the past there has been no publicly available information to seek your escape. The government has even continued to be vague about who compiles the lists, who operates the databases, how and when the names are used, etc.
Radar.com, Anderson Cooper's CIA Secret, Oct 27, 2008. Anderson Cooper has long traded on his biography, carving a niche for himself as the most human of news anchors. But there's one aspect of his past that the silver-haired CNN star has never made public: the months he spent training for a career with the Central Intelligence Agency. Following his sophomore and junior years at Yale—a well-known recruiting ground for the CIA—Cooper spent his summers interning at the agency's monolithic headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in a program for students interested in intelligence work. His involvement with the agency ended there, and he chose not to pursue a job with the agency after graduation, according to a CNN spokeswoman, who confirmed details of Cooper's CIA involvement to Radar.