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MinM

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Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 11:23 AM
Number of posts: 2,237

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@SpyTalker: William E. #Colby: The Gray Man

The Gray Man:
‘Shadow Warrior,’ by Randall B. Woods


By EVAN THOMAS
Published: May 3, 2013

William E. Colby, right, with another former director of central intelligence, George H. W. Bush, in 1978.

During the Vietnam War, Bill Colby of the Central Intelligence Agency ran the Phoenix program, which set out to “neutralize” the Viet Cong by capturing or killing them. In 1972, when Colby came home to a nation that had turned against the war, his face began appearing around Washington on “Wanted” posters. He was jeered on the street and peppered with death threats. Every day at 5 a.m., he was awakened at home by the same crank caller, accosting him as a murderer and a war criminal. Colby did not bother to get his home number changed. Instead, he began to use the predawn call as an alarm clock...

In “Shadow Warrior,” we get the occasional glimpse of emotion. When one of his young sons began arguing with him about the morality of the Vietnam War, Colby became “red-faced,” the son recalled, and “shouted that war was brutal — it brutalized everyone who came into contact with it — but sometimes there was no alternative. He himself, he admitted, had killed men in war, even with his bare hands.” But such moments of self-­revelation are fleeting. Mostly Colby presented himself as Galahad in a fallen world, a modest knight to be sure, but bent on finding the grail amid sin and corruption. “He was a man who could distinguish between illusion and reality,” Woods, a professor of history at the University of Arkansas, writes. “Or so he convinced himself.”

In 1954, President Eisenhower commissioned Gen. James Doolittle to write a secret report on the state of American intelligence. Faced with an “implacable enemy,” the report found, the West would have, in effect, to fight fire with fire. Fair play was out: dirty tricks were in.

The realpolitik of the cold war raised an ancient philosophical question: If you adopt the underhanded tactics of the enemy, if you stoop to his level, do you become like him? Colby does not seem to have been troubled by the problem. He did not become a drunk or turn half-mad like so many spies and spy chasers of that tortured time, most notably James Jesus Angleton, the head of counterintelligence, who was Colby’s antagonist at the C.I.A. Colby was always rather a Boy Scout (indeed, he led a Boy Scout troop when he was at home on the weekends, and worshiped at the Church of the Little Flower). ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/books/review/shadow-warrior-by-randall-b-woods.html

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101662579

Another interesting side note is that the late Michael Hastings makes a passing reference to the Phoenix Program in his posthumously published novel The Last Magazine.

William Colby stipulated to "foreign assassination plots"

Kill the Messenger (2014)

Given that good journalism tends to be in the eye of the beholder and views on what qualifies tends to differ wildly (even within the DU 'family').

It's worth noting that Gary Webb, who was once widely denounced, will now be immortalized on film:


http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025272048#post68

Ex-L.A. Times Writer Apologizes for "Tawdry" Attacks on Gary Webb

Jesse Katz admits that attacking journalist Gary Webb's CIA-cocaine expose ruined Webb's life
By Nick Schou Thursday, May 30 2013

Nine years after investigative reporter Gary Webb committed suicide, Jesse Katz, a former Los Angeles Times reporter who played a leading role in ruining the controversial journalist's career, has publicly apologized — just weeks before shooting begins in Atlanta on Kill the Messenger, a film expected to reinstate Webb's reputation as an award-winning journalist dragged through the mud by disdainful, competing media outlets.

Webb made history, then quickly fell from grace, with his 20,000-word 1996 investigation, "Dark Alliance," in which the San Jose Mercury News reported that crack cocaine was being peddled in L.A.'s black ghettos to fund a CIA-backed proxy war carried out by contra rebels in Nicaragua...

No journalist played a more central role in the effort to obscure the facts Webb reported than former L.A. Times reporter Katz. But on May 22, Katz, who has penned a Los Angeles magazine story hitting newsstands now that resurfaces the Gary Webb episode, essentially apologized, on KPCC-FM 89.3's AirTalk With Larry Mantle.

Katz was discussing "Freeway Rick Is Dreaming" in the July 2013 issue of Los Angeles magazine, in which he profiles Ricky Ross, the notorious crack-cocaine dealer with whom Katz has a long, tortured relationship. In 1994, shortly after Ross got out of prison for coke trafficking, Katz wrote that Ross was the mastermind of America's crack-cocaine epidemic, at his peak pushing half a million rocks a day.

"If there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was 'Freeway' Rick," Katz's 1994 L.A. Times article claimed. "Ross did more than anyone else to democratize it, boosting volume, slashing prices and spreading disease on a scale never before conceived."

But Webb's 1996 Mercury News series exposed a startling fact: Ross' mentor and chief supplier, who helped him climb to the top of the crack trade, was Nicaraguan exile Oscar Danilo Blandón Reyes. Blandón belonged to one of Nicaragua's most prominent political families and was a major backer of the "contras" — a rebel movement secretly created by the CIA to overthrow the leftist Sandinista rebels...

http://www.laweekly.com/2013-05-30/news/gary-webb-jess-katz-crack/

SOS .. some of the same treatment that Gary Webb received. At least posthumously Gary Webb is getting some belated accolades ..

Keep up the good fight Octafish.

TIME: 15 years after JFK Jr.'s death, remembering what could have been

The son of the 35th president was 38-years-old when his plane was lost at sea

Fifteen years ago Wednesday, a shocked nation grieved as the Kennedy family lost another one of their own. John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., 38, died in a plane crash with his wife and sister-in-law on July 16, 1999.

“He was lost on that troubled night, but we will always wake for him, so that his time, which was not doubled but cut in half, will live forever in our memory and in our beguiled and broken hearts,” then-Sen. Ted Kennedy said in a eulogy for his nephew, an American icon turned magazine editor. Kennedy outlived his nephew by 10 years, passing away in 2009 after nearly a half-century in the U.S. Senate.

In that same eulogy, Kennedy praised the “lifelong mutual admiration society” shared between JFK Jr. and his sister Caroline, who now serves as the United State ambassador to Japan.

Kennedy was often asked whether he would further the political legacy of his father, who died when his son was only two years old. JFK Jr. once said of his father, “He inspired a lot of hope and created a sense of possibility, and then the possibility was cut short and never realized.”

Read TIME’s special 1999 cover story marking JFK Jr.’s death here.

http://time.com/2988210/jfk-jr-death-plane-crash-anniversary/

Detroit Free Press

had an excellent exposé on the charter schools here in Michigan..
@MichiganRadio · Charter school supporters’ response to investigations is "Soviet" in style -- from @JackLessenberry http://ow.ly/yRzws

WDET 101.9FM @wdet · Big investigation at the @Freep on charter schools and we bring in the two reporters working on it to chat: http://ow.ly/yxopl

State of charter schools: How Michigan spends $1 billion but fails to hold schools accountable

Bobby & Pele

@PaulGarrettATX · Robert F. Kennedy and Pele in Brazil, November1965.

The Appeal: It's the story of the purchasing of a Supreme Court seat in Mississippi. ~ John Grisham

The Appeal was a book I published. It was always a novel. It’s completely fiction and it’s completely true. It's the story of the purchasing of a Supreme Court seat in Mississippi. ~ John Grisham

Judge Oliver Diaz from "Hot Coffee"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101644148#post1

Whenever I think of Mississippi politics that John Grisham quote comes to mind. I'd like to be smug about it but my State of Michigan has become just as bad (if not worse).

Charles Guggenheim film commemorates RFK @ 1968 DNC


Four-time Academy Award ® Winner Charles Guggenheim
ROBERT KENNEDY REMEMBERED
TRT 29 minutes Black & White

Shown on all television networks simultaneously and at the Democratic National Convention in August of 1968, this film biography evokes the spirit, quality and commitment Robert Kennedy brought to his life and work.

Accompanied by (if memory serves) this song...

"Abraham, Martin and John" is a 1968 song written by Dick Holler and first recorded by Dion. It is a tribute to the memory of four assassinated Americans, all icons of social change, namely Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. It was written in response to the assassinations of King and the younger Kennedy in April and June 1968.

Each of the first three verses features one of the men named in the song's title, for example:

Has anybody here, seen my old friend Abraham -
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people, but it seems the good, they die young
But I just looked around and he's gone.

After a bridge, the fourth and final verse mentions Robert "Bobby" Kennedy, and ends with a description of him walking over a hill with the other three men...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham,_Martin_and_John

1968 tribute to Senator Kennedy

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021289411

51 years ago yesterday President Kennedy chided Bob Byrd ..


at the beginning of this famous 'Peace Speech' @ American U.

Although no President could make such a speech today for fear of being labelled 'Soft' in the "War on Terror" .. I'd like to think that speech 51-years ago (June 10, 1963) left a lasting impression on Senator Robert Byrd and his brother Edward. Apparently it did.

Harry S Truman's CIA Op-Ed

Former President Harry S Truman's CIA Op-Ed that ran for PART of one day in The Washington Post...

Tim Weiner's "history" of the CIA
...So right off the bat, the CIA was doing something Truman didn't want. After Kennedy's assassination, Truman wrote a letter that was published in the Washington Post, in which he stated:

I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue-and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.

With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda ... the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people. ...
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