November 28, 2005
Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba,
and the Murder of JFK
Certainly, when it comes to speculation about what information the U.S. government has kept from its citizens, the Warren Commission -- and the John F. Kennedy assassination -- is the granddaddy of examples of how we are kept in the dark.
BuzzFlash isn't a great follower of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, because there are so many. This is precisely because the goal of the Warren Commission -- like the goal of the 9/11 Commission -- was to make sure that nothing was revealed that might cause domestic or international shock waves.
BuzzFlash doesn't profess to know the true tale of who was behind the Kennedy assassination. But, many of the conspiracy theories are more believable than the Warren Commission report, which bent facts like pretzels in order to "conclude" that Oswald was an isolated, rogue assassin. In fact, it is extremely difficult to fathom -- given the available information and logic -- that Oswald acted entirely on his own volition.
The problem presented when you have a tradition of an elitist government that keeps the truth from the public is that it is very difficult to ferret out what really happened -- because much of the information that you need to come to a plausible conclusion has been destroyed, classified or purposefully shunted aside.
That is why "Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK" breaks new ground in the effort to understand why JFK was assassinated. Co-authored by Thom Hartmann, one of BuzzFlash's favorite colleagues, and Lamar Waldron, a veteran researcher -- this 912-page book was 17 years in the making. Hartmann and Waldron took advantage of belatedly declassified CIA and other government documents to carefully document their theory, along with extensive interviews with individuals close to the Kennedys and the CIA.
You don't have to agree with the conclusion of "Ultimate Sacrifice" to value it as a skilled, thoroughly researched contribution to the library of Kennedy conspiracy theories. It is an extremely important book because it relies on detail and the accumulation of facts, rather than mere speculation.
For some, the notion that the mafia alone was behind the assassination of JFK will be hard to fathom. Yet, Hartmann and Waldron lay out a trail of support for their hypothesis that is entirely persuasive. They reveal for the first time that Robert Kennedy was spearheading plans for a December 1963 coup in Cuba, code named "AMWORLD" -- and that JFK was the target of two prior planned assassination attempts. Three mafia chieftains, headed by Carlos Marcello, were furious with the Kennedys for RFK's relentless pursuit of the mob. The assassination of JFK was the ultimate hit. Jack Ruby, a mob foot soldier, made sure that Oswald didn't implicate anyone else by finishing him off with a gun.
You'll have to read the book to understand how the authors contend that the truth about the assassination was covered up due to the world crisis that the revelation of the "AMWORLD" Cuban coup might cause. But, given the groundbreaking research of Hartmann and Waldron, "Ultimate Sacrifice" is much more than a garden variety Kennedy conspiracy theory.
No one will ever be able to definitively prove who had JFK killed, but after reading "Ultimate Sacrifice," if you had to place a bet, you would probably put your money down on the Hartmann-Waldron theory getting pretty darn close to the truth. Not that we are betting people.
Personally, we've always thought the argument of whether or not there were one or two gunmen has been a bit of a distraction. We just accept as a given that Oswald was a patsy. The real question is who planned the assassination of JFK, however it was carried out. "Ultimate Sacrifice" offers an entirely credible theory in answer to that question.
Perhaps it is best to close our BuzzFlash comments with an excerpt from a Publishers Weekly review: "How well do the authors make their case? With a relentless accumulation of detail, a very thorough knowledge of every political and forensic detail and the broad perspective of historians rather than assassination theorists...no future historian of that tormented period in American history will be able to ignore their very convincing presentation."