Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Gift of Perspective: Review of Classified Woman & American Sons


The Gift of Insight: Review of Classified Woman by Sibel Edmonds and American Sons by Christopher Boyce, Cait Boyce, and Vince Font
 
by Frederick Ingram
December 24, 2014

 

What can you give someone who has it all? How about a new perspective. Two recent memoirs lead the reader through amazing, secret places and provide urgent insights into the world of today and tomorrow. These are excellent, topical books that deserve a wider audience.

 

Such a brilliant and well-spoken analyst as Sibel Edmonds---addressed as “sweet, beautiful, tiny, skinny Sibel” by a creepy supervisor---would shine in a network setting. She does run a website, Boiling Frogs Post, and is a regular on alt-journalism podcasts, where she appears not only well-informed but exceedingly quick on her feet. But mainstream media is not really in the business of truth-telling for its own sake, is it?

 

Classified Woman is the story of the whistleblowing episode that brought Edmonds to the public eye in a big way. An Iranian-born Turkish American, she was tapped by the FBI after 9/11 to soldier through reams of foreign language transcripts to look for the sorts of warnings that had been missed. And she found them.

 

Within weeks she reveals the department to be rife with nepotism and worse, easily recognizable to anyone who’s had to slog away under entrenched bureaucrats. An HR issue from hell turns into a harrowing counterintelligence investigation in which Edmonds won’t be fully vindicated for years. The book illuminates the decades-long divergence of interests between the FBI and the CIA.

 

The cost Edmonds paid for whistle-blowing enhances her credibility. She has since found out that many people really do care. But not enough. I call it “Snowden’s folly.”

 

Like the Classified Woman, “the Falcon” also lights upon the peaks of power in Washington, D.C. But the focus of American Sons also dwells in the lowest of low places, the death valleys. It is another book of such extremes that it wouldn’t be plausible as fiction: think Forrest Gump meets Christopher McCandless meets Mission Impossible.

 

The Falcon is Christopher Boyce, another type of FBI spawn, son of an Irish-American special agent. Convictions for espionage and bank robbery cast him in a morally unflattering light, but he’s been great for literature, inspiring three really excellent books. The first, The Falcon and the Snowman, was made into a great Cold War period film starring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn; the sequel The Flight of the Falcon, also by Robert Lindsey, was such a classic of the genre that in high school I literally stayed up all night to read it in one sitting. American Sons doesn’t reach that pinnacle, but it flies around it, and the intro is a masterpiece in itself. It is a real triumph for its editorial team, who managed to weave three distinct voices together artfully as a Celtic knot.

 

As an angry young man at a defense contractor Boyce didn’t have much of a whistle-blowing apparatus in place to vent his grievances. There were only a handful of news outlets in the pre-Internet age. Indeed, 25 years later, Sibel Edmonds rued how she was ignored by all the groups ostensibly set up to help in such matters (though the ACLU did finally take up her case, to great effect). By then the lessons of Jack Anderson and the Pike and Church Committees, still being reported while Boyce was at TRW, had long been forgotten.

 

An amazing aspect of American Sons is how the future Mrs. Boyce rolled the stones away from the tomb-like cells of both the Falcon and his coconspirator Andrew Daulton Lee a/k/a the “Snowman.” For that matter, she also won a reprieve from her own death sentence, cancer.

 

Another title besides American Sons would the breadth of these stories better. Like Classified Woman, the book is also a bit one-sided, only mentioning Daulton Lee a couple of times, for example. In contrast, Lindsey’s masterpiece The Flight of the Falcon followed, with nuance and empathy, both the quarry and the U.S. Marshalls hunting him. But it was a rather long book. I do appreciate, though, a good, clear sight line, from whatever angle.

 

Declassified cables and archived presidential correspondence reveal new details about these years. Boyce never heard George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, and Donald Rumsfeld sighing, in President Gerald Ford’s office, about how much more effective they would be at taking care of such spies than the ethics-bound Justice Department. While Boyce and Lee were traipsing about with the Soviets in Mexico City, did they have any inkling of the deadly, dirty covert war being waged throughout Latin America?

 

The forms and patterns Edmonds describes in “Great Game” regime change today aren’t new. The Dickerson-Chicago scandal mirrors Reagan-North Iran-Contra and Helms-Hamrick in Latin America, and other intrigues that revolted Boyce as an impressionable, idealistic young rebel. The politicians and private foundations fund the hitmen of the world, while largely obedient journalists dutifully package outrage or whatever desired public opinion like Christmas presents.

 

Is the real truth even knowable any more? If such secret history isn’t even discoverable, doesn’t that make us a nation of ignoramuses? Is that what the Founding Fathers intended?

 

Edmonds reveals one of her favorite quotes, which has resonated with me since researching my own exposé, The Chase of the Condor. It comes from President Harry Truman, the man who signed into existence the CIA: “When even one American--who has done nothing wrong---is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.”

 

“Justice” is political. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. (Consider the CIA-launched careers of Osama bin-Laden or Saddam Hussein, for a start.) Spy agencies hunt and kill political enemies. How many unsolved homicides are the result of such operations? That’s why they are covert. Plausible deniability. Unaccountability. Otherwise, the Bushes of the world would have been locked up long ago.

 

Selling influence---and information---has long been a lucrative sideline for politicians since the days of Jesse Helms (who was never prosecuted for selling secrets to Pinochet). You can hide a lot behind a big flag.

 

Edmonds also maintains that intelligence services are used for collecting dirt on politicians for the purpose of blackmail. I think the history of Hoover’s FBI bears that out.

 

Secret courts and the like are among the exact same abuses the Founding Fathers warned about. Anything can be misused. That’s why we, the people, need accountability. And we are not getting it from either the congress or the media.

 

Dungeons, congressional chambers, intelligence services. Someone needs to shine light into these dark places, for the good of the Republic and of humanity at large. For the sake of history. These tales, brought to you at great cost, do just that.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crap Wikipedia article

Dozens of errors in this ... for one, they found the gunman in Wadesboro, N.C., not N.Y. Slipshod work from a careless editor trying to poop out as many s*** Wikipedia entries as possible. Yet this is Google's top hit for "SC Mystery Couple" (searched w/o quotes).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumter_County_Does

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On Rosselli

"Handsome Johnny" Rosselli interests me because his body was found near Miami on 07 August 1976, immediately before the Sumter County (S.C.) Does were killed. He is well known to JFK conspiracists as a link between the CIA and the mafia in a Castro assassination plot.

Retired from the business, he was reportedly aiming to get back into the game in either Chicago or Los Angeles, and it is suggested a rival faction had him killed in a turf war.

However, the New York Times piece that concludes this reminds me of the disinformation CIA chief George H.W. Bush is known to have put out after the Letelier assassination in Washington four months later. The article that concludes this (Gage, Nicholas. "Rosselli Called a Victim of Mafia Because of His Senate Testimony," February 25, 1977) is just a little too authoritative.

It claims that the manner of death was not in the style of Miami Cubans, for one. His body was found in a canal cut up to fit inside in a 55-gallon oil drum. That signature is characteristic of so many disappearances in the Rio Plata near Buenos Aires, and it is known Miami-based anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch, for example, was in Buenos Aires around this time. Does anyone know if the oil drums used in Argentina were also filled with holes to help them sink?

I've also wondered if the oil drums weren't some distant sign of the oilmen warriors, the Bush and Buckley families.

Rosselli had already testified three times to the House Select Committee on Assassination (HSCA) and was preparing to go again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Big HR trial underway

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/argentina-archives-32/4001-argentinas-biggest-human-rights-trial-begins

Justice of the victors? "Chase of the Condor" finally proves Adolfo Scilingo really was lying (he ultimately recanted anyway). Are there other problems with evidence against these accused repressors? People's lives are on the line.