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Mary's Mosaic [Kindle Edition]

Peter Janney
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Review

Mary s Mosaic just might have solved a great murder mystery. This is a must-read. --Jim Marrs, author of the New York Times bestseller Rule by Secrecy

Review

Mary 's Mosaic just might have solved a great murder mystery. This is a must-read. --Jim Marrs, author of the New York Times bestseller Rule by Sercrecy

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3802 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (2 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JLK6JI
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #372,604 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A. Cook, Bedfordshire, UK 12 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree this book derserves 5 stars (I am very confused why the review by a Mr Bradley Martin has given 4 stars because he totally does not like the book)

My review agrees 100 per cent with a review I spotted on the American Amazon Website. Please read it.

Written by Douglas P. Horne, author of "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board"

"Mary's Mosaic" is several things at once: an insightful and sensitive biography of both Mary Meyer and her one-time husband, CIA propaganda specialist Cord Meyer; a murder mystery; a trial drama; an expose of secret knowledge and cover-ups inside the Washington D.C. Beltway during the 1950s and 1960s; and of course, a love story about the late-developing relationship between President John F. Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer, whom he had first met at an Ivy League prep school dance when she was only 15 years old. Their paths had crossed briefly once again in the Spring of 1945, at the founding conference for the United Nations in San Francisco. (Mary, her new husband Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy all attended the conference as journalists reporting on the events there, at the birth of the United Nations.)

One of the fascinating aspects of this well-researched book is how it traces the evolution and personal development of Mary Pinchot Meyer, Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy. As Cord Meyer---a scarred war hero who was once an idealist and a pacifist, and who aggressively lobbied for a united world government following World War II---became a disillusioned cynic and was subverted to the "dark side" by Allen Dulles of the CIA, his all-consuming commitment to the Cold War (and his abandonment of his former idealism) slowly killed his marriage to Mary Pinchot.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiction or nonfiction? 30 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Peter Janney’s book. “Mary’s Mosaic” is certainly an interesting and exciting read, particularly as far as conspiracy theory books goes. His version of history just doesn’t seem to fit with the historical record, but on the other hand, it does collaborate his delusional proposal throughout all the chapters.

Putting the historical fabrication aside, I just can’t ignore the logical side of Janney’s whole thesis, or I should qualify that as his speculation.

For example, why would the CIA go to all that trouble if they wanted to kill Mary Pinchot? When you read Janney’s scenario of the killing one can’t help but see how terribly complicated it is. Why kill her in broad daylight with so many possible witnesses about? If, as Janney states, the CIA had a whole laboratory of drugs that can be used to kill someone with even an autopsy cannot detect, why not make use of one of those ingredients rather than shoot her?

Ray Crump, the person arrested, was no tractable boy scout as Janney portrays him to be, his criminal record substantiates that. His fishing story was all too fishy to be believable.

Then we get to the JFK assassination, where he further expands his conspiracy theory. He writes about the neck would being altered to hide the fact that it was an entry wound, which would prove there was more than one shooter involved. The fact is, it was opened up to perform a tracheotomy, which is well documented and can be seen in one of the photos of the president’s corpse, the wound is about an inch wide cut laterally.

If anyone still has doubts today about the Kennedy assassination, and think it was a conspiracy, they should see the video by Peter Jennings on YouTube, if they are not convinced after seeing it, nothing will convince them and they will go on to believe the conclusions in Peter Janney’s book.

[...]

Peter B. Martin
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  197 reviews
292 of 303 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Biography and a Mesmerizing Detective Story 1 April 2012
By Douglas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Written by Douglas P. Horne, author of "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board"

"Mary's Mosaic" is several things at once: an insightful and sensitive biography of both Mary Meyer and her one-time husband, CIA propaganda specialist Cord Meyer; a murder mystery; a trial drama; an expose of secret knowledge and cover-ups inside the Washington D.C. Beltway during the 1950s and 1960s; and of course, a love story about the late-developing relationship between President John F. Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer, whom he had first met at an Ivy League prep school dance when she was only 15 years old. Their paths had crossed briefly once again in the Spring of 1945, at the founding conference for the United Nations in San Francisco. (Mary, her new husband Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy all attended the conference as journalists reporting on the events there, at the birth of the United Nations.)

One of the fascinating aspects of this well-researched book is how it traces the evolution and personal development of Mary Pinchot Meyer, Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy. As Cord Meyer---a scarred war hero who was once an idealist and a pacifist, and who aggressively lobbied for a united world government following World War II---became a disillusioned cynic and was subverted to the "dark side" by Allen Dulles of the CIA, his all-consuming commitment to the Cold War (and his abandonment of his former idealism) slowly killed his marriage to Mary Pinchot. Mary remained an idealist and an independent thinker, and it was this very independent and unconventional woman whose orbit finally intersected with that of President John F. Kennedy again late in 1961, about two years before his assassination.

Janney convincingly documents how their relationship became much more than a series of mere sexual trysts---it became a personal and political alliance of two people who had become thoroughly convinced of the insanity of war between nation states in the Nuclear Age, and who were both determined to do something about it. Jack Kennedy, already sickened by war and skeptical about the wisdom of senior military officers because of his World War II experiences, had become even more skeptical about the desire of many to seek simplistic, military solutions to complex international problems following the bad advice he received from the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the Bay of Pigs and Laos in 1961. After the searing crucible of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962, JFK embarked upon a program of moral action not only in civil rights, but undertook bold efforts to begin to end the Cold War; to commence a withdrawal from Vietnam which would have been completed by the end of 1965; and behind the backs of the Pentagon and the CIA, embarked upon what he thought was a clandestine rapprochment with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Mary Pinchot Meyer, who had ever been critical and distrustful of the CIA, became a natural ally of President Kennedy's throughout 1963 as he moved to curb the unbridled power of the Agency and defuse the Cold War. (She was present at the "Peace Speech" at American University on June 10, 1963, and Jackie Kennedy was not.) One of Janney's most convincing sources about the nature of the relationship between Mary Meyer and Jack Kennedy was an extremely well-placed official with intimate knowledge of JFK's daily activities and thinking: Kennedy's Presidential Appointments Secretary, Kenneth O'Donnell. Janney used O'Donnell's oral history interview with the late author Leo Damore, recorded years ago shortly before O'Donnell's death, as one of the foundations for his book.

For those who revel in study of the Cold War culture in Washington in this era, the book is full of well-documented revelations about Phil and Katherine Graham of the Washington Post; James Jesus Angleton (the Head of CIA Counterintelligence), who was godfather to the children of Cord and Mary Meyer; and Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate era (who is exposed in the book as one of the CIA's major media assets). In my view, knowing that Bradlee was in the CIA's pocket helps explain why the Washington Post was so successful in taking down Richard Nixon following the Watergate break-in. Nixon had used his Chief of Staff, Haldemann, to attempt to get the CIA to "warn off" the FBI in its investigation of the Watergate break-in and the "plumbers." Nixon instructed Haldemann to threaten the CIA (Richard Helms) with exposure of its involvement in the JFK assassination, as an incentive for the Agency to cooperate with him. This "hardball" leverage failed, and Bradlee was allowed (and perhaps encouraged) to take down Nixon. He acted as the CIA wished in the Watergate matter. Unaccountably, Bradlee never employed the considerable investigative resources of the Post to look into the Kennedy assassination...well, perhaps that is not so "unaccountable" after all, now that we know he had been a CIA asset since the early 1950s, a part of the Agency's remarkably successful penetration and control of foreign and domestic media. As Janney reveals, Cord Meyer (Mary's husband from 1945 until the late 1950s) was in charge of that CIA program of media penetration and propaganda, and Ben Bradlee was married to Mary Pinchot's sister, Toni. The proximity of these relationships---between Cord Meyer, James Angleton, and Bradlee---make it easy to believe that Bradlee's links with the CIA, that began in the early 1950s, continued into the 1960s and early 1970s, when he was in powerful positions at Newsweek and the Washington Post.

Peter Janney's own father, a World War II Naval aviator and a recipient of the Navy Cross, was also a CIA man, and Peter grew up amidst the CIA culture in Washington. Mary Meyer's son Michael was his best childhood friend. He knew Mary Meyer as his best friend's mother. He was therefore perfectly placed to write this book, for his own family had frequent social contacts with Cord and Mary Meyer, James Angleton, Richard Helms, Tracy Barnes, Desmond FitzGerald, and William Colby. Janney's knowledge of the CIA Cold War culture in our nation's capital in the 1950s and 1960s is very well-informed, on a personal level.

Janney compellingly relates how the D.C. metropolitan police and the U.S. Justice Department attempted to railroad an innocent black man, Ray Crump, for the mysterious murder of Mary Meyer in October of 1964, just three weeks after the Warren Report was issued. Due to the heroic efforts of African American female attorney Dovey Roundtree, Janney explains how against all odds, Crump was acquitted. Peter Janney reveals the likely motive for her murder---she was about to publicly oppose the sham conclusions of the Warren Report as a fraud. Furthermore, she had kept a private diary which presumably recorded details of her relationship with President Kennedy (and perhaps even of affairs of state). In October of 1964, she was literally "the woman who knew too much." This book reveals the numerous lies and falsehoods told about her diary (and its disposition) by Ben Bradlee, James Jesus Angleton, and others, in a way not adequately covered by previous articles and books. The media in this country, misled by the CIA and by former acquaintances of Meyer's who had much to hide, has consistently distorted the true story of what likely happened to her diary, and Peter Janney lays all of this out in a way that anyone can understand.

Peter Janney also solves the mystery of her murder 48 years ago, in as convincing a fashion as one can, so many years later. Many have asked, "If Ray Crump did not kill Mary Meyer, then who did?" This book answers that question. (I will not provide any spoilers here.)

So purchase a copy of this book today. Extensively footnoted and persuasively written, it is the best account in print about the life and death of Mary Meyer, easily eclipsing the sole biography previously written about her by Nina Burleigh. Peter Janney has courageously finished the investigative journey into her life and death begun by the late Leo Damore, and briefly resumed (and then abandoned) by John H. Davis. "Mary's Mosaic" is part film noir thriller, part biography, and also provides a remarkably frank view of the Cold War culture in Washington, and the dark side of the national security state. It belongs on the bookshelf of every Cold War historian, and everyone who is interested in President Kennedy's assassination.
188 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer 12 April 2012
By Jacob G. Hornberger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In early 1976 the National Enquirer published a story that shocked the elite political class in Washington, D.C. The story disclosed that a woman named Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was a divorced spouse of a high CIA official named Cord Meyer, had been engaged in a two-year sexual affair with President John F. Kennedy. By the time the article was published, JFK had been assassinated, and Mary Pinchot Meyer herself was dead, a victim of a murder that took place in Washington on October 12, 1964.

The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer is the subject of a fascinating and gripping new book by Peter Janney, who was childhood friends with Mary Meyer's three sons and whose father himself was a high CIA official. Janney's father and mother socialized in the 1950s with the Meyers and other high-level CIA officials.

Janney's book, Mary's Mosaic, is one of those books that you just can't put down once you start reading it. It has everything a reader could ever want in a work of nonfiction -- politics, love, sex, war, intrigue, history, culture, murder, spies, racism, and perhaps the biggest criminal trial in the history of our nation's capital.

Just past noon on the day of the murder, Mary Meyer was on her daily walk on the C&O Canal Trail near the Key Bridge in Washington, D.C. Someone grabbed her and shot a .38-caliber bullet into the left side of her head. Meyer continued struggling despite the almost certainly fatal wound, so the murderer shot her again, this time downward through her right shoulder. The second bullet struck directly into her heart, killing her instantly.

A 21-year-old black man named Raymond Crump Jr., who lived in one of the poorest sections of D.C., was arrested near the site of the crime and charged with the murder. Crump denied committing the crime.

There were two eyewitnesses. One witness, Henry Wiggins Jr., said that he saw a black man standing over the body wearing a beige jacket, a dark cap, dark pants, and dark shoes, and then he identified Crump as the man he had seen. Another witness, William L. Mitchell, said that prior to the murder, he had been jogging on the trail when he saw a black man dressed in the same manner following Meyer a short time before she was killed.

When Crump was arrested, he was wearing dark pants and dark shoes. Police later found his beige jacket and dark cap in the water near the trail.

It certainly did not look good for Ray Crump, as he himself said to the police. Nonetheless, he steadfastly denied having anything to do with the murder.

Crump's family retained one of D.C.'s most renowned and respected attorneys, an African American woman named Dovey Johnson Roundtree, who was around 50 years old at the time. (See Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, an autobiography co-authored by Katie McCabe.) Roundtree met with Crump and became absolutely convinced of his innocence. She agreed to take the case for a fee of one dollar.

When the case came to trial, the prosecution, which was led by one of the Justice Department's top prosecutors, called 27 witnesses and introduced more than 50 exhibits. Dovey Roundtree presented 3 character witnesses and then rested her case, without calling Ray Crump to the stand.

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

As Janney documents slowly and meticulously, the case against Ray Crump had all the makings of a good frame, but not a perfect one. For example, the two eyewitnesses had stated that the black man they saw was about 5 inches taller than Ray Crump and about 40 pounds heavier. Moreover, there wasn't a drop of blood on Ray Crump's clothing. Furthermore, there wasn't a bit of Crump's hair, blood, or bodily fluids on the clothing or body of Mary Meyer. Despite an extensive search of the area, including a draining of the nearby canal and a search of the Potomac, the police never found a gun.

After 35 years of researching and investigating the case, Janney pins the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer on the Central Intelligence Agency. What would have been the CIA's motive? To silence an independent-minded woman who apparently did not accept the official lone-nut explanation for the assassination of John F. Kennedy -- and who had apparently concluded instead that Kennedy was the victim of a high-level conspiracy involving officials of the CIA.

Immediately after Kennedy's assassination, Meyer telephoned famed LSD guru Timothy Leary, with whom she had consulted regarding the use of LSD, not only for herself but also for unidentified important men in Washington to whom she wanted to expose the drug. Highly emotional, she exclaimed to Leary, "They couldn't control him anymore. He was changing too fast. They've covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I'm afraid. Be careful."

Meyer was referring to the dramatic shift that took place within President Kennedy after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the seminal event that had brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. As James W. Douglass carefully documents in his book JFK and the Unspeakable, a book that Janney mentions with favor, Kennedy was seared by that experience, especially given that his own children might well have been killed in the nuclear holocaust.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy began moving America in a dramatically different direction; he intended to end the Cold War through personal negotiations with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, who desired to do the same thing. The idea was that the United States and the Soviet Union would peacefully coexist, much as communist China and the United States do today. Kennedy's dramatic shift was exemplified by his "Peace Speech" at American University, a speech that Soviet officials permitted to be broadcast all across the Soviet Union. That was followed by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which in turn was followed by an executive order signed by Kennedy that began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

Perhaps most significant, however, were Kennedy's secret personal communications with Khrushchev and Kennedy's secret personal outreach to Cuban president Fidel Castro, with the aim of ending the Cold War and normalizing relations with Cuba. Those personal communications were kept secret from the American people, but, more significantly, Kennedy also tried to keep them secret from the U.S. military and the CIA.

Why would the president do that?

Because by that time, Kennedy had lost confidence in both the Pentagon and the CIA. He didn't trust them, and he had no confidence in their counsel or judgment. He believed that they would do whatever was necessary to obstruct his attempts to end the Cold War and normalize relations with Cuba -- which of course could have spelled the end of the U.S. national-security state, including both the enormous military-industrial complex and the CIA. Don't forget, after all, that after the disaster at the Bay of Pigs and after Kennedy had fired CIA director Alan Dulles and two other high CIA officials, he had also promised to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."

Janney's book places Meyer's murder within the context of the Kennedy murder, which had taken place 11 months before, in November 1963. The book brilliantly weaves the two cases into an easily readable, easily understandable analysis.

In Janney's book, there are two revelations about Mary Meyer's murder that I found especially disturbing:

1. The eyewitness who claimed to be jogging on the trail when he saw a black man following Mary Meyer does not seem to be who he claimed to be.

The man told the police that his name was William L. Mitchell and that he was a U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant who was stationed at the Pentagon.

Janney relates that according to a contemporaneous "news clip" in the Washington Star, by the time the trial began, Mitchell was no longer in the military and instead was now serving as a math instructor at Georgetown University.

Janney's investigation revealed, however, that Georgetown had no record of Mitchell's having taught there. His investigation also revealed that the CIA oftentimes used Georgetown University as a cover for its agents.

Janney investigated the personal address that Mitchell gave both to the police and at trial. It turns out that the building served as a CIA "safe house." What was Mitchell, who supposedly was a U.S. Army lieutenant and then a Georgetown math instructor, doing living in a CIA "safe house"?

Janney was never able to locate Mitchell. You would think that a man who had testified in one of the most important murder cases in D.C. history would have surfaced, from time to time, to talk about his role in the case. Or that friends or relatives of his would have popped up and said that he had told them about his role in the trial.

Nope. It's as if William L. Mitchell just disappeared off the face of the earth -- well, except for some circumstantial evidence that Janney uncovered indicating that Mitchell was actually an agent of the CIA.

For example, in 1993 an author named Leo Damore, who had written a book entitled Senatorial Privilege about the Ted Kennedy/Chappaquiddick episode, was conducting his own investigation into Mary Pinchot Meyer's murder, with the aim of writing a book on the case. Damore ended up committing suicide before finishing his book. But in the process of his investigation, he telephoned his lawyer, a former federal judge named Jimmy Smith, telling Smith that after a long, unsuccessful attempt to locate Mitchell, Damore had finally received a telephone call from a man identifying himself as Mitchell. According to Smith's written notes of the conversation, a copy of which are at the back of Janney's book, the man purporting to be Mitchell admitted to having murdered Mary Pinchot Meyer as part of a CIA plot to silence her.

In 1998, an author named Nina Burleigh wrote her own book about Meyer's murder, entitled A Very Private Woman, in which she concluded that Crump really had committed the murder despite his acquittal.

Just recently, Burleigh published a critical review of Janney's book at The Daily Beast, in which she acknowledges the likelihood that given the large amount of evidence that has been uncovered over the past decade, the CIA did, in fact, play a role in the assassination of President Kennedy.

In her review, however, Burleigh ridiculed the notion that the CIA would use its assassin in the Meyer case to also serve as a witness to the murder. It's a fair enough critique, especially given that the information is hearsay on hearsay and Damore isn't alive to relate the details of his purported telephone conversation with Mitchell or to provide a tape recording of the exchange.

But what I found fascinating is that Burleigh failed to confront the other half of the problem: even if Mitchell wasn't the assassin, there is still the problem of his possibly having been a fake witness who provided manufactured and perjured testimony in a federal criminal proceeding.

I couldn't understand how Burleigh could fail to see how important that point is. I figured I'd go take a look at her book. Imagine my surprise when a search for "Mitchell" in the Kindle edition turned up no results. I asked myself, How is that possible? How could this author totally fail to mention the name of one of the two eyewitnesses in the case?

So, I decided to read through her book to see if I could come up with an answer. It turns out that she describes Mitchell simply as a "jogger" (without mentioning his name) who said that he had seen a black man following Meyer and described the clothing the man was wearing. What is bizarre is that while she did point out, repeatedly, the name of the other eyewitness -- Henry Wiggins Jr. -- not once does she mention the name of the "jogger." The omission is conspicuous and almost comical, given sentences such as this: "Wiggins and the jogger both guessed the presumed killer's height at five foot eight" and "The shoes gave Crump the extra inches of height to make him the size described by Wiggins and the jogger."

Why this strange treatment of one of the two important eye witnesses in the case? Only Burleigh can answer that one. But given her extensive investigation of the case, I wish she would have included in her critique of Janney's book a detailed account of the efforts, if any, she made to locate "the jogger" and the fruits, if any, of those efforts. Perhaps The Daily Beast would be willing to commission Burleigh to write a supplemental article to that effect.

We should keep in mind that a criminal-justice system depends on the integrity of the process. If one side or the other feels free to use fake witnesses and perjured testimony with impunity, knowing that no one within the government will ever investigate or prosecute it, then the entire criminal-justice system becomes worthless or, even worse, tyrannical.

Prior to the publication of his book at the beginning of April, Janney issued a press release in which he stated that he planned to mail a request to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reopen the investigation into the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer based on the evidence that Janney uncovered as part of his research for the book.

He need not bother. In 1973, nine years after the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, 31-year-old American journalist Charles Horman was murdered in Chile during the U.S.-supported coup that brought military strongman Augusto Pinochet into power. Twenty-six years later -- 1999 -- U.S. officials released a State Department memorandum confessing the CIA's participation in Horman's murder. The CIA's motive? Apparently to silence Horman, who intended to publicly disclose the role of the U.S. military and the CIA in the Chilean coup. Despite the official acknowledgment by the State Department of CIA complicity in the murder of this young American, not one single subpoena has ever been issued by the Justice Department or Congress seeking to find out who the CIA agents who murdered Horman were, why they murdered him, and whether they did so on orders from above.

How much trouble would it be for the Justice Department to issue subpoenas to the Pentagon and the CIA for all records relating to William L. Mitchell, including military and CIA service records and last known addresses? Or a subpoena for records relating to the CIA "safe house" in which Mitchell resided? Or a subpoena for records pertaining to the CIA's use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents? Or a subpoena to Georgetown University for records relating to William L. Mitchell and records relating to the CIA's use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents?

No trouble at all. But the chances of it occurring are nil.

2. The second especially disturbing part of Janney's book relates to Mary Pinchot Meyer's diary. On either the night of Meyer's murder or the following morning, the CIA's counterintelligence chief, James Jesus Angleton, burglarized Meyer's home and art studio and stole her personal diary, which very likely contained detailed descriptions about her affair with President Kennedy. It also might have contained her suspicions that Kennedy had been the victim of a high-level assassination plot orchestrated by the CIA. Angleton took the diary with the aim of destroying it, but it's still not certain what exactly he did with it.

Angleton later claimed that his actions were done at the request of Meyer's close friend, Anne Truitt, whom Meyer had supposedly entrusted with the diary in the event anything happened to her. But Truitt had no legal authority to authorize Angleton or anyone else to break into Meyer's house or studio and take possession of any of her personal belongings.

Unless the diary ever shows up, no one will ever know whether Kennedy and Meyer discussed the transformation that Kennedy was undergoing after the Cuban Missile Crisis. But one thing is for sure: given Meyer's deep devotion to peace, which stretched all the way back to her college days, she and Kennedy were certainly on the same wavelength after the crisis. Moreover, given Meyer's fearful statement to Timothy Leary immediately after the assassination, as detailed above, there is little doubt as to what Meyer was thinking with respect to who had killed JFK and why.

Angleton also arguably committed obstruction of justice by failing to turn Mary Meyer's diary over to the police, the prosecutor, and the defense in Ray Crump's case. After all, even if the diary didn't point in the direction of the CIA as having orchestrated the assassination of John Kennedy, at the very least it had to have described the sexual affair between Meyer and the president. The police and the defense were both entitled to that information, if for no other reason than to investigate whether Meyer had been killed by someone who didn't want the affair to be disclosed to the public. The fact that Angleton failed to disclose the diary's existence to the judge, the prosecutor, and the defendant in a criminal proceeding in which a man was being prosecuted for a death-penalty offense speaks volumes.

One of the eerie aspects of this case is that prior to her murder, Meyer told friends that there was evidence that someone had been breaking into and entering her house. Now, one might say that the CIA is too competent to leave that type of evidence when it breaks into someone's home. I agree. But the evidence might well have been meant to serve as a CIA calling card containing the following message to Mary Pinchot Meyer: "We are watching you, and we know what you are doing. If you know what's good for you, cease and desist and keep your mouth shut."

But Mary Pinchot Meyer wasn't that kind of woman. She was independent minded, strong willed, and outspoken. In fact, when she attended CIA parties with her husband, Cord Meyer, she was known to make negative wisecracks about the agency. One of the other CIA wives commented that Mary just didn't know when to keep her mouth shut.

If the CIA did, in fact, orchestrate the assassination of John F. Kennedy -- and, as Nina Burleigh observes, the overwhelming weight of the circumstantial evidence certainly points in that direction -- Mary Pinchot Meyer, given her relationship to the CIA, her close contacts within the Kennedy administration, and her penchant for being outspoken, could have proven to be a very dangerous adversary.

In his introduction to Mary's Mosaic, Janney places the murders of John Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer in a larger context:

The tapestry of President Kennedy's killing is enormous; the tapestry of Mary Meyer's, much smaller. And yet they are connected, one to another, in ways that became increasingly apparent to me as I dug ever more deeply into her relationship with Jack Kennedy and the circumstances surrounding her demise. To understand the complex weave of elements that led to her death is to understand, in a deeper way, one of the most abominable, despicable events of our country's history.

Therein lies the cancerous tumor upon the soul of America. The CIA's inception and entrance into the American landscape fundamentally altered not only the functioning of our government, but the entire character of American life. The CIA's reign during the Cold War era has contaminated the pursuit of historical truth. While the dismantling of America's republic didn't begin in Dallas in 1963, that day surely marked an unprecedented acceleration of the erosion of constitutional democracy. America has never recovered. Today in 2012, the ongoing disintegration of our country is ultimately about the corruption of our government, a government that has consistently and intentionally misrepresented and lied about what really took place in Dallas in 1963, as it did about the escalation of the Vietnam War that followed, and which it presently continues to do about so many things.

Once revered as a refuge from tyranny, America has become a sponsor and patron of tyrants. Like Rome before it, America is -- in its own way -- burning. Indeed, the Roman goddess Libertas, her embodiment the Statue of Liberty, still stands at the entrance of New York harbor to welcome all newcomers. Her iconic torch of freedom ablaze, her tabula ansata specifically memorializing the rule of law and the American Declaration of Independence, the chains of tyranny are broken at her feet. She wears `peace' sandals -- not war boots. While her presence should be an inescapable reminder that we are all "immigrants," her torch reminds us that the core principles for which she stands require truth telling by each and every one of us. As long as any vestige of our democracy remains, each of us has a solemn duty to defend it, putting our personal and family loyalties aside. "Patriotism" -- real patriotism -- has a most important venue, and it's not always about putting on a uniform to fight some senseless, insane war in order to sustain the meaningless myths about "freedom" or "America's greatness." There is a higher loyalty that real patriotism demands and encompasses, and that loyalty is to the pursuit of truth, no matter how painful or uncomfortable the journey.

Buy Peter Janney's book Mary's Mosaic. But be sure to set aside a couple of days for reading it, because once you start, you won't be able to put the book down.

--Jacob G. Hornberger, President, The Future of Freedom Foundation [...].
98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent--and courageous, too! 2 April 2012
By David W. Mantik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If Peter Janney's CIA-father (Wistar) were still alive, we would likely not be reading this book. After all, it provides convincing evidence that Wistar knew that Mary had died even before the police had identified her body, which means that he (Wistar) had foreknowledge of the murder plot. Peter also makes a strong case that Ben Bradlee (of the Washington Post) likewise had advance knowledge, perhaps also tipped off by Wistar.

When one's own father is so deeply committed to a cover-up, it requires enormous courage to disclose the family jewels. But courage is what Peter has--in spades. His relentless pursuit of long-hidden links and evasive witnesses leads to his final denouement--a truly remarkable Cold War murder mystery played out on the shores of the Potomac.

If Peter is correct about Mary's execution and cover-up, then the CIA did not hesitate to throw away the life of an innocent black man, Ray Crump. That recklessness, all by itself, speaks volumes about the Cold War morals of the CIA.

The two highly compartmentalized NPIC episodes with the Zapruder film on successive nights (November 23 and 24, 1963) are profoundly alarming. Short of some degree of film alteration between those two dates, why else was this secret so highly guarded? After all, Dino Brugioni, who was on call that weekend for the NPIC, only learned of the second event after Peter told him about it! Furthermore, Brugioni's recollections are so at odds with the extant film that they also raise overwhelming suspicion of film tampering that same weekend.

With this book, Peter achieves a remarkable triumph--setting the historical stage (with many quotations and facts) for telling his personal story, which is so intertwined in this saga. Although it was a very different era--and that enemy spoke Russian--one can only wonder: With the current War on Terror, how much have the stratagems (and values) changed today?
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionately writte, exhaustively researched 9 April 2012
By Deborah Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Peter Janney's book is a passionate, fearless, relentless excavation into the murder of a woman from President Kennedy's own social circle who was threatening to reveal the Warren Report as a complete fabrication. Passionate--because Janney has brought Mary Meyer to life again, so that when she dies, the reader feels the loss of this remarkable woman. Fearless and relentless--because his investigation into what happened to this beautiful, brilliant mother of his best friend from childhood leads him to the conclusion that his own father, the high-level CIA official Wistar Janney, was implicated in her murder. Janney's parents told him that Mary Meyer had been killed when he was home from school, during Thanksgiving dinner. "We're all very upset about it," his mother had said, while his father stared down at the table. Later that week, his father took him hunting.

I first met Peter Janney about ten years ago, when he was just beginning his research. He'd called me because I, too, had been murdered by the Washington establishment for an attempted act of truthtelling. My biography of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, Katharine the Great, was shredded and boiled back down into paper pulp because I had revealed the Post's connections to the CIA. This bit of information had not been part of the mythology of Watergate--which was that the less than beautiful, less than brilliant Katharine Graham had forced President Nixon to resign from office by bravely publishing the stories of two young reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, and their editor, Barry Sussman (who in myth and history has been edged out by Jason Robards as Benjamin Bradlee).

As Peter and I got to know each other over the years, I came to understand the depth of his commitment to finding out why Mary Meyer had been killed, and how much it has cost him. In recreating Mary Meyer's life and death, he has had to face down demons--his own father, the parents of his friends--who were both Kennedy's and Mary Meyers' closest friends and worst enemies, and who killed the idols of his childhood.

- Deborah Davis, author of Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and Her Washington Post Empire
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Implications For the Company That Made Watergate: Unspeakable Implications for "democracy" 14 April 2012
By Brookbird34 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a page turner. It appeals on many levels, to different audiences. Mary Pinchot Meyer is one person on a very very long list of mysterious (mystified?) deaths that occurred among those with close connections to JFK, and/or his killers. She was also one heck of a citizen in her own right. After her death, the patsy was defended by a famous African American lawyer who is an important historical figure worth knowing about. Mary Meyer's sister was married to Ben Bradlee of Newsweek, later Washington Post. Their neighbor was CIA head of counterintelligence James Jesus Angleton. Her former husband was Cord Meyer, one of Anglton's protege's at CIA.

This book is so important because it is a microcosm of the close relationship between intelligence agencies and the US media during the all important Cold War stage in the development of the permanent intelligence and military bureaucracy that continues to govern us today. Normally this collaboration remains a hazy abstraction. Not here, among key upper class Georgetown neighbors.

The author's evidence is more layered in some parts of the narrative than in others. One wishes, for example, that he would not detour into speculation about RFK and Marilyn Monroe based on only one, highly questionable source. But most of the time, when the sources are slimmer, the author does a good job of examining different explanations, in an even handed way. Many will rightly critique some parts of the narrative arc, arguing there is not enough evidence to support the author's conclusions. Yet, this should not distract from the overall picture, as most of the narrative is soundly argued with enough evidence and also very sound critiques of alternative explanations.

The book also has a personal angle for the author that really pulses through every page. The danger here is that this might sacrifice objectivity. The reader ends up convinced that this sacrifice is never made, partly because of the tragic personal implications for the author himself. Janney's father also worked for CIA and we are told he was a "company man"

This book arrives at a time when study of the JFK assassination has undergone a largely censored renaissance. Books such as JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, and Breach of Trust by Gerald D. McKnight have completely overturned officially promoted books like Case Closed. Indeed, as former Washington Post writer Jefferson Morley recently pointed out in The Atlantic, since 2000, 80% of the academic historians who have written on the assassination have concluded there was indeed a conspiracy involved. The problem is these books have almost never been reviewed by the big media this conclusion challenges so profoundly.

Janney strongly endorses, as I do here, the incredible JFK and the Unspeakable.JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters I think this is the most important book written since World War II. It is not really about JFK alone. It is, rather, about the structural aspects of our economy that make wars, and their ideological justification the core of our current economy.

For far too long I believed authors on the so called left-- such as Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, and Amy Goodman-- when they made deeply critical comments to the effect that JFK was "Just another Cold Warrior." Recently such sites as Huffington Post, which are aimed at left liberals, have deepened a suspicion of mine about possible gatekeeping going on around JFK at the point on the spectrum where left-liberals meet further left... and usually the don't meet.. that is the point of such notorious gatekeeping mags like Encounter MagazineThe Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, which was aimed at left-liberals while being conceived and funded by the CIA between the 1951-64.

Then, after many years of interest in the Cold War, I was finally nudged "over the moat," so to speak, and began studying both JFKs policies and the assassination.

The immediate cause was a pattern I noticed on a very very long C-Span retrospective on the 40th anniversary of the Assassination. It featured lots and lots and lots of journalists. What struck me was that the vast majority of them -- who were actually there in Dallas-- believed that there was in fact a conspiracy. How different from the way this seems in the MSM of today, I thought. By 2003 the assassination was being given the full "X-files treatment" i.e. being lumped together in a cowcatcher phrase Conspiracy Theory that was crowded with other obviously absurd crap about moon landings to make it seem loony by association.

How different, I later learned, from how conspiracy in the JFK assassination was treated in earlier years, when it was front page NYT, and the subject of a huge Congressional reinvestigation in 1977, one that actually concluded that there was very likely a conspiracy involved in JFK's murder.

Over the next five years I read almost exclusively about JFKs policies, other Cold War trends, such as Communications research that touched on the assassination, and many works on the assassination itself. More and more it seemed that the dichotomy that today's official McLeftists insist upon-- that between structural and institutional analysis on the one hand and something instantly dismissible called "conspiracy theory" on the other was a sloppy canard. Little more than middle class name-calling. Originally it was the claim that JFK was getting out of Vietnam that made the mass media go ape-crap when the movie JFK came out in 1992.

Yet all of the most recent historical publishing--from the top academics in the field, not the trade paperback pushers of the likes of Bugliossi and Posner's Case Closed which were pimped shamelessly in the Billionaire Corporate Press-- showed that JFK WAS in fact getting out of Vietnam! On so many other realms of foreign and domestic policy, the more I looked the more i saw disjunction between the policies of JFK and LBJ.

How strange, it seemed, that JFK was ALWAYS the most virulently attacked Democratic president by our so called ""leftists"" of today, when he was the last major candidate or president to take a markedly different stand on Wars, budget priorities, reinvestment in US industry, and nuclear arms reduction and limitation. Why did the Noam always seem to bash JFK more than even Dems like Clinton who were way way way way way to the right? Again, I can't help but wonder if the Encounter Magazine analogy might be relevant. For it is the left who are the potentially the most dangerous audience for the already abundant truth about JFK's murder during the coup d'etat of 1963: if actual POLICIES ARE CONNECTED to the who dunnit aspect... well that would be the equivalent of "weaponization" of the JFK hit: it could be used to delegitimate our present fake corporate elections and the surrounding structure of corporate control that make them the mockery of real democracy they have become.

Why would this delegitimate said structure? Well that really is what JFK and the Unspeakable is about. It shows better than any book I can imagine, how the elected officials had, by 1960 become merely the dashboard to the engine that was the permanent military industrial bureaucracy. And that is the most important lesson for today, though it is so hard to demonstrate it concretely. Douglass, here, does just that.

This book JFK and the Unspeakable is the perfect book to give to those on the left who have been subject to the most misleading of disinformation around JFK. The reason is scholarship.

You will simply not believe the level of scholarship found in this book. EACH of its CHAPTERS has BETWEEN 600 AND 900 FOOTNOTES. More important is the quality of this sourcing. It is from the top academic publications in the field of diplomatic, intelligence and foreign policy history. This sourcing is literally THE ANSWER for those younger folk who have been trained to mumble "Conspiracy Theory" and preserve their moated consciousness from fear of being called a tin foil hat at a snooty cocktail party. Of course good sourcing is just one variable in the equation of a paradigm shift in US Cold War history; and Douglass handles evidence deftly without over-interpreting the evidence: there's just no need to.

Moreover, Douglass places the Assassination in perfect context. One sees JFK up against a 13 year old National Security State that looked at the new guy in the White House as an interloping new parent for a step-child that had GRADUALLY gotten more and more freedom to do its own thing. The gradual nature of this new bureaucratic autonomy and insulation from elected pols is key here. Chomsky, Cockburn et al., go to great pains to present the national security establishment as entirely a fait accompli by 1947. In reality, as Douglass makes quite clear with an encyclopedic overview of CIA developments in the 1950s, this was far from the case.

When the new guy arrived in the White House in 1961 there was a lot of grey area, precisely because the growing power of the CIA had been incremental and not nearly as sudden as Chomsky describes. There were plenty of reasons why the CIA felt as if they were more than just humble servants of the President's will. Also, by this point there was virtually no real legislative oversight, the latter having become more of a formality through the revolving door daily business dealing of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex-- a phrase which might sound abstract to some, but is made specific with myriad examples in Douglass' structural analysis of the US Garrison State in 1960.

This book is the most important book that a US citizen can possibly read today. It is more about current events than the next ten thousand issues of the New York Times, because it outlines the structure of the Times myopia. No wonder James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers, said "it changed the way I view the world". No wonder John Perkins, author of DIary of an Economic Hitman called this book "arguably the most important book yet written about a US president.". No wonder this book has gone unreviewed in the New York Times in spite of rave review by history makers like Marcus Raskin and Daniel Ellsberg. This book is just too dangerous to be legitimated by peddlers of court histories.

After reading this book you will really begin to wonder why the post 1980 "left" has so completely shied away from political history. Once this may have been very necessary. Today is has become little more than subsidized diversion. This book is where political history and the new social history can meet once again. The fake dichotomy, so lavishly funded, has been slain by Douglass, and we owe him thanks.

As a great companion read I would also recommend this book House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power. Another book I would very strongly recommend as a first book on the JFK assassination is Breach of Trust By Gerald McKnight. This excellent academic book has the advantage of only focussing on the Warren Commission and why it is so wrong. Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why
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