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Deservedly obscure stories
on 29 April 2013
This book is a hodge podge of lesser known JFK assassination stories, so if you've been through the main stuff already and you're looking for some arcana, you might want to give it a look. But the thing is, these stories are lesser known for a reason. They are, for the most, part, not terribly revealing.
The story of "How the FBI Destroyed Police Chief Jesse Curry" is certainly a worthy and important part of the tapestry. However, even that one is marred by the author's poor job of providing context. For example, Sloan notes that Oswald "had been involved in pro-Cuban activities"..."that he was a troublemaker with Marxist leanings" without any apparent awareness of the back story behind all that. I mean, I can't really do it justice here, but suffice it to say there are plenty of good reasons to believe that Oswald had CIA connections and that all this Marxist stuff was part of an effort to create a rather obvious sham identity...and to set him up as a potential patsy. Just one detail out of many in support of this notion -- Oswald went to Russia, renounced his US citizenship, stated his intention to give the Soviets US secrets, only to return to the US to be welcomed with open arms, not hassled in the least, and in fact welcomed back to the country by a CIA-connected handler. Then he's suddenly attached to these bogus pro-Cuba groups, of which he's like the only member, and, you know, at the very least all this is worth mentioning. An informed, responsible author doesn't just call him "Marxist" and "pro-Cuba" and leave it at that!
So, from that point on, you take everything with a grain of salt. The book also includes a chapter endorsing the theory that the Russians killed JFK, and another that excuses all the shenanigans around the autopsy as simple incompetence that was all covered up purely for reasons of professional ego. If you find these ideas plausible, ok, you'll probably like this book better than I did. I find them absurd, but more importantly, I do fault the author for failing to put them in context, to address counter theories or problems. There are many other similar examples. The quick apprehension of Oswald is hailed as a straightforward triumph of law enforcement, no mention made of the suspicious circumstances around all that. Again, this is not the place to go into any of this in detail, but if you've read in any depth about this, you'll have some idea what I'm talking about.
It's perhaps not fair to expect a comprehensive treatment in a slim volume of mere oddities, but I'd have appreciated at least a tip of the hat towards the questions inevitably raised. You will be rewarded with a few interesting tidbits here and there, and after all, the book is cheap enough and a quick enough read you won't be risking much money or time by having a look. If you're new to the JFK assassination, I would not recommend this as a place to start.