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The book’s first chapter contains new revelations about how Oswald was a witting false defector to the USSR in a CIA plan to surface a KGB mole in the CIA. The second volume in a series on the assassination of President Kennedy, “Countdown to Darkness” describes events during a dangerous quickening of the Cold War. The race for a long-range delivery system for nuclear weap The book’s first chapter contains new revelations about how Oswald was a witting false defector to the USSR in a CIA plan to surface a KGB mole in the CIA. The second volume in a series on the assassination of President Kennedy, “Countdown to Darkness” describes events during a dangerous quickening of the Cold War. The race for a long-range delivery system for nuclear weapons came to its final, unexpected, and unstable conclusion — the “missile gap” favored the United States, not the Soviet Union. The European colonial empires were collapsing in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, spawning Cold War hot spots, where Moscow and Washington rushed in to fill the void. The inevitable consequence of Castro’s revolution played itself out as communism established itself — armed to the teeth by the Soviet Bloc by early 1961 — a few miles from the American underbelly. This book reveals how deeply the Eisenhower Administration was in denial about the entrenched Castro police state, the complete penetration of all anti-Castro groups by Cuban intelligence, and the convulsive spectacle of the exiled Cuban leaders. As Eisenhower marshaled his subordinates to overthrow Castro, the president lost patience with DCI Allen Dulles. Eisenhower wanted a Cold War triple play — the elimination of Castro and, to ensure support from Europe and Latin America, the simultaneous elimination of Congolese Prime Minister Lumumba and Dominican Republic Dictator Trujillo. Dulles approved a CIA plan to use the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro in the fall of 1960, as the Democratic and Republican nominees entered the U.S. presidential election campaign. The Nixon-Kennedy debates turned into a spectacle over the crisis in Cuba. JFK pummeled Nixon for not standing up to Castro and not arming the rebels inside and outside of Cuba, while Nixon, who knew that was exactly what the administration was doing, was unable to respond due to the covert nature of the plan. In the NSC, the president had demanded, “Everyone must be prepared to swear that he has not heard of it.” Unfortunately for Vice President Nixon, Kennedy had heard all about it. By the fall of 1960, the principal Cuban exile groups in Miami, and their underground sections in Cuba, had long since descended into chaos. The principal CIA officer responsible for holding them together, Gerry Droller, was singularly incompetent. But that mattered little, as the rate at which Soviet Bloc weapons were pouring into Cuba rendered the exile leadership problem irrelevant. The exile government would never be put ashore in Cuba. All of this came together in a terrible ending. The covert CIA paramilitary plan was unable to keep pace with the consolidation of the regime in Havana, and that plan breathed its last before Kennedy was inaugurated. It did not take long for Allen Dulles and the Pentagon chiefs to figure out that if they told the president the truth about Cuba and Laos, he would abort in Cuba and negotiate over Laos. So they lied to President Kennedy about their views. They assumed that when the exile invasion force was being slaughtered on the beachhead, the president would change his mind and send in the marines and airplanes. The lie about Laos nearly worked. But when the lies about Cuba — that the brigade could succeed and the Cuban people would rise up in rebellion to assist it — did not work, the countdown to darkness came to its tragic, and ignominious end. Once past that foreboding event horizon, political and economic forces inexorably cleaved inward like matter pulled into the singularity of a black hole. Within a year, Kennedy would fire the top three men at the CIA and most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


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The book’s first chapter contains new revelations about how Oswald was a witting false defector to the USSR in a CIA plan to surface a KGB mole in the CIA. The second volume in a series on the assassination of President Kennedy, “Countdown to Darkness” describes events during a dangerous quickening of the Cold War. The race for a long-range delivery system for nuclear weap The book’s first chapter contains new revelations about how Oswald was a witting false defector to the USSR in a CIA plan to surface a KGB mole in the CIA. The second volume in a series on the assassination of President Kennedy, “Countdown to Darkness” describes events during a dangerous quickening of the Cold War. The race for a long-range delivery system for nuclear weapons came to its final, unexpected, and unstable conclusion — the “missile gap” favored the United States, not the Soviet Union. The European colonial empires were collapsing in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, spawning Cold War hot spots, where Moscow and Washington rushed in to fill the void. The inevitable consequence of Castro’s revolution played itself out as communism established itself — armed to the teeth by the Soviet Bloc by early 1961 — a few miles from the American underbelly. This book reveals how deeply the Eisenhower Administration was in denial about the entrenched Castro police state, the complete penetration of all anti-Castro groups by Cuban intelligence, and the convulsive spectacle of the exiled Cuban leaders. As Eisenhower marshaled his subordinates to overthrow Castro, the president lost patience with DCI Allen Dulles. Eisenhower wanted a Cold War triple play — the elimination of Castro and, to ensure support from Europe and Latin America, the simultaneous elimination of Congolese Prime Minister Lumumba and Dominican Republic Dictator Trujillo. Dulles approved a CIA plan to use the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro in the fall of 1960, as the Democratic and Republican nominees entered the U.S. presidential election campaign. The Nixon-Kennedy debates turned into a spectacle over the crisis in Cuba. JFK pummeled Nixon for not standing up to Castro and not arming the rebels inside and outside of Cuba, while Nixon, who knew that was exactly what the administration was doing, was unable to respond due to the covert nature of the plan. In the NSC, the president had demanded, “Everyone must be prepared to swear that he has not heard of it.” Unfortunately for Vice President Nixon, Kennedy had heard all about it. By the fall of 1960, the principal Cuban exile groups in Miami, and their underground sections in Cuba, had long since descended into chaos. The principal CIA officer responsible for holding them together, Gerry Droller, was singularly incompetent. But that mattered little, as the rate at which Soviet Bloc weapons were pouring into Cuba rendered the exile leadership problem irrelevant. The exile government would never be put ashore in Cuba. All of this came together in a terrible ending. The covert CIA paramilitary plan was unable to keep pace with the consolidation of the regime in Havana, and that plan breathed its last before Kennedy was inaugurated. It did not take long for Allen Dulles and the Pentagon chiefs to figure out that if they told the president the truth about Cuba and Laos, he would abort in Cuba and negotiate over Laos. So they lied to President Kennedy about their views. They assumed that when the exile invasion force was being slaughtered on the beachhead, the president would change his mind and send in the marines and airplanes. The lie about Laos nearly worked. But when the lies about Cuba — that the brigade could succeed and the Cuban people would rise up in rebellion to assist it — did not work, the countdown to darkness came to its tragic, and ignominious end. Once past that foreboding event horizon, political and economic forces inexorably cleaved inward like matter pulled into the singularity of a black hole. Within a year, Kennedy would fire the top three men at the CIA and most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

41 review for Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    I originally read this book in 2018, and as with everything I read, I put my reviews onto the GR's database for my own records. In August 2019, after reading Vol III of Major Newman's proposed six volume series on the assassination of JFK, I discovered that all records of 'Countdown to Darkness' that I entered last year had completely disappeared. Therefore, I intend to re-read Vol II & re-enter my review. I'm certain that I cannot imagine what the casual reader on JFK's assassination would think I originally read this book in 2018, and as with everything I read, I put my reviews onto the GR's database for my own records. In August 2019, after reading Vol III of Major Newman's proposed six volume series on the assassination of JFK, I discovered that all records of 'Countdown to Darkness' that I entered last year had completely disappeared. Therefore, I intend to re-read Vol II & re-enter my review. I'm certain that I cannot imagine what the casual reader on JFK's assassination would think of John Newman's multi volume colossus. After the first two hefty publications we have just reached the Bay of Pigs fiasco of April '61. To the dedicated assassination anorak, like me, J.N.'s intricate probe into the political and clandestine maelstrom of these times presents a golden study of the Eisenhower/Kennedy handover, with all the chaos of Laos, the Congo and Cuba along with CIA's agenda to eliminate Lumumba, Trujillo and Castro. In the background lurks Angleton's bait to catch a CIA mole with the false defector to the Soviet Union, one Lee Henry Oswald! The narrative twists and turns on many levels and topics, but always nailed down by solid research, much of it illuminating facts never before dealt with in this murder case. I have already completed Vol III, and can confirm that this investigation by one of the premier historians/researchers of JFK's demise is building to a volcanic crescendo of conspiracy fact.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence A

  4. 4 out of 5

    roy l bostrom

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Patrick Marston

  6. 4 out of 5

    Thomas D. Ray III

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Book

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  9. 5 out of 5

    C.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Lewis

  11. 4 out of 5

    mickey crowley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bob Pero

  14. 4 out of 5

    jack c. carlson

  15. 4 out of 5

    Donald F. McCabe

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jay Hawke

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie J. Garrett

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary H

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manuel P. Revuelta

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marissa Lucado

  21. 5 out of 5

    pat cortez

  22. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gerald M. Robare

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sam Honeycutt

  25. 5 out of 5

    James Johnston

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vettius29

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shaun McGrath

  28. 5 out of 5

    Biafra

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Innes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Boyd I. Hoskins Jr

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ugo Marsolais

  32. 5 out of 5

    Joe H. Clements

  33. 5 out of 5

    Harry Grant

  34. 5 out of 5

    james olswang

  35. 5 out of 5

    Juan Calvillo

  36. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  37. 4 out of 5

    Peter Olson

  38. 4 out of 5

    Harry J Schroeder

  39. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve

  40. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  41. 5 out of 5

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