Source – stuartbramhall.wordpress.com
The Psychobabble Theory of Assassination
Age of Assassins: The Loners, Idealists and Fanatics Who Conspired to Change the World
Faber and Faber (2013)
In essence this book is an encyclopedia of modern day assassinations. In addition to providing comprehensive details of more than a dozen political murders, Newton proposes a general theory of what motivates assassins. In my view, this aspect of the book is a total failure. Mainly because it largely omits compelling evidence of US intelligence/military complicity in the assassinations of Malcolm X, JFK, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and John Lennon and the attempted assassinations of Reagan, Ford, George Wallace and John Paul II.
I also have a problem with Newton’s assertion that the era of assassinations began with the Lincoln assassination. Assassination via poisoning dates back to Roman times at least.
According to Newton, the Lincoln assassination inspired the Russian Nihilist movement and their numerous assassination attempts (which were ultimately successful) against czar Alexander II.
The Nihilists, in turn, inspired the Irish nationalists and the “propaganda of the deed” (see Why Social Studies Never Made Sense in School: The History of Anarchism ) tendency of the anarchist movement. The result would be a wave of attempted and completed assassinations across Europe and in the US.
The book contains a long section on the life of US anarchist Emma Goldman and the attempted assassination she plotted with her lover Alexander Berkman on Henry Clay Frick (hired by Carnegie to break the steel workers union). Although she would later renounce violence, her huge public following (according to Newton) would inspire Leon Czolgosz to assassinate president William McKinley.
The book devotes a long chapter to the rise of Serbian nationalism, the Black Hand and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the purported cause of World War I. It devotes numerous pages to the Armenian genocide by Ottoman rulers and several assassination attempts against Roosevelt and Truman.
I found the later chapters, beginning with the assassination of John Kennedy, a big disappointment. In my view, this section of the book is pure pop psychology and psychobabble.
Newton identifies three primary motives for assassination
1) A desire to end the suffering engendered by capitalist greed.
2) The drive for violent retribution in reaction to other killings.
3) A desire to smash the state and other authoritarian structures.
This leaves out all the lone nut assassinations – in which misfits try to murder prominent political figures for no apparent reason at all. Except for the JFK assassination (Newton acknowledges Oswald had accomplices* ). Newton seems to be a strong supporter of the lone nut theory of assassination. He blames the rise of lone nut assassins on deep seated decay and alienation in US society, which he believes is aggravated by the motion picture industry.
*Based on an acoustical recording obtained from a Dallas police microphone, the 1978 House Committee on assassinations ascertain that Oswald had to have at least one accomplice. See https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKassassinationsC.htm
About the Author:
Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes how FBI harassment led a 54 year old psychiatrist, single mother activist, to close my 25 year Seattle practice to begin a new life in New Zealand. It begins by describing the fifteen years of covert harassment I experienced when I used my financial and social position, as a doctor, to assist two former Black Panthers who had occupied an abandoned school to transform it into an African American Museum. What began as unrelenting phone harassment and illegal break-ins, progressed to six attempts on my life and an affair with an undercover agent who railroaded me into a psychiatric hospital.
My main motivation for writing the book was the murder of a black postal worker and union activist named Oscar Manassa. The US government comes down hard on dissidents, whistleblowers and activists. As I recount in my memoir, Oscar also experienced extensive covert harassment prior to his brutal murder. Moreover immediately following his death, the US Postal Inspectors (an intelligence arm of the federal government blocked a homicide investigation by seizing the evidence file from the Seattle police.
The whole experience was a personal epiphany, leading to the frightening discovery that the democratic institutions of power have been taken over by an invisible shadow government.
At the beginning of 1987, I was a naïve hard working private psychiatrist concerned with growing joblessness and homelessness in Seattle’s African American community. By the end of the year, I had been intimately acquainted with America’s shadow government and the criminal activities US intelligence is notorious for – illegal narcotics trafficking, arms dealing, money laundering and covert assassinations of foreign and domestic leaders and activists.
My personal experiences would eerily foreshadow the burgeoning of the US intelligence state after 9-11. Any activist over fifty will tell you that the US government has targeted dissidents, whistleblowers and activists as far back as World War I with illegal wire taps, surveillance, break-ins, indefinite detention and extrajudicial assassination. Ironically all these previously illegal activities are totally legal under The Patriot act and the National Defense Authorization Act.
The Most Revolutionary Act won a 2011 Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice award.
Dr Bramhall on radio:
The Real Deal with Jim Fetzer (http://radiofetzer.blogspot.com) Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Jim and I discuss the Arab Spring, the recent takeover of the State Capitol in Madison Wisconsin, left gatekeeping foundations, and how the destruction of the middle class will hasten revolutionary change.
Click here to listen (fast forward through music):
http://nwopodcast.com/fetz/media/jim%20fetzer%20real%20deal-stuart%20jeanne%20bramhall.mp3, The Real Deal with Jim Fetzer (http://radiofetzer.blogspot.com) Monday, February 7, 2011 –
We talk about the New Zealand political climate, the 911 Truth Movement and Noam Chomsky’s puzzling stance that there was no US government involvement in either 911 or the JFK assassination. We also discuss the role of insurance lobby and Big Pharma in blocking the establishment of universal single payer health care in the US, as well as Climategate and the BP oil spill. Finally we discuss my involvement with Seattle’s African American Museum and the resulting government harassment that I describe in The Most Revolutionary Act. I talk about the murder of a postal worker named Oscar Manassa and the rip-off of the federal worker compensation program to fund the Contra war against Nicaragua.
Click here to listen (fast forward through music):
Interview with E.G. Sebastian (Dec 2010)
E.G. and I talk about my harassment by the FBI and my decision to emigrate to New Zealand. We also discuss the demise of child psychiatry in the US – owing to the unwillingness of private insurance companies to cover mental health services for children and adolescents. And the failure of Obamacare to address this serious issue and the need for the US to create a true national health care system. We finished with a lengthy discussion about bullying, a special interest of mine as a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Gorilla Radio – Chris Cook, Victoria British Columbia (Oct 2010)
(click on link)
Chris and I discuss how I was first targeted, following my decision to support the occupation (of an abandoned school) that led to the formation of Seattle’s first African American Heritage Museum – as an alternative to the crack cocaine epidemic among the city’s African American teenagers. We also talk about my research into HIV AIDS, my hospitalization and the Veterans Administration psychologist I worked with who also helped GIs illegally stationed in Cambodia in the sixties and seventies (and terrorized into keeping quiet about it).
XZone Interview with Rob McConnell (Aug 2010)
(click on link – show is syndicated – fast forward the music to hear interview)
Rob and I discuss the phone harassment, break-ins, attempts to run me down – and my psychiatric hospitalization. We also talk about the political activities that seemed to lead the government to target me – including my research into HIV AIDS – and my inability to get help from the Seattle police. Then we cover the whole area of conspiracies in general, which are more accurately called State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADS)