Source – unz.com
– “…At exactly the same moment that Sirhan was being wrestled to the floor of the Ambassador Hotel ballroom in Los Angeles, another young Palestinian was undergoing intensive rounds of hypnotic conditioning at the hands of Mossad in Israel, being programmed to assassinate PLO leader Yasir Arafat; and although that effort ultimately failed, such a coincidence seems to stretch the bounds of plausibility”
“Final Judgment” on the JFK Assassination
(…Continued from Part 1)
Ostrovsky’s sequel was released late in 1994 by HarperCollins, a leading publisher. But despite its explosive contents, this time Israel and its allies had learned their lesson, and they greeted the work with near-total silence rather than hysterical attacks, so it received relatively little attention and sold only a fraction of the previous number of copies. Among mainstream publications, I could only locate one short and rather negative capsule review in Foreign Affairs.
However, another book published at the beginning of that same year on related issues suffered from a far more complete public blackout that has now still endured for over a quarter-century, and this was not merely because of its obscure source. Despite the severe handicap of such a near-total media boycott, the work went on to become an underground bestseller, eventually having over 40,000 copies in print, widely read and perhaps discussed in certain circles, but almost never publicly mentioned. Final Judgment by the late Michael Collins Piper set forth the explosive hypothesis that Mossad had played a central role in the most famous assassination of the twentieth century, the 1963 killing of President John F. Kennedy.
While Ostrovsky’s books drew upon his personal knowledge of Israel’s secret intelligence service, Piper was a journalist and researcher who had spent his entire career at Liberty Lobby, a small activist organization based in DC. Being sharply critical of Israeli policies and Zionist influence in America, the group was usually portrayed by the media as part of the far right anti-Semitic populist fringe, and almost entirely ignored by all mainstream outlets. Its weekly tabloid Spotlight, which usually focused on controversial topics, had once reached a remarkable circulation of 300,000 in the unsettled times of the late 1970s, but then declined substantially in readership during the more placid and optimistic Reagan Era that followed.
Liberty Lobby had never much delved into JFK assassination issues, but in 1978 it published an article on the subject by Victor Marchetti, a prominent former CIA official, and as a result was soon sued for defamation by E. Howard Hunt of Watergate fame, with the lawsuit threatening its survival. In 1982 this ongoing legal battle attracted the involvement of Mark Lane, an experienced attorney of a leftist Jewish background who had been the founding father of JFK conspiracy investigations. Lane won the case at trial in 1985 and thereafter remained a close ally of the organization.
Piper gradually became friendly with Lane and by the early 1990s he himself had grown interested in the JFK assassination. In January 1994, he published his major work, Final Judgment, which presented an enormous body of circumstantial evidence backing his theory that Mossad had been heavily involved in the JFK assassination. I summarized and discussed the Piper Hypothesis in my own 2018 article:
For decades following the 1963 assassination, virtually no suspicions had ever been directed towards Israel, and as a consequence none of the hundreds or thousands of assassination conspiracy books that appeared during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s had hinted at any role for the Mossad, though nearly every other possible culprit, ranging from the Vatican to the Illuminati, came under scrutiny.
Kennedy had received over 80% of the Jewish vote in his 1960 election, American Jews featured very prominently in his White House, and he was greatly lionized by Jewish media figures, celebrities, and intellectuals ranging from New York City to Hollywood to the Ivy League. Moreover, individuals with a Jewish background such as Mark Lane and Edward Epstein had been among the leading early proponents of an assassination conspiracy, with their controversial theories championed by influential Jewish cultural celebrities such as Mort Sahl and Norman Mailer.
Given that the Kennedy Administration was widely perceived as pro-Israel, there seemed no possible motive for any Mossad involvement, and bizarre, totally unsubstantiated accusations of such a monumental nature directed against the Jewish state were hardly likely to gain much traction in an overwhelmingly pro-Israel publishing industry.
However, in the early 1990s highly regarded journalists and researchers began exposing the circumstances surrounding the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Seymour Hersh’s 1991 book The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy described the extreme efforts of the Kennedy Administration to force Israel to allow international inspections of its allegedly non-military nuclear reactor at Dimona, and thereby prevent its use in producing nuclear weapons. Dangerous Liaisons: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn appeared in the same year, and covered similar ground.
Although entirely hidden from public awareness at the time, the early 1960s political conflict between the American and Israeli governments over nuclear weapons development had represented a top foreign policy priority of the Kennedy Administration, which had made nuclear non-proliferation one of its central international initiatives. It is notable that John McCone, Kennedy’s choice as CIA Director, had previously served on the Atomic Energy Commission under Eisenhower, being the individual who leaked the fact that Israel was building a nuclear reactor to produce plutonium.
The pressure and financial aid threats secretly applied to Israel by the Kennedy Administration eventually became so severe that they led to the resignation of Israel’s founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in June 1963. But all these efforts were almost entirely halted or reversed once Kennedy was replaced by Johnson in November of that same year. Piper notes that Stephen Green’s 1984 book Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel had previously documented that U.S. Middle East Policy completely reversed itself following Kennedy’s assassination, but this important finding had attracted little attention at the time.
Skeptics of a plausible institutional basis for a JFK assassination conspiracy have often noted the extreme continuity in both foreign and domestic policies between the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, arguing that this casts severe doubt on any such possible motive. Although this analysis seems largely correct, America’s behavior towards Israel and its nuclear weapons program stands as a very notable exception to this pattern.
An additional major area of concern for Israeli officials may have involved the efforts of the Kennedy Administration to sharply restrict the activities of pro-Israel political lobbies. During his 1960 presidential campaign, Kennedy had met in New York City with a group of wealthy Israel advocates, led by financier Abraham Feinberg, and they had offered enormous financial support in exchange for a controlling influence in Middle Eastern policy. Kennedy managed to fob them off with vague assurances, but he considered the incident so troubling that the next morning he sought out journalist Charles Bartlett, one of his closest friends, and expressed his outrage that American foreign policy might fall under the control of partisans of a foreign power, promising that if he became president, he would rectify that situation. And indeed, once he had installed his brother Robert as Attorney General, the latter initiated a major legal effort to force pro-Israel groups to register themselves as foreign agents, which would have drastically reduced their power and influence. But after JFK’s death, this project was quickly abandoned, and as part of the settlement, the leading pro-Israel lobby merely agreed to reconstitute itself as AIPAC.
Final Judgment went through a number of a reprintings following its original 1994 appearance, and by the sixth edition released in 2004, had grown to over 650 pages, including numerous long appendices and over 1100 footnotes, the overwhelming majority of these referencing fully mainstream sources. The body of the text was merely serviceable in organization and polish, reflecting the total boycott by all publishers, mainstream or alternative, but I found the contents themselves remarkable and generally quite compelling. Despite the most extreme blackout by all media outlets, the book sold more than 40,000 copies over the years, making it something of an underground bestseller, and surely bringing it to the attention of everyone in the JFK assassination research community, though apparently almost none of them were willing to mention its existence.
I suspect these other writers realized that even any mere acknowledgement of the existence of the book, if only to ridicule or dismiss it, might prove fatal to their media and publishing career. Piper himself died in 2015, aged 54, suffering from the health problems and heavy-drinking often associated with grim poverty, and other journalists may have been reluctant to risk that same dismal fate.
As an example of this strange situation, the bibliography of Talbot’s 2005 book contains almost 140 entries, some rather obscure, but has no space for Final Judgment, nor does his very comprehensive index include any entry for “Jews” or “Israel.” Indeed, at one point he very delicately characterizes Sen. Robert Kennedy’s entirely Jewish senior staff by stating “There was not a Catholic among them.” His 2015 sequel is equally circumspect, and although the index does contain numerous entries pertaining to Jews, all these references are in regards to World War II and the Nazis, including his discussion of the alleged Nazi ties of Allen Dulles, his principal bête noire. Stone’s book, while fearlessly convicting President Lyndon Johnson of the JFK assassination, also strangely excludes “Jews” and “Israel” from the long index and Final Judgment from the bibliography, and Douglass’s book follows this same pattern.
Furthermore, the extreme concerns that the Piper Hypothesis seems to have provoked among JFK assassination researchers may explain a strange anomaly.
Although Mark Lane was himself of Jewish origins and left-wing roots, after his victory for Liberty Lobby in the Hunt libel trial, he spent many years associated with that organization in a legal capacity, and apparently became quite friendly with Piper, one of its leading writers. According to Piper, Lane told him that Final Judgment made “a solid case” for a major Mossad role in the assassination, and he viewed the theory as fully complementary to his own focus on CIA involvement.
I suspect that concerns about these associations may explain why Lane was almost completely airbrushed out of the Douglass and 2007 Talbot books, and discussed in the second Talbot book only when his work was absolutely essential to Talbot’s own analysis. By contrast, New York Times staff writers are hardly likely to be as versed in the lesser-known aspects of the JFK assassination research community, and being ignorant of this hidden controversy, they gave Lane the long and glowing obituary that his career fully warranted.
When weighing the possible suspects for a given crime, considering their past pattern of behavior is often a helpful approach. As discussed above, I can think of no historical example in which organized crime initiated a serious assassination attempt against any American political figure even moderately prominent on the national stage. And despite a few suspicions here and there, the same applies to the CIA.
By contrast, the Israeli Mossad and the Zionist groups that preceded the establishment of the Jewish state seem to have had a very long track record of assassinations, including those of high-ranking political figures who might normally be regarded as inviolate.
Lord Moyne, the British Minister of State for the Middle East, was assassinated in 1944 and Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Peace Negotiator sent to help resolve the first Arab-Israel war, suffered the same fate in September 1948. Not even an American president was entirely free of such risks, and Piper notes that the memoirs of Harry Truman’s daughter Margaret reveal that Zionist militants had tried to assassinate her father using a letter laced with toxic chemicals in 1947 when they believed he was dragging his heels in supporting Israel, although that failed attempt was never made public.
The Zionist faction responsible for all of these incidents was led by Yitzhak Shamir, who later became a leader of Mossad and director of its assassination program during the 1960s, before eventually becoming Prime Minister of Israel in 1986.
There are other notable elements that tend to support the Piper Hypothesis. Once we accept the existence of a JFK assassination conspiracy, the one individual who is virtually certain to have been a participant was Jack Ruby, and his organized crime ties were almost entirely to the huge but rarely-mentioned Jewish wing of that enterprise, presided over by Meyer Lansky, an extremely fervent supporter of Israel. Ruby himself had particularly strong connections with Lansky lieutenant Mickey Cohen, who dominated the Los Angeles underworld and had been personally involved in gun-running to Israel prior to the 1948 war. Indeed, according to Dallas rabbi Hillel Silverman, Ruby had privately explained his killing of Oswald by saying “I did it for the Jewish people.”
An intriguing aspect to Oliver Stone’s landmark JFK film should also be mentioned. Arnon Milchan, the wealthy Hollywood producer who backed the project, was not only an Israeli citizen, but had also reportedly played a central role in the enormous espionage project to divert American technology and materials to Israel’s nuclear weapons project, the exact undertaking that the Kennedy Administration had made such efforts to block. Milchan has even sometimes been described as “the Israeli James Bond.” And although the film ran a full three hours in length, JFK scrupulously avoided presenting any of the details that Piper later regarded as initial clues to an Israeli dimension, instead seeming to finger America’s fanatic home-grown anti-Communist movement and the Cold War leadership of the military-industrial complex as the guilty parties.
Summarizing over 300,000 words of Piper’s history and analysis in just a few paragraphs is obviously an impossible undertaking, but the above discussion provides a reasonable taste of the enormous mass of circumstantial evidence mustered in favor of the Piper Hypothesis.
In many respects, JFK Assassination Studies has become its own academic discipline, and my credentials are quite limited. I have read perhaps a dozen books in the subject, and have also tried to approach the issues with the clean slate and fresh eyes of an outsider, but any serious expert would surely have digested scores or even hundreds of the volumes in the field. While the overall analysis of Final Judgment struck me as quite persuasive, a good fraction of the names and references were unfamiliar, and I simply do not have the background to assess their credibility, nor whether the description of the material presented is accurate.
Under normal circumstances, I would turn to the reviews or critiques produced by other authors, and comparing them against Piper’s claims, then decide which argument seemed the stronger. But although Final Judgment was published a quarter-century ago, the near-absolute blanket of silence surrounding the Piper Hypothesis, especially from the more influential and credible researchers, renders this impossible.
However, Piper’s inability to secure any regular publisher and the widespread efforts to smother his theory out of existence, have had an ironic consequence. Since the book went out of print years ago, I had a relatively easy time securing the rights to include it in my collection of controversial HTML Books, and I have now done so, thereby allowing everyone on the Internet to conveniently read the entire text and decide for themselves, while easily checking the multitude of references or searching for particular words or phrases.
Final Judgment – The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy
Michael Collins Piper • 2005 • 310,000 Words
This edition actually incorporates several much shorter works, originally published separately. One of these, consisting of an extended Q&A, describes the genesis of the idea and answers numerous questions surrounding it, and for some readers might represent a better starting point.
Default Judgment – Questions, Answers & Reflections About the Crime of the Century
Michael Collins Piper • 2005 • 48,000 Words
There are also numerous extended Piper interviews or presentations easily available on YouTube, and when I watched two or three of them a couple of years ago, I thought he effectively summarized many of his main arguments, but I cannot remember which ones they were.
Some additional evidence tends to support Piper’s arguments for likely Mossad involvement in the death of our president.
David Talbot’s influential 2007 book Brothers revealed that Robert F. Kennedy had been convinced almost from the first that his brother had been struck down in a conspiracy, but he held his tongue, telling his circle of friends that he stood little chance of tracking down and punishing the guilty parties until he himself reached the White House. By June 1968, he seemed on the threshold of achieving that goal, but was felled by an assassin’s bullet just moments after winning the crucial California presidential primary.
The logical assumption is that his death was engineered by the same elements as that of his elder brother, who were now acting to protect themselves from the consequences of their earlier crime.
A young Palestinian named Sirhan Sirhan had fired a pistol at the scene and was quickly arrested and convicted for the murder. But Talbot emphasizes that the coroner’s report revealed that the fatal bullet came from a completely different direction, while the acoustical record proves that far more shots were fired than the capacity of the alleged killer’s gun. Such hard evidence seems to demonstrate a conspiracy.
Sirhan himself seemed dazed and confused, later claiming to have no memory of events, and Talbot mentions that various assassination researchers have long argued that he was merely a convenient patsy in the plot, perhaps acting under some form of hypnosis or conditioning. Nearly all these writers are usually reluctant to note that the selection of a Palestinian as scapegoat in the killing seems to point in a certain obvious direction, but Bergman’s recent book also includes a major new revelation.
At exactly the same moment that Sirhan was being wrestled to the floor of the Ambassador Hotel ballroom in Los Angeles, another young Palestinian was undergoing intensive rounds of hypnotic conditioning at the hands of Mossad in Israel, being programmed to assassinate PLO leader Yasir Arafat; and although that effort ultimately failed, such a coincidence seems to stretch the bounds of plausibility.
Three decades later, JFK’s heir and namesake had developed a growing public profile as publisher of his popular political magazine George, which attracted considerable international controversy when he published a long article claiming that the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Rabin had been orchestrated by hard-liners within his own security services. There were also strong indications that JFK Jr. might soon enter politics, perhaps running for the US Senate as a stepping-stone to the White House.
Instead, he died in an unusual 1999 light plane crash, and a later edition of Piper’s book outlined some of the suspicious circumstances, which the author believed suggested an Israeli hand. For years Piper had made efforts to bring his explosive book to the attention of JFK’s son, and he thought that he might have finally succeeded. Israeli-Canadian author Barry Chamish also believed that it was JFK Jr.’s discovery of the Piper Hypothesis had led the young Kennedy to promote the Rabin assassination conspiracy theory in his magazine.
Last year, French researcher Laurent Guyenot published an exhaustive analysis of JFK Jr.’s death, arguing that he was probably killed by Israel. My own reading of the material he presents is rather different, and although there are a number of somewhat suspicious items, I think that the evidence of foul play—let alone Mossad involvement—is rather thin, leading me to conclude that the plane crash was probably just the tragic accident portrayed by the media. But the aftermath of the death did highlight an important ideological divide.
For six decades, members of the Kennedy family have been wildly popular among ordinary American Jews, probably attracting greater political enthusiasm than almost any other public figures. But this undeniable reality has masked an entirely different perspective found within a particular segment of that same community.
John Podhoretz, a leading scion of the militantly pro-Israel Neocons, was opinion editor of The New York Post at the time of the fatal plane crash, and he immediately published an astonishing column entitled “A Conversation in Hell” in which he positively reveled at the death of the young Kennedy. He portrayed patriarch Joseph Kennedy as an unspeakable anti-Semite who had sold his soul to the Devil for his own worldly success and that of his family, then suggested that all the subsequent assassinations and other early deaths of Kennedys merely constituted the fine print of that Satanic bargain. So brutally harsh a piece surely indicates that those bitter sentiments were hardly uncommon within Podhoretz’s small ultra-Zionist social circle, which probably overlapped with similar right-wing elements in Israel. So this reaction demonstrates that the exact same political figures who were most deeply beloved by the overwhelming majority of American Jews may have also been regarded as mortal enemies by an influential segment of the Jewish State and its corps of Mossad assassins.
When I published my original 2018 article on the JFK assassination, I naturally noted the widespread use of assassination by Zionist groups, a pattern that had long predated the creation of the Jewish State, and I cited some of the supportive evidence contained in the two Ostrovsky books. But at the time, I still had considerable doubts about Ostrovsky’s credibility, especially regarding the shocking claims in his second book, and I had not yet read Bergman’s volume, which had just been published a few months earlier.
So although there seemed considerable evidence for the Piper Hypothesis, I regarded it as far from conclusive.
However, I have now digested Bergman’s book, which documents the enormous volume of international Mossad assassinations, and I have also concluded that Ostrovsky’s claims were far more solid than I had previously assumed. As a result my opinion has substantially shifted. Instead of merely being a solid possibility, I believe there is actually a strong likelihood that Mossad together with its American collaborators played a central role in the Kennedy assassinations of the 1960s, leading me to fully affirm the Piper Hypothesis. Guyenot has relied upon many of the same sources and has come to roughly similar conclusions.
The Strange Death of James Forrestal, and Other Fatalities
Once we recognize that Israel’s Mossad was probably responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, our understanding of post-war American history may require substantial reevaluation.
The JFK assassination was possibly the most famous event of the second half of the twentieth century, and it inspired a vast outpouring of media coverage and journalistic investigation that seemingly explored every nook and crany of the story. Yet for the first three decades after the killing in Dallas, virtually no whisper of suspicion was ever directed at Israel, and during the quarter-century since Piper published his ground-breaking 1994 book, scarcely any of his analysis has leaked into the English-language media. If a story of such enormity has remained so well hidden for so long, perhaps it was neither the first nor the last.
If the Kennedy brothers did indeed perish due to a conflict over our Middle Eastern policy, they were certainly not the first prominent Western leaders to suffer that fate, especially a generation earlier during the bitter political battles over the establishment of Israel. All our standard history books describe the mid-1940s Zionist assassinations of Lord Moyne of Britain and U.N. Peace Negotiator Count Folke Bernodotte, though they rarely mention the failed attempts on the lives of President Harry S. Truman and Britain Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin around the same time.
But another leading American public figure also died during that period under rather strange circumstances, and although his demise is always mentioned, the crucial political context is excluded, as I discussed at length in a 2018 article:
Sometimes our standard history textbooks provide two seemingly unrelated stories, which become far more important only once we discover that they are actually parts of a single connected whole. The strange death of James Forrestal certainly falls into this category.
During the 1930s Forrestal had reached the pinacle of Wall Street, serving as CEO of Dillon, Read, one of the most prestigious investment banks. With World War II looming, Roosevelt drew him into government service in 1940, partly because his strong Republican credentials helped emphasize the bipartisan nature of the war effort, and he soon became Undersecretary of the Navy.
Upon the death of his elderly superior in 1944, Forrestal was elevated to the Cabinet as Navy Secretary, and after the contentious battle over the reorganization of our military departments, he became America’s first Secretary of Defense in 1947, holding authority over the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Along with Secretary of State Gen. George Marshall, Forrestal probably ranked as the most influential member of Truman’s Cabinet. However, just a few months after Truman’s 1948 reelection, we are told that Forrestal became paranoid and depressed, resigned his powerful position, and weeks later committed suicide by jumping from an 18th story window at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Knowing almost nothing about Forrestal or his background, I always nodded my head over this odd historical event.
Meanwhile, an entirely different page or chapter of my history textbooks usually carried the dramatic story of the bitter political conflict that wracked the Truman Administration over the recognition of the State of Israel, which had taken place the previous year. I read that George Marshall argued such a step would be totally disastrous for American interests by potentially alienating many hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims, who held the enormous oil wealth of the Middle East, and felt so strongly about the matter that he threatened to resign. However, Truman, heavily influenced by the personal lobbying of his old Jewish haberdashery business partner Eddie Jacobson, ultimately decided upon recognition, and Marshall stayed in the government.
However, almost a decade ago, I somehow stumbled across an interesting book by Alan Hart, a journalist and author who had served as a longtime BBC Middle East Correspondent, in which I discovered that these two different stories were part of a seamless whole. By his account, although Marshall had indeed strongly opposed recognition of Israel, it had actually been Forrestal who spearheaded that effort in Truman’s Cabinet and was most identified with that position, resulting in numerous harsh attacks in the media and his later departure from the Truman Cabinet. Hart also raised very considerable doubts about whether Forrestal’s subsequent death had actually been suicide, citing an obscure website for a detailed analysis of that last issue.
It is a commonplace that the Internet has democratized the distribution of information, allowing those who create knowledge to connect with those who consume it without the need for a gate-keeping intermediary. I have encountered few better examples of the unleashed potential of this new system than “Who Killed Forrestal?”, an exhaustive analysis by a certain David Martin, who describes himself as an economist and political blogger. Running many tens of thousands of words, his series of articles on the fate of America’s first Secretary of Defense provides an exhaustive discussion of all the source materials, including the small handful of published books describing Forrestal’s life and strange death, supplemented by contemporaneous newspaper articles and numerous relevant government documents obtained by personal FOIA requests. The verdict of murder followed by a massive governmental cover-up seems solidly established.
As mentioned, Forrestal’s role as the Truman Administration’s principal opponent of Israel’s creation had made him the subject of an almost unprecedented campaign of personal media vilification in both print and radio, spearheaded by the country’s two most powerful columnists of the right and the left, Walter Winchell and Drew Pearson, only the former being Jewish, but both heavily connected with the ADL and extremely pro-Zionist, with their attacks and accusations even continuing after his resignation and death.
Once we move past the wild exaggerations of Forrestal’s alleged psychological problems promoted by these very hostile media pundits and their many allies, much of Forrestal’s supposed paranoia apparently consisted of his belief that he was being followed around Washington, D.C., his phones may have been tapped, and his life might be in danger at the hands of Zionist agents. And perhaps such concerns were not so entirely unreasonable given certain contemporaneous events.
Indeed, State Department official Robert Lovett, a relatively minor and low-profile opponent of Zionist interests, reported receiving numerous threatening phone calls late at night around the same time, which greatly concerned him. Martin also cites subsequent books by Zionist partisans who boasted of the effective use their side had made of blackmail, apparently obtained by wire-tapping, to ensure sufficient political support for Israel’s creation.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, powerful financial forces may have been gathering to ensure that President Truman ignored the unified recommendations of all his diplomatic and national security advisors. Years later, both Gore Vidal and Alexander Cockburn would separately report that it eventually became common knowledge in DC political circles that during the desperate days of Truman’s underdog 1948 reelection campaign, he had secretly accepted a cash payment of $2 million from wealthy Zionists in exchange for recognizing Israel, a sum perhaps comparable to $20 million or more in present-day dollars.
Republican Thomas Dewey had been heavily favored to win the 1948 presidential election, and after Truman’s surprising upset, Forrestal’s political position was certainly not helped when Pearson claimed in a newspaper column that Forrestal had secretly met with Dewey during the campaign, making arrangements to be kept on in a Dewey Administration.
Suffering political defeat regarding Middle East policy and facing ceaseless media attacks, Forrestal resigned his Cabinet post under pressure. Almost immediately afterwards, he was checked into the Bethesda Naval Hospital for observation, supposedly suffering from severe fatigue and exhaustion, and he remained there for seven weeks, with his access to visitors sharply restricted. He was finally scheduled to be released on May 22, 1949, but just hours before his brother Henry came to pick him up, his body was found below the window of his 18th floor room, with a knotted cord wound tightly around his neck.
Based upon an official press release, the newspapers all reported his unfortunate suicide, suggesting that he had first tried to hang himself, but failing that approach, had leapt out his window instead. A half page of copied Greek verse was found in his room, and in the heydey of Freudian psychoanalyical thinking, this was regarded as the subconscious trigger for his sudden death impulse, being treated as almost the equivalent of an actual suicide note. My own history textbooks simplified this complex story to merely say “suicide,” which is what I read and never questioned.
Martin raises numerous very serious doubts with this official verdict. Among other things, published interviews with Forrestal’s surviving brother and friends reveal that none of them believed Forrestal had taken his own life, and that they had all been prevented from seeing him until near the very end of his entire period of confinement. Indeed, the brother recounted that just the day before, Forrestal had been in fine spirits, saying that upon his release, he planned to use some of his very considerable personal wealth to buy a newspaper and begin revealing to the American people many of the suppressed facts concerning America’s entry into World War II, of which he had direct knowledge, supplemented by the extremely extensive personal diary that he had kept for many years.
Upon Forrestal’s confinement, that diary, running thousands of pages, had been seized by the government, and after his death was apparently published only in heavily edited and expurgated form, though it nonetheless still became a historical sensation.
The government documents unearthed by Martin raise additional doubts about the story presented in all the standard history books. Forrestal’s medical files seem to lack any official autopsy report, there is visible evidence of broken glass in his room, suggesting a violent struggle, and most remarkably, the page of copied Greek verse—always cited as the main indication of Forrestal’s final suicidal intent—was actually not written in Forrestal’s own hand.
Aside from newspaper accounts and government documents, much of Martin’s analysis, including the extensive personal interviews of Forrestal’s friends and relatives, is based upon a short book entitled The Death of James Forrestal, published in 1966 by one Cornell Simpson, almost certainly a pseudonym. Simpson states that his investigative research had been conducted just a few years after Forrestal’s death and although his book was originally scheduled for release his publisher grew concerned over the extremely controversial nature of the material included and cancelled the project. According to Simpson, years later he decided to take his unchanged manuscript off the shelf and have it published by Western Islands press, which turns out to have been an imprint of the John Birch Society, the notoriously conspiratorial rightwing organization then near the height of its national influence. For these reasons, certain aspects of the book are of considerable interest even beyond the contents directly relating to Forrestal.
The first part of the book consists of a detailed presentation of the actual evidence regarding Forrestal’s highly suspicious death, including the numerous interviews with his friends and relatives, while the second portion focuses on the nefarious plots of the world-wide Communist movement, a Birch Society staple. Allegedly, Forrestal’s staunch anti-Communism had been what targeted him for destruction by Communist agents, and there is virtually no reference to any controversy regarding his enormous public battle over Israel’s establishment, although that was certainly the primary factor behind his political downfall. Martin notes these strange inconsistencies, and even wonders whether certain aspects of the book and its release may have been intended to deflect attention from this Zionist dimension towards some nefarious Communist plot.
Consider, for example, David Niles, whose name has lapsed into total obscurity, but who had been one of the very few senior FDR aides retained by his successor, and according to observers, Niles eventually became one of the most powerful figures behind the scenes of the Truman Administration. Various accounts suggest he played a leading role in Forrestal’s removal, and Simpson’s book supports this, suggesting that he was Communist agent of some sort. However, although the Venona Papers reveal that Niles had sometimes cooperated with Soviet agents in their espionage activities, he apparently did so either for money or for some other considerations, and was certainly not part of their own intelligence network. Instead, both Martin and Hart provide an enormous amount of evidence that Niles’s loyalty was overwhelmingly to Zionism, and indeed by 1950 his espionage activities on behalf of Israel became so extremely blatant that Gen. Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, threatened to immediately resign unless Niles was fired, forcing Truman’s hand.
Forrestal was a wealthy and pugnacious Irish Catholic, and I think there is very considerable evidence that his death was the result of factors quite similar to those that probably claimed the life of an even more prominent Irish Catholic in Dallas 14 years later.
There are some other possible fatalities that follow this pattern, though the evidence in those cases is far less strong. Piper’s 1994 opus is focused primarily on the JFK assassination, but over half his 650 pages are given over to long series of appendices dealing with somewhat related topics. One of these discusses the strange deaths of a couple of former high-ranking CIA officials, suggesting they might have involved foul play.
Former CIA Director William Colby had apparently long been regarded as highly skeptical of the nature of America’s relationship with Israel, and therefore was characterized by pro-Israel members of the media as a notorious “Arabist.” Indeed, while serving as director in 1974, he had finally ended the career of longtime CIA counter-intelligence chief James Angleton, whose extreme affinity with Israel and its Mossad had sometimes raised serious doubts about his true loyalties.
Piper says that by 1996 Colby had grown sufficiently concerned about Israel’s infiltration and manipulation of the US government and its intelligence community that he arranged a meeting with high-level Arab officials in DC, suggesting that they all work together to counter this disturbing situation. A few weeks later, Colby disappeared and his drowned body was eventually found, with the official verdict being that he supposedly perished near his home in a canoeing accident, although his former Arab interlocutors alleged foul play.
Piper goes on to also describe the earlier death of John Paisley, the former longtime deputy director of the CIA’s Office of Strategic Research, and also a strong critic of the influence of Israel and its close Neocon allies in American national security policy. In late 1978, Paisley’s body was found floating in the Chesapeake Bay with a bullet in the head, and although the death was officially ruled a suicide, Piper claims that few believed the story. According to him, Richard Clement, who had headed the Interagency Committee on Counterterrorism during the Reagan Administration, explained in 1996:
The Israelis had no compunction about “terminating” key American intelligence officials who threatened to blow the whistle on them. Those of us familiar with the case of Paisley know that he was killed by Mossad. But no one, not even in Congress, wants to stand up and say so publicly.
Piper notes the bitter political battles that other Washington national security experts, such as former CIA Deputy Director Adm. Bobby Ray Inman, had experienced over the years with elements of the Israel Lobby in Congress and the media. After Inman was nominated by President Clinton to lead the Defense Department, a firestorm of criticism by pro-Israel partisans forced his withdrawal.
I have made no effort to investigate the material cited by Piper in his short discussion. These examples were previously unknown to me, and all of the evidence he provides seems purely circumstantial, hardly making a case that rises above mere suspicion. But I do regard the author as a reasonably solid investigative journalist and researcher, whose views should be taken seriously. Therefore, those so interested can read his 5,000 word Appendix Six and decide for themselves.