The interview with Brent was a lengthy one, on the order of two hours and I have to say its a real challenge to talk about four books, written over a period of some six years and totaling somewhat more than 1,200 pages without sort of losing your place or failing to remember a name here or there… Looking back on it I recall one little misstep in citing the wrong country for a particular operation, we’ll see if anyone notices. The interview itself is online and you can listen though it all at:
We spent about an hour on the MLK conspiracy, which most folks seem to pass by these days. Brent did give me the opportunity to bring up a number of issues with James Earl Ray and then connect him to the actual conspiracy – in which he may have been a patsy but not in the way a great number of people have come to believe. We also talked about the issues of evidence which raise a number of questions about his being the actual shooter and how poorly the evidence taken into official record would have stood up in a contested court appearance – but with Ray’s guilty plea that never happened. In any event, that’s the story we tell in detail in The Awful Grace of God and its way to complex to go further here – an hour with Brent barely scratched the surface.
The King dialog did surface the systemic problem we face in all the major political assassinations of the 60’s though – once the FBI and the prosecution have a suspect with even a bare minimum of evidential connection, that’s the end of the true investigation and from then on everything swings to supporting the case against the the individual in custody. Neither the prosecution nor the defense has any points to be gained by introducing the subject of conspiracy; for the prosecution it merely diverts the jury and for the defense it would raise the issue of intent and premeditation which risks upping the sentence in a conviction.
Following the MLK dialog, we spent some time talking about the reality of CIA assassination activities vs. what you see in the movies and action novels. Its far more complex, much more legally deniable and generally has far fewer special effects and outrageous weapons than you see in the movies and books…just way too dull for the entertainment industry. Still, how it all gets initiated is pretty scary and we discussed that at some length.
Finally we did get to delve a bit into Shadow Warfare, talking about some of the long term trends and whether or not covert action is the same today as it was in the Cold War – generally it isn’t in the War on Terror but there are a few exceptions, like Benghazi, where deniablity still comes into play. Given the length and breadth of Shadow Warfare we sort of ran out of time, especially after taking too much time on Iran-Contra and the issue of drugs as related to covert missions.
In any event, if you get a chance to listen I hope you enjoy it. Larry