Over the past twenty five years I have studied, researched and written about three murders, the practices of “political” assassination, the investigative practices of the FBI and various police departments and national security practices relating to deniability – both in regard to operations security for cover/clandestine actions and the protection of sources and methods (and careers via CYA) after the fact.

Generally I’ve found career and political CYA to be as significant a historical factor as true security. One of the things I’ve learned in those 25 years is that the blanket term “conspiracy” is very overused, actually explains little and because of that true conspiracies don’t receive the attention they deserve. My friend Peter Dale Scott, a poet by heart and nature, understands intuitively understands the value of words while I wrestle with them in the more clinical context of historical and cultural analysis/synthesis. In an effort to address the problem, Peter coined the term “deep politics”, an immensely important term which describes the interrelationship between commercial/private interests and government decision making – especially at the highest political levels.

Deep politics is the way the world works and has always worked, it would be naive to think that personal and corporate financial interests do not consistently attempt to drive government policies based on their self-interests – and commercial concerns. Stu Wexler and I visited areas of deep politics and their influence on various presidencies in Shadow Warfare. In doing so I began to get a much clearer picture of the fact that deep politics are “complemented” by what I would call “deep crime” and “deep money”. Just as respectable businesses and moneyed individuals try to drive national policy to their own agendas (and yes that includes various “complexes” from the much discussed military/industrial complex to newer associations such as “big pharma” or “big healthcare”) there are groups engaged in illegal activities and individuals engaged in questionable global business transactions who actively suborn individuals and “game” legitimate activities. While “deniability” is key to their activities, it’s really all about making or investing money, rather than manipulating long term national policy or strategic military/trade positions.

Personally I’ve found using the term “conspiracy” to be increasingly unproductive – to some extent because a great number of folks have begun to use it as if it were synonymous with “government conspiracy”. While I have a healthy respect for the ability of both administrations and agencies to engage in deniability and media management, I think calling that sort of activity “conspiracy” not only obscures its actual practices and methods but can cover up actual conspiracies. Unfortunately I don’t have a good phrase to describe it – or not one nearly as good as Peter’s “deep politics” – so I generally fall back on simply calling it “damage control” when I think it’s truly security related or “CYA” when I think it’s primarily career or political.

Which is why I write about the Kennedy assassination conspiracy separately from the national security level damage control and agency CYA that prevented a true investigation of the crime. Stu and I made the same distinction when evaluating the MLK and RFK murders; both which involved true conspiracies and were followed by activities at the national and local law enforcement levels which prevented exposure of the actual conspiracy.

All of which leads me to the point that there are very real and very dangerous conspiracies that need attention. And for what it’s worth that does not include radical Islamist attacks, which would be better termed and addressed as warfare rather than individual acts of terror. What I’m talking about is very real domestic conspiracy, which Stu and I tried to address in The Awful Grace of God and which Stu has gone on to pursue and write about in his new book on the subject. If you want a look at what real conspiracy looks like I encourage you to read the following:


….and if you really want to dig into it, get a copy of Stu’s new book:




About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

4 responses »

  1. Matt Kenny says:

    Larry, keep up the good work! Just finished Shadow Warfare. Currently rereading Nexus. Excellent

    • Thanks Matt, the encouragement is much appreciated! Books like Shadow Warfare represent a very long term effort, even the actual writing takes up to three years and the final year of edit and publication work is a pure slog. That means its really good to hear from readers after the books that are out… I’ve definitely kept up the work and I have high hopes that starting in September a lot of readers will find Surprise Attack to be “intriguing” (that’s a description from a Library Journal reviewer commenting on this fall’s releases from the smaller publishers). Hopefully you will enjoy it as well.

  2. Jim says:

    Hey Larry. Reading Nexus. Most interesting, the margin note on the intervieew with Starvis Ellis (I believe it was) about Martino or a similar name hiring the shooter, check with Capt. Fritz. Anything ever come of that?

    • Several of us have tried to determine which committee staffer handled the Ellis interview and might have made the note, unfortunately with no success. You would have expected some internal memo to comment on it as well but our problem there is a general lack of access to those internal documents and the fact that a lot of communications appears to have been verbal only. So the bottom line is no luck. About all I can do is speculate that the DPD took someone into custody – perhaps someone at the back of the Texas theater – that had at least enough information to know that Martino was in town and acted as a courier. In a way its a fascinating independent corroboration for Martinos own remark that his role was a very limited one. There are plenty of rumors to suggest that people like Fritz did have leads to a conspiracy and that they were quickly and actively ordered (from Washington) to stop talking about other individuals or conspiracy in general. You can imagine that they might be frustrated – as Hoover was as well – and eventually make remarks, but only to personal friends in no position to do anything but sympathize. I’m afraid that’s about all we can do at this point; yet one more lead that could have been explosive back then (as with several of Fonzi’s) but which was not seriously pursued at a time when that was still possible.

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