The JFK Files: A Mostly Admirable Compilation with a Few Duds

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The mysterious circumstances surrounding John F. Kennedy's assassination have remained for six decades. While most have lost interest, Jeff Meek remains the sole reporter in the nation with a monthly column dedicated to the JFK assassination.

His latest work, The JFK Files: Pieces of the Assassination Puzzle, includes a collection of interviews, insights, and historical events surrounding Kennedy's presidency and untimely death.

Read More: The JFK Files: Pieces of the Assassination Puzzle

Let’s see how his book fares in the vast scheme of JFK assassination literature.

Exploring the Roots

Meek first took interest in the JFK assassination in 1975 with the iconic Geraldo Rivera program Goodnight America. Featuring Robert Groden and Dick Gregory, it aired the Zapruder film on a national platform, sparking Meek's enduring fascination with the narratives surrounding the assassination.

Interviews with HSCA Figures

Dan Hardway was a former member of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). He emerges as a central figure in Meek's compilation.

Hardway's claims about the CIA's operational interest in Oswald and the challenges faced by the HSCA shed light on the campaign disinformation that continues to muddy the truth behind JFK assassination to this day.

Meek also includes an interview by Leslie Wizelman, another HSCA staffer, who provides a candid perspective on the limitations of conducting a homicide inquiry within a congressional framework.

Her doubts about the Warren Commission's official story and insights into the committee's constraints add depth to the challenges faced during this investigation.

Buddy Walthers and the Alpha 66 Connection

A chapter dedicated to Dallas County Detective Buddy Walthers reveals Oswald's connections to an anti-Castro organization called Alpha 66.

Details emerging from Walthers' mother-in-law challenge conventional narratives, exposing the links between Oswald and Alpha 66 officials and making him even less of a culprit behind the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Oswald in custody

Insights and Perspectives

Meek's compilation extends beyond interviews, encompassing the following:

  • Insights from White House staff members.
  • Key incidents during Kennedy's presidency.
  • Dialogues with figures featured in Oliver Stone's film JFK Revisited.

Room for Debate

While Meek's compilation is largely commendable, James DiEugenio expresses some reservations regarding interviews with figures like Ruth Paine and Secret Service agent Mike Howard.

A broader spectrum of perspectives could have added another layer to The JFK Files and invited readers to critically engage with varying viewpoints like Kennedys and King does all the time through its insightful blogs and articles regarding the political assassinations of the 1960s.

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