IN THE SHADOW OF THE SPHINX: by Frank R. Durr

IN THE SHADOW OF THE SPHINX:

A New Look Into the Bay of Pigs and JFK Assassination
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Former U.S. Army counterintelligence agent offers up yet another JFK conspiracy theory.

While he was stationed in West Germany shortly after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Durr stumbled across some interesting information. According to an American soldier based nearby, a local Filipino was claiming that a group of Philippine Scouts–elite soldiers who fought for the Allies in World War II–were responsible for the president’s assassination. Durr passed the information along to his superiors, but no one followed up his report. Now, more than four decades later, Durr has published his own investigation of the JFK assassination. Like others before him, he pins responsibility on General Edward Lansdale, a high-ranking official in the Army and CIA. Lansdale, Durr suggests, had the most to lose by Kennedy’s foreign policy, particularly in the instance of Cuba. The author argues that Lansdale is further implicated as a result of the CIA’s role in Vietnam. Indeed, Lansdale almost single-handedly created a “democratic” South Vietnam, installing Ngo Dien Dinh as president in 1954. But by the early 1960s, JFK was already thinking of ending American involvement in Vietnam. Lansdale stood to lose everything if this were to happen. So, when Dinh was assassinated three weeks before Kennedy’s death (Durr makes much of the timing of the two killings), the wheels were set in motion. But what of the Philippine Scouts? Durr points out that Lansdale and the Scouts had a long history; the general employed them during the CIA’s successful destabilization of the Philippines and again in the establishment of South Vietnam. Durr’s assertion that the Scouts would have been far better snipers than Lee Harvey Oswald and blended in easily in Dallas is engaging but rather flimsy. He constructs his theory entirely on unverifiable hearsay. Still, Durr is passionate about his subject and well versed in the intelligence community, making the book an absorbing read.

A not entirely convincing account, but it will engage conspiracy theorists.

Pub Date: June 5th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4257-5810-3
Program: Kirkus Indie
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