JFK by L. Fletcher Prouty

JFK

The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Following Oliver Stone's JFK, Prouty (whom Stone depicted as ``X,'' Jim Garrison's secret informant on the military-industrial complex) offers an update on the assassination. Anyone new to assassination studies will find Prouty's many theses (not much different than those he discussed in The Secret Team, 1973) unsettling at the very least, and it seems unlikely that every single column of smoke Prouty points at has no fire at its base aside from a blaze of paranoia, especially when he is not given to paranoid phraseology. Here, he adds nothing new to the theories set forth by the Stone film, only spells them out. Prouty's point of view comes from his nine-year stint as a chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, carrying out secret operations against Vietnam and Cuba, among other countries. These ``Black Ops,'' which included infiltrating CIA teams into foreign countries and building up insurgencies, in many ways married the CIA to the military-industrial complex. Prouty outlines how the government has carried out policies meant to swell defense contracts while maintaining low-intensity wars since 1945; tells how, in that year, he watched US equipment stockpiled on Okinawa being shipped to Indochina, where we armed all sides for their upcoming conflicts--all support for his contention that there's an elite power-base behind the US government, which knowingly or unknowingly fulfills its needs. On the assassination, Prouty restates many themes whose familiarity and thinness of detail here in no way lessen their force. But one finds spotty scaffolding that brings into question whole sections of the assassination plot. Conspiracy? Perhaps. Carried out for the reasons Prouty suggests? Maybe. But does he present the facts? No, just theories. The big picture, in large strokes, by a man of unusual courage in going out on limbs.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-55972-130-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1992