Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Devil's In the Details - A Review


The Devil is in the Details: Alan Dale with Malcolm Blunt on the Assassination of President Kennedy by Alan Dale (Author), Malcolm Blunt (Author) 

Malcolm Blunt is regarded within the assassination research community as an invaluable resource on the CIA's internal systems and management authorities as they existed during the 1950s and '60s; he has invested more time and greater focus than perhaps any other individual on the JFK records held at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, MD.

"Malcolm Blunt's brilliant work in the deep caves of the National Archives has opened up new perspectives on the Kennedy case for other researchers. Alan Dale's deft questioning of him in this book will help others to emulate his achievements."  - Peter Dale Scott, author of Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Dallas ’63, and The American Deep State

"The devil is in the details -- also the light of truth. For nearly three decades, Malcolm Blunt has been digging through stacks of U.S. government documents and illuminating their meaning. It took an English citizen, working in his spare time and sidetracking his holidays, to burrow deeply into the hidden and hiding-in-plain-sight facts of the John F. Kennedy assassination -- the most earth-shaking American crime of the 20th Century. Countless Kennedy scholars, authors and independent researchers have come to depend on Blunt for eye-popping discoveries that previously eluded them. I count myself among this crowd."  - David Talbot, author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government and Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years

“It is the mission of the Assassination Archives and Research Center to obtain, preserve and disseminate information on political assassinations. The founding fathers of this country understood that in order to be their own governors a people must “arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” British researcher Malcolm Blunt’s knowledge of the internal operations of Cold War intelligence agencies is peerless. To put the matter Bluntly, this collection of conversations with Alan Dale is a fascinating and groundbreaking penetration of the secrecy which warps the roles of all major players on the global stage." - James (Jim) H. Lesar, president, Assassination Archives and Research Center

America does not know that over 2 million pages of documents were declassified 22 years ago on the JFK assassination. Those pages redefined the scope and the nature of President Kennedy's murder. Malcolm Blunt is one of the few who has read and collected many of those documents. Not many people know who he is, but for those who do know, he is a hidden hero in the Kennedy case.  - James DiEugenio, author, Destiny Betrayed

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall listening-in on a conversation between two incredibly intelligent, informed and knowledgeable people as they discuss the CIA, the national security state during the Cold War, how the National Archives, maintains and hides records and documents, how the government hides and keeps its secrets, and the Kennedy assassination? Here’s your chance. Don't miss it.  - Dan Hardway, Attorney; Former staff investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations


The Devil is certainly is in the details, and is certainly moving players around on what David Talbot calls the Devil's Chessboard, and those who say that the JFK assassination records have all been released and there's no smoking gun or evidence of conspiracy are either ignorant of the known facts or lying about them, as Alan Dale and Malcolm Blunt so eloquently describe in this book. 
Alan Dale is a DC based jazz drummer and serious JFK researcher who knows his stuff, while Malcolm, I call him Sir Malcolm Blunt is a an English gentleman who has spent more time pouring over the documents among the JFK Collection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) than anyone I know. 

Don't expect to read anything about the single-bullet-theory, the Zapruder film, Badge Man or Prayer Man, as this book is beyond those things, this book as about the top researchers in the country discussing what they have discovered among the millions of documents released under the JFK Act, the law of the land that is currently being ignored. 

When Malcolm Blunt first decided to enter the Archives and review the records he first considered focusing on one specific area - much like others, such as Ian Griggs focused on the Dallas PD, have done, narrowing their field of interest.  But instead Malcolm decided to go in with a completely open mind and take it all in, skimming documents and photocopying the ones of interest to read later. 

I first got a packet of dozens of JFK documents from him a number of years ago, and when I ran into him at the Wecht conference in Pittsburgh and the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) conference in Bethesda he handed me reams of documents - feet thick, that took me months to read and digest. And I later learned he did the same with other researchers, dealing the documents out according to interests and areas of research. 

After I gave a presentation on the Air Force One radio transmission tapes at a breakout room in Bethesda, Alan Dale and Malcolm Blunt followed me and had a sort of Question and Answer session where Alan did most of the questioning and Malcolm did the answering. And I'm glad I stuck around as it was an eye opening session even to seasoned researchers. And with a proper transcript made of that session, I think that this book is a continuation of that, as most of this book consists of published transcripts of Dale's recorded conversations with not only Blunt, but other key researchers as well, including Professors Peter Dale Scott and John Newman and Bill Simpich and others. 

After a Dallas Conference a few years ago someone posted on Facebook that at a hotel restaurant they saw Newman, Simpich, Blunt, Dale and myself having coffee and breakfast, and would have loved to just sit in and absorb the conversation. Well now you can, thanks to Alan Dale and the cooperation of Sir Malcom and the others. As Dan Hardway says, this book is like being a fly on the wall as the top JFK assassination researchers talk among themselves. 

We've been having JFKASK, COPA, LANCER, CAPA and numerous other conferences for decades now, and as far as I'm concerned it's only entertainment - videotaped talking heads that you watch and listen to, until it's transcribed and posted or published, and then it becomes real research that you can refer to and site as the source of the facts. And that's one thing this book does. 

I'm proud and honored to be mentioned a few times in a positive light, one of which deals with my follow up investigation of one of the HSCA documents that Malcolm gave me - regarding the wife and son of a government attorney who flew to Europe on a Military Air Transport (MAC) flight to Europe sitting next to a USMC soldier named Oswald, who was from New Orleans, who had been stationed in Japan and San Diego and was now on an important mission - at the same time the historic Oswald was supposed to be on a steam ship out of New Orleans heading to France with the same story. I tracked down the source of the story, and located them in Ohio but both the lady and her son had passed away before I could get to them.

But that was only one of a dozen documents that Malcolm gave me that I followed up on, and another one is even more significant - the Pathfinder Plan. The first Pathfinder document I got was hand written, I suspect copied from CIA documents by Dan Hardway and Ed Lopez before they were banned from the CIA document vaults, and I had to transcribe it. Then someone referred me to the original source, which just happened to be reluctantly released to the public by the JFK Act, and as the CIA noted, was accidently found among Frank Sturgis' Security File, where it should not have been. 

This CIA document is an internal CIA memo from a senior director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) saying that eight former NPIC employees wanted to inform the Congress, who they learned was interested in CIA plans to assassinated Fidel Castro, that they worked on the Pathfinder Plan, which was a plan - not a plot - a plan to kill Castro with high powered rifles as he rode in an open jeep. The documents on the Pathfinder Plan were kept in the NPIC section of the JMWAVE station rather than the Operational Files where they should have been kept. 

Then yet another document quotes a retired NPIC secretary as saying that RFK - the attorney general at the time - called and ordered them to have relevant Castro-JFK files boxed and sent to the Smithsonian Institute - rather than the NARA where they belonged. So the NPIC references to the Pathfinder file was apparently intentionally misfiled in the Sturgis Security file, where it was accidently found, was kept in the NPIC section of the JMWAVE station instead of the Operational Files, where it belonged, and was last known to be boxed and sent to the Smithsonian instead of NARA. So we should not be surprised that the CIA can find no Pathfinder documents or records among its files today. 

While I am sure that the other researchers who Malcolm has worked with have similar stories, it is not the gems he has found among the vast amount of documents in the haystack, but what he has found missing. 

Besides the Pathfinder file, accidently discovered in the CIA's Security File, Blunt learned that of the seven volume CIA Security File on Oswald, Lee Harvey, volume five was missing! 

Then after years of trying to get permission to get into privately held records that were said to contain interviews with those in the US Marine Corps who knew or interacted with Oswald, they opened the box and volia! Not there. 

When former New York Times reporter Phil Shenon was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) he was asked if there was a network of JFK assassination researchers who compared notes and shared information. And while Shenon said yes, he wasn't included because he doesn't accept any of their silly conspiracy theories. But actually it's just the opposite - none of these cooperating researchers - Scott, Newman, Dale, Blunt, Simpich, et al., know who killed JFK, but we are trying to figure it out. And Shenon is not part of this network because they refuse to believe his silly and disproved conspiracy theory that Fidel Castro was behind the Dealey Plaza Operation, certified CIA disinformation that is still an "active measure" today. 

So don't tell me that the JFK assassination is ancient history, as the records are still being destroyed and withheld and the CIA is still promoting their black propaganda, some of which is dealt with in this new and important book. 

And this is the heart of that network of JFK Assassination researchers that the NPR won't invite to have these discussions on their public airways. 

This book is certainly not for anyone knew to this story, but it is a required addition to the book shelves of those who have taken up a study of this fascinating, and still unresolved case, the case of the murdered president. 

Bart Kemp is currently scanning and posting many of Malcolm Blunt's collection of documents at: 

You can purchase the book here: 

BILL KELLY is Research Coordinator for CAPA - Citizens Against Political Assassination - 

He can be reached at 

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