Bye Bye Miss American Pie
Publisher : Self Published
Description

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Introduction

 

“Long, long time ago I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.”

 

When Don McLean wrote this first line of his epic anthem “American Pie” in 1971 he was referring to the music he’d grown up listening to in the fifties, in particular rock ‘n’ roll artists like Buddy Holly. So when Buddy and fellow rockers, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens were killed in a plane crash in ‘59, Don, who was then a young paperboy, could be forgiven for thinking that this rebellious music had literally died with them.  Although rock ‘n’ roll never would fade away and later morphed into a myriad of other forms of rock, by the early sixties it had made way for a new generation of folk/protest singer/songwriters, some of whom were following in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and the Weavers. A slightly older Don seemed impressed by what he was now hearing and would soon take to learning acoustic guitar and writing his own material.

By the early sixties, the times were definitely a changing in America, especially given the ongoing battle for civil rights and the street protests against the escalation of US involvement in Vietnam. These two movements soon spawned a whole generation of young activists, black and white, and many songwriters, inspired by what they were witnessing, were soon to put pen to paper. Artists like Sam Cooke, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez were to write material of such poignancy, their songs would come to define those turbulent times. And following on from them were the rock bands, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds and the Doors, creating albums of songs that would come to represent sixties counter culture.

In homage to these great artists and songwriters this book is not divided into chapters but rather charts the history of America from 1950-1975 via twenty eight tracks on a jukebox, many of which have achieved iconic status in reflecting the political, social and cultural upheavals of the period. Events such as the Korean War, the attempted invasion of Cuba via the disastrous Bay of Pigs and the ensuing Missile crisis that brought the world to within a hairs breadth of nuclear annihilation are all covered in great detail mainly using eyewitness accounts and quotes from those involved. And later on there were the triple crucifixions of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, the escalation of the conflict in S E Asia and the Watergate scandal, all of which are also well documented. But what makes this book different is that it also details America’s covert wars against its own people, the civil rights and anti-war movements and operations on foreign shores against those deemed dangerous to US interests.

For instance there was the Phoenix Program, under which the CIA trained and sponsored death squads to kidnap, imprison and torture those Vietnamese supposedly loyal to Ho Chi Minh, a cynical modus operandi that would inevitably lead to atrocities by US troops on villages, like Mai Lai.

And continuing the theme of black and white united in the fight for a better life for all Americans, the period was to produce two outstanding politicians, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Martin Luther King, who because of their outspoken opposition to the prevailing conservative climate came to be regarded as a threat to the status quo. After researching both their deaths for several years, I, like many around the world, am convinced they were killed as a result of conspiracies involving the more reactionary elements of US society. Among these many groups were two extremely violent home grown terrorist organisations, the Ku Klux Klan and the Mafia, both of which had been allowed to flourish virtually unchallenged before and after the Second World War.

But if the fight for civil rights had been divisive in the early part of the decade, by the late sixties it was the conflict in Vietnam that was tearing America apart. The sickening violence that young people were witnessing on their TV screens, atrocities on the civilian population by both sides in the conflict, was soon to spill over into the streets of America’s cities as young people used the bloodbath in Nam to excuse their own excesses in protesting their revulsion at war crimes being perpetrated in their name.

The powers that be were becoming increasingly alarmed at the potential for violent revolution, especially as it appeared that left wing black activists and white anti-war protestors were joining forces, and the establishment became increasingly prepared to counter the threat by any means necessary, legal or otherwise. We now know that the FBI, CIA and Military Intelligence were all involved in an orchestrated campaign to destroy the anti-war and black liberation movements using such tactics as burglary, sabotage, wiretaps, surveillance and the use of agents provocateur to encourage open warfare between the various groups, inevitably leading to murder and mayhem.

It is my belief that Dr. King was killed by these same forces, not because of his fight for civil rights, as they had been enshrined in law in ‘64, but because of his support for an economic bill of rights and his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War, in which a disproportionate amount of young black men were fighting and dying. It is surely no coincidence that he was shot dead only a matter of weeks before he was due to lead a massive March on Washington to call for redistribution of wealth in America.

Psychedelic or hard rock, the music of choice for counter culture babyboomers, was also perceived as a threat, especially given its power to assemble large numbers of young people at rock festivals such as Monterey, Woodstock and Altamont. But paradoxically, LSD, the drug of choice of “the generation lost in space” was encouraged by some, to presumably negate the more politically active elements of the hippy movement. And it obviously worked because by the late sixties, Timothy Leary’s message of “turn on, tune in and drop out” had become “turn up, tune in and cop out.”

But if the young paperboy assumed “the day the music died” was  in the February of ‘59 with the plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens then a decade later, another trio of corpses would convince the hippy generation that their music had also perished. The loss of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison was to prove equally devastating to the history of rock as the narcotic excesses of the period, precipitated this collective plane crash waiting to happen, as some cynics would describe their demise.

But by the early seventies even the more conservative parents had to admit their offspring had every reason to be cynical about the body politic in America, especially after Watergate exposed the domestic abuses of power that had occurred during Nixon’s reign and the spreading of the war in SE Asia to Cambodia and Laos. But it would soon transpire that Tricky Dicky had not been alone in deceiving the American public when it was revealed that under President Johnson the war in Vietnam had been deliberately escalated by Military Intelligence via the manufactured Gulf of Tonkin incident.

But if there was one event that was to cast doubt on who was really running America, and whether they were accountable to the law of the land, it was the assassination of President Kennedy. No other event in history [until 9/11 recently] has led to such soul searching as to why and how this blatant act of terrorism could have been perpetrated in the streets of Dallas in broad daylight. And I, like most Americans, and the vast majority of the rest of the World, do not believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and that JFK’S murder was a conspiracy involving possibly rogue elements within the CIA/Mafia, who proceeded to set Oswald up to take the rap. Why do I group these two organisations together? Because they themselves joined forces to  attempt to murder Fidel Castro. Even the CIA now admits that they had to enlist the help of the professional killers to assassinate the Cuban leader, as their men obviously weren’t up to the job. And it was this marriage of convenience between these two groups that was to lead directly to the death of the President, his brother and a whole host of other terrorist atrocities.

After the assassination of JFK in 1963 the Warren Commission was convened to investigate. And even though one of the men on the Committee was ex-CIA chief Allen Dulles, who’d been sacked by Kennedy only two years before over his incompetent handling of the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, the Agency still managed to keep the attempts on Castro’s life and other key information from the Commission.

So they were not made aware at the time of the CIA’s attempts to kill Castro, their links to the Mafia, nor the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald dead, Jack Ruby, and his mobster connections. We now know Ruby was invited to Cuba on at least one occasion to meet with mobster and casino owner Lewis McWillie, a man who was later involved in Mafia plots to eliminate Castro. And in another affront to the Commission’s credibility, their final report stated Ruby had no links to organised crime, even though one of his so called friends making that statement turned out to be Dave Yarras, a Mafia hitman. Their final report predictably concluded that neither Oswald nor Ruby was part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy and therefore Oswald acted alone.

However the majority of the American public was not taken in by their findings and various Senate Committees were convened in the mid-seventies to launch further investigations. It was then discovered that CIA chief Richard Helms had committed perjury when he told the Warren Commission that the Agency had no knowledge of, or contact with, Lee Harvey Oswald before Kennedy’s assassination. We now know the CIA held a 201 file on Oswald that was several years old and an elitist, unaccountable group within the Agency known as the Special Affairs Staff (SAS) was monitoring his movements. And it’s also highly likely that, as he was an ex-marine, US Naval Intelligence also held a file on him.

The CIA continued to be unhelpful throughout the decades and have sought to frustrate any ongoing investigations into the assassination, so much so that the Chairman of one committee, G R Blakey, was moved to comment,

 

“I now no longer believe anything the Agency told the committee any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from outside the Agency for its veracity. We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission.

We also now know that the Agency set up a process that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the committee in 1976-79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency. Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp.”

 

 

He then went further, accusing the keeper of the CIA files on the assassination, George Joannides, of having played a part in Kennedy’s death. And it would appear from the evidence he had good reason. In the months leading up to the shooting, the CIA was fronting a militant anti-Castro group known as the DRE, an organisation that Psychological Operations expert, Joannides, was the liaison officer for. Several witnesses testified to seeing Oswald, or someone very much like him, attending DRE meetings shortly before the assassination. And Oswalds’ links to the CIA don’t end there.

Before he died, Joannides’s colleague and fellow psyops expert, David Atlee Phillips, left a manuscript intimating that Oswald was being used by them in a plot to kill Castro. He then went on to say that someone or some group turned the mission round and Kennedy was assassinated instead. But he didn’t identify the perpetrators.

Because of his secretive psyops role for the CIA, Phillips was known to use many aliases, one of which was believed to be Maurice Bishop. Tony Veciana, leader of the anti-Castro terrorist group known as Alpha 66 testified to his CIA liaison officer having that name, and his description of him matched that of David Atlee Phillips. He stated that he had seen Bishop in the company of Lee Harvey Oswald on several occasions.

But number one suspect in any conspiracy to kill Kennedy has to be Fidel Castro. Secret Agents of his, G2, were known to have infiltrated anti-Castro groups in Miami and may well have got wind of a plot to kill their leader, which they then turned round. So Oswald could well have been working both sides of the fence. However Kennedy was also hated by elements within the CIA/Mafia who could also have orchestrated the “hit” or at the very least turned a blind eye.

The CIA refers to its innermost secrets as the “family jewels.” Is this the “jewel in the crown,” the CIA won’t disclose? It is high time they, the FBI and US Naval Intelligence came clean about their links to Oswald and the role psychological warfare experts, David Atlee Phillips and George Joannides allegedly played in manipulating him. In the meantime read my book “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” which is a novel based around the major socio/political events of the fifties and sixties.

Go to www.playitagainunclesam.com

 

 







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David Mort
Ex History/Music teacher turned novelist. Like to combine History and Music so latest finished novel is post war History of America 1959- 75 based on 30 tracks on a jukebox. 
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