Flawed Patriot by Bayard Stockton (2006)

Whatever the immediate point of friction, says Halpern, Harvey chose to tell the Kennedy brothers what he thought of them and their handling of the situation. “If you fuckers hadn’t fucked up the Bay of Pigs, we wouldn’t be in this fucking mess!”

All in all, it was a sad story.  It was a really good story and although Bill came across a somewhat of a hard-drinking, chain-smoking shitbird; he also seemed like he was a pretty good guy.  Maybe not always a good father or husband or employee but he definitely didn’t set out to be bad, shit just sort of happened along the way.  At the end of this book though, the one thing he never seemed to lose was his humanity.  That can’t be said about all of the CIA elite of his day.  That’s the problem with Angleton (among others) is that he only seemed to rejoin the human race after he was pushed out by Colby.  Big Bill, he was a very complex human with a lot of things going on, but he was always one of us.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I actually knew who William K. Harvey was when I grabbed this book off the shelf.  I was really, really surprised to find that he was a big part of every commonly told CIA story from it’s inception to the late 70’s.  It seems like every book and every set of stories comes at the same issues and the same events from yet another angle and makes one reconsider what they thought they knew before.  I can see why Bill was so fascinating to everyone but I also think a lot of conspiracy theories included him for no good reason.  Sometimes people act for very simple reasons even if they’re not understood at first.

I did come away from this with a strong dislike of Bobby Kennedy.

I did come away from this with the notion that Trafficante is the most likely so far to have orchestrated JFK’s death.

I also see how history repeats itself vis a vis the Kennedy’s grudge match with Castro/Cuba and the Bush’s grudge match with Saddam/Iraq.  Same shit, different era.

If you can find this book, I’d recommend it.  I’d also not recommend A Wilderness of Mirrors or Harlot’s Ghost.  I also would not expect too much from FOIA requests.  The CIA and the rest of the government is not actually obliged to keep a paper trail of things they don’t want us to see, and I think they are well aware of that fact now.