Dark Quadrant – New Book by Jonathan Marshall
An announcement from Jonathan Marshall, whom I have moved from the bcc list to the cc list for this thread.
There are blurbs from Tony Summers, Gus Russo and others on the publisher’s page.
Much of the text is visible and searchable on Amazon.
[Paul Hoch - Co-author with Jonathan on a 1978 article on the HSCA.]
Members of this group will likely be interested in the imminent publication of Jonathan Marshall’s timely new book, Dark Quadrant: Organized Crime, Big Business, and the Corruption of American Democracy, from Truman to Trump (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021). Though the book does not focus on the JFK assassination, it has revealing new information on many figures of interest to researchers, including LBJ, Carlos Marcello, the Murchisons, Irving Davidson, and John Rosselli, to name a few.
Taking a highly original look at an old subject, political corruption, this book challenges the myth of a past golden age of American democracy. Drawing on a mass of new material from law enforcement files and a host of other original sources, it tells a shocking story, largely neglected by traditional historians, of how well-protected criminals and their business allies systematically organized the corruption of American national politics after World War II.
The book begins by tracing the extraordinary scandals in the administration of President Truman, whose political career was launched by the murderous Pendergast political machine in Missouri. It quotes secretly recorded boasts by a leader of the Chicago mob about how Truman’s attorney general helped arrange the early parole of several notorious gangsters who extorted millions of dollars from the film industry. It goes on to expose the role of organized crime in the rise of McCarthyism during the Cold War, the near-derailment of Vice President Johnson’s political career owing to two mob-related national political scandals, and how Richard Nixon’s career-long association with underworld figures culminated in the Watergate scandal. It closes with a discussion of Donald Trump’s unique history of relations with leaders of both the traditional American Mafia and newer transnational gangs like the Russian Mafia—and how the latter led to his historic impeachment by the House of Representatives.
“A unique blend of magma-deep research, dramatic revelations, and judicious
conclusions. Marshall tells some frequently gob-smacking tales while steadily
keeping his eye on the larger historical context. Readers will come away with
an enlarged sense of the meaning and methods of corruption—and with a fresh
perspective on what makes modern America tick.”
— David M. Kennedy, emeritus historian, Stanford University, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945
The [Senate Rules] committee was unaware of what the FBI knew about [Bobby] Baker’s New Orleans associates. In February 1963, under intense pressure from the Attorney General, Hoover directed his field office there to aggressively develop new informants and initiate electronic surveillance of suspected underworld members. Had Hoover been authorized to share information, the Rules Committee would have learned that Louisiana mob boss Carlos Marcello was reputedly a hidden partner in Popich’s Vieux Carré restaurant on Bourbon St. in New Orleans. (Testifying before Congress in executive session years later, Marcello confirmed that he and Popich had been close friends since childhood, and did business together.) It would have learned that Popich was involved with a 1961 shipment of 2,000 machine guns and a number of M-1 rifles to a “big wheel” allied with a group of disaffected Honduran military officers. It would have learned that Popich received at least two calls in 1964 from Charles “the Blade” Tourine, a senior Lansky associate and former Havana casino operator living in Miami Beach.
The FBI may not have known at the time an even more explosive bit of information about Nick Popich: he owned land near Lake Pontchartrain on which militant anti-Castro exiles were training in 1963 to undertake illegal raids into Cuba. Their activities violated the Neutrality Act and the Kennedy administration’s firm policy of preventing such raids from U.S. soil in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Without naming Baker’s New Orleans contact, the guerrilla training camp became the subject of testimony before the Warren Commission in 1964, while the Rules Committee was still investigating Baker. The Commission learned that President Kennedy’s presumed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had attempted to infiltrate the camp in the summer of 1963 while living in New Orleans. The camp disbanded that August only after the FBI raided a nearby arms cache maintained by anti-Castro activists, seizing more than a ton of dynamite, 20 bomb casings, fuses, and fixings for napalm. The militants acquired these explosives for a planned bombing raid against oil refineries near Havana. Their stockpile was allegedly financed by dispossessed Havana casino owner and his partner, who was described years later in Senate testimony as “a dealer in counterfeit money . . . [who] has been involved in dealing with stolen securities and other securities closely associated with . . . gamblers in Miami.” Authors Warren Hinckle and William Turner observed, “the Lake Pontchartrain raid was evidence that circles existed within circles. The most violent and rabidly rightist of exile elements, feeling that JFK had betrayed them, were turning to the mob and the radical paramilitary right wing for help in a war that was to turn against the government itself.” To say the least, members of the Rules Committee apprised of such facts would have been duty bound to dig further into the background of Baker’s associates.