My colleague Burton Hersh has a new book out that is well worth reading to understand the context of contemporary history. I recommend Bobby and J. Edgar: The Bitter Face-Off Between The Kennedys and Hoover (Carrol & Graf, $27.95). Hersh understands the Kennedys better then any other living historian. He also has something rare for a historian – Hersh understands the intelligence community and how its leadership targets and manipulates Presidents through the men around them. The lessons in this book about the 1950s and 60s apply very well to how easy it is to manipulate the politically ambitious.
Continue reading Trento’s Column: Bobby and J. Edgar – A New Secret History
The Robert Levinson saga continues with the former FBI agent still in custody in Tehran. NBC producer Ira Silverman, who first introduced Levinson to American fugitive Dawud Salahuddin (formerly known as David Belfield), has yet to explain his role in Levinson’s trip to Iran. Levinson and Salahuddin met on Kish Island March 7 just before the FBI veteran was detained by the Iranian intelligence service.
Continue reading Trento’s Column: The Silence of Ira Silverman
Iran is dissembling. Despite official denials, the government there has had former FBI agent Robert Levinson under their control since March 8. The semantic game they are playing has to do with who in Iran is holding Levinson. New information from the last man known to meet with Levinson may demonstrate that the Iranians may have a very good reason for not owning up to be holding Levinson. It seems the former FBI agent in their custody may have brought highly embarrassing allegations of wrongdoing about at least one top-tier former Iranian leader. The National Security News Service has obtained the name of the former Iranian leader in question but is not releasing it at this time.
David Belfield in Istanbul in October 1996.
Continue reading Trento’s Column: Levinson Had Damaging Information on Iranian Leadership
From left, Joe Trento, Susan Trento, Coleen Rowley, and Ray McGovern, chair a terrorism discussion panel at The National Air Disaster Foundation and Alliance annual meeting.
It has been gratifying to see the focus on terrorism and airline security since the publication of Unsafe At Any Altitude
last October. Congress, which created the bipartisan disaster that is TSA, is finally asking a few hard questions about how TSA is so inferior to the tens of thousands of private screeners who were sacked after 9/11 in exchange for the nearly 50,000 feds we now have.
Continue reading Trento’s Column: Families of Air Disaster Victims Decry Cover-ups