The Photo Albums: Heart of This Website

In 2013 I uploaded all my photos to Flickr. Flickr offers one terabyte of storage for free, which means all my photos are now posted at full resolution. I have over 122,000 photos placed there. These are all arranged by category, i.e., China, Japan, India, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, Europe, Egypt, Mesoamerica, United States, etc., and many collections have sub-collections:

They can also be accessed in the order I posted the albums beginning with the latest and moving to the first with a highlighted image for each album. It’s a good visual way of viewing the entire photo collection:

Most of my photos now have captions, but there is always the possibility I have made mistakes. I welcome corrections and additions. I have kept my photos on Picasaweb as well, though they are mostly of a lower resolution. I no longer post photos there, but still have 342 albums and 86,000 photos hosted there. This link will take you to all my albums on Picasaweb:

Please inform me of any problems or needed corrections.


President Kennedy’s Assassination Revisited

For years I have been lazy and uncritically accepted the government fiction that President Kennedy was killed by a “lone gunman” named Lee Harvey Oswald. Professional historians, after all, don’t buy into “conspiracy theories.” But while I have been asleep these last five decades, dozens of witnesses have come forth, sometimes after hiding for 30 years or more for fear of their lives, and finally agreed to tell their stories. Also the government declassified thousands of documents in the 1990s which have shed light on things previously hidden.

I won’t give all the arguments here. I will cite one source at the end which contains much documentation and a far more thorough presentation than I could make. Instead, I will merely state the conclusions. Every one of them will stand serious scrutiny.

JFK was NOT killed by a lone gunman. At least two and possibly more assassins shot at him on November 22, 1963. But none of them was Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald actually admired Kennedy. He was a CIA asset whose sojourn in Russia was part of his work as a double agent. However, after he returned to America the CIA put him on a watch list of assets whose reliability might be questioned. Thus he was the perfect person to set up as a patsy. And that is exactly what happened, aided by a look-alike whose identity is unknown, but whose presence has been verified by many different witnesses.

The assassination was carried out by the CIA. Some of the conspirators were anti-Castro Cubans (from Alpha 66), along with some complicity by organized crime, or by CIA assets with mafia connections. The FBI and the Dallas Police Department (and possibly others) participated in the cover up. The Warren Commission concluded exactly what it was told to conclude, that there was no conspiracy and that Oswald acted alone. But they refused to ask fundamental questions or follow up promising leads, while the FBI and others actively destroyed evidence, intimidated witnesses, and killed a number of people who knew too much.

While Oswald was set up to take the blame, the Cubans and Russians were also implicated by the conspirators. To his credit, President Johnson refused to follow that trail to its logical conclusion. That is why the Warren Commission had to adopt the “lone gunman” fiction. However, Johnson also failed to follow the evidence leading to the U.S. government itself and thus destroyed both the life and the reputation of an innocent man.

So why did portions of the United States government execute its own President? Put simply, Kennedy had become a liability to certain interests – the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Military-Industrial-Political Complex, and all those for whom the Cold War had become a political religion. Kennedy had failed to be sucked into starting a broader war against Castro’s Cuba during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and incurred the wrath of the CIA and the Cuban refugee community. But in 1962 he brought the world to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That action made a profound impression on Kennedy, and started him on the road to giving up his Cold War ideology to pursue peace. In the eyes of the conspirators this was nothing short of treason.

Kennedy carried on a secret correspondence with both Nikita Khrushchev and later Fidel Castro. Ironically, the Soviet Premier faced the same problem with his own generals and arms merchants. Kennedy and Khrushchev became secret partners in trying to prevent nuclear holocaust and end the Cold War, actions deemed intolerable to those committed to victory at all costs and for whom compromise was tantamount to treason. Worse, Kennedy was actually planning a total withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam. So he had to go. Imagine how different modern history would have been had Kennedy lived long enough to put into practice the new ideas he was beginning to embrace.

The best single treatment of all this is a book by James W. Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable. The subtitle is Why He Died and Why It Matters. I read the 2008 edition which corrected several unsupported statements in the earlier hardbound edition. The book is well-reasoned and heavily documented. The author has avoided speculation and confined himself to statements which can be supported by the evidence. One reason why I recommend this book is that its fairly recent origin has allowed the author to digest information made available only after many eyewitnesses began telling their stories late in life, and after the declassification of thousands of pages of documents by the government. The author is a Catholic theologian who admits his admiration of the monk Thomas Merton, but personal biases are few and handled in a professional and honest manner. I give my highest recommendation to this book despite the fact I may not agree 100% with all the author’s personal beliefs. For example, I am not and never have been a pacifist. Before deciding to recommend this book I checked out many of the footnotes and references, which is why I can state that if you can only read one book about the crime of the century, this should be that book.

History, Conspiracies, and the New World Order

I have long studied and taught history. I have been very good at seeing the details, but have generally missed the broader themes which help one to better understand and interpret those details. I’ve seen the trees, but I have missed the forest. Recently I have begun to see the forest, and, seeing it, have begun to make some sense out of many things I had never before understood or had chosen to ignore. Continue reading

WWII Fighter Pilot: The Forty Year Nightmare by Lee Rorex

Captain Lee Rorex and my dad flew in the 389th Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Group, of the 9th United States Army Air Force in Europe during World War II. Dad flew 75 combat missions, earned at least three Air Medals, and a Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 40 German locomotives during a 36-hour period. Capt. Lee flew with him on many of those missions. This is where I got my middle name – Lee – after Lee Rorex. In the 1980s he wrote a number of essays about his experiences during the war. He may have published them, so I suppose my putting them on my website without permission is piracy, but I thought the stories were too good to lie forgotten. Shortly after my dad passed away in 2000, Capt. Lee sent me these stories. My dad rarely talked about his war experiences, which is a common reaction among people who have seen real combat. So this was a welcome insight into my own father’s experiences. I dedicate this work to Maj. Dean Todd (ret.) and Capt. Lee Rorex, who flew these missions together. — Gary Lee Todd Continue reading

WWII Fighter Pilot: The 12,000 Pound Wasp by Lee Rorex

Captain Lee Rorex and my dad flew in the 389th Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Group, of the 9th United States Army Air Force in Europe during World War II. This is their stories. See intro to previous post for more. I dedicate this work to Maj. Dean Todd (ret.) and Capt. Lee Rorex, who were ordinary men who did a great job and are true heroes, though they would never call themselves that. — Gary Lee Todd Continue reading

WWII Fighter Pilot: A Semi-White, Dirty-Water World by Lee Rorex

Captain Lee Rorex and my dad flew in the 389th Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Group, of the 9th United States Army Air Force in Europe during World War II. This is their stories. See intro to first post for more. I dedicate this work to Maj. Dean Todd (ret.) and Capt. Lee Rorex, who were ordinary guys who did a great job and are true heroes, though they would never call themselves that. — Gary Lee Todd Continue reading

WWII Fighter Pilot: TAILBONE GLOW by Lee Rorex

This is the 4th of 6 autobiographical accounts by a P-47 pilot in the 366th Fighter Group of the 9th Army Air Force in Europe in 1944-45. Lee Rorex, the author, sent them to me in 2001 shortly after my dad passed away. He and my dad had flown together, and in many ways these essays tell the story my dad rarely talked about. I didn’t want the stories to be forgotten, so I decided to put them on my website and give them to the world. —Gary Lee Todd (and this is where I got my middle name, Lee) Continue reading

WWII Fighter Pilot: Peek-A-Boo Pinkerton by Lee Rorex

My dad was a writer, too. He was aviation and business editor of the Rockford Register Republic from 1954 until he retired in 1981. He edited and actually did much of the writing of Fish Hassell’s autobiography, A Viking with Wings. But so far as I know, he never wrote about his own experiences as a P-47 pilot with the 9th AAF. Lee Rorex did, 40 years after the war was over. He told me my dad – Dean Todd – was with him on most or all of the missions he wrote about. So this is my dad’s story as well as Capt. Lee’s. —Gary Lee Todd Continue reading

WWII Fighter Pilot: Genius, A Twenty-four Hour-A-Day Thing by Lee Rorex

This is the 6th and last of the essays Lee Rorex sent me in early 2001. He and my dad flew together in the 389th Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Group, 9th U.S. Army Air Force, the tactical Air Force in the European Theater. I remember in a letter to me he once referred to himself as a “hired assassin.” This surprised me. Vietnam had made me decidedly cynical, but I had thought World War II was the “good war.” But my dad almost never talked about it, and Capt. Lee was still having nightmares 40 years later. I guess there really is no “good war.” —Gary Lee Todd Continue reading

EVIL WOMEN TYRANTS: Is History Telling Us the Truth?

This is the text of a talk delivered at a symposium at Sias University in May, 2010. I have tried to keep it simple, as the audience was made up of non-native English speakers. It’s about women, but it’s also about the uses and abuses of history, and about critical thinking. Historians have a responsibility for maintaining the highest level of integrity, and one of their greatest sins is to destroy another person’s reputation. This essay is about two people who have been particularly maligned, and is an attempt to set the record straight. Continue reading