Dr. John M. Newman
Dr. John M. Newman, MAJOR, US Army, RETD
Born December 20, 1950, Dayton Ohio, Dr. John Newman is currently Adjunct Professor of Political Science at James Madison University. For more than 25 years his work has overturned orthodoxies, broken new ground, introduced new facts and produced revelations about America during the Cold War.
Dr. Newman is a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer who served as a strategic intelligence cryptologic analyst before accepting a special two-year appointment to become Military Assistant to the Director, General William Odom at the National Security Agency. He is an expert in Far Eastern studies, a scholar of Christian Theology and comparative religions, an historian and educator. He has testified before various congressional sub-committees, worked as a consultant on PBS Frontline, two Academy Award nominated motion pictures and to U.S. and foreign news agencies.
His works on the Cold War and America’s involvement in Vietnam have been recognized by many, including Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., former CIA Director William Colby, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Dr. James Galbraith to be among the most authoritative and significant yet published.
His 1991 book, JFK and Vietnam, documents President Kennedy’s navigation of a dangerous course through cold war hot spots and a divided administration. What eventually emerged is an astonishingly dishonorable deception: a deliberate attempt to manipulate the President of the United States into authorizing a war policy to which he was fundamentally opposed.
Published in 1995, updated and expanded in 2008, his second book, Oswald and the CIA used the enormous collection of federal agency documents newly released by the ARRB to explore the CIA’s keen operational interest in Lee Harvey Oswald.
Dr. Newman re-entered the JFK case in 2015 with the publication of Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume One. The updated and expanded second edition of JFK and Vietnam appeared in January 2017, as did Volume Two in his series on the Kennedy presidency, Countdown to Darkness. Volume III, Into the Storm was published in January of 2019. Volume IV: Uncovering Popov’s Mole was published September of 2022. Volume V: Armageddon, will follow with an additional supplemental project on the 1960s.
BA Chinese Studies, George Washington University (1973)
MA East Asian Studies, George Washington University (1976)
PhD Modern Far Eastern History, George Washington University (1992)
US Army Intelligence, 1974-1994
Assistant to the Director, National Security Agency, 1988-1990
US Army Attaché in China, 1990-1992
Professor, University of Maryland, 1981-Present
Honors Professor, University of Maryland, 1994-2012
Adjunct Professor, James Madison University, 2013-
Yoga Instructor, 2006-present
JFK and Vietnam
Description of JFK and Vietnam, Second Edition for Publisher’s Weekly Select, 2017
The publication and suppression of JFK and Vietnam was a watershed event in 20th Century American history. This book exposed, for the first time, 1) how President Kennedy’s opposition to sending U.S. combat forces to Vietnam led those favoring intervention to concoct a false story of battlefield success to prevent a complete withdrawal from Vietnam; 2) the details of the intense struggle that erupted in the administration over the president’s decision to withdraw from Vietnam in the fall of 1963; and 3) how President Johnson’s key changes to a National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM 273) two days after the assassination opened the door to direct American military intervention in Vietnam.
In 1992, JFK and Vietnam received high praise from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. It was favorably reviewed by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in the New York Times Book Review. Elsewhere the book caused a media firestorm with proponents of conflicting views making absolute declarations in opposition to Dr. Newman’s basic thesis: Kennedy was opposed to U.S. intervention in Vietnam and was withdrawing the U.S. advisors at the time of his assassination in November 1963.
The National Security Agency attempted, unsuccessfully, to block the publication of JFK and Vietnam. Shortly after publication, the publisher, Warner Books, suppressed the book. Six months later, the Galbraith family intervened with Time Warner Inc., and the copyrights were yielded back to the author.
JFK and Vietnam, second edition (2017), represents the continuation of Dr. Newman’s research and describes the fascinating sequence of events that unfolded following publication in 1992, including the consequential relationship that was formed between Dr. Newman and former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara following the book’s debut. That relationship led McNamara, after 25 years of silence, to publish his memoir on the Vietnam War–In Retrospect. JFK and Vietnam, second edition, expands upon and adds to what so powerfully defined its original impact.
“This commanding essay in critical history is the most authoritative account anywhere of President Kennedy’s Vietnam policy–and it is fascinating reading as well.” — Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Special Assistant to President Kennedy
“A brilliant, meticulously researched and fascinating account of the decision-making which led to America’s long agony in Vietnam. Mr. Newman has added to our history–and hopefully our modesty–as we approach the decisions of the future.” —William E. Colby, former director, Central Intelligence Agency
“This great book brought to light the dark mystery of John F. Kennedy’s decision to withdraw from Vietnam. Celebrated on first publication, JFK and Vietnam has been confirmed by many new sources, witnesses, papers and tapes. This new edition is a triumph of history over evasion.” — James K. Galbraith, The University of Texas at Austin.
“A breakthrough exploration of Kennedy and his generals, it deﬁnes the 1961-1963 period in a light I never understood before, Kennedy as divided, country as deceived-a breathtaking, ground-breaking document of America’s ongoing marriage with Vietnam.” — Oliver Stone, director of JFK
Where Angels Tread Lightly: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume I
“John Newman is one of this country’s greatest scholars on Cuba, the CIA and the JFK assassination. This book is a ground-breaking investigation of America’s failure in Cuba that uncovers the CIA role is Castro’s rise to power and their ensuing efforts to destroy him. It exposes the genesis of one of America’s darkest deceptions — the myth that Castro was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy.” — Eric Hamburg, Producer, NIXON film and former aide to Senator John Kerry
“John Newman has done more to advance the work begun by the House Select Committee on Assassinations to explore the CIA’s connections to Oswald than anyone else. Where Angels Tread Lightly is a meticulously researched, in-depth account of U.S. policies and operations during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that were designed to eliminate a perceived communist threat in Cuba, but instead brought together the forces that eventually led to the assassination of JFK. This extraordinary volume shines new light on the CIA officers and operatives who were involved in those operations.” — Dan Hardway, investigator, House Select Committee on Assassinations
Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume II
“This is a definitive study of the disastrous hand-off from Eisenhower to Kennedy on Cuba, Laos, and the Congo — by the man superbly qualified to carry it out.” — Peter Dale Scott, author of essential works which include The War Conspiracy, American War Machine, The American Deep State, The Road to 911, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. His most recent book on American history is Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House
“This important new work on the roots of the JFK assassination delves deeply into the deception and intrigue during the buildup to the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. Newman examines the shocking conflict between President Kennedy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff over Laos and Cuba, and offers a dramatic introduction of Lee Harvey Oswald and his probable role as a false defector to the Soviet Union.” — Bill Simpich, author of State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald
Countdown to Darkness presents the case for Oswald as a witting false defector to the Soviet Union. If proven, this stands history on its head. Professor Newman also presents a detailed account of President Eisenhower’s stunning triple-play directives to eliminate Trujillo, Lumumba, and Castro. It is time we came to grips with this history. — James H. Lesar, president, Assassination Archives and Research Center
Into the Storm: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume III
If we are going to make America great again, we need to start by understanding our own history. John Newman is uniquely qualified, as a distinguished historian and a highly experienced intelligence analyst, to illuminate that history. His research is an order of magnitude ahead of all others in the field. This book is the deepest dive yet into the secret story of the Kennedy years and the dark forces that led up to his assassination. Into the Storm is epic and cinematic in its sweep and scope. —Eric Hamburg, Producer of Nixon film, and former aide to Senator John Kerry and Representative Lee Hamilton.
Dr. Newman’s review and analysis of the now available documents is insightful and well-documented, shedding new light as well as testing things we thought we knew about the history of early 1960’s America. Every serious student of this era should carefully consider this work. I highly recommend it.
—Dan Hardway, former HSCA investigator.
By centering his third book—Into the Storm—on the repeated misstatements of three men—Yuri Nosenko, Antonio Veciana, and Sam Halpern—Newman puts the roles of David Phillips, Bobby Kennedy, and the U.S. intelligence community into sharp focus. Now our work can continue on sure footing.
—Bill Simpich, author of State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald
Into the Storm turns so-called “settled history” inside out. Major Newman once again challenges the prevailing orthodoxy and forces us to question, with much greater focus, “facts” previously taken for granted.
—Malcolm Blunt, British Researcher
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Into the Storm: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume III provides insights, details, and revelations about the absolutely essential question of context: What was the true nature of the national security state during the era of President Kennedy’s public service?
New in this volume:
* Retracing the 1960 presidential campaign and the extraordinary interconnections of JFK, RFK and MLK Jr. which literally created a foundation upon which all of the history that followed was based.
* JFK’s preparations as president-elect for executive leadership as he planned “The New Frontier.”
* Cuban policy aftershocks from the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
* Shake-ups within the Pentagon and CIA.
* The administration’s handling of the Race issue during the Freedom Rides and the violent response to desegregation laws throughout the southern states.
* KGB-CIA spy wars and Cold War conflicts over Berlin and Cuba.
* The decades long defamation of RFK by senior CIA officials and journalists whose lies have gone largely unchallenged until now.
* The intricate web of claims, contradictions and complexities relating to the former leader of the anti-Castro paramilitary group, Alpha-66, Antonio Veciana, and how our pursuit of truth is better served through careful analysis of declassified U.S. military and CIA records than by simply embracing unproven stories that we might want to believe are true. Veciana’s 2017 memoir, Trained to Kill: The Inside Story of CIA Plots Against Castro, Kennedy and Che, represents his most recent telling of his own story. For the first time, Dr. Newman does what others have failed to do: He postpones any assessment of Veciana’s explosive claim that he was present in Dallas, Texas at a meeting in September of 1963, two months prior to President Kennedy’s assassination, with Lee Harvey Oswald and an agent/handler whom he knew by the name of Maurice Bishop (eventually identified by Veciana as CIA officer David Atlee Phillips), and instead, begins at the beginning of the story.
In an eloquent endorsement of Into the Storm, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. refers to Dr. Newman’s book as “…a groundbreaking work that finally illuminates the dark places where democracy goes to die … he here exposes the momentous official lies that for fifty years have been corroding the heart of American idealism.”
This is history in the making. Absolutely essential must read. Highest recommendation.
Uncovering Popov’s Mole: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume IV
Oswald’s story didn’t start on 22 November 1963
Every development in the history of deep JFK assassination research corresponds to a moment in time. As a work-in-progress, we are today building upon 59 years of records acquisition, data collection and analysis. It is what fuels our advancement and compels us to question our certainties and revise our beliefs; and it is in this context (more than 18 months ago), while overlaying a particular subset of travel records on top of event chronologies that this volume revealed itself.
Those who are deeply interested in the JFK story will have become accustomed to sifting through detritus. On the subject of alleged commie, alleged lone nut, alleged presidential assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in no other area of which I’m aware are we quite so inundated with major claims made by minor figures. In contrast to what some have declared about poor hapless misfit, Lee Oswald, being of no interest or value to either the KGB or CIA, we no longer have to speculate about some aspects of that debate. Uncovering Popov’s Mole is the first work of which I’m aware to report and identify the trusted Minsk KGB defector, IJDECANTER, who gave unprecedented privileged information to both the FBI (Flash Run) and the Agency about Marina and Lee Oswald’s time together in the Soviet Union.
Discussion of Oswald’s defection, his alleged familiarity with sensitive U-2 information, his proximity to the U-2 while stationed at Atsugi and, in particular, the probability that his role as defector was being managed as bait in a super-secret but authorized operation, must include some consideration of the following questions: What explanation can there be for action being undertaken within CIA, prior to Oswald’s defection, which changed the standard process of dissemination so that none of the relevant paperwork generated by that event went where it should have gone, to the various desks of the Soviet Russia Division? Why, instead, were those documents diverted to the Office of Security? If this action was not initiated by Counterintelligence chief, James Angleton, to whom so many have concluded, perhaps prematurely, that all mysterious roads must lead, then who else had the authority to conceive and conduct this operation? And, finally, not merely who, but why? Why was this action undertaken? The answers being offered in this book may surprise.
To get to the answers to those questions, Dr. Newman leads us down a very deep dive into the mid-1950s through 1975, with moles and mole hunts, defectors and liars, traitors and scoundrels and fools all along the way. There’s also quite a bit that will inform our reluctant but appropriate admission: there were giants and Grand Masters, on both sides, at work as adversaries on the Cold War chess board, Ivan Agayantz, Pete Bagley, and Sergei Kondrachev most notably among them.
Uncovering Popov’s Mole is not an only child. For several decades, Professor Peter Dale Scott and a devoted group of JFK assassination researchers have focused on what was visible in the bright mid-day sun being reflected off the chrome of President Kennedy’s limousine in Dealey Plaza, and also upon what has been hidden, deliberately, inside the instantly enveloping darkness of very real and very deep Cold War history.
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The focus of Dr. Newman’s body of work represents a major commitment to review the available documentary record, and to identify as many as is possible of the primary and secondary Cold War players on both sides. The case being made within these pages is that, as of 31 October 1959, Lee Oswald was an essential part of a false mole hunt that was specially crafted by the mole himself to mislead the Counterintelligence (CI) staff, deflect attention away from himself, and focus instead upon the Soviet Russia Division. This was done under the cover of appearing to be a legitimate mole hunt, necessarily initiated in response to Pyotr Popov’s 1958 warning that the Soviet authorities had acquired complete technical details of the U-2 spy plane.
It’s a helluva ride. Five stars. Highest recommendation.