Published Articles

Monday, January 13, 2014

Moghul by Alan Savage, a pseudonym for a prolific British novelist, is a historic novel of adventure, sex, and brutality of epic proportions. As with Ottoman, Alan Savage's previous dazzling adventure tome, this novel concerns and revolves around a fictitious (and not quite) renegade English family of male descendants, the Blunts, who while preserving some of their English identity through several generations, nevertheless, serve faithfully the ruling Moghul dynasty of Northern India (Hindustan) and Afghanistan. The time span is close to that of the chronicles of Savage's previous novel, Ottoman, a time period concurrent with the late Renaissance in the West (spanning the late 15th through the early 17th centuries) with which Savage seems to be quite conversant.

Savage is also intimately familiar with the very early Renaissance of 14th century Italy, as noted in his subsequent masterpiece, Queen of Night (1993). All of these books are full of adventure, intrigue, betrayals, wars, sex and violence, and are not meant for readers with delicate sensitivities and prone to easily take offense. Women in our present zeitgeist may not appreciate Savage's portrayal of women as...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Case Closed — Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK by Gerald Posner is the definitive book on the JFK assassination. Case Closed is duly named as an authoritative and definitive treatise on the subject. The book is well investigated, well written, and thoroughly convincing because of the meticulous research and persuasive, logical narrative of the accomplished author Gerald Posner, a former Wall Street lawyer. Instructive graphs and photos adroitly illustrate the narrative. Posner's book is simply magnificently written, from the very beginning to the end. After interviewing hundreds of witnesses, including numerous experts and even published authors of JFK assassination conspiracy books, and citing extensively the Warren Commission Report and other primary government documents, Posner draws a persuasive argument that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of JFK. Oswald was a committed Marxist, as well as a lonely, disturbed individual with the political motivation and growing militant hostility to commit the heinous crime. Posner proves beyond a reasonable doubt Oswald was indeed fully competent and capable of carrying out the assassination, alone and unaided by...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In the noted biography, Flawed Patriot (2006) by former CIA agent and author Bayard Stockton, CIA legend Bill Harvey, was introduced to President John F. Kennedy as "America's James Bond."(1) Harvey was indeed a charismatic legend in the CIA, but two other, almost equally unknown American heroes, could also vie for the title. One of them is Feliz Rodríguez Mendigutía, the indomitable subject of the book, Shadow Warrior, who, among his many other accomplishments, helped track and capture Che Guevara in the jungles of Bolivia in 1967.(2)

The third contender for "America's James Bond" title is probably the least known of the three men, and he happens to be the subject of the book I review in this essay, Frank Angelo Fiorini, aka Frank (Anthony) Sturgis.(3) Of these three valiant men, only one of them was reputed to be (although with little evidence and certainly not in the league with the fictitious James Bond, British agent 007), a womanizer (Harvey). The second man was a Cuban-American (Rodríguez), and the third (Sturgis) of Italian-American ancestry.

Harvey began his career as a CIA agent after being a seasoned lawyer and then policeman; Rodríguez and Sturgis...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Widow Spy is a real-life thriller that begins with a seemingly typical American housewife, Martha ("Marti") D. Peterson, who in an unusual gesture invites her two teenage children out to lunch. This is twenty years after the main events subsequently depicted in the book. She had remarried and was living what appeared to be the ordinary life of an American wife and mother. But what she flat out confesses to her astonished teenagers is that she worked for the CIA, had been previously married to an unknown American hero, and had a long story to tell them. Imagine their reaction — "Mom is a spy"! She takes the kids to the CIA compound, gives then a personal and emotional guided tour, and recounts the story of her "previous" life. She had spent over thirty years as a CIA officer, received commendations, and even met a Director of the CIA and an American president.

This is  truly a poignant and astonishing book that tells the fascinating story of this intrepid American woman, a woman who in 1971 accompanied her husband, CIA agent John Peterson, to Laos. This nation is a primitive country, a neighbor of both Thailand and Vietnam, a country that had been dragged into...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Time to Betray — The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran by Reza Kahlili is one of the most heartrending and enthralling accounts I have ever read of courage, dissimulation, and personal suffering in the genre of espionage memoirs. This is the story of a courageous man, who justly betrays and risks his life (and that of his family) to fight surreptitiously against the cruelties and injustices of the ruling government of his native country — Iran. This book struck a personal cord with me because it reminded me of painful and regretful similarities that beset my own family in my native country, Cuba, just before and after the Revolution that brought to power the dictatorship of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul in 1959.

As a very young child, I remember various members of my family arguing passionately (but amicably) for and against the dictatorial government of Cuban President, Fulgencio Batista, his coup d'etat and dictatorship, his trampling on the legendary Constitution of 1940, the lack of political rights, the cruel imprisonment, and systematic torture of rebels captured while fighting against his regime (an opposition in...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Antony and Cleopatra is the seventh and final book in the Masters of Rome series of historic novels by Australian author Colleen McCullough. This tome covers the years 41-27 B.C. of the late Roman Republic. At 567 pages, it is shorter than the previous books in the series. Gaius Octavian, now calling himself Caesar Octavianus, divi filius contends with his fellow Triumvir, Marcus Antonius, and Antony's lover, Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt.(1)

In all of her books of this series McCullough's characters speak in a modern tone (which at times becomes needlessly vulgar). Characteristically, she makes no attempt to have speakers sound Shakespearean or archaic, but in this last tome, she is a bit more chatty, uses more dialogues, and is generally less informative of other historical events taking place contemporaneously. We are basically in tune, almost exclusively, with the fewer main characters left standing following Rome's civil wars, battles, and proscriptions.

Events covered in this tome include: events following the defeat and dramatic suicides of Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus after the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C.; the ensuing rivalry of Mark...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A book published last year by Brian Latell, a professor, scholar, and retired CIA officer who had been active in foreign intelligence for 35 years, has not received the attention it deserves. The book, Castro's Secrets — The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine (2012) relies extensively on information provided by half a dozen Cuban defectors and several retired CIA officers. However, the most intriguing and reliable revelations come to light from Florentino Aspillaga ("Tiny"), the most knowledgeable and valuable foreign intelligence officer to ever defect from Cuba's foreign intelligence service, the powerful Directorio General de Inteligencia (DGI). Why does the book require careful perusal and attention? Because it contains information on the role the DGI, which had been run by Fidel Castro himself (until 2006), played in the death of JFK.

Tiny Aspillaga defected that fateful summer in 1987 "the Cuban Year of the Spy," when six major Cuban defections took place. Aspillaga had served with distinction in the elite ranks of the DGI and had even received a personal commendation from Fidel Castro.

Prior Knowledge of JFK's Assassination

President Kennedy and his...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Abstract — En la práctica de la medicina, el cirujano no puede garantizar el resultado porque pueden ocurrir complicaciones; lo mismo puede pasar con las armas de fuego, que pueden ser usadas indebidamente por personas que no deberían tenerlas. Los políticos no deben utilizar tragedias debido a tiroteos callejeros como pretexto para dictar leyes que restrinjan la libertad a los ciudadanos que respetan las leyes, son responsables y saben que la libertad va junto con sus derechos constitucionales y responsabilidades civiles.

La Sociedad Iberoamericana de Información Científica (SIIC) tuvo el agrado de entrevistar al Dr. Miguel A. Faria, Jr., en referencia al artículo “Shooting Rampages, Mental Health, and the Sensationalization of Violence" editado en la Surgical Neurology International 4(1):85-92 Enero, 2013.

Preguntas formuladas por los médicos que integran la agencia Sistema de Noticias Científicas (aSNC), brazo periodístico de SIIC.

Entrevista exclusiva a
 Dr. Miguel A. Faria Jr., Macon EE.UU. (especial para SIIC):

SIIC: Se ha reiniciado el debate acerca de la tenencia de armas de fuego en la sociedad civil a raíz del evento ocurrido en...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On the DVD cover of the movie "The Good Shepherd," former late night, talk show host Larry King wrote in the blurb, "The Best Spy movie ever." He is completely wrong on this one! This film is, perhaps, one of the worst ever, but certainly not the best — not by a long shot! And this is so despite excellent performances by a great cast of actors, including Robert De Niro (Co-producer and Director) and William Hurt, two of my very favorite screen heroes.

This movie demonstrates how liberal politics in Hollywood and the entertainment industry is alive and well — Clint Eastwood and Ted Nuggent, notwithstanding.

This movie is pure fictional propaganda directed at embarrassing and discrediting the CIA, a perpetual punching bag of the liberal establishment of America. Research for this movie was nil; apparently the goal of the film was first to indoctrinate and obfuscate, while smearing a safe target, the CIA, which it probably did with gullible audiences; and second, to entertain, but at the latter it fails miserably. The movie basically has no substantial or believable plot, is boring, drags, and is way too long for its scant action and implausible intelligence...

Keyword(s): CIA, KGB

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The October Horse (2002) is the sixth tome in the Masters of Rome series of historic novels by Australian author Colleen McCullough. It spans the turbulent years of Roman history from 48 B.C. to 41 B.C. Beginning with Julius Caesar's campaign in Egypt and his romantic and political relationship with Cleopatra VII, Pharaoh of Egypt, the book proceeds with Caesar's war against the Republicans in Africa, led by the indomitable Marcus Porcius Cato, Metellus Pius Scipio, King Juba of Numidia, and Titus Labienus. In Spain and on the high seas, the Republicans are led by Pompey Magnus' sons, the maritime admirals, Gnaeus Pompey Jr. and Sextus Pompey. The book proceeds with the victories of Julius Caesar and his establishment of a virtual tyranny in Rome as dictator perpetuus, which ultimately ends with his assassination on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.

The assassination conspiracy was led by the Republican Liberators, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, as well as Caesar's former comrade-in-arms, Decimus Brutus and Gaius Trebonius, who deplored Caesar's dictatorship and his virtual abolition of the Republic and the mos maiorum. The book proceeds with the emergence...