Tuesday, September 6, 2016

the last book I ever read (Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, excerpt three)

from Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by Rick Perlstein:

His speech was shrugged off as a puzzlement. Evidence supporting its wisdom piled up that week. But because America was seized by a wartime mentality, much of that evidence was secret. The Central Intelligence Agency was training Cuban exiles deep in the Guatemalan bush for an invasion to overthrow the Castro government; on January 17 the files were closed on a completed CIA mission in which rebels led by a military officer named Joseph Mobutu hunted down and killed the Republic of the Congo’s Soviet-leaning prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, on the country’s 203rd day of independence. The next day Adlai Stevenson denounced the coup at the UN. And the Kremlin officially declared “the only way to bring imperialism to heel” was through the “sacred struggle of colonial peoples, wars of colonial liberation.” On January 19, the American nuclear program suffered its thirteenth “broken arrow” when a B-52 exploded in midair in Utah, luckily without any of the missiles armed; the fourteenth was ten days later when a B-52 flying a routine Strategic Air Command training mission out of Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base crashed near a North Carolina farm. The aircraft’s two nuclear bombs jettisoned, and five of their six safety mechanisms were unlatched by the fall.

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