Douglass (a longtime peace activist with the Catholic Workers) borrows the term ''the Unspeakable'' from Catholic philosopher Thomas Merton in order to point towards a form of systemic evil that he believes resulted in the death of John F. Kennedy. He argues that Kennedy was slowly, and in contradictory manner, turning away from the Cold War hawkishness of his younger years towards peace. He lays out the evidence for this turn, including secret dialogues with Soviet leader Kruschev, and argues that it caused the US military-intelligence establishment to have Kennedy killed. After examining the assassination in some detail, he concludes that the Central Intelligence Agency was the coordinating instrument for the assassination but that responsibility was far more systemic and, well, ''Unspeakable.''
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