Digging Deeper: Jesse Ventura's Alternative Take on American History

PHOTO The cover for the book "63 Documents the Government Doesnt Want You to Read" is shown.
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In his new book, "63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read," former wrestler turned governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura takes a close and at times disturbing look at major historical events. Ventura draws on public but often overlooked information about such events as John F. Kennedy's assassination and the 9/11 attacks, offering fresh, often intriguing insights.

Here is an excerpt from "63 Docrments the Goverment Doesn't Want You to Read":

There is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment." – John F. Kennedy

This book is titled "63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read," lest we forget that 1963 was the year that claimed the life of our 35th President. The conspiracy that killed JFK, and the cover-up that followed, is the forerunner for a lot of what you're going to read about in these pages. In fact, the idea behind this book came out of writing my last one, American Conspiracies. There I presented a close look at whether or not our historical record reflects what really went on, based on facts that most of the media have chosen to ignore – from the Kennedy assassination through the tragedy of September 11th and the debacle on Wall Street. In poring through numerous documents, many of them available through the Freedom-of-Information Act (FOIA), I came to realize the importance of the public's right to know. And I decided to see what new picture might be revealed if you laid out certain documents that the powers-that-be would just as soon stay buried.

Everything in this book is in the public domain and, for the most part, downloadable from the Internet. I'm not breaking any laws by putting these documents in book form, although some of them were classified "Secret" until WikiLeaks published them. I'll get to my view on WikiLeaks in a moment, but let me begin by saying how concerned I am that we're moving rapidly in the direction President Kennedy tried to warn us about.

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, there are now 854,000 American citizens with Top Secret clearances. The number of new secrets rose 75 percent between 1996 and 2009, and the number of documents using those secrets went from 5.6 million in 1996 to 54.6 million last year. There are an astounding 16 million documents being classified Top Secret by our government every year! Today, pretty much everything the government does is presumed secret. Isn't it time we asked ourselves whether this is really necessary for the conduct of foreign affairs or the internal operation of governments? Doesn't secrecy actually protect the favored classes and allow them to continue to help themselves at the expense of the rest of us? Isn't this a cancer growing on democracy?

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