I am in the midst of Paul Kengor’s book A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century. This book is very curious, for it tries to seize the message of Fatima and craft a purely 20th century narrative from it, i.e., the real message of Fatima is the struggle between the United States and her allies and the Soviet Union and there is no future chastisement to come. The book also seeks not only to canonize Ronald Reagan but even members of the Reagan family who were known for their irreligiousness.
There is much to say, but I want to focus on Kengor’s curious attempt to prove (once again) that the attempted assassin of John Paul II, Mehmet Ali Agca was working for Soviet intelligence and DEFINITELY NOT WESTERN INTELLIGENCE.
Kengor admits that (without saying so overtly) that Agca had all of the characteristics of a CIA operative, including:
- Unstable family life / and loner genius personality.
- Ties to fascism.
- Ties mafia in a NATO country.
- A mysterious jail break.
- Experience murdering.
However, Kengor explicitly ridicules the idea of the Central Intelligence Agency using a mafia linked criminal from a NATO country to perform an assassination: “It did not take long before both the Bulgarians and Soviets were contending that the CIA had tried to kill the pope. Yes, the CIA. Truly, nothing was beyond the communist propagandists.” This is the typical post-Cold War neocon (and even neoliberal narrative): The Soviets believed that Agca was a right wing assassin because he sure looked like one, but, of course, the Soviets were a bunch of crazy, stupid liars who lost the Cold War, so everything they said was a lie.
Reader, let me leave you with some rhetorical questions.
- Did the CIA ever employ a fascist mafia hitman from a NATO country to perform any criminal activity?
- Is it true that the Soviet intelligence and press were composed of the cartoonish bungling Keystone cops that neocons depict them as being?
- Is it is more likely that the attempted assassinations of John Paul and Ronald Reagan (by a friend of the Bush family) have a CIA not a KGB link?
- Why does every neocon biographer of John Paul II go out of the way to try to prove the KGB assassination theory?
- Why doesn’t Kengor mention the ties between John Hinckley, the attempted assassin of president Reagan, and the Bush Family?