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Back Channel is the first book of a remarkable memoir of a Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy.
Known familiarly as Bertie Mac he reported directly to the President and his office was in the West Wing of the White House. Prior to achieving that position, he had been betrayed by his own government - the United States - and handed over to the Soviets.
He was tortured in the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow before being covertly rescued by two high ranking Soviet Generals (at great risk to themselves) who wanted to convey information directly to the White House to try to avert a nuclear confrontation they believed to be imminent. They believed that he would be a uniquely reliable conduit of information between the U.S. and the Soviet Union as he deeply mistrusted both governments and therefore had absolutely no motivation to "color" any information he might transmit.
Bertie Mac coined the term "Back Channel" and served as a direct communication link between the White House and the Kremlin during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Bertie Mac is a patriot, a soldier, a spy and an assassin. He served in all four roles during his time under President Kennedy, who became his friend and confidant.You will see the Soviet Union, the White House, Camelot, Vietnam and the conspirators behind the assassination of the President in a very new light and watch history as it was being made. Join us as we look into the Kennedy Years of Camelot, the Assasination and the aftermath. Due to our guests safety we cannot devulge his true name or show his face.
Call in to speak with Bertie at 213-769-0952 or visit via the chatroom. 9PM EST, 8PM CST, 6PM PST View Bertie's web-site: http://www.bertiemac.com/
We thank photographer Tom Lohdan for use of the White House Photo- find Tom on Flickr.
Pianist Cristian Monti joins us from Italy.
It's good to talk.