It was 50 years ago today, and a few years before I was born.
It happened in Dealey Plaza, Dallas — and it could happen again, anywhere, anytime.
A president was shot and killed, and a state governor badly wounded. The incident was captured on numerous cameras, many of them in the hands of ordinary citizens. A nation was traumatized.
A so-called “lone nut” was apprehended, then killed before he could have his day in court. The killer too was killed, by lung cancer, even though he didn’t smoke.
All three of the dead men — the president, his accused assassin, and the assassin’s killer — died at the same Dallas hospital, Parkland Memorial. And in a stranger coincidence still, both the president and the accused assassin were pronounced dead in the same trauma room, by the same group of doctors.
And all three of these men died, if not of the same cause, then definitely for the same cause.
And that cause has been covered up, smothered, and suppressed for the last fifty years. The suppression began the very day the president was shot in Dealey Plaza. Witnesses had their cameras confiscated, their films removed by nameless men claiming to be federal agents, locked away, hidden from the public. Some of these “agents” descended within minutes of the shooting. Everything from Polaroids to home movies fell into their hands, in many cases never to be seen again.
The Dallas police took statements from dozens of eyewitnesses, but the Warren Commission never called those people. Or, if it did, it actively ignored the parts of their testimony that contradicted the lone shooter/magic bullet hypothesis, which had been formulated in advance: that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and that one bullet — miraculously intact, recovered from a stretcher at Parkland Hospital — did all the lethal damage to President Kennedy and nearly killed Governor Connally as well.
J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, far from truly investigating, was involved in covering up and ignoring anything that didn’t fit into the official story: three shots, one rifle, from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Never mind that the bolt-action rifle allegedly used to fire those shots was old and crappy, with a misaligned scope, nor that it couldn’t have fired off so many rounds in six and a half seconds. Never mind that the best marksmen in the country couldn’t pull off such a feat, much less a mediocre shot like Oswald. Never mind that none of Oswald’s handprints even appeared on the gun until after the FBI had paid a mysterious visit to the funeral home where Oswald’s body was being prepared for burial. The story was decided upon, it was agreed, it stood. Period. End of it.
And anyone who pointed out the flaws in the story? Well, they got suppressed too. One way or another. Some were killed in mysterious “accidents”. Some were murdered, but the cause was listed as “suicide”. Others were pressured to keep silent. Still others were ridiculed, pilloried in the media. The few who stuck their necks out, like New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, who dared to prosecute a conspirator with local connections, found themselves in the crosshairs of the character assassins known as the national news media.
After all, it’s one thing to formulate an assassination plot. It’s another to make sure that the secret is kept for decades, until all the principal players are dead and the nation’s outrage is tamped down to the point where no one but a raving lunatic would care anymore. That way, the culprits are no longer subject to prosecution, no longer liable for damages, no longer accountable to the laws of state and country. And the public, pacified, won’t demand the answers that they know are still owing — or the justice that the culprits have no intention of giving them.
Why else do you suppose that so much crucial evidence from 50 years ago is still under wraps today, and will remain so for another 20 years? The official excuse is “national security”, but since the event is no longer current, that excuse doesn’t wash. The Cuban Missile Crisis is history. The Soviet Union broke up. The Cold War ended, and the Berlin Wall came down. If the assassination was indeed a communist plot to do away with communism’s #1 enemy — and it wasn’t — then why the ongoing secrecy? Wasn’t that national-security motive dead and buried, too? Why not release all the records, unredacted, and finally let the public know what really happened that day in Dallas?
“National security” is an excuse that covers a multitude of sins. It has covered everything from the JFK assassination to the CIA’s “ghost flights”, where people were kidnapped and flown to secret locations for torture. It is still being used to justify the NSA’s wiretaps, e-mail interceptions, and everything else that interferes in the lives of ordinary citizens, not only in the United States, but all over the world. It is a travesty. It is being used to justify things that are simply not justifiable under any circumstances: wars, murders, rapes, tortures, kidnappings, disappearances. The most egregious political, social, legal and moral violations are all justified under the rubric of “national security”. And have been for decades.
And fifty years after the most blatant coup d’état in US history, it’s still being used to cover THAT festering sore, too. That, and all the fuckery that followed.
Had JFK lived, the Vietnam War would have ended in 1965, not 1975. The draw-down had begun a month before the assassination. Already the first Vietnam troops, a thousand of them, had returned to US shores just a few days before shots rang out in Dealey Plaza. Hell, even JFK’s own nephew recently attested that his uncle was a “peace at any price” president!
There would not have been a blockade against Cuba still in place to this day, either; we now know that JFK was putting out feelers toward a peace agreement with Fidel Castro, and that both men were using a number of unofficial envoys to facilitate the delicate process. One was the noted TV journalist, Lisa Howard, who interviewed Che Guevara when he came to New York to address the United Nations. And Fidel Castro himself expressed sadness at JFK’s death, which is awfully hard to imagine him doing for someone who only months before was trying to have him killed. Unless, of course, it wasn’t JFK, but another three-initial culprit…the CIA.
And it makes sense to blame the CIA. JFK’s disgust at them is well documented, as is his threat to break the organization into a thousand pieces. The Vietnam war is their baby, they profited immensely from it (as did the Military-Industrial Complex), and their dirty tricks abound in it. And their penchant for dirty tricks still continues; every fascist coup in Latin America has their pugmarks on it, and every political assassination, too. Che’s capture and execution in Bolivia was the work of CIA agents with tradecraft honed in Vietnam. The entire Miami “Cuban exile” community is rotten with CIA associations; there is not a single anti-Castro group that was not founded, financed, supported and trained (often in the use of war weaponry) by the “Company”. In fact, JFK narrowly missed being assassinated in Miami, just days before Dallas; had it not been for local police alert to conspiratorial activity, who informed the Secret Service and caused the cancellation of his motorcade (he was ultimately helicoptered in), we would be marking this anniversary on the 18th, not today, and assassination researchers would be descending on Miami, not Dallas.
The CIA are not above associating with the worst of the human dregs we call the Mafia, either; Colonel Fletcher Prouty, who retired from US army intelligence in 1964, publicly stated that it was CIA and military intelligence procedure to use organized criminals to do “jobs” — that is, assassinations — anyplace it wouldn’t look good for US personnel to get directly involved.
What place would it look worse than Dallas?
And yes, there were plenty of mafiosi who were only too happy to get in on the action where JFK’s assassination was concerned. Bobby Kennedy, as US Attorney General, had made it his mission to break up the mob, just as his older brother had sworn to do with the CIA. Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante were two who stood directly to gain from a high-level assassination. They ran sleazy nightclubs, strip joints, bawdyhouses and gambling casinos; when Fidel Castro shut their establishments down and kicked them out of Cuba, they landed in Miami with bugs in their ears. And they made sure that all of New Orleans caught their fleas, too; there’s hardly an establishment there, to this day, that isn’t grubby with the grease of Cuban mafia hands. Their tentacles stretched all the way out to Texas…and specifically Dallas. Jack Ruby, a former Chicago mobster and errand boy for Al Capone, was one of their low-level members. And all of them, to a man, hated the Brothers Castro for cleaning up Cuba, and the Brothers Kennedy, too…for trying to clean up Washington. And Miami. And New Orleans. And…you name it.
To this day, the CIA and the mob are ongoing problems for the US government. It’s quite ironic, then, that the whole “national security” eyewash is actually protecting them, while leaving ordinary citizens exposed…and the national security of every other nation on Earth in jeopardy. Because the empire, the Military-Industrial-Intelligence-Organized-Crime Complex, did not die along with JFK; it only grew.
Why does the JFK assassination still matter today? Because it is still, in fact, an unsolved crime — the hottest “cold” case in the world. But more than that, because the same pernicious forces that plotted it are still alive and all too well, even if the individual players are almost all dead. Because the deception and the cover-up are still continuing, and the propaganda offensive has not ended; the major media remain complicit in the deception of the people. And because as long as all these things continue, there can be no justice, no truth and no peace…anywhere.