Thursday, December 19, 2013

JFK and the Rape of History

In the old Soviet Union regime skeptics often observed that while true believers knew what the future held, the past was constantly changing. An example of this strange state of affairs is provided by a photo of Stalin standing next to several other Bolsheviks. The picture indicates, however, that one VIP has been airbrushed from the stage. To the chagrin of the artistic revisionist, comrade Trotsky’s uninhabited shoes testify to the renegade’s former prominence.

One wouldn’t expect this kind of deception in the United States, but much the same thing has occurred with the assassination of President Kennedy. The actual portrait of the real assassin—a pathetic loser whose delusions of grandeur are clearly revealed in his “Historic Diary”—has been airbrushed away to make room for grand conspiracies involving persons or institutions that folks like Oliver Stone wish to revile.

Of particular significance is the obsessive desire by leftists—including political wannabes like sportscaster Bob Costas—to connect Kennedy’s assassination to Dallas itself, a city that was then a hotbed of conservative opposition to the President.

The New York Times provided yet another example of this revisionism when it published an odious opinion piece by one James McAuley, a “Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford.” It’s worth noting that the Times employed a callow history student to do the work that most self-respecting historians would not do—designating the city of Dallas as an “actor” and not merely the geographical “stage” for JFK’s assassination.

Not mentioned in this fatuous retrospective is the fact that a communist who adored Fidel Castro and had lived in the Soviet Union longer than in Dallas was the person who actually shot the President from the sixth floor of the building where he had recently secured a menial job. Nor do McAuley and most other “observers” care to note that seven months earlier this unstable fellow who didn’t drive a car attempted to assassinate a right-wing Texas politician, General Edwin Walker, with the same mail-order rifle he clearly fired on November 22nd.

On that fateful day, after failing to reconcile with his estranged wife, the high-school dropout and twice court-martialed Marine who attempted suicide in the Soviet Union carried an elongated object wrapped in brown paper to work—an odd package that he told his co-worker and driver contained curtain rods. One could continue for hours discussing definitive incriminating evidence like Oswald’s makeshift shooting blind, eyewitness descriptions, bullet cartridges, and the killing of Officer J. D. Tippit. 

According to a commemorative editorial in USA today a while back, evidence related to JFK’s assassination is “sparse” and presumably inconclusive. Those editors, like most Americans, have never seriously reviewed the evidence. Anyone who has read even part of the massive Warren Report could never assert that evidence in this case is “sparse”—a claim that would probably seem foolish even to folks who’ve perused Gerald Posner’s quite manageable “Case Closed.”  

Vincent Bugliosi, author of the monumental assassination work, “Reclaiming History,” demonstrated to a group of lawyers that they weren’t thinking logically about JFK’s murder by asking for a show of hands of those who had reviewed the Warren Report. The sparse number didn’t compare with the scores of hands raised earlier when he inquired about conspiracy proponents.     

Most Americans know little more about the assassination than what they’ve seen in Oliver Stone’s massively dishonest film, “JFK.” I regularly showed this dramatically gripping movie to seniors at the prep school in La Jolla where I taught for twenty years. That screening was followed by a condensed dose of real evidence as organized by Brandeis history scholar Jacob Cohen (“Yes, Oswald Alone Killed Kennedy,” Commentary Magazine, June, 1992). The typical result, at least for students who bothered to read Cohen’s article, was shock at Stone’s cinematic rape of history—at the director’s ignoring or twisting of obvious facts to make the event fit his own desires.  

Stone and others, however, get away with these monumental deceptions because journalists, intellectuals, and politicians have for decades been unwilling to provide to the general public, on a regular basis, even basic facts concerning Oswald that are clearly known—only a handful of which have been offered above. Like Stalin, they wish to airbrush out of the picture the “silly little communist” (Jackie Kennedy’s words) who clearly murdered the President and to manipulate a tragic historical event to further their own agendas.