Monday, April 12, 2004

The History Channel Scandal

The History Channel recently broadcast an episode of its most popular series ever, "The Men Who Killed Kennedy". Each segment has been a look at a different part of the story. If you watch the whole thing, you'd see that a lot of good information about the assassination of JFK is presented. However, there have been segments that have not withstood the scrutiny of serious researchers. The latest segment created was a segment based on Barr McClellan's book that purports that LBJ had JFK killed. This flies in the face of all the evidence I've read in a period of serious study from 1992 to the present. It also flies in the face of reason, because if LBJ was powerful enough to have pulled that off, there's no way he would have voluntarily stepped down from the presidency in 1968. Need I add that McClellan is, by several accounts such as this, a convicted forger and lawyer who resigned to avoid disbarment?

But what did the History Channel do? Instead of saying wow, we really goofed here, and showing the facts of the case which definitely prove conspiracy, but with a different set of people involved, the History Channel choked and has pulled the whole series, refusing to sell any of the episodes of what is, by its own acknowledgement, the most re-requested series on their network. They hired three "historians" who have their own problems with credibility. Heck - this is the channel that dared to put Gerald Posner on a 'history' panel, a man whose own book on JFK is noted by true historian David Wrone as "one of the stellar instances of irresponsible publishing on the subject."

So what is real history? As Orwell told us, "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." In other words, history is written by the victors. That doesn't make it true. In fact, that often makes it propaganda. How many American were taught that we stole land from Native Americans and Mexicans who had settled the Southwest long before we got there? How many Americans were taught in school that the CIA helped rig the 1948 Italian election to keep Communists out? How many Americans know that we backed the overthrow of democratic leaders in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Chile, Indonesia, and many other places around the globe? In fact, in the 1960's, nearly every liberal leader in the Western Hemisphere, with the notable exception of Castro, was deposed. But the media and its owners persist in trying to show the JFK operation as a separate little item, not part of a continuum of larger events.

And finally, let's note a couple of facts here. This reeks of a double play. (1) Barr McClellan's son is Scott McClellan, George W. Bush's White House press secretary. Wouldn't it be great for the Republicans if they could direct public ire against yet another Democratic President in their quest to balance the unbalanced legacy of Nixon? Democrats would shy away from any talk of conspiracy for fear one of their top guns had been involved. Putting forth this theory, which is ultimately insupportable by the weight of the evidence, distracts from the true conspirators in the case. The gullible love an easy solution. LBJ did it. Not the government. Not the CIA. How nice. Just a few bad guys who are gone now. How much more palatable that is than having to stomach the thought that a parallel government of unelected officials took matters into their own hands in November 22, 1963 to change forever the trajectory of politics in this country? But the double whammy (2) comes from getting the History Channel to pull not just this one episode, but the entire series. It's almost as if this was the plan from the start - create something so seductive yet so easily disprovable that it discredits the whole saga.

What's heartening is how this effort has backfired. Because while they may be temporarily persuaded by a false lead as to who is behind the conspiracy, each action like this just reinforces the belief many have that there really was a conspiracy. The efforts to convince the public that JFK was killed by a lone gunman has to rank as the most unsuccessful propaganda campaign of all time. No matter how hard the media tries to shove that down people's throats, their remarkable ability to resist is evident. The big loser in all of this is the credibility of the History Channel, but not for the reasons they pretend. Just read the message board at the History Channel for a sample. They may not be well written, but the passion for a true telling of that part of our history is very evident in these posts.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Martin Luther King Assassination Anniversary goes nearly unnoticed

Today, there was little coverage of an important assassination 36 years ago in Memphis, Tennessee. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was shot by a sniper as he stepped out of his hotel room onto a public-facing balcony.

Unmentioned in the scant coverage was the fact that in 1999, a jury found Loyd Jowers and "others unknown" guilty of conspiracy in the assassination of MLK, and concluded that Ray was not the shooter. The King family had brought a civil suit against Jowers after he confessed on ABC's Prime Time Live show to being part of the conspiracy, saying he had purchased and handed the gun to the shooter, who was not James Earl Ray.

Probe magazine covered the trial and published several long articles on this dramatic turn of events, about which the mainstream media has been shamefully silent. Read the coverage on the MLK articles page here. There are more articles on my Real History site. And if you really like to read, you can find the entire trial transcripts online at The King Center.

In brief, the official story has always been that a petty crime operator, all by himself, shot King from a public, hallway bathroom in a flophouse for drunks. After miraculously not being interrupted by the people who had been drinking and surely had need of that room, he fled, but not without dropping a sack of his belongings, including the gun, on the sidewalk in front of a store. And then, this poor guy without any co-conspirators managed to get to Europe and stay hidden while the FBI conducted what Hoover himself called 'the greatest manhunt in history.' Need I add that the package he allegedly dropped appeared on the doorstep BEFORE the shooting? But never mind with the facts. Goodness knows the media and the courts rarely do when it comes to political assassinations.

You owe it to yourself to find out about the people who killed King. There's a great section on King's assassination in the book I co-edited and co-published, The Assassinations, which you can purchase at The first printing is nearly gone, so a second printing is planned.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

America's Vote at Risk!

With the advent of electronic voting, our vote has never been more at risk. I've put together a summary document titled "America's Vote at Risk" which you can download and share from here. I'm out of time right now but wanted to get this out so people can educate themselves and their friends. There are two bills - one in the House, and one in the Senate, that can take care of the problems brought on by electronic voting. But the House and Senate are dragging their feet, saying they can't do anything until after the next election. But by then it may be too late! Please read the summary, check out the list of e-votes gone wrong in the Appendix, and then write your Congressperson and Senators about the bills to support, listed within. Many thanks for your time helping protect our Democracy. We need MANY people pushing on this issue to get the changes we need in time.