Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Still wrong, after 44 years

It's the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination again. While I have much to be thankful for this year and all the years of my life, November 22 is a sad anniversary because not only was an intelligent, peace-minded leader killed, but more importantly, an important part of our history was almost permanently destroyed in the process.

Jefferson Morley, a newsman from the Washington Post, takes on, today, a number of myths those who wish to quash discussions of conspiracy like to use. This particular myth is especially salient to the folks who visit this blog:

Myth #3: No reputable historian believes in a JFK conspiracy

Wrong. I know of four tenured academic historians who have written directly on the JFK assassination in the past five years. Three of them (Gerald McKnight of Hood College, David Wrone of the University of Wisconsin-Steven Points, Michael Kurtz of Southeast Louisiana University) came to conspiratorial conclusions, while one (Robert Dallek of UCLA) vouched for the lone gunman theory. A forthcoming book by Naval War College historian David Kaiser on Kennedy's Cuba policy and the assassination, to be published by Harvard University Press next year, is likely to demolish this myth once and for all. (Full disclosure: Kaiser is a friend and the book will cite my JFK reporting.)
One of the researchers I most respect because his data and sources always check out is Jim DiEugenio, with whom I collaborated on Probe magazine for a number of years. Jim's been raving to me about historian Gerald McKnight's book on the case, Breach of Trust. McKnight's book is stunning in that it shows, through the Warren Commission's own documents, instances of deliberate deception. We can now read their thought processes, thanks to Oliver Stone's film JFK, which caused such a public outcry that the JFK act was passed, forcing the long overdue release of records from the Warren Commission's investigation, among other documents.

One of the most interesting chapters is on the Warren Commission's fear when evidence surfaced that Oswald was possibly an informant for the FBI, the CIA, with an emphasis on the latter. J. Lee Rankin, the Commission's General Counsel and one of its strongest voices, penned in a memo that Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade "was aware of an allegation to the effect that Oswald was an informant for the CIA and carried Number 110669," a number which was consistent with the CIA's system of indentifying informants. The conversations the Commission held about the issue of Oswald being an agent or asset of the CIA's were some of the most closely held documents of the investigation. Far from a group of honorable men seeking the truth, as Gerald McKnight's study shows, you see men eagerly seeking ways to keep the lid on the evidence of conspiracy. Years later, Rankin swore falsely in relation to these records just to keep them from coming to the public, presumably for reasons he stated during his stint on the Commission:

...if that was true [that Oswald was working in some capacity as an intelligence asset] and it ever came out and could be established, then you would have people think that there was a conspiracy to accomplish this assassination that nothing the Commission did or anybody could dissipate.
For the evidence that Oswald was, in fact, of deep operational interest to the CIA, and likely employed by them, please see former intelligence officer and historian John Newman's heavily documented book Oswald and the CIA. No wonder Rankin was frightened.

At any rate - read Morley's full piece if you don't want to repeat the same untruths about the case that so many blindly accept from ignorance.

1 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Lisa,
I believe that a soon to be published book based on the writings of ex-president Gerald Ford in the final years of his life will reveal that the CIA covered-up by destroying/hiding documents. Apparently Ford still sticks to the lone gunman hypothesis but at least admits that there was a cover-up.
How much more information like this do we need before people demand a proper, impartial, thorough and totally independent investigation?

3:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home