Monday, November 22, 2010

RIP, President John F. Kennedy. The rest of you, get busy!

I've only gotten to know President John F. Kennedy posthumously. And after years of wading through books good and bad, filled with information and disinformation, it's clear that Kennedy is still being killed.

You see, it wasn't enough to destroy the man. He was killed, I now understand, because he was seeking a new way for America, one of cooperation with other nations rather than domination, one of peaceful coexistence with communists instead of the total annihilation many in power wanted.

He did not fear death. As EJK noted, one of the most beautiful parts of Jim Douglass' excellent book JFK and the Unspeakable was the story of how Caroline Kennedy came into a meeting Kennedy was having with his advisors, proud that she had learned to recite Kennedy's favorite poem, which opened with, "I have a rendezvous with death." And it was precisely because he didn't fear death that he was such a threat. Nothing scared him from his purpose. Would that we were all so brave. Sadly, most are not.

My heart breaks for Kennedy's family not just on this day but on all days, as who Kennedy was and what he stood for continue to be murdered yearly. It's hard enough to grieve the loss of a loved one, without seeing him stabbed afresh every year with some new lie touted as a "revelation."

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's inauguration. The year 2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Between now and then, the media will go to greater lengths than ever before to convince you not only was his killing a trifling incident, but that Kennedy was a terrible president who deserved to be killed. That this is the opposite of the truth should be deeply concerning to anyone who still hopes to live in a free country.

If the truth is supposed to set us free, what do lies do? They keep us imprisoned in a false history. And that means we're under control. "Who controls the past controls the future," Orwell warned us. "Who controls the present controls the past." And the war for control includes the war for your mind. The government wants to control the way you think about this event, and other events. Some give in because it is scary to fight that power. Few have the strength to stand up under the incredible peer pressure that will be brought to bear in the next few years. But my greatest love and respect is reserved for the many who have bravely defendended the truth about this man and other aspects of our real history. This is a battlefield without medals, but I am deeply honored and indeed, thankful, this season, for all who have sidestepped the many mines of disinformation laid in our path and walked carefully, respectfully towards the truth.

We are closer than ever to the truth about the events of Dallas. But it is the truth about the man that matters to me most of all. He was not the womanizer he's been painted (and will be painted) to be, which isn't to say he was entirely faithful. I only know the tales have been exaggerated beyond any resemblance to the the truth. And I know this is deliberate. Because if you hate the man, you won't care who killed him. That is the point of all of this. Because if you figure out that he was killed not because he was a bad man, but because he was that rarest of things, a truly good man, then you will start to know too much about what's wrong with our government, and might even feel compelled to take action. And that's what "they" don't want you to do.

So we'll have to endure Tom Hanks' production of Bugliosi's 1000+ page effort to show Oswald acted alone, when he did not. We'll have to endure Leonardo DiCaprio's equally damaging actions in the opposite direction - purporting a Mob-only conspiracy, which is also not true. And we'll have to endure Joel Surnow's completely unhistorial "History" channel series on Kennedy's fictitious sexual escapades (purported without substantiation and indeed, with quite a bit of refutation, by C. David Heymann, whose work has now polluted the historical record, having been picked up and echoed in many other works). This trio will give us the false lone nut version, the false conspiracy version, and the false biography. What does such false history do to a country? Really ask yourself if that's the kind of media that can serve us in a so-called democracy.

If the media can lie to us so thoroughly about something that happened nearly 50 years ago, the perpetrators of which are now all (nearly all?) dead, what else are they lying about in the present? How can we make any claim to being a democracy if we are basing decisions on a false record?

We can't. We're not living in a democracy. We're living in a covert dictatorship. If that's not how you want to live, stop watching media that lies to you and start funding the independent sources that try to help you find the truth about our real history. Because most people aren't going to spend years of their own lives to find the truth for free. So it's imperative you support those of us who are trying to do the right thing. I would urge you to NOT support or donate to sites that don't pay writers. Support sites that DO pay writers, because where else will you get the information the aggregator sites pick up and echo? I write for Consortium News from time to time and consider it one of the only places that will let me tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and even pay me (a little!) for it. If you want the truth about your history, it's going to take some of your money. Ads won't pay for that. Ad revenue comes primarily from corporation who benefit from the suppression of information. So ad-supported sites will never have the same freedom. Only sites that exist on donations have the total press freedom to tell you the most difficult truths.

If you are grateful for anything I have said or done over the years, at this time of Thanksgiving, I hope you'll support what Parry is doing over at Consortium News or what Jim DiEugenio and others continue to do over at the Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination (CTKA, prounded "sit-kah") site.

And do what you can to steel your mind against the coming assault. It's going to be all out war, and we could really use your help. Educate yourself by reading good sites and good books. Not all conspiracy sites have valid information. Reply, respond, rebut, but try to stay polite. Not everyone who tells lies knows they are doing so. Do what you can to reclaim our real history before it disappears under a wave of disinformation. If you know people in the entertainment industry, talk to them. Direct them to credible sites. Share what you know with any willing to hear. You are the best ambassador for truth that there is, to people who already know and trust you. Don't let that power go unused.

Be grateful for how Kennedy saved us all from nuclear war, and how he fought mightily to keep combat troops out of Vietnam while he was alive. Reward any who follow the path of peace.

And pat yourself on the back for being as awake and aware as you are. You are a rare breed, and I am grateful to have you to talk to.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Full Video of "JFK and the Unspeakable" panel discussion with Jim Douglass, Oliver Stone and Lisa Pease, moderated by Robert Ellsberg

Here is the entire talk, filmed at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, California, on November 8, 2010, 50 years to the day after John F. Kennedy was elected President.

I have to say, each and every one of these men was just as nice and genuine and brilliant offstage as they were onstage. It was such a treat to share the stage with them for this event! YouTube limits uploads to 15 minutes, hence the five parts, below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Video snippet from the panel with Oliver Stone, Jim Douglass, Robert Ellsberg, and Lisa Pease

I had such a wonderful time sharing the stage with these remarkable people. I wish you all could have been there.

Thank you, those of you who came up to me afterwards and introduced yourselves. You ROCK for caring about Real History!!!

I believe the full video of the event will eventually be posted, but for now, here's a 15 minute digest version:

Friday, November 05, 2010

JFK would not have sent hunter-killer teams to Yemen

Reprinted from my article at

It was rather horrifying to wake to hear that the Obama administration is considering sending hunter-killer teams into Yemen in hopes of seeking out and killing suspected terrorists.

First, there’s no guarantee that the people the CIA has identified are, in fact, terrorists. There is no court for assessing evidence and no appeal process if mistakes are made. If some CIA analyst decides someone is a terrorist, that’s it. That’s horrific to me, as a lover of truth and justice.

Second, imagine telling your children that if they have a disagreement with another child at school, they shouldn’t talk, they shouldn’t appeal to higher authorities, they should just kill them. That’s essentially what the United States is doing and teaching by these actions. Shame.

Third, I’ve been reading a lot about President John F. Kennedy’s foreign policy in the last few weeks. He knew that you’d never win a war by firepower alone. If your enemy is hungry, first feed them, then seek common ground. Violence only ever begets more violence.

I talked to someone whose hardcore Republican parents nonetheless talked with great fondness for President Kennedy and felt he was the best president we ever had.

Why? They were immigrants from El Salvador, and remembered how where Reagan had sent guns, Kennedy had sent care packages – caritas – of food to give away to the starving people. That bought more goodwill for America than violence ever did.

His “Alliance for Progress” started as a program to bring economic support to Latin America. The perversion of that program to include police and military training came about after Kennedy’s death. (You can read Kennedy’s original vision for the program, as outlined in this speech, given in the first 100 days of his administration.)

In Indonesia, Kennedy created a plan of economic stimulus and support, which was reversed after his assassination.

Kennedy was so certain that the way to a better future came from educating and feeding people, rather than killing them, that he created the Peace Corps with the goal of doing just that.

Yemen is so poor its capital city may run out of water within a decade. A third of its population is malnourished. I can’t think of anything more likely to breed terrorism than a population that has no choice but to kill to survive.

That kind of terrorism I understand. I certainly don’t condone it, but I understand that terrorism does not feel like a choice when people are that desperate.

Where Kennedy would have sent food and water, the Obama administration is considering sending “hunter-killer” teams. And the fact that the media can talk so openly about this shows how far we’ve fallen from Kennedy’s vision of America as a benevolent leader. Where is the outrage?

And does it even make sense that anyone in Yemen would be trying to attack the United States?

Yemen is already in conflict with its neighbor, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is rich, so it would at least make sense that Yemenese terrorists would target their rich neighbor in the hope of winning concessions.

It makes little sense that they would instead take whatever tiny resources they could scrape together in an effort to target the U.S. half a world away. [Indeed, the director of Yemenia Airways has denied that any UPS cargo plane or packages had left Yemen in the 48 hours prior to the alleged bomb shipment.]

I suspect this latest counter-terrorism operation isn’t about trying to end terrorism, which has supplanted “anticommunism” as the excuse du jour for enacting whatever policies Washington wants overseas. As with anticommunism, counter-terrorism is the excuse used for going after other countries’ resources.

When the CIA helped overthrow Iran’s democratically elected leader Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, the explanation at the time was that he was suspected of being a communist, but the CIA’s official history gives the first reason as Mossadegh’s nationalization of Iran’s oil industry.

When the CIA then overthrew Guatemala’s democratically elected leader Jacobo Arbenz, another non-communist, it was to reclaim nationalized farmlands for American businesses and to show Latin America that further nationalizations would not be tolerated.

In 1990, after Saddam Hussein got an apparent “green light” from President George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to invade Kuwait, the Iraqi invasion became an excuse to put U.S. troops permanently in the oil-rich region.

But President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” changed everything. While the United States used to do its empire building covertly, now it’s just a bald imperialist power, trying to establish military bases in other countries all over the world and not surprisingly upsetting many of the locals.

Imagine if China established a military base on American soil. Would Americans become sudden fans of the Chinese? Or would we be angry, fearing our nation had been in part taken over by a foreign power we never invited in? How is it that Americans do not understand that nearly every “victory” abroad won with guns ensures a long-term loss for America?

The Democratic Party’s severe losses on Tuesday were in part a reflection of President Obama’s failure to follow the moral vision President Kennedy once outlined. He showed Americans how to lead with our hearts and thus how to win the hearts of people from other nations.

Unfortunately, those who feel that the only way to lead is with guns now run the show.

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If you like this article and the others I and Robert Parry and Danny Schecter and Bill Moyers and others over at Consortium News have written, please contribute money to that site. They're doing a matching grant right now - so your $25 dollars is the equivalent of $50, for example.

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