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Fifty Years of Lies

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On November 22, a large number of tools within the mainstream media will be congratulating themselves for “successfully” covering-up the conspiracy involving the assassination of President Kennedy.  Although many people accept the Warren Commission’s “single bullet theory” version of the tragedy – during this long stretch of time, an entire library full of books refuting different aspects of the “official” explanation has been published.

If you read only one book about the Kennedy assassination (or if you already have but all this anniversary stuff has aroused your interest in getting the true story) I recommend Lamar Waldron’s new book, The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination.  I’m on chapter 8 right now and I have to stop writing, so I can get back to it.  Warner Brothers will be releasing a new film, Legacy of Secrecy, (the title of Waldron’s previous book on this subject) which includes some of the new book’s revelations.  The film features performances by Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Rather than presenting the sort of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory which we saw in Oliver Stone’s film, JFK, Waldron presents a more simple conspiracy:  New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello and his Tampa associate, Santo Trafficante, Jr. wanted JFK dead because he and Bobby Kennedy had been riding roughshod over the Mafia.

Nevertheless, the book presents other related facts which the reader can put together to conclude that there were many related criminal acts which facilitated and helped cover-up the conspiracy.  Most notable among them was that the hypocritical, crooked, closet queen – Gay Edgar Hoover – obviously had known about it in advance but did nothing to stop the plot because he hated the Kennedys.  After reading seven chapters of this book, I have already learned about two documented cases wherein informants had notified the FBI about Marcello and Trafficante’s plot to kill JFK approximately one year before the hit took place.

The cover-up was facilitated by the fact that Kennedy had been orchestrating the overthrow of Fidel Castro, with the help of Cuba’s number three man:  Commander Juan Almeida.  The Warren Commission and others attempted to cover-up the conspiracy because a revelation of the truth would have exposed the plot against Castro while jeopardizing Almeida, who remained in power until 1990.  Marcello and Trafficante had their men infiltrate the Cuban coup attempt so that any revelation of their involvement in Kennedy’s killing would expose Almeida and the coup plot, potentially setting off World War III.  The Mafiosi also had a sub-plot arranged to make it appear as though Oswald was just one of many people working for Castro to kill Kennedy.  This added more pressure for a cover-up among those who were actually oblivious to what really happened.  The need to prevent World War III was paramount, since the assassination took place only one year after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

There is plenty of other good stuff in the book, so I won’t spoil it for you.  The “big picture” which becomes very clear is that delving into the ugly truth behind the JFK assassination conspiracy is like turning over a rock – you learn all sorts of other grim facts about those vested with the power of running this country, the dishonesty of the mainstream news media and the out-of-control hubris of the National Security Gestapo, which we are reading about on a more frequent basis these days.


 

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Day of Tragedy

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It’s that day again.  November 22, 1963 was Tina’s 13th birthday.  Old lucky 13!  It must have been an awful birthday present for a girl of that age to receive the news that the President had been assassinated.  Tina’s father was in the Navy and by the time of his retirement, he had achieved the rank of Vice Admiral.  The assassination of a Navy hero, who had rescued several of his comrades with a broken back after the sinking of the PT109, must have been a gloomy occasion at Tina’s home.  Tina’s birthday would forever be remembered as a national day of tragedy.

The cover-up of the JFK assassination became a national disgrace.  It became the most extensive and most successful government cover-up since the 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico.  The cover-up of the JFK assassination caused many Americans to become distrustful of their government.  Worse yet, it quickly became apparent that the JFK assassination was just one of many government cover-ups and an industry soon became built around investigating various government-led campaigns to conceal other killings, hazardous conditions and industrial mishaps.

Washington Post journalist Jack Anderson became one of the few figures employed within the mainstream news media to seriously investigate theories involving a conspiracy to assassinate JFK.  His investigation led him to focus on involvement of the Mafia, as a result of the CIA’s efforts to recruit Mafia hit men to kill Castro.  His televised documentary, American Exposé:  Who Murdered JFK? is available on YouTube.

As a kid from Chicago, I was a big fan of a guy named Sherman Skolnick, one of the early proponents of the theory that President Kennedy was killed as part of a joint effort by the Mafia and the CIA.  Although Skolnick was often ridiculed as a “kook” and a  “conspiracy theorist”, his investigations led to the prosecution and imprisonment of many sleazy politicians and corrupt judges.

My favorite JFK assassination conspiracy theory centered around the involvement of Carlos Marcello, who later admitted to ordering the hit. Marcello was the chieftain of the New Orleans mob, with Dallas under his jurisdiction.  The connections between New Orleans and the assassination in Dallas aroused the curiosity of New Orleans prosecutor, Jim Garrison – the central character in the movie, JFK.

The assassination conspiracy theory I preferred, was based on the notion that Joseph Kennedy, who had numerous real estate holdings in Chicago and who had been a prohibition-era distributor of liquor, was no stranger to the Chicago mob.  According to the theory, Joe Kennedy made a deal with Chicago mobsters that if they could steal the election for JFK, the new President would win Havana back for the Mafia.  Havana had been famous for its casinos, prostitution and drugs before Fidel Castro came along and spoiled the party.  When JFK pulled the plug on the Bay of Pigs invasion – after it was already under way– he drew the ire of the Outfit.  Worse yet, JFK and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy had been riding roughshod over Carlos Marcello’s organization and its management the Teamsters Union, through Marcello’s proxy, Jimmy Hoffa.  JFK had double-crossed the mob and people who double-cross the mob get killed.

A number of investigations have revealed that the 1960 election voting patterns in Chicago’s infamous, Mafia-controlled “River Wards” were not any different than they had been in the previous election, when Adlai Stevenson opposed Dwight Eisenhower.

David Greenberg of Slate provided the best take on the idea:

Even before Election Day, rumors circulated about fraud, especially in Chicago, where Mayor Richard Daley’s machine was known for delivering whopping Democratic tallies by fair means and foul.  When it became clear how narrowly Nixon lost, outraged Republicans grew convinced that cheating had tipped the election and lobbied for an investigation.

*   *   *

Completed Dec. 9, the recount of 863 precincts showed that the original tally had undercounted Nixon’s (and Adamowski’s) votes, but only by 943, far from the 4,500 needed to alter the results.  In fact, in 40 percent of the rechecked precincts, Nixon’s vote was overcounted.  Displeased, the Republicans took the case to federal court, only to have a judge dismiss the suits.  Still undeterred, they turned to the State Board of Elections, which was composed of four Republicans, including the governor, and one Democrat.  Yet the state board, too, unanimously rejected the petition, citing the GOP’s failure to provide even a single affidavit on its behalf.  The national party finally backed off after Dec. 19, when the nation’s Electoral College certified Kennedy as the new president—but even then local Republicans wouldn’t accept the Illinois results.

*   *   *

The GOP’s failure to prove fraud doesn’t mean, of course, that the election was clean.  That question remains unsolved and unsolvable.  But what’s typically left out of the legend is that multiple election boards saw no reason to overturn the results. Neither did state or federal judges.  Neither did an Illinois special prosecutor in 1961.  And neither have academic inquiries into the Illinois case (both a 1961 study by three University of Chicago professors and more recent research by political scientist Edmund Kallina concluded that whatever fraud existed wasn’t substantial enough to alter the election).

On the other hand, some fraud clearly occurred in Cook County.  At least three people were sent to jail for election-related crimes, and 677 others were indicted before being acquitted by Judge John M. Karns, a Daley crony.  Many of the allegations involved practices that wouldn’t be detected by a recount, leading the conservative Chicago Tribune, among others, to conclude that “once an election has been stolen in Cook County, it stays stolen.”  What’s more, according to journalist Seymour Hersh, a former Justice Department prosecutor who heard tapes of FBI wiretaps from the period believed that Illinois was rightfully Nixon’s. Hersh also has written that J. Edgar Hoover believed Nixon actually won the presidency but in deciding to follow normal procedures and refer the FBI’s findings to the attorney general—as of Jan. 20, 1961, Robert F. Kennedy—he effectively buried the case.

So, JFK never breached any “deal” with the mob.  This doesn’t rule out the possibility that Carlos Marcello was involved in the assassination.  He simply may have wanted to put an end to the harassment arising from his management of the Teamsters Union.  We may never know the full truth.

In the mean time, one of the original critics of the Warren Report, Mark Lane, has just written a new book about the CIA’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination:  Last Word.

Despite having her birthday forever overshadowed by the gloomiest event in American history, Tina Weymouth went on to lead a literally upbeat life, playing bass for the Talking Heads and fronting for the Tom Tom Club.  Her niece, Katharine Weymouth, is now the publisher of The Washington Post, Jack Anderson’s old newspaper.

Happy Birthday, Tina!