Still JFK Crazy After All These Years

Why weird old rich people are so nuts over the 50th assassination anniversary.

Apparently I have written more about the upcoming 50th anniversary observation of the Kennedy assassination than anybody else in town, or else I have written crazier stuff. One way or another I have become a top phone call for out-of-town journalists, filmmakers and other seekers of something to say about the murder of JFK.

My real reason for passing on that fact is to put a chill in the bones of the old rich people running Dallas' JFK 50th affair. I can't imagine I would be their first choice for ambassador.

But talking to the visitors has also been interesting for me, providing me with a window on how people outside the city view Dallas and the assassination a half century after it happened. Most of what they really want to talk about is way outside the circle of thought here at home.

Here, the JFK assassination is still an active murder case. The primary goal of the old rich people behind the weird ritual planned at Dealey Plaza for November 22 is to tell the world they didn't do it. The primary reaction of the visiting press, I find, is to say, "Who said you did?"

By the time they get to me, the visitors already have interviewed some of the old rich people. They tell me, "The old rich people behind the weird ritual keep telling us they didn't do it! What the hell is that about? Did they do it?"

I usually just say yes. I don't really have time to get into a big thing about it. I've got my own work to do, columns to write, dogs to walk, photographs of myself to autograph. Really, the only reason I talk to them at all is so I can meet them over coffee.

If there is a second coffee in it for me, I may explain that I don't mean the old rich people actually shot him. I mean what the late Stanley Marcus, the city's prince of department store retail, told me in 1986: "Everyone was saying, 'Well, it could have happened anywhere,'" he said.

"Of course, that was true. But it did happen here, and it happened partially because of the atmosphere that attracted that kind of fanatic nut [Lee Harvey Oswald]. And when a community doesn't do anything to express disapprobation, it is logical it will attract more and more of them."

If someone should offer me a raisin scone, I might even go into my theory about how deeply personal and visceral the charge of culpability was at the time for the individuals and families against whom it was aimed. That whip bit hard on people like the Dealey/Decherd/Moroney families who own The Dallas Morning News, the family of former Dallas Cowboys owner H. Bum Bright who paid for the infamous "Welcome Mr. Kennedy to Dallas" ad and others who were personally reviled for their roles in making Dallas a center of pre-assassination extremism.

Lots of people have written about the Kennedy assassination as the world's first live-broadcast global news event, the first time the global media took a remote, little-known place and put it at center stage before the eye of the great cyclops. But everybody writes about it as a media story and in terms of how it affected the cyclops. What about Dallas?

Until the JFK murder here a half century ago, remote little-known places existed within a certain sheltering architecture of irrelevance. Because they were remote, they were protected by their obscurity from withering scrutiny. Dallas was the first such place to be thrust suddenly and violently into the world's eye and under awful circumstances. The experience must have been like waking from a dream and finding oneself naked at center stage in a packed Carnegie Hall, covered with someone else's blood.

It wasn't just a terrible thing to happen. It was also a thing that shouldn't have been possible, a shock so powerful it scored and cracked the contours of sanity.

If we get that far into the raisin scones, I find I finally have an audience. The foreigners coming here to write about the JFK 50th have no interest whatsoever in who did it, but they are intrigued by the difficult ways in which Dallas still processes the event at this considerable remove in time.

I had coffee one prematurely mild morning in September with Pierre Sorgue, an editor and writer for GEO magazine in Paris, who was in Texas working on several stories, one of which was about the JFK 50th. He told me he met with Tom Huang and Alan Peppard, who are running the special 50th coverage for The Dallas Morning News, and they told him they were going to produce a special section including a full-page reproduction of the front page of the News the day after it happened.

With a shrug of Gallic faux innocence, Sorgue told me he had expressed admiration for their idea, then asked them why they did not also reproduce page 14 of the News on November 22, 1963, the day of the assassination. On that page on that day appeared the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy to Dallas" ad now in history books worldwide as evidence of the atmosphere Marcus described to me.

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22 comments
roberthughmiller
roberthughmiller

As a New Zealander who was 8 when JFK was shot in Dallas Texas, I just think that we should use the day as a remembrance day. Celebrating a great US President that united the West like no other. He stood for things like equality, democracy, freedom, civil rights for all. He united the West like no other, he was inspiring, cool, and probably the most popular US president ever. He was not a hater, bigot, mean spirited piece of Humanity.  He was an inspirational leader.

tom_bl
tom_bl

I believe Mayor Rawlings’ closed event in Dealey Plaza is the Last Hurrah for those who still believe in the Warren Report. These are people who have rejected the findings of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and all the other official document releases since 1964. The event in the plaza is really about Rawlings re-election campaign for Mayor of Dallas.

We should be prepared to explain the basic reasons we object to the Warren Report, and Rawlings, as this proceeds. It’s believers in the Warren Report who are the ‘kooks’ – - not us.

I am saddened and embarrassed by the handling of this event by the Rawlings Administration. The Dallas County Democratic Party managed memorial services for a period of 10 years, when the City of Dallas decided not to continue them. Now it is being cut out, too. Also cut out are staff members of the US House Select Committee on Assassinations. And not to mention the people who have received city permits to hold the assembly and Moment of Silence in the past – - who complied with the terms of these permits 100%. Tragically, some witnesses to the assassination itself have been cut out and will not be allowed inside the barricades. 

The Rawlings Administration has reserved a block of its tickets for those traveling from outside the area, without evidence as to whether these people would actually attend, or not.  Meanwhile, many Dallas taxpayers who followed their instructions and applied for tickets were not accommodated. 

Dallas needs a Mayor. 


Rix1
Rix1

Seems like if the weird old rich people in Dallas had just let the day slide by, it would have created a whole lot less fuss. Who commemorates assassinations anyway? Are there events on April 14 commemorating Lincoln's death? Or on April 4 for MLK? If there are, they are over-shadowed by celebrations of their birthdays. No one remembers when JFK was born, because he just wasn't that great a president. Who knows what would have happened had he lived. I hope the conspiracy buffs cause holy hell on Nov. 22 and the weird old rich Dallasites sic the cops on them in front of the world press. Wouldn't that be a story?

alexconstantine33
alexconstantine33

The first paragraph of PLAGIARIST Gerald Posner's book on the Kennedy assassination is a lie. The last paragraph is a lie. So is every paragraph in between, That's why your gullibility is so amusing. Bugliosi is such a blatant liar that it doesn't merit a "cogent response." 

Presumably, I am attached to the "conspiracy crowd" because I reject the Warren Commission report? So do most Americans, according to every poll I've ever seen. We are all lowly "conspiracy theorists," and you are a mature scholar ... who cites liars. Presumably, you've read all 25 volumes of the Warren Report? You are aware of Early Warren's mafia ties? You are aware that Allen Dulles recruited Nazis into the nascent CIA? If you did, you wouldn't spout drivel. 

Here is the bottom line on the Kennedy assassination, which I do understand because I'm not a victim of cover-up "authors" who make big money lying through their teeth: Kennedy was murdered by "Minutemen," Birchers, with CIA and military involvement. False leads were created by two generals, one of them a leader at the Liberty Lobby, who moved people around like chess pieces. False cover stories were created -- Mafia, Russians, Castro, etc., according to the CIA's own documents, if you bother to track them down  -- and these are still the red herrings dangled by "investigative journalists," many of them tied to the Birch Society, who distract and divert gullible, self-important dummies like yourself, and lead you into cul-de-sacs you do not understand . You have no idea what you are talking about. This is obvvious to anyone who does know what happened in Dallas, -- who was calling the shots, who acted as bait, who was directly involved, and who set Oswald up as the patsy that disinforming plagiarist Posner, an infinitely corrupt liar with CIA ties, pretends he is not.

Is this "cogent" enough for you? Next you'll be citing Bill O'Reilly's book on the assassination and talking down to others who know why you haven't a clue. The Kennedy murder isn't so hard to piece together. It just takes a little time and discipline, also a refusal to be spoon-fed by propagandists with fascist connections, as you are.

alexconstantine33
alexconstantine33

@James080 "Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi have each written excellent books debunking every one of the conspiracy theory author's books ... "

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ...

edwinengram
edwinengram

In to the grassy noel. A tale not list to time.

conwayd
conwayd

Really good writing there Jim. I think you've hit the proverbial nail. Maybe we should all have Tshirts printed saying "I'm Robert Groden." I've already told him I'd pay for 10 of them.

brookethecrook2011
brookethecrook2011

    You folks (I'm presuming from Dallas), who are writing comments that support Oswald, Posner or Bugliosi/Government's position are unrealistic.  Why don't you come over on the winning side; the side of truth & join the 75% of Americans that KNOW the truth?  Dallas & the 6th Floor Museum, "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

Obummer
Obummer

Yo Dallas did not kill JFK. A Communist named Lee Harvey Oswald [and possible another shooter] killed JFK.

burrich
burrich

On November 22, 1963, a coup d’état by Lyndon Johnson and the highest echelons of the National Security State was accomplished with the brutal murder of President John F. Kennedy. Andrew Gavin Marshall has written an excellent and concise online summary article, “The National Security State and the Assassination of JFK,” which compliments the definitive, path-breaking research of author James W. Douglass in JFK and the Unspeakable:  Why He Died and Why It Matters.

The “smoking gun” in the cover-up of the assassination is found in CIA Dispatch #1035-960 (available online). This was the crucial covert directive to the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird elite media assets to vigorously denounce critics of the Warren Commission Report as “conspiracy theorists.” This is when that particular derogatory term of denunciation and disinformation entered the national conversation in an attempt to cut off and stifle informed debate on the president’s murder because the path of evidence would lead directly to those elements behind the sinister cover-up.

These facts are discussed in detail in Lance deHaven-Smith’s authoritative Conspiracy Theory in America (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press). Dr. Smith is a widely published scholar in peer-reviewed academic journals and is Professor in the Reubin O’ D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University in Tallahassee. DeHaven-Smith has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CBS Nightly News with Dan Rather, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and other national TV and radio shows

johnpg2
johnpg2

You seem to have missed out one very important name fro the main list of people who dont want a fuss about the 50th G.H.W.Bush and Family?,Now ask why?I give you 75 years. 

julia.ruth.barton
julia.ruth.barton

Part of the "sheltering architecture of irrelevance"--great phrase which I will have to steal--is being allowed to forget all the bad stuff that has happened in your town. Dallas has forgotten much, and so have a lot of other nearby towns, but the world insists on remembering the JFK assassination and the Dallas of 1963. That is maddening, of course. The next best thing to amnesia is to make all media opportunities and commemorations so dull and unemotional that they have no rough edges to describe. This evasion via personality extraction is really fascinating to me, and Dallas can really go head-to-head with any federal bureaucracy in that regard.. A lot of foreign journalists will decamp to Lee Harvey's in late November, I predict, just to have something to describe.

James080
James080 topcommenter

There is no open murder investigation in Dallas. Every governmental and professional investigative agency that has reviewed the EVIDENCE has concluded the same thing - a deranged communist loser named Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated the president.

Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi have each written excellent books debunking every one of the conspiracy theory author's books, particularly the nonsense Jim's personal favorite author continues to push in his pamphlets and tapes. 

So JimSX, I am curious though. You wrote a few articles many months ago implying that some national pro-conspiracy group was threatening violence and civil disobedience if they were not afforded a platform in Dealey Plaza during the commemoration ceremony. Inquiring minds want to know, is that group still conspiring to protest the exclusion of conspiracy advocates?
 

Catbird
Catbird

I really love the way you write Jim. This is just a wonderful piece except for your drift into the whirlpool of the Warren Commission frame up of Oswald when everyone on earth knows JR pulled the trigger!

Obummer
Obummer

Yo Dallas did not kill JFK. A Communist named Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK.

Danny_White
Danny_White

Drives the old rich folks crazy because:

-The assassination in their own city caused extreme damage to their fragile Eisenhower-era psyche and their Citizens Council view of Dallas as the jewel of the Southwest

-Focusing on the lone gunman solution to the assassination and excluding all evidence to the contrary promotes doublethink and mild insanity 

MitchAlbom
MitchAlbom

@johnpg2 ... How many people who were at least 8 years old on 11/22/63 remember where they were when they heard the news JFK was killed? Everybody raises their hands, except for Poppy, yet the limp-wrister was 38. Hotel records show he spent the night of Nov. 21 at the Dallas Sheraton, was photographed in front of the TSBD after the assassination, before flying to Tyler in order to hastily run up a stage at a Kiwanis Club, where he announced that he could not give his campaign speech after all.

From Tyler, Poppy called the Houston FBI office to put in the record that he was in Tyler, then implicated a member of the Harris County Republican Party, James Parrot, for discussing assassinating JFK in Houston. This FBI report was made available after a FOIA request and it reads "George Bush of the CIA" provided information about Parrot. Poppy was proactive in covering his tracks by ratting out Parrot so he would have an alibi in case a real investigation ever took place, which it didn't.


I think Poppy was a 'platoon leader' type within the grand plan; he had done CIA work via his ships, Barbara and the Houston, which were CIA code names during
Operation Zapata, named after GHWB's oil company. Then in the mid-'70s, was named, out of the blue, CIA director. His predecessor, William Colby, slipped up during the Church Committee investigation -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me9P1eA9Fpo -- when he admitted under oath the CIA has assets in US mainstream media.


http://www.familyofsecrets.com

alexconstantine33
alexconstantine33

@James080 "Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi have each written excellent books debunking every one of the conspiracy theory author's books ... "

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ...

ericsaunders
ericsaunders

@James080 The last official conclusion is 'probable conspiracy,' arrived at by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1980.

MitchAlbom
MitchAlbom

@James080 ... Lemme guess, you're suicide-in-a-bottle Jackie Floyd posing as James080? Because anybody who has really looked at the evidence -- which does not mean your research comes from reading the DMN and watching channel 8 -- knows your first two graphs are hogwash.

You want evidence? Here's about 20 minutes' worth and it won't require you to read a thing, so that you not upset your lazy balance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jluwvjm-COQ

James080
James080 topcommenter

@alexconstantine33 @James080  

Your response is what poses as a rebuttal from the conspiricy crowd. Grow up, get a life, or learn how to make a cogent argument.

 
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