Sunday, October 27, 2013

Killing JFK 50 years later

According to the mainstream media, as in the front-page story in today's NY Times Book Review, learning about President Kennedy's private life is the important thing. Jill Abramson, the Executive Editor of the Times, laments that the interviews William Manchester did with Jackie Kennedy won't be released:

Unfortunately, the tapes of Manchester’s two five-hour interviews with Jackie Kennedy, who seems to have regretted her frankness, remain under seal at the Kennedy Library until 2067. This is a final sadness for a reader sifting through these many books. Taken together, they tell us all too little about this president, now gone 50 years, who remains as elusive in death as he was in life.

Right. That Jackie's "frankness" can't be explored by the NY Times is the "final sadness" in President Kennedy's life! Abramson shows no real interest in exactly who killed the president and why, not to mention the fact that the CIA is still officially withholding 1,117 documents on the JFK assassination until, supposedly, 2017. The National Archives, you understand, doesn't have enough "resources" to review and release those documents  to the public fifty years after the assassination.

The most interesting thing about President Kennedy is how he died.

The mainstream media has always been contemptible on the assassination. I itemized some of that behavior in the response to Case Closed, by Gerald Posner, a slipshod book that was embraced uncritically by the media as the last word on the assassination. At last they had permission to go back to sleep.

The Warren Commission's process was flawed from the beginning. Edward Jay Epstein's 1966 book, "Inquest," is still the best book on the assassination. Epstein studied the Warren Commission and its process. He found that it was a

...common misconception that the Warren Commission's investigation was the most massive and thorough in history, and that no stone was left unturned in the quest for truth. This picture, painted so effusively by the mass media immediately following the release of the Warren Report, is based not on analysis of the investigation but on faith in the individual members of the Commission.

The members of the Commission were all either Republicans or Southern Democrats, including Allen Dulles, who President Kennedy had fired as head of the CIA in 1961.

The Commission, under political pressure to quell "rumors" of a conspiracy, issued its final report only ten months after the assassination. Actually, the time-crunch was even worse than that, as Epstein explained:

The first limitation on the investigation was time. There was a June 1, 1964, deadline for the lawyers to make their investigation, interview witnesses, and submit their draft chapters. The start of the investigation, however, was delayed until March 14 by the Ruby trial. Thus only ten weeks actually remained for the investigation to be held (74).

Ten weeks to investigate the crime of the century.