Friday, July 24, 2009

Timeline of a Battle

The first rebuttal launched in the Kennedy assassination public trial was attorney Mark Lane’s book, Rush to Judgment. A book considered to dangerous that the second in command of the FBI appeared at his publisher’s door begging that they not publish the book. They held firm, published the book and it went on to be a huge best seller. Lane’s popular book was the launching point for the public’s mistrust of the Warren Commission’s official account, which has steadily grown over the passing decades. The seeds of doubt in the official story were planted in the public's mind about the Kennedy assassination and the elites in our government never got recovered from it.

If the government’s case is so strong then what are they afraid of? It got to the point where the CIA was issuing handbooks on how to combat critics through their allies in the mainstream press. It was really magnified during the Jim Garrison trial of Clay Shaw. The government just about had a nervous breakdown over that one. As Big Jim said, to disrupt a state trial by the Feds was like shooting fish in a barrel. Indeed it was and Garrison did not get a convection of Clay Shaw that could have broken the case wide open.

The ebb and flow of this debate is a fascinating thing to watch—almost as interesting as the case itself. Here is brief series of highlights that have occurred over the last 40 years:
  • The first public showing in 1975 of the Zapruder film on national TV. It graphically displayed the final moments of the President’s life and added more confirmation for public mistrust of the formal account.
  • Debate and suspicion culminate in the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Their final report in 1979 concluded, "The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy."
  • 1991 sees the release of Oliver Stone’s JFK movie. Not an entirely accurate portrayal of events but kept the conspiracy alive in the public’s mind. As if it needed it.
  • As if to counter, Gerald Posner publishes Case Closed in 1993. His book seeks to defend the Warren Commission with the lone gunman thesis. Despite the book’s many flaws, he becomes the darling of the mainstream press. (Getting a coveted slot on the front US News and World Report on August 30, 1993.)
  • Oliver Stone’s movie prods the Congress to establish in 1992 the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) for compiling government documents related to the assassination. Active only from 1994 to 1998.
  • Hundreds of books, videos and web sites are published throughout the 1990’s and through the first decade of and the 21st century. Mostly all document a conspiracy in the JFK assassination.
  • The Men Who Killed Kennedy” was broadcast on the History Channel in 1998. It chronicles the theory suggesting Lyndon B. Johnson was behind was behind the assassination. It was never shown again after complaints from the Johnson family and must be bought used on DVD or seen on
  • At the 40th anniversary of the assassination in 2003 ABC ran a special hosted by the late Peter Jennings. Appearing to be an objective investigation, once again a network program sides with the government by doing what Vince Bugliosi does later—selective use of evidence and ignoring or debunking key witnesses that challenge the official story. Considered by researchers to be one of the worse TV programs produced on the assassination of JFK. To see a page critiques go HERE.
  • In 2007 Vince Bugliosi publishes Reclaiming History, a 5-pound, 1600-page book defending the Warren Commission and the lone gunman scenario. Bugliosi boasts that his mammoth tome is the “book of the ages” on the assassination. Once again, the establishment mainstream press has a love affair with a book filled with cherry picked evidence, straw man arguments, numerous goofy mistakes and distortions of facts and events.
  • James Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters is released in In April of 2008. Touted as one of the best new books on the death of JFK from a conspiratorial standpoint. Douglass concentrates on the motive for Kennedy’s death.
As you can see, the punch and counter punch is never ending. Since a larger number of books and web sites supporting conspiracy, I wonder why the long gunman proponents still keep at it. The only place they rule with their viewpoint is TV, particularly the major networks and cable channels such as the History Channel or the Discovery Channel.

It is interesting to note that no television network has ever broadcast a show that challenges, contradicts, or points out flaws in the Warren Commission report. Oswald is always found to be the lone gunman and there is never a conspiracy, despite the multitude of Kennedy enemies or evidence to the contrary. At points in these various news specials disortion of witness testimony is common. Such as what was done by CBS in a series of reports they did in 1967 with the edited (and highly unethical) testimony of witness Orvile Nix.

In fact, it is nearly impossible to get any network to show a documentary featuring conspiracy in Kennedy’s death. (That would include the assassinations of RFK and MLK as well.) John Barbour encountered that with his documentary, The Garrison Tapes. It’s only available online at No TV network will air it. The closest we come to an alternative view is the aforementioned special on the History Channel suggesting Lyndon B. Johnson was behind a plot.

So what is in the future? More of the same. Vince Bugliosi has some TV specials in the works. Bloggers like myself will continue to investigate and publish our findings. More books will be published. Sites like JFK Lancer will continue to discuss the issues.

Olive Stone has a nice piece at the Huffington Post on James Douglass's book mentioned above. Check it out HERE.

For an excellent history of mainstream media reporting of the Kennedy assassination go HERE.