The Absurd Times JFK: Final Words

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on November 21, 2013


Illustration: The actual Katzenbach memo, written in Robert Kennedy’s absence. As everyone with an IQ above room temperature should know, the Warren Commission followed every single order in it. It is dated November 25, 1963.

As the anniversary approaches, the media will flood the people of this country with a mass of specials, all purportedly related to the assassination of JFK. In this flood, very little of value will be revealed. Most of it will fall into the category of fluff, all designed to increase ratings, and almost none of it will point to a plan by the very “Military-Industrial-Complex” that Eisenhower warned about and whose warning is presented at the very start of Oliver Stone’s documentary on the subject. We can amend the term to the Military-Industrial-Corporate-Complex (MICC) today in order to better see the merits of the film.

As I look back, I felt from the first that there was more to the killing than the Warren Commission Reported. With the Katzenbach Memo, above, it is clear that the government moved quickly to pass the “lone gunman” idea.

Since then, every President has been careful not to heed Eisenhower’s warning, and we can best see this by looking at their most significant positive accomplishments that were in the public interest.

LBJ came first. Whatever his failings as a human, he did twist arms to the point of almost breaking them in order to pass Medicare and voting rights.

Next was Nixon. He actually created the EPA.

Ford managed to see the final days of our involvement in Vietnam. He was also adept at sliding down airplane steps on his back and immediately getting up to shake hands. He was also able to nail a few tennis partners in the back with his serves.

Carter did get some sort of treaty in the Mideast. There have been none since.

Then Reagan. He created Bin Laden, supported Saddam Hussein to war with Iran, and increased the budget some 17 times, thereby bankrupting the Soviet Union. Was he told about Iran-Contra? Yes, but he forgot. He supported also the war on FDR’s programs that continues today.

Maybe Bush the first did Medicare part D?

Clinton entertained us with talk about his hummers.

Bush the second was the funniest unintentionally funny president in history.

Obama passes for black.

That’s about it. Not one single action against the MICC since Kennedy. The film is more than just a counter myth. It has also forced release of many documents hidden from the public for years:

November 22 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and virtually all major TV channels, magazines, and other media outlets are planning specials, documentaries, articles with historical analyses and personal retellings of where people were at the time of assassination. Also, Oliver Stone’s 1991 Oscar-nominated film JFK challenging the conventional theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman and suggesting that there may have been a conspiracy to kill Kennedy will be shown this month in over 250 theaters nationwide. To put the Kennedy assassination in a historical perspective that is both spiritual and political, we here reprint Peter Gabel’s brilliant article on the subject, "The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality)," originally published in Tikkun in March/April 1992 in response to the original release of Stone’s film. Gabel’s piece is an example of the kind of historical analysis we are trying to develop in Tikkun—locating the critical event of JFK’s assassination in the context of the repression of our collective spiritual longings for a loving world that characterized the 1950s, and what he calls the "opening up of desire" represented by JFK. In defending Stone’s film against its critics, Gabel also shows how the conflict between hope and fear, between the desire for an erotic, loving, and caring world and the forces seeking to deny and contain that desire, is central to understanding the meaning of historical events. His analysis also implicitly helps explain why this month there is such an outpouring of memory, pain, longing, and loss in recollecting the assassination fifty years later.


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