While I am a firm believer that government, including our own, can work for the good and be a force for the positive ("raising all boats economically"), I am also deadly skeptical of its claims in certain contexts, and its overt and covert protection of a specific political- economic order. I also get especially pissed off when government stonewalls, as ours has been doing for damned near fifty years, over releasing files pertaining to the JFK assassination. What the fuck gives? More to the point, what are these power mongers hiding? If the fable is so simple, i.e. "Oswald done it", then why keep on insulting and impeding efforts to gather and look at key critical files, such as those involving top CIA spook, George Joannides?
I got my firm wake up call on government distrust in my first ever visit to Germany in August, 1978. This was while visiting a German couple Kurt and Ute Braun, in Frankfurt-Am-Mein. Much of our visit was briefly summarized in an earlier blog -
which includes a photo of Kurt showing a film about the Reichstag fire on TV. Kurt, who had been a Hitler Youth (brainwashed and bullied into compliance) saw the extent to which a gov't will go to ramrod its citizens into certain mindsets - hostile to skeptical ones- that it believes undermine its own stability or power.
Thus, in the case of the Reichstag fire, though certainly set "purposely" - in Kurt's words - the Nazi government used it to blame the Jews, and thereby engender an execrable basis to justify their ongoing persecution. Meanwhile, those brave journalists who suspected a conspiracy or ruse to set the fire purposely and use the event for mounting a security state, were dispatched to the camps.
A discussion of this event then led to Kurt asking me point blank:
"Why are so many Americans, especially in power or influence positions, terrified of seeing a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination?"
Like many young Germans ca. 1961-63, Kurt became enamored of Kennedy, especially on JFK's 1961 visit to Berlin, and his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner!" speech. (And Kurt assured me that no, most intelligent Germans didn't take that phrase to mean JFK was calling himself a jelly donut). Also, like 90 % of Germans who saw the assassination and related events unfold on their TVs, he wasn't buying that a loner named Lee Oswald did it. The final nail in the coffin of the lone nut killer was Oswald's killing by Ruby, in the basement of the Dallas PD as the alleged perpetrator awaited transfer.
"Hitler and the Nazis couldn't have set him up better", Kurt remarked.
"And think about it, with one shot they eliminated the need for a possibly embarrassing trial, and introduction of political material that could jeapordize their case. As for his rifle, ha! Most Wehrmacht troops treated the Italian Mannlicher as little better than a toy. No serious assassin would think of using that. And why take a shot when the auto is moving away from you down a curving Elm Street when you could have taken it down Houston St. approaching your position? This is stupid! It makes no sense! This Warren Commission must take your people to be idiots!"
I rewrite all this now from the vacation diary-journal my wife and I kept for that visit (whenever we travelled, we kept a diary-journal of happenings, people met - which we'd often intersperse with interesting conversations - made off a small Sony tape recorder.). What can be said here, is Kurt's take was very blunt, and Kurt - had he lived (he died of pancreatic cancer barely 4 years ago) would be astounded that the American government is still keeping Kennedy assassination files under wraps after so much time. Around the time Kurt died, the first efforts were being made to get hold of the Joannides files, since we know Joannides ran the project to set Oswald up, in tandem with a bunch of disaffected Cubans belonging to the DRE (Cuban Student Directorate) and fellow spook, David Atlee Phillips. (It was Phillips who orchestrated the suspicious confrontation between Oswald and Anti-Castro Cubans on Canal St. in New Orleans in the summer of 1963).
But get any files on it? Hell no! Not one! Even the lone nut aficionados like Gerald Posner were heard to complain at the time that the File Archives keepers at NARA, and likely at the behest of the CIA, were going too far and helping to "feed conspiracy frenzy". But in truth, no one with two neurons in his brain needed to be in a conspiracy frenzy to perceive the whole lone assassin story was plain horse shit, never mind it was the "official version". That merely confirmed for most of us the pathetic state to which our government had fallen, if it had to rely on such a palpable fabrication to cover its ass, or cover some hidden shadow system that most of us in deep politics already knew was at work. (See also Kathryn Olmstead's book: 'Challenging The Secret Government', Univ. of North Carolina Press).
Kurt surely did, and he lived more than 4,000 miles from Washington, DC. His wife Ute also shared the same distrustful instincts as Kurt (who often chided me that it was none other than PR-Propagandist Edward Bernays ('Cyrstallizing Public Opinion') from whom Goebbels and Nazi propaganda film maker Leni Reifenstahl received their schooling. Thus, I will be keenly interested to pick up these threads when Ute begins a 2-week visit with us tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how much of our 1978 conversations, documentaries she recalls.
Anyway, back to the current issue of file stone walling. Recall in my January blog :
pertaining to 50-year old tapes being released (which exposed the suspicious actions of Air Force Chief of staff, Curtis LeMay - who had compared JFK to Neville Chamberlain in Octo, 1962) that nearly 50,000 pages had still not been released by the National Archives. As a recent salon.com piece put it:
"Since the government and the big media keep telling us there was no conspiracy and that it was all Lee Harvey Oswald acting on his own, why continue to keep the wraps on?"
Good question! Might I offer an explanation, if only partial? Because the explosive files already released (on other areas of agency, government covert activity) blow the roof off the concept we have some kind of benign state that is solely invested in "truth, liberty and honor". I presented some of these files in a blog from last September:
These files (two pages of which are shown just beneath the photos in the blog) are headed up: 'Pretexts to Justify U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba'. The documents basically summarize a set of malicious, outright dirty tricks to be played on Americans (as well as Cubans) to try to entice a war with Castro so the militarist assholes could finally assuage their boners and get rid of 'the Beard". They detail then a set of coordinated incidents, including: sabotaging ships in the harbor and starting large fires, blowing up ammunition dumps inside Cuban bases, burning aircraft on the base, lobbing mortar shells into the base, sinking ships near the harbor entrance and conducting funerals for mock victims.
Most serious deep politics researchers believe these documents created the template for the verminous "Operation Northwoods" - which author James Bamford exposed in his book, Body of Secrets. This was based on accessing NSA files from the 1960s. Northwoods, as Bamford notes: was intended to sow terror across major American cities (shooting Americans in the streets of Miami, Washington, DC etc), and even attempt to blow up John Glenn’s Gemini craft then blame it all on Castro, to try to incite a war of aggression against Cuba.
Bamford also referred to this fell plan in these terms (op. cit., p. 82):
"maybe the most corrupt plan ever created by the
Now think about this very carefully: If as Michael Parenti (Dirty Truths) insists Kennedy was killed at the behest of an entrenched "Gangster state" and that state sought to extend its power after the fact, why would it support ceding further documents that might show its involvement if it's already released enough to hang itself ? And make no mistake the Northwoods documents and the earlier template ones clearly do that. Thus, if a state or cabal inside government would have no compunctions about conducting a war of terror against its own citizens, to trigger a Cuban war adventure, they'd certainly have no qualms about taking out one man who might stand in their way. (And we know that from late 1962, JFK had begun a rapprochement with Fidel Castro through his aide-de-camp, Rene Vallejo and Kennedy's own emissary, William Atwood)
Thus I am neither surprised, shocked nor baffled the U.S. government continues to stonewall with the JFK files. Nor am I surprised about the blatant dishonesty say in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Hey, they're playing the game and they know what's on the line! They posture openness and transparency but are scared shitless of the thinking citizens (as opposed to sheeple who merely watch 8 hrs. of TV each day and consume) who want to know the truth of their history, as opposed to being spoon fed idiot fantasies.
Earlier this year, NARA asked on its online Open Government Forum, for suggestions from the public about what it could do to create greater transparency. The most popular idea? Get those Kennedy records out before Nov. 22, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the Dallas tragedy. But instead of dealing honestly with this, the feds resorted to disinformation and conflation with flake themes (E.g. UFOs) as they've done in the past and as I blogged about before;
Thus, we beheld (in an interview with The Boston Globe) the Archivist of the United States - who ought to be foursquare for truth, honesty and openness - claiming that at two public forums held on open records, the majority of public comments came from people interested either in the JFK assassination or … in UFOs. In other words, this tool, this yap man, was so bereft of balls or insight that - faced with the demand for JFK files still stashed away- his only recourse was to conflate those seeking these politically dynamite files (at least as much as Operation Northwoods which disclosed a conspiracy to blow up Americans on their own streets) with little green men. In effect, this egregious yap man sought to conflate those seeking more information on the murder of a president (in very suspicious circumstances) with UFO pursuers.
Not saying anything against the concept of the UFO itself, as I've already blogged on it, but in most elitist mainstream circles UFO aficionados are still regarded as next to cultists. Never mind they may actually have seen something they can't identify - which is really all UFO means - it doesn't mean "alien spaceship". The point is the Archivist tool yapper is invoking it to make fun of both UFO information seekers and JFK file seekers along with them. Hey, neat! Two birds with one shot!
What exposed the top Archivist as a liar were the efforts of James Lesar, an attorney and co-founder of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), a D.C.-based nonprofit that has fought a long and valiant fight on behalf of the public interest in disclosure. Lesar attended both of the forums alluded to by the Archivist and recalls there were no people there asking about UFOs, or that at most it was of negligible interest. In fact, a look at NARA’s online idea forum (now closed) showed no UFO proposals or comments. Again, the modus operandi is to smear the JFK file seeker as one of a species of kookdom.
A worse aspect, to me certainly, was learning that Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has also gotten involved in this stone- walling debacle. One thing for sure, it's hard to figure why a stooge like Sunstein would be anywhere within an administration that promised transparency. I shit you not, but in one paper he wrote a few years ago, he actually advocates for “cognitive infiltration” of groups that espouse alternative views on controversial issues like the events of Sept. 11 (i. e, conspiracy theories). What, is he freakin' nuts? Look, I don't necessarily buy the standard 9/11 conspiracy theory that the Trade Towers were demolished from the inside, but it's not the gubmint's or any nattering lackey's job to infiltrate any one's mind who believes so. When you aspire to do that, you're no different from the fascists inhabiting George Orwell's Oceania of 1984. You could as well reinvent 'Newsspeak' if that's your agenda!
A direct quote from Sunstein’s paper:
"[W]e suggest a distinctive tactic for breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of those who subscribe to such theories. They do so by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity".
Again, note the astounding arrogance! That anyone who doesn't think inside this little bureacrat's box is an "extremist". (What next? Terrorist? Jeebus Peace!)Never mind the person may simply be pursuing the truth of key pivotal events, like the Kennedy assassination, because he's not confident the government's line is anything other than propaganda.. Again, if there's nothing there, and y'all agree "Oswald done it", what's to hide? And by the way, you wouldn't know a "stylized fact" from your own stylized, Harvardy bowtie. Surely, if "cognitive diversity" is more than just a Newsspeak euphemism, it must allow for a divergence of thought and opinion once there is the least bit of rational effort to make sense of an event, whether the 9/11 attacks, the Kennedy assassination, or whatever. Cognitive stasis on the other hand, seeks to negate and refute any insight of novelty, to any event, even if it comes by way of hard, independent research. Seems the head honcho of information in this country is more on a mission of "Directorate of Truth" - his own truth.
It's pointy-headed twerps like this guy that give government a bad name and instill only further distrust (and disgust) in government. Thus, as one salon.com writer put it: "Sunstein is a sort of caricature of everything people don’t like and don’t trust about government. The fact that he’s in charge of “open government” speaks volumes".
But I defer to my friend Kurt's words when I last contacted him:
"Don't believe one word your government tries to tell you about the Kennedy killing. If they were in on it too, and mounting a cover up now, there's nothing good they will do and nothing you will learn from them. They're no different from Reifenstahl's propaganda minions".
Evidently vindicating Kurt's take, Sunstein has said that judges "are not qualified to second-guess executive branch decisions on what the public should or should not be told". Hmmmmm.....Kurt, were he alive, would say that sounds an awful lot like the old Reich Courts!