Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rebuttal of Scott Aaronson's "20 Reasons" Oswald Dunnit (Conclusion)

We now pick up at Aaronson reason No. 16, as we try to wade through more of his codswallop:

16. JFK was not a liberal Messiah.  He moved slowly on civil rights for fear of a conservative backlash, invested heavily in building nukes, signed off on the botched plans to kill Fidel Castro, and helped lay the groundwork for the US’s later involvement in Vietnam. 

This one shows glaringly how out of touch Aaronson is with JFK and the politics of the time. It also shows him to be either a know-nothing or troll regarding JFK. As James Douglass has clearly shown (Chapters 1-3, in JFK and the Unspeakable') the Cold warrior shtick was purely a political ruse to ward off Nixon's expected attacks - and it worked! JFK was elected, not Tricky Dick. JFK was, in fact, perhaps the most liberal president of the past 50 plus years.  Aside from creating the Peace Corps (which I served in for four years) he also created the Alliance for Progress to deliver low interest loans to South American nations - for which he was pilloried by the financial press.  In case Aaronson forgot, he also signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in August, 1963 which had all the right winger military types going nutso - including when anti-missile systems were banned as well.

There were no "botched plans" by JFK himself to kill Fidel Castro, these were hatched by William Harvey & Company as part of the Staff D, and the  ZR/ Rifle programs which were really designed for the assassination of heads of state and later manipulated as a cover for the  executive action on Kennedy.

 JFK's reluctance to move aggressively on civil rights (until the fall of 1963) was understandable given the disastrous consequences he knew would befall the Democratic Party. Hence, it was a step not to take precipitously. But despite that,  he went ahead with the federalization of National Guard troops in AL and MS, thereby essentially ceding the South to the Republicans in perpetuity. And he knew this would transpire.

Make no mistake that after that seminal executive act, JFK was regarded as a “race traitor” by most Southerners –and many deep politics researchers believe it contributed to one more “nail” in his coffin, along with his NSAM (263) to pull out of Vietnam, his refusal to invade Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his circulation of U.S. Notes outside the Federal Reserve system.

Historian Arthur Schlesinger, in his book A Thousand Days, pulls no punches on how Kennedy was vilified after his courageous act: “…in the domain of the radical right it all became much sicker and nastier. Not since the high point of the hate-Roosevelt enthusiasm of the mid-thirties had any President been the target of such systematic and foul vilification. Everything about Kennedy fed resentment: his appearance, his religion, his wealth, his intelligence, his university, his section of the country, is wife, his brothers, his advisers, his support of the Negroes, his refusal to drop the bomb.”

Re: Vietnam, Aaronson is totally uninformed, The first personnel in 'Nam actually had been dispatched under Eisenhower (following the 1954 French defeat at Dien Bien Phu).  Kennedy did send in personnel ca. 1961 - non-combat forces- but after several trips by McNamara realized that U.S. involvement would be a disaster so authorized National Security Action Memorandum 263 - which document Aaronson clearly knows nothing of.

What is often actually cited as the NSAM, i.e.

Is in fact only the cover letter by McGeorge Bundy. It has only passing relevance to the actual content of the NSAM, but it does clearly state “the President approved sections IB(1-3) of the report". Which report? To find these, the researcher must turn to Document 142 in The Pentagon Papers: ‘Report of McNamara Taylor Mission to South Vietnam'. Then the serious researcher will read:

IB(2) A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential functions now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by the Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. military personnel by that time.

IB(3): In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over military functions, the Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963.

Note the wording and that a partial drawdown of 1,000 was due for the end of 1963 and the bulk by 1965. Most lazy wannabes never get this far while some others that do mistake the "1,000" total for the entire intended lot.

By this time, all I could do is regret that Aaronson knows so little about the historical background of which he babbles. It's a good thing his main discipline is quantum physics - he would flunk 20th century history!

17. By the same token, LBJ was not exactly a right-wing conspirator’s dream candidate.  He was, if anything, more aggressive on poverty and civil rights than JFK was.

Please. This bumpkin simply took Kennedy's already existing programs (Medicare originally proposed by him in the 1960 campaign) and ran with them. LBJ hid under the cover of his civil rights legislation but in reality was a crude racist who'd often refer to "niggers" and really launched into denigration whenever he and Hoover (a neighbor in D.C.) got together.   LBJ also had to know his Great Society programs were doomed to fail on account of ramping up the Vietnam War where hundreds of billions would go. Even an idiot could see the 'guns and butter' budgets were unsustainable.

Oh, then there was the Texas grand jury finding LBJ guilty of the murder of Henry Marshall, e,g,

For more on LBJ see:

18.  As far as I can tell, the conspiracy theorists are absolutely correct that JFK’s security in Dallas was unbelievably poor; that the Warren Commission was as interested in reassuring the nation and preventing a war with the USSR or Cuba as it was in reaching the truth

At least here, he shows some small residue of sense and a  micro-effort to grasp the big picture. Not much, but we give him partial credit. He is also "generous" enough to concede the "screw ups" as he calls them - manifested in the Warren Commission and in addition,  "agencies like the CIA and FBI keeping records related to the assassination classified for many years" could have spawned some conspiracy thinking. DUH! Yuh think?

But at root what is most missing is any sense that he's actually READ  any of the documents and files that HAVE been released himself. Specifically those to do with what the CIA had on Oswald - particularly the 201 CI/SIG file. Thus, his generosity simply doesn't extend far enough - else he'd not have seen fit to put forward 20 such specious "reasons" while making serious JFK assassination researchers out to be the next thing to Bigfoot trackers.  

Had Aaronson the energy to have gone further, and actually examined the Oswald files himself (especially the cables dispatched over October, 1963 by David Atlee Phillips from Mexico City) he'd have seen how the CIA had set up Oswald as the fall guy. But no, that was too much trouble. Too many details for Aaronson to bother with - and yet, he sees fit to skewer researchers who have done the spade work.

This is again, sad, because as physicists one thing we're trained to do is not let evidence pass us by, no matter where it is. (I can't begin to relate how many ancient solar records I've looked up!)

19.  In the context of the time, the belief that JFK was killed by a conspiracy filled a particular need: namely, the need to believe that the confusing, turbulent events of the 1960s had an understandable guiding motive behind them, and that a great man like JFK could only be brought down by an equally-great evil, rather than by a chronically-unemployed loser

This canard has been circulating for decades - mostly in the media but also more and more by many would be critics and wannabe dime store psychologists. It makes sense at one level but as Michael Parenti ('The Dirty Truth') has observed, commits a basic error: mistaking the low political value of the person for the high political value of the assassination.  It also (magically) imparts an almost saint- like aura to Kennedy that is believed by these critics to have mesmerized most of us who are researchers into attempting an escape from reality. Oh no, our heads would simply explode if in fact a "lone loser" by himself had actually killed Kennedy! Please!

Of course, this is patent bunkum. The Warrenites' own rifle tests disclosed the Oswald - Lone gunman tripe for what it is,  and is obvious to any intelligent person, e.g.

Also, let me be blunt: none of us who are diligent researchers are the least bit blind to Kennedy's faults, foibles and realities, including his carousing. We don't need to be reminded of that by upstart, Johnny-come-lately pipsqueaks who couldn't tell the NSAM-263 cover letter from the actual body of the memorandum.

 The point is that the assassination was the primary event, not John F. Kennedy or his life per se. It was the assassination that altered the arc of American history for the worse. It was the assassination  that had the high political value, since with Kennedy out of the way, many more nefarious initiatives could be undertaken, including assassinations (e.g. of Salvador Allende in Chile) and launching an 8-plus year undeclared war in Vietnam, for the benefit of war profiteers and oil companies.
Of course, many like Aaronson fail to make the distinction, probably because they are too lazy, or else have an agenda (c.f. promoting their own conspiracy theories, a la Matt Ridley, to negate all real conspiracy theories) . In the Kennedy case, they not only err by mistaking the low political value of the person for the high political value of the assassination,  they similarly err by believing any choice to embrace or accept conspiracy is contingent on the shock effect of an emotional loss to a "loser". But had they enough history and deep politics education they'd see how stupid this sounds. Further, if they knew how hard many of us worked to dig up the FACTS through filing requests, they'd give the emotional resonance meme a rest.

As Michael Parenti has pointedly noted ('The Dirty Truth'. p. 186), we:

"are raising grave questions about the nature of state power in what is supposed to be a democracy."

Parenti also notes (op. cit., p.174):

" Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: 'Do you actually think there's a group of people sitting around in a room, plotting things?' For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers.  But where else would people of power get together - on park benches or carousels?"
As Michael Parenti observes we are really trying to expose the hidden forces of power at work in a supposedly free society.  Those who choose not to see this, as Aaronson obviously seems to, can be excused - but then they need to back off from making spurious attacks on those who do. Unless, of course, they undertake the same level of research!

20. At its core, every conspiracy argument seems to be built out of “holes”: “the details that don’t add up in the official account,” “the questions that haven’t been answered,” etc.  What I’ve never found is a truly coherent alternative scenario: just one “hole” after another.  This pattern is the single most important red flag for me, because it suggests that the JFK conspiracy theorists view themselves as basically defense attorneys: people who only need to sow enough doubts, rather than establish the reality of what happened.

Really? Built of "holes"? This is your final reason?  Well, you're lucky to have someone like me to fill them in for you - including providing a background which can easily be verified if you have the gumption and energy to do so.

Let me then provide this alternative scenario for Aaronson, which I hope he will find as convincing as the Aspect experiment showing nonlocal connections between separate photons - over a ~12 m distance.

First,  background to why the CIA was the primary force to take him out:

By late 1962, Kennedy had earned (by his actions) way more enemies than friends in the military and national security establishment.  The fears had especially ramped up - during the October, 1962 missile crisis - that he'd gone soft on Castro and Cuba. Much of this was released in the tapes made during the actual period, later emerging as transcripts in the book: The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis’, by Ernest R. May and Philip K. Zelikow (1997, President and Fellows of Harvard College).

Of particular interest is the reaction of Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay to Kennedy's refusal to bomb and invade Cuba, reported originally in The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 26, 1996, 'Bomb Cuba!Le May Urged JFK', p. 2A):

"Tapes of secretly recorded White House conversations released this week show that President John F. Kennedy's military advisers strongly pressured him to bomb and invade Cuba during the missile crisis 34 years ago this month. Indeed, they forecast that war would occur whether he invaded Cuba or not.

Blasting Kennedy's cautious approach, the Air Force Chief, Gen. Curtis LeMay, told the President at a White House meeting on Oct. 19, 1962, "This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich......"

If that would have been all it might have been ample to put JFK in the sights of the security state and military - but he went even further.  In retrospect we learned that in brokering a deal with Khrushchev to resolve the missile crisis, Kennedy promised 1) to attempt no further invasions of Cuba if all Soviet hardware was removed, and (2): to remove ALL U.S. Jupiter missiles based in Turkey - 6 months later. ( HSCA Volume 10, 1979: ‘Anti-Castro Activities and Organizations: Investigation of the Assassination of    President John F. Kennedy’, in Appendix to the Hearings Before the Select Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives (U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 82)

But this wasn't all. Not long on the heels of these moves, JFK had begun a rapprochement with Fidel Castro through his aide-de-camp Rene Vallejo and Kennedy's emissary, William Attwood. (See, e.g. Peter Kornbluh: ‘Kennedy and Castro: What Might Have Been’, in The Baltimore Sun, Aug. 22, 1999. )  In addition, despite the CIA- military wanting to bring Castro down, not prop him up, Kennedy had secured key medical assistance  - which he thought he could do sub rosa. However, in all likelihood, Richard Helms and his CIA Directorate of Operations knew exactly what he was up to every minute - and they didn't like it. Indeed, it enticed them to brand Kennedy with the T-word. Traitor. No surprise that on the day of the assassination those thousands of treason posters appeared in Dallas - but not by accident, e.g.

Helms was already well aware of the bile held toward Kennedy by anti-Castro groups, especially the DRE ( Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil ) - trained by CIA operatives, David Atlee  Phillips and George Joannides with the DRE  described as: “one of the most bitter toward President Kennedy for his deal with the Russians." (HSCA, Vol. 10, 1979, ibid.). Helms, as well as William Harvey (coordinator for Staff D and the ZR/Rifle program) knew this hatred could be directed purposefully and what better way than an executive action. Since an assassination program (ZR/Rifle) had already been running since 1961, why not turn it from Castro to JFK and use some of the well motivated angry Cubans of the DRE to help carry it out?

Imagine, just imagine - how riled and furious that same Phillips-Joannides anti-Castro Cuban group would be when it learned (compliments of their CIA handlers, no doubt) that Kennedy was in the process of establishing normalized relations with Fidel via a rapprochement with his aide-de-camp. Hell, these DRE miscreants would have gone ballistic and begged Joannides and Phillips for anything they might do, any role, to exact payback.

Too extreme? They'd never do it? Hey ....this was the same basic bunch that blew a Cubana Airline plane (Flight 455) out of the skies off Barbados  SW coast on Oct. 6, 1976! If they could kill 73  innocents that day don't tell me they wouldn't volunteer to put one or more bullets into a prez that: a) they believed 'betrayed' them by not providing air cover for Operation Zapata (the Bay of Pigs invasion), and b) had begun rapprochement with Fidel - their most hated enemy.

Thus was born the conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, out of the pre-existing Staff D- ZR/Rifle operation. The motive - given how Kennedy had tried to hide his Cuban rapprochement - was basic:
kill Kennedy, link the already prepped and ready patsy Oswald to Castro, and use this as a pretext to invade Cuba.  What better way to get back at all three, especially Kennedy and Khrushchev, who the CIA believed suckered Kennedy into signing the "giveaway our security" Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in August, 1963?  As for Oswald, he was always to be used as a pawn, expendable - but his speech to a Jesuit College (Spring Hill, Mobile, AL)   in July, 1963 (see James Douglass' book for details), warning of a military coup, and also his previous likely warning the Chicago FBI of the Nov. 2 assassination attempt (by Thomas Arthur Vallee)  - put him in the target sights much earlier.

The actual shooters were configured in 3 separate teams in Dealey Plaza: one firing from the Texas Book Depository  - but not Oswald's location, The Dallas County Records Bldg. (2nd floor) and from behind the grassy knoll stockade fence. The bullet numbers and trajectories all point to these locations, and the teams included at least one with disaffected DRE Cubans (already trained by Joannides), one with grassy knoll shooter Jean Souetre (Organisation de l'armée secrete, aka Secret Army Organization or OAS connection - already with an attempt on Charles  DeGaulle)  and one with perhaps a specific CIA hit team - comprised of rogue agents with a score to settle personally.

The validity of the knoll shot based on ballistics and the acoustics was originally shown by me in this post from last year:

Readers can examine it and judge for themselves.

The main takeaway from all this is the actual shooters were able to escape via various routes, easily accomplished with the right tools,  implements, e.g. rifles which could be disassembled in seconds and put into a toolbox with a worker leaving - say from the TSBD and Records Bldg. - carrying it. Grassy knoll killer Souetre escaped by using the ruse of a Dallas PD uniform. In all the commotion his getaway was perhaps easiest of all. See also:

Look, no one has to believe this scenario, least of all Aaronson, who hasn't done any real work. I only offer it up - based on mining the documents trail, and putting two plus two together as it were - as the most feasible and plausible way the killing of JFK played out.

But you judge for yourselves!

Intriguing Addendum:

Gen Curtis Lemay - who compared JFK to Neville Chamberlain and said his actions were "appeasement" during the Cuban Missile crisis -  was airborne, even as JFK's body was being flown back to Washington. He was also incommunicado.  Of interest are 50+ year old tapes made available last year. Go to:;cbsCarousel

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