The CBS Morning show today presented the news that 50-year old audio-tapes (roughly 42-43 minutes) made aboard Air Force One en route back to Washington DC after the assassination, were just released after some fifty years. The question emerged as to what new aspects or elements do they show, if anything?
Readers can learn more here:
According to the CBS website info:
" It's been nearly a half-century since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. But new information from that day in Dallas has just been released -- audiotape of conversations between Air Force One and Washington.
For the first time, the complete audio record of the flight back from Dallas to Washington is available to the public online, from the National Archives, for free."
I highly recommend interested readers avail themselves of this audio record for themselves. The CBS site info continues:
"The full audio of transmissions from White House Communications Agency (which captured the tapes) that day includes 42 minutes edited out of the original public version. It's likely to peak the interest of conspiracy theorists who are already asking why this material was cut out of the original.
Then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay had been a frequent opponent of Kennedy's. His whereabouts on the day of the assassination has always been a mystery.
In the newly public audio, we learn that LeMay was airborne, even as JFK's body was being flown back to Washington. And an aide to LeMay tried urgently to reach his boss."
Of course, to say LeMay was a "frequent opponent of Kennedy's" is serious understatement.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962, Kennedy refused to bomb or invade Cuba as he was urged to do by his Joint Chiefs, especially Air Force General Curtis LeMay , who actually compared JFK to Neville Chamberlain, and referred to his actions as “appeasement”. According to one of the first major mainstream news releases after the tapes in the WH situation room were released (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......
Through those days Kennedy was fending off strong pressure for an attack on Cuba from congressional and military leaders such as LeMay, who told him, 'We don't have any choice but direct military action...I see no other solution...
Of course, JFK resisted these insane pleas which - had they been carried out- would doubtless have led to a massive nuclear exchange with the Russians, as former Defense Secrtary Robert McNamara noted in a 1993 interview on NBC Today. McNamara acknowledged that only later did the information become known that Castro had 93 IRBMs aimed at the eastern U.S. So, had JFK not had the courage to face down LeMay and the JCS we wouldn't even be discussing lost tapes.
LeMay and fellow Joint Chief Lyman Lemnitzer were also behind the odious plans for "Operation Northwoods", as revealed in James Bamford's 2001 book, Body of Secrets, Doubleday Books, p. 82. This was described by Bamford as (ibid):
“maybe the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government”
This treacherous campaign of terror was to include the sinking of refugee boats (carrying Cuban refugees) on the high seas, as well as the killing of innocent citizens on American cities’ streets, plus random bombings carried out in Washington, DC, Miami and other places. The objective? To deliberately incite a war with Castro's Cuba. One can easily see from both the October, 1962 exchanges and also the Northwoods information, that the JCS and especially LeMay - had a major 'Jones' for starting a war.
When I first heard of Northwoods, I had trouble processing how any U.S. government agency or entity could remotely conceive of such foul deeds, far less carry them out. Then I quickly recalled the blowing up of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 over Barbados, on October 6. 1976 by Luis Posada, Freddie Lugo and other renegades sponsored in the extremist Alpha 66 enclave by the CIA. 73 innocent victims perished in that terrorist act, the worst one in the western hemisphere prior to 9/11. Bamford, in his discussion of Northwoods, further notes that the extent of it included getting England (UK) to side with the U.S. against Castro by also launching attacks against Jamaica and Trinidad, both (then) Commonwealth members. Does anyone seriously believe, given the vile extent of such plans, they’d have been the least squeamish about planning to assassinate a president who consistently thwarted and humiliated them?
Evidently the daft and clueless pseudo-historian Robert Dallek does! Quoted on the CBS Morning show he opined, in conjunction with the suspicious nature of 42 minutes edited out of the original public version (presented in the Warren Commission Hearings) and the disappearance of LeMay in the immediate aftermath:
"They (conspiracy theorists) just can't accept that any person as dysfunctional as Lee Harvey Oswald, lone wolf that he was, could have carried out the assassination"
No, sir, we do not! Not when three master marksmen recruited by the Warren Commission failed to replicate Oswald's alleged feat. Indeed, just one of the three expert riflemen was able to get off three shots in under 5.6 seconds – the designated time interval for total shots declared by the Warren Commission. And most to the point: none of the total 18 shots fired in the test trials struck the targets in the head or the neck. In other words, from a technical standpoint of duplicating Oswald’s alleged shots- this trio of experts failed. Another key aspect: for the duration of the 18 rounds, two of the “master” riflemen were unable to reload and fire at the stationary target as rapidly as Oswald purportedly did for the moving limo.
Of course, I had earlier slammed Dallek for his historical amnesia in terms of his historical perspective on JFK's achievements, e.g.
This time I focus on the usual prattle of some that we - the American people - simply can't handle that such an epically evil act could be committed by a little "nobody". In this, Dallek commits the same error as mathematician John Allan Paulos, in his 2008 book, Irreligion: mistaking the low political value of the person assassinated for the high political value of the assassination. In the case of Paulos, he makes a false equivalence (to JFK) using the 1997 example of Princess Diana. Thus, Princess Diana was so loved and cherished by millions, that few were able to accept she perished in a random auto accident.
However, apart from initiating some land mine awareness programs and being the public face for a few charities, Diana’s slaying had no where near the political repercussions down the line that JFK’s had. Any altered timelines extrapolated in the wake of her death would find nothing of the comparable magnitude that occurred with JFK’s demise. Thus, it’s like comparing chalk and cheese.
As for Dallek, he mistakes a conspiracy approach for an inability to cope and reconciling the loss to a "lone wolf", while he confuses possible psychological "dysfunction" of the alleged assassin for serious motivation and a realistic capability to carry out the deed. Indeed, in a 1997 Usenet FAQ for the newsgroup alt.conspiracy.jfk, I showed how anyone with the putative psychological disabilities attributed to Oswald would never have been able to carry out the kill attributed to him. Also, as I showed in a number of previous blogs, the kill shots couldn't even have come from where Oswald was alleged to be (the Texas School Book Depository):
Thus, the dynamics don't even point to Lee Oswald! Apart from that, Oswald's rifle skills were in question. By the time Oswald was discharged from the Marines, he was barely able to qualify in any defined shooter category - with a 191 score (or Marksman). Corporal Nelson Delgado, the marine most familiar with Oswald's skills, referred to his being tagged with the label of 'Maggie's Drawers', meaning he was a lousy shot. In effect, what we see is just the opposite of what one would expect for the alleged assassin. His shooting skills never adequate to begin with, then deteriorating over time, as opposed to improving. It is rather illogical, therefore, to suppose that in an environment ('civilian') which required no regular training and for which no evidence of any extraneous 'practice' existed Oswald's skills significantly improved to the level of being able to make the shots attributed to him. (Let's again bear in mind three professional master marksmen were unable to replicate them - either using Oswald's same rifle, or a different model with 18 shots to do it in!)
At least the other historian, Michael Beschloss, quoted on the CBS Morning Show admitted that people will rightfully question why this 42 min. stretch of tape is only now being released, and why it wasn't with the original Warren records. He went on to state many already believe the Warren Commission was more a "whitewash" citing a recent CBS News poll showing that 73% of Americans didn't believe it. Well, why should they? Any professed "commission" that ignores 200 material witnesses can't be for real, but would have to be a political-PR artifact to shut people up and put the event in the rear window. "Historian" Dallek plays right into this.
Finally, what are we to make of the fact that more than 50,000 pages to do with the Kennedy assassination remain unreleased? This despite the 1992 JFK Records Act by which all these documents were to have seen the light of day by now. (And let's recall Bill Clinton's 1996 Executive order to do this!)
Readers can learn more about this in the salon.com article below:
and in respect of the JFK material:
Note also the letter therein, to the National Archives, to release this material. Why, if no conspiracy took place, the need to hide so much for so long? Surely "national security" can't continue to be used as an excuse given the technology has moved far beyond what spooks used 50 years ago, not to mention all those old sources long since dead. The only logical reason would be to protect actual handlers and agents that had a hand in the Kennedy hit - either directly, or by setting up a patsy to take the fall. People such as George Joannides.
In the end, the release of these 50-year old audio tapes merely adds more fuel to the fire of the conspiracy paradigm, while the silence of the agencies keeping 50 year old files on ice reinforces it! It appears these agencies really do fear the American people. Which seems incredible given that one of the most loathsome plans ever conceived by any government - Operation Northwoods- has already been exposed.
Lastly, the take of a genuine historian: Prof.. David R. Wrone, in writing in The Journal of Southern History(6), February, 1995, p. 188, is the only one that matters:
“I believe that irrefutable evidence shows conspirators, none of them Oswald, killed JFK. A mentally ill Jack Ruby, alone and unaided, shot Oswald. The federal inquiry knowingly collapsed and theorized a political solution. Its corruption spawned theorists who tout solutions rather than define the facts that are locked in the massively muddied evidentiary base, and released only by hard work.”