The Deaths of JFK, RFK—and the Silence of the Lambs By Russ Baker on Jan 23, 2012

The Deaths of JFK, RFK—and the Silence of the Lambs
By Russ Baker on Jan 23, 2012

Which is the real president? And which is the real story?

As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy approaches, there is a growing flurry of material about—or even from—the Kennedy clan. This includes “insider” accounts and what are described as exciting, must-read and must-watch revelations.

Yet, for some reason, little of it is truly revelatory, or if it is, it seems, almost by design, very, very small potatoes indeed.

Take for example a new documentary by Bobby Kennedy’s daughter, for HBO. What’s the big revelation? That Bobby feared…are you ready… that someone would throw acid in the face of his children. Who? The mafia. And when was this a threat? In the 1950s. When RFK was a Senate investigator, years before he and his brother ever got near the White House. And years before his brother and then he himself were killed under still-unresolved circumstances.

Got that? Nothing about elements other than “professional criminals.” Threat to his children, not him. And this was before RFK became Attorney General and started really going after the mob, and everyone else.

Oh—and nothing about who…killed him.

That’s Hollywood!


I subscribe to a newsfeed with articles related to JFK. It’s an endless stream of banality: the death of democracy packaged as consumer goods for collectors. For example, you could have bid in a recent auction for the hearse that carried JFK’s body, and of course, there are the requisite collector plates and supposedly valuable limited-edition coins.

Lots of people who “covered” the assassination are featured in interviews and panel discussions, but for some reason none of them seem to have real insight or have done original investigative reporting on what actually took place that day. It’s all surface recollections of emotions and empirical material gleaned from the official story.

Then there are the odd little accidents. Like this that came through Google Alerts:

Filmmaker denies JFK conspiracy theories
Indiana Daily Student
Wednesday, Union Board presented Barbour’s 1992 documentary “The JFK Assassination: The Garrison Tapes,” followed by a question-and-answer session with Barbour. The film features Barbour’s exclusive interviews with late New Orleans District Attorney …
See all stories on this topic »

Ok, so this tells us the filmmaker John Barbour “denies” JFK conspiracy theories. But the few who actually might click on this not-so-interesting sounding link come to this headline:

Filmmaker affirms JFK conspiracy theories with ‘The Garrison Tapes’

So let’s go to the dictionary. Does “denies” equal “affirms”? No, it is the opposite. Hmm….


Several major Hollywood productions are supposedly on their way to screens. Jonathan Demme has optioned Stephen King’s not-very-good and certainly irrelevant fantasy about Lee Harvey Oswald. Bold, sir!

Tom Hanks, always looking to take huge risks (er—not!), has optioned Vincent Bugliosi’s endless (1,612-page) and loyal re-confirmation of the widely-discredited Warren Report, again with HBO said to be in the picture.

A third, a book by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann, optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio, at least explores some of the enormous amount of evidence of an organized hit beyond the lone kook. But it settles in nicely with “the mafia did it” despite the other enormous mass of evidence—of a far-ranging cover-up involving high military, intelligence and other officials—none of whom were mafia, last time I checked. Even this slightly bolder approach from DiCaprio comes under attack from a conventional media hack/gossip columnist, who lazily bandies about the term “crackpot conspiracy theories” (honestly, does this woman ever do any background research—or read books?)

In any case, none of the films that Hollywood seems willing to tackle touch on what the great, great mass of careful investigation, research and scholarship has shown over the years—the extremely high likelihood that JFK’s death was a covert operation engineered by exactly the kinds of people whose profession was to displace leaders and carry out military-precision operations under cover. (My own book, Family of Secrets, has four chapters of new, abundantly documented and heavily footnoted material on the Kennedy assassination, including the answer to why George H.W. Bush cannot remember where he was on Nov. 22, 1963—and there are many other fine books, both recent vintage and released over the years, which carefully lay out enough evidence to settle the matter to all but the most closed-minded. Examples here, here, and here.)

Nearly half a century after the death of a president who took bold steps against abuses by the one percent of the one percent, we are still in denial about how and why he died. Our leading institutions and individuals are not only scared to talk about the truth, but glad to cynically profit from tired lies and evasions.

So where are we when it comes to our own boldness and advanced self-awareness? This year, we may be headed toward a presidential general election contest between a wealthy predator and a putative reformer who has made his peace with the most powerful, wealthiest circles in America. If not that wealthy predator, then perhaps a demagogic blowhard of the extreme mercenary variety.

Wonder what Jack and Bobby would have to say?

More information on the JFK death...

Evidence of Revision:

The Men Who Killed Kennedy - The History Channel - The Guilty Men - Chapter 9

Another excellent film

This film is about Roger Craig, Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy, officer of the Year in 1960.
The filmmaker is attorney Mark Lane, author of Plausible Denial.


"We 'found' no evidence"

White House Press Secretary Ron Nessen wrote in his book, "It Sure Looks Different From the Inside," that President Ford told him --

"You see, we were very careful to say we 'found' no evidence of a conspiracy."

Ford was referring to the Warren Commission report, which he helped write. He said the Commission specifically wrote it that way because Oswald might not have acted alone.

That strategy sounds familiar.

Curtis LeMay on Tape...

New audio tape sheds light on JFK assassination

"There is also an urgent effort by an aide to Air Force chief of staff Curtis LeMay, a well-known hawk and Kennedy critic, to reach Clifton; and attempts to locate various congressmen from Texas.

The material was acquired by the Raab Collection, a rare documents dealer based in Philadelphia, who donated a digitized copy to the National Archives, made public at

Experts say the tapes will stir debate among conspiracy theorists, especially about LeMay, a major Kennedy adversary whose name was conspicuously missing from an edited version of the original tape.

“People have always wanted to know where was Curtis LeMay on the day Kennedy was shot and there have been mixed messages about it. This tape provides exactly where he was,” Kennedy historian Douglas Brinkley told CNN."

Not Ready For Prime Time

I am surprised that more people haven't chimed in on this thread. We are all subject to prejudices. One common prejudice, for example, is that attractive people are smarter and more capable but this is not true. Even though I have an ungrad degree in psych, I still fall for common traps all the time. Some traps I set for myself. One of my personal traps is thinking that cosmopolitan people are smarter and more savvy than the rest of us. Another one is that people in elite circumstances, those who go to elite schools etc., are better trained and educated and can see nuances that the average person can't. David Halberstam struggled with the concept of elite superiority in his tome The Best and the Brightest. Some of this falls into a category that I like to call "is and isn't." That is, there is some truth here but it isn't always the case. Once when I was about twenty five I was in a queue around a Picasso at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). There was a couple of ten year old girls talking over my head about the painting. These particular girls had internalized what it meant to be elite and cosmopolitan. I knew they were right; that is I understood them. I had just never had the opportunity to apply the tools of my understanding and they had but not all "elites" are like that.

In this blog Russ Baker is alluding to the fact that among "the lambs" are members of the Kennedy family who respond to hits carried out on their family in the remotest fashion in ways quite removed from the immediacy of the threat: "Got that? Nothing about elements other than 'professional criminals'.” Here Baker is talking specifically about members of the Kennedy family. So what is going on? Are they carefully parsing everything they say because they are elite, well educated and cosmopolitan? Or are they clueless? The prejudice would be that they are "insiders" and well educated and that they know what is going on but do they? I once heard, years ago, an interview with Caroline Kennedy. At the time she was working at a think tank and I can't remember the name of it. One of the functions of this "think tank" was to actually eliminate democratic plurality in the U.S. That's right; she said that she was working hard to eliminate the possibility of a third party erupting in the United States and in her own words she said: "that a third party would be messy." She was also in a Senate race in New York, as you will remember. You would think that an elite, cosmopolitan, well educated person would be rather informed and well spoken. You would also think that someone from a family of orators would be fully conscious of the necessity of clear speaking as in "ask not what your country can do for you......" but you would be wrong. Here is Caroline Kennedy "ad libitum" as it were and perhaps this was both the beginning and end of her ascendancy: