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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Killing history

Yeah, I'm going to ask you to read an article about the JFK assassination. Even if you disagree with my own views, this piece by Mike Swanson may have something to say to you. Swanson talks about the range of permissible opinion on television, and focuses on a guy named Larry Sabato, who gets large speaking fees for telling you what the government wants you to hear.
Sabato dismisses just about all possible conspiracy theories in his book. He claims it simply is "irresponsible" to think that elements of the United States government could be involved. He won't do that so he comes up with one possible politically correct conspiracy theory of his own buried in a footnote – "in theory, the cabal could also have been the opposite: Communist inspired. In April, 1961 FBI J. Edgar Hoover sent Attorney General Robert Kennedy a memo admitting that the Office of Strategic Services (the CIA's parent organization) had been infiltrated by a "Communist element" that "created problems and situations which even to this day affect US intelligence operations."
Commies did it. 

We have been hearing this Big Lie with increasing frequency lately, from voices all across the internet -- including the left-ish and middle-of the-road websites. I predict that no-one in the mainstream media will complain when the "commies did it" theory wafts its way into textbook discussion of the JFK assassination. As long as you blame The Other, you will be considered serious, responsible and objective.

Just look at Sabato's cited source (and note that he does not link to an actual document): J. Edgar Hoover. Sabato doesn't mention that Hoover despised both William Donovan (head of the OSS) and James Jesus Angleton (a key OSS figure, later the head of CIA counterintelligence). According to Anthony Summers (who wrote an important Hoover biography), those two men had acquired evidence of Hoover's homosexual relationship with Clyde Tolson. The memo that Sabato cites -- if it exists -- no doubt resulted from Hoover's personal vendetta.

If Hoover had any actual evidence of communism in the intelligence services, he would have brought it to RFK's attention. If there had been an actual communist cell in OSS, it would not have escaped the attention of the many authors who have written about that organization.

Swanson notes that...
..what Sabato proposes is one of the craziest theories I've ever seen in print. In fact the idea that the CIA was under the control of the KGB is more of a nightmare than any of the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.
Forget about the assassination for the moment. Instead, let's look look at how the new pseudo-historians are trying to squelch what a previous generation of scholars revealed about J. Edgar Hoover.

Hoover was a tyrant, both paranoid and petty, motivated by revenge and kept in power by his infamous blackmail files. Yet the revisers of history (and Sabato is hardly the only one) want our youth to consider J. Edgar Hoover a responsible source of information. Once these Orwellian revisionists have their way, it will be as if books like Official and Confidential and J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and His Secrets never existed.

Sabato reportedly has received as much as $10,000 to speak in public. The people who peddle "official nonsense" of this sort are always paid extremely well, even when their books, films and other wares prove unpopular.

Why do they get such large fees when the marketplace does not justify that kind of recompense? (See here.) As Daniel Hopsicker likes to say: If it don't make business sense, it's gotta make some other kind of sense.

I've been around a while. I'm old enough (barely) to recall when the major media lied about the Tonkin Gulf incident. And I have never -- ever -- seen the media as controlled, as enthralled by Power, as it is today.

The internet was supposed to bring about a new era of uncensored information. Instead, we have a daily battle between the well-dressed, soft-spoken Establishment media figures who push the Official Lies and the wild-eyed, bullhorn-wielding crazies who push what we may call the Official Counter-Lies. Today, most people think they have to choose between the weltanschauung promulgated by mainstream journalists and pundits, and the weltanschauung promulgated by the reactionary pseudo-dissenters who have erected their own media infrastructure. You can go through door number 1 or door number 2; there is no third door.

On the one hand, you can get your news and history from Judy Miller (or whomever functions as the latest incarnation of Judy Miller; she has many names and wears many faces.) On the other hand, you can get your news and history from Wackyland -- from Alex Jones, from the Breitbarters, from Ann Coulter, from crank videos like Zeitgeist, from George Noory, from the Tea Partiers, from fundamentalist Christians, and from the "controlled demolition" nutballs.

And that's it. Those are your only two choices.
This week I had a phone interview with director David O. Russell, whose new movie "American Hustle" is a hoot. He was literally walking through airport security, so I didn't get to ask him about the reports that he will direct "Legacy of Secrecy," based on the discredited book suggesting that JFK was killed by anti-Castro Cubans who got blackmailed or mesmerized by Fidel. I haven't read more than a few dozen pages of the book, so I don't understand the re-revisionist premise, and I bet star/producer Leonardo Di Caprio doesn't either. But anyone who believes that communists conspired to put Lyndon Freakin' Johnson in the White House should write these words on the blackboard, Bart Simpson-style: "limited hangout...false flag...sheep dip."

Joe, maybe one of these days you could write a post about what's permissible on Wikipedia, a seemingly neutral, crowd-sourced site that turns out to have sneaky, invisible parameters for content. As you might know, the JFK content on the site is effectively controlled by the spooky John McAdams, who has an ongoing bromance with the overseer of those pages. James DiEugenio reported on it here:
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