Viewed dispassionately, “conspiracy theories” are controversial political messages about secret power. They purport to tell us how the world really works, as opposed to official accounts of government and experts. At a time when the credibility of federal government and news organizations is low, conspiracy theories flourish at the expense of public authority.
Credible or not, conspiracy theories have shaped the course of the 2016 presidential campaign. Conservative strategists Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone claim that Hillary Clinton has organized a conspiracy to conceal her own dire medical condition. Liberals Ezra Klein and Cass Sunstein warn that conspiracy theories distort our political discourse and endanger the political process. Who’s right?
Ezra Klein and Cass Sunstein have some sensible things to say about the disturbing prevalence and power of conspiracy theories in this Vox video, especially about the toxic combination of conspiracy theories, ignorance, and extremism. So does the New Yorker. But these opinion-makers are wrong–or rather, underinformed–about the JFK story. Read more
Two JFK Facts commenters have recently criticized me personally, and I feel the need to respond. I know an editor should have a thick skin but a season of succesful conspiracy theorizing has opened up the real possibility that U.S. nuclear codes will soon be delivered into the hands of a racist buffoon. I’m feeling a little touchy.
So let me dispatch with these theories and theorists.
The movie chronicles LBJ’s private fears, questions, and ideological splits with Kennedy before the rivals became running mates—and how JFK’s assassination changed LBJ’s politics. “He did adopt a big swath of JFK’s policies so it would be hard to not see it that way,” said Harrelson. “I’m not sure how much of it was motivated by his depth of emotion or by what he considered to be politically expedient. It’s really hard to read him. He’s a fascinating character.”
This prestige-level drama seems primed to secure Natalie Portman an Oscar nomination with her in literally every scene of the film as Jackie Kennedy, putting a human face on this larger-than-life person
Earlier this year I spoke about the JFK story with retired CIA analyst Brian Latell on WIOD radio in MIami. Latell had a clear message for his former employer: release all the JFK files without redactions.
In an wide-ranging interview with the German publication, Heise, David Talbot talks about his biography of CIA director Allen Dulles, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” which has just been published in German.
Q. Among the most incredible aspects of the Kennedy assassination is the fact that Dulles and his friends were called to investigate in the Warren Commission (1963), as well as Rockefeller Commission (1975). Was Dulles correct in his assessment, that the American people do not read?
On November 22, 1963, two bystanders, Orville Nix and Abraham Zapruder, filmed the presidential motorcade in Dealey Plaza. They both captured the same moment after Kennedy was shot: Nix from afar (top) and Zapruder from close-up (bottom).