Did you know that Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” was a response to JFK’s assassination? I didn’t.
Fifty-two years ago this week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s last resort for all criminal cases, reversed Ruby’s murder conviction and death sentence and ordered a new trial because of the trial judge’s egregious legal errors. Because Ruby died before he could be retried, in the eyes of the law, he will always be an innocent man.
My first thought — which I actually muttered out loud as a got closer to the corner of Elm and Houston – was, “what a perfect spot for an ambush.”
“13 days before that dark day in Dallas, Somersett elicited a chilling, police tape-recorded threat from a right-wing racist who talked of how the President would soon be shot ‘from an office building with a high-powered rifle’ and how ‘they’ll pick up somebody within hours after … just to throw the public off.’”
Was JFK going to make peace with Cuba?
On November 5, 1963, President Kennedy was exploring the idea. You can hear JFK talking about it with aides on this White House tape recording. (The substantive conversation starts at :25 in the recording.) Read more
The D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on July 9th that the CIA does not have to pay my court costs incurred in the long-running FOIA lawsuit Morley v. CIA. The split decision was joined by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Trump later that day to serve on the the Supreme Court. Read more
Nikolai S. Leonov has an interesting perspective on the story of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Leonov joined the KGB in 1958 and retired in 1991 with the rank of Lieutenant General. In the spring of 1963, his fluency in Spanish gained him the job as the Russian interpreter for Cuba president Fidel Castro during his first visit to the USSR in the spring of 1963, In the photo above he is the man standing between and behind Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Read more
On this day 55 years ago, a strange American visitor appeared at the Soviet and Cuban consulates in Mexico City. His name would soon be world famous: Lee Harvey Oswald. Within 24 hours, a joint US-Mexico intelligence gathering operation received wiretap reports on his unusual actions.
The story of what happened next is told in Bill Simpich’s groundbreaking new book, “State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald,” which is being serialized by MaryFerrell.org.
In a season of JFK sotries distinguished by ill-informed experts, bogus revelations, and a Fox News fibber, Simpich’s book qualifies as the most important piece of JFK scholarship to be published this year.
In a welcome development, the Sixth Floor Museum is holding a debate about the causes of JFK’s assassination on October 29. Long reluctant to engage with critics of the official story, the Dallas museum is opening itself to new points of view.
I suspect curator Stephen Fagin is responsible. I did an oral history of my JFK journalism for the Museum, and I found him to be a perceptive questioner who was interested in different interpretations of November 22.
The two participants in the Oct 29 could not be more qualified to represent their views. Read more
▶ Lee H. Oswald debates the Cuba issue with anti-communist activist Ed Butler, and anti-Castro militant Carlos Bringuier of Cuban Student Directorate (DRE)
For the last fifty years, artists have explored the hidden operations of power and the symbiotic suspicion between the government and its citizens that haunts Western democracies. Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy is the first major exhibition to tackle this perennially provocative topic.
When it was released in 1964, the movie’s chilling message about the fragility of American democracy and the danger of far-Right paranoia was underscored by a real-life backstory that was just as disturbing. Frankenheimer made Seven Days in May at the personal urging of President John F. Kennedy, who’d clashed with an Army general with extremist views early in his administration, and apparently feared such a cabal really was possible. Sadly, JFK did not live to see the film he helped bring to the screen
President Kennedy’s growth as a leader in June 1963 is a key to understanding his life and death.
As Arms Control Today documented last year, JFK’s June 10 speech at American University would influence the arms control vision all of the U.S. presidents who followed him. And as this New York Times column notes, his often-overlooked nationally televised address on June 11, 1963, signaled his evolution as a civil rights leader.