Tag Archive for Rachel Maddow

Timeout on JFK files, as Washington turns to today’s conspiracy allegations

No, President Trump’s release of a handful of secret JFK files last week was not a “distraction” from his troubles with Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. The release was something that he was legally required to do, and he actually failed to do it.

But with the indictment of Paul Manafort, all is forgotten, at least about JFK. The Washington press corps and the news cycle has whirled away from the crime of Dallas to more recent lawbreaking.

The JFK files story so far, if anybody is still paying attention, is a study in Washington’s dysfunction: Trump got rolled. The media got played. The JFK coverup continues.  Read more

Does Rachel Maddow know what she’s talking about on JFK?

Earlier this month Rachel Maddow told the little-known story of how Senator John F. Kennedy introduced legislation to ban the importation of weapons produced for foreign armies, only to be thwarted by pro-gun legislators. Then, on November 22, 1963, Maddow said, Lee Oswald used an Italian-made military rifle to shoot and kill President Kennedy. For the popular MSNBC anchor, this story illuminates the enduring and pernicious effects of the gun lobby from Dallas to Newtown.

As a contemporary polemic, this novel interpretation of JFK’s assassination — the Gun Lobby Did It — is strong. As history it is weak. It’s hard not to agree with Maddow’s broad point: the gun manufacturers and gun violence have had a pernicious effect on American life for a long time. She is correct that an Italian-made rifle, cheap and easily obtained under permissive U.S. gun laws, played a central role in the JFK assassination story.

But her implication that the gun lobby, as a power sector in American politics, was an important causal factor in enabling JFK’s assassination is not founded in historical fact. Read more