Tag Archive for conspiracy theories
Defenders of the semi-official theory of JFK’s assassination sometimes suggest that anyone who disagrees is deluded or dishonest. Dale Myers and Gus Russo have dubbed the benighted souls “the conspirati,” a term intended to convey disdain for those allegedly emotionally needy or intellectually incompetent people who doubt the claim that one man killed JFK for no reason.
The problem with this trope, alas, is the facts. There were plenty of astute observers of American power in 1963 who rejected the official theory of a “lone nut” and concluded President Kennedy had been killed by his enemies.
Here are six six U.S. government insiders in 1963 who suspected a JFK was killed by a conspiracy.
Bill Kelly points out that Hunter S. Thompson coined his immortal phrase “fear and loathing” on the day of JFK’s assassination. In three words, the gonzo journalist had captured a mood that would never go away.
Rick Bauer, a reader in Florida, writes to tell of his personal experience in 1965-66 with David Ferrie, the New Orleans pilot who has been the target of JFK conspiracy speculation for decades.
As the editor of the JFK Facts blog, I try not to spend a lot of time on stupid conspiracy theories, but given tge widespread ignorance and confusion on the subject, journalistic duty often calls.
Who killed JFK? The Federal Reserve? Nah. A Secret Service man? A hoax. Ted Cruz’s father? Pure B.S. George H.W. Bush? Heavy breathing is not the same as credible evidence. On a recent Black Vault podcast, the most common JFK question I heard was, “Was Kennedy assassinated because of his interest in UFO’s?” Um, no, he was not.
Which brings me to QAnon, the imaginative conspiracy theorist now dominating the Internet, attracting followers of President Trump, and obsessing the Washington Post, which has has published four articles on QAnon in the past week. Like many conspiracy theories, the QAnon fever dream can be traced back to the assassination of JFK.
The QAnon conspiracy theory is a psychedelic mushroom growing in the fertile manure of the Warren Commission. This mind-altering proposition grows in the gloom of anonymous chat groups. It is then stimulated by the bright lights of social media. And finally it is harvested and ingested by Trump cultists eager to prolong the alt-reality buzz that commenced on January 20, 2017.
But it all began on November 22, 1963 Read more
Cuba celebrates the 60th anniversary of the beginning of its revolution on July 26, 1953. Later this year America will commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963,
The events are ancient but linked. The connection between Cuba’s revolution and the death of the 35th American president remains a live issue in the political culture of both countries.
The assassination of JFK is one reason why this conflict between the United States and Cuba endures to this day.
After more than fifty years and zero quantum of proof since the JFK assassination, Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato insist on the out-worn hypothesis “Castro sorta done it” while reporting how the CIA came to doubt the official story.
Her comment made me wonder what she (and Robert Sigal) think her grandfather’s film shows:
In contrast to the findings of the Warren Report, there are many people who look at the film and believe that it shows evidence that the president was shot from the front.
(This piece was posted, in different form in March 2016)
It is true that former president George H.W. Bush was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. It is true that Bush became director of the CIA in 1976. But, rest assured, G H.W. Bush did not supervise gunmen in Dealey Plaza.
Whatever the contested legitimacy of the Trump presidency, the White House needs to make a decision on JFK secrecy within the year.
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
“I asked him [RFK], perhaps tactlessly, about Oswald. He said that there could be no serious doubt that he was guilty, but there was still argument whether he did it by himself or as part of a larger plot, whether organized by Castro or by gangsters. He said that the FBI thought he had done it by himself, but that McCone thought there were two people involved in the shooting.”
— Arthur Schlesinger writing about a conversation with Robert Kennedy on Dec. 5, 1963, quoted in Schlesinger’s Journals: 1952-2000, p. 214.
As for how to improve JFK Facts, a reader writes:
“My suggestion is create a page for novices to the assassination, with basic essays on the evidence. First time visitors would get a primer on the huge amount of evidence, and may be motivated to study further.”