After last week’s stonewalling concerning the still unreleased archives, Politico’s Bryan Bender has come to the Biden administration’s defense. He reminds his readers that a special House committee in 1978 concluded “that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”
JFK Assassination: Biden’s Commitment to Keep Concealing the Truth
Like the Biden administration, Bender takes no position on the truth of that claim. Instead, he reassures his readers that there’s nothing to get excited about as he explains that “longtime researchers almost uniformly agree that what is still being shielded from public view won’t blow open the case.”
Today’s Daily Devil’s Dictionary definition:
Nowhere near-unanimously, especially in cases where a majority of official commentators have been intimidated or bribed to repeat a mendacious narrative, while the minority who have understood and seriously investigated are treated as irresponsible conspiracy theorists
Every government since Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, has had “good reasons” for hiding a truth that might, if revealed to the light of day, cause the nation’s citizens to lose faith in the integrity of its institutions and, more particularly, of its intelligence community. Given the gravity of the crime and its historical consequences, including other high-profile assassinations, catastrophic wars stretching across more than five decades and contested elections, it might even impel some to stop believing the US is worthy of being called a democracy. That would be disastrous. As Madeleine Albright reminded us, democracy is the basis of “the republic’s claim on the global imagination.”
A plethora of authoritative voices have expressed not just a belief in what the congressional committee concluded. Some have found evidence of an institutional conspiracy to protect a historical conspiracy by branding as a conspiracy theory any research that contradicts the official conspiracy that produced the Warren Commission’s findings. In such an ambiance, numerous “longtime researchers” and servile pundits have emerged to claim, as Bender affirms, that the case will never be “blown open.”
Bender uses some clever journalistic rhetoric to make this assertion. He begins by citing a category that cannot be defined: “longtime researchers.” This presumably includes any number of people who have written about the assassination, whatever their point of view. It sounds as if these may be serious professionals, but it could be anyone and anything. Next, Bender states that they “almost uniformly agree,” a meaningless assertion that relies on a distorted perception of numbers and degrees of assent.
Finally, the object of their presumed agreement is not their understanding of what actually happened on November 22, 1963, or which of the competing narratives is true. Instead, the object is simply their impression that whatever is finally released will fail to “blow the case open.”
Since that is the literal meaning of the sentence, Bender is probably telling the truth, though even that is just an impression he has. Most “longtime researchers” probably do believe, like Congress itself, that the assassination was the work of a conspiracy. But, if queried, they might also admit to their belief that the conspiracy has already destroyed any evidence that could blow the case open. There may still be some embarrassing but most likely inconclusive bits in the redacted archives. Don’t expect the proverbial smoking gun.
Ironically, the impression Bender sought to create at the beginning of last week was directly undermined by an article published at the end of the week by the Miami Herald. Nora Gámez Torres reports on the very credible testimony of the son of one of the actors in the apparently very real conspiracy engineered and executed by the CIA.
A Democratic pollster cited in the article, Fernand Amandi, called the testimony of Ricardo Morales Jr. a “bomb,” revealing unsuspected (or hidden) facts about Lee Harvey Oswald’s relationship with the CIA. The witness’s father, Ricardo Morales Sr., a Cuban exile, was a CIA agent and a professional hitman involved in events that led up to the assassination, including the training of Lee Harvey Oswald.
In 2016, the Miami Herald blew open the Jeffrey Epstein story at a time when no one in the national media showed more than a passing interest in the case. The benign neglect by officials and the media that began with the sweetheart deal Epstein received for his crimes that allowed Prince Andrew, Bill Gates and the Clintons to comfortably maintain their cordial relationship with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell even after the 2008 conviction.
True to form, since the end of last week, when the Herald broke the story, none of the national media has even mentioned it. Yahoo’s news aggregator simply republished the original. The UK’s Daily Mail, specialized in sensationalism, less beholden to “respectable” interests than some other media, wrote it up. But the story went without mention among all legacy news outlets.
The thesis of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy — that should not be called a conspiracy theory — has thus been given new life this past week, first by the Biden administration announcement that the archives would remain closed until further notice, then through the combined effect of the Miami Herald’s article followed by a studied lack of reaction from the national media, duplicating the pattern of the Jeffrey Epstein case.
In the years following the JFK assassination, high-profile journalist Dorothy Kilgallen (who interviewed Jack Ruby), various other people, including Lee Harvey Oswald and “Monkey” Morales, all just happened to expire before they could speak to the wrong people and make known to the public the troubling facts they were aware of. In his explanations to his son, Morales did not claim to know the truth about who killed Kennedy. He merely knew more than has been revealed about Oswald’s role in an event that the CIA was actively preparing.
Ricardo Morales’ testimony is just the latest bit of credible evidence, added to the very serious forensic evidence that the Warren Commission chose to ignore, pointing toward complicity in Kennedy’s assassination. Ever since the event, the media have allowed the justified idea of complicity to morph into the suspect accusation of “conspiracy,” a loaded concept.
A theory of conspiracy is not a conspiracy theory. The failure to distinguish between them has become a major component of the political hyperreality routinely promoted by the media. This is not the fabrication of a recondite cabal focused on manipulation but rather the result of an easily identifiable convergence of interests, mainly economic.
Those interests are nevertheless guided by the desire to deflect questions, wield power and control the narrative. It means that a complex bundle of assumptions and beliefs has become so omnipresent in the ambient culture that its purveyors, especially in the media, confuse its hyperreality with the reality they are supposed to be reporting on.
The conspiracy theories most commonly cited as lunatic — be it QAnon or 9/11 as an insider job — are purely speculative stories, intended to account for noticeable anomalies but backed up by no hard evidence. They seek to persuade rather than investigate. On the other hand, a “theory of conspiracy” is precisely what good police detectives devise when investigating a crime in which complicity is suspected.
Thanks to the intentional and tendentious semantic confusion created between complicity and conspiracy, reality (suspicion of complicity) is replaced by hyperreality (conspiracy hypotheses). That may be the authentic “great replacement” — not the conspiratorial replacement of a dominant race, as white supremacists insist, but of the reality by hyperreality.
The White House, the federal government and the national media need to keep the status of the JFK assassination ambiguous. After six decades, their credibility depends on it. Most Americans believe there was complicity, but if the records revealed proof of a decades-long cover-up managed by the nation’s entire political-media culture, people might lose all faith in that culture.
For many other reasons — only too apparent in the workings of Congress today and in electoral processes — large swaths of the population have already stopped believing in the integrity of the nation’s institutions. But the particular dishonor associated with the JFK assassination cover-up, if officially confirmed today, might prove to be the veritable fatal bullet, the one that wasn’t fired by Lee Harvey Oswald or the sniper on the grassy knoll. That explains why the Miami Herald will continue to be ignored by the national media.
*[In the age of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain, another American wit, the journalist Ambrose Bierce, produced a series of satirical definitions of commonly used terms, throwing light on their hidden meanings in real discourse. Bierce eventually collected and published them as a book, The Devil’s Dictionary, in 1911. We have shamelessly appropriated his title in the interest of continuing his wholesome pedagogical effort to enlighten generations of readers of the news. Read more of The Daily Devil’s Dictionary on Fair Observer.]
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