Sunday, July 7, 2013



Pulitzer-award winning historian David McCullough was recently profiled
on 60 Minutes, as he engaged   in an informative tour with Morley Safer.
The historian raptures us with his knowledge and enthusiasm for our founding  fathers .

McCullough is scheduled to be the main speaker at the Dealey Plaza 50th anniversary of John Kennedy’s death in Nov.

His charge will be to speak about JFK's life; and his rhetoric will contain all the right words.
McCullough will describe JFK's youth, charisma, and the brief shiny moment that has been labeled Camelot. Without being privy to McCullough's speech, it will likely emphasize JFK's
intellectual curiosity; his humor; and the glamour that prevailed in the
White House.

With his knowledge and love of the early tradition
of our country, McCullough is likely to retell the story of the Nobel
Prize winners' dinner at the White House, when JFK  said :" "I think this
is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge,
that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the
possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

McCullough will also likely talk about Camelot's Lady Guinevere ,  Jackie Kennedy,
and how she brought culture and refinement to the White House.

Finally, McCullough will praise the Dallas Mayor, the city, and its'
business/cultural establishment for  its’ progress in the last 50 years.

This commemoration will give a positive hue to Dallas, its’ political/business elite, and to JFK’s life. It will make for an uplifting media presentation.

To ensure that the occasion is not marred by actions or demonstrations by conspiracy adherents, the Dallas Mayor will control a limited number of passes for entrance to
Dealey Plaza.

The danger is that this Dealey Plaza commemoration can also allow us to lose site of the stark reality that  Dealey Plaza is a crime scene; the scene of  the  brutal murder of a young leader that remains an unsolved cold case; the location of multiple gunshots within 7 seconds that changed history.

McCullough will not likely remind us that   the 1960ies  Dallas was
the epicenter of very rabid, irrational ,and violent right-wing
groups and individuals. In fact, within this swamp of radical right-wing activity, the Dallas John Birch Society was a paragon of prudence; a model of moderation.

I would favor another speaker, Jeffrey Sachs, to also be included in the commemoration festivities.
Sachs has penned what could become one of the crown jewels in the JFK

In To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace ,  Sachs
elegantly  describes JFK's last year as President It was  a year that Kennedy
devoted to peace in a dangerous nuclear age. During 1963, JFK worked to achieve a limited test ban treaty; made a historical American University "peace" speech that called for us to
re-examine our hard-wired Cold War beliefs; and   continued a  personal
dialogue with Khrushchev.

By 1963, Kennedy and Khrushchev had exchanged over 200 personal letters.
These letters circumvented the Cold War bureaucracies; and helped to promote a
mutual understanding that nuclear war had to be avoided.

Kennedy also used Pope John 23rd and Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins as back-channel communication links to the Kremlin.

The October 1962 Cuban missile crisis provided an epiphany for JFK. He chose the blockade option, opposing the military and national security advisors’ support for a military attack. With Khrushchev having moved almost 200 battlefield nuclear warheads into Cuba, a full-fledged world nuclear war was very possible.

In the last year of his life, Kennedy joined Khrushchev in a step-by-step campaign for an end to nuclear testing; in stopping the stock piling of nukes on both sides; and in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to other nations. This peace journey was a huge threat to each country's steel-eaters,   the  military-industrial complexes.

As we take this 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder to discover the details of his peace journey during 1963, the historical question of whether he would have sent 500,000 ground troops to Vietnam is resolved.  It would not have happened if he had lived and served a second term.

If   Sachs were to speak in Dealey Plaza, his words would remind us
of the real reason JFK was murdered:  JFK's quest for nuclear sanity.
Khrushchev was also removed from power a year after Kennedy's assassination.
The steel-eaters, the hard-liners, were the winners in the struggle within both countries.

For those of us in the large community who believe JFK’s assassination was a conspiracy, the hope is that this year’s 50th anniversary will see serious progress on solving the cold case of JFK’s murder.

All classified files related to JFK’s murder, in all the federal bureaucracies, should be released to the public.
A special prosecutor should be appointed to gather all the evidence, subpoena living witnesses, and indict the assassination planners, and those who have covered-up the crime.

Opaqueness and secrecy are not democratic; democracy demands transparency and openness.     

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