Thursday, November 21

The Kennedy Myth Remains ... J. D. Longstreet

The Kennedy Myth Remains
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


I was not, and am not, a fan of President John F. Kennedy.  I know that is considered sacrilege  today, especially on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.  But there it is.

Like most everyone who lived through those horrible days it is burned into my memory.  And yes, I do know exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing the moment the TV news broke into their regular programming with the news bulletin that Kennedy had been shot.

Back in the "good ole days" we still had "news bulletins."  When a regularly scheduled program was interrupted for a news bulletin, everyone stopped and paid attention.  It was important.  Unlike today when we have twenty-four hour news coverage, a news bulletin was an effective way of disseminating important information instantly and to the maximum number of people possible.

"The somber mood across the nation during the weekend following Kennedy's death was evident on the broadcast airwaves. By 3 p.m. (EST) on November 22, nearly every television station canceled their commercial schedules to stay with around-the-clock news coverage provided by the three U.S. television networks in 1963: ABC, CBS, and NBC. From 3 p.m. that day until November 26, all network entertainment and commercial programming ceased on U.S. television, and as such, this coverage was one of the earliest examples of what modern television viewers commonly know as a breaking news event." 

The TV set I happened to be standing in front of at the moment the story broke was tuned to CBS.  Somehow Walter Cronkite became the lead anchor on that story for a shocked nation.  Still today when I think back to that day, and the days that followed, I remember "Uncle Walter," the most trusted man in America, relating the news of the event as it happened.

If you'd like to see what I saw on that day 50 years ago, go to:

 Fifty years later, I am not convinced that we, the American people have been told the complete truth about the killing of Kennedy.  Let me hastily add that I have no clue what the truth is.  But the explanation that Oswald was the only person responsible for JFK's murder has never seemed enough.

It is not commonly known these days, but Kennedy was NOT a popular president -- especially in the southern states.  In fact, Kennedy had been warned NOT to go to Dallas, Texas that day.  The national atmosphere was heavy with danger for the young president -- yet he went and, as it turned out, went to his death.
One would think JFK was seen as something akin to a god back in 1963.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Consider this from a paper entitled "Who Killed JFK?" by Carl Oglesby, published by the Odonian Press in 1992.  "Although he has become a legend, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was hardly the most popular president in history when he was gunned down in November, 1963. In the previous six months alone, the Secret Service had reviewed over 400 threats to his life. Three of these were serious enough to entail changes in his security routine.

He was loathed by anti-Castro exiles, other rightwingers, the Mafia and even some of his own government agencies. In attempting to figure out who murdered him, it is important to understand who hated him, and why." 

There is STILL much we do not know about JFK's murder.  Many files have been sealed until 2017 (50 years after the assassination.).  One must wonder, with the political atmosphere in the US even more toxic today than it was in 1963, if, in fact, those files will be actually be unsealed -- or -- sealed for another 50 years.

Take a few minutes and read "Who Killed JFK?" by Carl Oglesby, published by the Odonian Press in 1992.  You will have a better understanding as to why so many of my generation still hold to the numerous conspiracy theories surrounding that fateful day in Dallas fifty years ago today.

J. D. Longstreet

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