Assassinating Reality


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It’s telling that a primary source for the fantastical article is Stephen King’s new novel 11/22/63. “As the time-traveling [Jake] Epping gets settled in that past, he describes an inferno of seething citizens, anti-Semitic graffiti on Jewish storefronts, and angry billboards demanding the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and equating racial integration with communism,” Rich summarizes of the current bestseller. “That last one, King’s protagonist observes, ‘had been paid for by something called The Tea Party Society.’” This final bit, Rich concedes, was artistic license. But the rest is realer than “Carrie.” Trust him.

A lively imagination is a hallmark of great fiction writers. In political prose, it’s the stuff of cranks and conspiracy theorists. Had a Bircher murdered the president, then this ensuing discussion of the role of right-wing rhetoric in motivating the killer would have been relevant. But the facts failed that narrative. Oswald’s previous attempt on the life of a prominent member of the John Birch Society, whose rhetoric was certainly of the extremist type that Rich contends inspired rather than infuriated Oswald, makes Rich’s contention, well, rich. The most resilient survivor of the Kennedy assassination is the narrative.

It not only lives on forty-eight years later, it has reincarnated as events have demanded. The rush to blame this year’s Tucson shooting spree on right-wing rhetoric backfired when Jared Lee Loughner’s classmates described him as a “political radical” and “quite liberal” and evidence of his insanity made his political proclivities moot. Nearly a decade earlier, when three-thousand people perished on 9/11, the extreme Left blamed the attacks not on the Islamic terrorists who claimed credit but the Republican president. In the wake of Jonestown, which witnessed the greatest loss of American civilian life prior to 9/11, observers initially blamed evangelical Christianity though it turned out the cult’s Communist leader had banned Bibles, willed his possessions to the Soviet Union, and practiced Marxism as a religion within the jungle commune.

These memes proved less enduring, and found fewer believers, than the one surrounding the Kennedy assassination. But they relied on the same template: imagine political enemies behind horrific events. The template tells us little of the events themselves but much about the political obsessions of those relying upon it. So strong is the faith of true believers that they discount inconvenient facts when they clash with the narrative. For the Frank Rich-segment of the population that relies on mindless, a priori assessments of events, the pull of a story that is comforting is greater than the pull of the story that is true.

Even as jealous a guardian of the Camelot legacy as Jacqueline Kennedy rejected the comforting revisionism of the Kennedy cultists. “Oh, God,” reacted the First Lady to the identity of her husband’s killer. “Some silly little Communist. He didn’t even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights.”

Don’t dare tell that to Frank Rich.

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  • Brujo Blanco

    Revisionist history is a serious flaw in modern America. Blaming the JFK assassination on anyone but Oswald defies logic. Oswald was a commie period. It seems there is this trend of blaming anything that goes wrong on the right. We need ro return ro the moral value of telling the truth.

    • mlcblog

      I don't think we are ever going to know the truth here. For one thing, the Warren Commission covered up and changed and ignored many facts.

  • http://RussP.us Russ P.

    I am a solid conservative. I have been reading Frontpage for over a decade, and I virtually always agree with the articles. I greatly admire David Horowitz. However, I am here to inform you that the lone-gunman theory is bunk, pure and simple. The evidence against it simply overwhelming. To say otherwise is to display simple ignorance of the event. See

    http://RussP.us/case.htm

    And check out the rest of my website if you don't believe I'm a conservative.

    • tarleton

      Russ …you're a fine example of right wing paranoia and conspiracy theorist …us fair minded , level headed conservatives are plagued by nutters like you ….OH DEAR !

      • http://RussP.us Russ P.

        You really don't have a clue, do you.

        For the record, the JFK assassination is so ancient now that it has no political significance, or at least it shouldn't. People like you refuse to open your eyes to the mountain of evidence of conspiracy for fear that it will burst your little bubble. Have it your way. If you wish to remain ignorant, that's your choice.

        • tarleton

          I have more than a clue about a dope like you

        • mlcblog

          Just ignore him. not worth the reply. tarelton is a punk.

    • tarleton

      the only conspiracy is in your cranium …..dazed and confused

      • http://RussP.us Russ P.

        At least I have something in my cranium besides air, which is more than you seem to have.

        • tarleton

          one flew over the cuckoo's nest ?

    • http://RussP.us Russ P.

      For anyone interested in the facts, here is a small excerpt from my article linked above:

      The third annual ASK conference, a major conference on the JFK assassination, was held near Dealey Plaza in Dallas from November 18-21, 1993. Dr. David Mantik, M.D., Ph.D. (physics) of the Peter A. Lake, M.D., Center in Rancho Mirage, California, proved conclusively by optical densitometry analysis that the JFK autopsy X-rays at the National Archives are phony composites. He also showed that a bullet could not have possibly traversed Kennedy's neck, as the Warren Commission said it did, without also causing major damage to the cervical spine, which it did not. Mantik also found a clear trace of fragments from a second bullet to the brain. As if that weren't enough, he also found an obvious metal object in the skull X-ray that matched the 6.5 mm bullet Oswald supposedly used, but which the autopsy pathologists swore under oath to be unaware of. Mantik's five and seven year old children had no trouble finding the bullet fragment, yet three pathologists supposedly didn't notice it in the X-rays! It was obviously added later to the X-ray in a pathetic attempt to frame Oswald. Mantik's results, along with many other remarkable revelations, are presented in

      • tarleton

        It's not facts ….you halfwit …it's right wing paranoia …the conspiracy is in your deluded mind …what's next ? 9/11 was an inside job

        • http://RussP.us Russ P.

          So what you're saying is, "My mind is made, so don't confuse me with facts."

      • mlcblog

        I was an adult at the time. I think you were, too, and this gives us more credibility than those who have simply read about it.

    • mlcblog

      Your site looks perfect. So many of the obvious issues mentioned there. I can hardly wait to review it, if only for personal satisfaction that someone agrees with me.

  • DogWithoutSlippers

    Tarleton……you are dazed and confused! There are so many angles on the assassination that for you to think that only Oswald was culpable shows how ignorant of the facts you really are. There is no sense relating all of this to people like you as you minds are closed and unable to even speculate on the truth.

    • http://RussP.us Russ P.

      These lone-nut theorists are amazing, aren't they? Most of them simply assert that Oswald was the lone gunman as if it were a matter of religious faith or something, never utterring a single fact about the case. Then they slime anyone who actually knows something about the case and disagrees by calling them juvenile names. This mindset is actually a bit frightening if you think about it.

      • DogWithoutSlippers

        Their mentality is Obama-ish. One track and myopic!

        • tarleton

          conspiracy theories are the sophistication of the ignorant 2 +2== 22

      • epaddon

        Russ, what planet are you living on? It's defenders of the truth about the assassination, namely that Oswald did it and acted alone, who are subject to perpetual sliming from those who want to believe in conspiracy as an article of religious faith. I myself, as a staunch defender of this have found myself called a "CIA disinformation specialist" because I have written articles shredding some of the many bizarre elements of Conspiracy kookdom.

        Kindly explain to us just how the assassination unfolded. It has always amused me how conspiracy buffs spend 100% of their time nitpicking things and asking questions and NEVER providing a coherent rational explanation of how things unfolded. Don't insult my intelligence about such absurdities as the six assassins spread out in different locations, or the idea of the body being altered before the autopsy, or the Secret Service agent in the follow-up car accidentally discharging his gun and causing the head shot. If that's where you come from, your credibility on this point rates a big zero.

      • akbass

        Sorry, but when your responses to your detractors are every bit as juvenile, you have no credibility.

  • http://damodaran17numerology.wordpress.com MK DAMODARAN

    It was on November 22,that John F kennedy was assassinated.
    At that time he was the 35th US president
    JFK was born on May 29,1917.
    His occult number was 53.
    See,he was 35th US President.
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th US President(1+6=7).
    His occult number was 43(4+3=7).
    Now let us consider a recent incident.
    A report says:
    "Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, a 21-year-old man from Idaho, was arrested Wednesday after he was suspected for firing a shot from a semiautomatic rifle at the White House on Friday evening".
    Was it a bad omen for Obama?
    See,Kennedy was assassinated in November.
    Also,see the Significance of the names of Kennedy assassin and the youth who shot at the white house.

    Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald.
    Another notable significance is:The name number of Barack obama is 26(2+6=8).
    He is the 44th US President(4+4=8).
    Does it mean that Obama requires more safety?
    Quite surely!

  • BIG IRISH

    shouldnt it be clear now that LHO went to Russia as an undercover agent of the ONI…he played commie to infiltrate many commie groups in Dallas and New Orleans…he had many contacts in the FBI and CIA…he never fired a single shot at JFK in Dallas…now the real NUTS are in Barrys administration.

    • tarleton

      big irish redneck by the sound of it …you folks had never walked upright until the english gave you wheelbarrows

      • Roco

        Nothing like some good old Protestant racism to really let everyone know where you stand, eh, tarleton?

  • tagalog

    The attempt to pin the assassination of JFK on the right began right after November 22, 1963. The Dallas-as-a-haven-of-John-Birch-Society-JFK-haters started right away, but after Lee Harvey Oswald's activities became known, the Leftist hate didn't stick, although it got some play for a while and continues to surface from time to time. Remember, this period was the heyday, the apogee, of liberal culture; it was the day of the novels Fail-Safe, The Best Man, Advise and Consent, and of movies like Dr. Strangelove and the Manchurian Candidate. Camelot. The South was the redneck racist backwoods of America, where lynchings and church burnings occurred daily, and Texas and Mississippi were its dark center. Lee Harvey Oswald's Soviet Communism is a matter of record, and his devotion to the USSR (which he resisted leaving) is common knowledge – his defection to the USSR (the article notes how odd an event THAT was), his marriage to a Soviet, his joining the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a militant anti-Kennedy group, and being an activist in it right up to when he took his Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and headed for the Book Depostory, are all well-known facts.

    The left will NEVER succeed in pinning the assassination of JFK on the right. The facts are too widespread.

    • Questions

      And you think the Mafia and the CIA had nothing to do with it all, right?

      This devil theory of history — all evil is traceable to the Left — misses the point. Yes, Oswald was a Commie, but the powerful people who wanted him dead generally weren't. They were CIA operatives, Mafia bosses and certain businessmen. Eighty percent of all Americans, in polls going back decades, believe the single-gunman theory is baloney. Are they all "Leftists?"

      • tagalog

        Yeah, but the powerful people who, it is claimed, wanted him dead, didn't kill him. Lee Harvey Oswald, the Communist, did, because of Kennedy's policy toward Cuba.

        Right, the CIA and the Mafia had nothing to do with it. That's correct.

        It's all well and good to blame the Bolsheviks for murdering people, but they had nothing to do with the genocide of the Armenians.

    • mlcblog

      Well said.

  • StephenD

    Mr. Flynn, I'm sorry but I tend to picture Frank Rich sitting there after posting his piece…LAUGHING. How could anyone take seriously what he wrote? He actually uses a Stephen King fiction to promote his theory. LOL
    If he wasn't kidding when he wrote this he ought never be allowed to submit again. But then again, we're talking about The New York Times Magazine.

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    !NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE PROVIDENTIAL DEATH OF JOHN F. KENNEDY

    Click my name to read one of the most unusual articles ever written on the assassination of JFK.

  • PAthena

    I have read that Kruschev said (in his Memoirs?) that the assassination of JFK by Lee Harvey Oswald was a KGB operation.

    • mlcblog

      Interesting.

      I heard that Kruschev defected to our side and that is why he suddenly disappeared and there was a new Russian president.

      • tagalog

        Krushchev was forcibly retired for a variety of missteps, among which was the Cuban Missile Crisis. He lived for the rest of his life in Moscow and died of natural causes (heart attack).. He never defected. Trotsky's example taught him what happens to high-level Soviets who left.

        • mlcblog

          You sound like an authority on this. My information is from people who were in the Soviet Union and Israel at that time and it is that Kruschev converted to Christianity and that is why he suddenly disappeared from the forefront in Russia.
          I tend to believe this firsthand account from credible people.

          We won't see this in the newspapers ever!

          • tagalog

            Khrushchev disappeared from prominence because he was driven from power by Brezhnev and his cronies. Krushchev was lucky not to wind up in a gulag or assassinated. They let him live, in Moscow.

            His later life, lived in disgrace and obscurity, was lived in a low-key manner because the Cuban Missile Crisis was seen by Soviets as a display of Soviet empty bluff, also Khrushchev began to seek some accommodation with the West, and also Khrushchev caused greater and greater alienation between the USSR and Red China. When he was ousted for these things, he was first granted a house and a dacha in Moscow, later they were taken away and he was given an apartment. When Khrushchev died, no Soviet leaders attended his funeral, and he is the only Soviet leader not to be buried within the walls of the Kremlin. Khrushchev submitted to these humiliations because first it was in his nature to submit to humiliation (he learned well under Stalin), and second because it was that or the gulag/getting shot. Khrushchev is buried in a cemetery in Moscow.

            During this time, Khrushchev's son was asked how his father was doing in his life out of power, and his son said Khrushchev spent his days crying.

            It's highly doubtful that a man who had lived all of his life as a militant atheist Soviet Communist would suddenly convert to Christianity, but I suppose it's arguably possible. After all, Solzhenitsyn did it, but of course he wasn't a powerful political figure in the inner circle of the Stalinist regime, he became a Christian much earlier in life, and he had strong spiritual forces working within him, unlike Krushchev, who would probably say "Huh?" if you had asked him how he felt about anything.

          • mlcblog

            He was suddenly removed when he started witnessing aloud to anyone who would listen about Jesus Christ and Him crucified. These are the little known facts.

            As far as doubtful, lifelong communist, etc., this is a spiritual understanding, having far more to do with the heart than with logic.

            As for the tears, these may have been tears connected with worship and the presence of God by his Holy Spirit. I have observed families be distraught over the tears of a praying person when that person is actually having tears of joy and belief not comprehended by the observers.

    • tagalog

      Believing the statements of a guy who expected to wind up dead or in a gulag imminently, who was instrumental in starving 8 million Ukranians to death, who was the local commissar for Stalingrad, where it was common practice for the commissars to man machine guns in the rear of a Red Army assault to shoot those who faltered (because there weren't enough rifles for everyone, so you just attacked unarmed until somebody got shot and you could take his rifle), that's highly recommended. Krushchev lied so much he couldn't remember when he was lying and when he was telling the truth. In 1995, the KGB's files became temporarily open to scholars from the West, but no one ever winkled any documentation to validate Krushchev's absurd claim out of those files.

      And why would Krushchev say that? It's not because of his reputation for telling the truth, or his reputation as a crusader for historical accuracy. He had no expectation of help from the West in his predicament as an ousted Soviet leader. There was no percentage in it. I'd like to see the exact words in his memoirs; I doubt if he said anything like what is claimed. On the other hand, Krushchev was known as a blithering idiot who rose to power because he was particularly good at being a lickspittle for Stalin. Stalin didn't let Krushchev keep on living because Krushchev was such a smart guy.

  • keith

    For anyone who wants to read the DEFINATIVE refutation of all the main conspiracy theories out there, please read Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi. He was the prosecutior of Charles Manson, and he spent 20+ years researching every angle of the assassination. His conclusion? There is NO evidence that anyone other than LHO murdered Kennedy, and there is NO evidence that he was working with anyone else. Please read. He take all of the main conspiracy theories apart, piece by piece by piece.

    • bpete1969

      Hate to burst Mr. Bugliosi's bubble but E. Howard Hunt of Watergate fame admitted his involvement to his son before he died. He stated it was a CIA operation and Nixon, Bush Sr. and LBJ all signed off on the plan.

      • tagalog

        Why, if E. Howard Hunt said it was so, then by golly it must have been so. There was nobody who spoke with a straighter tongue than E. Howard Hunt. And of course he had no motive to make things up as he faced a stretch of prison time.

        I doubt if Nixon and LBJ could have tolerated occupying the same room much less signing off on a murder contract. And of course it makes perfect sense that two canny politicians like LBJ and Nixon (not to mention Bush Sr.) would sign their names to a document that would incriminate them in the assassination of a head of state.

        Right.

        • bpete1969

          @tagalong…."signed off on the plan" is an expression. I didn't think you would actually think I meant signed a written contact(rolls eyes). To clarify, E. Howard Hunt had already done his time. He pulled 33 months for his part in Watergate. His remarks were covered in a Rolling Stone article in I believe 2007. It was confirmed by a witness that the meeting took place where "the Bigs" all agreed to carry out the plan…but instead of trying to argue with someone that apparently knows very little about the situation here's a link on a story posted today.. .http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/11/21/jfk-what-we-know-now-that-we-didnt-know-then/

          • bpete1969

            JFK pissed off a lot of people on both sides of the political spectrum. They took out the guy that was going to disband the CIA and get us out of Vietnam. The culture crap you refer to had nothing to do with it.

          • tagalog

            JFK was killed by an off-kilter lone Communist assassin who took advantage of a time and set of circumstances where he could get close enough to get a couple of shots off at too close a range. A meeting of "the Bigs," right, of course I should accept that at face value, especially when the story comes out something like 46 years after the alleged fact, and keeping a thing like that secret in our political arena is an impossibility.

            Yeah, I'm in the wrong for taking you at your word. I won't make that mistake again, assuming I see any of your posts and read them.

          • bpete1969

            I never asked you to take me at my word. You can take the words Barr McClellan, Mark Lane, David Lifton and others. Oswald didn't have the ability or the opportunity to do it…oh wait I forgot…he had "magic bullets"

    • mlcblog

      VB made a nice try but it was not complete nor convincing.

  • Jedediah

    Read Gerald Posner's 1993 book "Case Closed". It's a masterful demolition of all of the crackpot conspiracy theories and demonstrates once and for all that Oswald was the lone gunman that day. Rich is just another fellow traveling Marxist sympathizer.

  • brighteyes

    Bugliosi's book was definitive. the Howard Hunt "confession" that his crackhead son heard is laughable. It's up there with Bill Cooper's claim that he was about to reveal the secret treaty with the aliens. The Johnson at the party with Hoover the night before is a joke. (Hoover left work at 6 the night before in Washington and showed up at work at 9 the next morning) The woman who delivered that one claimed to be Johnson's mistress but could never provide even a picture of the two of them together and was convicted of forging a will not long after this one. the conspiracy thing will never die but it's driven more by psychological needs of people than facts which is why they so desperately run from ludicrous theory to ludicrous theory.

  • bpete1969

    "the conspiracy thing will never die but it's driven more by psychological needs of people than facts which is why they so desperately run from ludicrous theory to ludicrous theory"

    Fact: JFK was hit 3 or 4 times from different directions (1 throat shot, 1 back shot, 1 or 2 to the head
    Fact: Connally was hit once ( back shot through to his wrist through to his thigh)
    Fact: the limo was damaged by two separate shots, 1 to the windshield and 1 to a piece of chrome trim
    Fact: A bystander (James Teague) was wounded by a ricochet off the curb
    Fact: a projectile was found in the grass on the same side of Elm near where the bystander was hit
    Total:allowing for the windshield shot to be the one that hit JFK in the throat…7 shots or 8 shots
    Fact: 3 spent casings on the 6th floor
    Supporting Oswald as a lone gunman is ludicrous.

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