JFK - LINGERING SHADOWS
by Michael Hammerschlag
50 years ago the world changed in a flash. Most are too young to know that day except as history, but I remember being let out of school early and the hot, uncontrolled, shattered sobs of my mother, whom I never saw crying before or since. The evidence for conspiracy is compelling: faked Life cover photo of Oswald and rifle with shadows falling in different directions, people pointing and running up the grassy knoll, photos of a rifle barrel and puffs of smoke there, a policeman challenging secret service agents that didn’t exist in the grassy knoll, a bullet that supposedly passed through a neck, chest, and shattered a wrist to emerge undamaged, the immediate murder of Oswald (and his Soviet defection and Cuban connections), Ruby’s Mafia employers, lost and altered evidence, additional audio gunshots, delayed botched autopsy, Oswald’s intelligence connections, House Committee on Assassinations findings, and lastly that sickening terrible backward snap of the head, so obviously being hit from the front.
That there was a conspiracy seems obvious (over 90% of the country believed so, with the latest orthodox revisionists- that belief has dropped to 59% vs 24% who still believe the official version), yet magazines still run the same hackneyed “historical” pictures, wishing as we would wish that it could be that simple. Who actually was responsible: the Mafia, disgruntled Cuban refugees, the Soviet Union, a vengeful Castro, right-wing millionaire oilmen (Executive Action movie), power mad Lyndon; may forever remain a mystery; once I chose to hope that a deathbed confession by some tormented party would eventually bring the truth to light. The conspiracy theories defeat themselves, multiplying like mutant strains till the truth itself is only another aberration, another chip in a pile of chips. Indeed, the very subject of conspiracy still causes a virulent reaction because it challenges the basic order of things; the simple truths that are the foundations of our reality.
But if the Soviets could try to kill a Pope, couldn’t they try
to kill a president who had humiliated them in
It was the crime of the century yet the killers still run free. They shattered our security and stole our future and unleashed an epidemic of assassination; and they should be hunted to the ends of the earth.
I was first exposed to the 2nd gunners in a 4 hour 1970
presentation by Mark Lane (an early conspiracy author/filmmaker) - a staggering
display of photographs, films, facts, and hypotheses. It was an overwhelming and
irrefutable demonstration: at its end the audience totally believed in a
conspiracy, then a person asked, “What about Bobby”?
Told that RFK was actually shot by a security guard
standing behind him while witnesses stared at Sirhan,
the college audience bridled, reacting with outrage. This was too much; these
people were crazy- obsessed with plots. In 1983 LA Coroner Noguchi said
on TV that powder burns proved RFK had been shot from
Inaccurate witnesses? Maybe, but if they got away with it once, couldn’t they do it again?
The ’93 book by Sam Giancana’s son and
brother: Double Cross, seemed to be pretty definitive-
the Mafia did it. Giancana was blown away by a
plethora of bullets around his mouth the day before he was to testify to the
House Committee on Assassinations. Oliver Stone’s monumental movie
JFK was a brilliant period display of the timeline and contradictions in
the official story, but he threw in a hokey plot by industrialists who wanted
JFK’s legacy has often been denigrated, but he saved the world in the
Cuban Missile Crisis, when
I interviewed a man named Rush Harp* near New
We spoke for 4 hours and I promised to call and visit him again, but
I didn’t. I told myself it was because he had destroyed his credibility, because
the Kopechne and
\There was something hideous about the juxtaposition of this amiable
man and the nightmare stories he peddled; a victim permanently pushed through
the looking glass into an alternate reality of infinite menace. The truth was, I
was no less susceptible to paranoia, and to a fear of having my visions of sunny
Michael Hammerschlag has written
commentaries + articles for Seattle Times, Providence Journal, Honolulu
Advertiser, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Channel, & Moscow News,
Tribune, and Guardian. He was a correspondent in
ROBERT McNAMARA (real aud)- (mp3) Brown U symposium on Cuban Missile Crisis- Watson Institute 10/23/2002- Recent stunning revelation was that Soviets had 162 nuclear bombs on Cuba during the whole dustup- we came a hair from the death of hundreds of millions- 2:15 minutes; Brown unearthed this bombshell in ’89 at the first of their missile crisis conferences, where they rounded up all the actors from both sides
*Harp died the next year, supposedly under mysterious circumstances, which I just
found out about now.