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From: John Judge
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2002 02:38:23 -0500
Subject: My Reply to Dallas Observer piece
In your coverage of the annual regional meeting of the Coalition on Political Assassinations held in Dallas your writer focuses on "conspiracy theories". The Committee for an Open Archives and the other member groups of COPA played a major role in getting legislation passed in 1992 that has led to the release of over 6 million pages of classified government records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
COPA is a network of hundreds of medical and forensics experts, academicians and historians and independent researchers, some of whom have devoted a large part of their lives to the study of this assassination and those that followed in the 1960s.
Those murders changed current history and the course of events in ways that shape the world we live in today. It is evident from the released files that JFK balked at CIA and Pentagon plans for covert and overt wars abroad, including US military support for the ill-conceived Bay of Pigs invasion, nuclear war as a response to the Cuban missile crisis, and continuation of the US presence in Vietnam.
Kennedy did not wish a Pax Americana. Instead he called for an end to the Cold War and the nuclear arms race because "we are all mortal". He threatened to "scatter the CIA to the four winds", having already fired CIA Director Allen Dulles, who later sat on the flawed Warren Commission cover-up "investigation".
JFK angered anti-Castro Cubans by working to normalize relations with Castro near the end of his life. He threatened the oil depletion tax allowance, which gave billions in tax relief to oil producers, including many in Texas. JFK was also responding to popular movements against war and for civil rights.
Americans still refuse to believe that there was no conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, and those alive in the 1960s also know the sense of hope that was killed in Dallas in 1963 and with the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that followed in 1968.
The newly released records also bear out the research and accusations of many early critics in the JFK case, especially those of DA Jim Garrison in New Orleans, whose story is depicted accurately in Oliver Stone's film "JFK". Stone was pilloried in the press for having the gall to include documented historical facts in his film, unlike most Hollywood historical propaganda which is entirely fiction.
The files also show that the CIA maintained files on Lee Harvey Oswald from the late 1950s onward, and orchestrated a complicated "Oswald double" operation in Mexico City, just two weeks before the assassination, to falsely link the real Oswald to Castro.
Dr. Cyril Wecht, the former president of both COPA and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, will be hosting a debate next year, on the 40th anniversary between himself and the author of the single bullet thesis (a "coincidence theory"), Senator Arlen Spector.
Your writer bemoans the lack of high-profile celebrities and assassination memorabilia at our meeting. We don't. We are the serious end of the research community, searching for the historical truth of these murders. The basic outlines are now known, and the files continue to be released.
The fact that various historians focus on the roles of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the Mafia, or the anti-Castro Cubans in the assassination does not make them into confused and conflicting "theorists", unless all those who attempt to analyze history are "theorists". A combination of covert operations, disinformation, buried and destroyed records, and government obfuscation in the official investigations makes the case more complex, but not an endless mystery.
Even the House Select Committee on Assassinations study , though flawed, was forced to conclude that the Warren Commission had been manipulated and lied to by the intelligence agencies and pressured by LBJ to reach a pre-determined conclusion regardless of the real evidence they collected, and that there was a conspiracy in the deaths of both JFK and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. No emerging evidence since has disabused any serious researcher of these notions.
The recent civil suit brought by the King family in Memphis against a low-level co-conspirator led a legal jury to conclude that the conspiracy to kill the civil rights leader went to the highest level of the US government. There is clear unanimity about the conspiracy and the cover-up, and a general agreement about the role of US intelligence and military agencies in the crimes among those who study them thoroughly.
Even the discussion about the alteration of the Zapruder film at our meeting was in the context of debunking the notion. As always, Last Hurrah Books provided the best as well as the most current books and other research guides in the field for participants. We were well received by crowds on the Grassy Knoll at our annual Moment of Silence on November 22nd.
Your article was a cheap shot at serious researchers and authors who know much more about this case than the writer even tried to comprehend, but it was not as cheap a shot as the one that killed President Kennedy and the hope for social change that he represented. The rise in power after that murder of the "military-industrial-intelligence complex" that President Eisenhower warned of before Kennedy replaced him in the White House continued the permanent war economy, the expansion of covert assassinations and coups abroad and the US financing of foreign armies and wars (like the Taliban and Osama bin Laden as well as Saddam Hussein) to fight the continued Cold War, set the stage for the events of 9-11.
Few know what has been done in our name over the last 40 years, but knowing it explains a great deal. Knowing that Kennedy, his brother and Dr. King might have turned us in a better direction had they lived should give us both pause and the courage to solve their murders and to demand that what is being done in our name today be transparent and meet the standards of justice and international law that give us any hope for future peace.
I hope more Dallas community members join us next year for the 40th anniversary conference or in Memphis and Los Angeles for the 35th anniversary of the RFK and MLK murders, and contact us for information about the assassinations, the research, the best books, and upcoming events. Cynicism is cheap, but life and democracy are not. If they can kill the president with impunity, there is no real democracy. We want to solve the cases and reverse the sad history that followed November 22, 1963.
Coalition on Political Assassinations
See Chapter 15 The Final Cover-Up: How The CIA Controlled The House Select Committee on Assassinations of The Taking Of America, 1-2-3, by Richard E. Sprague, Third Edition, 1985. Mr. Sprague was an advisor to Representative Henry B. Gonzales (D-Texas) on House Resolution 203 which proposed the appointment of a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths of JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King and the attempt upon the life of Presidential Candidate George Wallace. He served as a consultant to Richard A. Sprague and G. Robert Blakey, the first and second General Counsels of the House Select Committee on Assassinations and served through the end of the Committee's existence. [--ratitor]