Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Things People Will Believe

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination, a new poll finds 61% of Americans still believe that the President's death was part of a conspiracy.  Kennedy conspiracy believers aren't quite as nutty as those who think NASA faked the moon landings or those who believe that the 9/11 attacks were actually coordinated by the Bush Administration in an attempt to start a war against Afghanistan and Iraq--but they still need to work on getting a life.

I think a lot of this "Who Really Killed Kennedy" stuff would have gone away by now if it hadn't been for Oliver Stone and his movie JFK back in the 1990's.  There are people who honestly believe that Stone's film was a documentary--rather than a fictionalized version of a New Orleans District Attorney who believed that he had somehow stumbled upon solving the "Crime of the Century".

In case you had forgotten the plot lines, in 2 & 1/2 hours, Stone lays out his "case" that Kennedy was actually killed as part of a vast conspiracy involving the FBI, the CIA, the Mob, Fidel Castro and the Communists and the Industrial Military Complex--ostensibly to prevent him from invading Cuba, ending the war in Vietnam before it even started and increasing civil rights for Blacks. (I'm suprised--given Stone's political leanings--that he didn't find a way to include the Republican Party in the grand scheme as well.)

Think about that for a minute.  Think of the hundreds if not thousands of people supposedly involved in the "conspiracy to kill the President"--and not a single one of them goes to any form of law enforcement or the media to spill the beans?  None of them leaves a trail of phone calls, letters, telegrams or checks?  And who managed to coordinate all of these agencies--most of whom actually worked against each other, but apparently managed to find "common ground" in wanting the President dead.

Conspiracy theorist have it much easier than law enforcement and historians do.  Theorists can just throw out whatever thought they have and they don't have to back it up with credible, concrete evidence.  Investigators don't have that luxury--they need to present indisputable facts.  That's why Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCollough aren't writing books on "Who Killed the Kennedys?"  And it's why JFK was directed by Oliver Stone and not Ken Burns.

But if you still want to hang onto your theories and conspiracies, that's fine.  I know a guy who knows a guy who heard about a woman whose son has some props from the Moon Landing studio that might want to buy as well.

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