Running interference for assassins,
pooh-poohing communist networks
A few factoids about Tom Wicker, the late New York Times writer, who was in John F. Kennedy's press entourage when the president was slain in Dallas.
Wicker used his position to for decades argue against conspiracy in Kennedy's assassination. He also used his position to portray Joe McCarthy as a wack job who had produced very little. Just as Wicker ignored crucial data in the JFK murder that proves conspiracy and cover-up, so he also ignored almost all the damning material that McCarthy dredged up during his investigations, preferring to focus on purported missteps.
Wicker, in his book Shooting Star: the Brief Arc of Joe McCarthy (Harcourt 2006), wrote what is in effect a long column, short on information and long and skillful interpretation (or what is popularly known as "spin").
For example, Wicker avoids mentioning that a parade of witnesses went before McCarthy and invoked the Fifth Amendment on communism. A number of these people worked in government and media. It may be true that a witness's use of this right can't be used against him in a court of law, but that doesn't mean the startling number of such decisions wasn't valid information and something the public deserved to know. Would you, as a normal American, go before a government committee and refuse to answer questions about communism?
Wicker of course was sticking with the protocol that was agreed to by major media players after McCarthy's political demise: never again give currency to communism-in-government material, never again permit another McCarthy to shake up the country the way he had.
Some years ago, this reporter put together a longish report entitled something like "The New York Times and the communism controversy" which went through in some detail the Times' difficulties with this subject (and if you have a copy, please send it to krypto78 atttt gmail.com). Wicker was typical of a number of Times luminaries in damning McCarthy's exposes of communist influence in government and press and defending the Warren commission's "lone deranged gunman" theory of JFK's assassination.
Though the Kremlin accurately charged that JFK had been killed by U.S. "ruling circles," the Communist movement in America only slapped the Warren Commission with a wet noodle, as has also happened with respect to 9/11. And it is certainly true that Kennedy had humiliated the Soviets during the Cuban missile crisis. The Communists were known to exact "Communist revenge" against those who were too effective, pretty much along the lines of Mafia intimidation tactics.
A news report of the era pointed out that the Communist Party under Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had been pressured into near impotence with the requirement that all party officials register as agents of a foreign power. That requirement was lifted after RFK left Lyndon Johnson's administration. Johnson's top political adviser was Abe Fortas, a founder of the National Lawyers Guild, which on principle refuses to deny being communist.
A recent book by former Helter Skelter prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi quotes Wicker with approval. Bugliosi's thousand-page opus purports to document that all JFK conspiracy theories are nonsense. Bugliosi says he spent 20 year putting the evidence together for the book, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. 2007) and yet it reads like a very long defense brief put together by a committee of researchers.
It's certainly true that the Central Intelligence Agency was furious when told to release JFK files, a number of which point to conspiracy.
More to the point, the control clique in the Pentagon-Intelligence establishment has been unleashing propagandistic smokescreens in order to veil the facts about the events of 9/11. Bugliosi's book tends to defang those who argue that if Kennedy was slain in an "inside job" conspiracy, why would a 9/11 "inside job" conspiracy be such a ridiculous idea?
It's true that sometimes congressional committees play to the press and that some lawmakers are irresponsible (so what else is new?). However, even a casual reading of some of the old transcripts of the red-hunting committees shows a reasonable observer that there was indeed a severe problem of Communist subversion -- though it often happened that the most disturbing material was not the most newsworthy and that sometimes lawmakers engaged in reprehensible behavior.
The problem of subversion has not gone away, despite the major setback wrought by the collapse of the Soviet empire. Now that conservatives have control of the House, now might be a good time to empanel a new House Committee on Un-American Activities, even if under another name.
After all, the protocol of silence has weakened. Glenn Beck, for example, was able to air charges concerning A White House aide who had been a member of the Communist Party. In addition, internet media were able to focus on a Washington rally in which the organizers welcomed Communist Party participation.
Such a committee might well be a useful campaign weapon at this point, although the main idea would be to make sure Americans get an eyeful of what has been ignored by media that obey the silence-on-subversion protocol.
That doesn't mean -- thinking in particular of Muslims and Jews -- license to smear people based on their religious preference. Nor does it mean smearing someone, like Ron Paul, as leftist when he espouses a libertarian point of view. However, it would be beneficial if investigators were able to trace the Communist networks operating on borth sides of the "War on Terror."
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