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Horse Facts And Information | For Sake Of Nation: The Kennedy Murder

Posted By: JR

In New England four more women were officially added to the list of The Boston Strangler’s victims. Also in Boston that year Julia Child, “The French Chef” (as in French cuisine), was introduced to the nation on NET (National Educational Television), the precursor to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Boxing Champion Sonny Listen and challenger Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) agreed to face eachother in a match for the heavyweight title in Miami the following year. There were reports that the young boxing phenom had occasionally been seen in the company of Malcolm X. James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time” was published, as was Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique,” widely cited as igniting the modern Feminist Movement. Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar,” was also printed, posthumously (under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas), as she had died by her own hand in London earlier that year. On the same day of her farewell, Thomas Edison’s birthday, inventor of the phonograph, and same city, the Beatles recorded their maiden album. And with a little help from their friend George Harrison, the Rolling Stones signed their first record contract that year. While in the “motor city” of Detroit, prodigy “Little” Stevie Wonder cut his premier single, accompanied by Marvin Gaye on drums. Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” won the Grammy for Record of the Year. The first reputed discotheque opened in Los Angeles, “Whisky A Go-Go.” On television “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Bonanza” were in a virtual tie for the #1 program in the US, with “The Dick Van Dyke Show” pulling in third. Several people noted the vaguely similar look of actress Mary Tyler Moore to Jacqueline Kennedy. TV series starring “identical twin cousins,” a collie with an IQ higher than its human co-stars, and a talking horse were also, inexplicably, popular that year.

The notorious Alcatraz prison was closed, and the United States Supreme Court banned the oath of prayer and Bible reading in public schools. Quasars were discovered, Valium was invented, nuclear reactors went commercial for the first time, and nuclear submarine USS Thresher sank into the Atlantic. “Touch Tone” phones were introduced, along with zip codes, tape cassettes, lava lamps, Cap’n Crunch cereal, and pull tabs for canned drinks – which only bodybuilders, at times it felt, had the strength to wrench the darn things off.

A coal mine explosion killed nearly 500 people in Japan, and injured almost 900 more. George Wallace became Governor of Alabama, where soon after Civil Rights protesters, including some children, would be attacked with dogs, tear gas, sticks, rocks, police and mob beatings, and tax paid fire fighters using water hoses with pressure capable of tearing flesh from bodies and breaking bones. In this same place four adolescent girls were blown to bits while at Sunday church in that southern state, and numerous others would sustain horrendous lifelong injuries from a dynamite bomb. Zambia became a country, and Kenya became independent, with Jomo Kenyatta as its first Prime Minister.

William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) DuBois died in Ghana. New Englander Robert Lee Frost, who was actually from California, passed away, only two years after being a special guest at JFK’s inauguration. Aldous Huxley, author of the iconic futuristic novel “Brave New World,” also went to the ages. Edith Piaf, C.S. Lewis, Dinah Washington, Patsy Cline, Ernie Davis, Pope John XXIII, and Estes Kefauver likewise died this year. As would Medgar Evers, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald. Toddler Barack Obama turned two, and sixteen year old William Clinton shook his idol’s hand at The White House. Miss America Vanessa Williams was born, along with baseballer Mark McGwire, basketballer Michael Jordan, and songstress Whitney Houston. In 1963 a little more than 3 billion people existed on planet Earth. And in the Southwest President John Kennedy made a political tour, three weeks after the murders of President Diem and his brother Nhu in South Vietnam. 1963 was an interesting year.

Deep in the heart of Texas the intoxicating scent of turkey feasts drifted across the cityscape of Dallas in anticipation of that uniquely American spiritual observance of Thanksgiving, one week away, with the festive holiday of Christmas right around the corner. Store windows were already serenading the masses with tinsel and twinkle lights, and ads promising Happy Nol memories at ten percent off. It had rained. And the skies were overcast. But it hadn’t discouraged thousands of residents from lining the streets in expectation of the President’s visit, in spite of that community’s deeply conservative sentiments. Many were eager to see the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, whom they knew was accompanying JFK during his visit. She rarely attended such political events with her husband, making this presidential tour a particularly special treat.

Early morning showers ultimately part for the welcomed warmth of the Sun. The welcome warmth of “Big D” has also been shown in abundance throughout JFK’s visit, to the genuine appreciation of the Kennedys. Anxieties and warnings by some that Dallas could prove a difficult experience for the moderately progressive politician now seemed unnecessarily dire. Everyone immediately recognizes the glamorous First Couple as their navy blue Ford Continental luxury limousine finally reaches Dealey Plaza, located in the city’s historic center, some forty minutes into the parade and behind schedule after starting on its nearly eleven miles journey from Love Field to the Dallas Business and Trade Mart. A typical itinerary for visiting dignitaries. A lucky few residents have even received a personal greeting from the visiting pair at the airport and along the way.

The rumble and hum of motorcycle engines precede the lead car carrying various Dallas officials, including Kennedy’s military aide, who would commonly be seated in the President’s automobile. The heavy limousine winds slowly onto Houston Street. Women are especially envious of the lovely Jackie in her stylish pink and blue Chanel designer suit, with matching pillbox hat. The glittering political family are as striking in person as on TV, beaming all the while to their gradually thinning admirers. Few notice the first family of Texas are also in attendance, Governor John Connelly and Mrs. Nellie Connelly, sitting directly in front of Jack and Jackie, as the line of cars mosey by. Numerous people wave at, take photographs or home movies of, applaud approval to, or simply watch, not really knowing just how one was expected to greet a president.

Over local radio citizens travel along with the motorcade as the announcer paints the scene with words. “The President’s car is now turning onto Elm Street, and it will be only a matter of minutes before he arrives at the Trade Mart. . . .” The parade of cars make a sharp left, as John Kennedy leans over to say something to his wife, then looks back to his right to wave when a loud pop cracks the relative quiet, startling several bystanders. A few in the plaza think it’s poor taste for some idiot to be lighting firecrackers. It just makes all of Dallas look bad.

This is largely how those in Dealey Plaza experienced what would quickly become realized as one of the most significant events in American history. For years to come this date would be as memorable as July 4th, Independence Day. And Dallas would, for a time, be the most hated city in the world for many Americans. The debate, such as it is, about John F. Kennedy’s murder continues. . . .

Should we care still about this nearly ancient crime today? Hasn’t the motive for the assassination long ago receded into the horizon of history, and irrelevancy? Is there really any constructive reason to continue this seemingly quixotic quest to finally know the truth behind this man’s callus murder? That is, if there’s really any “truth” to know? Had Senator John F. Kennedy and not President John F. Kennedy died in the same manner, on that same day, at this same place, by those same hands only his family and close friends would have genuinely cared about his passing. Perhaps cold to say, but true nevertheless.

For a few this has been nothing but a morbid pastime of trivial pursuit: “Where were you when you first heard Kennedy was shot?” As if the answer has ever been worth hearing. And then there’s the herd who seem oddly fascinated by the purported paradoxes of John Kennedy’s and Abraham Lincoln’s deaths. Mesmerized by some imagined cosmic connection developed through a collection of hodgepodge minutia. Is there not a point where one should say at long last let the man rest in peace, and for all others to simply get on with whatever life we have left to enjoy? For those who sincerely believe Lee Harvey Oswald is guilty of this crime, and guilty alone, then the answer quite certainly is yes, it’s well past time to move on.

To them the people engaged in their endless list of suspects, and their unremitting enigmas of Camelot are pointless. And ghoulish. Others not seriously interested in the matter have found tasteless, inappropriate humor in this homicide. But what can you do? Elsewhere the tendency by many amateur sleuths has been to take a defensive posture in protecting their precious “solutions” to this murder mystery, no matter how silly many of their theories most certainly are. As though the truth in this crime is less important than saving face for the expounders of conspiracy. That “facts” were simply a matter of one’s own opinion. Many of these people’s claims of camarillas are so far out there that at times it’s difficult not to wonder if at least some are not indeed dishonest individuals intentionally injecting blatant nonsense into the mix simply to then inclusively taint those whose earnest view is that the Oswald angle is crooked, in order to then indict all who disbelieve the official conclusion in one grand stroke, yet again, with the mainstream spokespersons’ vapid curse “conspiracy theorists.” Allowing then for the periodic no-names from nowhere an opportunity to emerge in defense of the government’s conclusion on the matter, and receive the red carpet treatment from the Fourth Estate, to give their labyrinthine tomes mass exposure. Or these days to world premiere their extravagant computer animations, made clearly on a budget and scale well beyond the known abilities and resources of these “authors,” and anoint their version as the “truth,” for those ignorant of the relevant details on this crime.

Still, among the people who sincerely sense this case as unresolved, their response has periodically been to remind us: A murderer allowed to go free will kill again. To them Kennedy was simply the most notable but still unfortunate casualty of what was then the latest threat in a seemingly forever series of threats to the nation’s security: The Cold War. His death came at a period when the country was in a state of profound transition. Of genuinely positive and far reaching possibilities. Not to say those years were filled with languid moments of halcyon bliss. They weren’t, despite what old people may tell you. The capacity for monstrous depravity or sublime decency existed as much then as now. Yet many then actively did more than merely complain about the wrongs of the world by making what contributions they could to ameliorate such conditions. Primarily because of a number of encouraging voices inspiring them forward. Kennedy’s was among those voices.

After a world war of unimaginable obscenity, closely followed by nearly fifteen fear-mongering years of “duck and cover,” JFK’s presence intimated the threat of mass nuclear death worldwide wasn’t necessarily the future. And though his legislative position on civil rights was anemic, his rhetoric suggested he was with us in spirit. His upbeat attitude, his self-deprecating humor, his style, his youth, his vigor, made the bitter pill of constant diligence go down a little sweeter. Contrary to so many past and succeeding presidents who seemed to encourage humanity’s basest instincts this President, John Kennedy, invigorated, as Lincoln might have said, “our better angels.” Though he was no FDR by any stretch of the imagination, the impression broadly held of him was of a politician with significant promise, whose potential greatness lay just a little farther beyond. Despite his privileged pedigree JFK appeared to honestly give a rodent’s rump about the little guy. Yet in reality the man was far from perfect. Whatever that is.

He was, as many of his background so ordinarily are, arrogant and self-involved, and, let’s be honest, a bit of a sexist. Those who were close to him in unguarded moments might have admitted through a whisper that he was vain as well. And decades would pass before his profound physical disabilities and life threatening ailments (endured since childhood), disguised from the public with the aid of a cocktail of medicines, quack concoctions and drugs, braces, and lifts, would be exposed. Considering the choice of profession pushed upon him by his ambitious father, numerous people who met him would admit their surprise in discovering that the man was actually rather shy. Finally, his coital appetite for women not his spouse, the level and quantity greatly exaggerated by sleaze pushers, revealed an apparent lack of respect for Jackie. Or insensitivity to how this behavior might effect her. Biographers of JFK insist the man ultimately outgrew his carnal immaturity and adolescent view of women by his final years, heightened by the death of his last child months before his own, moving him from shallow impressions towards his “better half.” Appreciating Jacqueline and her unique qualities. And in love at last with his wife. With his cover boy smile many fell under the magic of his personal charm. A gift he often took for granted. Through the eyes of an outside observer looking in, Franklin Roosevelt, it appears, was his political model; and he carried himself in the manner of the movie persona of actor Cary Grant.

However, John F. Kennedy was not the liberal champion his worshipers insist on lionizing him as, or his detractors inanely denounce him for. He was primarily a pragmatic moderate, with progressive leanings, who spent much of his time as President maintaining the status quo, with only a few minor tweaks here and there that would occasionally, and minimally, favor reformist ideals. While he was in the White House his administration supported repressive governments throughout the world. The Pentagon and other American agencies aided, financed and actively participated in the undermining and overthrows of foreign offices which were either socialist or mildly friendly with the Soviets during JFK’s presidency. Resulting in power vacuums to be filled over time by despots. His administration’s assistance to apartheid South Africa greatly aided the white minority there to maintain their savage bigotry over the indigenous people, justified behind the broad Cold War umbrella of fighting communism. Nelson Mandela’s nearly three decades long imprisonment, along with the murders and torturous confinements of tens of thousands of others, was due in large part to the aid and assistance of John Kennedy’s government.

Over time this tyro world statesman matured from one with a simplistic reading of the Oval Office as “the center of action,” to a respect for the profound influence and difference upon the world its power offered to one who understood its true significance. Kennedy’s original ideology reflected an adherence to what then was perceived a plausible view of geopolitics, “The Domino Theory.” Heavily weighted in the unfounded belief that the world was at risk from the irresistible siren call of collective economics. A society which adopts this doctrine meant its neighbors would inevitably follow suit, one by one. That is, fall like “dominoes.” In essence a philosophy espousing communism as a virus. Therefore this foe to capitalism had to be stopped at all costs, through every means available. By the last year of his presidency and life, however, there was a sea change in the depth of his world view. The most obvious root of this shift was the Cuban Missile Crisis. After this sobering experience Kennedy began to explore avenues towards a more peaceful coexistence with the nations then at odds with American interests, particularly that related to the USSR, with proposals for joint ventures between these two adversarial societies. Kennedy had hoped at some time during his second term to effectively change the direction of the United States from one of a state perpetually in siege, to one of equilibrium.

On the domestic front, in his last few months, Kennedy would belatedly follow through on his campaign pledge of doing more for equal justice by pushing forward a bill he knew would be difficult to get through Congress. Though like his brother Robert was quoted as saying in reference to himself on the issue of civil rights, he wasn’t losing any sleep over it. But after largely observing the drama from the sidelines for more than two years, which included witnessing the racist violence inflicted upon civil rights campaigners, and in particular the ambuscade assassination of Medger Evers at his home in Mississippi, Kennedy had given a speech just hours earlier, thought then to have lifted the cause. This and the August 28 “March On Washington” would be answered with the damnable slaughter of children in Birmingham, Alabama. Nearly five years later Robert Kennedy would give a near verbatim recital of this same address during his own campaign for President.

JFK’s progressive tone had begun taking on a more liberal edge with each successive month, to the great disgust, and fear, of many conservative interests who had grown wealthy and influential by keeping things just as they were. Even though tangible results of his grandiloquence was skimpy, and he was given far more credit than deserved by his supporters for the successes of the Civil Rights Movement, John Kennedy’s efforts were received by those on the bottom rung of the American paradigm as an attempt to do right for the poor. Something unusual for men in his position. Many of these people in particular, the voiceless and abused, took his death hard. They felt cheated. For them and numerous others his murder was personal.

His cruel slaying shocked that generation back into the cold reality that even this good natured man wasn’t safe from the demons hell-bent on keeping us forever afraid and, like children, dependent on those who viewed themselves as the nation’s surrogate parent, protecting us from the vaguely defined night monsters beneath our bed. Pulling us backwards and playing us for fools by promoting paranoia, ad infinitum. Their chesty posture proclaiming we’d all be living in caves and paying daily homage to Chairman Mao, while subsisting on foraged scraps, if not for these indispensable American saviors. John Kennedy’s speeches now forever silenced reminded the people that they themselves and no one else, were their own masters who need not look no farther than where they were to change the world. His slaying did not alter that understanding among the ones who heard him.

Thus, this thing people have been doing ever since, going over the same ground again, and again, in an effort to understand what happened on that day, and why, has had in large part little to do with Kennedy the man. His savage killing and its effect on this land was less, possibly not at all, about him. Those who have spent the better part of so many years of their lives and personal resources on this has reflected an engagement in a crusade to rectify history and take back what was so viciously stolen on that autumn afternoon so many years ago: The right to live one’s own life, in one’s own way. On our own terms. And to not be afraid.

On the last day of John Kennedy’s life he had in place plans to pull nearly one thousand American soldiers from Vietnam by the end of December 1963, a mere five weeks away. Authorized within that same document, National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 263, revealed JFK’s intent to withdraw all nonessential and combat personnel from South East Asia by New Year’s Day 1966, permanently. NSAM 271, his penultimate memorandum, outlined designs to work in partnership with the Russians in the area of space technology, instead of continuing with the budget busting Moon Race, to begin as soon as Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed in principal on the terms, to not only build a diplomatic bridge between them, but to also ultimately end the politically and financially lucrative, but morally corrupting Cold War. After Kennedy’s death this “war” would continue for nearly twenty-five more years, to be first clumsily replaced with a “war on drugs” – waged against chosen American citizens the American media would demonize as “super predators,” and then brutishly replaced by a “war on terror.”

In addition, during the last months of his life he and his brother Robert were engaged in, they thought, secret talks through third parties for the possibility of lifting the embargo against Cuba and in time restoring diplomatic relations with that “imprisoned island,” after JFK’s reelection, to the rage, and concern, of Pentagon hawks. Particularly the Joint Chiefs.

The day of November 22, 1963, found Kennedy’s Vice President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, embroiled in several growing financial and political scandals which promised to not only assure LBJ’s removal as JFK’s running mate in the 1964 presidential campaign, but virtually guaranteed the end of his very spotty, and violent, political career. One of these imbroglios threatened to reveal Johnson’s possible connection to the murder of Henry Marshall, a federal agent in Texas, killed while investigating a shady financial deal related to one of the Vice President’s moneymen. The agent’s death was officially ruled a suicide, of five gunshots, with a bolt action rifle. Also, there were rumors Johnson may have played a role in the death of his sister, Josefa Johnson, on Christmas day 1961, to keep secret what she knew about her corrupt, and disturbed older brother. The smart money gave LBJ no more than a few months more before it was all but over for him. The gossip in DC was that President Kennedy had taken a liking to Senator George A. Smathers of Florida, who looked to them to be JFK’s favored choice as running mate for the coming campaign.

On this final day of John F. Kennedy’s life he was preparing for his reelection, and where he hoped to be for the next five years. He most certainly intended to retire John Edgar Hoover from the FBI (whom in later years Robert Kennedy would refer to as “dangerous,” and “a psycho”), and risk the wrath of “The Director.” But only after securing a second term. There was talk among numerous insiders that after JFK’s eight years as President brother Bobby might make a go at the highest political office in the land in 1968; and maybe youngest brother Edward would follow in the American bicentennial year of 1976. Thus maneuvering around the Republican and Dixiecrat led effort of 1951 amending the Constitution to never have another four-term liberal, like Franklin Roosevelt, in the White House, by possibly having an unbroken string of twenty-four years of progressive Kennedy brothers as President instead. Essentially assuring that conservative interests would be weakened, perhaps irreparably. John Kennedy’s presumed competition for the 1964 presidential campaign, the dour war monger Republican Barry Goldwater of Arizona, was seen by most as having no real chance to move the popular JFK from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. These were but some of the more salient dramas surrounding John Fitzgerald Kennedy on the last day of his life.

The election of Kennedy achieved a number of firsts. John Kennedy was the youngest man, at 43, to be elected President. He was, up to that point, the wealthiest man ever inaugurated. Few remember that at the time the Kennedy name was nearly as synonymous with money as that of the Rockefellers. Nowadays “Kennedy” and “politics” are yoked. The second child of Rose and Joseph P. was the first Catholic head of state, as well as the first 20th century born. And for you metaphysicists, JFK was the first Gemini. And finally, he was at age 46 the youngest to die as President of the United States.

As many of you are well aware there are literally dozens of alternative views of the who, what, where, when and why of Kennedy’s murder, offered by perhaps hundreds of others over the nearly half century since it took place. Anyone wanting to know the likely truth behind the assassination are pretty much on their own. There’s really no clear compass directing one to the best source for indisputably factual information related to November 22, 1963. Sadly, it’s come to the point where the apparent reality is that we may never know for certain the honest history of this crime. Which to me is itself a tragedy. Observably there are people who still have something to gain by misleading the public on the matter. And worse, the persons responsible who played a part in this crime have manifestly gotten away with it, forever. As John Kennedy was known to say on occasion: “Life isn’t fair.” Neither is death.

About the Author:

By: Terry Cerata

Terry Cerata is an independent researcher, progressive, and discerning citizen. You may read the full article here at www.zafrasa.net/

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