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The 50th JFK Assassination Anniversary and the Power of Questioning

By       Message Dr. Cheryl Pappas     Permalink
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Robert F. Kennedy once said that where something is perceived to be wrong in our country, "people should be angry enough to speak out".

It seems clear that there are fewer American citizens than ever before who dare to "speak out".

Rather, as in regard to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, those who question the official findings of the Warren Report are routinely marginalized as conspiracy whackos.

On this 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I am reading with great interest the responses of the American people regarding the ongoing debate over whether Oswald was the lone killer of President Kennedy, or what exactly his involvement really was in the killing.

Even though, according to noted forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, 85% of Americans do not believe the findings of the Warren Report in asserting that Oswald was the lone killer, a great many people are irritated, if not enraged, that there is continued heated discussion and contention expressed about who killed Kennedy on this mournful 50th anniversary.

The psychological need to wrap things up and to delete troubling unanswered questions is a worthy subject to consider.

The ferocious need to throw reasonable unanswered questions into a history bin and be done with it is a curious thing.

We can understand the desire to feel personally safe and secure.

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When the temperature of these normal security anxieties overheat, and the media often has a hand in jacking the thermostat up to frighten people, it is understandable that denial becomes an ever more vicious weapon of necessity.

Apparently, this need to not be stirred or deeply psychologically unsettled was the country's gift to the Warren Commission.  

I say this because of the key unanswered questions that political scholars, such as T. Jeremy Gunn, director of research and general counsel on the 1992 Assassination Records Review Board, as well as such respected historians as Gerald McKnight of Hood College, and David Wrone, emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens point, continue to raise.

I certainly have no clue or evidence on this case, but I find the desperation to leave it unquestioned a great fascination of our times.

I was 9 years old on November 22, 1963.

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My clearest memory is of watching, live, on real-time television, Jack Ruby killing Lee Oswald.

I could not stop saying that the event was not "real", by which I meant that I saw the set-up of Ruby's access to Oswald, as well as the two guards on either side of Oswald positioning their bodies away from Ruby and his gun on Oswald.

Now, that's a lot to inhale and perceive as a 9 year old.

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I am a writer, media analyst, and psychotherapist. I'm interested in comedy, satire, politics, entertainment, pop culture, and business; exposing how the media powerfully spins the news we hear, and how this spin creates our feeling states and (more...)

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