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The Deaths of JFK, RFK -- and the Silence of the Lambs

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This article cross-posted from WhoWhatWhy

Which is the real president? And which is the real story?

As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy approaches, there is a growing flurry of material about -- or even from -- the Kennedy clan. This includes "insider" accounts and what are described as exciting, must-read and must-watch revelations.

Yet, for some reason, little of it is truly revelatory, or if it is, it seems, almost by design, very, very small potatoes indeed.

Take for example a new documentary by Bobby Kennedy's daughter, for HBO. What's the big revelation? That Bobby feared...are you ready...that someone would throw acid in the face of his children. Who? The mafia. And when was this a threat? In the 1950s. When RFK was a Senate investigator, years before he and his brother ever got near the White House. And years before his brother and then he himself were killed under still-unresolved circumstances.

Got that? Nothing about elements other than "professional criminals." Threat to his children, not him. And this was before RFK became Attorney General and started really going after the mob, and everyone else.

Oh -- and nothing about who...killed him.

That's Hollywood!


I subscribe to a newsfeed with articles related to JFK. It's an endless stream of banality: the death of democracy packaged as consumer goods for collectors. For example, you could have bid in a recent auction for the hearse that carried JFK's body, and of course, there are the requisite collector plates and supposedly valuable limited-edition coins.

Lots of people who "covered" the assassination are featured in interviews and panel discussions, but for some reason none of them seem to have real insight or have done original investigative reporting on what actually took place that day. It's all surface recollections of emotions and empirical material gleaned from the official story.

Then there are the odd little accidents. Like this that came through Google Alerts:

Filmmaker denies JFK conspiracy theories
Indiana Daily Student
Wednesday, Union Board presented Barbour's 1992 documentary "The JFK Assassination: The Garrison Tapes," followed by a question-and-answer session with Barbour. The film features Barbour's exclusive interviews with late New Orleans District Attorney...
See all stories on this topic >>

Ok, so this tells us the filmmaker John Barbour "denies" JFK conspiracy theories. But the few who actually might click on this not-so-interesting-sounding link come to this headline:

Filmmaker affirms JFK conspiracy theories with "The Garrison Tapes"

So let's go to the dictionary. Does "denies" equal "affirms"? No, it is the opposite. Hmm...

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