Doug Thompson recently recounted a discussion he had many years ago with John Connally, the Texas governor who was shot during the Kennedy assassination.
Connolly was both gracious and charming and told us many stories about Texas politics. As the evening wore on and the multiple bourbon and branch waters took their effect, he started talking about November 22, 1963, in Dallas.
"You know I was one of the ones who advised Kennedy to stay away from Texas," Connally said. "Lyndon (Johnson) was being a real a**hole about the whole thing and insisted."
Connally's mood darkened as he talked about Dallas. When the bullet hit him, he said he felt like he had been kicked in the ribs and couldn't breathe. He spoke kindly of Jackie Kennedy and said he admired both her bravery and composure.
I had to ask. Did he think Lee Harvey Oswald fired the gun that killed Kennedy?
"Absolutely not," Connally said. "I do not, for one second, believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission."
So why not speak out?
"Because I love this country and we needed closure at the time. I will never speak out publicly about what I believe."
I'd gone back and forth on the JFK thing, it seemed possible to make arguments both ways. But once I started researching 9/11, and understood more about how this kind of thing is done, it became quite obvious that JFK, as well as RFK, were not shot by "lone gunmen".
When I'd looked at this before, it didn't seem that relevant. At worst, a historical injustice.
My point of view has changed.
In many, many ways, the JFK assassination set the stage. It proved to those who did it that you could do something that dramatic, that heinous to the average citizen, and get away with it. It proved that you could fabricate a cover story and that the press would cooperate . It proved that you could quash dissent and investigation. And it proved that you could do it in America.
There seems to be a strong feeling on the left that, somehow, 9/11 is irrelevant. That to focus on it distracts from "real" issues such as Iraq and domestic spying. Again, almost to minimize the importance of 9/11, treat it as bygone history, and concentrate only on the misuse of the event by the administration.
There are a number of problems with this approach. It leaves in place the people that did it, and the mechanisms used for covering it up. It leaves in place the use of the "war on terror" as justification for the current administration's abuses, and allows the 9/11 rallying cry to continued to be used, and often accepted, to justify these abuses. And it leaves open the very distinct possibility that this kind of attack will be used again to justify further abuses.
There's a misconception that there is no proof for 9/11 being an inside job. There's plenty of proof. Obstruction of investigation before and after the fact, the NORAD failure, buildings collapsing in ways that could only be explained by planted explosives, planes being flown in ways the alleged hijackers could not have flown them, some of those very hijackers still being alive. There isn't just one smoking gun here - there are dozens of them (this is a good place to start research). What the left seems to want is some sort of "official" acknowledgement, one that will never come - just as Connally would never acknowledge publicly what he knew.
There is a strong tendency to deny and try to explain away the evidence. Part of the difficulty in accepting the reality behind 9/11 is confronting the significance not just of the nature of the event but what it and the surrounding cover-up implies. The harder part is not necessarily believing that some people in our own country would do such a thing, but that the entire government and media would assist in the deception that followed. An essay in 911truth.org says it best:
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