Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jim Garrison and the verdict of history: How the Mighty Wurlitzer still maintains the insane lone gunman nonsense in the face of 50 years of evidence... And why they do so...

Other Garrison

More than any one person, Jim Garrison exonerated Lee Harvey Oswald—in the eyes of the American public—for the murder of President Kennedy. Garrison eloquently summarized his feelings about Oswald in an interview included in Nigel Turner’s 1988 documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy:

Lee Oswald was totally, unequivocally, completely innocent of the assassination. And the fact that history—or in the rewriting of history and disinformation—has made a villain of this young man, who wanted nothing more than to be a fine Marine, is in some ways the greatest injustice of all.1

Buell Wesley Frazier, Oswald’s friend and co-worker at the Texas School Book Depository, made the following comments, in The Men Who Killed Kennedy, about his deceased young friend:

The individual that I know as Lee Harvey Oswald, I don’t think had it in him to be a person capable of committing such a crime as murdering the President of the United States. I’ll always believe that. The side I saw [of] him was a very kind and loving man. And that’s the way I’d like to remember him.2

Garrison gave extensive interviews for The Men Who Killed Kennedy. That same year, 1988, Garrison wrote and published a book, On the Trail of the Assassins, which thoroughly exonerated Oswald through presentation of facts and deductive reasoning. The book focused on Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw in 1969 and it provided many new facts about the assassination never before released to the public. Garrison was philosophical about the 1969 verdict that acquitted Shaw of conspiracy to murder President Kennedy. The following is an excerpt from the introduction of On the Trail of the Assassins:

History has a way of changing verdicts. Twenty-five years ago most Americans readily accepted the government’s contention that the assassination was a random act of violence. A lonely young man, his mind steeped in Marxist ideology, apparently frustrated at his inability to do anything well, had crouched at a warehouse window and—in six seconds of world class shooting—destroyed the President of the United States. …

The assassination was an enormously important event. But even more important, in my view, is what happened after—ratification by the government and the media of an official story that is an absurd fairy tale.

Immediately after the assassination, the federal government and the major media adopted the posture of two giant ostriches, each unyielding to reason, each with its head firmly lodged in the sand. Having ratified the lone assassin theory, they refused to acknowledge any facts that might discredit it and attacked anyone who offered a different explanation.

(Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, pp. XII - XIII)

On the Trail of the Assassins was a best seller and became the basis for a Hollywood movie, JFK (1991), by Oliver Stone. Garrison’s words were prophetic indeed. History does have a way of changing verdicts. By the mid-1990s, the American news media essentially stopped blaming Oswald for the assassination. In fact, most modern documentaries about President Kennedy no longer mention Oswald at all. Few journalists or scholars will openly admit that they believe the Warren Report any longer for fear of losing credibility. Garrison provided so many facts exonerating Oswald that it became impossible for the various media outlets to continue supporting "the great lie." Consequently, the media adopted a paradoxical position regarding the assassination. While most media outlets no longer overtly endorse to the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald alone killed Kennedy, they still support it indirectly by promoting "non-journalists" who write, disseminate, and proselytize archaic propaganda in support of what Garrison accurately labeled "an absurd fairy tale." Gerald Posner is a prime example.
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