Wednesday, 22 November 2023 03:28

Reflections on the 60th Anniversary of the Murder of President John F. Kennedy

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In this essay, researcher Joseph E. Green argues that when all is said and done, the assassination of John F. Kennedy sixty years ago was, and always has been, an obvious conspiracy.

The “Sixty Years’ War” is a term typically used by some historians to designate a period extending roughly from the French and Indian War, beginning in the mid-1750s, up to a climax in the War of 1812. There is some disagreement among this; notably, Canadian historians are more apt to give more emphasis to the French and Indian War, although all of these sequential conflicts are essentially colonial disputes over lands that already had Native inhabitants. No surprises there.

November 22, 2023 is a marker in what has been a different kind of Sixty Years’ War, a war of propaganda and interpretation in which the stakes are not merely historical truth but the shape of future instruction. Oliver Stone memorably referred to his 1991 film JFK as a “counter-myth,” and while one might quibble about that verbiage, to my mind it evokes the counterculture and what that was supposed to represent - the dissent away from frozen attitudes about 1950s America. It is not “my country, right or wrong,” but rather right and wrong dependent on our own intellectual and moral responsibilities.

The failure of the United States government to produce a coherent investigation in the JFK assassination forced certain individuals to fill the void. The earliest critics - people like Vincent Salandria, Sylvia Meagher, Ray Marcus, Harold Weisberg and many others - started out as amateurs but over time became experts in this new field of study, unpacking state-sponsored domestic murder. The CIA, for its part, labeled this “conspiracy theory” and its adherents “conspiracy theorists.” The major media organizations got the (literal) memo and followed suit. In doing this they became, as in the title of Meagher’s excellent book, Accessories After the Fact. And they have maintained this position, with remarkable consistency, ever since.

In the teeth of overwhelming opposition, this field of study grew. Researchers emerged in each new generation, dedicated to pursuing truth both in this case and expanding the curriculum as new assassinations emerged: Malcolm, Dr. King, Bobby, and so many others.

Looming behind all of this activity was “the files,” the last remaining documents that the intelligence agencies have had decades to destroy and/or alter. Some hope remained that one could glean items of interest. One of the supposed selling points for some researchers regarding a potential Trump presidency was that, as an outsider, he might “release the files.” However, most sensible researchers understood that there was a miniscule possibility Trump would follow through, despite his assertions to the contrary. Surely, then, with the election of Joe Biden, an Irish Democrat would finally release these near-60-year-old documents. Of course, he not only didn’t do that, he sealed the matter completely, in an effort to remove the whole debate from consideration.[1] And so it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut used to say.

The latest salvo in this Sixty Years’ War is the expected barrage of nonsense emerging from establishment sources - would it be a ten-year anniversary without another National Geographic special? Or the History Channel? Of course not. And then the usual “new revelations,” in which the major media will glom onto any conspiracy theory – so long as it isn’t the right one. The most recent is Paul Landis, who has made a variety of conflicting assertions over the decades, now reveals that he found a bullet – strongly resembling CE 399 – in the back seat of Kennedy’s limousine and transferred it to the stretcher himself. As researcher Richard Bartholomew points out in his discussion of the story, the only real question is whether this constitutes an admission of guilt on the part of Landis.[2] And as the author rightly points out, Landis’s new testimony is not needed to kill the Single-Bullet Theory, as Arlen Specter’s elaborate ad hoc bit of nonsense was dead before it ever made it into print. Gibberish is not best contested with additional gibberish. Or, to paraphrase my mentor John Judge, jumping into a fight between two skunks is both generally inadvisable and stinky.

Speaking of John Judge, for me personally that was the great takeaway from the 50th anniversary, as this marked the last Coalition on Political Assassinations conference. Standing outside in the sleet and cacophony, with Alex Jones leading a gang of idiots on the streets of Dallas, John struggled to lift his booming voice above the din. We lost him early the next year. More recently, earlier this year, the distinguished Kenn Thomas, creator of Steamshovel Magazine, left the ranks. A remarkable and fascinating researcher, he was always very kind and went out of his way to help the Hidden History Center and lent his support to John’s work. We also lost Daniel Hopsicker, author of Barry and the Boys and Welcome to Terrorland, who also did some fine work although I didn’t always agree with his conclusions. And JFK researchers felt the loss of David Lifton, an individual whose work is highly valued in some circles. And there were others, of course, as the inevitable years toll on, as more witnesses, researchers, and other figures pass from the scene. Anniversaries by their nature are natural times for reflection, and we all have much to reflect upon.


There have been several highly researched books written in the run up to the 60th anniversary, including titles by veterans Vince Palamara (Honest Answers About the Murder of John F. Kennedy) and Dr. Cyril Wecht (The JFK Assassination Dissected). There were also a couple of books by relative newcomers to investigation literature that made a great impact: one by Monica Wiesak, called America’s Last President, and another by Greg Poulgrain, called JFK V. Dulles: Battleground Indonesia. Both of these latter books share a reflective character, as reassessments of historical analysis that sift through old evidence while deriving new conclusions. In particular, there is much in the way of overturning the assumptions that so many academic historians have previously brought to this material.

Those assumptions go beyond the JFK assassination and to the attitude regarding conspiracy in general. A good example of this can be found in the beginning of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s origin story. In the years 1919-1920, the U.S. Attorney General Mitchell Palmer oversaw an attempt to deport radical leftists from the country. It was known as the “Red Scare” and the A.G.’s actions would become known as the Palmer raids. The Palmer Raids made a great impression on the young Hoover, who would later dedicate much of his life to fighting supposed Communists. Interestingly, Hoover would deny the existence of the Mafia, an actual criminal conspiracy, while chasing a largely invisible Communist conspiracy.

In October 1962, both The Nation magazine and Time reported former FBI agent Jack Levin’s observation that out of the 8500 members of the Communist Party, 1500 were FBI agents, which meant that “the FBI [was] the largest single financial supporter of the Communist Party.”

While Hoover’s FBI was busy funding Communists, the Mob built Las Vegas.

The focus on how the government affects the media and its attitudes about the Kennedy assassination, and conspiracies in general, is taken up by two other recent books: Political Truth, by Joseph McBride, and Burying the Lead, by Mal Hyman. Professorial and clear-headed analysis can be found in both of these works as the authors perform a deep dive into how information has been disseminated and controlled in alphabet networks and their attendant newspaper organizations. There are gems littered throughout both these books. Hyman shows how there were occasionally individuals who wanted to report on the Kennedy assassination and developed solid leads in many cases, but were unable to get them through their editors. He cites the attempts, for example, of Anthony Summers to get both the New York Times and the Washington Post to notice his work. For his trouble, Summers received total silence from Tom Wicker and a flurry of expletives from Ben Bradlee.[3] (Summers seemed to have gotten the message, for in intervening years he changed the title of his book Conspiracy to Not in Your Lifetime, with a similar bowdlerization of the content.) Meanwhile, McBride tells a similar story as Hyman, but from the perspective of an insider, having been a journalist himself working for such entities as The Nation magazine. McBride also draws a connection from the initial coup d’etat in November 1963 to the more recent January 6th attempted coup, stating that one could argue that every presidency since the Kennedy assassination has been “illegitimate.”[4] That is, until that murder is solved, our hands will never wash out that damned spot.

Even now, the media continues on its merry way, desperately trying to hide a stack of bodies under a tattered blanket. The QAnon phenomenon is blamed, but more importantly blended, with serious researchers to smear all with the same epithets. It is a moronic enterprise, only successful with the least curious among us. Just to take one example, the idea that, say, Peter Scott and the assorted QAnon idiots have anything in common in cognition is a leap into pure fantasy. Trying to group them together is both desperate and despicable.

Most recently, a pair of sensational documentaries appeared in the last couple of years. Oliver Stone and Jim DiEugenio’s JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, appeared in both two-hour and four-hour versions, as well as a beautiful book featuring transcripts of the interviews. There were two excellent decisions made in the presentation. One was to get as many mainstream academic historians as possible to remark on the truth about Kennedy’s motives and presidency, foreign policy and attitudes about self-determination, to maximize the credibility of the presentation. The other was to focus on revolutionizing the understanding of the whole history of the United States after World War II, which to my mind is absolutely key. The other documentary to come onto the scene was Max Good’s The Assassination & Mrs. Paine, which is not only brilliant in its own right but serves as a perfect partner for the Stone/DiEugenio work. Good obtained unprecedented access to Ruth Paine and her answers to his ever-polite questions is utterly fascinating. Good also got the late Vincent Salandria to agree to go on camera and participate in extensive interviews, so that the film also serves as a document for any researcher to get a glimpse into Salandria’s reasoning and the reason why he was so admired as a person by so many, including myself.


Aeschylus wrote that “God is not averse to deceit in pursuit of a just cause.” Plato, in the Republic, discussed the necessity of the “noble lie” to unite societies together. Both men were correct. However - and here we see the results of our discontinuity all around us - when you cannot get the people to agree on the preferred lies, or accept that the cause is just, the entire system is threatened. It becomes harder and harder for the citizenry to just accept a Manichean understanding of the world in which we are the Good Guys and anyone we don’t like are the Bad Guys, whether they be working-class Russians, Vietnamese peasant farmers, or whichever Latin Americans we have decided are our enemy this week. The lies, and the absence of a just cause, is unsustainable as rot sets in.

It seems to me that we are in the middle of a sea change in the culture, in which a great many people are starting to wake up to these facts and to the central lie at the heart of all of these investigations: the government isn’t opposed to conspiracy. It just wants control of which conspiracies everyone takes seriously.

Another decade brings another spike in interest and flurry of activity in the ongoing saga of the John F. Kennedy assassination. Sixty years have now gone by, but one thing remains the same: lies and obfuscation from the usual sources, attempting to bury the serious gains in research with endless red herrings. However, at the heart of this is what both Vincent Salandria and E. Martin Schotz called the “false mystery,” the drowning in irrelevant details of what is a frankly obvious state crime. I do not believe it to be an exaggeration to say that the failure to resolve that crime has resulted in the collapse of the republic, as the United States continues shakily moving forward like a train that is on fire. We may be able to ramble along for a little while longer, but it seems increasingly clear that if the flames are not put out, destruction is certain.



Bartholomew, Richard, “Many Theories & Single Bullets: False Beliefs of JFK's Assassination,”

Hyman, Mal, Burying the Lead: The Media and the JFK Assassination (TrineDay: Waterville OR, 2018/2019), 290.

McBride, Joseph, Political Truth: The Media and the Assassination of President Kennedy (Hightower Press: Berkeley CA 2022), 214.

Last modified on Friday, 01 December 2023 18:00
Joseph E. Green

Joseph E. Green is a political researcher and playwright. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Hidden History Center and is the author of the collections Dissenting Views and Dissenting Views II. He also co-produced and co-wrote the film King Kill 63, which premiered at the Dallas International Film Festival in 2015 and now seeks distribution.  He also maintains his own website,

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