“A Texan Looks at Lyndon”, Robert Caro, and the Illegitimacy of Mainstream Intellectualism

While those in the research community are open to many uncomfortable truths behind our country’s hidden history, primarily political assassinations, most mainstream academics and historians patently reject conspiracy in the assassinations of the ’60s, especially the killing of JFK.

However, recently a couple of friends who are respected academics – one a dean at a small liberal arts college and the other a chair at a major private university – read mainstream historian Robert Caro’s series of in-depth biographies of LBJ.  They both came away fully believing that LBJ was capable of all of the crimes and murders attributed to him over the years, especially the possible complicity – either explicit or tacit – in the assassination of JFK.

Since 1963, the subjects of my film – researchers of political assassinations – have known all of the facts expressed in mainstream histories of those events, and have included those facts in publication after publication over the years. Regarding LBJ, the 1964 book, A Texan Looks At Lyndon: A Study in Illegitimate Power, by J. Evetts Haley, Texan Looks at Lyndon book pic 1revealed every single fact about LBJ that Caro used. But Haley was an average citizen, not a mainstream academic like Caro.  Independent researchers like Haley have suffered ridicule and have been pushed to the intellectual margins of American society; that should be unacceptable to each and every one of us.

My larger point should be clear: mainstream academics accept facts of only fellow mainstream academics, and mainstream media only accepts agreed upon facts by other mainstream media sources. We’ve seen this over and over again.  Why do we rely on publications like the NY Times, the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal as final arbiters of accepted thought? Why don’t we trust research methods over blind institutional acceptance?  I fear that until we consumers of information re-evaluate the sources upon which we rely to interpret our collective history, we are doomed to repeat it.

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A New Year’s message from the late John Judge

A New Year’s message from the late John Judge, co-founder & former director of COPA.  vimeo.com/115654864

In honor of the 51st anniversary of the assassination of JFK

“And We Are All Mortal…”, American University, June 10, 2014

Every June 10th at 12:00 noon, the Coalition on Political Assassinations has held a commemoration of John F. Kennedy’s American University address, also known as his “Peace Speech“, at Peace Speech Memorial on the campus of American U.  First held in 1999 by COPA co-founders John Judge and Bill Kelly, and longtime COPA board member, T Carter, a small collection of seasoned researchers and interested citizens, led by COPA Director John Judge, have gathered annually to honor JFK and reflect on his vision for peace, which was delivered less than 6 months before his assassination.

I’m sure all are now aware of the recent passing of John.  A devastating loss not only to his friends, but to the research community as well.  While no one can possibly replace John, we friends and supporters of COPA felt passionate that John’s commemoration of JFK’s speech should continue. This year, however, we would also be honoring John, and his life spent fighting for the same vision of peace expressed in JFK’s speech.

On June 10, 2014, I was honored to lead COPA’s 16th “And We Are All Mortal…” Annual Commemoration of JFK’s American University Peace Speech.  Joining me was Deborah Cunningham, Pat Simon, Assassination Archives and Research Center (ARRC) Founder & President Jim Lesar, AARC Director Jerry Policoff, Karl Golovin and Chris Hager.   The morning was sunny and warm, a typical beautiful DC summer day.  But as the time got closer to 12 noon, the skies slowly grew darker and darker.  At 12:00, the sky opened up, and we were caught in a downpour. It’s as if the gods saw us standing there at the memorial and chose to test our mettle and dedication.  Once the rain started, I couldn’t help think of something John said to me in Dallas last November at the 50th: It was a rainy and bitterly cold day. We were all miserable. As my freezing fingers were fumbling with my camera, John walked up and told the story about how JFK’s press corps had a joke that wherever JFK went, the weather was always beautiful. The press corps would say, “It’s a Kennedy day”!  John looked around at everyone, cold and wet, and said, “this is no Kennedy day”.

That day at American was no Kennedy day, either.

Instead of attempting to give the commemoration myself, I instead played the audio from John’s presentation in 2003.  Infinitely better than anything I could have possibly come up with.

I wrapped up our commemoration with the following:

It’s telling that we’re standing here on the campus of an elite university in the nation’s capital, and who’s here? Just us. No students, no politicians, no press, and, most telling, no historians. John addressed this perfectly in footage I use in the opening of my film, The Searchers:  “What died on November 22, 1963, was more than just a president. Truth was killed. Hope was killed. And a government that responded to popular movements was killed. But we in the US are what’s left of democracy in the world. We have more potential of any country to make democracy work. We have a strength that the powers in this country are afraid of. But if you want a democracy you have to make it a democracy. And the first step is to take back your history.”

 

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Searcher Robert Groden fights for his rights

A Celebration of the Life of John Judge

Speaking first, among the featured speakers, is Dennis Kucinich.

Memorial for John Judge