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Richard Bartholomew is a co-founder and director of the Center for Deep Political Research. His talent, education, training, and professional experience have been primarily in the visual arts, resulting in his career as an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator and editorial cartoonist. His research of the JFK assassination includes his discovery of a 1959 Rambler station wagon possibly used in the conspiracy; a study co-authored with Walter G. Graf involving a rifle clip that contaminates the ballistic evidence; a chronological reconstruction and placement of missing movements edited out of the Zapruder film; and in-depth interview of Erwin Schwartz, with author Noel Twyman, regarding Mr. Schwartz’s and Mr. Zapruder’s early chain of possession of Zapruder’s film; and work for author Barr McClellan resulting in Mr. Bartholomew’s monograph establishing the methods by which the FBI and the Warren Commission concealed and obfuscated latent fingerprints from the alleged sniper’s nest. Out Of The Blank #1150 - Richard Bartholomew
OK, Education Forum friends, here you go. This will ruffle some feathers, and this piece admittedly rambles here or there, and is not footnoted and so on, being an op-ed of sorts. But I think the basics herein need to be addressed From JFK To Brian Sicknick: Deep State Behind the "News" There is a strong thread that runs through so many high-profile events in US life, often woven by the hidden hand of the national security state, its service to the dominant multinationalist-globalist class, and its influence over a sewn-up US media. Media It hardly need reiteration here that the US media (guided by the CIA) fulsomely embraced, rather than skeptically unraveled, the Warren Commission report in 1964. And the same media torpedoed Jim Garrison down in New Orleans in 1969, helped kneecap Richard Sprague, first chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, in 1978. But still, it is always worthwhile to ponder this paragraph in the pillar of 1960s print journalism, Life magazine, which ran in the December 6, 1963 issue. "The 8mm [Zapruder] film shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed to the sniper's nest [in the TSBD] just before he clutches it." At the time Life went to press the story of the JFKA for public consumption was garbled, and included the idea that JFK had been shot in the throat. But Oswald was behind JFK, in the TSBD. So, Life solved the emergent problem by falsely citing the Z film, which it simultaneously withheld from public view. The cynicism may be breathtaking, but is becoming routine in US media in the present day. Life was famously owned by magazine magnate Henry Luce who had printed in 1941 the influential article “The American Century,” a grandiose globalist vision of democratic postwar world that also also effectively justified US military and covert action anywhere on the planet to favor multinational business interests. The story is well-worn here in The Education Forum that after the JFKA the media, especially Life, went to work defining Lee Harvey Oswald as a leftie-loner-loser, and characterizing those who questioned the accepted official WC narrative as cranks, or communist sympathizers. To be considered a “communist” in the 1960s was to be radioactive—remember that word, “radioactive.” The Globalist State As has been so excellently chronicled by James DiEugenio and others, President Kennedy was at odds with the multinationals and the national-security state of his day, on issues from Cuba, to Indonesia, to the Mideast, to Africa to Vietnam. At bottom, JFK (who had been in real battle in the South Pacific, and knew what war was) did not want to engage in a lengthy, perhaps permanent string of covert actions, occupations and wars in both hemispheres to favor colonialist powers or multinational business interests. Some posit it was this friction that led to the JFKA, certainly a believable scenario. As the charming JFK was a media favorite in many circles for good reasons, the multinationals and the national security state—aka the Deep State, the invisible government, the shadow government—could not so easily “do a Trump” on JFK, and dispense with him accordingly. Also, while the mainstream national media was compliant back in the 1960s, it was also a bit of a hodge-podge, and not the nearly monolithic lapdog of the globalist system as it is today. Unlike Trump, JFK schmoozed the media, with some success. The epic battle behind the scenes at the Kennedy White House, that between JFK and the Deep State global interventionists, was hardly told to voters, and remains obscure to this day. Brian Sicknick “He Dreamed of Being a Police Officer and Then Was Killed by a Pro-Trump Mob” That was headline in The New York Times on Jan. 8, about Brian Sicknick’s death a day after rioters briefly occupied the Capitol. The story reads in part: “Then on Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters attacked that citadel of democracy, overpowered Mr. Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials. With a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. He died on Thursday evening.” If the circumstances of Sicknick’s death were simultaneously not so sad and galling, the suddenly icon-worshipping New York Times description of the Capitol building as a “citadel of democracy” might be taken as satire. In iterations perhaps in the previous edition, the paper of record defined the Capitol as a symbol of systemic white racism. The “lobbyist stronghold of the neoliberal world order” is probably a truer definition of the domed structure. Of course, The New York Times was hardly alone in this wretched skewed first draft of history; the Washington Post and every major news outlet covered the story much the same way—although as early as Jan. 8, the KHOU-11 television station in Houston and some other outlets were running a version of events that did not hew to the dominant narrative. More on that later. The truth did not stop The Nation from reporting on Feb. 3 that Sicknick was the “Capitol Police officer who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.” That’s a visceral image. Yet in bottom paragraphs of a cable news story published on the same day, it is conceded that “medical examiners did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma, so investigators believe that early reports that he was fatally struck by a fire extinguisher are not true.” Veracity took a backseat, or was pushed under the bus, as Sicknick’s remains (ashes in urns) on Feb. 2 were displayed in the Capitol Rotunda, with credulous and reverent attendance by mass media. The ruling Democratic Party, so eager to defund the police in other circumstances (at least rhetorically) reached the very pinnacles of eulogy in describing Sicknick, and even subsequently impeached a non-sitting US President—that being Donald Trump—on sedition and murder charges, to bring the political theater to a crescendo. Murder charges? Yes, on Feb. 2 House Democrats charged that “The insurrectionists [instigated by Trump] killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.” But by then Washington had became a police state, not only of the usual break-ins, blackmail, censorship, wiretaps, surveillance, honey traps and warped PR and media coverage, but where concertina wire and green uniforms confronted the scant tourists. A Competent Autopsy The Washington, D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner may not be top-flight at autopsies, but it is not Bethesda Naval Hospital, the site of the JFK “autopsy.” The world now knows Sicknick died of natural causes, suffering from two strokes a day after after the events at the Capitol, as reported the DC medical examiner. If Sicknick was doused with bear repellent, it played no role in his death, and the examiner found no evidence of Sicknick had been sprayed. This was a story that ran on Houston radio station KHOU on Jan. 8, two days after Sicknick’s death. WASHINGTON — A police officer with the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) died after he suffered a stroke at the Capitol during riots, according to US Capitol Police in a late statement Thursday night. There are other published stories well before the House impeachment proceedings began, to the effect that Sicknick had texted his family before leaving for the hospital, and said he was in good shape but had been pepper-sprayed twice. No one seems to know if Sicknick was sprayed by rioters, or incidentally by police. After the riot at the Capitol, the mass media decided that right-wing extremists, racists and Trump supporters (all one and the same) backed sinister and evolving terrorist groups, and were a danger to the Republic. Dangers? In America, about 80,000 people a year die from drug overdoses, mostly opioids. About 40,000 die from apolitical gunshots and another 40,000 from vehicular deaths. But the Deep State wants Americans to fear domestic terrorist groups, presently “right-wing” but previously left-wing and sometimes religious- or racially-based. How many people have domestic terrorists killed of late? The JFK-Trump Parallel It is doubtful there are two US Presidents further apart on the spectrum of intelligence and personality than Trump and JFK. Trump was and is a vulgarian, boorish, lazy, disinclined to read or exert any mental effort, but very inclined to garish and demoralizing petty squabbles and pompous posturing. (This image may have been exaggerated by mass media). JFK was a lifelong scholar, a book author, witty, earnest, urbane, charming. War hero. But as JFKA scholars know, true history is stranger than fiction. For all of their differences, JFK and Trump shared and angered a common and dominant adversary—the globalist security archipelago and its commercial backers, aka the Deep State. And by the time Trump was president, what had been an 800-lb gorilla to JFK had become the zookeeper in a panopticon. The Real Story? The real story is that globalist Deep State has become so bloated, so expensive, so ubiquitous that even a Trump recognized the Frankenstein that runs Washington’s foreign, military and trade policies. Inside the Beltway, the perma-wars, endless occupations, the surveillance state and an interventionist global mercenary military are lionized, and worldwide “free trade” is endlessly touted as an unalloyed benefit. Outside of DC, I have never met a citizen who wants to pursue military, or indeed, any solutions in Afghanistan. How about Iraq? Another Vietnam? Flatten Raqqa again in Syria? Drone-bomb civilians in Yemen or Pakistan? Destabilize Cambodia? Make war for Ukraine? Some are beating the drums that the US must add onto the $150 million recently spent in Kyrgyzstan, lest it become like its neighbors, the authoritarian regimes of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. (Who knew?) And it is so unreasonable to wonder that the populous, rich and technologically advanced nations of Germany, Japan and S. Korea cannot defend themselves, more than 50 and 75 years after being liberated? But what is the purpose this US-taxpayer-financed global archipelago of weapons and soldiers? International trade? Trade What ordinary American does not ponder what “free trade” did to Detroit and so many other once-proud industrial citadels? Why do living standards feel lower than they were 60 years ago? Why are homeless populations becoming permanent in major cities? If wages are soft in the US—as they have been for 50 years—why are de facto open borders for illegal and low-wage immigrants the norm? Why is the offshoring of industry considered a positive? Americans know something is wrong, even if the media obscures as much as it reveals. The popularity of Trump is one result. (It is beyond the ken of this article, but necessary reading is Trade Wars are Class Wars by Michael Pettis and Matthew Klein. In brief, there is no such thing as “free,” “fair” or “foul” trade. The largest influences on international trade are state subsidies and relative wage repression.) So, who benefits from global trade? Enter Trump Trump, being Trump, entered the DC landscape in 2016, and immediately and bluntly, inarticulately, woefully, bombastically, and unskillfully warred with the global Deep State and its media minions. Well, and anybody else too. And so how did much of the globalist media define Trump and his backers? By today’s radioactive word: “Racist.” Think back to the treatment of WC critics as “communists.” And the Democrats—that party that a couple generations ago was mostly aligned with the employee class, and hosted a better-late-than-never antiwar movement in 1968—where were they? They ridiculed Trump’s naïveté at daring to cross Washington standards, the intel community and the Deep State. Trump had not yet set foot in the Oval Office, when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer (D-NY) chortled that President-elect Trump was being “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. The well-coiffed TV hostess Maddow got a satisfying chuckle out of the Deep State harpooning Trump, evidently blissfully unaware she was fast-becoming the latest iteration of an intel-community “usual idiot.” Appallingly, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets, though characterized as “left wing,” are now bristling on-air with former Pentagon and CIA officials who shape news coverage, including that of the loathsome intruder, Trump. The cable-news reporters no longer report on the national security state, they present the news alongside of it. Without apology, the new Democratic Party that Trump battled was and is aligned with globalist Wall Street, Silicon Valley, media-entertainment, as well as the national security state and the multinationals. The same elite Olympians that put “Back Lives Matter” on their advertising also ache to craft business deals with the Communist Party of China, no matter how deep the repression that increasingly defines eastern China, Beijing, and now Hong Kong. Or how much shifting millions of jobs offshore undercuts working Americans, whether Black, brown, white or otherwise. But Trump did not see things the same way. Digression—Glenn Greenwald and the Russia Hoax Glenn Greenwald is no one’s fool, and no pal of any political party on the planet. Whatever Greenwald believes, be believes it sincerely. And the guy does his homework. Greenwald told Matt Taibbi (another great observer) that the Russia hoax was a “lawfare” tactic, a coup by legal means: Maybe it’s not so new (lawfare), but it’s more prevalent, it has this modern form, where instead of doing overt coups, you give the cover of concocting corruption scandals against democratically elected leaders you dislike. I actually think one example that is similar, though not identical, was what the CIA did in manufacturing the Russiagate scandal against Trump. Greenwald is worth listening to. Which suggest a great irony: It was the not the Russians who effectively meddled in the 2016 and 2020 elections. It was the Deep State. They tell you it was the Russians. Why Does the Deep State So Loathe Trump? 1. Trade 2. The Global Guard Service For Multinationals The primary goal of US foreign policy is keeping the globe open for commerce for multinationals. There are many earnest soldiers inside the US military, and no doubt sincere public servants who actually try to promote human rights inside the State Department. But the modern US armed forces are badly used as a global guard service for multinational commercial interests. Human rights? Before Trump, everyone did business with the China Communist Party (CCP), without blinking an eye. Trump barged into this scene, by unilaterally placing tariffs on imports from China—the factory marital bed of of the CCP and multinational manufacturers. And not only manufacturers—Wal-Mart, the largest bricks-and-mortar retailer is thick with China product, while online colossus Amazon is flooded with China gew-gaws. In JFK’s day, the multinational community was much smaller. Outfits such as Freeport Sulphur (now FreeportMcMoran), or the Dell fruit empire, or Cuba-based cattle ranchers and sugar farmers were huge for their day, but pale next today’s global behemoths. In general, the first iteration of postwar globalists—those who targeted JFK—were in the commodities business, the extracting of minerals or the growing of fruit and crops. The biggest US businesses in JFK’s time were still domestically oriented, and were building, sourcing and servicing inside the US. Today, the globalists rule—a corporation such as Apple, tight with Beijing on computer and smartphone factories, has a market cap north of $1 trillion (yes, “trillion” with a “t.”). The money-manager BlackRock is heavy into China, especially real estate, and manages $8.7 trillion in assets. Yes, also with a “t.” Disney not only makes and sells films in China (for which they publicly thank authorities in Xinjiang for help) but operates theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong (the CCP is a co-investor in the Shanghai park). Disney owns the television network ABC, by the way. NBC-Universal runs the Universal Beijing Resort, and yes, owns the NBC network. Ever wonder why US mass media was so intent on dismissing the Wuhan lab leak explanation for COVID-19 virus? The “de-bunked” lab leak conspiracy theory? The Global Guard Service With tens of trillions of dollars invested globally, and fiduciary obligations to shareholders that trump loyalties to any nation or region, or indeed any creed or principle beyond bare compliance to law (and even that may be fizzle in large gray zones), the multinationals demand protection, diplomatic and military. What is remarkable is how strong this alliance between multinationals and the co-opted US military has been. A century ago Smedley Butler was a US Marine, becoming the most highly decorated of his time, and raising to the rank to Major General. After a professional lifetime in battle, including WWI other fights too numerous to mention here (but sojourns in the “Banana Wars”) Smedley left the military. The book Smedley wrote: War is a Racket. A quote: I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. Has much changed since Smedley? Why Study the JFKA? So why do we persist in studying the JFKA? Of course there is obvious: A fellow human being was murdered, and it is everyone’s responsibility to see justice done thereafter. And not only that, an elected leader was struck down, possibly in a coup. If we believe in democracy, then again we have a responsibility to seek justice. But there is even more cause to study the JFKA, and that is to learn how commerce, government and media work in the real world. What happened before and after the JFKA, or the Brian Sicknick death, are not rare, but rather the way events are usually curated in mass media, especially in the current season. To my fellow JFKA’ers, I advise watching what the Deep State and media minions do to candidates, office holders and to policy, regardless of whether or not a certain candidate or office holder is a personal favorite. I consider this a parallel to the principle of freedom of speech. Even today, most people support freedom of speech whether or not we agree with the speaker. To wear blinders when the Deep State torpedoes an unpopular President is no wiser. Beyond that, was Trump wrong to alter terms of trade with China, to want out of Mideast and foreign entanglements and to seek reductions in US global troop commitments? To limit immigration into soft US labor markets? Who says? And why?