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The ROLE of """the left""" in the The Kennedy Assassination


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How can one make a an article called The Role of The Left in the Kennedy Assassination without considering what was was ALLOWED on the left and under what CONDITIONS? The left never OWNED media. The few outlets that were permitted were inherently rudders for steering audiences TOWARD some things that were to be CALLED "left" and AWAY from other things that were to disassociated from what most people eventually thought of as "left". The operation of this rudder was not done by leftists. In at least some instances we have evidence that it was done by people with clear connections to the national security state, which was 16 at the time of the JFK assassination. So to use the term Left without quotation marks around it can be either reification or failing to see the reification. Or neither. Frankly that word gets me dizzy, but it makes me feel special when I use it.

If this point seems a bit too "top down" in its perspective, I would suggest that one might read more about US media history during WWII.

BTW the title of this thread should, of course, read

The ROLE of """"THE LEFT"""" in the Coverup of the John F. Kennedy Assassination

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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How can one make a an article called The Role of The Left in the Kennedy Assassination without considering what was was ALLOWED on the left and under what CONDITIONS? The left never OWNED media. The few outlets that were permitted were inherently rudders for steering audiences TOWARD some things that were to be CALLED "left" and AWAY from other things that were to disassociated from what most people eventually thought of as "left". The operation of this rudder was not done by leftists. In at least some instances we have evidence that it was done by people with clear connections to the national security state, which was 16 at the time of the JFK assassination. So to use the term Left without quotation marks around it can be either reification or failing to see the reification. Or neither. Frankly that word gets me dizzy, but it makes me feel special when I use it.

If this point seems a bit too "top down" in its perspective, I would suggest that one might read more about US media history during WWII.

This is a level of understanding that facilitates an inclusion of the left in discussing this matter. Obviously the left did have means of producing and distributing information in media format. Generally it was to some degree 'underground'. This also ties in with JS's post on the left, but it is important enough of a perspective that it needs stating.

The history of the left tends to be disseminated officially through means outside the control of the left yet the left maintains its own history. Bertrand Russels comments are worth pondering. Malcolm X had some pretty strident things to say, as well as many others present but largely unknown, and that's the fault of the systems propaganda machine.

A difficulty with these sorts of discussions is the subjective attitude of 'defenders' of the system and expecting them to be able to have an objective understanding of events when a proper understanding of the spectrum is obviously essential. In a way this objectivity has been bred out of the US popular culture which is essential in order for the system that created the assassination to have automatic defenders trying to endlessly reconcile the un-reconcileable in the search for the truth re JFK..

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I ask that this post be removed and put on someone's blog if they want to. I do not think it relates to JFK research.

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Well obviously I disagree. Media trickery is at the very heart of the case, and nearly at every instant. From local New Orleans press, to INCA, to Time-Life to the censorship of the 1967 CBS documentary, the facilitators of the crime were acutely aware of messages to get "the left" on board in the cover-up. So that planning did not involve merely facts of the hit but on mechanisms for controlling how different audiences perceived those facts. Witness how Earl Warren was brought on board. Witness the phone call with LBJ, Joe Alsop, and The Texas Inquiry guy, before the Warren commission was formed. Alsop plays the Texan like a top, arguing that Warren was necessary to keep, above all , the left from blatantly denouncing the Commission.

How to control the left was as piquant and pressing an issue as anything to do with shooters, small planes, or Paines.

Now I can understand if some might think my thread somewhat obnoxious after John's thread. Were the quotation marks really worth it? It was not my intention to mock or annoy anyone. I simply could think of no other way of highlighting the key point: that what society considers "left" is a product of a media system entirely controlled by rightists. What is offered as debate is really about what those rightists consider acceptable parameters, an acceptable "idea of the opposite". But that idea of the opposite is not fixed. It changes. At one point Mort Saul could get on national tv. Then he could not.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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"Jason Epstein confessed to his work with the CIA in an interview with Frances Stoner Saunders in New York in June 1994. As he pointed out, he was a member of the Non-Communist Left and was only too pleased to take a strong anti-Soviet line in the books that he published: “Who wouldn’t like to be in such a situation where you’re politically correct and at the same time well compensated for the position you’ve taken? And this was the occasion for the corruption that followed.” (Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, page 346)

Epstein helped to establish the New York Review of Books with CIA money. It came in via Jack Thompson, Executive Director of the Farfield Foundation. Epstein was a personal friend of Thompson and claims that he held the job under contract to the CIA for over a decade (page 243). Epstein told Stephen Spender, editor of Encounter, that the journal was being funded by the CIA. Spender told Epstein that he did not believe him. However, according to his wife, he knew as early as 1955 that it was CIA money. This supports CIA’s Tom Braden’s account. Lawrence de Neufville, who was Braden’s boss, commented: “Who didn’t know, I’d like to know? It was a pretty open secret.” (page 394)"

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These most excellent points published by Mr. Simkin on another, tangentially related thread prove my point: that any significant "left" publication in post 1947 America (I use that year not reductively because of the CIA birth in the Dulles Wall Street Manger, but also because of the orchestrated, and , dare I say it, CENTRALIZED purge of the left from all organizations of civil society that occurred in that year) was permitted and subsidized only on a quid pro quo basis. Yes to variables a,b,c only on condition of no and with much more credible denials vis a vis variables x,y, z [those naughty variables]. This is a recipe for Infighting is US which is the name of a small chain of left fast food that briefly tried to compete with McDonalds before folding over a stone bridge above the Penn. Turnpike. No

seriously folks. We recall Braden's comments about how certain CIA publications needed to be popped with MSM outing in 1967, because they had outlived their purposes. How interesting, then , that Encounter Magazine was outed as a CIA publication by the very New York Review of Books that, to some degree, had been designed to take its place! Now one cannot just rinse and repeat this process ad infin, so it is not herniating to speculate that it might benefit the CIA to allow the Review to grow a lil shaggy around the ears by 68, and appear to be on the edge of reservations. I mean you can't just pop n grow a new one forever. And even Walter Cronkite was criticizing Vietnam by then.

Today the New York Review of Books is not exactly propelling the masses to the barricades. Indeed, Rennata Adler's glib Speedboat cynicism could be very useful in taming a formerly shaggy crowd and making them skip the rally to visit uncles in Bethesda.

A quid pro quo "left" is ultimately only for rightist ends.

That is so important otherwise a bad headline will only deepen the alienation the real left has re studying the Kennedy Assassination. This alienation was planned from the start, and was as important as a clip that didn't fit, or a shell too far.

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BTW the title of this thread should, of course, read

The ROLE of """"THE LEFT"""" in the Coverup of the John F. Kennedy Assassination

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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. "Obviously the left did have means of producing and distributing information in media format. Generally it was to some degree 'underground'. This also ties in with JS's post on the left, but it is important enough of a perspective that it needs stating.

The history of the left tends to be disseminated officially through means outside the control of the left yet the left maintains its own history."

This is an important point, and captures the contradiction concisely.

If the medium is the message and all you own is The Berkley Barb and the East Village Other, then just how much of a common denominator can one create? And though individualism and uniqueness can be fun, it can also be commodified and rapidly depoliticized, because politics is inherently a social activity that is based on the ability to build new common denominators that can contest other common denominators.

Therefore , how sharp the Barb if it is so localized that it precludes an Encounter? And so much baby can be lost when the former is translated into magazines for the ubersnoot set.

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BTW the title of this thread should, of course, read

The ROLE of """"THE LEFT"""" in the Coverup of the John F. Kennedy Assassination

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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This is a problem. Fortunately, to a surprisingly large extent much has been acrchived and much exists in many places.

The maintenace of records is important. At the moment, gathering (preserving), cataloging and eventually digitising and disseminating will have to be done (and is being done). A lot was done by the Undergound Collective and while about two thirds(of that project) or so has been put on Microfiche, much that is listed for conversion that is of interest never afaik underwent the conversion in the second run. However that means that these publications likely exist. The part that I have spent time on is huge and through scanning through bits many times a picture emerges where one can see influences outside of the left. This is most obvious in the myriad of COINTELPRO efforts to control the direction of actions. The development of the SDS type organisations and such as the SWP through this time meant that these destabilisations were recognised and countered and did at times get through to the MSM but only in moments. Much is now memories of people who are generally not listened to and who have been stereotyped to ensure that they will not be.

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