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JFK and the Presidential Elections


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In his excellent article, The Silence of the Historians, (included in Murder in Dealey Plaza) David W. Mantik writes:

Between 1994 and 1998, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) processed for release approximately 60,000 JFK assassination documents. Its staff also conducted new depositions and interviews with many medical witnesses, some completely new to the case. This wide panorama of fresh sources amassed a compelling case for a post-assassination cover-up in the medical evidence, an area heretofore almost totally ignored by historians. Inasmuch as the assassination is a major event of the twentieth century, and may well represent a turning point in American history, it is incumbent upon historians to understand and explain this event - as well as those that surround it. To date, however, a deafening silence has reigned on these matters, as historians have preferred to tolerate the harvest of The Warren Report rather than to cultivate their own fields.

Possibly inquisitive historians, naturally enough, have no craving to be tainted as balmy by the media paintbrushes, as well might befall them were they to admit publicly to such curiosity. The plain fact, though, is that this controversial issue frightens historians: most genuinely fear for their own professional prestige, and many fear subconsciously at what would gaze back at them from the subterranean depths of this case were they to peer too intently into the well of history. Given the unique nature of these events, and their profound impact on America, this fear is understandable. Ultimately, however, these issues must be faced honestly and responsibly. It is no longer sufficient merely to quote a lawyer turned journalist on these serious questions, nor can the matter be left to the most amateur of professions - the media.

I think David raises a very important point here. Surveys show that the vast majority of the population (in the United States and the UK) believe there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. However, most people have not fully grasped that in order to believe this, you have to recognize that there was a government cover-up and that the United States experienced a Coup d’Etat. One of the reasons for this is the way the subject has been treated by historians and the official media.

To accept that a Coup d’Etat took place is to completely undermine our belief in the democratic process. The assassination of JFK changed the course of history. If JFK had been a two-term president, would America now be having to decide between the merits of George Bush and John Kerry?

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  • 6 months later...

John

History is what it is, and nobody has a lock on it. No, you probably won't get your dissertation approved or published by a University Press if you get into JFK assassination issues, and the OAH and AHA doesn't host conferences on alternatives to the Warren Commission, but I look at it this way. Jim Marrs, great historian(0n JFK--I withhold judgment on Marrs 9/11 thesis), Mark Lane, Groden, Epstein, the same. History is the CONSTRUCTED PUBLIC MEMORY, so this site and and related works take part in forming "History." A typical academic press "serious history" book sells about 5,000 copies, if that. ((edit--actually its closed to 600!)) Your site links us to 170,000 sites, with millions of hits. If you want to be a historian, go ahead and do it --you don't need a fancy PH.D. Use primary sources, which assassination researchers are famous for, and make your theoretical conclusions match the evidence. A historian understands both primary (first hand, photos, tapes, affadavits) and secondary (other articles and books) sources, when you have read widely in your topic, called the historiography, then you can DO HISTORY, i.e., be a working historian.

Lets not sell ourselves short, history is written by fearless investigators who can make a compelling case about the past---and the fishier the official story, the more likely the best history will come from less established sources.

Its a new age, and the internet, database computing, image scanning, etc. is the way of the future.......just make a compelling, coherent, cohesive conclusion to a body of evidence and you are a historian. We have an impact.

Shanet Clark

In his excellent article, The Silence of the Historians, (included in Murder in Dealey Plaza) David W. Mantik writes: 

Between 1994 and 1998, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) processed for release approximately 60,000 JFK assassination documents. Its staff also conducted new depositions and interviews with many medical witnesses, some completely new to the case. This wide panorama of fresh sources amassed a compelling case for a post-assassination cover-up in the medical evidence, an area heretofore almost totally ignored by historians. Inasmuch as the assassination is a major event of the twentieth century, and may well represent a turning point in American history, it is incumbent upon historians to understand and explain this event - as well as those that surround it. To date, however, a deafening silence has reigned on these matters, as historians have preferred to tolerate the harvest of The Warren Report rather than to cultivate their own fields.

Possibly inquisitive historians, naturally enough, have no craving to be tainted as balmy by the media paintbrushes, as well might befall them were they to admit publicly to such curiosity. The plain fact, though, is that this controversial issue frightens historians: most genuinely fear for their own professional prestige, and many fear subconsciously at what would gaze back at them from the subterranean depths of this case were they to peer too intently into the well of history. Given the unique nature of these events, and their profound impact on America, this fear is understandable. Ultimately, however, these issues must be faced honestly and responsibly. It is no longer sufficient merely to quote a lawyer turned journalist on these serious questions, nor can the matter be left to the most amateur of professions - the media.

I think David raises a very important point here. Surveys show that the vast majority of the population (in the United States and the UK) believe there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. However, most people have not fully grasped that in order to believe this, you have to recognize that there was a government cover-up and that the United States experienced a Coup d’Etat. One of the reasons for this is the way the subject has been treated by historians and the official media.

To accept that a Coup d’Etat took place is to completely undermine our belief in the democratic process. The assassination of JFK changed the course of history. If JFK had been a two-term president, would America now be having to decide between the merits of George Bush and John Kerry?

Edited by Shanet Clark
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