A Call to Reinvestigate American Assassinations

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by Neil Godfrey

On the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a group of over 60 prominent American citizens is calling upon Congress to reopen the investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Signers of the joint statement include Isaac Newton Farris Jr., nephew of Reverend King and past president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Reverend James M. Lawson Jr., a close collaborator of Reverend King; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, children of the late senator. The declaration is also signed by numerous historians, journalists, lawyers and other experts on the four major assassinations.

Other signatories include G. Robert Blakey, the chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which determined in 1979 that President Kennedy was the victim of a probable conspiracy; Dr. Robert McClelland, one of the surgeons at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas who tried to save President Kennedy’s life and saw clear evidence he had been struck by bullets from the front and the rear; Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower who served as a national security advisor to the Kennedy White House; Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and a leading global authority on human rights; . . . .

(Spartacus Educational via Consortium News)

To mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day a group of academics, journalists, lawyers, Hollywood artists, activists, researchers and intellectuals, including two of Robert F. Kennedy’s children, are calling for  reinvestigation of four assassinations of the 1960s.

(Spartacus Educational via Consortium News)

Last year I posted a series covering an interview with John Curington, former right-hand man of Texas oilman H.L. Hunt of Dallas, Texas, concerning the John F. Kennedy assassination.

John Curington has since expressed hopes that the following youtube video of another interview by posted here on Vridar. It appears to have relevance for the call for reinvestigation. Hence this post with the video below.

(I understand concerns of some readers that we are into the territory of recycling conspiracy theories here and my own initial reservations had to be broken down enough to venture into these posts. But the names of those calling for a reinvestigation do lend credibility to the view that not everything has come to light about the assassinations of the 60s, and the interviews previously published, whatever our thoughts of Curington himself, do raise serious questions.)


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5 thoughts on “A Call to Reinvestigate American Assassinations”

  1. But the names of those calling for a reinvestigation do lend credibility to the view that not everything has come to light about the assassinations of the 60s, and the interviews previously published, whatever our thoughts of Curington himself, do raise serious questions.)

    Anyone who has the means to go through the evidence one more time and look for anything that might have been overlooked should be allowed to do so. That said . . . .

    Is it possible for any investigation to not leave unanswered questions?

    Considering the practical limitations on financial and other resources that could be devoted to it, is it possible for anyone to conduct an investigation that would satisfy every reasonable person in this country that it had reached the right conclusion?

    When does this end? What exactly are the criteria by which we decide that the case should be closed?

  2. One criterion by which “we” decide that the case should be closed is that the case has been open: that all relevant information has been open to public examination. (Perhaps some cases can’t be open to public examination.)

    Another criterion might be rigorous logical proof that no new theoretical approach to the information is possible, that all possible theories have been conceived and articulated, certainly all possible theories that might possibly be correct or otherwise useful.

    (Note that since one theory might take into account information that other theories have ignored, and since new attention that this theory places on new data may generate further thinking, there can be a dynamic between what information is relevant and what theoretical approaches have been made.)

    Another criterion might be rigorous determination that “we” (term to be rigorously defined) have a legitimate right or reason to close discussion on a given matter even after all information has been available to the public and all possible reasonable intellectual approaches to it have been proven to have been articulated. Or perhaps even when it is clear that key information has been withheld in order to confuse and misinform. For example, someone (perhaps “we”) might argue that it is socially beneficial to cut off discussion at a time when prevalent understanding might be wrong, or even when “we” know it is wrong, in other words, that what they don’t know won’t hurt them (or “us” or all of society etc.)–or that more discussion is a bad distraction from more useful discussions.

    There might be other criteria. It is an interesting question, good to have it raised.

    Related questions: is it good or bad to have cases “closed” and under what circumstances? What are motivations for pushing for “closing”?

  3. “… and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., from his speech, “Beyond Vietnam”, delivered at Riverside Church, New York, NY, April 4, 1967

    If ever there were a case of an apparent high-profile contract hit, a murder-for-hire, it is the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., in April 1968 at the height of his impact on America, a social impact so powerful that rulers trembled and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover considered MLK the number one threat to America’s foundations. The convicted gunman–James Earl Ray–surely did it for money either promised or delivered, not for ideology, on the basis of multiple lines of contributing evidence, including Ray’s own claims in open court over attempted suppression from his lawyer and judge that that was the case. All that needs to be supposed in explanation of why Ray never identified the payers is that Ray was dealing with cutouts and did not know the paymasters’ identit(ies). Obviously, the prima facie appearance of the MLK assassination as a contract hit, in which the gunman was caught and convicted but the contract (the conspiracy in the legal sense) was never prosecuted and proven–has the status of a “theory of the case”, rather than proven in court. Whether the case for the existence of (as distinguished from specific solution of) a contract hit in the MLK death has been established to the satisfaction of historians may be an open question at this point. I would be surprised if 60% of mainstream experienced, veteran, professional law enforcement investigator types today, and/or mainstream professional historians today, looking at the known facts of the MLK/James Earl Ray case, would NOT conclude that on balance a contract hit is more likely than that Ray, whose whole prior life was as a professional criminal for profit and for whom there is no sign or claim that he was insane or acting irrationally, acted on his own initiative without financial motive.

    I believe the quotation from MLK from his Riverside Church address expanding his focus from civil rights issues to the War in Vietnam and the militarism of American society illustrates why at a basic level “America’s national interests” can be believed best served by letting the MLK case remain closed with the now-dead James Early Ray “acted alone” legal conviction considered closure in history as well as legally.

    In an earlier generation Rene Girard, anthropologist with a touch of theology, influentially argued that every culture has central violence upon innocent victims and scapegoating which is literally not recognized or seen by the ones carrying it out. A fellow graduate student and friend when I was at Cornell, James Pasto, saw merit in Girard’s analysis but critiqued to me in some detail Girard’s flawed argument that the Christian Passion Myth was the mechanism for ending scapegoat violence in the world’s history, ending these cycles. Pasto pointed out to me that the actual scapegoat in the Christian Gospels’ Passion Story is not Jesus but rather the Jews (portrayed as killers of God in the Passion Story, therefore deserving of destruction and violence in history), and that the Christian Girard, by failing to see this, illustrated the truth of his own thesis.

    When a figure of the stature and prominence in America of MLK of the 1960s named the unnameable, spoke the unspeakable, analyses along lines of Chomsky and Girard suggest a context for why consensus can exist at fundamental levels of American society that “some things are better left undisturbed”. If the consequences to national self-image at stake were less severe, there might be more willingness to reopen a legally closed two-generations-ago murder case of a slain modern prophet whom today America honors with a national holiday.

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