I’m just back from several days in Dallas and as promised will offer some observations, however my first thoughts are rather personal and also rather unanticipated.  It being Thanksgiving week here in the United States, they do seem appropriate to me, although they will be a great contrast to what you normally see me post.

These thoughts are based in several recent observations from significant figures, including Robert Kennedy Jr., Kathleen McCarthy (a cousin of JFK) and Secretary of State Kerry.  Basically it appears that as of the anniversary (although both RFK Jr. and Kathleen McCarthy have commented on this earlier), it is now becoming more widely accepted that there were were some major issues with the Warren Commission inquiry and its report and that despite of Kennedy family comments of the time, even the family itself was of the view that there had likely been more to the assassination than was portrayed in the Warren Report.  Even the most conservative remarks of the last week or so, from John Kerry, have offered the view that the assassination remains an open subject and deserves further attention.  OK, that’s all good, what is not all good is that a number of other quotable media sources have acknowledged the same thing but essentially concluded that “we can never know” so we might as well drop it and go forward – a view reflected in the official ceremonial speeches in Dallas last Friday.

I’ll grant that may be an honest position, one that produces honest remarks. But it reminds me of a college class where a professor listened to me give an “acceptable” answer to his question and then remarked that it was indeed correct on one level but displayed very little thought on my part, was simply too simple for the question at hand and that he thought I could do much better if I really put some work into it rather than give him an answer that the question really demanded.  After getting into a snit and trying to drop the class – which he would not sign off on – he proved to be without doubt my most significant mentor during over five years of university study and I came to understand his response that a superficially satisfactory answer is not necessarily an acceptable one.

I find the “well we can’t know now, lets accept that and look to the future rather than the past argument” unacceptable for a great many reasons, some objective and fact based and others much more subjective and personal.  The objective and factual response are very much in play and with the 50th anniversary of the WC Report coming up next year are going to continue to receive my attention.  The personal reason is much more immediate to me at the moment so I’m going to get it off my chest now…those of you who don’t like subjective thoughts or emotional positions should probably bail out about this point.

In Dallas,  I was asked to give brief remarks at the conference banquet.  Amazingly to some I was brief.  The gist of the remarks was simply that as a matter of historical certainty, we now know that if President Kennedy had not exercised the leadership that he did during the Cuban missile confrontation, if he had chosen the tempting knee-jerk reaction of air strikes on missile sites, full scale engagement with Soviet submarines or troop landings in Cuba, it almost certainly would have triggered full scale combat, in Cuba including Soviet use of tactical atomic weapons and very probably launch of missiles from unidentified sites (the Generals thought they had all of them located, JFK was skeptical, JFK was correct – the Generals were not even aware of the half dozen short range tactical nukes that had been covertly moved directly to attack the American base at Guantanamo).  In what would  have followed I most likely  would not be alive at this point nor would most of my generation.  And very likely civilization as we know it today would be largely defunct – the American targeting plan for any nuclear engagement involved a full scale reaction against Russia, its allies and China.

When I read a number of the snide remarks which appeared last week stating that it was not really necessary to worry too much about the Kennedy anniversary because of his personal foibles and the fact that his Administration really was not Camelot, I wonder…have those people forgotten that in a single terrible week, against virtually all the pressure on him, President Kennedy almost certainly saved their lives?  Have they never heard the concept of “debt of honor” – perhaps not, such things are terribly old fashioned today, very much out of style and certainly I heard little of that expressed even in the official anniversary remarks in Dallas.  Perhaps it was too personal, perhaps it would be uncomfortable to acknowledge much less put into words.  Well I admit I’m pretty old fashioned – not to mention pretty old – but I do remember it and I do feel it and in that regard alone I find the “we can’t ever know so lets get on with it” view totally  unacceptable.

Now none of this is relevant or even of any concern to those who are fully satisfied with the official Warren Report view of the world, that’s fine, its not their issue.  And it may simply make me look terribly emotional and rather ancient.  But for some reason, at this particular moment, that really does not trouble me.  On the other hand, unpaid debts always have.

— Larry


About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

8 responses »

  1. Tyler Newcomb says:

    So true. I saw the best movie detailing Kennedy’s battles with the military called JFK A Presidency Betrayed great powerful movie with in depth interviews of those principals still alive. I went and saw it with Lifton in Westwood CA on the 23rd. If you can find it don’t miss it it buttresses all you have just written.


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Larry your remarks don’t seem all that “emotional” to me. Some people just can’t handle the truth of the matter which is that the WC Report was a “Whitewash” and that newer more recently discoverd facts of the case prove the conspiracy. I have noticed that some of my friends adamantly oppose any challenge to the WCR as if their world reality would be shattered by any investigation/revelation of newer facts.

  3. Jim Stubbs says:

    Unpaid debts always get paid in one form or another. I agree with your sentiments. The “that was then, this is now” argument has always seemed foolish. I would say “stupid”, but I try to be a gentleman.

  4. Greg Kooyman says:

    Very well put Larry. As always your gift for putting things in perspective comes thru in your blog.

  5. Larry–thank your for those lovely words–actually, they are quite inspirational to me.

    That is part of it isn’t it–Kennedy was such a complex figure. Personally, I do not know why everyone does not put the greatest mystery of our century in the forefront 24/7.

    But, right now I am worn out from the thing, as well. The recent information in the Boston Globe concerning the statements and suspicions of RFK was refreshing–finally.

    I really appreciate your hard and tedious work–I could never do it. I want to thank all of the hard working JFK researchers. I do want to know the answer–obviously it is there somewhere–it would be nice if the government would cooperate.

    I guess I was originally inspired by Harold Weisberg. The thing is if we are to accept the lone gun Oswald theory then that would mean that all of those other facts out there, all of those other average citizens and esteemed researchers are wrong. That does not make sense. Once something does not make sense I am hooked on figuring it out.

    Now we know there were those teams of Cuban exiles and CIA/mob groups that in fact worked together on assassinations–that cannot be denied now by even the O”Reilly and Bugliosi types–well, it is really not that big of leap to the next step. I am just saying it is not an outrageous thought anymore is it?

    Thank you again, Larry, for all of your hard work–It is my dream to make the conference next year and go on your tour…….cl

    • Thanks for the kind words Chloe, and after 20 years I can certainly share the “worn out” issue…grin. I do think that one of our basic problems is that while “government cooperation” would help, what the crime has always needed was a true criminal investigation. We know the FBI did not truly do that as it had moved to the “report showing Oswald’s sole guilt” within 48 hours. DPD never got the chance. An HSCA investigation led by an experienced criminal investigator was gutted early on and Garrison’s effort was torpedoed internally, not to mention stonewalled by the Agencies he would have had cooperating. Yet here we are after 50 years and even the most basic issue is avoided – the WC knew and stated internally that it relied on the FBI and we have the FBI memos themselves that state their inquiry was essentially done in 48 hours and their report drafted within two weeks – and they also admitted that Hoover would willingly withhold information from them. Yet those most basic issues have not appeared in a single Anniversary broadcast or piece of media commentary.

      I’ve just posted my thoughts on how I think we have to go forward, to at least insure the murder is open in the public’s eyes and not closed out with the 50th anniversary of the act as so many would obviously prefer – and be comfortable with. Which of course fine for those who are, for the rest of us the onus is to make sure that the Warren Report does not constitute the sum total of the historical record.

  6. If your President getting shot to death in the street isn’t emotional I don’t know what is. Even here in the UK this is a shocking event. Great post Larry!

  7. Barry Keane says:

    Larry, I couldn’t agree with you more. We all owe John Kennedy a debt of gratitude that we can never repay, except perhaps to keep reminding people of that debt. The degenerators of JFK’s character have, in my opinion, never understood what the early 1960’s were all about. Simply stated, the very existance of mankind were at stake. When the chips were down President Kennedy was there representing humanty. I do not care one iota about Kennedy’s failings when compared with the future of the human race.
    He.imo, paid with his life for the courage he showed during October 1962. We must keep trying to get this across to successive generations, John F. Kennedy was a great man, let there be no doubt!

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