Many independent experts on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy dispute the key claims in a new Time Magazine feature story published on April 25 that puffs up History channel's launch that evening of a new series purporting to shed new light on the killing.
Instead, Time's coverage of the six-part series "JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald" continues the magazine's shameful tradition of misleading its readers regarding a pivotal event in the nation's history.
History channel, despite its name and its past under different ownership featuring historical documentaries, now focuses on "reality" shows. That means scripted fakery for purely entertainment purposes and likely, in this instance, for propaganda purposes.
So, the notion that a "reality show" should be taken seriously by a major publication like Time even if a series is mislabeled as "history" is preposterous on its face unless the enterprise were part of larger public relations scheme, as this seems to be.
The specifics here are worth examining because they help illustrate how Time, its corporate affiliates like CNN, and most other mainstream media deliberately confuse the public on the most vital public affairs issues in collaboration with intelligence agencies even as they claim to oppose "fake news" and alternative media. In JFK Declassified: Fallback to the Original Phase One Cover Story, longtime JFK researcher William Kelly provided this review: "The much-ballyhooed History channel six-part “documentary," JFK Declassified, is a slick but unconvincing piece of propaganda, a classic case of disinformation that mixes some truth with total falsehoods to promote the original Phase One cover-story for the Dealey Plaza Operation: that the Cuban Castro Communists were behind it."
More generally, the Kennedy assassination provides a Rosetta Stone to understanding media coverage of more recent sensitive events involving intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Few can see documentary evidence of what's really happening in Middle East wars or investigations of Russian influence on U.S. public officials, advisors and elections, for example. For the most part, we know only what reporters and government experts choose to tell us.
Shaping the JFK Narrative
Kennedy's 100th birthday is on May 29. So the History channel's six-week series helps shape public attention for an iconic presidency that ended with his slaying in broad daylight in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
Almost immediately after JFK's death, authorities pronounced the case as solved when JFK's accused slayer Lee Harvey Oswald (shown on a 1964 Time cover) was killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby on live television in a Dallas police station two days later.
Then as now, the corporate-controlled news media typified by Time worked closely with authorities to deliver a mixture news and public relations to a shocked nation. But the public received little in-depth reporting about the murder despite what was ostensibly blanket coverage of the ceremonies and transition to the administration of a successor president, Lyndon B. Johnson.
Although the American public has been repeatedly deceived by top officials and their media allies about basic facts regarding Kennedy's death, the official account is so incredible for so many reasons that public opinion polls for decades have shown that large majorities of the American public do not believe the central finding of the Warren Commission: The blue-ribbon panel led by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren and including former CIA Director Allen Dulles found that Oswald killed Kennedy while acting alone.
Wild Goose Chase?
Coverage this week by Time magazine (and apparently History channel) appears to accept the Commission's findings as core truth. The TV series apparently goes on to distract the public with essentially a wild goose chase speculating about the meaning of Oswald's activities. Thus, the video series first segment on April 25, Former CIA Operative Argues Lee Harvey Oswald's Cuba Connections Went Deep, explored a long-discredited thesis that Oswald's travels help suggest potential sympathy for him from Cuban and Soviet Communist leaders, thus potentially linking them to his death.
This diverts public attention from compelling evidence that Oswald, a former Marine trusted with involvement in the ultra-secret U-2 spy plane operation, had been acting as a low-level U.S. government asset with ties to the CIA, FBI and military intelligence before the assassination. Compare Oswald's Marine photo at left with Time's portrayal to get a sense of the propaganda techniques in play. Which photo looks more like an anti-American deranged killer?
By this interpretation, Oswald's ostensibly suspicious activities were his cover to ingratiate himself with Communists to help his U.S. superiors advance their anti-Communist agendas — and all of his work could be conveniently transformed into making Oswald into a patsy, or fall guy, for assassination if needed.
A declassified transcript of a 1964 Warren Commission executive committee meeting shows Dulles (shown in a file photo) urging his fellow commissioners to help squelch public reports at the time that Oswald had been a government agent. Outraged over the CIA's Bay of Pigs debacle and other out-of-control activities, JFK had forced the resignation of Dulles in 1962 along with the director's two top aides. One was Gen. Charles Cabell, whose brother Earle Cabell was mayor Dallas. Those are not the kind of connections Time Magazine and its peers like to pursue.
But we shall, with an in-depth look below at Time's close historical connection with the nation's propaganda apparatus at the highest levels.
Fast forward to the present: The History show's host is Robert Baer, a former CIA officer who purports to act as an independent expert. But Baer's conclusions appear to parrot the 1964 Warren Commission report and obscure questions about the CIA's apparent multiple roles in the JFK death and investigation. Those ties run extremely deep, according to some four million pages of declassified documents pertaining to the assassination.
Experience has shown that financial and other career rewards tend to be far richer for JFK assassination researchers like Baer who endorse the official findings rather than interview the many dissenters, who publish books that are rarely reviewed and convene at packed-to-capacity conferences that rarely include a reporter from a mainstream news organization.
This editor attends such conferences and knows that people are still living who knew Oswald as a friend, including as a fellow U.S. Marine — and who doubt his intention or ability to kill Kennedy. Even if one discounts such personal testimonials, compelling scientific evidence suggests that Oswald could not have killed Kennedy from the rear because the fatal shot came from the president's right front.