What we might learn about this next election from what happened on November 22, 1963
With Dan Rather in the propaganda chorus screaming about "January 6," let's look back at his Big Lie about the (first) Kennedy assassination, to find some truth about America (and all the world) today
Here’s Dan Rather, on November 25, 1963, solemnly telling the American people what he had just seen (or so he claimed) in the Zapruder film. If you haven’t watched this video, the crucial moment is at 2:12, when Rather says, concerning JFK’s physical reaction to the (alleged) third shot, “ “His head could be seen to move violently forward”:
Now here is the Zapruder film, included to remind you—or, if you happen not to know it, show you—that JFK’s head, at that catastrophic moment, certainly did not “move violently forward,” but jerked violently back, as it exploded:
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This is no trivial matter, since Rather’a bald misrepresentation of that crucial film affirmed the CIA’s false claim— which “our free press” had pounded into every heart-and-mind in the US, and much of the whole world (and which the New York Times continues to support)—that JFK had been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting all alone, and stationed up behind the presidential limousine, on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building: a Big Lie that Dan Rather powerfully corroborated.
It was not until March 6, 1975, when the film itself was broadcast to the national audience (on Geraldo Rivera’s late-night show on ABC, thanks to Robert Groden and Dick Gregory), that the American people could, at last, see for themselves the evidence that Rather had misreported some twelve years before, and realize that that fatal shot had been fired from the front.
Now, whether that (ambitious) young reporter told a knowing lie, or said, unconsciously, or semi-consciously, what his superiors preferred that everybody think (and what he also made himself believe), we cannot know (unless he finally tells us). All we know is that what Rather said that day was false; that it fit perfectly with the Official Story; and that he then went on to an illustrious career.
And knowing that, we also know enough to distrust everything Dan Rather’s ever said since then, or has to say today—especially concerning our democracy, which JFK’s killers wounded mortally along with him. That murder was a coup, whose proximate intention was to undo JFK’s election, by putting in his place a president who would (and did) move quickly to abort JFK’s boldest plans: a phased withdrawal from Vietnam, betterment of US-Soviet relations, “total and complete disarmament,” rapprochement with Indonesia, increased aid to Africa and South America (to foster economic self-sufficiency), curtailment of the powers of the Federal Reserve, and constriction, or elimination, of the CIA, among other steps that would have brought great change, and with broad popular support—and, therefore, that JFK’s mighty enemies conspired to halt across the board.
But there was more to the conspiracy than that; for the problem wasn’t just that JFK had taken those initiatives, but that the people would support them, and, therefore, re-elect him, overwhelmingly. In other words, the problem wasn’t just “that little Kennedy” per se (as Allen Dulles jeeringly referred to him years later), but the democratic system that had placed him in the White House, and that would have kept him there for four more years.
For a thorough refutation of the claim that Nixon really won in 1960—an old canard still precious to Republicans, especially since Biden’s “victory” in 2020—scroll down.
Thus the coup in Dallas was meant not just to eliminate that wayward president, but also to enable some precautionary measures to prevent the people’s choice from ever getting in the way like that again. Beyond JFK’s obstructiveness, in other words, the deeper problem was America’s electoral democracy—the system that allowed the people to elect him, and would then have enabled them to re-elect him, and then elect whomever else might work on their behalf—like, say, Bobby Kennedy in 1968. Nor was it only Democrats who might get in the way: Eisenhower also wanted friendlier relations with the Soviets, hoping that the superpowers might start to move in that direction at the 1960 summit in Vienna—which might have happened, if that effort were not sabotaged by certain gremlins who, with Eisenhower not in the loop, sent a U2 spy plane over Soviet territory just before the summit started. (The Soviets shot it down; and when Eisenhower would not apologize, Khrushchev left Vienna in a rage.) Ike did not (publicly) express his qualms about the war machine until his “farewell speech” on January 17, 1961, when he warned famously (and belatedly) that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
Having organized JFK’s murder, then got away with it, that “misplaced power” took over, its supremacy assured by several measures variously slipped through after Dallas. First, in 1965, Congress passed, and LBJ signed, a law making the assassination of a president, or vice president, a federal crime—as it had not been on November 22, 1963, when the assassination should have been investigated under Texas law, JFK’s body autopsied by state officials, and only then removed to Washington. As students of the murder know, LBJ and his henchmen clearly broke the law by commandeering JFK’s body, and hustling it to Washington for a hasty autopsy bizarrely micromanaged by a lot of military brass (followed by the disappearance of JFK’s brain, and other violations of his corpse). By insisting on their jurisdictional prerogative and legal obligation, the authorities in Texas posed a threat to the conspiracy—a problem that could not recur in any state where yet another president might be bumped off by federal agents, now that the investigation of such murder is in federal hands. “The change intensified a moral hazard that was already problematic, for the vice president becomes president if the president is killed,” notes Lance deHaven Smith. “Placing in this same person’s hands control over the subsequent investigation is like making your doctor the heir to your estate.” (That new law might seem a bit less sinister if it had not been recommended by the Warren Commission.)
Also in 1965, the same Congress that disabled state investigation of such murder placed a further limitation on the people’s right to choose their president, by authoring the 25th Amendment, which greatly augmented the power of the vice president. Under Section 4 of that amendment, which was ratified on February 10, 1967, the vice president may have the president removed, and take his place, through the antiseptic process of informing Congress, with the support of “half the principal officers of the executive departments” (i.e., the Cabinet), that “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Although the president would have some recourse, his second would now be acting president, and have four days to reassert the president’s incapacity, thereby requiring Congress to assemble; and if two-thirds vote to oust the president, he’s out.
Section 4 would seem to be innocuous enough, if taken merely as a way to maintain continuity of government, should the president become disabled—as Eisenhower had briefly been by heart surgery, and as Reagan would be later by a bullet from John Hinckley’s gun. That Section 4 could also justify a bloodless coup by players consumed with hatred of a president has now been proven by the Democrats who (a) spent four years hysterically demanding that the 25th Amendment (somehow) be deployed to yank Trump out of office, on the grounds that he was (somehow) incapacitated, though he obviously wasn’t, and yet, since then, have (b) not once mentioned using it to ease Joe Biden out of there, evidently (somehow) thinking, or pretending, that he is not disabled, though he obviously is.
This brings us to a third precautionary measure slipped through after JFK’s assassination—a measure that, unlike the other two, no one noticed, since “our free press” did not report it (and you’ll see why), although (or because) it was the most disastrous step of all those taken to subvert the will of the electorate. Whereas the two measures passed in 1965 concerned the termination of a wayward presidency, this one—very quietly imposed in 1964—cut right to the quick, by making sure that “our” elections never would go “wrong” again.
The following account of News Election Services (NES) comes from Votescam: The Stealing of America, by James M. Collier and Kenneth F. Collier—the most important book about election theft in the United States. (Self-published in the Nineties, this must-read memoir is now available in my Forbidden Bookshelf series.)
How much do you know about NES? If you know a lot, then you’re in a wonderful position to blackmail them. You see, NES was created in 1964, just after JFK was killed, and they have the exclusive franchise (from Congress) to count the vote in every state. Without a single actual vote being counted, they proclaim the Presidency within minutes of the polls closing. You must understand that the networks don’t really compete for vote totals anymore. The [League of Women Voters] supplies them all from the field and the pool uses the same numbers. Those pretty boys, [Dan] Rather, [Tom] Brokaw and [Peter] Jennings, get to sit there and pretend it’s all earnest competition.
Just in case you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about—NES is an AP, UPI, CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN pool. It has a button it can push up in a building on 34th Street in New York that can literally change votes at will in every county in America which counts the computer vote at a central spot. Those counties make up about 60 percent of the nation. [That percentage is now higher.] Their sister group Voter Research and Survey (VRS) is the official exit pollster. On Election Night, NES proclaims the Presidency just minutes after the polls close, while VRS proclaims the Presidency even before the polls close…. Their numbers are always correct, before and after the polls close. Now that’s state-of-the-art. [pp. 335-36]
Thus computerized vote-counting did not start with Bush/Cheney’s serial election thefts back in 2000 and 2004, when such manipulation first became an issue (despite the blackout of that story by “our free press” and both parties). As the Collier brothers learned the hard way (Votescam is a jaw-dropping account of their ordeal), that catastrophic innovation dates from 1964—the first election after JFK’s assassination, and, by no coincidence, the first whose outcome is as dubious as the results of every presidential contest (and most state and municipal elections) ever since.
And that’s not all. Beyond the anti-democratic measures thus far noted here—the federalization of the crime of murdering a president, the 25th Amendment, and the computerization of the vote-count—there was another, subtler and still more disastrous move against democracy arranged in the dark aftermath of Dallas. By early 1967, the official story of that awful day had started to unravel, as more and more Americans perceived how ludicrous that story really is, thanks to the intrepid efforts of Mark Lane, Sylvia Meagher, Jim Garrison and other cogent critics of the Warren Report. In direct (albeit covert) response to all such “speculation about the responsibility for [JFK’s] murder,” as the CIA put it, the Agency sent all its station chiefs worldwide its memo #1035-960, urging them to use their “elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)” and other “propaganda assets” to discredit the work of those “conspiracy theorists,” by variously smearing them as cranks, or worse.
Thus the CIA adroitly weaponized the phrases “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist,” so that We the People would distrust our wholly rational suspicion of elite intentions, in favor of a sentimental view of state authority. Throughout the decades since that memo’s covert distribution, and especially after such immense state crimes as the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the 1980 “October Surprise,” Iran/contra, Bush/Cheney’s election thefts and 9/11 (among many, many others—culminating in the COVID crisis, and the ongoing “vaccination” drive), “our free press” has used those phrases more and more, so that we, or most of us, have long since internalized them, using them too readily for our own good; and the rest is history—or, rather, the denial of our history, in favor of a childish fantasy of how “our” world has worked, and still works now.
And just as “our free press” was instrumental in the cover-up of the conspiracy to murder JFK, so does it still serve the killers of democracy—as we may succinctly illustrate by noting that Dan Rather is still doing what he did back on November 25, 1963. Having made his name, back then, with that Big Lie about the final shot in Dallas (“His head could be seen to move violently forward”), Rather is now staying “relevant” by parroting the Big Lie about “January 6.” In “Breaking the Republic,” co-authored with Elliot Kirschner on Oct. 25, Rather riffs hysterically on that imaginary “coup attempt,” as portrayed by Liz Cheney in her testimony earlier that day. Much as he did nearly sixty years ago, Rather eagerly affirmed the moment’s leading propaganda narrative by misreporting “footage” he’d just seen.
Rather’s tirade is so patently ridiculous that I can’t help but annotate it:
Today, we saw footage of members of Congress grappling in real time with a deteriorating situation on January 6 that could have ended with more bloodshed and the decimation of governmental order. [That fracas “could have ended with the decimation of governmental order”? How?] We could feel a visceral fear in their actions and words, not only for their own personal safety but for the safety of the nation they had sworn an oath to serve. [“The safety of the nation” was at risk? How? And how did Rather know it was at risk? Because AOC and others looked so scared that he could “feel” it?] Those who could have intervened, starting with the president but including his top aides inside the White House, were absent. And that is just as the president wanted it. [Well, if Trump and his top aides were “inside the White House,” how could they also have been in the Capitol? Should they have been in the Capitol? If Trump wasn’t in the Capitol, it stands to reason that he “wanted it” that way. So what?] We heard today evidence that Trump knew he had lost, and he didn’t care what it would take to retain power. [So Trump wasn’t in the Capitol because “he knew he had lost, and he didn’t care what it would take to retain power”? So his not going to the Capitol was his way of “retain[ing] power”? How could that possibly work?]
This man who shamelessly pounds his chest with protestations of patriotism, who literally wraps himself in the American flag, who demonizes his political opponents as haters of America is really the one who views our imperfect experiment in self-governance with disgust. Elections. The rule of law. Peaceful transfers of power. The will of the people. These are the pillars of our nation’s foundation. But for Trump, that’s all just for suckers. He had the presidency, and he didn’t plan on relinquishing it, no matter what the voters or the Constitution said. [Trump “literally wraps himself in the flag”? When has he done that? And when has he ever said that elections, and the rule of law, and the will of the people, are “for suckers”? And did he really plan to stay in power, even if the voters didn’t want him? Did he ever say so? If not, how does Rather know it?]
January 6 wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a rally that spun out of control. It was a dangerous and violent storm threatening our nation’s core principles and our whole system of representative democracy. [Trump deliberately brought on that “dangerous and violent storm,” to trash “our nation’s core principles” and shatter “our whole system of representative democracy”? So he did, or does, not actually believe he was elected? If he did, or does, believe it, isn’t that in keeping with “our nation’s core principles”?] Stop and ponder that. [Stop and ponder what?] Then remember that it should have been no surprise. [What should have been no surprise?] The committee has made clear that the plan had been on the radar for weeks. [Trump’s “storm” was “on the radar for weeks”? And the committee has the evidence to prove it? So where’s that evidence?] There was plenty of evidence in advance that Trump and his cronies were planning to disregard the verdict of the election if it went against him. [They were “planning to disregard the verdict”? Or were they unwilling to concede, if they had evidence of theft, and wanted it to be investigated?']
I could go on (it’s kind of fun), but will stop there, as I believe I’ve made it clear enough that Rather’s diatribe, while journalistically appalling, is just as crude—and dangerous—a jolt of propaganda as the lie he told so solemnly three days after JFK’s murder, in helping with the cover-up thereof. What Rather so illogically co-wrote is surely more destructive of democracy than anything that Trump said prior to, or following, the last election; for all the propaganda out there charging Trump, and the Republicans, with planning to subvert the next election—the line that we’ve been hearing, inescapably, for weeks, from Biden, Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, Robert Reich, Pete Buttigieg and all the other Democrats, along with Rather and the rest of “our free press,” and (of course) all “the left”—is itself nothing but a vast projective ruse, intended to allow the Democrats to steal as many races as they can this coming Tuesday, just as they stole the presidency—or, to be more accurate, had it stolen for them—two years ago, just as surely as the races in 2000 and 2004 were stolen for Bush/Cheney.
Those stolen races should have been investigated then, and those demanding it should not have been dismissed and ridiculed by “our free press” and the Republicans as “conspiracy theorists”—just as the last election should have been investigated, as those peaceful multitudes in Washington demanded, only to be smeared as “terrorists” on January 6, and ever since, by “our free press” and the Democrats. For that matter, “January 6” should also have been properly investigated—not as some horrendous crime against democracy, but as a psy-op managed by the FBI, and played up by the media, to make it seem a traitorous offense to question the results of our elections (an inquiry that ought to be routine in a democracy).
And—to take us back to the beginning of all this—so should that assassination have been properly investigated, as it never was, since all those calling for it were laughed off as lunatics; just as the horrors inflicted on us ever since—right up to “COVID,” and this catastrophic “vaccination” drive—must now be investigated thoroughly, completely, without fear or favor, so that We the People know exactly what they’ve done to us, and make sure that they get what they deserve for it, so we all might finally live together, in the truth.
On the 1960 election:
News from Underground by Mark Crispin Miller is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.