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Friday, December 20, 2013

TECTONIC PLATES ADRIFT? - Wilson, Lenin; Putin, Obama - rUSsiA

                                                    by Hugh Murray
     I was away for two weeks in Asia, and spent less than 3 hours on the net.  The cable TV in my hotel room was quite limited, and I had trouble finding real news of the world.  BBC and CNN seemed to show nothing but homages to Nelson Mandela, the South African radical who was jailed for years and then emerged as a negotiator for the dismantling of apartheid.  Day after day, the funeral seemed to be the only world news on the British and American channels.  Deutsche Welle showed talking heads.  The local Thai stations showed the continuing demonstrations in Bangkok, but I did not understand the language, so quickly changed the channels.  The Fox Sports channel showed little soccer, and then mainly from the Dutch league, which I do  not follow.  I did chance upon one channel, in English, that kept my attention.  Oliver Stone was interviewed for about an hour, with a co-author on the Hidden History of the US.  I generally disagreed with his views, and yet because of his terrific film, JFK, I kept watching.  There was other news from the Washington bureau.  Yet, I had never heard of the channel.
     Then there was a program on army life, but the language was a Slavic one.  The news showed the demos in Thailand, but much more time was devoted to those in the Ukraine.  Then it dawned on me, RT must stand for Russian Television, Russia Today.  The Ukrainian reports were substantial.  American Sen. John McCain was shown as he asserted among the anti-government protestors that the Ukrainian government's decision not to join the European Union was unacceptable.  We were informed that an American State Dept. official was among the crowd handing out food to the protestors.  But there was additional commentary.  One surmised that if the Ukraine joined the EU, it would be among the most impoverished, joining Greece, and Spain in poverty, while the wealth of the country would be sent to EU bankers.  Later, RT stressed that while anti-gov. protestors were in one square, pro-gov. protestors were just a short distance away in another square.  Clearly, many wanted to move closer to the EU and Western Europe; just as clearly, the govt. and many others preferred to stay closely allied to Russia.
     RT also devoted considerable time to Russian leader's State of the Union speech this December, 2013.  When I heard the analysis of his speech on RT, I began to think the tectonic plates of the world may be changing.
     Soon after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, the new Communist government did many things.  Like Snowden who exposed so many secret documents, the Soviets exposed the double-dealing of the Allies, and how they intended to divide the world into colonies and spheres of influence if the Western nations defeated the Central Powers - i.e, if the UK, France, the US, etc. defeated Germany, Aus.-Hungary, and Turkey.  The Soviets also abolished the supremacy of the church in the new Soviet state, and abolished the anti-homosexual laws that had been on the books.
     The West did win the war, and American President Woodrow Wilson seemed a savior of democracy and the world, for a short time.  The religious man, who demanded racial segregation of the American federal bureaucracy, who was determined that the new League of Nations would not cave to the Japanese demand for a statement of equality of all races, had also used federal troops to close the bordellos in New Orleans where a genre of music had originated.  Unable to find work in the closed cat houses, the musicians moved North to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, New York and eventually Paris and the world.  From the houses of jizz and sex, jazz became an international rage.  Under Wilson, the religious strain could also be seen in the enactment of Prohibition, the ban on drinking alcohol.  By 1920, Americans were disillusioned with Wilson and his war.  Wilson's Democratic Party was swept out of office, and the Republicans led the nation to a return to Normalcy.  Not quite.  Women cut their hair, shortened their skirts, began to smoke, and dance ( and even drink, in defiance of the new law).  The new automobiles were becoming bordellos on wheels, according to some preachers.  Yet, even in this relaxed atmosphere in America, with some jazz titles like Masculine Women and Feminine Men, homosexuality was still illegal and strongly stigmatized.  By contrast, homosexuality was no longer illegal in the New Red Russia.  And Communist front-groups, like the League of Militant Athiests in the West, made it clear that they rejected the old morality of the church.  And though illegal in the new Weimar Germany, it was becoming quite open, and even films were made like, Different from the Others, and A Man's Young Girlhood, and Dr. Magnus Hirschfelt's sexual institute and campaign for legalization of homosexuality made Berlin a center of research and agitation on this issue.  Christopher Isherwood would stay at the institute when he moved to Berlin in the early 1930s.  In the 1920s then the new Soviet Union, and to some extent Weimar Germany may have been viewed as gay havens.  Dispite flappers and speakeasy (illegal liquor) in the US, the KKK marched down the streets of Washington DC and traditional values were upheld; religion was popular, and evolution was condemned even in the courts.
     The Depression brought out new demands for morality, to clean up the filth that may have caused such economic misery.  Admittedly, it was not so clear in the US, for with the election of Democrat Franklin Roosevelt, one of the first acts was to end Prohibition, so Americans could drink alcohol legally once again.  But there would be no more immorality portrayed on the silver screen, as the Hays office would censor Hollywood films.  No more homos portrayed in the movies, no more exposure of so much skin by the young starlets, and dialog had to be decent.  Just a few weeks before FDR took the oath as President of the US, Adolf Hitler became German Chancellor, and he too demanded greater morality of the Germans.  Quickly, the Hirschfeld institute was raided and closed, and its books and research volumes were burnt.  Most gay publication were now illegal, as were most gay bars.  And in 1934, when Hitler killed Roehm and other leaders of his Storm Troopers, then homosexuality was utterly condemned in the new Germany.  Hitler's New Germany was to be a Moral Germany.  Not to be outdone, Stalin created a new constitution for his USSR, and each state in that union was now required to ban homosexuality.  The Webb's assured readers that homosexuality had been imported into the USSR by foreigners, anyway.
      In WWII, the various nations went to war expressing their own versions of "morality," and incarcerating, criminalizing, and sometimes exterminating those deemed immoral or unworthy of life.  By the 1950s, there were basically 2 super powers and views of the world, atheistic communism, which still outlawed homosexuality, and free, religious America.  To illustrate the contrast, the American pledge to the flag was changed again.  Initially, one was to raise the right arm to the flag, palm up, and recited the pledge.  But that was to similar to the fascist salute, so the right hand over the heart replaced the outstretched arm.  In the 1950s, the wording was changed: "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" was lengthened by the insertion of "under God" after nation.  Judeo-Christian morality against atheistic Communism.
     By 2009 with the election of Barack Obama as Pres. of the US, one can see the enormous changes.  Judeo-Christian morality is no longer on a pedestal in the age of multiculturalism.  Moreover, the foreign policy of Obama and Hillary Clinton is openly pro-Muslim, and helped the fanatical Muslim Brotherhood achieve power in Egypt, and its allies take power in Libya, and almost in Syria.  Europe has ever more Muslim immigrants who achieve a privileged status thanks to liberal judges and bureaucrats in the EU.  Londonstan has areas of sharia law today, as do many cities in the UK, the Netherlands, France.  The Left has allied itself with the most anti-feminist, most anti-gay crowd, the Muslims.  Obama generally accepts this view inside the US.
    Putin's Speech of December 2013 is in some ways amazing.  The former KGB official comes out defending Christian morality, implicitly attacking gays, Muslims, and the cult of the multi.  Meanwhile, America's President Obama has become a champion of gays, illegal aliens, Hispanics, Blacks, single mothers abortions, etc.  While Obama demands a liberal agenda for most nations, Putin now urges nationalism, national traditions, traditional values, religion.  Suddenly, the former KGB Communist seems to have more in common with the right wing in Europe that seeks to preserve national traditions, that opposes liberal judicial edicts from Brussels, that opposes economic diktats from Berlin.  The Left of the KGB seems to be meeting the Right of Marine LePen in France, of UKIP in Britain, and of various right wing parties throughout Europe.  One contrast, some of the Rightwing parties, as those in the Netherlands, have be led by gays who are horrified by the violent hatred of the Muslims.
     In the 1950s, America stood for traditional religion and traditional values and traditional bigotries.  Today, it stands for multiculturalism and persecution of any speech that offends one of the many "favored" minorities or women.  Today, Putin proclaims the New Russia stands for traditional values and religion and (traditional bigotries).
    American Rightwinger Pat Buchanan had long criticized Pres. G W Bush and Obama for meddling in Eastern Europe and antagonizing Russia.  He would not agree with Sen McCain in the Ukraine.  Indeed, in his most recent column, Buchanan sees Russia's Putin as one of "us," a Paleoconservative.
    Bottom Line - In the 1920s America, even with its flappers, represented nationalism and traditional religious values.  In the 1920s the New Soviet Union represented internationalism, and a sexual revolution in which a woman official declared sex was like a "glass of water," (perhaps she should have said like a box of chocolates) with abortion, homosexuality, and more open-type marriages.  Religion in the USSR was persecuted.  Today, there has been a reversal - Putin represents nationalism and traditional religious values; Obama represents internationalism and secularism, feminism, abortion, homosexuality, etc.   How the world has changed?  Or is this just cosmetic?  And how will it continue to change?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

He Hurls a Compendium of Facts

Rev. by Hugh Murray
            Hurlburt has written an “overview” of the Kennedy assassination case.  His book is not based on new research, but he has assembled and organized the research of many authors who have delved in the topic.  Hurlburt has deduced a reasonable assessment of the entire case – the murder in Dealey Plaza, the autopsies, the slaying of the accused, the investigation, and the “cover-ups.”  With Hulbert’s numerous footnotes, he guides the inquisitive reader to the sources of his assertions.
            Hurlburt does not pretend to hold all the answers to these crimes; indeed, he asserts that some of the evidence is blatantly contradictory, so one will have to arrive at the most probable conclusions from what we are provided.  Unfortunately there is much that we still do not know, for “the CIA is still refusing to release over a million records…until at least 2017…”(p. 306)  I do not accept all of Hurlburt’s hypotheses.  While he rejects Kennedy’s throat wound as being the exit wound for a bullet fired at the Texas School Book Depository (that in the Warren Report version then travels to injure Gov. Connally in several spots), Hurlburt also rejects the notion that the small throat wound in Kennedy was the result of a shot from the front.  Instead, Hurlburt argues that a bullet from the back cracked Kennedy’s skull, and a small piece of bone might have exited the throat.  Hurlburt also contends that there were seven shots in Dealey Plaza fired at the President from different locations.  Needless to say, Hurlburt believes that the assassination was a conspiracy, and one that reached high levels of government.
            Yet, Hurlburt’s short summary of so much material permits new questions to rise.  For example, he notes that when Oswald was Marine stationed in Japan, he received medical treatment for VD, which he contracted “in the line of duty, not due to in own misconduct.”(115)  Was Oswald having sex with a suspected KGB prostitute for the US Government?  Was Oswald and agent of the US Government?
            Hurlburt spend many pages on “a dirty rumor.”  Beginning in November 1963 rumors circulated that Oswald was employed by the FBI, and possibly the CIA, even earning $200 a month from the FBI.(75-76)  Hurlburt quotes early Warren Commission proceedings as to how they should tackle this “dirty” rumor, and how to resolve the issue.  After considerable discussion, they basically asked FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover about Oswald.  Hoover denied Oswald was either an agent or an informer.  The Warren Commission made no further investigation of the topic.
            Yet, one of the first actions by the FBI in November 1963 was to destroy evidence.  Earlier that month Oswald had left a note at the FBI office in Dallas for Agent Hosty.  Once Oswald was identified as the probable assassin, Hosty was order by his FBI superior to destroy that note.  Hosty flushed it.  In his own book, former FBI Agent Don Adams reveals that his FBI reports of November 1963 were distorted to absolve other possible suspects, and aimed at fulfilling Hoover’s view that Oswald was the lone, nut assassin.  When Oswald was arrested for disturbing the peace in downtown New Orleans in the summer of 1963 – the scuffle he had while distributing pro-Castro leaflets with a group of anti-Castro Cubans – Oswald requested to speak with an FBI agent.  There seems to be no notes of that conversation.  Were those notes ordered to be destroyed by FBI superiors, too?
            Despite the FBI’s distortion and destruction of evidence, the Warren Commission decided to rely chiefly upon the FBI for its investigation into the Kennedy assassination.
            Hurlburt writes how the Establishment sought to smear and destroy those who questioned the official conclusion that Oswald was a lone, nut assassin, who in turn was slain by Jack Ruby who hoped to spare Mrs. Kennedy the trauma of a trial in Dallas.  To maintain the official line, liberal icon, Earl Warren sought to prevent American publication of Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment, an early, powerful critique of the Warren Commission’s conclusions.
            Hurlburt includes how Lyndon Johnson’s Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, sought to derail the Jim Garrison investigation by appointing a small panel of pro-CIA doctors to review the Kennedy autopsy photographs and x-rays and thereby prevent Garrison from subpoenaing the records.  Unfortunately, Hurlburt does not include the statement Clark made soon after Garrison arrested New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw in connection with a conspiracy to kill Kennedy.  On national television, Clark declared that the federal government had looked into Shaw, and he was not involved in any plot.  Garrison arrests Shaw for involvement; that week, the US Attorney General declares Shaw innocent!  But Clark’s absolution raised other questions at the time.  When was Shaw cleared?  By whom?  Why was he investigated about this case?  Clark’s attempt to smother the Garrison investigation backfired in this particular incident.
            Hurlburt may have been misled by a Garrison article stating his interest in the Kennedy case was spurred by a conversation with Louisiana Sen. Russell Long.  Garrison had acted much earlier.  In November 1963 he had David Ferrie arrested in connection with the murder, and then handed him over to the FBI.  The FBI questioned Ferrie and had him released.  One wonders if those notes were also destroyed.
            Hurlburt is far too harsh on New Orleans DA Jim Garrison, whose investigation brought up for the first time Oswald’s visits to Clinton, Louisiana, his relation to Guy Banister, David Ferrie, pro-Castro Cubans; and Garrison placed Dr. Pierre Finck under oath to testify about the Kennedy autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and how doctors were ordered by the big brass not to perform basic functions of an autopsy.  Garrison also showed a print of the Zapruder film many times in court so all could see the President’s head knocked to the left and back, presumably by a bullet from the front right.  Garrison failed to prove Shaw guilty of conspiracy to the jury; but interviewed on television soon after, many of the jurors were convinced there was a conspiracy.
            Hurlburt is excellent at taking on the defenders of the Warren Report – the New York Times, CBS, Gerald Posner, and Marquette Prof. John McAdams.  For example, Prof. McAdams emphasized the movement in the Zapruder film of Gov. Connally’s lapel, meaning the bullet hit him earlier than Connally was aware.  Hurlburt shows a photo of the Governor’s coat, and the bullet hole is not by the lapel.  Yet, occasionally Hurlburt’s discussion is unclear, as when he seeks to describe where Oswald was in the lunch room with his Coke on the 2nd floor of the TSBD shortly after the shooting as a police officer Baker was able to see and confront him.

            Hurlburt reminds the readers of some obvious facts too often overlooked.  For example, the “magic bullet” of the Warren Commission, that entered Kennedy’s back, exited his throat, then hit Connally’s side, wrist, and leg, had no blood or fleshy material on it.  Also, the rifle discovered on the 6th floor of the TSBD was identified by two weapons experts as a German Mauser.  The rifle bought by Hidell (Oswald) was a Mannlicher-Carcano and had “Made in Italy” clearly stamped on it.  There are many other thought-provoking facts in this book.  Overall, Hurlburt has provided a service with his work.  It is an easy to read compendium of important material.  Even when one disagrees, his argument provokes thought.  The book indicts the government for its long-term and continuing cover-ups of the assassination of Pres. John Kennedy in Dallas.