I am reading History Will Not Absolve Us by E. Martin Schotz, who is a child's psychiatrist. He is a good friend of Attorney Vincent Salandria, and he Vince shared the dedication in JFK and the Unspeakable by Jim Douglass.
History Will Not Absolve Us is a very unusual book the way it's written because it is mostly appendices. The book proper consists of an introduction by Dr. Schotz and then a long letter he wrote to Vincent Salandria in April 1995. Then come the appendices, starting with JFK's American University speech given on June 10, 1963, and followed by Fidel Castro's response to the assassination, issued on November 23, 1963. That's followed by an extensive analysis of the case by Vincent Salandria, including his analysis of the evidence from his viewpoint as an attorney.
There's much more after that, including pieces by Christopher Sharrett, Fred Cook, Ray Marcus, and more by Dr. Schotz, but right now I am just going to comment on the body of the book before the appendices, which is about 40 pages long.
It is about the public response to the JFK assassination- the way all elements of the American Establishment fell into lock-step to support the official story. The following jumped out at me:
"Virtually every segment of the Establishment- right, left, and center- lined up to support the official story. Not a single member of Kennedy's administration resigned in protest over what had been done to him. Not a single member of Congress resigned in protest. Not a single judge in the entire country, not to mention a single justice of the Supreme Court, resigned in protest over the role of the Chief Justice of the United States to support the cover-up and participate in the pseudo-debate. The President's own brother did not resign in protest, and the entire Kennedy family publicly accepted the Warren Report, albeit with their behind-the-scenes maneuvering, and their delayed and lukewarm endorsements. Not a single editor of a major newspaper resigned over being forced to swallow this obviously phony story."
How many of those within the American Establishment (meaning the government establishment, the media establishment, the university establishment, etc.) realized that the CIA had murdered the President? Not just realized it, but accepted it? As in found it acceptable? Dr. Schotz thinks quite a few. But, he adds that even if that's not true,
"...they certainly had to know that there was a conspiracy. Certainly no honest person could accept the 'single bullet theory.' So, they had to know the Warren Report was a fraud. They had to know there was a conspiracy to kill the President and a conspiracy after-the-fact to cover it up and obstruct justice. And, they chose not to find out what really happened. They chose to look the other way."
And then, he brings it up to the present because that cover-up, that obstruction of justice, continues to this very day.
"Virtually the entire Establishment knows that there was a conspiracy to kill the President but chooses not to find out who did it and why. What does that say? It says that a conspiracy to kill the President and its cover-up are acceptable. Not legal, mind you. Nor moral. Upsetting? Of course. But, in the end, acceptable. The government continues to function, and everyone remains in place. This is American democracy."
Dr. Schotz brings his expertise as a psychiatrist into his analysis. He does not mean to suggest that all these people- these current politicians going all the way up to the current President, and current newspaper editors, and current University leaders, etc., go to bed each night consciously knowing that the CIA killed Kennedy. It is not something that they consciously face.
"Now, I grant you, virtually none of these people are aware that it is acceptable to them for the CIA to kill the President. If you asked them, "Is it acceptable for the CIA to kill the President?" all of them would say no, and they would not be lying in any conventional sense. But, what we have here- taking a page from Clinical Psychiatry- is a case of what is technically termed 'denial'- only in this instance we have it on a mass scale."
Dr. Schotz goes on to explain how leaders of the Establishment rationalize supporting the official story- both consciously and subconsciously- but I'd like to add a thought of my own:
It comes down to religion; the religion of statism. Dr. Schotz made the point that as soon as it was revealed that Oswald was a low-level CIA agent that people should have realized immediately that the government was incapable of conducting an honest investigation. But again: the religion of statism prevented that realization.
Statism is the belief not only in the sovereignty of the state, but in the moral righteousness of the state and even the omniscience of the state- that the state can tell us what is real, what is true.
In a word: the State is God. And that's why I call statism a religion.
The killing of President Kennedy was a crisis. Where do people look in a crisis? To the State. Where do they expect to get answers in a time of crisis? From the State. Who do they expect to lead them out of the darkness and into the light? The State.
And upon the killing of Kennedy, word spread very quickly that it was a time for Americans to pull together. It was a time to be patriotic. And the litmus test for that patriotism was: accepting the official story, accepting without question what the government was saying. To dispute it was unthinkable at such a time of crisis.
It was the equivalent of today's jargon that either you're for America or you're on the side of the terrorists. Disputing the official story of the JFK assassination was, from the very beginning, like being pro-ISIS today. If you did it- if you disputed it- it meant condemnation, ostracization, and worse- for you.
And that's why the few people who did publicly dispute the official story at the time, such as Mark Lane, Vincent Salandria, and Mort Sahl, are such heroes because they withstood it; they endured it; they took it broadside.
I am going to continue reading this very compelling book, but I wanted to get something up about it right away. I highly recommend it because it deals with something that Dr. Schotz is uniquely qualified to write about: how the acceptance of the official story of the JFK assassination got rationalized and psychologized- even by leading intellectuals- especially by them.
Here is the link to it on Amazon. You can buy it used for as cheap as $7.76.
For now, I'll share one more quote from the book, and it concerns people like Noam Chomsky, who is a leading academic, a leading anti-war activist, and he is supposed to be one of the most prominent anti-establishment liberals. So, what has been Chomsky's position on the JFK assassination? He has been an apologist for the official story.
"Think of it this way. Try to put yourself into the shoes of McWilliams, I.F. Stone, and Chomsky. You are leading participants in the this process we call American democracy. You are opinion makers. You have access to the media, and the media reports what you say to the public. You are leading figures in this 'civilized' process of struggle we call our democracy. You represent certain forces, which struggle against other forces, but all must conduct themselves in a civilized manner. As leaders of the left/liberal establishment, you may hate the military and the CIA and not give a damn what they think of you, but you cannot afford to be indifferent to what Congress and the media think. You certainly don't want to paint Earl Warren as an enemy in this civilized discourse. You are interested in building coalitions to effect change, and moderation is part of the process. If you go off calling Earl Warren an accessory-after-the-fact in the murder of President Kennedy, where does that leave you? It leaves you totally outside."
That's it. They don't want to be cast outside. The Chomskys of this world are never going to be willing to take the hit that Mark Lane, Vincent Salandria, Mort Sahl, and Jim Garrison took. Chomsky is a polite activist. He is never going to say that the whole system is rotten to the core. Chomsky has been known to say that, despite everything, America is still the freest country in the world. Oh really. That tells you a lot about him.