Broken glass, JFK Assassination, 60th Anniversary
Photo credit: Ruth Archer / Pixabay

Long after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination — the event that sparked the term “conspiracy theory” — much remains unexplained, and secret. But news about it is still breaking.

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November 22 marks the 60th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — one of the turning points and great mysteries of modern times. With this introduction, WhoWhatWhy launches a series of news articles on this event, its context, and its aftermath — news, because we present new evidence, and because the controversy still resonates in today’s hottest issues.

People continue to disagree on two key questions: Who killed the most powerful man in the world on November 22, 1963? And why? 

Two high-profile official investigations, the Warren Commission in 1964 and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (1976-1979), disagreed about the core of the case: The first blamed a lone gunman with indiscernible motives and the second blamed a probable conspiracy. It’s mind-boggling that authorities couldn’t reach a consensus on the question of who committed such a spectacular crime, and why — and cannot to the present day. 

Still, it’s the first official story that has endured virtually intact, referenced constantly in corporate media — despite the second official story having superseded it, and despite subsequent unearthing of rigorously documented evidence to the contrary. 

It’s no wonder that many people sense a certain impenetrability in this denial of evidence and common sense by our institutions — and that leads to mistrust. 

Some people may prefer to sweep the known discrepancies about this 60-year-old cold case out of sight. Others might ask why we should spend time on an old murder mystery when the world is facing so many dire problems right now. 

And still others may doubt the wisdom of even exploring the possibility that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy at a time when America is convulsed by fabricated or wrong-headed — sometimes outright delusional — conspiracy theories. Why fan those dangerous flames? 

Flammable Facts

Paradoxically, one of the reasons many Americans distrust officialdom, and why some believe almost any irrational scenario they hear about, is their awareness that some conspiracies actually did take place. And, as shown below, some were actually proven to have been perpetrated and covered up by authority figures.

One eye-opening example of this: the revelation that law enforcement authorities were behind the silencing of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X, who was gunned down in 1965. The government prosecuted three Black men it claimed had acted on their own. But one man, the actual killer, always insisted the other two were innocent. As it turns out, those two had been framed under orders of J. Edgar Hoover. And a letter from an undercover agent pinned the sponsorship of Malcolm X’s murder squarely upon the New York Police Department and FBI.

We’ve also learned, belatedly, about criminal actions by leading establishment figures. These include candidate Richard Nixon secretly wrecking the Paris peace talks on Vietnam during the 1968 presidential campaign, because the success of those talks would have given his opponent a political advantage. Because of this unconscionable act — some would call it treason — another 25,000 American soldiers would die in southeast Asia.

On issue after issue — from the harm caused by tobacco products to the global warming caused by fossil fuels, both secretly understood and concealed by corporate interests for years — it’s clear there are real conspiracies by self-interested parties that deliberately deceive the public.  

In these cases, it took a few determined activists and investigators to break through false scenarios that had been heavily pushed and widely accepted. Indeed, those who publicly cast a skeptical eye on controversial events that appeared too quickly “settled” have sometimes forced the establishment to make long-delayed, tacit admissions about high-profile crimes. 

Why Raise the Lid?

We still don’t have enough candid conversation about the uglier aspects of our world, or about how we got to where we are. One reason for this is that supposedly unbiased narrators — i.e. in academia, the media, etc. — have often ducked responsibility for reexamining divisive historical matters. Why is that?

It’s predictable that the powers-that-be — which control our key institutions, including social and news media — will impede anything that threatens to destabilize society and undermine their own tranquility and privilege. That definitely includes looking too closely at events like the deaths of major political figures. 

It often seems that the system rewards cooperative narrators — who reject challenging narratives and promote merely inconsequential reforms — by placing them in comfortable and authoritative positions as intellectual gatekeepers while punishing the less cooperative, whose inquiries would make real waves.

Related: JFK Murder: Evolving Strategies for Damage Control 

Nonetheless, we at WhoWhatWhy believe that consistent, deep candor is the only healthy policy for a democracy. Transparency has never been more needed than right now. 

That is why, as we approach the 60th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, we are sharing fresh insights into the unanswered questions in the case — insights that surfaced over nearly two decades spent on a forthcoming, comprehensive investigation of the assassination. 

To be clear, what you will see here is based on evidence, analyzed critically, as opposed to credulous conspiracy theorizing — or its opposite, knee-jerk denial.

Evidence, the kind that helps explain the continuing controversy over this milestone historical event. 

Evidence that shows why those who claim there is more to the story are, indisputably, correct.

The antidote to reckless conspiracy-theorizing is not blanket conspiracy denial; it’s rigorous, judicious attention to evidence. We’re confident you will find this series exemplary of that — and that our new evidence heats up this cold case.

About the JFK Assassination Series

In our next installment, we will explore who John F. Kennedy was and why his death mattered, then and now.

This series was inspired by an ongoing project of WhoWhatWhy Founder and Editor-in-Chief Russ Baker to produce a definitive, meticulous, book-length investigation of Kennedy’s death. 

To read the other articles in this series, go here.

If you have information to bring to our attention about any aspect of the JFK assassination — or are with the media and interested in covering or reproducing our work or inviting Mr. Baker to appear on a program — please click here

If you would like to be on a mailing list to receive news of the book, click here.  

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