John. F. Kennedy, assassination, newspapers
Headlines around the world announced the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Photo credit: Google Image Search

–OPINION–

No matter your perspective, you’re probably asking yourself: Why in the world is WhoWhatWhy publishing a series about the John F. Kennedy assassination now? 

Why, with so many crises clamoring for attention, focus on a tragedy dating back almost 60 years? The answer, it turns out, can be found right in those fresh crises. 

Today, America is divided as perhaps never before seen in our lifetimes, with an epic disagreement over the most basic of facts, including who rightfully should wield power. 

Yet, to this day, a majority of Americans of all belief sets share a common creed: They do not buy the official explanation for the violent transfer of power occasioned by the murder of the 35th president. 

The loss of confidence in the establishment, in the media, in voting systems, and in credentialed “expertise” has its roots in lies of long ago. Sadly, those unresolved lies are now being exploited by the cynical for their own purposes. One result is the demonstrably baseless claim that Donald Trump actually won in 2020.   

This much is clear: The Kennedy assassination is an ongoing study in the power of misinformation. After all these years, most media continue to dismiss widespread — and justifiable — public skepticism of the Warren Commission report, with its urgency to rubber stamp J. Edgar Hoover’s non-investigation “investigation” that laid the tragedy solely at the feet of Lee Harvey Oswald, the “disgruntled loner seeking attention,” who bafflingly told police he did not do it. In fact, he declared himself “just a patsy.”

That story never made sense on any level, and the evidence points to more powerful — and more likely — suspects. Yet it remains the song sung by Washington and by the consensus-seeking media, and that leaves the field open to truly dubious “theories,” like the suggestion put forward last month — this time not by Trump but by his supposedly more credible enemies — that the real culprit behind the assassination might actually be a familiar bogeyman: Russia.

Cleaning up the tangle of underbrush from our murky history can go a long way to establishing the primacy of carefully documented facts over lies, innuendo, and cover-up by all parties. 

Moreover, the Kennedy assassination story is not ancient, static history. It has never stopped unfolding. In 1992, Congress, responding to a wave of public interest following Oliver Stone’s feature film JFK, unanimously passed the JFK Records Act, mandating full disclosure of all government documents related to Kennedy’s death. Yet 30 years after that law passed, the authorities — principally the American spy agencies — are still dragging their feet, releasing batches only sporadically while still withholding thousands of documents, and blacking out information in thousands more. 

Stone, troubled by the lack of progress, is back with his latest look at the evidence, this time in a documentary. At WhoWhatWhy, we’re also remaining active on this front. Currently, we are examining the latest document release from December 2021. And we’re keeping a sharp eye out for supposedly exemplary establishment “historians” and “experts” who peddle new, dangerous lies — like blaming Kennedy’s death on Russia — a reckless stratagem now that the US and Russia find themselves again edging toward the brink. 

It is with this background in mind that we invite you to read a new series of articles on the topic, which we will be posting throughout the week.

Today: 

Wednesday:

Thursday: 

Author

  • Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in exploring power dynamics behind major events.