By Aaron Good
To commemorate and reflect on the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination, I hosted a special episode of the Kennedy Beacon podcast, "JFK’s Assassination: 60 Years of a Nation’s Wounded Soul":
The panel included David Talbot, author of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years; Dick Russell, author of On the Trail of the JFK Assassins; Governor Jesse Ventura, co-author of They Killed Our President; Libby Handros and John Kirby, producer and director, respectively, of Four Died Trying (which is Executive Produced by Mark Gorton, who is also the co-chair of the American Values 2024 super PAC, which funds The Kennedy Beacon).
Above: Works from the panelists and host (Kirby, Handros, Russell, Talbot, Ventura, and Good)
I urge everyone to listen to the entire discussion, but below are some excerpted quotes--as well as a final provocative offer from Governor Jesse Ventura at the end!
The assassination of JFK actually begins what some people call the "assassination decade." [Y]ou get the aassassination of JFK; you then get the assassination of Malcolm X…; you get [the assassination of] Martin Luther King; then you get Bobby. [E]ventually, as you go down the road, you get Allard Lowenstein, and you get John Lennon. [T]here's a whole period of time when people are being assassinated, and it starts with JFK. [O]ne of the big things they had in common was they all came out against the war in Vietnam and that's something that definitely binds them together and it binds together...the military-industrial complex--I mean the political side of it [and] the private sector side of it. [T]he assassination of John F. Kennedy begins…in a way, the death of American democracy and brings us to where we are today.
[JFK and Malcolm X and MLK and RFK were] fighting…the same power structure. So when you look at them together, you're like: well, of course they were all killed. My father—who was in the Kennedy civil rights justice department, who would never give me the time of the day on the Kennedy assassination—[when I asked him,] "Who killed Kennedy?", Dad would say three words: "Lee Harvey Oswald." [B]efore he died, he saw a version of [the Four Died Trying prologue], and he had to admit: They gain strength from each other. [With] all four of these guys…you see what they were doing…that's the most radical thing you can say! It's not like, what angle or trajectory from the grassy knoll? It's that they were all four doing these incredible things, and those are the things that we need to emulate and move forward with today. [T]hose are the programs we need to reinstitute. We need to pick up where they left off, and I hope that our film series will bring that out for everyone.
[L]ittle by little we're learning more—to the point where more than 60% of the American people—close to 70%—are convinced that it was certainly not the work of one lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. [This] is exactly what the [House Select Committee on Assassinations] concluded in 1979, although they didn't know who who at that time to point the finger to. [I]n the podcast series, we interview Robert Blakey who was the head of the committee [and he] now believes that he was deceived [by the CIA]. I think the listeners will find it interesting how Mr Blakey has shifted his thoughts to the possibility—the probability, really—that the CIA was equally as involved if not more so than the mob which originally Blakey thought was the main perpetrator. [We have] a combination of forces here that that we're going to try to reveal in the podcast series and that [is also what] I'm trying to do in the revised edition of my book, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins. [W]e're finally narrowing it down: What we had on November 22nd 1963 was a coup d’etat.
I did encourage—as [did] Dick Russell, who's known Bobby Jr. for some time…I encouraged [RFK Jr.]...over 20 years ago…to look into the JFK assassination as well as the murder of his own father, [Senator] Robert Kennedy. He resisted at the time. He said that his generation of Kennedys were taught to look forward not back and he wouldn't go to the dark side as I encouraged him. At that point, [I] began to [doing] research for [my book] Brothers, and I talked to him uh quite honestly. I said over breakfast that, with all due respect, Nancy Sheridan who is Walter Sheridan's widow told me that [Walter] Sheridan—who was Bobby Kennedy's top investigator—and Senator [Robert] Kennedy…both looked privately into the assassination in Dallas. They were both convinced that the Warren Report was a whitewash—which it is—and they were determined to find the truth. As Jack Newfield, the journalist who was a friend of Bobby Kennedy's, told me, "With that the computer brain of RFK’s, he put together the plot the first day of the assassination." So [RFK] knew right away—he suspected he knew—where the plot had originated. And he and his investigator and other people looked into this crime. [H]e was determined, RFK [was], to reopen the investigation if he had been elected president in 68.
Governor Jesse Ventura:
On November the 22nd, 1963, not only Jack Kennedy died that day but 58,000 of my generation died that day with him. I'm fortunate today that I'm not one of them, but I am the result having served in the Vietnam War. So I am a casualty of the death of President Kennedy in the fact that, had he lived, I am completely convinced today that there would never have been a Vietnam War; 58,000 of my generation would not have died then. And I take it even beyond that: I don't believe there would have [been a continuation] of the Cold War. Imagine what the world would be like today with no Vietnam and no cold war that followed it for—what?—decades and decades? So that's why, the death of John Kennedy, I hold [it] personally: because I wouldn't have had to go to Vietnam.
It is now clearly in the National interest to disclose the truth of the JFK assassination. What better way to demonstrate that democracy and the rule of law are not mere "cover stories" for top-down rule. Why shouldn't we look back at people like John F. Kennedy and others who died trying to achieve peace? The work of scholars, researchers, and journalists has served to thoroughly debunk the US regime's account of the JFK assassination. Why not confront the truth of what happened in Dallas as a way to begin making real the myths we have been fed about the supposedly lawful and democratic United States of America?
Finally, Governor Jesse Ventura made this provocative offer during the discussion:
I can tell [that] there's support for Bobby Kennedy here… You all are tight with him; you better tell him: He needs to pick me as a running mate. You want to know why? I'm his best insurance policy. They're not going to kill him and put me in there. Everybody laughs, but I'm telling you that's a serious [thing]. He needs to pick a person that they're more frightened of than him so that they won't pick him out and say "Well, we’ll dust off [RFK] Jr. and we'll be home free." No, you dust off Junior, you get something twice as bad. I'm no LBJ.
Aaron Good, PhD, is the author of American Exception: Empire and the Deep State, host of the American Exception and Devil's Chess Club podcasts (on Patreon), and a columnist at The Kennedy Beacon.