("Quid coniuratio est?")
DAVE EMORY -- JULY 5, 1992
Observations on America's 216th Birthday
DAVE EMORY [continues]:
The... In Garrison's court, I should say, the, Colonel Finck, one of the autopsy surgeons, testified that he was ordered by unnamed superior officers not to dissect Kennedy's neck wound. That is unimpeached legal testimony in an American court of law and has the power of law. The jury found that there had been a conspiracy behind Kennedy's assassination, but could not find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Clay Shaw was involved. The Garrison investigation was massively subverted by a number of elements, some of which I will speak about during the course of the broadcast this evening.
But the body of evidence that there, in fact, was a conspiracy is absolutely air-tight. It is massive. There are many questionable areas, areas that need to be looked into: what I like to call "food for thought, and grounds for further research." We will touch on some of those this evening.
But the Warren Commission's thesis -- their contention that Lee Harvey Oswald was the "lone nut" assassin -- is absolutely untenable in all of its major respects. And it is physically impossible, in virtually all of its major respects. It rests on the so-called "single bullet theory" or, as some critics have aptly termed it, "the magic bullet theory." The Warren Commission had to limit itself to 3 shots, in something like 6 seconds. If more than 3 shots were fired, then the Warren Commission had to admit that there was more than one rifleman. One shot blew Kennedy's head off. One missed the motorcade altogether and wounded a by-stander named James Tague. And that left all seven non-fatal wounds in President Kennedy and Governor John Connally to be made by one bullet -- the so-called "magic bullet."
Well the residua recovered from those seven non-fatal wounds, supposedly made by the same bullet, exceeds the amount of material missing from that bullet. There's a basic principle of mathematics that the whole is equal to the sum of its parts; the sum of the parts cannot under any circumstances be greater than the whole.
So much for the Warren Commission's thesis.
All of the other aspects of the Warren Commission's thesis are ridiculous as well. That bullet executed several sharp turns in mid-air without being acted upon by an external force, in direct contravention of the law of inertia. Bullets do all sorts of interesting things in what are known as "fascia", or tissue layers, but they do not turn in mid-air without being acted upon by an external force -- that is impossible.
All of the other aspects of the Warren Commission's thesis were equally ridiculous. The rifle that Oswald supposedly used to assassinate President Kennedy was sighted-in for a left-handed shooter; Oswald was right-handed; he wouldn't have been able to hit the broad side of a barn. Paraffin tests on Oswald were negative, indicating he hadn't fired a gun. The Dallas Police who first searched Oswald's alleged "sniper perch" found a rifle without a scope that they termed "a 7.65 millimeter German mauser." And one can go on and on.
And again: the official, the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission testimony and exhibits completely destroy the Warren Commission, in and of itself, as well as the magnificent body and the massive body of research developed by many private investigators in the years since.
I find it very hypocritical that Chomsky says, "Well, he hasn't really examined the masses of details," and says, basically, he's not gonna go into the assassination issue because, well he says, "First, I don't think it is of any more importance than the latest murder in Roxbury. Second, it's like having a discussion with religious maniacs -- facts and arguments just don't matter. Not worth it." Well I think Chomsky's own words apply very, very well to his own blindness on this particular issue.
And again: this is not to say that the man hasn't done some good work in other respects -- he has -- but this sort of "knee-jerk intellectual orthodoxy", without a shred of evidence to stand on, and admitting that he has not examined the body of evidence [and] doesn't intend to do so because it's like arguing with religious fanatics: well I think the same argument could well be applied to Noam Chomsky.
That is very discouraging to see one of America's foremost progressive intellectuals talking like this. But again: this is the type of intellectual orthodoxy that has long victimized human intellectual and political life. I suspect that if Noam Chomsky -- particularly with his contempt for physics experiments -- had existed in the 15th century, he would have advocated the burning of Copernicus and Galileo for heresy. Certainly he is functioning, in an intellectual respect, that way now -- to all of our detriment, including Noam Chomsky's.
I've also been very critical of Chomsky in the past on other subjects. I find his criticisms of the reactionary forces in this country a little on the hypocritical side in light of the fact that all of his work on generative linguistics made his name as a psycho-linguist (I studied Noam Chomsky in college; I was a psychology major); all of his work on generative linguistics was financed by the Pentagon. Chomsky does not deny this, he simply rationalizes it saying, "It's all alienated labor" -- an explanation I find less than convincing. This same explanation could be given for just about anything. You could talk to the El Salvadoran junta and the families they represent about the enormous injustices, economic and legal, that are visited upon the El Salvadoran population. They could say, "Well. It's all alienated labor." You could talk to Neil Bush about his excesses in regard to the Silverado Savings and Loan -- "It's all alienated labor." You could talk to Oliver North about the numerous references to contra drug dealing in his diaries -- "It's all alienated labor." The same thing would work for anything.
So I don't find that explanation particularly satisfying under the circumstances. And again: this is not to single Chomsky out, but rather to touch on his intellectual orthodoxy as exemplary of the type of knee-jerk reaction that takes place. Not just in this society but in all societies, in my estimation. I view intellectual culture as inherently reactionary; once something has come to be accepted as truth, evidence that demonstrates that it is not true will tend to be overlooked by the vast majority of people. And I view that type of intellectual orthodoxy, particularly on the part of the "progressive" political spectrum, as extremely destructive and in my estimation that has brought us to, in large measure, to our very, very sorry state.
And again: the entire "progressive" political community lined up en masse to "dump on" Oliver Stone, to "dump on" Jim Garrison. And I think that is an extremely regrettable situation. Not only does it help to blind us to our own political heritage and to the political forces which were ascendant on November 22nd, 1963, it has also been an enormous personal tragedy. A great many sincere individuals who have attempted to pursue the truth about President Kennedy's assassination have been marginalized; their lives have been ruined; and many of them have been absolutely "written out" of intellectual culture.
And yet, yet, the investigation has gone forward.
By way of illustrating one of the things that I find essential about investigating Kennedy's assassination, one of the things that I find most distressing about a stance like Chomsky's is that this is not an abstract, intellectual exercise. Apart from coming to recognize the political forces that destroyed John Kennedy, it should be understood that a great deal of harm came out of that particular event: the forces that precipitated that were at work well before 11/22/63; they have proceeded unimpeded since that time, and a lot of people have died. Not only the scores of thousands of American soldiers who died in Vietnam (not to mention the millions of Vietnamese), an awful lot of other people inside and outside of this country have died as a result of the excesses of the forces that took control on November 22nd, 1963.
In "The Guns of November" [broadcast/tape] that I did in November of 1983, on the twentieth anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, I looked on, I suggested a metaphor that John Kennedy's assassination could be looked upon as the waist of an hourglass. The forces that were at work for many, many years before Kennedy's assassination came together in the waist of that hourglass. And the forces that acted in that way, at that time, in that place, have proceeded forward from that waist in an hourglass, and they are the forces that dominate this world today.
[CN -- I forget where I remember reading about some young American activist's meeting in Bolivia, I think it was, with the legendary Che Guevara. This young American began to exclaim about how wonderful it would be to remain with "Che", fighting the forces of oppression. What did "Che" say to this? He counseled that a far more effective fight could be waged by this young American inside the beast itself rather than in the Bolivian wilderness.
I bring this up because I think it still holds true: if you really want to stop future East Timors, your best bet is to clean up the mess here at home. And cleaning up the mess here at home involves getting to the bottom of this country's numerous political assassinations. From that will proceed a more humane foreign policy.]
But an awful lot of people, awful lot of very good people (as well as a lot of bad people) have "bitten the dust", have suffered grievously and mortally as a result of the actions of those forces that proceeded unimpeded. And I think it is extremely destructive to cling to that type of orthodoxy -- although, again: that is a basic principle of intellectual culture, in my opinion. It is distressing to find the "progressive" political segment of this country subscribing to these same, totally untenable theories -- basically the geocentric theory of the universe.
It should be noted, too, that there is a very strong CIA influence in the "progressive" media as there is in the mainstream media. The effects of that CIA infiltration should not be overlooked in assessing the activities of the "progressive" political community. This is not to imply that Noam Chomsky is CIA. I don't want to be misunderstood on that particular category.
[...to be continued...]
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."
Coming to you from Illinois -- "The Land of Skolnick"