Friday, February 1, 2013

Dear RFK, Jr. From Dallas

Tuesday Jan. 15, 2013

To: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

From: Jim Schutze Get Off My Lawn

Dear Mr. Kennedy:

You and your sister, Rory, appeared here in Dallas a few days ago as part of the run-up to this city's observance of the 50th anniversary of the murder of your uncle, President John F. Kennedy, in Dealey Plaza in Dallas on November 22, 1963. This letter to you is my request for your help in an urgent related matter.

Your visit here was taken by the Dallas establishment as a welcome gesture of reconciliation, since as far as most people know none of your family has come here officially since the assassination a half-century ago. I don't diminish that.

But in your appearance here you revealed that your father, Robert F. Kennedy, was skeptical of the work of the Warren Commission and skeptical of the single-gunman theory it propagated. I did not attend the event where you spoke. I understand from the reports that you mentioned the Mafia and rogue CIA agents as possible co-conspirators.
Let me mention quickly, for what it's worth, that I do not have a personal theory about the assassination of your uncle. Like anybody else who has been a reporter in Dallas for a long time, I have traipsed across the trail many times, but only enough to remind me how little I know and how silly it would be for me to offer opinions. That's not why I am bothering you.

This is why. Are you aware -- do you have any knowledge of -- the vicious campaign of repression that the City of Dallas has carried out for many years and is still prosecuting against people here for doing exactly what you just did so easily on a Dallas stage: expressing skepticism about the Warren Commission?

One man in particular, Charles Groden (Sic? Robert Groden), has been ticketed more than 80 times and jailed twice, in spite of findings by city judges in each and every instance that he had broken no law by speaking and offering books for sale on city land near where your uncle was killed.

Even today the city is using a bogus, and probably illegal, permitting procedure to clamp down Soviet-style on assassination skeptics for the November 22, 2013 observances at Dealey Plaza. The entire thrust and style of the event itself is designed to ward off any discussion of theories that depart from the Warren Commission findings.

In fact, at the press conference to announce plans, the mayor of Dallas, an otherwise reasonable man, instructed reporters that the event itself was to be called only "The 50th," without any verbal reference or allusion to the murder of your uncle, a bizarre exercise in euphemism that should tell you all you need to know.
The problem of suppression, sadly, goes far beyond the case of Groden. In fact the city has raised a large sum of money privately for "security" in order to bar presence at the event next November of a group called COPA, Committee on Presidential (Sic Coalition on Political) Assassinations.

Obviously you know and I know that the assassination has attracted the attention of lots of eccentric people, even crazy people. They can be irritating, and I think I'm guilty of having expressed that irritation by making fun of some of them here in the past.

COPA is not crazy people. If anything, the dedicated scholars and investigators of COPA and some other study groups are the monks who have kept scholarship alive on these questions over long decades of derision and even aggressive attack like the behavior of the City of Dallas. If there is a body of knowledge out there now capable of responding to your own personal curiosity about these questions, it exists today only because of the work of COPA and some other groups and individuals.

These are the people Dallas is banning from the observances. What you were allowed to say without incident on a stage in Dallas last weekend they will not be allowed to say at the observance itself next November. In fact they will not be allowed to be even physically present and silent, under an especially Kafkaesque ruling by the city that the moment of silence they wished to observe on November 22 would conflict with other moments of silence already planned. Under current arrangements they will be physically shut out of Dealey Plaza, banned by a jury-rigged ticketing process.

Why? That's another long conversation. Are the answers psychological, moral, political or conspiratorial? I don't have an answer worth uttering. I don't know.

I do know this. Your uncle and father would never have countenanced the suppression of free speech being carried out in Dallas now around your family name. No one could do more to defeat those efforts now than a Kennedy. A word from any one of you on this subject, publicly or privately, would go far.

Please don't be deceived by the fawning reception I'm sure you received here. What's going on behind those practiced smiles is not pretty. They invoke your name to justify their actions, insisting that free speech at the event on November 22 would be an affront to your family.

Your words here last weekend put the lie to that rationale but did not put an end to the effort. That will take more. This is an urgent sincere plea that you do more.

If RFK Jr. is Skeptical of the Warren Report, He Should Help His Fellow Skeptics Fight Dallas - Dallas - News - Unfair Park


 Thanks for the kind comments, Jim. We are the Coalition on Political Assassinations based in Washington, DC and we are planning a major conference on the 50th anniversary of murder of President Kennedy in Dallas. The theme is "50 Years is Enough! Free the Files - Find the Truth". We study not only the assassination of President Kennedy but his brother Robert, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, among others. For the last 49 years we have held a Moment of Silence on the Grassy Knoll every November 22 at 12:30 pm and spoken out about the unsolved murder of our President in 1963. This year the Sixth Floor Museum took out an exclusive permit on behalf of the Mayor's office to prevent what the Director called "conspiracy theory" in the Dallas Morning News. 

 We have a pending legal permit for our event, and have met recently with the Mayor of Dallas to suggest alternatives to blocking off the whole of Dealey Plaza on November 22 to what he told us would be "tens of thousands" of people coming to commemorate the event. He wants to hold an event to "celebrate the life and legacy of President Kennedy" to allow the people of Dallas some "catharsis" and improve the City's image. He does not want to discuss the assassination save for his own moment of silence from a stage for ticketed residents and press, visible around the city on Jumbotrons for the rest of us. We are waiting to hear back from his planning committee about our proposal that he either move his event to the nearby JFK Memorial park or allow our event to be visible on the Grassy Knoll and let the public in.

We feel this is a content-based denial of our free speech rights under the First Amendment.

Dealey Plaza was designated as a National Historical site by the U.S. Department of Interior, and as such belongs to the American people, the world and to history, especially on November 22 at 12:30 pm this year. They are coming from all over the world to be there and will be rudely shocked to find that they are barricaded out.

In addition, if you wanted to honor the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, you would not do it at the Ford Theater in Washington, DC on April 14, the date and place of his assassination. JFK's life can be celebrated anywhere and on any day and should be. Our events celebrate his life and legacy as well, but we believe it got him killed. 

 Skeptics of the official version of the Warren Commission report represent 85% of the American people in a recent poll, we are the mainstream, not a fringe group. The House Select Committee on Assassinations found in the 1970s that the Warren Commission failed and that a "probable conspiracy" led to the deaths of both President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but the Justice Department never followed up. Millions of pages of classified records concerning Kennedy's life and assassination were released by the JFK Assassination Records Board and they support the critics like Jim Garrison and others, and all the hard evidence points to conspiracy in the case.

By the way, there are already several films in the public domain of the shooting of the President that prove a conspiracy, the primary one being the famous Zapruder film. Robert Groden was a consultant to both the HSCA and the ARRB on photographic evidence and the author of a best selling book on the assassination. He has devoted his life to this case, finding the truth and making it public. The rude comments about him and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. here merely reflect the lack of intelligence or information of those who are making them.

We'd all like to freeze time at 12:29 pm on November 22, 1963, when Texas Governor John Connolly's wife Nellie turns to President Kennedy in the motorcade limousine on Elm Street and says, "Well, Jack, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you," but we can't. Dallas didn't kill President Kennedy, but it if really wants to get closure and worldwide positive press, the Mayor should take on this unsolved homicide as a cold case, call for full release of records this year, call on the citizens of Dallas and elsewhere to come forward with any new information, and if warranted open a Grand Jury investigation of the crime under the D.A.'s office in Dallas. 

Robert F. Kennedy needs to be applauded for the courage of his convictions in speaking out in Dallas at the start of the 50th anniversary events there. We have to wonder if he would have been allowed to make the same comments had he been invited to the Mayor's planned event on November 22. We would welcome his support and presence, but it's not really his fight, it's ours. It was our President and our democracy that were killed that day so long ago and it is up to us to reclaim our history and our rights in America and take our democracy and sense of justice back.

John Judge, Coalition on Political Assassinations, Washington, DC -

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