Is the Trilateral Commission behind an anti-conspiracy conspiracy?
By Jim Schutze
Thursday, Mar 7 2013
Nothing could be crazier or sadder. It is the continued determination of a small group of people in Dallas to tightly control public observations of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination here. They want to banish the public from Dealey Plaza where it happened so that no one can go there and raise questions.
At the behest of this group, the city has agreed to barricade and shut down
for two weeks bracketing the November 22 anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's murder in 1963. The
longer this goes on and the closer we draw to the date, the more I feel myself
getting spooked out by the whole thing. This is some weird stuff. Dealey Plaza
The city's stated goal is to keep Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists away from the immense hordes of international press that city leaders fear will show up for the event. First of all, immense hordes are not coming. C'mon. If you asked people on the street right now to tell you who JFK was, half would guess he was a rapper.
But a pretty decent-sized contingent of press might show up to see
acting like we did
it. "Half Century Later, Dallas Still Guilty" — now that's a decent
little color piece. The more City Hall keeps doing cheap imitations of a 1950s
TV detective show, the better chance we have of actually drawing interest and
attention next November, all of
it bad. Dallas
Last week another shoe dropped onto the overwhelming mountain of evidence already arguing that shutting down
is a manifestly imbecilic and
self-defeating idea. An appeals court came down entirely on the side of Robert Groden, a best-selling author and
assassination expert whom the city has been hounding for a decade. The court's
finding was a refutation of everything the city has ever said about its right
to control Dealey
Plaza . Dealey Plaza
In 2010 a trial court judge quashed the city's case against Groden for selling assassination tracts in
. Even though the city had
come up with three different versions of what they claimed Groden did wrong,
the trial judge said it still failed to find a single law he had broken. By the
way, this was the 81st time the city had been tossed out of court for trying to
banish Groden form Dealey
Eighty-one. If in the first 80 times you do not succeed, try an 81st! Dealey Plaza
The city appealed the trial judge's ruling in 2010. It took the appeals court three years to make up its mind, but last week a judge finally handed down the score: Groden 81, city of
goose-egg. A few days later the city informed Bradley Kizzia, Groden's lawyer, that they will not
appeal again. The city attorney's office confirmed this to me. Dallas
I learned recently that when Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was in
last January for the inauguration, he met with John Judge of the Coalition on
Presidential Assassinations, a national umbrella group for assassination
scholars and conspiracy theorists, to explore the possibility of compromise on
the 50th observations. Judge told me that he offered the mayor three possible
compromise positions. Washington
First, Judge suggested the city move its memorial event to the Kennedy Memorial site two blocks from
and leave the plaza open to
the public to whom to it belongs. Second, if the city insisted on using the
plaza for its memorial, Judge proposed the city allow COPA to be present during
the observation in some nondisruptive fashion. And finally if the city just
could not share the moment, Judge suggested that a staggered timing be worked
out so that COPA could move into the plaza and hold its own event immediately
before or immediately after the city's event. Dealey
Mayor Rawlings confirmed to me he had met with Judge in
and discussed possible points of compromise. Of the suggestion that the
official event remove itself from Washington and leave the plaza open,
Rawlings told me he told Judge, "I don't think so." He said he did
agree to relay a request from COPA that it be allowed to meet with the
committee sponsoring the event to present its thoughts, something the committee
has declined to allow so far in spite of previous requests from COPA. Dealey
Rawlings told me that since returning to
he has met with members of the event committee and has relayed COPA's request
to talk to them. He sounded reasonably though not totally optimistic that such
a meeting will take place. "If they [the committee] want to, I think we
will make that happen," he said. Dallas
He also said this about Judge and his group: "John's a nice guy. It was a good conversation. I felt that they cared about this day as much as anybody, so we needed to continue that dialogue.
"I was pleased with a couple of things I heard them say. One is that it's not a massive group. I was afraid it was 500 people or something. I think it's not. I think it's a smaller group. And second, they've been very respectful [in the past]. In fact they were complaining about somebody who had disrespected their moment of silence. So I liked the tenor of what they were talking about."
COPA, by the way, has a long history of solemn and respectful observations at
on previous anniversaries of JFK's death. Like Groden, Judge and most of the
people we are talking about here are mature scholars who choose their words
carefully and know how to behave when they go downtown. The suggestion that
there is something ominous or dangerous about them — a linchpin of the city's
81 failed cases against Groden — is a lot of what keeps getting the city
laughed out of court. Dealey Plaza
In fact, for the most part the assassination writers and theorists only look scary when you read about them in the pages of The Dallas Morning News, whose writers have described them as necrophiliacs and fiends in the past. The News, of course, was singled out at the time of the assassination for having fanned the flames of extremism in
ça change. Dallas
And it is a mystery. Most of the world takes it as a mystery. But organizers of the officialDallas City Hall event for the 50th are determined that no one must be allowed to speak those three words — it's a mystery — at any time or in any place near the event.
Groden was a consultant to the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations convened in 1976, which said in a report two years later it had found credible scientific evidence thatLee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing Kennedy. The report didn't say who did it. It said it was a mystery.
The murder is still an open case, a point driven home here recently when sponsors of the city's official 50th observation succeeded in luring members of the Kennedy family back to
for an official event — the first time since the assassination. At a gathering
in the Arts District, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said exactly the
same thing the city has been persecuting Groden for saying in Dallas : It's a mystery. Kennedy said
his father, the assassinated RFK, publicly endorsed the lone-gunman findings of
Commission but privately dismissed those findings and derided the
commission's report as "a shoddy piece of work." Dealey
Early on in this effort, city officials went to great lengths to explain their sensitivity to the feelings of the Kennedy family, even suggesting at one point that the word "assassination" would be banished from all publicity and proceedings lest it cause the Kennedys to recall something they had perhaps forgotten about. Of course, that story went sailing out the window when RFK came to town and said his father thought the Warren Commission was bunk.
In fact for all its lugubrious, funeral-home hand-wringing, it's the city now that begins to emerge as ludicrous and profane in its treatment of this event. How could
of all the cities in the world, ever have gotten the idea that it had the right
to control this particular conversation? Dallas
The mayor's more reasonable tone may offer hope for a more reasonable outcome, but he was careful to tell me that this particular piece of business is not in his hands. He repeated a few time that decisions about the 50th are in the hands of "the committee."
I am slowly coming to my own personal theory about "the committee," the people behind
effort to basically make this day go away. The committee includes some
window-dressing and diversity names, but the core group is made up of way-back
Dallas society and money names including Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Deedie Rose, Erle
Nye, Margot Perot and Caren Prothro. I suspect their obsession with this
event is linked somehow with the Kennedy assassination having been the first
time in human history that international live television took a place most
people had never heard of before and cast it out naked onto the center stage of
world attention, covered in shame and blood as if in a scene from Stephen King's Carrie. Dallas
For the people on whose watch all of that happened in 1963, the assassination became the cause for their own personal arrested development. Only by thinking of it that way can I make sense of their approach to the 50th.
It's not the Kennedy family they're worried about. And I don't even think it has anything to do with the city's vaunted image. Images don't really go back 50 years. More like 50 minutes in this world.
It's the nightmare. They're afraid the nightmare is coming back. The strangest thing, the spookiest thing, the saddest thing in all of this is that they are the ones conjuring it out of the ground.