Fareed speaks with Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian and author of Dallas, November 22, 1963, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Watch the full interview Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
What do you think explains both the conspiracy theories around John F. Kennedy’s death and the sense of why has this assassination loom so large in American imagination?
Well, you know, it’s almost like myth, Homeric myth – young, handsome, the athlete, dying young, at the height of his glory, you know? A beautiful man, really charming, handsome, idealistic. Murder, blood, violence, horror.
And in this – in an instant, there – this man is lying across his wife's lap, basically, in the back seat of a car with his head blown apart, blood all over her. For that reason alone, it has all the qualities of a mythic drama in the highest terms.
Then you also say, there is the whole thing that happened that you may be too young to remember. The four days of television – all the networks, there’s only one broadcast. So there's a pool broadcast.
The Nielsen ratings showed that for those four days, the television set in the average American home was on for 31.6 hours. That’s eight hours a day that virtually America is watching the same words said by the same people. And you say, I wrote in my book, you know, the funeral procession, we think of the triumphs of Rome, the triumphal processions of Rome.
This is the closest that a republic ever came to it. A procession marching up to the Capitol, with the great dome of the Capitol, columns atop columns in the sky, marching toward it. First, you have the generals, the joint chiefs of staff, the priests in their flowing robes. And then you have the matched gray horses, the caisson. Behind it, you know, a sailor, a single sailor holding a flag. Of course because Kennedy had been a naval hero, a navy lieutenant. That's the president's personal flag, the great black horse prancing there.
You just said forget politics, forget tragedy, this is a drama such as you have very few comparisons to this in all of history. And drumming it into history and drumming it into the American people is television. Everybody is watching it. The nation is united in a way, united and watching this in a way you say when did this ever happen?
Many cannot forget that the JFK presidency symbolized the last period of aspiration to elevated culture likely to happen in the White House, where concerts by Casals and Segovia set a standard of excellence for our nation. That is part of the terrible loss: much has changed.
Was Jackie behind the idea of the funeral arrangement? It was dramatic without being tacky!
not nessesarly a reply to Joey, but would like to ask "what are the odds of 5-6 known (hitmen) assasines being at the scene of an assasination. while it is taking place? Seems like that should fuel the thought of a consperisy
On November 22, 1963, a coup d’état by Lyndon Johnson and the highest echelons of the National Security State was accomplished with the brutal murder of President John F. Kennedy. Andrew Gavin Marshall has written an excellent and concise online summary article, “The National Security State and the Assassination of JFK,” which compliments the definitive, path-breaking research of author James W. Douglass in JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.
The “smoking gun” in the cover-up of the assassination is found in CIA Dispatch #1035-960 (available online). This was the crucial covert directive to the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird elite media assets to vigorously denounce critics of the Warren Commission Report as “conspiracy theorists.” This is when that particular derogatory term of denunciation and disinformation entered the national conversation in an attempt to cut off and stifle informed debate on the president’s murder because the path of evidence would lead directly to those elements behind the sinister cover-up.
These facts are discussed in detail in Lance deHaven-Smith’s authoritative Conspiracy Theory in America (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press). Dr. Smith is a widely published scholar in peer-reviewed academic journals and is Professor in the Reubin O’ D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University in Tallahassee. DeHaven-Smith has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CBS Nightly News with Dan Rather, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and other national TV and radio shows.
Thank you , Charles ,for an outstanding comment . It must have slipped by the CNN Thought Police censors.
The conspiracy theory knows no limit of imagination!
Which part of "Back, and to the right" don't you understand?
I lived in Dallas from 1991 to 1996. Every time I went downtown on a day off, I would try to drop by the old courthouse, and also get a view of where the "event" occurred. And every time I felt some awe realizing that a president had been shot and killed there. I was only two when it happened, but throughout my life, it has loomed like a giant drooping sycamore tree over my thoughts.
That the Knight of Malta-led, Roman Catholic CIA is guilty of the assassination of President Kennedy is a matter of "settled law." Viz. 'Hunt v. Marchetti'; gratuitously corroborated by CIA colonel E. Howard Hunt's deathbed confession.
Field supervision was provided by Nixon and GHW Bush on behalf their Vatican banker/Fed Scammer Rothschild/Rockefeller overlords' Fifth Column of the Roman Anti-Christ we came to America to escape.
Death for Treason
Sorry Will, I get easily confused these days, but was just wondering if you could enlighten me on how any Knights of Malta actually fit into the assassination of JFK .
JFK assassination still looms because it is a fairy tale created by the media to cover up what actually happened. I saw the original footage on the day when JFK was killed and I knew then when Ruby shot Oswald that it was a conspiracy. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. Then, Ruby dies and other witnesses-common !
Recently I even heard on TV that Kennedy's family said that there was NOT a lone gunman. Many reports stated that EXPERTS tried to duplicate the Oswald shots and could not do it, but the misinformation effort by the monopolistic media is more powerful . Craig Roberts , who was a sniper in Viet Nam, in his book " The Medusa File" is very specific about Oswald's inability to pull off the shots . Why has it been ignored by the media ? Because there is something to cover up.
My second comment about monopolistic media withholding information like who benefits from the assassination , about the presidential order 11110 that wanted the US government to issue silver backed dollars.
The fact that CNN removes comments tells me that CNN is a part of the JFK Assassination cover up. Unless this media monopoly is broken up we will never know the truth.
My comment about who benefited from the JFK assassination was rudely removed. It did tick me off and I forgot to put the word vanish in the above comment.
The interview with Caro was a b.s. session to keep the fairy tale going.
We will be subject to a barrage of immense propaganda trying to convince us that it was Oswald, and Oswald alone killed Kennedy. A million-one shot, they will say. "A lone nut-case who slipped through the cracks."
Okay, let's give them that.
The very next day, Oswald is murdered, in yet another million-to-one shot. Two back-to-back million-to-one shots. Now what are the odds?
But it gets worse. Some 5-years later Robert Kennedy is murdered by yet another "lone gunman that slipped through yet another crack," in yet another "million-to-one shot."
So if we are going to use the astronomical calculations of three, million-to-one shots in a row, adding in another million-to-one shot death of John Jr., odds are that those that would want us to believe that there is no conspiracy have to be liars.
"Figures don't lie and liars don't figure." The odds of four, million-to-one shots happening to one family are off the charts. To believe otherwise is too believe the impossible. And those that would tell you otherwise should be viewed with extreme caution.
By the numbers alone there has to be a conspiracy high within our government and beyond. There is no other explanation. If you subscribe to the theory that it was Oswald alone that killed Kennedy, then you also believe you in blue-Unicorns, you can hit the Lottery four-times in a row, and you believe the other million-to-one shot story about 9/11.
Right on , Mr. M.
Yep, ya don't see any of those Bush presidents being shot at. Maybe a shoe here and there, but nothing like the Kennedys. One time can be called a fluke, twice a coincidence, but three times is a trend my friends.
Mr. M, although I don't buy the WC's version of events, I don't think I have ever heard that JFK Jr was shot.
Should Caroline be concerned, as she has been made an Ambassador?
I was quite astonished hearing your guest's answer to the question about why the JFK assasination still looms so large in the minds of Americans. He described the melodrama of a handsome vibrant charismatic man cut down in his prime beside his beautiful wife. This might have been true in 1964.
I believe the reality is most Americans, using their good common sense, for the first time, after such a dramatic event, became aware of the convoluted layers of deception that our government presents to its people as the truth.
Americans are still waiting for answers, still trying to unravel what is still a very intruiging mystery.
Since my return from Vietnam I have seen the excellent misinformation the government and big business have done to delude the American population. I remember where I was when I first heard President Kennedy was shot. As young high school student then I recall thinking the world will never be the same. Since my return from Vietnam I have watched power and greed corrupt a great idea into something else. I believe to this day a deep profound grab for control of the country took place and has shaped a different world than could have exsisted with President Kennedy surviving Dallas.
Charles got it right. The CNN (Conspiracies are Never News) censors must have been asleep when he posted.
author, "The President's Mortician"
CNN blocked my blog ..... I must have bit a nerve...i.e. had something meaningful to say !
I'll need to post it in another blog ; )
They hate the truth, Reason, and remove it promptly. When Ted was running things it may have been -the most trusted name in the news. Since the news monopoly have taken over CNN it is just a propaganda machine.
I agree, when TT was at the helm, it was a much better outlet.
The best new book on JFK's assassination is an imaginative and meticulously researched alternate-history novel in which he DOESN'T get assassinated ... but instead survives the Dallas ambush and then (with his attorney-general brother Bobby) tries to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him and seek revenge... They become the original conspiracy theorists!... The climax is shocking but entirely plausible - not a sci-fi time-travel fantasy... It's called "Surrounded By Enemies : What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?", by award-winning screenwriter and journalist Bryce Zabel... And this novel contains more truth than most non-fiction JFK assassination accounts!....Check it out at http://www.SurroundedByEnemies.com and http://www.WhatIfJFKLived.com ...
Thanks Jerry bought it today.
Ahhhh, I was totally taken aback by this interview. When he starts talking about the impact of TV on the nation and they begin showing people watching it on TV the first shot with the man watching at the kitchen counter with his daughter, that's my dad and sister. I was only a year old myself but I do remember my parents talking about that very sad time in history.
It was indeed sad. People around the world were beside themselves with tears.
I think it is time to talk with neurobiologists to educate us on relationship anger vs relationship happiness. So many of my best friends growing up started as worst enemies. On a different note, I am growing a beard. Grow a beard with me, Fareed. We will be beard brothers!
MANIPULACION HUMANA CON TECNOLOGIAS SATELITALES.
PARA CONCLUSIONES PSIQUIÁTRICAS SOBRE GRADOS DE CAMBIO METABÓLICO Y DE PERSONALIDAD EN CASO DE ESTUDIANTES CON FACES AVANZADAS DE MANIPULACIÓN Y PROGRAMACIÓN.
Evidencias del Trabajo de Campo. Necesaria para comprender la Investigacion.
Hemos tenido algunas sugerencias ya que algunas informaciones o actividades son dificiles de comprender, aqui publicamos las metodologias de investigacion cualitativas.
Senor JR ? Trabahar con CNN censura , no ?
JR, El Loco !
It's the mentality of people the likes of General Fiasco above here that actually worry me. You see, most everyone has something to say, and most often it will go by the wayside whether it's meaningful and well said, or not. And when no one wants to listen, or nothing can be done, some people like General Fiasco or much worse, will resort to more drastic measures. Which brings us to Obama, the Congress, the GOP, the TP, Wall Street, the MIC, and so on. Because when you look at the big picture, there are just too many situations and events that indicate things are getting a bit drastic. And certainly to some degree they always are. But the question is when and whether or not more drastic measures are required and what might they be ? And to answer that, you have to look at certainties:
1. America, and a large part of the world has scary economical problems, which have no immediate remedy.
2. There is a major push by some for war, but it is being blocked, which in turn is causing a bit of a rift.
3. There are some indications of a building up and perpetration for war, but nothing too threatening yet.
4. There is growing concern of tensions and complexities in the Middle East amongst both friends and foes alike.
5. Growing concerns and tensions domestically are being recognized and clearly felt by most.
6. JFK was the only catholic president so far and he did his best to avoided WWIII.
7. Obama is the only African-American president so far (ok, black, there I said it) and he is doing his best to avoid WWIII.
8. There will be no war for America with Syria, Iran, or North Korea, nor likely any other smaller countries.
9. If America goes to war it will be with Russia and China, and maybe even Islam included.
10. If America does not go to war soon, and if there is no war going forward, the long term economical forecast looks somewhat grim
With or without war, the USA faces a grim economic future. A nation is its people. Citizens and residents of a country are products of many factors, including genetics, cultural heritage, and cognitive distortions that they may be unable to identify as irrational.
Joey, I get this bad gut feeling because the first thing I asked myself after reading your comment and picking up the perspective is "might all that be by design?" The answer to which I do not rightfully know entirely and am almost afraid to find out.
I think that some design is involved, in addition to aided and unaided inevitability resulting from natural actions and reactions. I mean human design, of course. Thank you for the response.
Great post @ 3:00am @ RZ and Good morning and @ Joey, dear heart, good morning to you as well! And i agree, we will have a very long grim economic future! We've been living too big for too long now. Starting with our "big government"! Time for us all learn to get back to the basics! Congress would do well to learn to do that as well.
The most tragic result of this assassination chrissy, is the tragic escalation of the unwarranted U.S. involvement in Vietnam! On the other hand, I now doubt that their was any conspiracy in Kennedy's assassination although only the C.I.A. had both the motive and the opportunity. I say motive out of the simple fact that LBJ wanted the war in Vietnam whereas JFK didn't. If their was any kind of conspiracy, it would most probably have been uncovered by now.
You only need to ask who benefitted the most in terms of dollars.
to find out who did it.
Also take a look at: "Family of Secrets – The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years" by Russ Baker (pub 2009) and watch the 10 part TV series "The Untold History of the United States" by Oliver Stone.
I was disappointed to see that you had Professor Caro on your show. Someone who has invested his professional reputation in writing about LBJ is not going blow his credibility by addressing the convincing information that LBJ was either directly involved in the assassination or was complicit in the cover-up.
Lol @ rightospeak, senor JR, mucho El Loco!
Federal Reserve Rothschilds are at the head of it all....same as when Lincoln got assasinated..the vipers know their time is short...if this comment goes online ot would be a miracle..if it doesnt we know why and who is not posting it..your time is coming....and be worried
For those who believe Oswald killed JFK. You've been fooled; no shame in that, you're one of the victims. garyrevel.com/news/jfk/cia.html
The Global Public Square is where you can make sense of the world every day with insights and explanations from CNN's Fareed Zakaria, leading journalists at CNN, and other international thinkers. Join GPS editor Jason Miks and get informed about global issues, exposed to unique stories, and engaged with diverse and original perspectives.
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