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JFK and RFK: The Plots that Killed Them, The Patsies that Didn’t 


Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: James Fetzer, McKnight Professor Emeritus in the philosophy of science at the University of Minnesota Duluth,  taught logic, critical thinking and scientific reasoning for 35 years.

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James Fetzer, voltairenet.org

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Gary Kohls

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Victory in California: RFK greets supporters in the Embassy Ballroom, Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles, on June 5, 1968. (Photo: Bill Eppridge)

Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated 42 years ago in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. presidency. Largely overshadowed by the death of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, the official account of RFK’s tragic end, allegedly shot down by a lone gunman, like his brother, has received vastly less attention. In both instances, we are looking at staged events that fit into a recurrent pattern in U.S. and world history where innocent individuals (or “patsies”) are baited and framed for cover-up purposes. Professor James H. Fetzer, an expert in the scientific study of assassinations, provides a sketch of how we know what happened to them and why, where RFK’s assassination was in part intended to prevent a reinvestigation into his brother’s death.

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Introduction

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A persistent myth of American history is that lone assassins were responsible for the deaths of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Francis Kennedy. But four of the Lincoln conspirators were hanged from the same gallows at the same time [1]. On June 5, 1968, after RFK won the Democratic primary in California, he was shot down as he passed through the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. The official account maintains that he was taken out by a lone, demented gunman, Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian who had written, “RFK must die!”, over and over in a notebook. Like the lone, demented gunman accused of assassinating his brother, John, both murders were products of conspiracies, where Sirhan Sirhan, like Lee Harvey Oswald, was designated as the patsy.

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Summary | Barack Obama, Change We Can Believe In: Week of December 5

5 New Items including:

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  • Obama's Naivete on Bipartisanship Has Finally Caught Up to Him
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  • What We Lost After We Won in 2008
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Pat Oliphant

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Note to “the Left”: Obama Hates You, Paul Street, Z Communications
No matter how fiercely Obama demonstrates his determination (consistent with his longstanding “deeply conservative” instincts) to govern from the center-right, a dedicated cadre of liberals and progressives will persevere with the line that it’s our own damn fault. This is a mistaken and dysfunctional narrative.

Obama's Naivete on Bipartisanship Has Finally Caught Up to Him, Howard Fineman, Huffington Post
My questions are: What planet do he and they (Obama and his advisors) think they are on? And have they paid any attention to Sen. Mitch McConnell?

The Big Economic Story, and Why Obama Isn't Telling It, Robert Reich, Huffington Post
Unless the President and Democrats explain why the economy still stinks for most Americans and offer a plan to fix it, the Republican explanation and solution -- it's big government's fault, and all we need do is shrink it -- will prevail.

What We Lost After We Won in 2008, Marilyn Katz, In These Times

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  • An anti-war activist explains what the Democratic establishment fails to understand.
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  • Two years after an election that saw record voter turnout and engaged huge numbers of new voters, a sense of anomie and disconnection has replaced euphoria.
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  • This article is part of In These Times' December issue cover package, Where We Go From Here. The other cover story is Amy Dean's "A New Blueprint for Change."
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WikiLeaks Cable: White House Worked With GOP To Kill Bush Torture Probe, David Corn, Mother Jones
A WikiLeaks cable shows that when Spain considered a criminal case against ex-Bush officials, the Obama White House and Republicans got really bipartisan.

Note to “the Left”: Obama Hates You

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No matter how fiercely Obama demonstrates his determination (consistent with his longstanding “deeply conservative” instincts) to govern from the center-right, a dedicated cadre of liberals and progressives will persevere with the line that it’s our own damn fault. This is a mistaken and dysfunctional narrative.

Paul Street, Z Communications

1968 Analogies

The 2008 Barack Obama campaign reminded some hopeful left and liberal observers of the fantastic, feel-good presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK). Like RFK in the turbulent summer of 1968, Obama swept up a considerable number of progressives in the illusion that big democratic transformation, peace and justice could be achieved by electing a different ruling class-sponsored candidate. In both cases, many on “the left”1 drank heavily and wistfully from the corporate-crafted pitcher of liberal, candidate-centered Kool Aid. It was a great and dreamy seduction.2

When it comes to 1968 analogies, however, there is reason to see Obama’s real relationship with progressives and “the left” as closer to that of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley of the year.  Think back to August ’68, more than four months after Daley had uttered his infamous “shoot to kill” order against black Chicagoans who rioted in the wake of the assassination/execution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Democratic Convention was underway at the old International Amphitheater in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. The “anti-[Vietnam] war” candidate RFK – the likely victor in the primary contest (despite his late entry) – had been killed the previous month, leaving the Democrats free to nominate the hawkish Hubert Humphrey for the presidency.

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Republicans Criticizing Elizabeth Warren's Lack Of Transparency Had No Problems With Dick Cheney

It is nothing short of astonishing to absorb the current spectacle: Republican members of the House -- the same people who defended national troglodyte Dick Cheney in his effort to block public scrutiny on oil policy -- are now criticizing the way Elizabeth Warren is making preparations for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as if it were some sinister plot to destroy the republic.

Peter S. GoodmanHuffington Post

Recently enough that you may still recall it, a secretive, paranoid man who had previously headed a major multinational energy company found himself vice president of the United States. This man deliberated privately with the heads of major oil companies as his administration set up a new energy policy that, perhaps coincidentally, wound up being strikingly generous to oil companies. The same man played a crucial role in leading the nation into a disastrous and costly war in a country that -- again, perhaps coincidentally -- held the world's second-largest oil reserves.

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When, at the time, a few annoying sticklers for detail suggested there were problems with this flavor of policymaking, that perhaps it would have been better to hold deliberations in public so that people other than the heads of giant energy companies could have a say in the nation's handling of energy, they were derided by this man and members of his party as naive and idealistic. Why clutter up the proceedings with citizens, journalists and other nudges who do not know how to get oil out of the ground? Leave things to the experts, we were told.

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WikiLeaks Cable: White House Worked With GOP To Kill Bush Torture Probe

A WikiLeaks cable shows that when Spain considered a criminal case against ex-Bush officials, the Obama White House and Republicans got really bipartisan.

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David Corn, Mother Jones

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— Zuma/Paul Morse

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In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. An April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department--one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks--details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution.

The previous month, a Spanish human rights group called the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners had requested that Spain's National Court indict six former Bush officials for, as the cable describes it, "creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture." The six were former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; David Addington, former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon's former general counsel; Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; Jay Bybee, former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel; and John Yoo, a former official in the Office of Legal Counsel. The human rights group contended that Spain had a duty to open an investigation under the nation's "universal jurisdiction" law, which permits its legal system to prosecute overseas human rights crimes involving Spanish citizens and residents. Five Guantanamo detainees, the group maintained, fit that criteria.

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