Your Opinion: Inconvenient truths of modern life
Thursday, September 22, 2011
With the release of Jackie Kennedy’s reflections on the life and presidency of JFK, we seem to have once again opened up the giant can of worms surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Years ago satirist Paul Krassner unleashed a firestorm of outrage when he suggested Lyndon Johnson’s possible complicity in the assassination. Unconfirmed reports assert that it now seems Jackie herself may have had suspicions that Johnson had a hand in the death of her husband.
Karl Marx said, “History begins as tragedy and ends as farce.” If you cover up the facts well enough and allow the passage of enough time, tragedy loses its sting and at last comes to rest in the dustbin of history as just another inconsequential footnote concerning villains and victims long dead — nothing of consequence.
It seems that modern life has had to endure the more and more frequent swallowing of larger and larger amounts of unpleasant, inconvenient truths. One of the sacred duties of U.S. presidents is the preservation and promulgation of the dominant myths of America and protecting its secret infamies from exposure. That is why even a president elected on an avowed platform of reform still must genuflect before the myth of Ron Reagan and must keep closed the sealed vault holding the facts of past crimes of America such as the assassination of JFK and MLK. Above all, he must not attempt to prosecute members of the previous administration, notably Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld — even for flagrantly admitted high crimes and misdemeanors.
Last week former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham revealed some rather damning evidence of a cover up of Saudi involvement in 9/11. He is demanding a complete reopening of the whole flawed investigation — an investigation Bush has flatly refused to substantially participate in. I wish Sen. Graham luck.
As has been pointed out elsewhere in these pages, myths can exert a powerful, even irrational hold on the mind.
Orwell said, “... we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.” ... or an unemployment line, or the floor of a stock exchange.