DEEP STATE: ‘American Pravda’, The JFK Assassination & The Covid Cover-Up (Part 1) – By Ron Unz

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  • “…But once we recognize that for nearly six decades our government and our media had successfully concealed the reality of JFK’s assassination, we must necessarily turn a skeptical eye to more recent events. If the President of the United States—the most powerful man in the world—could be struck down in public by a conspiracy involving rogue elements of his own government, and that truth then kept hidden from the American people for generations, other important matters may have followed a similar pattern”

American Pravda: The JFK Assassination and the Covid Cover-Up – By Ron Inz

Tucker Carlson hosts the most popular cable news show and last Thursday he aired an explosive segment in which he declared that that 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy had been the work of a conspiracy, with our own CIA heavily involved.

Carlson’s regular nightly audience is over 3 million, and more than a million have already watched the Youtube video, so these bombshell accusations regarding the events in Dallas have probably now reached more ordinary Americans than anything else on the topic in the three decades since Oliver Stone’s Oscar-winning film JFK was playing in the theaters.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., nephew of the slain President and son of his murdered brother praised Carlson’s show as “the most courageous newscast in 60 years,” and his remarks have been Retweeted more than 22,000 times.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr @RobertKennedyJrFollow

The most courageous newscast in 60 years. The CIA’s murder of my uncle was a successful coup d’état from which our democracy has never recovered. @TuckerCarlson

Tucker Carlson: We were shocked to learn this

Fox News host Tucker Carlson gives his take on a source saying the CIA was involved in JFK’s assassination on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’ #FoxNews #TuckerSubsc…

, 75.5K, Reply, Copy link

Kennedy is a prominent public figure and best-selling author, with the strongest possible personal standing on the murder of his uncle. But I suspect that if Elon Musk hadn’t bought Twitter, that Tweet would have been immediately shadow-banned, disappearing with scarcely a trace.

In recent decades, such conspiratorial beliefs on the JFK assassination have been largely confined to the Left, with Stone himself being a prime example. But Carlson is one of America’s most influential conservatives, so he may have successfully implanted these ideas among a portion of our citizenry previously unexposed to them. He also noted that widespread use of the insulting phrase “conspiracy theory” only began in the aftermath of the JFK assassination, with the CIA itself successfully marginalizing its critics by promoting that accusation in the compliant media.

Indeed, as a consequence of those decades of skewed and dishonest media coverage, I had spent most of my entire life assuming that such “conspiracy theories” were total nonsense and had never taken them seriously. But about a dozen years ago, I stumbled across some surprising facts and later began a serious investigation, eventually leading me to publish several articles summarizing my remarkable conclusions:

Manipulating The JFK Assassination Cover-up

By purest chance, Carlson’s show had aired just a few days after I had finished reading an important book on the JFK assassination that someone had brought to my attention last year. Originally published almost thirty years ago, this work provided some crucial insights into how the political cover-up of the conspiracy had been arranged, a cover-up that has now successfully endured for nearly six decades. The most powerful man in the world had been killed at the very height of America’s postwar success and prosperity, yet nearly all of America’s political elites were successfully enlisted to suppress the truth of what had happened.

John Newman had spent twenty years in Military Intelligence and then became a professor of history at the University of Maryland. Since then, he had applied the technical skills that he had honed in his many years of government service to analyzing the bureaucratic minutia of declassified government files and using this material to produce a series of books on the hidden side of American government policies during the 1960s, including our growing involvement in Vietnam and especially the complex circumstances of the JFK Assassination. Oswald and the CIA originally appeared in 1993, but the 2008 edition included a new epilogue, summarizing some of his most important findings.

The book is a lengthy one, running over 650 pages with notes and appendices, and his exhaustively detailed analysis of the released intelligence files and their interpretation can be eye-glazingly dull at points, but his broader conclusions are not difficult to state. The profusion of internal CIA documents regarding Oswald and his movements seems completely inconsistent with any institutional plot at the Agency to kill Kennedy, but might fit very well with the hypothesis of a “rogue faction” at the CIA having played a central role in the affair.

Newman argued that Oswald was exactly the “patsy” that he claimed to be, but more importantly he drew a very sharp distinction between the small group of plotters who had actually organized the JFK assassination itself and the much larger group who carried out the subsequent cover-up, with the motives of many of those latter individuals being entirely different. As he persuasively explained in his epilogue, the conspirators had created a false intelligence trail suggesting that Oswald might have been a Soviet agent, and then used that misinformation to force our fearful government leadership into become their unwitting accomplices after the fact, compelling them to suppress all evidence of any conspiracy in Dallas:

It is now clear that most of the U.S. leaders and officials who participated in the national security cover-up had nothing to do with the plot that was hatched before the president’s murder. Many of them—including leading legislators and Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren—were motivated by the perceived threat of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. Inside the executive branch of government, many others were motivated by the desire to protect their jobs and their institutions. Their collective actions, however, were not the result of an accident; rather, they were the forced checkmate in the endgame of an ingenious plan.

The plan was designed to force official Washington to bury a radioactive story in Oswald’s files in order for America to survive. The plan worked. No matter how sloppy the performance of the shooters in Dallas was, no matter how bungled the autopsy and the handling of the evidence was, all would be trumped by the threat of WWIII and 40 million dead Americans. From the beginning, the plot was based upon the assumption that, when presented with this horrific possibility, everyone would fall into line. This assumption was correct.

…There was a darker purpose for Oswald’s visit to Mexico City. He was sent there to seek visas from the Cuban Consulate and Soviet Embassy…the objective was simply incidental contact between Oswald and the man who issued Soviet visas in Mexico City: Valery Kostikov. The value of this contact derived from what only a handful of counterintelligence officers in Washington knew: Kostikov was an important operative of the KGB assassinations in the Americas…The handler’s purpose in having both Oswald’s and Kostikov’s names mentioned was to place evidence into the CIA’s records that, on 22 November, would link KGB assassinations to the murder of President Kennedy. The activities of this impersonator are what made it possible for President Johnson to tell Senator Russell on 29 November that those investigating the case were “testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this.” Johnson insisted that this must be prevented “from kicking us into a war that can kill forty million Americans in an hour.”

So under Newman’s convincing reconstruction, most of the powerful American officials who played such a pivotal role in concealing the conspiracy may have been acting under the best of intentions, seeking to protect our country from the risk of a devastating retaliatory war with the Soviets. And obviously these concerns would have been deliberately fanned by those among them who had been involved in the plot and created the false trail of evidence connecting Oswald with KGB assassination efforts.

The author therefore argued that creating that false trail had constituted an absolutely crucial element of the assassination plot, and by a very careful examination of the intelligence files, he concluded that longtime CIA Counter-Intelligence Chief James Angleton had been the likely culprit, thus identifying him as one of the key conspirators. This conclusion meshes perfectly with the entirely different arguments advanced by the late Michael Collins Piper in Final Judgment, his 1994 landmark work, which had also argued that Angleton was a central figure in the assassination.

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination. Angleton, guilty or not, died in 1987, and all the other individuals involved have surely been dead for many years, even many decades. Newman’s important book was published almost 30 years ago, and today the issue that he so effectively analyzed hardly seems of urgent importance.

But once we recognize that for nearly six decades our government and our media had successfully concealed the reality of JFK’s assassination, we must necessarily turn a skeptical eye to more recent events. If the President of the United States—the most powerful man in the world—could be struck down in public by a conspiracy involving rogue elements of his own government, and that truth then kept hidden from the American people for generations, other important matters may have followed a similar pattern.

Over the last few years, I have carefully investigated quite a number of these, and my American Pravda series has been the result, now including many dozens of individual articles and totaling nearly a half-million words.

Manipulating the Covid Origins Cover-Up

Of all these other events I have investigated, the one of greatest recent importance has been the Covid pandemic, the sudden appearance of a new coronavirus in late 2019 that soon spread around the world, killing perhaps 18 million people, including more than a million Americans. The global epidemic also produced major changes in the patterns of world trade, daily life, and government spending, and resulted in the widespread introduction of social controls that would have previously been unthinkable, while the new vaccines used to control the disease have provoked tremendous controversies of their own.

Although those latter issues have dominated the recent political debate, a fierce scientific dispute still rages over the origins of the virus, a controversy that has assumed much political importance. From the very beginning, there was considerable scientific evidence that the virus was artificial and had been produced in a lab, but that explosive possibility was quickly suppressed by influential members of the scientific community and the Western media, and their efforts amounted to a cover-up of why our society had been devastated, leaving more than a million Americans dead.

Aside from the huge historical importance of both the JFK assassination and the Covid epidemic, I think there is also a close analogy between how both those subsequent cover-ups came about. Newman argues that the vast majority of the individuals participating in the whitewash of JFK’s assassination had been manipulating into doing so, persuaded by false information that they needed to take such actions for the good of their country and their institutions. And whether intentional or not, I believe that a very similar dynamic came into play during the early weeks of the global Covid epidemic, as numerous prominent individuals began proclaiming—despite all evidence to the contrary—that the virus was clearly natural, with most of them probably convincing themselves that they were taking that position for the best of intentions.

For example, leaked emails have demonstrated that Dr. Kristian Andersen of Scripps and other leading advocates of the natural origins hypothesis had initially believed that characteristics of the virus strongly suggested that it had come from a lab, but then surprisingly reversed themselves after an urgent conference call was arranged. As I described a year ago, others had originally had similar thoughts

Jeremy Farrar served as Director of Britain’s Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest funders of public health projects, and he played a crucial role in organizing the immediate measures taken to contain the Covid epidemic. Spike, co-authored by journalist Anjana Ahuja, is his short narrative account of those important events beginning in the last days of 2019, and it provides the useful perspective of a leading insider. I was also particularly interested to discover that Wellcome’s chair was the former head of MI-5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, who may have helped provide the author with some important insights on certain matters.

In his account, Farrar repeatedly emphasized that the Covid outbreak had hit China at the absolute worst possible time, appearing on the eve of Chinese Lunar New Year, when 450 million Chinese might be traveling. This seemed likely to spread the disease to every corner of the huge country, and that gigantic, looming disaster was only averted by an immediate public health lockdown unprecedented in all of human history.

Farrar is the most respectable of establishmentarian figures, and I was surprised to discover that in the early days of the epidemic he and his circle of leading scientific experts freely discussed whether the virus had been bioengineered, with some of them thinking that likely, and he even mentioned the speculation that it might have been a bioweapon, deliberately released. But as the practical needs of the terrible public health crisis facing Britain and the rest of the West began absorbing all of his concentration, these theoretical issues understandably faded from their discussions.

I think that the obvious reason for these sudden reversals on the origins of Covid was the massive propaganda barrage that America had quickly directed against China, leading many of these individuals to fear that this might lead to a disastrous global conflict. As I wrote last year:

Although in recent decades America seems to have fallen behind various other countries in industrial production, governing competence, and some important aspects of military technology, the effectiveness of our propaganda organs remains undiminished…Using alternative media to immediately promote theories that the coronavirus outbreak was the result of a leak from a Chinese biowarfare lab was a natural means of preempting any later Chinese accusations along similar lines, thereby allowing America to win the international propaganda war before China had even begun to fight….I discovered that the fringes of the Internet were awash with claims that the disease was caused by a Chinese bioweapon accidentally released from that same Wuhan laboratory, with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and ZeroHedge, a popular right-wing conspiracy-website, playing leading roles in advancing the theory. Indeed, the stories became so widespread in those ideological circles that Sen. Tom Cotton, a leading Republican Neocon, began promoting them on Twitter and FoxNews, thereby provoking an article in the NYT on those “fringe conspiracy theories.”As the Times article indicated, these early claims that Covid might be a leaked Chinese bioweapon were soon heavily amplified by Neocon-oriented international news outlets such as the Washington Times and Alex Jones’s popular InfoWars network. Fearful of the possible international consequences of such explosive charges, well-intentioned scientists mobilized behind the defense that the virus was entirely natural, whether or not they actually believed the evidence was as strong as they claimed. Public statements to this effect appeared in a January 29th Washington Post article and a couple of weeks later the New York Times article debunking Sen. Cotton’s charges.This may also be the most likely explanation for the high-profile declaration published in the Lancet on February 19, 2020 by a group of 27 virologists and other noted scientists, condemning speculation about an artificial virus as an untenable “conspiracy theory,” and the equally high-profile piece the following month in Nature Medicine arguing for a natural Covid origin. These early statements in prestigious journals completely framed the media discourse for more than a year, and as a consequence this supposed scientific consensus ensured that any Iranian accusations of a biowarfare attack were automatically dismissed as absurd and ridiculous.

I think that this reconstruction of events is supported by the remarkably contradictory public positions taken by Prof. Richard H. Ebright, a highly-reputable Rutgers molecular biologist and biosafety expert, who has recently established himself as one of the most widely cited scientific backers of the Wuhan lab-leak theory.

In January, Nicholson Baker had quoted Ebright as saying that for years he had been concerned about the Wuhan lab and the work being done there to create “chimeric” SARS-related bat coronaviruses “with enhanced human infectivity.” In an email, the scientist further declared that “In this context, the news of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan ***screamed*** lab release.”

Soon afterwards, Ebright became one of the prominent signatories of the March Open Letter sharply criticizing the WHO report and calling for a renewed international investigation of the Wuhan lab, outlining his views in a lengthy Independent Science News interview. According to the Vanity Fair article, when the earliest reports of the Covid outbreak appeared, his suspicions that an artificial virus had leaked from the Wuhan lab were immediate, emerging within “a nanosecond or a picosecond.” Ebright’s statements also constituted a centerpiece of Wade’s seminal article:

It is clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was systematically constructing novel chimeric coronaviruses and was assessing their ability to infect human cells and human-ACE2-expressing mice. It is also clear that, depending on the constant genomic contexts chosen for analysis, this work could have produced SARS-CoV-2 or a proximal progenitor of SARS-CoV-2…It is clear that some or all of this work was being performed using a biosafety standard … that would pose an unacceptably high risk of infection of laboratory staff. It also is clear that this work never should have been funded and never should have been performed.

Yet strangely enough, during the early months of the epidemic, Ebright had seemingly taken an entirely contrary public position. In his January 29, 2020 interview with the Washington Post, he had declared: “Based on the virus genome and properties there is no indication whatsoever that it was an engineered virus.” And according to a Post story a couple of weeks later, he also added “The possibility that this was a deliberately released bioweapon can be firmly excluded.”

Ebright’s sweeping statements had been intended to rebut the widespread allegations that Covid was a Chinese bioweapon that had accidentally been leaked, but they soon proved extremely helpful to our own government-sponsored RFE/RL, which denounced the Iranian biowarfare accusation as “an unfounded claim” backed by “no evidence,” and quoted Ebright’s blanket assertion as an rebuttal. The apparent scientific consensus that the virus was natural ensured that any further Iranian accusations were summarily rejected as completely irrational by the international media, forcing Tehran to soon abandon the effort as counter-productive.

Whether or not my analysis of Ebright’s motive is correct, there is the undeniable reality that the loudest early scientific voice favoring Covid as natural has become the loudest voice arguing that it came from a lab, a belief he now claims to have held from the very beginning. No one in the media seems to have commented upon or perhaps even noticed this radical reversal.

I cannot say if this political/media strategy was actually planned, but it proved very effective, and the fierce, early attacks on China for having released Covid achieved a double result. The accusations successfully demonized that country with much of the American and world public, so that according to a poll taken at the end of April, a remarkable 45% of Americans believed that the deadly virus had “probably” or “definitely” originated in a Chinese laboratory, with 74% of Republicans holding that opinion. But the charges also provoked a defensive response by reputable scientific authorities, who gravitated towards the doubtful natural virus theory as their best defense, and this proved extremely useful in defeating the Iranian accusations when they soon came. Moreover, the resulting natural virus consensus remained confined to the mainstream media, a source of information widely distrusted by populist conservatives, most of whom may have remained stubbornly convinced that Covid had indeed come from the Wuhan lab and had probably been a Chinese bioweapon….

Continued in Part 2…