Below, Hawthorne mentions the recent proliferation of books about the JFK assasination.
(As an aside, I think Jerome Corsi has taken to writing books as a form of income generation. He has really been churning them out recently. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I just think he may pick topics he knows will sell books, which makes for a rather random list of books to his credit.)
I have never looked into the Kennedy assassination that much. It happened before my time, unlike Vince Foster, for example, whose investigation I followed pretty closely at the time. But I am somewhat familiar with the various theories, simply because you can’t travel in outside the mainstream circles and not be exposed to them.
With the Kennedy assassination, there are two issues that are often conflated but shouldn’t be. First, was Oswald the Lone Gun Man. The other largely separate issue is, whether he was or wasn’t the lone shooter, did he act on his own or was he acting for someone. Because so much has been invested by both sides in the first question, the second question has sometimes gotten lost.
The pro-conspiracy side believes that if the Lone Gun Man theory is disproved, then the whole story comes crashing down. The pro-official story side believes that if the Lone Gun Man theory is upheld, then the conspiracy theorists will lose face and can be ignored. From the beginning this has always seemed unfortunate to me. Yeah, if there really was more than one shooter then that would seal the deal of a cover-up, but that has always struck me as the secondary, not the primary issue.
Hence, I have never had a problem accepting the Lone Gun Man theory. It’s plausible. But I have always taken for granted that it is entirely possible some other forces were behind the shooting. I don’t assert definitively that others were behind the shooting, because I don’t know that. But it seems to me that that should be the default assumption and that Oswald acted on his own should require the burden of proof. That Oswald acted alone is plausible on the surface, but it is not a conclusion you jump to. If a wife turns up missing, you default suspect the husband. Doesn’t mean he did it, but you don’t default assume a benign explanation.
This is the problem with conspiracy theories. They make otherwise intelligent people stupid. People invested in disbelieving the official explanation will often believe highly implausible things. But people who are invested in believing and defending the conventional wisdom will often cast all their critical thinking skills aside in defense of the official story. Any questioning of the official story is tantamount to full bore conspiracy theorizing.
This dynamic was much in evidence in the Birther debate. Because the issue initially was about Obama being born in Kenya, something that always seemed highly implausible to me, then the defenders of the official story always made it about Kenya, but it is entirely plausible that Obama was not born in Kenya but that his story is still false in some other way. Anti-Birthers act as if it is inconceivable that anyone would ever lie about their past.
So I guess what I’m saying is that we need a more nuanced class of conspiracy theorists and a less lickspittle class of official story defenders, but what explains the recent proliferation of JFK books? I honestly believe that people are beginning to question the official line more and more. Doubt of the official story for more and more is becoming their default rather than acceptance. I noticed this with the Syria chemical weapons attack. The official story provoked immediate eye rolling in many. The people most accepting of the official story seemed to be the press who were trying to convinced a skeptical public, which is the opposite of how it should be. This changing dynamic bodes well for our cause IMO.