The Cutting Edge
by Ed Knudson
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Where Your Tax Dollar Goes  4/18/2017  (28)

Talking It Through  4/15/2017  (42)

False Community Consciousness and Local Radio  4/1/2017  (63)

Politicians Can Use Nostalgia to Manipulate the Minds and Hearts of People  3/31/2017  (58)

Two Forms of Governance: Big Corporations Want to Snoop about Your Internet Behavior  3/27/2017  (68)

Obamacare is Not Imploding, Can Be Improved  3/24/2017  (84)

The Soul-Sucking, Attention-Eating Black Hole of the Trump Presidency  3/24/2017  (81)

An Avalanche of Absurdities: Chris Hedges on the Rise of Trump and American Fascism  3/21/2017  (83)

Of Course Obama Wiretapped Trump  3/21/2017  (94)

Trump Glorifies American Militarism with German Leader, Embarrassing Himself  3/18/2017  (101)

Most of Trump's Voters are Not Poor, but Regular Old Republicans  3/18/2017  (95)

Robert Mercer and Big Money Chose Trump to be President, not the People  3/17/2017  (106)

Stirring Up Muslim Hatred; The Need for a New Election  3/16/2017  (94)

Old Republican Tactic: Stoke Fear of Crime  3/13/2017  (129)

White People are Hurting Themselves  3/11/2017  (126)

Basic Civics Lesson for Libertarians  3/8/2017  (134)

Public Trust: Post-truth is Pre-fascim  3/8/2017  (188)

Martin Marty Center Publishes Column in Support of Disgraced White Nationalist, Milo Yiannopoulos  2/28/2017  (213)

Trump is Not a Normal Politician and Was Not Elected Fair and Square  2/21/2017  (450)

Trump is Using Immigrants as a Political Scapegoat: Very Bad  2/20/2017  (191)

To Dominate Politics, Business Needs Religious Extremism  2/13/2017  (215)

No Vision or Leadership from National Council of Churches  2/9/2017  (236)

Post-Factual Politics  2/8/2017  (219)

Trump May Want a Terrorist Attack  2/7/2017  (234)

For the Right Wing: Only Christians Deserve Religious Freedom  2/6/2017  (200)

Where Are the Reverends in Justice Movements?  2/3/2017  (265)

Trump is Centralizing Power: Resist Fascism  1/30/2017  (289)

Cry for Our Country: Spontaneous Demonstrations across America  1/28/2017  (261)

Truth in the Trump Era  1/23/2017  (290)

"We Will Not Go Away, Welcome to Your First Day"  1/21/2017  (304)

Violence, Racism, Authoritarianism Characterize Trump's Inaugural Speech  1/21/2017  (356)

First Things Doesn't Like that Trump Surrounds Himself with Prosperity Gospelers, Snake Oil Salesmen  1/17/2017  (347)

Newt Gingrich Gets Trump Wrong: Why Southerners Hate the Federal Government  12/27/2016  (318)

From Peace on Earth to an Election Based on Violence  12/23/2016  (332)

Bill O'Reilly Admits the Truth: For Republicans Elections are All about Race  12/23/2016  (392)

No Mandate for Trump, Says Jeff Merkley  12/22/2016  (342)

2010 Prediction: White People with Self-destructive Fantasies will Elect a Figure Like Trump  12/17/2016  (316)

Gore Vidal on Ayn Rand: God is "I"  12/14/2016  (306)

Russian Atheistic Ideas Now Dominate the American Political System  12/14/2016  (269)

Trump Over Performed the Most in Counties with the Highest Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Mortality Rates  12/9/2016  (290)

Back to the Catacombs for the Real Church  12/8/2016  (332)

A Prayer for Standing Rock  11/12/2016  (299)

Trump Will Be Impeached within a Year  11/11/2016  (343)

David Brooks on the Authoritarian Anti-Politics of Trump  11/10/2016  (321)

An Anti-Trump Resistance Movement Begins with Protesters in Streets Nationwide  11/10/2016  (319)

Hillary Lost Because of Her Husband's Economic Policies  11/9/2016  (337)

Evangelicals Elect a Racist Pervert as President  11/9/2016  (365)

Very Serious National Decline  11/9/2016  (322)

The Silly Controversy about Hillary's Emails  11/7/2016  (333)

Trump Offers to Rescue Lower Income White People in a Secular Rapture  11/2/2016  (306)

The Crisis of Conservative Intellectuals  11/1/2016  (350)

James Comey Should Resign or Be Fired  10/30/2016  (337)

Traveling Luther's Life 500 Years Later  10/24/2016  (366)

The Death of Tom Hayden  10/24/2016  (357)

False Superiority Syndrome: A Terrible Disease of the European White Mind  7/22/2016  (676)

Delusion: Ben Carson Thinks Saul Alinsky Worshipped the Devil  7/20/2016  (486)

Understanding the Context for Preaching  7/16/2016  (475)

Journalists Must Treat Trump Differently  7/15/2016  (460)

Reading Grace in History through a Black Lens  6/26/2016  (468)

A Dark Day for the UK  6/24/2016  (483)

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Has Got to Go to Unite Democrats Against the Racist, Trump  5/27/2016  (546)

John Caputo On Divine Sovereignty and the Weakness of God  5/23/2016  (485)

A Corrupt Form of Christianity is Destroying the Republican Party  4/5/2016  (622)

President Obama: 'We are Easter People'  3/31/2016  (583)

Evangelicals are Not Voting Trump, Jacksonians Are  3/31/2016  (572)

The Modern War on Drugs Began as Nixon's Racist Assault on Black People  3/24/2016  (583)

Listen to a Black Man Standing Silently at a Trump Rally  3/15/2016  (581)

Who Should be President? Strict Father or Nurturing Parent  3/3/2016  (620)

Trump is a Fraud Who is Playing the American People as Suckers, Says Romney  3/3/2016  (707)

Asked about Donald Trump's Wall, Pope Francis Suggests He 'Is Not Christian'  2/18/2016  (630)

How the Portland Media Help Make Domestic Terrorists into Heroes  2/6/2016  (590)

Flint, Michigan: Death Camp City  1/22/2016  (645)

Privatization of Public Land is a Bad Idea  1/22/2016  (677)

Peace Lutheran in Burns, Oregon, Requests Prayers  1/20/2016  (728)

How the Iraq War Created ISIS: Crucial Information for Understanding Terrorism  12/6/2015  (731)

Leading Republican Candidate Donald Trump: How Stupid are the People of Iowa?  11/13/2015  (683)

CNN Repeats Stupid Claim by Pew Research that Religious 'Nones' Dominate Democratic Party  11/5/2015  (702)

First Things has become Relevant to Only One Region of the Country: the South  11/2/2015  (731)

Tell Ben Carson to Give Up His Presidential Campaign  10/27/2015  (724)

Corporate-Funded Think Tanks have Created an Angry, Destructive Politics  10/24/2015  (675)

Protestants Need a Pope  9/30/2015  (749)

R.R. Reno at First Things is Disappointed by Pope Francis  9/25/2015  (810)

Matt Taibbi on the GOP Clown Car  8/15/2015  (868)

Pray to be Filled with Awe and Contemplation  8/12/2015  (807)

Jurgen Habermas: A New Possibility for Europe  7/21/2015  (974)

The Republican Party has become an Agent of Southern Religion, Racism and Anti-Unionism  7/20/2015  (808)

Historic Day: Gay Marriage Affirmed by Supreme Court in All 50 States  6/26/2015  (806)

Gun Manufacturers Cannot Be Christian says Pope Francis  6/22/2015  (885)

Pope Francis Teaches Us about Climate Change and the Moral Imperative to Act  6/20/2015  (916)

Cornel West Wows a Conservative University Audience  5/4/2015  (1108)

Police Violence in Baltimore  4/29/2015  (1128)

Bonhoeffer's Vision: An Outcast Church on the Margins of Society  4/25/2015  (974)

The Debate Over Cornel West  4/21/2015  (1003)

Nebraska Doesn't Believe in the Free Market for Its Electricity  3/29/2015  (1064)

The New Political Mission of the Historic Protestant Church  3/16/2015  (1057)

When Fascism Comes to America; What Love of Country Really Means  3/1/2015  (1085)

Senators Marco Rubio and Joni Ernst Don't Know the Difference between Sunni and Shia Islam  2/28/2015  (1735)

The Shameful Media Attack on John Kitzhaber and Cylvia Hayes  2/18/2015  (1515)

Francis Says God Loves the Marginalized  2/16/2015  (1034)

Rand Paul Disqualifies Himself  2/4/2015  (1086)

Oxfam Report: How the Wealthy Get Their Money by Not Working or Paying Taxes  1/26/2015  (1063)

John Boehner Wants The U.S. to go to War with Iran  1/21/2015  (1076)

Martin Luther on Charlie Hebdo: Sick Secularism and Billy Graham  1/14/2015  (3077)

Whose Speech is Actually Free?  1/14/2015  (1138)

Historic Protestant Speech is Not Free in America Today  1/14/2015  (1298)

Wall Street has Bought Itself a Congress  12/15/2014  (1111)

Democrats Move to Encourage an Elizabeth Warren Candidancy  12/10/2014  (1125)

Iowa Lutherans: Don't Vote for Joni Ernst  10/27/2014  (2491)

Wendell Berry and Incarnational Theology  10/21/2014  (1356)

Did God Kill Jesus? Moltmann on Anticipated Terror and Joy  10/10/2014  (1328)

Stop the Oil Train Bombs  10/2/2014  (1319)

The Terrible Self-Righteousness of George Weigel at First Things  9/19/2014  (1329)

Violence All Across the World, including Ferguson, Missouri  8/15/2014  (1339)

Reagan's View of History Still Prevails  8/15/2014  (1293)

Nick Hanauer: Beware, Fellow Plutocrats, the Pitchforks are Coming  8/13/2014  (1325)

Blowing Up Jonah: The Political Use of Religious Symbols  8/12/2014  (1438)

Listen to Rabbi Henry Siegman on Gaza: Killing Innocents  8/1/2014  (1268)

The Lost Iraq War  7/30/2014  (1264)

It is Not Anti-Semitic to Question Israel's Right to Exist as an Ethnic State   7/24/2014  (1223)

Republicans Elect Mark Walker: A Racist, Blasphemous, Baptist Pastor  7/23/2014  (1696)

There is No Religious Left  7/22/2014  (1233)

Crisis in Ukraine: A Bit of Background  7/18/2014  (1184)

Teachers Turn Against Obama  7/12/2014  (1392)

The Trouble With Brain Science  7/12/2014  (1285)

The Roman Catholic Supreme Court Decides What is 'Sincere' Religious Belief   7/1/2014  (1340)

Karl Polanyi and the Stark Utopianism of Market Fundamentalism  7/1/2014  (1355)

Corporate Provided Health Care Has To Go  6/30/2014  (1280)

Brookings Report on Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives  4/25/2014  (1363)

Coal Train Crisis Abates   4/16/2014  (1401)

Gay Marriage Ban Ending in England and Wales on Saturday  3/29/2014  (1403)

Obama Should Have Prosecuted the Bush Administration for War Crimes  3/28/2014  (1405)

A False Gospel: Corporate Christianity  3/27/2014  (1384)

Koch Brothers are Creating Their Own Political Party  1/26/2014  (1536)

Social Justice in New York City  1/1/2014  (1542)

God is a God of Freedom: Pope Francis and Liberation Theology  12/21/2013  (1542)

America, America, the Country that Kills Its Prophets  11/23/2013  (1714)

Thinking about a New Protestantism  11/21/2013  (1570)

Hysterical Anti-Communism: Billy Graham Urged the Killing of a Million Vietnamese  11/21/2013  (2373)

The Next President will be a Woman and a Methodist, but not Hillary  11/11/2013  (1575)

Regular Republicans are Beginning to Reject Their Leaders  11/11/2013  (1544)

Pastors: Help Your People Understand Obamacare  11/6/2013  (1612)

Mothers and Grandmothers on Abortion  11/5/2013  (1690)

Why Obamacare is a Political Con Job  10/30/2013  (1747)

Very Disturbing Governance by Media Manipulation  10/4/2013  (1811)

A Reformation Pope  10/2/2013  (1680)

When the Big Money Mafia Rule  10/1/2013  (1733)

Obama Wins Shutdown Battle  10/1/2013  (1877)

Samantha Power: Protection of the Innocent  9/11/2013  (1863)

Pope Francis to Meet with Gustavo Gutierrez, Founder of Liberation Theology  9/11/2013  (1828)

Apocalypse: Life Beyond Empire and Environmental Destruction  9/9/2013  (1717)

Joining Obama Against Himself?  9/5/2013  (1835)

Arab Spring: Transfer of Power in Syria  9/4/2013  (1796)

Religious Conflict in the History of Syria  9/3/2013  (1779)

Hunger Games: The Divide and Conquer Marketing Strategy of Fox News  8/7/2013  (1996)

The Terrible Mendacity of Stanley Kurtz  8/5/2013  (2282)

Obama Speaks on Verdict in Trayvon Martin Case  7/19/2013  (1792)

Summer Heat: Elders Called to Engage in Civil Disobedience  7/18/2013  (1859)

Business Predators Must Be Forced to Stop Their Damaging Behavior  5/26/2013  (2022)

Pastors Create Public Consciousness  5/26/2013  (1918)

Kathyrn Tanner: The Social Trinity and Politics  5/26/2013  (2004)

Obama Failed to Appoint Competent IRS Leaders  5/22/2013  (2076)

Occupy Theology: Obama has Broken the Hearts of the Young  5/20/2013  (1824)

Corporate Conspiracy Theories in Pastoral Consciousness  5/17/2013  (2006)

The Gosnell Verdict and Abortion Politics  5/16/2013  (2269)

False Equivalence, the IRS, and the Right's Persecution Complex  5/15/2013  (1991)

The NRA: Southern Political Terrorism  5/14/2013  (1928)

Public Violence  4/17/2013  (1788)

A Teacher is Raised  4/8/2013  (1833)

Stop Coal Exports  3/27/2013  (1907)

Health Care Hogs Drive Up Costs  3/27/2013  (1808)

Manufactured Landscapes  3/23/2013  (1882)

About Death Camp Thinking  3/22/2013  (1853)

Marriage Equality Goes Mainstream  3/21/2013  (1905)

Hope for the New Pope  3/14/2013  (1963)

The End of a Catholic Moment  3/12/2013  (1933)

Wealth Inequality is Much Worse than Most People Believe   3/11/2013  (1960)

The Government is Making Us Old  3/11/2013  (2151)

Fairness Now Means to Tax the Rich More  12/10/2012  (2004)

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness:THE NEW JIM CROW  11/14/2012  (2112)

A Victory for Life  11/7/2012  (1857)

Romney is Not a Christian  11/5/2012  (2104)

It's Not Theology that is Utopian Today, It's the Market Fundamentalists Like Romney  10/17/2012  (2448)

Why Does Romney Focus So Much On Apology?  9/12/2012  (2023)

A Way of Speaking that Wins Elections  9/6/2012  (1956)

Compared to Other Nations, America is Under-Taxed and More Unequal  8/31/2012  (1980)

Obedience, Not Liberty, is Highest Value for Real Conservatives  8/28/2012  (2043)

Romney Degrades Himself with Welfare Ad  8/28/2012  (2009)

Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All  8/3/2012  (2095)

Michele Bachmann: Say Stupid Things, Make Lots of Money  8/1/2012  (2030)

The Trees are Falling  7/14/2012  (2175)

President's Social Darwinism Comment Stirs Up Business Elite  4/16/2012  (2123)

Today is My Last Day at Goldman Sachs  3/14/2012  (2152)

Creation is Broken: Against Utopian Conservatives  3/9/2012  (2127)

Women have Spoken: The End of Rush Limbaugh  3/9/2012  (2118)

Nazism and Public Schools: Catholic Bishops Want Public Money for Their Own Schools  2/25/2012  (2602)

The Cynical Use of Religion by Economic Elites  2/23/2012  (2608)

The Continuing Attack by Religious Right against Mainline Christianity  2/22/2012  (2307)

A Phony Public Theology  2/22/2012  (2117)

Naming the Enemy: Biological Fundamentalism  2/17/2012  (2124)

Social Policy in Pastoral Consciousness: Who Should Serve the 'Poor'?  2/16/2012  (2181)

Bishops Reject Obama Compromise, the Devil is Forcing Birth Control  2/14/2012  (2155)

Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It  2/13/2012  (2126)

Romney Believes Constitution is Divine  2/11/2012  (2181)

Santorum Reveals His Political Philosophy with Comment on French Revolution  2/10/2012  (4794)

Legal Aspects of the Contraception Debate  2/9/2012  (2181)

Catholic Bishops Want Freedom to Oppress Women  2/8/2012  (2586)

David Stockman on Crony Capitalism, A Very Helpful Discussion  1/26/2012  (4574)

Wall Street to be Investigated  1/25/2012  (2526)

Obama Tells Truth about Economy  12/7/2011  (2139)

God Demands Justice  11/17/2011  (2111)

Understanding Protest Movements  11/15/2011  (2094)

Chris Hedges: People Have Finally Woken Up  10/8/2011  (2165)

A New Economic Strategy for Wall Street Protests  10/5/2011  (2187)

Wall Street Occupation Protest - Live Video  9/26/2011  (2215)

Tens of Thousands Protest in Israel; Citizens of the USA Should Also Hit the Streets  8/7/2011  (2260)

A Day of Blasphemy: Governor Rick Perry's Prayer Festival  8/5/2011  (2454)

Wall Street Hates the Tea Party  8/4/2011  (2286)

The Instability of the American Political System  7/27/2011  (2354)

Fukuyama on The Origins of Political Order  4/15/2011  (2319)

Obama Punches Back  4/13/2011  (2413)

Punish the Poor  4/9/2011  (2497)

Facing the Reality of Conflict and the Problem with Liberal Neutrality  3/21/2011  (2422)

The Republican Attack on Poor Women  2/20/2011  (2422)

A Real Spirit of Peace  2/11/2011  (2312)

Public Lies about Tax Cuts  2/10/2011  (2394)

The People Own the Streets  2/2/2011  (2407)

Political Violence Works  1/13/2011  (2522)

Religion as a Matter of Political Calculation  12/24/2010  (2617)

Tea Party Leader Says Methodist Church is the Religious Arm of Socialism   12/20/2010  (2677)

Bottom-up History: The Commoners of Atwood  12/13/2010  (2423)

Patriotic Millionaires Support Increase in Their OwnTaxes  12/10/2010  (2483)

Democrats Elected a Republican President  12/9/2010  (2443)

Obama Agrees to Increase Obscene Levels of Inequality  12/9/2010  (2334)

The Unemployed are Actual, Real People  12/3/2010  (2515)

A Deep Sense of Bewilderment and Betrayal  12/2/2010  (2516)

Chalmers Johnson Dies, Military Writer Who Told the Truth  11/21/2010  (2497)

Should the Rich Rule?  11/3/2010  (2357)

The Liberation Theology of Abraham Lincoln  10/12/2010  (2498)

Mass Psychosis as a Pastoral Concern  9/24/2010  (2567)

Glenn Beck and Apostolic Authority  8/31/2010  (2453)

A Moving Event  7/19/2010  (2397)

Gay Marriage to Become Law of the Land  6/21/2010  (2428)

Facing Death at the Center of Life  6/14/2010  (2481)

Rand Paul Exposes Tea Party Racism in Libertarianism  5/20/2010  (2606)

Equal Freedom: The Obama Doctrine  5/7/2010  (2787)

The Last Protestant is Leaving  4/9/2010  (2543)

Economics in Pastoral Consciousness  3/14/2010  (2636)

The Strategic Consciousness of the Protestant Pastor  3/1/2010  (2590)

Memesis and the Culture of Personal Crisis  2/15/2010  (2802)

Watch Out for that Communist Folk Music  1/22/2010  (2771)

The Political Cross at Xmas  12/23/2009  (2682)

There are Socialists and Communists in the White House  10/15/2009  (3321)

Send Money to ACORN Now!  9/19/2009  (3063)

The Moral Blindness of Glenn Beck  8/11/2009  (3155)

The Media Creation of Whacko Conservatism  7/30/2009  (3016)

Seven Pentecostal Mountains and Sarah Palin  7/16/2009  (3179)

Major Media Unfairly Presents Anti-Abortion Rhetoric  6/3/2009  (3119)

You Can Get Killed in a Public Church  6/2/2009  (3215)

Historical Jesus Theories: Bringing on the Reign of God  5/20/2009  (3539)

It's Not Socialism, It's Insanity  5/20/2009  (3024)

When Life Begins is Not at all Clear  5/19/2009  (3250)

The Political Use of Torture  4/25/2009  (3041)

Jesus is Not Some Phony Spook  4/22/2009  (2960)

Poisoned Waters, Chicken Shit and Smart Growth  4/21/2009  (3190)

The Significance of the Killing of Robert F. Kennedy  4/13/2009  (3179)

The Last Book by Neuhaus: America is Babylon  4/10/2009  (3411)

About the New Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships  4/9/2009  (3133)

Seeing the Truth about God and Economy  4/2/2009  (3326)

Big Bankers as Terrorists  3/23/2009  (3305)

Without Trust, No Economy  3/19/2009  (3155)

Exposing the Dual Structure of American Governance  3/19/2009  (3070)

Another Big Book on Justice  3/17/2009  (3084)

Why Pastors Need to Understand Rush Limbaugh  3/16/2009  (3138)

The Freeman Affair and the Israel Lobby  3/16/2009  (3159)

Uncreative Destruction  3/16/2009  (3186)

Some Truth about Income Tax Rates  3/13/2009  (3500)

Cultural Redemption: The Jewish-Arab Peace Song  3/13/2009  (3493)

The Poor Reputation of Evangelicals around the World  3/13/2009  (3222)

They have Stolen Our Language  3/11/2009  (3267)

CNBC: Mouthpiece for Business Ideology  3/11/2009  (3039)

Why Habermas?  3/11/2009  (3146)

Sex in God's Family  3/8/2009  (3338)

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America, America, the Country that Kills Its Prophets

At this 50th anniversary of the killing of John F. Kennedy it may be well to remember the words of Jesus:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34)
Here Jesus associates God not with violence but with the love of the mother for her children. Despite that many in the United States claim to follow this Jesus, this country right now and for some time has been dedicated to violence through its massive expenditure in technologies for military dominance and mass surveillance of the world. My last blog item talked about Billy Graham who is still considered "America's pastor" but Graham preached military supremacy for the United States. He put his faith in the arms of war more than the love of Jesus. And this country has experienced an incredibly high price for this in so many ways, including the fact that it has ended up killing its own prophets.

While having my car serviced this morning I was sitting in the customer lounge reading my book with CNN on television in the background. A segment came on about conspiracy theories related to the JFK assassination. So I watched as a fellow in Dallas was interviewed who apparently hangs around the scene of the assassination talking with visitors there. I didn't catch everything he said, but did hear him say that the "CIA was involved." The reporter seemed to discount what this odd fellow was saying, but from what I have been reading there is no doubt at all that what the fellow is saying is true.

The major media just cannot come out and tell the truth about the JFK assassination on November 22, 1963. It talks about "conspiracy theories" as if there are all sorts of them and they are all untrue, proposed by kooks. Yes, there are many theories, but what the media isn't telling people is that there is one particular theory that has become compelling for a very large number of people, and that is the theory that, indeed, the "CIA was involved" in the killing of the president.

Think about these two facts:
  1. JFK was killed in 1963, then Martin Luther King was killed in April, 1968, and then Robert F. Kennedy was killed in June, 1968, just as he establishing his probably successful candidancy for president that year. Not one, but three "prophets" were killed, all three of whom had come to severely challenge the hysterical anti-Communism that pervaded right wing elements of both political and religious groups in the country, and which was the ideological orientation of those leading the CIA.
  2. There have been no successful assassinations since. The attempts on the lives of Reagan and Ford were by mentally disturbed persons. All the presidents following Kennedy have done just what the CIA wanted, they pursued bellicose foreign policies, and more and more money for spy agencies, right down to today despite the fact that the Soviet Union itself fell in 1991, ending any Communist threat.
The best book to read about all this is James Douglas, JFK and the Unspeakable. There you will learn how far JFK had come to be very critical of the Joint Chiefs and CIA concerning Cuba, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missle Crisis. He came to oppose the desire of several generals to take a first strike of nuclear missles against Russia before it was able to gain more nuclear capacity. The defense establishment and CIA became extremely concerned about the growing relationship between Nikita Khrushchev and Kennedy because both men wanted peace. The military establishment and spy agencies came to believe that JFK had himself become a threat to the United States. And this is all true whether or not you can actually believe that elements of the CIA provided leadership of the assassination plot. In other words, lots of people in very high places had lots of motive for this action which removed a president and wounded the hearts of the people of this country.

From the Douglas book you will also learn about the capacity of the CIA to do this kind of thing. They knew how to assassinate leaders and had done it many times. They had the ability. This is no small fact. For example, the CIA had a program to create false defectors to the Soviet Union; Lee Harvey Oswald was one of these false defectors, spending some time in Russia. He was a Marine involved in spy activities in Japan and that's how he became involved with the CIA which used him as a patsy. In later public forums all this became known. Even a House investigation in the 1970s concluded more than one person was involved in the JFK assassination though it does not speculate further. The CIA had files on Oswald before the assassination, a fact it never revealed to the Warren Commission which investigated the event.

Concerning the ability of the CIA to engage in such an act, I recommend a new book by Patrick Nolan, a forensic historian, CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedy: How and Why US Agents Conspired to Assassinate JFK and RFK. He has chapters on the two primary CIA operatives involved, Richard Helms and James Angleton, and the details of how they were involved in other assassinations, their association with anti-Castro Cubans as well as mob figures. Jack Ruby was ordered by the mafia to kill Oswald or he himself would have been killed. It was crucial to get rid of Oswald so he couldn't talk since he had been entirely set up to take the rap for the crime, actually committed by agents.

Nolan convincingly describes how the CIA engaged in programs of research concerning drugs and hypnosis to get subjects to committ violent acts of which they later have no memory. He describes the particular individuals who used these techniques on Sirhan Sirhan. Sirhan is still in prison for killing RFK in 1968 and has no memory of the events. Nolan says RFK was actually shot by two CIA rogues, shot point blank in the back and head, whereas Sirhan was shooting blanks from the front five or six feet away from RFK. It was particularly important to get rid of RFK because he believed the CIA was involved in killing his brother and wanted to use the position of the presidency to fully investigate and bring to justice those who had killed JFK.

It has been said that a conspiracy such as this could not be kept, someone would spill the beans at some point. But these books also discuss the large numbers of persons who knew details about the case who have died mysteriously. And I think it important to realize that there is, indeed, a mindset shared by those involved in national security and the police which assumes the "public" cannot be told the truth of these matters. I had a member of one congregation who worked as a security analyst at an agency outside Baltimore, Maryland. He had a very strict sense of himself knowing things he could not and would not share with others. Such folks police themselves. And the CIA rogues were adept at only revealing to operatives what they needed to know to carry out their specific duties without seeing the whole picture.

It has also been said that conspiracies are invented because the American people just cannot believe a president could have been killed by a single, lone crazy person. This is used to justify rejection of all conspiracies. But it is also a way of avoiding what has become a very large amount of convincing evidence. Very large numbers of the American people believe more than one person was involved in the killing of JFK.

It may be questioned that I use the word "prophet" in reference to two political leaders and Martin Luther King. I was in Chicago in the 1960s when King came to try to "End Slums" there. I heard him many times give speeches there. I marveled at the man's capacity through words to communicate into the hearts and minds of the people. In the years since I have come to see how rare is that ability to stir the souls of the people through language, through simple but profound words, to articulate the reality of their lives, to lift them up to be able to see a new vision of the future. JFK and RFK had the same ability. They pointed to a new world beyond the war in Vietnam, to a world of peace and respect for others, even the enemy.* Such men are dangerous to those who are invested in the things of war. It was these three prophets for peace who were killed.

There have been no assassinations since that time. But there have been a lot of wars.

* Update 11/25/13 - There is an on-going debate over whether JFK would have removed troops from Vietnam had he lived. Rick Perlstein, a writer I respect, argues that no firm decision to do so had been made. There is no doubt Kennedy was a liberal cold warrior in most of his rhetoric, he had falsely claimed in his campaign against Eisenhower that there was a "missal gap"; the Russians had more nuclear capacity than the United States. But the Douglas book details the extent to which Kennedy was changing his mind. The CIA was very heavily involved in Vietnam and anything other than full support for that war was interpreted as a retreat from the anti-Communist cause. To see and hear how far Kennedy was shifting his views on Communism see his speech at American University on June 10, 1963. This is an amazing speech given the strength of the anti-Communist world view at the time.

There is no doubt that Robert Kennedy came to fully reject the Vietnam war. That was his basis for running for President in 1968.

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