at the risk of seeming ridiculous…

Why John F. Kennedy Was Shot…

Posted in written thoughts by Charles on September 22, 2007

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarrented concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating it’s arbitrary actions. Even today, there is little value in assuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or withhold from the press and the public the facts that they deserve to know…

It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions–by the government, bye the people, by every busisnessman and labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly effecient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its disssenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the cold war, in short, with a wartime discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security–and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.

And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of mans deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confidant that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

John F. Kennedy, Address Before the American Newspaper Publishers Association (April 27, 1961)

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