Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Conspiracy Theory? You Must Be An Enthusiast!

In today's New York Times article, "New Trove Opened in Kennedy Killing," Leslie Eaton refers to those who question the Warren Commission "lone gunman" theory as "conspiracy theorists" or "conspiracy enthusiasts." Not once in the article, about the release by the Dallas DA of items related to the assassination that have been sealed for more than forty years, is there mention of the findings of the 1970s Congressional investigation of the assassination that questioned the Warren Commission, nor other reputable inquiries and critiques.

The point here isn't to re-argue the Kennedy murder, but rather to note how easily discourse gets framed in ways prejudicial to one side in important debates. Undoubtedly, some people are enthusiasts of exciting conspiracies and others (sometimes the same people) find a conspiracy under every rock. Others like their history to be as unsettling and simple as possible--they want it not just to recede with time but to go away. Unfortunately, in life there are times when history is clear and others when it is quite murky. Conspiracies sometimes do exist, and you shouldn't have to be an enthusiast to know that.

To judge for yourself, go to New Trove Opened in Kennedy Killing.

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