The November Chill

We had to stand in formation.  Not everyone had gloves, so no one was permitted to wear gloves.  We stood at attention in the cold air for over two hours.  I didn’t complain.  It was Monday.  November 25, 1963.  The University of Illinois required all freshman males to take ROTC.

Mandatory ROTC for a year was good.  I re-entered ROTC my senior year; got commissioned 2LT in the summer of 1969 between Law 2 and Law 3.  Kept me from being drafted.  Still went on to volunteer for the Nam.

Back to 11-25-63.  A cold, bitter Monday in Champaign, Illinois.  I was still recovering from the night of 11-22-63.  Vodka, blackberry brandy, Colt 45; trying to erase the assassination.

Right or Left, a presidential assassination is wrenching.

In later years, November has been especially cold.

You may believe the official story.  Oswald did it.  Alone.

That’s the “purity for profit” story.  If you’re a journalist, adhere to it, or perish.  If you’re an academic, boost your credentials by adhering to it.  Ask that linguistics guy at Harvard.  Noam Chomsky.  Don’t ask Gore Vidal.  Or Bertrand Russell.  They knew the Warren Report was crap.

You might say, “Show me the smoking gun.”  I could show you the gun.  A rifle that, according to Dallas Chief Jesse Curry, never could be placed in Oswald’s hands on the sixth floor on November 22, 1963.  Said that in a 1969 book.  I could tell you about the smell of smoke.  Inhaled by many who raced up the incline known as the “grassy knoll”.  We could even discuss the alleged shells of the rounds allegedly fired at JFK.  But then I’d need to do what the Warren Report did not do, but which real researchers have done:  a real discussion of a real investigation.

Yeah, it’s ancient history.  Fifty years ago.  But if you want to trace the history of disbelief in the federal government, I assure you it begins with the issue of the Warren Report on September 24, 1964.  There is the Report, a one-volume series of assertions.  And twenty-six volumes of testimony and documents collected by the W.C.  The early researchers, such as Sylvia Meagher and Harold Weisberg, found countless contradictions between the evidence in the twenty-six volumes and the one-volume Report.  Meagher wrote “Accessories After the Fact”.  Weisberg wrote “Whitewash”.  Both are classics on the Warren Commission.

So what does all this mean to conservatives today?

Conservatives, and I’m one, believe in the established order.  The Framework that has served well.  Problem is, there are evildoers who know how to exploit this feeling.  Sometime they are preachers.  Sometime they are CIA.  Sometime they are presidents.

My lesson from 11-22-63.  Do not trust the federal government.

November always has been chilly for me.  Especially chilly.