Wednesday, March 15, 1944

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 15, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in 3,000 sorties, fully 1,400 tons of bombs were dropped by the Fifteenth Air Force within an area of less than a square mile, onto German positions holed up in Cassino, the most concentrated air attack to date in history. Aerial photographs showed that the town was completely destroyed by the repeated waves which began at dawn and issued bombs every ten to fifteen minutes through noon. Total destruction was the object of the offensive, to eliminate the bunker hideouts for gun emplacements employed by the Germans, within basements of houses, and even within the bombed out ruins of every available structure.

Behind the raid, American and British troops of the Fifth Army rushed into the rubble to seek finally to oust the remaining German defenders stubbornly holding the town against Allied assault since Fifth Army troops first approached the town in early January, having made the German stronghold an object of attack since early November.

During the night prior to the attack, Allied troops, who had occupied about a third of Cassino, were withdrawn to enable bombing without hazard. Cassino, 70 miles south of Rome, was a strategic part of the Nazi Gustav Line, and held in place a large segment of the Fifth Army west of the Anzio beachhead, preventing joinder with the forces holding off the Nazis from the north bearing down on the arc around Anzio.

General Mark Clark viewed the bombing operation firsthand and was said to pleased with the result.

In Russia, the Third Ukrainian Army had taken over the port of Nikolaev on the Black Sea, leaving only Odessa still available to the Germans for evacuation of the troops cornered and systematically eliminated by the Russians in the Southern Ukraine. The Army had first surrounded, from drives north and south, some 19,000 Germans, of whom 15,000 were killed and the remainder captured in the area of Bereznegovati-Snigetevka, 46 miles northeast of Nikolaev. Another column had sealed the Black Sea as an escape route from Nikolaev by pushing west eighteen miles from captured Kherson. The Russians had also captured Shirokaya Balka, ten miles from the southern mouth of the Bug River.

To the north, another contingent of the Red Army crossed the Bug River in the area of Gaisin, 60 miles east of the Rumanian border, and 50 miles southeast of Vinnitsa.

Another large American raid of undisclosed size struck central Germany, presumably Hannover, according to broadcasts out of Berlin.

Finland had rejected the Soviet terms for armistice, demanding Finland’s cessation of all hostilities against the Allies, the internment of all Germans remaining in Finland, the establishment of the 1940 border with Russia as the permanent border, those zones known as Petsamo, Salla, and Karelia, and that Russia would militarily occupy and help to defend Finland for the duration of the war.

Finland had objected primarily to the point regarding internment, had been reported as accepting the other terms. Reported attempts to negotiate the internment question had obviously failed. It had also been reported that Russia had delivered an ultimatum with its proposed terms that if Finland did not agree to them, then total war would ensue against Finland from Russia, as Russia now could divert some of its military resources to clear Finland of the Nazi threat to its border, with the northern part of Russia in the Leningrad sector cleared of Germans, almost to the borders of the Baltic States. Preceding the delivery of the terms, the Russians had given substance to their threat by bombing Helsinki.

A Republican caucus in New Hampshire concluded with two of eleven delegates pledged to New York Governor Thomas Dewey, and the remaining nine unpledged, though four were known to be leaning to Wendell Willkie. At least one Republican National Committeeman saw the result as a victory for Mr. Willkie.

John Moroso, III, in the "Reporter's Notebook" column, still aboard a Navy cruiser on Atlantic patrol duty, writes of the 43-year old navigator of the ship who, during his entire life, had been such a wandering gypsy, son of a mining engineer before joining the Navy, that he could not even impart with certainty his place of birth, only understanding that he had entered the world onboard a train, running somewhere between Mexico and Colorado Springs.

A survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the navigator related of an episode in the Shanghai Harbor in the early stages of the war between China and Japan. American ships, including his own, were in the harbor beside Japanese ships. A lone Chinese raider, dubbed by the Americans "Mr. Woo", would fly over the Japanese ships each night and drop bombs, as the Japanese tried futilely to hit him with anti-aircraft fire.

One night, the men aboard the navigator's ship were watching the movie "Wings over Hawaii". The sound of the film carried to the neighboring Japanese ship, the crew of which thought in consequence that Mr. Woo was in the air again, began firing on the prompt of a movie soundtrack. In subsequent nights, the movie was passed ship to ship with the same result.

The navigator also told of having had all of his uniforms sink in the attack on Pearl Harbor, only to be eventually fetched to the surface by Navy divers. He promptly had his uniforms cleaned and was still wearing them.

Said another survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, 26-year old Wayne Ward Witter of California, "It was mighty damned hard to see some of your friends lying dead with heads, arms, and legs blown off."

On the editorial page, "Simple Tax" reports on this 1944 tax day, then due, not without being subject to symbological analysis, on the Ides of March, rendering unto Caesar, that a small minority of taxpayers had found the complex forms of the tax year not so difficult to complete. It blesses them and accepts that it was likely so. But, all things being relative, nevertheless, it insists that a great lot of taxpayers had found the forms unduly complicated.

Indeed, the previous week, Albert Einstein was reported on the front page to have resorted to a tax expert to complete his forms.

"In Burma" tells of the strategic importance to the overall war picture of the slow fight ongoing now in Burma, during a limited season in winter before the monsoon would begin at the advent of spring. The ultimate objective was now to obtain, through General Stilwell's forces and those operating under the direct command of Colonel Merrill, the vital Japanese base at Myitkyina, thereby to clear northern Burma of Japanese control, to rejoin the Ledo Road with the Burma Road to re-establish part of the supply route into China by land, now relegated to airplane over the "W" Pass through the Hump of the Himalayas. By doing so, heavy equipment could be moved through China to allow construction of bases from which air operations could be conducted against Japan and hasten the end of the war.

Thus, the piece stresses, the important nature of this seemingly limited action in Burma during a few short weeks prior to the next dry season the following winter.

"Morganton" places in perspective the shortage of doctors at the state hospital for the mentally ill. Although severely strained with only six physicians for 2,700 patients, thus one per 450, the hospital nevertheless compared favorably to surrounding states and other states of the West, Southwest, and East, which had significantly higher ratios of patients to doctors.

"The Hunters" reports of the mystical order of Azusa Grotto which had undertaken to ferret out all subversive Americans to preserve Americanism. While wishing it luck in any genuine effort to expose such activities, the piece cautions that such effort as often as not devolves to the dubious certainty of the mystically endowed nationalistic movements preceding it, such as the Klan or the House Un-American Activities Committee chaired by Martin Dies of Texas.

The editorial might also have mentioned the other primary folk movement at work in the world at the time, Nazism.

Drew Pearson writes of the fate of civilian flight instructors who had trained many of the Air Force pilots engaged in the war, initially involving 14,900 instructors without pay, working voluntarily 40-hour weeks to get the men in the air. The force of instructors, the Civil Aeronautics Administration War Training Service, had been scaled down to 5,000 men by the beginning of the year and then completely abolished, as trained pilots were now in excess of requirements for war duty. The result was that the instructors, with far more hours in the air than their students, were left out of an essential war job which had deferred them from the draft, leaving them now subject to it, but without the ability to apply, as they desired, for a commission to become pilot. Having served their purpose well to train the pilots of the war, these experienced airmen themselves were subject to being drafted as privates in the Army to perform infantry duty.

Mr. Pearson next turns to the consternation expressed by Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, Democrat of North Carolina Bob Doughton, at the recent leak to Mr. Pearson of information out of a closed conference in which had been expressed considerable criticism of the President for his veto of the tax bill, that which had led to the resignation of Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley and a dramatic re-assertion of congressional will over legislation by overriding the veto.

The leaked information, said Congressman Doughton, was so accurately repeated in Mr. Pearson's column that there was question whether it came from a hidden dictaphone. The leaker, moreover, could not be ascertained. Mr. Pearson offers that the member of the committee who could discover a dictaphone in the conference room would be entitled to the Brass Ring, good for a free ride on Mr. Pearson's Merry-Go-Round.

Perhaps, the leaker was the same fellow who was rifling through offices in the wee hours of the night over at the Commerce Building, wearing his green shirt, as reported by Mr. Pearson on February 4.

Perhaps, they both were leprechauns.

He next turns to the luck of the Irish, represented in the form of new Democratic National Chairman, Robert Hannegan--forerunner to the same spot held in 1972 by Lawrence O'Brien--who had taken from his safe a ring worth $1,500 presented to him in 1938 by the St. Louis Democrats for leading the way to victory in the local election in that year. He now adorned the ring again to seek to achieve impression of its putative mystical powers to assure a similar result nationally in 1944.

The ring would prove, based on the results of the election, quite immutably mystically endowed, indeed, with good favor.


He who wears the Ring

Marquis Childs provides his second installment on the question of the oil reserve in Saudi Arabia, rights to which were primarily held by two American companies, Standard of California and Texaco. In this segment, he stresses the competing British interests, having invested twenty million dollars in Saudi Arabia and therefore having received favorable treatment by King Ibn Saud.

A conference between American and British oil experts had been initially scheduled to iron out a resolution acceptable to both countries. But Petroleum Administrator Harold Ickes went to President Roosevelt and asked instead for a meeting to be held between high government officials of the two countries. President Roosevelt agreed then to endorse such a conference and appointed Secretary of Interior Ickes and Secretary of State Cordell Hull to be the representatives of the United States. Thus, far, the British, upset with the turn of events, transforming the proposed conference from a simple business meeting to a political imbroglio, had not yet appointed their own counterparts. The resulting delay was potentially harmful; suspicions were already developing that the British might be seeking to sneak into the Saudi Arabian reserve without an agreement first worked out in such a meeting.

Samuel Grafton assures that he respects States' Rights in the abstract, but finds it to be most usually applied to naysay the rights of individual citizens to exercise their rights under the Constitution, expressed or implied, the rights which are expressly or impliedly protected against encroachment by the plain words of the document, and protected against encroachment by both the Congress and the several states, the latter via the Fourteenth Amendment, insuring extension of the protection of all rights under the Constitution against actions by the individual states.

He thus asserts that the states would now have opportunity to strike a blow for assertion of states’ rights in a positive manner, to protect that assured by the Constitution, to insure that soldiers, regardless of skin color, regardless of party, be given the opportunity freely and timely to exercise their franchise in the 1944 election. The only thing now that the states could do was to insure that opportunity or to ignore it and thereby block it.

A letter to the editor comments on the editorial of March 11 in which the column took issue with the remarks of the head of the National Association of Real Estate Boards speaking in Charlotte to the effect that the Federal Government should step aside from slum clearance via housing projects and allow private enterprise to do the work. The piece thought otherwise, that private enterprise had proven itself not up to the job, that progress had exclusively been made with Federal housing projects, even if recognizing those projects not to be a perfect solution to the problem of slum clearance. The letter writer insists that the chairman who spoke, John Galbreath, had only positioned himself in favor of a less burdensome alternative to the taxpayer by way of private enterprise assisted via FHA low-cost loans, rather than the crowded conditions of housing projects replacing the squalor of slums.

The editors respond with clarification that, in the abstract, they agreed, but that the point was that, thus far under private enterprise, there had been little or no progress in clearing slums, while the housing projects had effectively done so.

The Reverend Herbert Spaugh speaks of the times being uncertain and questions rhetorically whether certainty could be had. He recommends Psalm 46 for assurance.

We return to our reference, contained in the note accompanying the previous Saturday's pieces, to Professor Jacob Bronowski's comment in the "Ascent Of Man" television series from 1973, imploring that one must always be open to the concept of uncertainty, that there is no possibility for man to aspire to the knowledge of gods to achieve absolute certainty, choosing for a venue for this statement, the pond into which the ashes of millions of Jews were deposited from the crematoria utilized to burn their gassed bodies at Auschwitz.

Would absolute faith in Psalm 46, or any other similar passage from the Bible or any other religious holy book, provide exception to Professor Bronowski’s insightful statement about the nature of reality and the need constantly to test reality with the scientific method, that is hypotheses tested objectively through experiment to reach a conclusion, one which, even when verified remains subject to disproof or exception by further application of the scientific method, untainted by human bias toward its result? We posit that it would not, for religious faith is not subject to scientific test; nor do we think Professor Bronowski meant his statement to embrace religious faith.

There is a difference between a belief resulting in religious faith, premised ultimately on the need to explain death and suffering in the world in a way palatable to the human psyche, and that to which Dr. Bronowski made reference. His was a philosophical statement about the nature of the real world, that is the empirical world which we can perceive with our senses and verify through common experience, subject to replication in controlled settings to determine the principles on which it physically operates.

The Nazis used skewed scientific data, including statistical data, selectively chosen, while eliminating all contrary data, to bolster an absurd theory of racial superiority, one to which adverse argument is made by the very fact of their barbaric acts to humanity without purpose or rationale, connotative, in the aggregate, of human inferiority, assuming the basis for human qualitative analysis to be intellect, the single attribute and quality which separates humanity from the beasts.

We say, for instance, that we see a beautiful woman or handsome man. We likewise say, that we see a beautiful horse, or a nag, as the case may be. But we do not say, except facetiously, that we sense a very intelligent horse when compared to the most intelligent of humans.

Yet, we recognize that our statement--even when based on some conceived scientific experiment which would pit the intelligence of horse sense against the sense of a human, presumably demonstrative of a higher intelligence quotient enjoyed by mankind over the horse, no matter how "intelligent" we might deem an individual horse when compared to others of the same species--is informed only by our ability as humans to communicate in language and express and articulate ideas of a complex nature, and presumes that our symbolic representation of those ideas is superior to that of the horse. In so doing, we admit of some gulf of uncertainty, a gulf unbridgeable through scientific experiment.

In the comments below Professor Bronowski's statement, we noted one which suggested that, when speaking of the absence of absolute certainty, he was talking not about every postulate based on science, that we can "know" that when an object is dropped, it will fall by gravity toward earth. But that statement of course presumes that the object is within the earth’s gravitational pull. Moreover, it presumes that our life status, as we perceive it in waking state is not, in actuality, a dream or mystical state, not hard reality as we tend to assume most of the time. As one becomes older with experience, the thinking person will understand that sometimes this reality becomes so bent that it is entirely conceivable to be just that, a mystical state, essentially a dream, sometimes perverted to a nightmare by the actions of events and persons acting on or against that dream.

So, we beg to differ with that particular comment, and we suggest that Professor Bronowski meant his statement to embrace all of life as we perceive it, every aspect of that which we may refer to as experiential, and not merely theoretical, in its reference points on a plane. For, who can say that at some point in the future, a discovery may not be made by which gravity itself may be defied, thus disproving with exception the uniform application of the principle that within the pull of a solid body rotating there is produced centrifugal inertia which we call gravity?

Thus, religion, having as its conceptual basis one or more gods to define its postulates by which it conceives reality to be behaving, is not subject to this edge of the cliff, the replicable experiment to determine or disprove certainty only transitorily held until the converse of it or the exception to it is demonstrated in like manner.

Aspiring as human beings to knowledge godlike, that is the power to divine omnisciently what is absolutely right or wrong in a moral sense, and the impossibility of that notion, is primary to Professor Bronowski's statement, why he chose the venue he did in which to make it, why he reaches down into the pond and scoops up some of the base matter into his hand and then says, "We must touch people".

Science cannot determine what is right and wrong morally. Neither may human beings with more than human fallibility at work in the process, with more than subjectivity at work in the process, based on values as to what is important to sustenance, comfort or discomfort.

But, likewise, neither can religion of any kind state with dogmatic certainty that actions carried out in its name are morally correct. For the dogma in the abstract, no matter how pure and good its intent, is always subject to human fallibility in interpretation of the words, application of the interpreted meaning in practical reality, and thus the final result the potential subject of analysis as good or evil based on its overall impact on humanity and human society and nature itself. Assuming the dogma to be the word of a god or gods does not change this result. For the human being is always the fallible filter through which the words are interpreted, and often misinterpreted.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, one need look no further for example than the seemingly clear commandment: Thou shalt not kill. But what about war, self defense, defense of others, imposition by society of the death penalty? The complication, the interpretation, replete with all the problems of fallible man, intervene with the apparent purity and absolute clarity of the initial statement, dogmatically stated without exception.

The true fundamentalist would have to say that "Thou shalt not kill" means precisely that, in all circumstances relative to the killing of humanity.

Is it not evil to drive an automobile with a gasoline engine, knowing full well at this point in time that it contributes to global warming, contributing to warmer seas, contributing to hurricanes and other global impact of potentially catastrophic nature to the place of humanity and all forms of complex life on the earth? We cannot assert with certainty an answer. Yet, we can approximate certainty or truth by marshaling factual data on both sides of the equation, for and against the case of global warming and its impact through time. Then, if the weight of the evidence tends toward this catastrophic result, and we agree as human beings that the result is unacceptable to the future, as being inimical to mankind and his environment, unable to adjust physiologically and systemically quickly enough to avoid enormous complications and mutations in the offing from such potential untoward results to the environment, we may make an agreed judgment to alter our way of living, without dependence on fossil fuels, tending to pollute the environment apace with atmospherically altering hydro-fluorocarbons--as any graph of the past 150 years, charting build-up of carbons versus rise in global temperature arithmetically during the industrial age, will demonstrate the affirmative of that argument.

Thus, the moral question remains uncertain, but may be informed by the scientific analysis to achieve agreement toward an end of eliminating from mankind conditions conducive to pain and suffering.

The Nazi might say in response that pain is good as it infuses discipline, as the black slogan above the entry to Auschwitz told its doomed prisoners, "Work Sets You Free", meaning, ultimately, and with dark irony, as only a Nazi's wit can represent matters, free from life itself. The Nazi would say to the Jew who conceives the concentration camp as evil, that it was good for it instilled discipline and eliminated those too weak to serve the state with good will. The Jew, professing moral superiority, would respond that the concentration camp was evil for its enforcement of human beings into servitude as so much cattle, not provided an opportunity to be productive in the normal course of human commerce, but rather forced to endure wretched, abject physical conditions in involuntary service to the state, to the point of starvation and death, to the point finally of being systematically murdered to relieve the burden upon the state of their being.

The moral question thus posed in the debate, while certain to anyone of rational mind, remains uncertain to the anti-Semite, to the person of irrational mind.

But the scientific question, once tested, can readily disprove the Nazi will to racial superiority.

Professor Bronowski himself gave of his mind to planning the efficiency of RAF bombing raids during the war.

One can, of course, fancifully posit that, had it been a different result, had the Nazis achieved first the atomic bomb… But the fact remains that they did not. That is an historical certainty, unless one assumes that the scientists themselves, compelled into Nazi servitude, refused to reveal their knowledge to the High Command, or that they were without the necessary knowledge complementary to their quest which would have been provided by Semitic genes, or that we live within a dream of our own collective making, and that the Nazis in some other realm of reality did in fact discover the bomb, and take over the world with it.

Do you see?

Now, read Psalm 46, informed, and ask whether the Reverend Spaugh was correct or not, understanding that your conclusion is merely opinion based on feeling, not scientific fact based on any form of certainty. Yet, it may provide you with a feeling of belief and faith in a power unseen, not subject to test by empirical data. For to say that our faith saves us from death prior to our appointed time is truistic, and not subject to analysis scientifically. What of those who die before their allotted three score and ten?

Did the individual or individuals operating that dark day in Dealey Plaza in 1963 not act with complete certitude and a feeling of rectitude, based on some concocted reel of factual data held in their heads, no matter how skewed, how irrational the conception? Within their gestalt, therefore, they acted rationally. Within the gestalt of the United States, in any rational sense, as it is constituted by electoral will, they acted completely irrationally, not to mention despicably and immorally, no matter one's personal or political opinion of President Kennedy.

Ourselves, while at the time and since, not disposed to care a fig for Richard M. Nixon, would never have counseled or thought purposeful an assassination of Mr. Nixon, and that despite our belief, based on the evidence, that he was involved, and with foreknowledge, with the assassination of President Kennedy, who we respected highly and whose memory we still respect. We make room for difference of opinion and that we may be incorrect about Mr. Nixon, despite appearances to the contrary, substantiated by reams of empirical data, starting with his being in volatile Dallas the morning of the assassination, fully knowing that his presence there could only egg on already hard-bitten feelings against President Kennedy, reminding of the claims and feelings that the election of 1960 was stolen in Chicago by Mayor Daley's forces, however nonsensical the premise when statistically joined with reality.

Regardless, President Kennedy was assassinated, at least in this plane of reality in which we suffer for the permanent and premature loss of his physical being. We can, of course, rationalize that loss with the notion that, despite it, some positive recognition of that tragedy as tragic generated feeling toward putting an end to historically held prejudices which might otherwise not have occurred but for the President's premature death in the very visible manner in which it happened, preserved on film for generations to see, unlike that merely preserved in still drawings of the previous three assassinations of U.S. Presidents and other world leaders through history.

That is not to say that there is positive effect to be gained by that assassination or by murder generally, that a murderer, after all, has some redeeming virtue by the fact of such an untoward act. It is rather to say that a murderer, as with the dying statement of John Wilkes Booth, has rendered his hands "useless" by the virtue of mankind which is evoked by such a merciless and hopeless and ineradicably precipitous act without reflection, and joins in reaction to avert the hostility systemically which prompted it.

Does that mean, in some incautious upside down view of reality, that, assuming he acted either alone or as part of a conspiracy, Lee Oswald might be treated as a hero by those who benefited from the 1964 Civil Rights Act? Indubitably, that bill, proposed by the Kennedy Administration in June, 1963, would not have passed the Congress had it not been for the tragic death of President Kennedy, as it was stalled in committee hopelessly on November 22, 1963, that recalcitrant portion of Congress which threatened filibuster holding hostage even his proposed budget for the next fiscal year to seek to achieve abandonment of the bill. President Johnson deliberately and with great courage used the memory of the deceased President to obtain its passage. Meanwhile, the critics on the right, so strongly opposed to it prior to November 22, were, with some outrageous exceptions, largely quieted by the deft maneuvering of President Johnson in the aftermath.

Well, answer that question with its obvious answer for yourself. With our assumption in tow, we are quite certain that Mr. Oswald was no hero. But that assumes the truth of our assumption. And, we are equally certain, based on other assumptions, backed by plentiful fact, that President Kennedy and President Johnson were heroic to the Civil Rights Movement and properly regarded as such, even if flaw may be found in the actions of each in that regard, as each was a man, each dealing with practical political realities of their day.

We think the best object lesson to be derived from the assassination in 1963 of President Kennedy is to allow a life and its work to play out its natural course without human intervention, always fallible, always uncertain thus in the abstract.

Yet, the racist, more politely called segregationist or States' Rightist, all to the same end, of 1963, might say in response: so be it, but then how could the President or the Congress be considered not infallible, and thus why should we listen to them? The President sought to impose his will on us down here, a will we did not accept or believe, that out heritage and tradition told us was morally wrong, that integration would lead to miscegenation and miscegenation would lead to loss of racial identity and heritage, or, at best, would be a repeated performance of that business which took place during Reconstruction when white people became subservient to blacks, blacks of inferior education and social status to that of whites over whom they lorded. Thus, he got what was coming to him, Sic semper tyrannis.

But, that is where the Constitution comes into play to resolve the conflict. The President merely proposed and advocated legislation. It was the Congress who had authority to pass it or not, with ample political maneuvering always in play on both sides of the fence between the Executive and Legislative branches to achieve results, lest the balance of power woven within the fabric of the Constitution do the unintended, that is to prevent any change at all from ever taking place constructively in the country, in adjustment to the changing attitudes and complexities of interrelationship between human beings through time. The planet does not stop spinning or rotating around the sun, lest we fly off it. The Constitution is the final arbiter, the Supreme Court the final determiner of the meaning of the Constitution. If one does not like that simple basic rule, embodied in the Supremacy Clause, then one must simply find another society and country in which to make his or her abode. It is the concept of the social compact. We do not resort to guns and bullets or other means of dishonesty to try to change that compact by force and chicanery. You abide by its basic tenets, free to complain and inveigh until blue in the face, free to propose change, or you walk away and abort your rights as a United States citizen, leave the country. You are, as a citizen, born to its rights and privileges, as well its responsibilties to uphold them, for yourself and for others.

With that said, we offer you this filmed interview which we watched last evening in its entirety, having viewed part of it previously, a couple of years ago. Is he telling the truth or seeking publicity to provide for his family?

His claim regarding the bitten bullet casing, which he says he left on the stockade fence from behind which he shot the President with the fatal mercury-tipped bullet, presumably symbolically in reference to the "bullet", Sam Giancana, having been bitten by the Kennedy Administration, appears to have been disproved. But does it unravel his whole story? Is it a part of his deliberate strategy to falsify certain inconsequential details, to afford him a hedge against criminal prosecution should someone decide to test the premise of his admission against the backdrop of a duly impaneled criminal jury? recognizing that Texas still has ground to indict him and try him for first degree murder of the President, there being no statute of limitations on the act. Should not his confession to the assassination be tested with a trial? We have had such trials decades after the fact, of course, several times, regarding murders of civil rights leaders, such as the conviction of Byron De La Beckwith in 1994 for the killing of Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963, and of Edgar Ray Killen in 2004, albeit found guilty only of manslaughter, in the killings of the three civil rights workers near Philadelphia, Mississippi in June, 1964.

The claim of Mr. Files ought either be thoroughly disproved or brought before the bar of justice for determination. Our country deserves no less after 47 years of cruel lack of resolution to the most gruesome public murder, and the most diminishing, ever committed on American soil in the history of the country. If he is right, then the blame for the act reached into the government itself, into the Central Intelligence Agency, reached to Frank Sturgis and those involved in the Bay of Pigs Operation, and thus reached Watergate and the Nixon Administration. Mr. Files is either a very good liar and story weaver, while able to absorb great detail from works he has read or documentaries he has viewed on the subject, or is largely telling the truth, even if embellishing along the way, for his own protection, certain incidental facts.

Fiat justitia ruat coelum, Mr. District Attorney of Dallas. It is never too late for justice to be served in the case of murder.

To persist, inconsistent with the facts marshaled since the immediate aftermath of the assassination at a time of mixed anger and sadness infused with the desire for immediate resolution and closure for our collective sense of security, to indicate that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in shooting the President with a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, is to disserve the Kennedy legacy, everything for which the Kennedy Administration has come to represent, and to those of rational mind, represented at the time, justice and fairness to all, and an equal application of the true principles of the Constitution, without reserve, to all. Is it fair to persist in blaming solely the handy-dandy, the repatriated Communist who sought refuge in the Soviet Union, the societal misfit, the "loner"--even if Mr. Oswald was plainly a joiner, albeit to groups identified with subversive activities, not a loner--conveniently labeled as the sole assassin within 90 minutes of the act? Does it not encourage repetition of such an obvious conspiracy as existed that day and in the days preceding the act? Indeed, was that conspiracy not repeated twice again in 1968?

As we said back in January, beware the Ides of March.

Happy St. Pat's Day to you. Hope you have your green shirt to protect against untoward consequence. We are a day behind and, of course, because of 1944's leap year, another day beyond that behind you, there in 2011.

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