Day By Day

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Conspiracy Theory About Conspiracy Theories

The "London Review of Books", in discussing Stephen King's latest novel, surveys literary versions of the Kennedy conspiracy theories and wonders:
Why have so many Americans been unable to accept the conclusions of the Warren Commission Report, which exhaustively described the circumstances of the Kennedy assassination? Why has the assassination exerted such a hold on the American imagination? Why has it inspired such feats of ingenuity? Instead of there being a single anti-establishment version, dissident theories have proliferated.
 Later on the review article answers its question thusly:
[A]lthough the KGB had nothing to do with Kennedy’s assassination, in its aftermath it did provide covert support for the dissemination of conspiracy theories. According to the defector Vasili Mitrokhin and the historian of intelligence Christopher Andrew, ‘by the late 1970s the KGB could fairly claim that far more Americans believed some version of its own conspiracy theory of the Kennedy assassination, involving a right-wing plot and the US intelligence community, than still accepted the main findings of the Warren Commission.’
Read the whole thing here.

So we now have a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories. It was KGB disinformation! A bit far-fetched, I think, but certainly preferable to Richard Hofstader's despicable rehash of discredited Frankfurt School theories, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" which is also referenced in the article and for decades has been a staple of liberal/leftist commentary on our nation's political culture.

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