July 26, 2021

Peter Stone Brown Archives

Archives of musician and writer

David Talbot on a Murder Most Foul

The mainstream media is still sticking its fingers in its ears and refusing to actually listen to the lyrics. But more than a half century later, America’s greatest songwriter rips the curtain from our darkest secret.

Bob Dylan, whose newly released bombshell of a song “Murder Most Foul” blows away the stone from JFK’s tomb, is belatedly following a long line of artists and dignitaries who denounced the Kennedy assassination as a conspiracy and cover-up. In fact, back in 1966 an independent New York researcher named Charles Stanton took it upon himself to distribute a questionnaire about the Warren Report, the official inquiry that blamed the assassination on the conveniently dead “lone gunman” Lee Harvey Oswald (who went to his grave shouting he was a “patsy,” as Dylan observes in his song). Among the prominent respondents to the Stanton questionnaire who rejected the Warren Report and asserted Kennedy was the victim of a plot were: poets Allen Ginsberg and Kenneth Rexroth; writers Ray Bradbury, Paddy Chayevsky, Katherine Anne Porter and Terry Southern (“Dr. Strangelove”); British intellectuals Bertrand Russell, Arnold Toynbee and Hugh Trevor Roper; and the famed “Kon Tiki” explorer Thor Heyerdahl.

In addition, musician David Crosby famously introduced the Byrds’ tribute to JFK, “He Was a Friend of Mine,” onstage at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival by telling the crowd (to his bandmates’ great unease): “President Kennedy wasn’t killed by one man — he was shot from several directions. The truth has been suppressed. You should know that. This is your country.”

And comedians Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl mounted crusades against the Kennedy conspiracy, which led to blacklists and damage to their show business careers.

The scorn about the official story was also widely shared by world leaders like French President Charles de Gaulle, who told an aide after returning from Kennedy’s funeral that pinning the crime on the dead Oswald was “baloney!”

De Gaulle — who himself was the target of multiple assassination attempts by far-right, militarist plotters — enjoyed a more loyal security force than Kennedy did and was very informed about the dark labyrinth of intelligence agencies. The French president confided at length about Dallas to his aide, telling him:

“Security forces all over the world are the same when they do this kind of dirty work. As soon as they succeed in wiping out the false assassin, they declare that the justice system no longer need be concerned, that no further public action was needed now that the guilty perpetrator was dead. Better to kill an innocent man (Oswald) than to let a civil war break out. Better an injustice than disorder.”

The savvy de Gaulle rightly predicted how the American establishment, including the mainstream media, would close ranks behind the official cover-up of the Kennedy assassination. “They don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t allow themselves to find out.”

Some in Washington did immediately figure out JFK was killed by a conspiracy and astonishingly they privately communicated this explosive information to our Cold War “enemies” in the Kremlin — namely the murdered president’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and JFK’s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Despite all this truth-telling at high levels, the corporate media STILL has its head in the sand about Dallas.

One of the prominent respondents to the 1966 Stanton questionnaire who did strongly support the Warren Report was Allen Dulles, the CIA spymaster who had been fired by President Kennedy. Dulles was not only the main architect of the crime, but as a leading member of the Warren Commission, also the cover-up.

Read more about all of this in my books “The Devil’s Chessboard” and “Brothers.”