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Friday, May 26, 2017

YOU HAVE TO WAIT FIFTY YEARS FOR THE FACTS. (1)

Conversations with Jack:

4-29-73
J   I don’t believe that stuff in Rush to Judgment. 
B  Did you read it, Jack? 
J  I didn’t need to.  The whole theory is ridiculous. 
B   I read it in conjunction with that Esquire article, and there was a picture of a man in the doorway of the Cuban embassy who was identified as Oswald.  It looked more like Jack Ruby to me.
J  You believe that if these things happened as this Mark what’s-his-name claims they did, that Oswald had to be working for the CIA?  Is that the only answer to it?
B   I don’t remember.  I just don’t think it was Oswald alone.  There were too many strange things that happened.  It seems bizarre that Ruby was so anxious to talk in prison and he made a plea, a desperate plea that he had things he wanted to say, and shortly afterward he died of cancer in the hospital.  They wouldn’t let him talk.
J   Who wouldn’t let him talk?  What about all the times he could have talked between the time Oswald did it—
B  Just like those Watergate conspirators, he must been assured, don’t worry, you’ll just do a little time.  I’m sure he was hired and paid to kill Oswald and figured, all right, it was going to be worth it.  Instead he was made a scapegoat.
J   Do you believe he died of cancer?
B   I suspect he was murdered in some way.
J   By the government, by agents of the government.
B   By whoever these conspirators were.
J   Oh, they might not have been associated with the government.
B   Might have been.  Maybe they were Communists.  I’ll bet you’d believe that.
J   Well, I told you what I believe.
B   The Warren Commission.
J   You disbelieve the Warren Commission? [Yes].  You believe this guy Mark Lane .
B   The Warren Commmission's report is like the Bible, Jack.  It ain’t necessarily so.
J   Nor is Mark’s book necessarily so.  Why don’t you look at that whole thing—
B   It’s convincing, that’s all.
J   Well, it’s more than convincing, you’re sold, and you know it.
B   In conjunction with some other things I read at the same time, I found it convincing.   I got pretty steamed up about it and some of my friends—well one of them, Jean Sears, read the Esquire article and allowed as how it was creepy.  Most of them didn’t even want to read this stuff.
       Do you think when you read historical tales or see movies where there is a lot of conniving and treachery going on in the past, do you think it’s made up?
J   I have to understand your question better before I can answer it.
B   I feel as if you would say, Oh yeah, well that’s something that happened 50 or 100 years ago. Yeah, maybe that’s true.  But if it’s happening now, you just don’t want to believe it.
J   I don’t know what you’re saying,  If you’ll ask me something directly, I’ll be able to think  about it and give you an answer.
B   Well, I guess I’m thinking of Shakespeare, where brothers kill brothers or fathers kill sons, and there’s plotting for power.  I don’t think Shakespeare wrote about things that were totally imaginary.  I think he wrote about human beings, and human beings can be power-mad and unscrupulous when they get the opportunity.
There are human beings who are power-mad and unscrupulous, no question about it.  I just can’t believe Earl Warren would cover up a thing like that, if he knew it.
B   You wouldn’t have believed that Mr. Mitchell would have covered up Watergate, would you?
J   Why not?  I don’t compare Mr. Mitchell to Earl Warren.  I don’t know Mr. Mitchell.
B   I think a few weeks ago you wouldn’t have believed that of somebody in a position of importance and authority.  If I’d said I bet you Mr. Mitchell covered this up, you wouldn’t have believed it.
J   Well, the only thing about it is that I wouldn’t have believed he would be that dumb.  
B   I think you’re going to say that a lot, as more and more comes out.  You might even come to say that about your wonderful president.
J   I have a feeling you’re going to be disappointed if he isn’t involved.
B  I’m just saying I wouldn’t be surprised. It would go along with what my impression had been about him, and if it does turn out he was involved and he gets impeached or he resigns, hurray.  Should someone like that be up there?
J  You’re not answering my question.  [What?]  How you’re gonna feel if it’s found that he is not involved.
B  I think it will be found that he’s not involved, whether he is or not.
J (laughter)  Oh, how can I win with you, then?  I can’t.
B  It’s like Rush to Judgment.  Nobody’s gonna believe it whether it’s true or not.
You’re never satisfied.  You people are never satisfied at the fact that they’ve taken all those 500,000 troops out of Vietnam and that won’t be enough for you.
B  Of course not, because the war is still going on.  We’re doing the same thing in Cambodia.
J  We don’t have troops in Cambodia.
B  No, but we’re keeping up the war.
J  Well, then, it’s not the same thing, is it?
B  The Vietnam thing started on a smaller scale, so this is actually continuing on a worse scale than when we first got involved in Vietnam.
J  In other words you think we should make a treaty with a nation, and if they don’t live up to the treaty, so what.  We did make a treaty with a nation, and they’re not living up to the terms of the treaty.
B  They say we’re not living up to certain things we said.
J  Are they saying that?  I wasn’t aware of that.
B  Oh yeah.  You don’t read the parts of the paper where they say there were 110 violations on our part—not South Vietnam’s, but the United States’.
J  No, I didn’t read that.  What were we doing?
B  I don’t know.  It didn’t say.  I forget who accused whom first, but I don’t believe things are as black-and-white as you do.
J  I don’t believe they’re as black-and-white as you do.
B  All I know is, by believing the way you do and as most people do, an awful lot of innocent people have been killed.  And I don’t believe that same number of people would have been killed if we had kept our noses out of it.
       Here we are, so chummy with those terrible Communists that we’ve been so afraid of for years.  That wonderful Mr. Nixon and his wonderful four years, it was a marvelous move to make friends with the Chinese and the Russians.  After his talk all through the years about how terrible they were.
J  Shows you how flexible he is.
B  Too bad somebody didn’t get flexible a little sooner.
J  This is accepted as the thing to do by both parties.  I don’t see why you can’t look at the whole thing and say, Well, both sides of our government are advocating that we do this.
B  I think it’s fine. [No, you don’t think it’s fine.]  I do!  I just wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.  [You don’t think it’s fine.]  Of course I do!
J  Then why do you talk like it isn’t fine.
B  Because I think it was long overdue.
J  Well that can’t be helped.  Nixon did it in his first four years.
B  I just think it was the logical thing to do a long time ago, and now because our president has done it, our wonderful president, everybody like you falls right in line behind him.  All of a sudden it’s fine to be buddies with the Communists.  Before that he was saying how terrible they were, we should have nothing to do with them, they were wicked people—and here you are, right along with the president, ‘cause that’s what the president says.  You don’t think for yourself.
J  (laughter)  I can’t say the same about you, dear.  You certainly think for yourself.  Do you think it’s gonna be easier to convince you of the other side than it is me?  You’re always telling me how difficult I am to convince.  Don’t you think you would take as much or more convincing?
B  I just wish you would read Mark Lane’s book [I will read it] (He never did), so that you’ll understand what I’m talking about.  .
       So maybe if you read this book, something will happen, maybe you’ll understand to some degree and say, Gee, poor Barbara, she’s been taken in, but I can see that he does weave a pretty good set of fairy tales together.
J  Do you think this thing is too big for the whole Congress, that they wouldn’t dare do anything about Mark Lane’s book?  They’ll do this much on a little thing like Watergate, yet you think they’d do nothing about Lane’s allegations.
B  Read it.
J  I’m  gonna read it, and I’ll also read where each little part was refuted, so who are you gonna believe, the government and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or some guy named Mark Lane that writes a book. You’re gonna say, I believe Mark Lane because that’s the side you choose to believe.
B  I’m gonna say I found it very convincing.
J  Okay, but you’re not gonna change your mind no matter what happens.
B  I will always be suspicious.  I will always think that things were not the way they appeared.
J  That’s the cynicism.  You’ll always be suspicious.
B  I will always be suspicious that they covered things up.  If these people hadn’t tattled, nobody would have known all they’re finding out about Watergate.
J  They did tattle, didn’t they?
B  Yeah, they did, but there are probably lots of times things happen, and the people don’t tattle.  They get bought off.  But the heat got a little too hot, and it looked as if somebody was going to have to serve more time than he thought he was going to, and so they began to sing.  How many times do things go on, and you don’t hear about them because people don’t tattle.
J  A lot, but not about a presidential assassination.  You can’t compare the two.
B  Well, wait’ll you read about the people that died, the mysterious circumstances under which they died.
J  I don’t understand what you’re saying.
B  Witnesses.
J  Somebody killed the witnesses, you’re saying.  This is what the book led you to believe, this is what the book is implying.  Somebody kills other humans because President Kennedy was assassinated—
B  There was a conspiracy, and the conspirators couldn’t do everything perfectly, it wasn’t the perfect crime, so there were witnesses who could expose things they were trying to hide.
J  Why would the government try to squash this thing if it wasn’t the government that was involved?
B  I’d like to ask you that.
J  So you’re saying they tried to squash it because it was the government that was involved.
B  I think it’s possible.
J  Yeah, but you must think more than that, Barbara.  You either buy this guy’s theory—
B  I simply do not buy the single-bullet, single-assassin theory and everything Mark Lane questions.
J  Does that lead you to all this other stuff?
B  No, but it sure makes me very skeptical about the Warren Commission.
J  The whole Warren Commission because of a book.
B  No, the single-assassin theory, which is what they built up, and it doesn’t really make sense.
J  Well, all right, so maybe there wasn’t a single assassin.  Does that mean the government has to be involved?
B  You just asked me the question as to why all this would be squashed unless the government was involved.  
J  I’m not saying that it’s being squashed, to begin with.  I’m asking the question about what you think.
B  Well, why did all those people die, do you suppose?
J  Why did all these people die?  I don’t know why they did.
B  Well, wait till you read it.  Read it as if it were fiction and you’ll find it fascinating.
J   Do you know why they died?
B  I think they were eliminated because they knew too much, and they were talking too much, and then an awful lot of people that had more to contribute wouldn’t talk any more because they got so scared.  Every day they were reading about somebody that had the same sort of information they did, and suddenly these people were dead.
J  And you think that the Warren Commission knew all these people that died and said, Well, they died because somebody killed them, or they died natural deaths, or what?
B  I don’t know what the Warren Commission has to say about these people.  I know there’s a lot of people they have nothing to say about because nobody saw fit to question them.  There were some people that wanted to be questioned, that had information, and nobody went near them.  They indicated that they had information, and the CIA just didn’t bother to meet with them.
       Then people began getting too nervous to give information because those who did make a fuss and said, Look, I saw this, and such-and-such happened . . . there’s the Grassy Knoll bit, and other things were covered up, like a whole new sign post replacing the old one.  Something that possibly had bullet holes in it, a bullet dent, disappeared the next day, and another sign took its place, very quietly.  That’s the sort of thing that’s in this book.
J  A stop sign disappeared and was replaced because it had bullet holes in it.  Is that what you’re saying, that it wasn’t part of the investigation?
B  I don’t remember exactly because I read it so long ago, but something like that happened.  On whose authority was this done?  Suddenly something that was part of the crime scene disappears.
J  Why didn’t he follow this up and say, This sign has disappeared.  What have you done with it and under whose authority did you replace this sign?
B  Well, these are things I suppose he found out during the course of researching the circumstances, which would take weeks, months of talking to people, then to write the book, and who’d listen to a lightweight like him, anyway?
J  Oh, the sign didn’t disappear.  Somebody said the sign disappeared.  One of his witnesses said that there was a sign that disappeared.
B  There are photographs that show the area before and after.  I might have this mixed up with the Esquire article.  I’ll try to find that, too.
5-22-73
[TV news in the background] 

J   This McCord to me is a great guy, a great, great guy.  I like him. 
B   And Caulfield corroborated most of what he said.
J   I believe it.  I believe everything he says.  If anything he says isn't true, it's because he's honestly mistaken. He’ll say, "To the best of my memory," or something like that.  He's a beautiful guy.
    And that fellow that says, "Nothing to worry about here, I got McCord."  I don't think it's a reflection on McCord.  I think it's a reflection on the people who gave him his instructions, his orders.  Like Mitchell.  I have to admit that I don't think as much of Mitchell as I previously did.  I don't know if I've mentioned that, Hiyo. You're not gonna gloat, are you?  This doesn't make you right in other areas, you understand.
B (laughter) I know that, darling. 
J  I'm not completely succumbing. 
B  I know that, too. 
J  Except with you.  I have a high regard I haven’t told you about lately. 
B   Jack, if they really did some of the things they did, like sabotaging Muskie, and who was the other one that they were nervous about?
J  Well, I thought it was Muskie.
B  There was one other one that they suspected somebody had sabotaged, done something to sabotage his presidential chances.
J Who, possibly who?  I can't imagine.
B There was somebody else that...anyway, they wanted McGovern to be the opponent because they figured he had the least hope of getting in.
 J Well now, they agreed with the younger element there, they wanted McGovern, too.
B   I mean the Republicans wanted McGovern.
J   Yes, yes, yes, but they agreed with the younger Democratic element.  [Who agreed?]  The Republicans, because they both wanted the same candidate.  [Yes, but for different reasons.]  They took a view of McGovern as, as [being a real loser] as being a real loser, absolutely.
B   And they were right.
J   I think the whole thing was pretty disgraceful.
B   I've been hearing lately, and I'm not surprised, that Democrats have done a lot of underhanded things, too.
J   I think if this is the type of person that Nixon can think highly of, he's had it.  I don't care whether he knew anything about it or whether he had any part of it, but if these are the kind of people that he chooses to be his White House element, he's sadly lacking.  He really is sadly lacking.  I'm sure he knows it as well as I do.
B   I just wonder if this sort of thing has gone on, on both sides.  I don't like to resort to what a lot of people are saying, "Oh well, you know politics is dirty and war is hell" and excusing things on that ground [Yeah, that's not being sensible.], but it does make me wonder if both government parties resort to trickery like that.
J   But this is what we're faced with.  This is what we know, and that's what you have to deal with.  What you know, not what might be.
B   It's not that I'm excusing it.  It's just that I'm cynical and I just can't believe [Don't say that.  Are you cynical, Barbara?] that all the wrong is always on one side.  [Are you cynical?]  Even though it happens to be apparently on the side that--[Barbara, are you cynical?]
   I don't think it's bad to be cynical, if by being cynical you are motivated to try to do something about the things you're cynical about.
J   Do you think you'll always remain cynical?  Do you think there'll be something that will turn you around, or do you think being cynical is a basic trait with you?
B   I would be more cynical if nothing were being done about Watergate, if it were just being glossed over and forgotten about.
J   Yeah, doesn't it give you a good feeling to know that this can come out?
B   It does, and there are things I'm not cynical about.  I'm pleased that they're making a serious investigation.  I'm not cynical about that.
J   I think the worst thing a person can be is cynical.  Not the worst thing, no, there could be a lot worse things, but it's terrible to be cynical.
B   On the other hand, it's stupid to be naive and Pollyannaish about things, too. [I know it, I know it.]  I don't think you should be destructively cynical.  I think you can be constructively cynical and just not swallow everything that somebody says just because you're impressed with an authority figure.
J   No, but I don't think you have to label it cynicism, Barbara.
B   Well, all right, maybe you and I are just quibbling over meanings, then.  [Maybe, I hope so.]  In fact, a woman talking to Paul Benzaquin today ended up with some comments that sounded pretty good to me...she said, "I guess I'm cynical," and he paused and said, "Well, I think there are a lot worse things that a person can be today than cynical."
J   Well, of course, of course.  [They have reasons to be cynical.]  They can be talking sensibly, though, and you can be open-minded.
B   I'm cynical about things like trying to make any war that we get into, like the Vietnam War sound like we have holy, pure, beautiful reasons for it.   I think that the average American loves to swallow that, and it's a line of crap and I don't believe it.  I don't believe that our motives are always that pure and beautiful.  So if you disagree with that, okay.
J  (laugh) Why do you say those terrible things about me?
B   Because I think I have a right to be cynical.  Maybe you believe everything that comes out of Washington and the White House [I don't think you should believe everything that comes out of Watergate.], such as excusing our involvement in Cambodia.  We're getting into Cambodia, and they're giving us the same malarkey they gave for all these years when we were in Vietnam.  Stop your noise, people, don't fuss about this, we're on the verge of victory, for God's sake.  Where have we heard that before?  We’re getting fed the same story again. Be quiet, you Peaceniks.
J   You say you heard something from somewhere that says we're on the verge of victory, but what's the source, Barbara?
B   Nixon said that . . .for people to stop rocking the boat about Cambodia, and Congress to stop giving them a hard time and threatening to withdraw funds.  We'll get the money somewhere else, so we can keep on bombing, in order that we can have peace. And he claims he's on the verge of having this be a victory.  I thought we were through in there!  Who wouldn't be cynical?
J   You don't have to label it cynicism.
B   Okay.  Let's call it something prettier.  [hohoho]  Dubious? (laugh).
J   Yeah, that's right.  I would have used it if I'd have thought of it. 
B   How about, I have me doubts.
5-25-73
B   Did you ever hear of a guy named Gary Null?  He was on Benzaquin’s show.
J   I think I have.  Or am I thinking of Maryknoll?
B   He's written a lot of books about nutrition, and he's just written a new book about the conspirator who saved the world.  It's about Nicholas and Alexandra.  For years and years there've been rumors that they were not killed and that somebody got away and....
J   What was the name of the child, the girl?
B   Anastasia .  [Yeah].  Well, he got into this eight years ago to check out this huge sum of money like two million dollars that disappeared.  And he was accepting the story that they'd been assassinated and wasn't even thinking of questioning it, but the more he got into investigating the money and the more people he talked to, the more evidence he shows in this book that not only did the whole family escape, so those horrible pictures of the slaughter must be of somebody else, or they faked it.
   And he went on to say that not only did Nicholas escape, but he is the most famous spy in the world, and he gave his name.
J   Who is the greatest spy in the world?  [Nicholas]  How old is he?  [He'd be like 92 now, I guess.]
B   And then he goes into what I've talked to you about before and of course you don't believe, with the sinking of the Lusitania, how this was an incident that was concocted to get us into the war and that the passengers didn't know it, but it was loaded with ammunition.
J   Barbara, when you say that, "This was concocted to get us into the war." what do you mean?
B   This is what my opinion is, based on things that I've read.
J   Yeah, but what do you read?  I mean, you just used the word concocted, and that's it.                 
B   Well, Churchill has been quoted as saying we need an incident to get America into the war.  We need her help and [what ship is this?]—this is World War 1, not Roosevelt.  [What are you saying Churchill for?] I've got him mixed up with Pearl Harbor, which he also got us into.  Both wars.  England knew Pearl Harbor was gonna be bombed, according to his evidence, two days before it happened.
J  Now do you believe because he says this that. . .[I gotta read it, but I...]  But even if you read it, dear, even if you read it. . .
B   I've read so many other things that you have never read on these subjects.
J   Yeah, but supposing a man comes up and says one day or half a day, or a quarter of a day.  If he says that, you believe they knew it before it happened.
B   Well, evidently he found documents of some kind, records of conversations or letters [Why evidently?  Why do you say evidently?]  I don't know 'cause I haven't read the book.
J   Well, if you read the book, and he says I've got documents, you believe it, that's all he has to say.
     {voices have been rising}
B   Well, let's not discuss it [Jesus!]. I called the show and asked him about the Kennedy assassination [Oh, he must have something on that].  I said you got into everything else, you must have something on that [Yeah, sure, he's got that].  He said, Oh yes I do, but I've been asked not to disclose it, ever, and I have agreed not to do it ever.
J   He's a windbag.  He's got Kennedy, he's got World War 1, he's got the Nicholas and Alexander [the whole works].  He's full of old shoes, Barbara.
B   Well, I've read too many things from too many sources [Yeah, and he's got 'em all.] and I think this is the way things are done.  I think they fool the people....
J   Why are you so ready to believe everything to the contrary?  That's what amazes me.  Everything.
B   Because I think this is the way the world is run. 
J   Why is it because somebody says this ship was sunk and it was a conspiracy and this and that,  that you right away latch onto it?
B   Look, if you ever read these things.  You don't read them.  You don't read a goddamn thing, Jack.   [Oh, if I read them, does that mean I have to believe them because I read them?]   If you read them, you might be impressed.  LISTEN JACK, I AM NOT A MORON, AND I DO ONE HELL OF A LOT MORE READING THAN YOU DO.
J   Of course you're not a moron, dear.
B   ALL RIGHT, THEN LET'S NOT DISCUSS IT.
J  (laugh) Yeah, okay, okay, we won't discuss it.  I thought we were going to discuss it.
5-27-73
B   This same guy that’s written the book, The Conspirators Who Saved the World, did I tell you he was a nutrition expert?
J   Who?
B   Null.  The guy who wrote the book we fought about.  Gary Null. 
J   You never mentioned that before.
B   We had a big fight about it.  He’s the one whose book wrapped up all the things that I think are possible.  The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor . . . what was the other thing?  Say something, Jack. (laugh)
J   He wrote a book on all these things? 
B   Oh, and the assassination, the alleged assassination of Nicholas and Alexandra.  He has information also about the Kennedy assassination, but he was asked not to write about or discuss this, and he agreed not to.  And like Justice Warren, he says there’ll be much more known.
J   After he’s dead for forty years?  He, himself?  Hah!  He attaches an awful lot of importance to himself, doesn’t he?
B   Not necessarily after forty years, but whatever the date is that the American public is going to be allowed to learn these secret things that supposedly are protecting the Kennedy family from further hurt.
J   What does that mean?  Nobody knows what that means?  [No, right.  Nobody knows.]  I don’t even believe it.  I don’t want you to think I believe it.
B   I don’t either.  I think they’re just using that as an excuse to keep things secret.
J    I think he’s using it as an excuse not to tell a lot of the things that he doesn’t know anyway.
B   Who’s this?  Null, you mean?  [Mmm.]  Well, all he’d have to do, if he doesn’t know anything, would be to quote Mark Lane and the Esquire article. 
J   Who’s he quoting?  Is it the same old jazz?  You know, he can go in and get all the background information of everything that was ever written about this stuff—I resent these individuals that go around writing books and have secret knowledge of all this junk!
B   Well, this other junk is going to be printed, and I suppose the Lusitania story will be similar to what we read in the Globe today. 
J   Of course it will! Exactly! Now why should this man take credit for all the information that’s available anyway?
B   He’s not taking credit, he’s compiling it into a book.  And I think there’s been another book written entirely about the Lusitania.  [He’d have you think that he has covered all this stuff.]  I think it probably touches on what his main theme is, which is about Nicholas and Alexandra and how they were really not assassinated and the missing two million or billion dollars or whatever it was.
J   Well, what’s his point?
B   The point is that there are all sorts of secret—[No, I mean about Nicholas and Alexandra.  What is his point?]  I don’t know, I haven’t read the book.  But I think the reason that these other things would come in is because there are big deep secrets that certain key people know in different nations.  They feel if the public knew about them, there could be pandemonium.  So they feed the public pap—
J   Why would there be pandemonium about Nicholas and Alexandra?
B   Just like there’d be pandemonium in this country if it turns out the there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy.  Can’t you imagine that there’d be pandemonium?  Just because you don’t happen to live in Russia, “Why would there be pandemonium?”  Well, maybe there would be in Russia. 
J   You don’t believe that, angel. 
B   I don’t know.  I haven’t read the book!  I don’t know!
J    Well, there couldn’t be pandemonium about a thing like that in Russia.  [Well, why?]  If you were talking about something that was relatively recent . . .
B   If it turned out that the royal family was not really assassinated—
J   Who would give a hoot these days whether the royal family was or was not assassinated?
B   Who would give a hoot whether the Lusitania had munitions on it or not?  [Nobody! Absolutely nobody!]  That’s right.  That’s why you have to wait for fifty years to find out the facts.  Back then they would have cared.  We wouldn’t have gotten into World War One. 
J   I say who gives a hoot about Alexandra and Nicholas today?  Nobody.
B   All right.  So it’s very interesting to find out what may be the facts, if this book is true.  Back then people would have given a hoot.  Whoever was in power or whoever wanted them annihilated—
J   “If this is true.”  I’m glad you said that.  I’m glad, because you’re getting a little wild there.
B   I’m not saying it’s true.  I just think a lot of things come out years later when they’re  allowed to leak out because the public will say, as you say, “Who gives a hoot?”   It’s like really, Who gives a hoot about World War One and why we got into it?  We were manipulated into it with all this intrigue you read about today in the Globe.  Who gives a hoot?  So we had a war, and all those lives were lost, the second bloodiest war in our history.  And in another fifty years, who will give a hoot if President Roosevelt knew that those Japanese planes were on their way, and he let all those boys at Pearl Harbor die?  Who will give a hoot?  And in Russia, they’ll give even less of a hoot.
      I give a hoot that people can’t be informed right after these things happen, that they can’t be informed before they happen, that they can’t really have a say in their government and what’s happening.  That they have to be tricked into waving their flags and saying, Oh, what a crime, those awful Germans, those beasts.  .
J   I do, too.  If that’s true, you’re right.  I think it’s terrible to sacrifice lives to go to somebody else’s aid. 
B   “To go to somebody else’s aid.”  Well, it’s not terrible if it’s for the right reasons, but if you’re tricked into it, it’s terrible. 
J   No, no, it’s still terrible, Barbara, to allow Pearl Harbor to happen in order to help someone’s cause.  I don’t think there should be one lowly sailor sacrificed for a thing like that.  I really don’t.  But I think it’s disgraceful to think that some of these people did not do their job, and those poor sailors were thinking, Well, we’re all set because the higher-ups know exactly what’s going on, and they’re on the ball.
B   All right.  That would be impossible to tolerate, except maybe in another thirty or forty years, people won’t give a hoot, just like you said who gives a hoot about what happened in Russia in the past.
J   No, no, that’s different, angel!  That’s different entirely!  You’re talking about something that was supposed to happen, the assassination of a royal family, and that was a terrible thing in itself to happen.  But the fact that this man is bringing out that it didn’t happen, I don’t get the connection.
B   Well, I won’t either until I read the book, unless the connection is that there are all kinds of sinister maneuverings going on in governments—
J   This was all brought about before this family was assassinated.   It wasn’t at the instigation of something.  This was a revolution that was well under way, and they were assassinated.   I don’t know why, I’ll never understand how people can do that.  Of course, they might look upon this family as the reason for human suffering with the vast majority of people, and therefore they resent them for taking their high place and allowing these things to happen.  So they deserve to die. But not to have the whole family wiped out
B   If you look through history, millions and millions of lives have been sacrificed simply because some people in power sat around a table and consulted their maps and they said, We’ll do this here and we’ll do that there, and they planned their stragedy, str-, str- . . .
J   The word sounds like it should be stragedy.
B   (laugh) And the fact that this crushed a lot of lives, it’s just part of the game.  I don't believe women would do the same thing if we were in power.  It seems as if men will always want to play their cowboys and Indians games.  What are you having now?
J   Rum and cranberry juice.  Want to try it?
 Umm, that’s good!
J   {sound of ice plunking in glass)  You’re beautiful to drink with.
B   I’m thinking about another thing that’s fun about you.  That one can get a little loaded and still have fun, and a lot loaded and still have fun.  
J   That’s because I put up with your belligerence. . . .

HE MIGHT HAVE LIED TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENT. (2)

6-25-73
Jack  What time is Watergate?  Is it nine o’clock? 
B   I think it’s ten.  if they ever have Mitchell on, that’ll be interesting. 
J   Won’t it, huh?  Hey, that really will be.  He’s next.  [He’s next?]  He wants to be excused, is the latest I heard. 
B   I guess they all start out by making this plea on the grounds that it will prejudice their chance of a fair trial.
J   They can do nothing.  This whole committee is together, not to prove guilt.  It’s to lay the groundwork for legislation.  If there’s breaking of the law, that’s what the prosecution will take care of.  Because they’re indicted.  If you’re indicted, you have to be prosecuted.  There’s no question that laws were broken.
B   Apparently there’s no question that they’ve been breaking them for years, spying on each other.  Nixon was bugged in 1968.  Remember?  J. Edgar Hoover told him that when he came into office.  Did you hear any of the testimony about the climate in the White House?  How Nixon, who’s always said he couldn’t care less about how many thousands of demonstrators there were against him, he was busy watching a ballgame or something, was actually bothered very much.  There was one man with a sign out in the park, where he was in plain sight—
J  While he was watching the ballgame? 
B   No, this was another time.  It was an indication of how really supersensitive he was about any criticism.  He practically sent the whole FBI outside.  He wanted the man  told to move along.  He was very sensitive about the war.
J   Was that what the sign was?  Protesting the war? [I believe so.]  Gee, it really shouldn’t be like this, private conversations with the president, an atmosphere like this on TV all over the nation.   The little things that were said.  Part of it is not good.  I think if there was a cover-up, he should have been above it as the president.  But a few of the things that were said did not relate to a cover-up.  It shouldn’t be made public if they don’t relate to Watergate or the cover-up.  I don’t think they serve any purpose.
B   Like what things?
J    {sigh} I wish I could remember, but it was something that was human to say.  [Something the president said?]  Yeah.  Something he was quoted as saying.  I think Dean’s got quite a story there.  Of course he’s putting himself in a good light, and I don’t know if others were not put in a bad light.  This is what Dean is doing for himself.
B   They’re going to try to discredit him.
J   I think they can’t discredit the basic facts.  I think they might discredit the image he’s putting forth.
B   After all, he was very close to the president right up until this spring, so he allegedly, according to what Nixon thought, was a top man, worthy of having a lot of responsibility.
J    Well, the way he conducted himself today, he seems to be intelligent.
B   Of course, he’s reading from a script.  He and his lawyers must have gone over every word, trying not to leave out any innuendo that would help his case, or to leave in anything that would hurt him. 
J   You’d think men of that caliber, of that station in life, would not stoop to lie, but when it comes to your own skin, I guess they lie just like everybody else does.
B   If all these guys are telling the truth, they thought they were lying in a good cause.
J    I’m talking about Mitchell.  Some of the things he said—
B   Well, he could have been lying to protect the president, not just himself.  Martha Mitchell says he’d go to jail to protect the president. 
J   The break-in was a few nights before I met you.  By June twenty-fifth, everyone knew about it.
B   A lot of people were shaking in their boots, I’m sure. 
J   Right.  I don’t see how anybody could take it as lightly as the two top men did.  They seemed to think they were above it, and it was just a question of who below them was going to get in trouble.  Does it seem that way to you?   There’s something wrong with people who think they can do that.  It’s something they can do that anyone else would go to jail for.  They pretend they’re CIA.  That was a crummy thing to do.  These people who were involved in the break-in were carrying CIA identification. 
B   Then a guy named Tony pretended to be a reporter that the Kennedys sent.  He was asking a lot of embarrassing questions.
J   And they wanted to put around-the-clock surveillance on Kennedy because they were afraid he might recognize the fact that this was happening and call the FBI.  Remember that?  It might be embarrassing if the FBI finds out what’s going on in the administration.
B   There were some things that were discussed afterward, like let’s see who we can get on the committee that would be sympathetic to us.  When Paul Benzaquin and one of his buddies were on TV, Paul said, I’m sure they’ll make it clear later on that this kind of thing is typical.  It’s done all the time.  Maneuvering for favors. 
J   Oh sure, let’s get whoever is favorable to the administration and sees things our way.
B   People should understand the difference between that, which is legitimate wheeling and dealing, and the illegitimate type of thing.
J   Like somebody in the White House said, Try to see if the CIA won’t cooperate in helping us out with this deal.           
6-28-73
J   Frankly, I don’t like a Republican administration because they can’t help themselves in leaning towards Big Business. [Now you’re talking, Jack.]  I’m convinced of that economically. Domestically, too.  Foreign policy I think is something else, and we won’t discuss that.  I agree with you in that a mess has been made of this economy.   I would say I could not vote for another Republican President, if he was of that ilk.
B   I think it would be a mess if a Democrat had gotten in.  I think it’s all inherent—
J   No, I think Nixon’s advisors lean away from hurting producers.
B   They give them tax benefits . . .  
J  They can’t help themselves, they’ve been brought up that way all their life, and this is the way they honestly think. 
B  And they’re the ones that thought Roosevelt was  a madman. 
J   They can’t help it.  I don’t blame them for it.  It’s just that I don’t think they should be in office.  I like an economics adviser like Walter Heller, he was the top economic adviser for three Democrats in a row, including Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.  It’s too bad we can’t get somebody who can get things done internationally and domestically.  Johnson lacked it in foreign policy.  Kennedy had some good ideas, but he couldn’t get things done.  Congress was sort of hostile to Kennedy.  I could never figure out why.
     But you and I aren’t that far apart, Barb, and I hope you don’t think we are.
B   Where do you feel that Johnson was lacking in his foreign policy?
J   He had no interest in foreign policy.  It was well known, it was written all over the place. 
B   Do you mean because he didn’t make friends with Russia and China? 
J   No, no, no.  He had no knowledge.
B   Kathie said, If Kennedy or Johnson had done what Nixon has done, the conservatives all over the country would be screaming, “Look at what these crazy, wild-eyed liberals are doing now!  Making friends with the Communists.”
J   Yes, there are some Right Wingers that scream about it, but there are not that many of them.  They’re not that powerful any more.  They’ve come to the middle of the road.  I don’t think that Eisenhower was much of a middle-of-the roader, not with what he brought in for cabinet people, like Brownell.
B   Back then I was much more ignorant than I am now, not that I know much now.  I thought Eisenhower was a nice-looking man.  And he was a hero. That’s all I knew. Why would anyone not like him?
J   He’s got to be something more than honest and likeable to be a politician. Being a politician is not a bad thing, but I don’t understand what’s going on in the executive department these days.  What was his name, the last man on TV?
B   Was it Richter?  [Yeah.]  That was really dramatic. 
J   It was dramatic when he talked about love and loving his fellow Americans.  That was his parting shot.  He was angry.  He’s been angry all through this thing.   
B   I loved some of the reactions of people that were on that enemies list.  Bill Cosby said, "I want to make it perfectly clear that President Nixon was on my list long before I was on his." 
J    This is beneath the Presidency and the executive branch of the government.  He has some real winners there, and I don’t know what he has against them.
Another thing that gets me is the way he doesn’t practice what he preaches, like people should tighten their belts and they should have meat just once a week.  I read that he spent fifty thousand dollars making a little family kitchen in the White House.  It’s cozy, only about thirteen by fifteen. 
J   It will be for others, for those that follow.
Maybe next week. {mixed laughter}
J   At least he’s invested in something that somebody else is going to enjoy.
4-5-74
B   I expect you’re seen all those cartoons, like “God help this poor country that the United States decides to rush to the aid of.” 
J    Like Turkey and Greece and all the countries that we helped?
B   It just seems as if there’s far more of a bloodbath when we mix into things than if we keep out of it.
J   Well, that’s true.  There wouldn’t be anybody killed if we allowed countries that need help to—
B   So we rush in to the little countries to exercise our power.  We don’t rush in and free all the Chinese and Russians. 
J   Well, China and Russia rush into little countries, too, you know.
B   If we’re so idealistic about freeing people, why are we being friendly with Russia and China?  It seems that with the big shots, we’re going to be buddy-buddy, but with the little guys we try to throw our weight around.
J   No, no, honey, we don’t throw our weight around. 
B   That Englishman is saying we should continue to pour all this money in.  How much is England pouring in? 
J   I don’t think there’s all that money that you’re talking about.
B  Then you don’t believe your own people.  [Well, you say all that money.]  We’re talking in terms of over a billion.  [That’s right, they’re talking in terms of a billion.]  And you don’t think that’s much?
J   I think we should do it.  Congress thinks we should do it, or it wouldn’t be voted. 
B   I think if President Kennedy, whom you loved and admired as much as I did, had lived, you and I wouldn’t be arguing about this right now. I think he saw things the way dovish people did.  Johnson listened to the military.
J   I don’t agree with you when you say what he thought. 
B   I wish you’d read the book, Johnny, We Hardly Knew You.
J   I know what he did.   I don’t care about any book,   He perpetuated what Eisenhower started.
B   He tried very hard, though, to keep it at that level, and he kept talking about not wanting to get any more involved—[Not wanting to, I know it.  I don’t think anybody wants to.]  But he’s hardly warm in his grave when Johnson—the military had been putting all the same pressure on Kennedy, but he wouldn’t buy it.   Johnson did. 
J   What you’re doing is pitting Johnson against Kennedy.  If you want to say that Johnson perpetuated what Kennedy did—
B   I think Johnson listened to the military, whose survival depends on wars. 
J   I’m not a Johnson admirer, so if you think I’m here to defend Johnson . . .
B   I think if Kennedy had lived, and if people like him had carried on after him, instead of hawks like Johnson—it was just a minor thing in the book, but I had to laugh.  He didn’t want to go over to this country, I forget where it was, where there was possibly some physical danger.  He balked at going.  But when he got to be President, he was happy to send over young boys and feed them into the slaughter mill.  That was different.  
    Kennedy was so gentle and so against of unnecessary bloodshed that he even hated to kill a deer.  He was invited by President Johnson, and he had to go out and shoot a deer. He knew there’d be a big to-do over it if he refused. 
J   Did he shoot a deer? And he didn’t want to?  [He did, very much against his desire.]  And he did it why?  Because it was expected of him? 
B   Yes. Such an issue would have been made of it if he’d made an issue of it.  The first thing that Ladybird Johnson said to him when he arrived for the weekend was, “I hope you get a deer.”  Whoever was with him said that his face fell, and he asked, “What does she mean?’’  They were aroused at six in the morning, and they went out on Johnson’s acres and acres of land where shooting deer was like shooting sitting ducks. 
J   So you thought it was terrible when she said, Go out and get a deer, and he went out and got a deer.
B   He did it because there would have been a political to-do about it. 
J   He was the President, wasn’t he?
B  Yes, but he had just invited Lyndon Johnson to be Vice-President, and Lyndon, because of his tunnel vision, imagines that what he thinks is great, everybody else is going to think is great.  Having the privilege of going out on his property and shooting a deer was regarded as a big treat. 
      So it would have been an insult.  It would be like inviting somebody to dinner, and the 
guest says,  I can’t eat that.  You mean this poor lobster has been boiled alive?  Rejecting the jolly fun of killing a deer would be an insult.  So no matter how much it went against his grain—I was hoping as I read along that somehow he’d get out of it, but  he had to do it. 
J    Well, he could have missed. 
B  There was a  human touch there, too.  He didn’t miss with his first shot.  It took  Ken O’Donnell quite a bit longer, and it took two or three shots.  When Kennedy next catches up with O'Donnell, he’s back at the White House sitting in the library, and it was all over with.  So Kennedy teases O’Donnell because he had brought down the deer within five seconds, a perfect shot, but his best friend didn’t do so well.  Kennedy was human enough to needle him about it.
     He was beautiful.  I can’t believe we would have gone through so many horrible things if he had been in charge, and I swear to God I think that’s why he died.  You think that’s crazy, but I think there were too many people who couldn’t stand his philosophy.  He didn’t want to cooperate with this profitable outlook on wars, profitable to a few.
      You know the scandals there were back in the first World War about that munitions maker—was it Krupp?
J   He was German.  What about him?
B  The scandals were about people encouraging and promoting dissension because they knew if there was a war, they were going to profit enormously.  So they actually manipulated—
J   They manipulated the news.  Hearst did that. 
B  I don’t think it’s all that different now.
J   Well okay, honey, now listen.  Here’s the difference between you and me.  You think because it happened that it always happens.  I believe that there are some times when it doesn’t, or when things are legitimate.
B   I’d like to think that World War Two was legitimate.
J    I don’t mean the whole World War Two.  I’m talking about, if it happens, you don’t believe anything after that.  Once you hear that something isn’t right, you believe that nothing’s right.  And that’s the difference between you and me.
B   All I know is, I think Kennedy was a good man and a clear-thinking man, and as far as I’m concerned, I can’t see that he was ever very far off the track.  Once they polished him off, things went the way war mongers wanted them to.
4-12-75
B  Shirley MacClaine’s my sort.
J   Bullshit, I’ll take you over Shirley any time.
B   She’s amazing, she’s a lot of woman. 
J   The trouble is, she believes what she’s saying, but how she can think the way she does is amazing to me.  I can’t see how anybody could sympathize with the North Vietnamese.
B   Honey, they’re not Communists!  You brought me that book over there, and if you read it carefully, it would call them Communists, but they’ve always hated the Chinese.  If we just left them alone, they were a buffer—
J   I don’t say they don’t hate the Chinese.  So what, you could embrace the Russians and hate the Chinese. 
B   They don’t embrace the Russians, they might use them, use their aid, just as the South Vietnamese use our aid.
J   Barbara, that is a Communist government!
B   There’s Communism and Communism! 
J    I agree.  There’s Yugoslavian Communism and there’s North Vietnamese Communism, and you can’t compare the two.
B   Nothing seems to keeps us from being friendly with the Russians and the Chinese.
J   You can’t be a world power and not be friendly with other world powers.
B   You talk about the insurgents and the rebels.  The North Vietnamese think of themselves as liberators. 
J   Of course they do.  Did you ever meet a Communist that didn’t think of himself as a liberator?
B   Did you know what the British called us, the Americans?  We were rebels!
J    What did we call us?  I don’t care what other people called us.
B   All right, they don’t care what we call them.  The Vietnamese call themselves liberators.
J   Of course they do, and do you believe they are?
B   We felt we were liberators.  [When?]  In the Revolutionary War, when we revolted and freed ourselves from England.
J   Well, for crying out loud, we were here!  This was us.
B   Well, they are there—[Yeah, they are there, up north.]—and what are we doing over there?
J   Why do they think they’re doing so much liberating when the people are streaming away from them?
B   If we had overcome, they’d be saying that the South Vietnamese are pouring up there and the enemies, those Reds are—
J   Wait a minute, I don’t understand you.
B  Don’t you think the Reds would be on the run from the South Vietnamese if we were the victors?  The headlines would be saying Victorious Troops Pour into North Vietnam.  Do you think they’d be sitting there if the other side, so-called, with our help—[What would they be doing?]  They’d be running, too, because they’d be afraid of reprisals.  [Oh no!]  This is what happens in any war.  The ones that have been conquered are afraid of what will happen to them.  If the tables had been turned, and if we had been able to do what we tried to do—
J   You think this is a good thing for the South Vietnamese people?
B   I think it was a terrible thing that we ever got into it in the beginning. 
J   No, no, it was a terrible thing when we had to get into it.  
B  I don’t think we had to.  This has been going on for years and years.  If we’d just stayed out of it, there wouldn’t have been a fraction of the bloodshed.  [That’s true.]  Maybe the country was ready to go Communist, just like South America has gone Communist.
J   What do you mean, maybe the country was ready to go Communist?
B   Maybe Communism is better than something like the Fascist regime that they had in Vietnam. 
J   Why do you say that the country was ready to go Communist.  I don’t understand that.
B   Because maybe the majority of the Vietnamese people were ready.  I mean they are winning now, maybe this was what they wanted.
J   Oh hell, don’t give that as a reason.  They’re winning because we got out.  [Well . . . so?]  And they’re winning because Russia and China are doing a lot more—
B   They don’t want to be taken over by China.  Your friend Howard Zinn that you hate—has said the same thing.  
J   Your friend Howard Zinn that you love.
B  Ten years ago, in 1965, I read a book that said the same thing as the one you brought over by  Eric Severard.
J   You could think of one thing that he might have said the same as Walter Lippman said.  You could do that.  But you could think of a hell of a lot of things that Zinn said that Walter Lippmann never said.
B   You haven’t read Zinn’s book.  The North Vietnamese in their teeny, tiny way have been staving off the Chinese for generations.  [I’m not saying they didn’t.]  Okay.  They’re a brave, independent country—
J  But what the hell are they doing, trying to say the South Vietnamese should be what they are?  Why do they have 500,000 troops? 
B   Why do we say that the south should have what we have? 
J   We get out, and the south should be left alone.
B   The south of the United States seceded.  Why did Abraham Lincoln decide that it should all be one country?  Why did he want the south with their slavery and their different attitudes. Why didn’t he leave them alone and let them be a separate country? 
J   I think the south wanted to be an independent free democracy just as the north was, with the one exception of having slaves.  And Abe Lincoln thought that no one could be a democracy and have slaves.
B   Well, the slavery, if you go past high school history, in fact, even if you’d stayed into your senior year, you’d begin to learn that slavery was a minor—
J   I wish you hadn’t said that.  [Well, I needed to.]  No, but you’re talking about my senior year.  Why did you do that?  Do you think I would have been so much more if I went through my senior year?
B   I was just saying that the form of history you're fed in junior high school and early high- school years is a whitewash.  It’s unsophisticated, the sort of history the Russians get.  Everything is A-okay.  But if I’d gone on to college, I would have become more and more cynical, if you will, or realistic—whatever you want to call it—and aware that this beautiful country of ours wasn’t always so beautiful.  There are a lot of other things that led to the Civil War besides slavery.  Slavery was like number six on the list.
J   Well slavery, I understand, was what it was with Lincoln.  What are the other five?
B   There was something about trade and economics—I don’t remember, I was never good at history, but there were many more vital issues than that.  The south was bitter for years, as you probably know, because they were still feeling it was unfair.  And it wasn’t just the slavery.  Their whole economy crumbled.  I don’t think South Vietnam has had it so great under this guy, either.  It’s been a corrupt puppet government.  Did you hear what the ambassador from Cambodia said?  He said, You talked us into joining this—what is it—Islam, or whatever.  We were a neutral country, and you talked us into participating in this war, and now we’re left holding the bag, and you’re out, leaving us in this terrible situation.  Why didn’t you leave us alone?
{Jack remains silent, still wounded, I’m afraid, by my unkind reference to his cut-short high school education.10-16-01, BBM} 
     Even this orphan rescue, you can be cynical about that.  [You choose to be cynical.] It’s a way of getting our people out of there.  What about all the other children?  Aren’t they important, too?
     This guy I met the other night came on so crudely.  Anybody who believes we should be in there bombing them back to the Stone Age and then says, “I told you so, you see what’s happening over there now?  It’s all because of you doves.”  I just cannot believe that there would have been such horrible bloodshed if we’d stayed out of there in the beginning.
J   What’s happening there now is that there’s more desire that the forces from the north {unclear} I don’t know why they were indoctrinated.
B   Well, we certainly indoctrinated young people to go over there and fight for democracy.
J   It doesn’t seem we did. 
B  Thousands of them would testify from their graves that they were indoctrinated.
J  Yeah, but we wouldn’t have had the problem of bringing about the downfall of our president if we had indoctrinated them as you say.
B   We indoctrinated them enough so that they went over there—
J   They went over there,because either they had to or they wanted to.  We didn’t indoctrinate them. 
B  Sure we did!  We made them believe this was a noble cause, except for some of them that weren’t convinced and went to Canada or went to jail.  We convinced enough of them so that there were hundreds of thousands mutilated and fifty-five thousand dead, and they and all their families thought that this was a beautiful, patriotic thing for them to do.  To go way over there and fight Communism, when we’ve got it right on our doorstep down in South America, but oh no, we’re pretty careful about fighting Communism right next door to us because then, maybe a bomb or two might fall on Boston or New York.  It might get a little too close for comfort.  Maybe those fuckin’ military industrialists who are making so much money and promoting and pushing the war, if it started landing in their back yard, they wouldn’t think it was such a terrific idea.
     What gets me about Watergate  is that the big shots won’t have any problem.  They’ll all get out, it’ll be the underlings that will probably be eliminated.
J   It’s a hell of a cause.  [A hell of a cause? What do you mean?]  The underlings.  It’s a hell of a cause for the underlings.  It’s for Mom and apple pie and the American flag. The underlings.
B   Oh, I see.  You’re being sarcastic.  I just don’t like to see all the big shots, including our great ex-president, living in luxury while his underlings go to jail for doing what he sponsored, [No, I don’t either.] and I think this is apt to be true in any big mess.  It’s the little fellows that get caught in the net and pay the penalty.  The big ones get away.
J   They’re not getting away.  You don’t think Nixon got away, do you? 
B   He didn’t go to jail.  If underlings are going to jail, why shouldn’t he?  Or if he isn’t going to jail, why should they?
J   Would it solve everything if you were to see Nixon in jail?
B   No.  It might make me feel better—[That’s what I mean.  Would it make you feel better?]  It would make me feel better if the underlings didn’t have to go to jail.  [I agree whole-heartedly.]  I’d rather see nobody in jail.  If he’s not going to be in jail, then I don’t think anybody should be. 
J   I don’t either.  That’s a fact that we can agree on. I don’t think anybody should go to jail.  If their lawyers are disbarred and disgraced.  I think they deserve it. Just as Alger Hiss had to live with it.
B   What is he, eighty years old, and they still don’t set him free?  That poor old man is still living under guard, right?  Was he a bad man?  I’ve never quite understood what happened.  I thought he tried to do something that he thought was good, right?
J   Well, if you put it that way, honey, it can be argued all over the place.
B   But he didn’t think of himself as a bad person, did he?
J    No. But I don’t think Benedict Arnold thought he was devious, either.
B   But what is being accomplished now, by this old, old man being guarded as if he were some kind of menace, when something was long over with.
J   Because the country would have to admit that what they said in the past is not true.
B   Oh, this country here?  We couldn’t do that, could we?
J    This country isn’t as bad as you think.
B   This country can never admit to making a mistake.
J    Well, this country has just done that, to a hell of a degree.  [You mean, like Watergate, or do you mean a war?]  Well, do you think if Watergate had developed in any Communist country like it developed here, do you think the leaders would have been disgraced?
B   I think if our Fascist president had had his way, we never would have known about it.
J    Well, that’s perfectly true.  I’m talking about the system, I’m not talking about the president.  You’re talking about this country.
B   He darn near beat the system because the presidency has become so powerful.
J    Doesn’t it make a difference that he didn’t?  Or is the big thing that he darn near did?
B   Well, it’s kind of scary that he came so close.
J    I know what you mean.  It could have been covered up, if it weren’t for a couple of people.
B   I think it’s symptomatic of a lot of things that have been covered up in the past.  We’ll probably never know about them.
J   What’s the solution?
B   I think it’s the way it always has been.  I told you about this book about Cervantes a few hundred years ago.  Spain was drained the way we are now because of the Holy Wars, Catholics against Protestants.  They hated each other.   They each tried to eliminate the other.  Lives were lost the same way they are today, the age of Capitalism versus Communism.  Then it was religion, the powerful older people sending the young people off to die, and what was accomplished by all those deaths?
J   Well, do you think sending off people in World War Two accomplished anything?
B   I think there were a lot of lives lost there that didn’t need to be.  We didn’t need to drop the atom bomb.  The Japanese—
J   No, I’m not talking about the atom bomb now.  If you want to get to that later, we’ll talk about it.  We’re talking about sending off people to fight in World War Two and whether it accomplished something. 
B   I don’t know.
J   People have to die because there are people in the world that bring it about.  Hitler brought it about, and that’s why we went to war.
To be continued.