Fifty-five years ago, on November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Although there has been a great deal written about this event over the years, I want to draw attention to one exceptionally important article, originally delivered as a talk on November 20, 1998. Vincent Salandria gave this talk in Dallas at the invitation of the Coalition on Political Assassinations. (See Sources.)
Salandria had been a high school teacher at the time of the assassination (he later became a lawyer) and was one of the first people in the US to write essays expressing dissent from the government narrative of lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald, maverick leftist.
In his 1998 talk Salandria went through over a dozen of the famous obstacles to the government story—the grassy knoll witnesses, the “magic bullet,” the testimony of the doctors at Parkland Hospital, and so on—but he did not let himself get sidetracked into detailed debates on any of these. By 1998 he had already seen, and participated in, 35 years of such debates. He had long ago concluded that, “the national security state at the very highest level of its power killed President John F. Kennedy for his efforts at seeking to develop a modus vivendi with the Soviets and with socialist Cuba.”
In 1998 he felt it was time to warn researchers about the danger of wasting time in “false debates,” where the essential facts had clearly been established and the wrangling served only the purposes of the assassins. Rather than repeat the debates, Salandria decided in 1998 to outline his basic approach. I will call this the Salandria Approach. I draw attention to it because I believe it helps us find our feet when we tackle not only the JFK killing but many of the killings in the 21st century’s War on Terror.
Here are Salandria’s words:
I began to sift through the myriad facts regarding the assassination which our government and the US media offered us. What I did was to examine the data in a different fashion from the approach adopted by our news media. I chose to assess how an innocent civilian-controlled US government would have reacted to those data.