Monday, January 03, 2011

I’d like to respond to the latest series of comments below. To the lastest anonymi, who would like me to move on, get a life, get a job etc. (though some have also been supportive, thanks!) I’d say this: Central America. If you weren’t involved at the time, i.e. if you’re under, say, 40 years old (or older but weren’t paying serious attention at the time), it would be hard to conceive of the level of savage violence unleashed by Uncle Sam’s clients on the peoples of Central America in the decade that followed Lennon’s assassination. I’m talking about the military and its allied death squads in El Salvador, the Nicaraguan contra army, the USS Honduras which served as the U.S. military/intelligence base in the region. Some examples: a scorched-earth sweep by the Salvadoran armed forces in Chalatenango province on 14 May 1980 drives some 600 campesinos – women, children, elderly – to flee into the Sumpul River in a desperate attempt to reach Honduras on the other side. With U.S. military coordination, the Honduran army lines up on the opposite bank and opens fire as helicopter gunships (supplied by U.S. taxpayers) sweep up and down the river killing everything in sight. The river runs red with blood, then black with vultures, witnessed by a priest from Brooklyn, Father Earl Gallagher. This is not reported by any Western press outlet (remember, the Internet hasn’t been invented yet) until the Sunday Times of London runs a story on 22 February 1981. It gets a mention in the Newspaper of Record when it reports a similar massacre on 8 June 1981, this one perpetrated at the Lempa River on 17 March 1981. Another example: Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered by the Salvadoran ruling party, ARENA, on 24 March 1980. At his funeral, thousands mass in San Salvador’s central square, where the military opens fire on them. Students scrambling up the steps of national cathedral are cut to pieces by soldiers with automatic weapons. These events, and hundreds, thousands more, are not in dispute. I am happy to point you to all the documentation you like. I am saying this because this was Uncle Sam’s war, the CIA’s war, Ronald Reagan’s war (or, more accurately, his handlers’ war), and it was just getting underway when Lennon was assassinated. This is why John had to die. It wasn’t some vague notion about his politics. He was going to become a citizen in a few months. His assassination was calculated, coldly, by the same bloodless war criminals who were setting about to massacre the poor of Central America on a sweeping scale, along with the priests and nuns who inspired their revolution. Before you sneeze off Lennon’s assassination, you have to deal with this reality. Or maybe you don’t. It’s your choice.

And a big thankyou to freesoulsinger, especially for providing us all with more evidence not available, as far as I know, anywhere else. This is the second time people have posted new evidence to this website. You can find a comment in the archives from a guy who says he was in Beirut and frequented the Y there at the same time as Chapman, who was busy recording the sounds of gunfire and ordnance from his room. It is remarkable to see heretofore unavailable eyewitness accounts, and I’m very grateful for this -- as well as for the insights from Exiles800. Maybe, despite the trail's being 30 years cold, things are gonna change.

A couple comments on freesoulsinger’s remarks (you’ll find them at the end of the comment queue following the post dated 3 December 2005) : (1) it’s interesting that Dylan thought Lennon’s murder was a political crime at the time and feared for his own life, and it’s entirely understandable, but my firm belief is that he was (is) in no danger whatever, since Dylan – while one of the Western world’s towering artists of the past fifty years - has never been out front in any social movement. Again, this is not what our Permanent Government saw as a threat, because it wasn’t. The chance that Lennon would have galvanized the Central America solidarity movement *was* a threat. This is the heart of the case I’m making. Others have exposed the inconvenient facts about Mark David Chapman, and the CIA’s quest to create the Manchurian Candidate, which are invaluable and to which I’ll continue to refer. It’s the motive I’m talking about here. It not only makes sense, it’s the only thing that does. (2) There has been mention in other accounts of the CIA’s having a particularly active psyops station in Hawaii during the period Chapman lived there. I had not heard before that Chapman had been a Moonie. Of course this makes perfect sense, as there is a great deal of evidence that Rev Sun Myung Moon was/is an asset of the CIA and its Korean counterpart, but I was unaware of any evidence to this effect. Anyone out there having additional information on this, please share. (3) We know that Chapman went to the shooting range with Dana Reeves, the Georgia state cop who was to give him the hollowpoints he used to shoot Lennon, but this account suggests that far more training was involved. I wonder if the Century doorman’s dad ever talked to the police (or anyone else). And yeah, I was on that million-person-march, it was on 12 June 12 1982, and yeah it seemed like a highly conscious crowd to me. Those of us of a certain age know first-hand that times change, sometimes for the better and sometimes not, meaning they can – and will – change again. Finally, I first encountered Fenton Bresler’s book around 1996, and like freesoulsinger, it’s my experience that there was almost nothing to be found on the Web at that time. It’s the reason I launched this blog, albeit not until the 25th anniversary rolled around, as I mentioned in my previous post.