Note: I'll be talking about JFK's foreign policy on Huffington Post Live at about 12.25pm ET today. Go here to watch. The channel's program "What if JFK had lived?" starts at noon ET.
Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein asks the obvious question after reading various attempts to blame the assassination of John F. Kennedy on a generalized "atmosphere of hate" pervading Dallas, Texas in the early 1960s. Was Dallas a hotbed of right-wing paranoid fantasies back then? Sure was. But – and this is really kinda important – it wasn't the likes of nutjub Gen. Edwin Walker who plugged the president. It was Lee Harvey Oswald, a Castro supporter who had defected to the Soviet Union out of a mix of Marxist idealism and anti-Americanism.
Look, guys. Lee Harvey Oswald murdered JFK. Oswald was a Communist. Not a small c, "all we are saying is give peace a chance and let's support Negro civil rights" kind of Communist, but someone so committed to the cause (and so blind to the nature of the USSR) that he actually went to live in the Soviet Union. And when that didn't work out, Oswald became a great admirer of Castro. He apparently would have gone to live in Cuba before the assassination if the Cubans would have had him. Before assassinating Kennedy, Oswald tried to kill a retired right-wing general. As near as we can tell, he targeted Kennedy in revenge for Kennedy's anti-Castro actions.
For more on the 50th anniversary of JFK's murder, go here.
And watch our recent interview with Roger Stone, author of The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. I ain't buying the conspiracy theory—though I did literally buy his book and found it a really captivating read, right up there with Don DeLillo's novel on "Oswaldskovich" (the nickname given Oswald by his fellow Marines because he wouldn't shut up about how great the USSR was), Libra.