Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and President Kennedy

I was eleven years old when President Kennedy died.  I remember coming home from school at lunch and hearing the news from my mom.

A few days ago at my local drugstore, I noticed the appearance of John F Kennedy memorial magazines. But a quick glance confirmed the truth.  Nobody knows. It's official. But it's OK, we can still sell magazines. We don't have free press, but we can pretend. We can print lots of "beautiful pictures" and happy stories.

November 22, 2013 will be the 50th anniversary of the death of President John Kennedy. It's official. Nobody knows what happened. You can be sure someone knows.  You can be certain that several people know what happened.  But you don't know.  The news media doesn't know, or doesn't dare. Fifty years later and the best we can do is, as Wiki, the new authority, reports "Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of the crime and arrested that evening, but Jack Ruby shot and killed him two days later, before a trial could take place."

To be perfectly honest, we don't even know if the President was assassinated.

The FBI officially maintains that Oswald was the lone assassin.
The Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin.
United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded that those investigations were flawed and that Kennedy was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy.  Note: Probably comes before 'assassinated'.

Officially, we don't know.  Why don't we know? Because some organizations, some community or group of communities, doesn't want us to know. According to a Fox News poll conducted in 2004, 74% of Americans thought there was a cover-up. The other 26 percent are simply not paying attention.

Almost fifty years later, on November 3, 2013, the Washington Post published this headline: "5 decades later, some JFK assassination files still sealed; researchers demand ‘transparency’" The documents are still 'covered up'. The cover-up is written into law.

Where are the Julian Assanges and Edward Snowdens of the Kennedy assassination?

There are many who claim that Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are criminals, who released secret information, creating danger to the public. What about those who create danger to the public by hiding information?

The first key to freedom is information.  The first key to healthy communities, healthy organizations, is information. Can "Freedom of Speech" exist when it's illegal to speak the truth.

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business" author Patrick Lencioni articulates some key components of organizations: integrity, clarity, minimal politics, minimal confusion.

Where is the integrity fifty years after the death of a president? Where is the clarity? All we have is the remnants of a politically tense, confused time.

In 1914, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman."  Almost one hundred years later - we still live under the misconception that secrecy benefits society.

When Julian Assange and Eric Snowden make information public, they make our communities, our organizations, our governments, healthier.  Like many 'healthy' actions, there may be some pain, but in the long term, we all gain. When will we learn the truth about John Kennedy?

History has shown us, that although the information freed by Julian Assange was top secret, was HUGE in quantity, and clearly demonstrated that some of our communities - our diplomats, our soldiers, our political figures, are conducting themselves in a dishonest, illegal, unhealthy fashion, the world did not end.  We ate the forbidden fruit.  And we're still here. When Eric Snowden told us, in no uncertain terms, that many of our government organizations are breaking our laws, taking away our the rights declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights who suffered? Only Eric Snowden.

Eric Snowden and Julian Assange and others like them, work to improve the healthiness of our communities. Community healthiness starts with information.  We need more than freedom to speak 'our political opinion'.  We need the freedom to speak the truth. That's the true test of free speech.

The top layer of the Hierarchy of Healthicine is communities. Our communities range from our friends and families to churches, corporations, associations and governments.  If we want to impove our healthiness, we need to address the health of our communities. What did John F. Kennedy have to say on this?

The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

When I was eleven, I was a child. Today, I try to maintain some of my childhood innocence - and the frankness that comes with it.  I love the quote by Pablo Picasso: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

I hope that someday soon, some child, maybe a 70 or 80 year old child, will tell us what really happened to President John F Kennedy. He wants us to know the truth.

to your health, tracy
Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: