By Al Benson Jr.
The history of conspiracies in this country is fascinating, and the results of government “investigations” into these conspiracies is likewise fascinating, even though often ludicrous.
There seems to be a standard, pat answer given by investigators for the feds regarding political assassinations. According to the government’s “investigators” few real conspiracies exist and most political assassinations involve lone, crazed gunmen who keep diaries , of which the last several pages are often missing. I have often wondered if Hilary’s “vast right-wing conspiracy” would have fit into this somewhere. But I digress.
Take the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas back on November 22, 1963. The Warren Commission issued a report of that, stating that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman and that no one but him was involved. However, in all honesty, anyone who doesn’t have mush for brains has never bought into the conclusions of the Warren Commission, knowing how the government lies, who can blame them? I can remember, watching on television the killing of Oswald by Jack Ruby (I think Rubenstein was his real name). When Ruby stepped out with the gun in his hand the look on Oswald’s face was revelatory indeed. He knew why Ruby was there and what was going to happen to him. Lone gunman indeed! What hogwash.
By the same token, so many conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s assassination have appeared in the following years, both in the movies and in print, that who knows which one to believe? I’ve read at least three myself, all agreeing in some aspects and wildly disagreeing in others. How does the average man know which one was true? There have been about a dozen or so theories tossed out there regarding Kennedy’s death and I’d be willing to bet that there is a bit of truth in several of them along with the wild speculation. But it’s so confusing to the average guy that he has no idea of what to believe, or how such things affect his life, which they do. And I think the government likes it that way. The only conspiracies the “news” media (I have to laugh every time I call them that, because news is the last thing they are about) is willing to entertain is those possibly committed by the “right-wingers.” And that might depend on who you consider “the right” to be. Some people consider the CIA to be “on the right.” I don’t.
The same thing is true regarding the Lincoln assassination. There have been at least seven conspiracy theories regarding that which I have read about, and who, at large, really knows? Here again, the “official” version of Lincoln’s assassination is that it was done by John Wilkes Booth and his merry band of co-conspirators, some of whom seemed to have about as much intelligence as a flea. Supposedly no one other than Booth and his happy group was involved. However, if you are one of those who choose to believe the government’s “official version” you will, as Khrushchev said, “wait for a shrimp to whistle.”
Government “investigators” in Lincoln’s day were not one whit more reliable than they are today. It all depends on who is doing the investigating and what their agenda is—and giving the American public the actual truth is never part of the agenda, I repeat, never! Giving them cleverly devised fables to get them mad at those you wish to defame is always part of the agenda. And that principal has not changed from Lincoln’s day right up to Sandy Hook in Connecticut. (The shootings will continue until the public has the right attitude on gun confiscation.)
Thus, getting the Northern public mad at Jeff Davis and that nasty old Confederacy by trying to throw the blame on them for the assassination was very much a part of the federal program. So the government “investigators” (and again, I use that term very loosely) worked to sling enough mud against Jeff Davis’ wall so that it stuck. Fortunately, the mud was not thick enough, and their lies were not convincing enough, except in the fevered brains of some of our current “historians” (actually, hysterians might be a more accurate word) so that most folks have not bought it.
There have been several books over the years dealing with the Lincoln assassination, one of which is Otto Eisenschiml’s Why Was Lincoln Murdered? published in 1937. Viewing material not previously accessible, Eisenschiml strongly felt that Edwin M. Stanton and a cohort of his Radical Republican abolitionist friends had a lot to do with it. And believe me, folks, these guys were not on the political right. They had major problems with Lincoln over how “reconstruction” was to be administered to a beaten and battered South. Lincoln wanted to administer “reconstruction” in his own way, partly because he would benefit from the patronage involved, while the radicals wanted to treat the South as vindictively as possible and have “reconstruction” run by Congress so they could loot and plunder what was left of the South and make sure all their buddies got in on the goodies. It was the supreme case of two dictators (or buzzards) fighting over the same carcase.
Three years later, in 1940, Eisenschiml also wrote In The Shadow Of Lincoln’s Death which continued on the same track. Eisenschiml’s books sold well enough that they were fervently attacked by professional historians as being “rambling and disconnected implication and innuendo.” It’s interesting, though, that Eisenschiml’s books have asked several questions that have really never been satisfactorily dealt with. I guess if you just smear the guy enough you never really have to deal with what he says.
In 1951 Nathaniel Weyl wrote a book called The Battle Against Disloyalty. In that book he had a chapter, chapter 6, dealing with Edwin Stanton and his high-handed methods and his secret police. That’s right folks, we had secret police in this country too, distasteful though the thought is.
In the late 1950s Theodore Roscoe wrote a book called The Web Of Conspiracy which dealt with this same subject. Roscoe’s book went through at least two printings that I know of. He dealt with the definite possibility that Colonel Lafayette Baker, the head of the country’s first secret service, was probably involved, with his boss, Stanton, in the plot to assassinate Lincoln. Interestingly enough, Colonel Baker died in 1868—of arsenic poisoning. Seems someone laced his beer with the stuff. Do you wonder why? Dead men tell no tales do they? Mr. Roscoe’s book was even attacked by the Secret Service during what has been referred to as the “your government always tells the truth era.” Folks, I hate to have to be the one to say it (actually lots of other folks have said it also) but anyone that really believes that this government tells us the truth has got to be a prime candidate for a weekend trip to the planet Venus, on a space ship piloted by the Easter Bunny.
By the late 1970s yet another book had come out which built upon all these earlier ones. It was called The Lincoln Conspiracy and was written by David Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier Jr. Again, this book dealt with the real probability that Edwin M. Stanton and the radical abolitionist Republicans had something to do with Lincoln’s death because of the potential “reconstruction” issue.
In regard to conspiracies, they are almost as old as mankind. They are nothing new, nothing peculiar to this generation. They are mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. Go back and look at John 11:53 and Matthew 26:3-4, where the Pharisees “take counsel” together on how they might put Jesus to death. And this from the so-called “religious leaders” of Israel! They are truly a fitting example of how apostate and truly revolutionary Israel had become at that point in history. And yet, even with their evil conspiracies, those men ended up doing God’s will. With their plotting and treachery they managed to have Jesus crucified, only to have Him arise from the dead on the third day, and in so doing He made total shipwreck of all their well-laid conspiracies and machinations.
The question arises then, should we fear conspiracies? Today many do, and they tremble at the power those evil men seem to hold. But, if God is sovereign then we need not fear mens evil conspiracies, for they cannot go beyond what the Lord will allow them to do no matter how powerful they seem to be.
However, it is well that the Lord’s people be aware of these conspiracies and that we expose them (Ephesians 5:11) and oppose them wherever possible, ultimately trusting in the Lord for our defense and discernment.
The work of building God’s Kingdom requires that we be discerning and knowledgeable to the best of our ability and so we should seek to learn as much as the Lord allows us to, and to use that knowledge as He directs. This is what Donnie Kennedy and I sought to do with our book Lincoln’s Marxists. We took a subject historians have only toyed with in passing and have tried to bring the information to the public at large, especially the folks in the Southern Movement.
There is much out there dealing with Lincoln’s assassination and those times in our history that needs to be aired, because all the problems of that era remain with us today in exaggerated form. If we are ignorant about our true history then we will be ignorant about what to do in our future.