Occupy Dealey Plaza

By Jim DiEugenio (CTKA)

The Sixth Floor’s ostensible excuse for taking out a week long permit over the entire expanse of Dealey Plaza for the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s murder is that it wants to turn the occasion into a celebration of Kennedy’s life and not his death. The problem is that, to my knowledge at least, The Sixth Floor has not done this before. That is, if you go into their building and look through their exhibits, you will see very little about Kennedy’s life or his achievements as a president. What you will see a lot of is exhibits, testimony, and interviews about Kennedy’s death. Except all these artifacts are there to tell you one thing: the Warren Commission was right, Oswald killed Kennedy. There was no conspiracy to kill JFK, just like there was no collusion between the Dallas Police and Jack Ruby in the murder of Oswald two days later. And Ruby and Oswald did not know each other.

Therefore, from this observation, it would seem that The Sixth Floor is dissembling in its excuse for the weeklong permit. What they are really worried about is that too many other groups and people will use this occasion to tell the many visitors there that The Sixth Floor is wrong. Kennedy was killed by a crossfire in Dealey Plaza. And at the same time, point out that The Sixth Floor, which brings in a lot of money to pay a large operating staff, is engaged in a deception. And the worst part of this deception is that it propagates this deception not just to those who pay the money to take their tour, but also through the presence of Gary Mack (real name Larry Dunkel), who has become a regular presence on any special attempting to prop up the Warren Commission on cable television.

Jim Schultze, and only he, has done an estimable job of reporting on this strange phenomenon in the pages of The Dallas Observer. In a series that goes back at least as far as October of 2011, he has exposed all the shenanigans that Gary Mack and The Sixth Floor have indulged themselves in to deprive citizens of their first amendment rights of free speech, freedom to peacefully assemble, and freedom to petition for governmental redress of grievances.

And make no mistake; fundamentally, this is what The Sixth Floor is up to. And somehow they have gotten City Hall to go along with their scheme to deprive the local citizenry of their basic constitutional liberties as enumerated in the Bill of Rights. But as Benjamin Franklin once said, those who give up liberty to purchase a little security deserve neither. What is remarkable about this whole scenario is that Jim Schultze is the only reporter in Dallas who is keeping a close eye on this deprivation of the rights of the Dallas citizenry. To my knowledge, no other publication in the city has written anything of any length or value on this heist in broad daylight. And that is really a hard one to swallow. When a private enterprise like The Sixth Floor colludes with City Hall to take away fundamental freedoms, that is newsworthy. Thomas Jefferson always worried about the ability of a free press to check the excesses of government. He once wrote that if it were “ left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” But as with the Kennedy assassination, what if both the newspapers and the government fail in their responsibilities? Then it falls to the people themselves to correct that imbalance. And the early critics of the Warren Commission filled that breach.

But in this case, the collusion by the government and The Sixth Floor is trying to cut off even that venue of protest. When this occurs the only thing left for the public is to protest. For instance, to create sites like this to inform of an injustice. To then write the people perpetrating this abridgment of freedoms. And to write local newspapers to start to expose this collusion. If necessary to help finance a lawsuit. If all these fail, then the last option is civil disobedience. That is, to occupy Dealey Plaza and do what we would have done if we were not deprived of our rights: educate the public as to the truth. Let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully, it will not come to that: the films and images of mass arrests, people being handcuffed and carted into a paddy wagon and then booked and jailed. All because of Gary Mack and the Sixth Floor. But if that happens, then at least the public will know that some citizens will not take this lying back in their recliners. Some of us know what happened in Dealey Plaza. Some of us know that a major reason this country is such a mess today extends back to that crime. Some of us know that the official story, as promulgated by The Sixth Floor is a pernicious illusion meant to cover up a heinous crime that altered the history of this country for the worse.

If that is not worth being arrested for, then what is?


James DiEugenio first became interested in history while at film school. Later he studied Contemporary American History from California State University, Northridge.

His first book, Destiny Betrayed (1992) took a close look at the Jim Garrison investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. His expanded and revised edition of Destiny Betrayed will be published this November.  In 1993, he became a co-founder of Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination.

DiEugenio and Lisa Pease co-edited COPA’s journal, Probe Magazine (1993-2000). DiEugenio is also the co-editor of The Assassinations (2002), a book that covers the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and Malcolm X.