At the first meeting of the newly constituted Warren Commission, [former CIA Director] Allen Dulles handed out copies of a book to help define the ideological parameters he proposed for the Commission's forthcoming work. American assassinations were different from European ones, he told the Commission. European assassinations were the work of conspiracies, whereas American assassins acted alone.
Peter Dale Scott
We got to the moon on Christmas Eve 1968, at the end of a poor year for this country. We had Vietnam. We had civil unrest. We had the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. But we went around the moon and saw the far side for the first time. A script writer couldn't have done a better job of raising people's hope.
Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death, and religiosu wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man?
All American wars (except the Civil War) have been fought with the odds overwhelmingly in favor of the Americans. In the history of armed combat such affairs as the Mexican and Spanish-American Wars must be ranked, not as wars at all, but as organized assassinations. In the two World Wars, no American faced a bullet until his adversaries had been worn down by years of fighting others.
H. L. Mencken
Until that moment, I hadn't realized that I embarked on the project of touring historic sites and monuments having to do with the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley right around the time my country iffily went off to war, which is to say right around the time my resentment of the current president cranked up into contempt. Not that I want the current president killed. Like that director, I will, for the record (and for the FBI agent assigned to read this and make sure I mean no harm "" hello there), clearly state that while I am obsessed with death, I am against it.
A paradox: the same century invented History and PHotography. But History is a memory fabricated according to positive formulas, a pure intellectual discourse which abolishes mythic Time; and the Photograph is a certain but fugitive testimony; so that everything, today, prepares our race for this impotence: to be no longer able to conceive duration, affectively or symbolically: the age of the Photograph is also the age of revolutions, contestations, assassinations, explosions, in short, of impatiences, of everything which denies ripening.
The Romans have provided a lot of writers with a model for various interstellar empires, of course, and no wonder. The Roman Empire is a really good example of a large empire that, in one form or another, functioned for quite a long time over a very large area. And over all that time, there was all sorts of exciting drama - civil wars and assassinations and revolts and bits breaking off and being forced back in ... But I didn't want my future - however fanciful it was - to be entirely European. The Radchaai aren't meant to be Romans in Space.
Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element. Public life gradually falls asleep, a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy and boundless experience direct and rule. Such conditions must inevitably cause a brutalization of public life: attempted assassinations, shootings of hostages, etc.
No weekends for the gods now. Wars flicker, earth licks its open sores, fresh breakage, fresh promotions, chance assassinations, no advance. Only man thinning out his own kind sounds through the Sabbath noon, the blind swipe of the pruner and his knife busy about the tree of life... Pity the planet, all joy gone from this sweet volcanic cone; peace to our children when they fall in small war on the heels of small war - until the end of time to police th eearth, a ghost orbiting forever lost in our monotonous sublime.
But they can rule by fraud, and by fraud eventually acquire access to the tools they need to finish the job of killing off the Constitution.' 'What sort of tools?' 'More stringent security measures. Universal electronic surveillance. No-knock laws. Stop and frisk laws. Government inspection of first-class mail. Automatic fingerprinting, photographing, blood tests, and urinalysis of any person arrested before he is charged with a crime. A law making it unlawful to resist even unlawful arrest. Laws establishing detention camps for potential subversives. Gun control laws. Restrictions on travel. The assassinations, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind. Instead of realizing that there is a conspiracy, conducted by a handful of men, the people reason-or are manipulated into reasoning-that the entire population must have its freedom restricted in order to protect the leaders. The people agree that they themselves can't be trusted.
Robert Anton Wilson
The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonourable belief against the character of the divinity, the most destructive to morality, and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist. It is better, far better, that we admitted, if it were possible, a thousand devils to roam at large, and to preach publicly the doctrine of devils, if there were any such, than that we permitted one such impostor and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God in his mouth, and have credit among us. Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other.
There are matters in that book, said to be done by the express command of God, that are as shocking to humanity, and to every idea we have of moral justice, as any thing done by Robespierre, by Carrier, by Joseph le Bon, in France, by the English government in the East Indies, or by any other assassin in modern times. When we read in the books ascribed to Moses, Joshua, etc., that they (the Israelites) came by stealth upon whole nations of people, who, as the history itself shews, had given them no offence; that they put all those nations to the sword; that they spared neither age nor infancy; that they utterly destroyed men, women and children; that they left not a soul to breathe; expressions that are repeated over and over again in those books, and that too with exulting ferocity; are we sure these things are facts? are we sure that the Creator of man commissioned those things to be done? Are we sure that the books that tell us so were written by his authority?... The Bible tells us, that those assassinations were done by the express command of God. And to read the Bible without horror, we must undo every thing that is tender, sympathising, and benevolent in the heart of man. Speaking for myself, if I had no other evidence that the Bible is fabulous, than the sacrifice I must make to believe it to be true, that alone would be sufficient to determine my choice.
There are certain men who are sacrosanct in history; you touch on the truth of them at your peril. These are such men as Socrates and Plato, Pericles and Alexander, Caesar and Augustus, Marcus Aurelius and Trajan, Martel and Charlemagne, Edward the Confessor and William of Falaise, St. Louis and Richard and Tancred, Erasmus and Bacon, Galileo and Newton, Voltaire and Rousseau, Harvey and Darwin, Nelson and Wellington. In America, Penn and Franklin, Jefferson and Jackson and Lee. There are men better than these who are not sacrosanct, who may be challenged freely. But these men may not be. Albert Pike has been elevated to this sacrosanct company, though of course to a minor rank. To challenge his rank is to be overwhelmed by a torrent of abuse, and we challenge him completely. Looks are important to these elevated. Albert Pike looked like Michelangelo's Moses in contrived frontier costume. Who could distrust that big man with the great beard and flowing hair and godly glance? If you dislike the man and the type, then he was pompous, empty, provincial and temporal, dishonest, and murderous. But if you like the man and the type, then he was impressive, untrammeled, a man of the right place and moment, flexible or sophisticated, and firm. These are the two sides of the same handful of coins. He stole (diverted) Indian funds and used them to bribe doubtful Indian leaders. He ordered massacres of women and children (exemplary punitive operations). He lied like a trooper (he was a trooper). He effected assassinations (removal of semi-military obstructions). He forged names to treaties (astute frontier politics). He was part of a weird plot by men of both the North and South to extinguish the Indians whoever should win the war (devotion to the ideal of national growth ). He personally arranged twelve separate civil wars among the Indians (the removal of the unfit). After all, those were war years; and he did look like Moses, and perhaps he sounded like him.