Silence = Complicity

Your Slant column (June 21) said you’re reading William Shirer’s classic The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I recommend his discussion of the Reichstag Fire shortly after Hitler took over Germany. The Nazis burned their parliament (“Reichstag”), blamed it on the Communists, and it was the excuse to suspend civil liberties in Germany.

Soul-searching about what led to Herr Trump could include consideration of the American Reichstag Fire on September 11, 2001. There are good claims for complicity (and stupid claims that discredit inquiry). The Cheney White House suppressed warnings from at least 15 U.S. allies. FBI, CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency agents tried to stop the attack but were blocked.

In May, the Washington Post interviewed Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who now says the CIA killed his dad on June 5, 1968. RFK Jr. states there was (at least) a second shooter, and that Sirhan Sirhan did not kill his father. 

Sen. Wayne Morse was told by President Kennedy he had decided to withdraw from Vietnam. What would the legacy of the “Sixties” have been if JFK’s order had been implemented? What can we learn from our avoidance of this?

A partial remedy for the U.S. could be a South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Societal silence and acquiescence about these and other abuses led to Trump.

Mark Robinowitz


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