Let us ask ourselves honest questions. How many Americans have not assumed -- with approval --that the CIA was probably trying to find a way to assassinate Castro? How many would not applaud if the CIA succeeded? How many applauded when Lumumba was killed in the Congo, because they assumed that he was dangerously neutralist or perhaps pro-Communist? Have we not become conditioned to the notion that we should have a secret agency of government -- the CIA -- with secret funds, to wield the dagger beneath the cloak against leaders we dislike ? Even some of our best young liberal intellectuals can see nothing wrong in this picture except that the "operational" functions of CIA should be kept separate from its intelligence evaluations! How many of us -- on the Left now -- did not welcome the assassination of Diem and his brother Nhu in South Vietnam? We all reach for the dagger, or the gun, in our thinking when it suits our political view to do so. We all believe the end justifies the means. We all favor murder, when it reaches our own hated opponents. In this sense we share the guilt with Oswald and Ruby and the rightist crackpots. Where the right to kill is so universally accepted, we should not be surprised if our young President was slain. It is not just the ease in obtaining guns, it is the ease in obtaining excuses, that fosters assassination. This is more urgently in need of examination than who pulled the trigger. In this sense, as in that multi-lateral nuclear monstrosity we are trying to sell Europe, we all had a finger on the trigger.
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Long before Anne Sexton wrote, "I will eat you slowly with kisses even though the killer in you has gotten out," long before Mick Jagger "shouted out 'Who killed the Kennedys?' when after all it was you and me," and long before the Smashing Pumpkins sang "The killer in you is the killer in me," I.F. Stone declared "we all had a finger on the trigger."