The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

I wish that I would have prepared this post sooner as tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, shamelessly I admit that I have not kept up with this blogger much as of late.  I will also admit that time will not likely permit me to hit every target that I would like to in this area.

Over the years I have read many things pertaining to the assassination.  Kennedy and Lincoln both are presidents that I have read a vast amount of things on and in fact have many more in my library to read in the future on both subjects.  Just recently I have read "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly and "Reclaiming History" by Vincent Bugliosi.  I am a huge fan of Bugliosi's writing as I feel that it flows very well.  It feels like you are sitting down and having a conversation with him.  "Killing Kennedy" was flat for me.  First, I admit not to be a huge fan of O'Reilly and also admit that I was skeptical going into the book.  I had also read his book "Killing Lincoln" and later did research and discovered there were many inaccuracies.  I have not researched the same on the Kennedy book to say what is or is not true but what I can say is I walked away as if he made no opinion what so ever.  It was like he gave "facts" without justifying them or even commenting on them.  I did not feel that I had learned anything more by reading.  I did also recently watch the movie based on the book and felt the same way.  "Reclaiming History" was a great book although I admit that it was almost TOO much information.  Through my Nook the book was over 3,200 pages long (that included footnotes and bibliography though that consisted over about 1,200 pages).  Bugliosi seemed to touch on every thought or issue that have been brought up in the last 50 years when it comes to a conspiracy in the assassination.  His theory going in is and was that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the killing of John F. Kennedy.  To be fair I have researched some of the issues in the book and have found them to be accurate and the points that Bugliosi makes were very concise, thought out and adequately explained. Going into that book I have always thought that there was likely a conspiracy with someone involved but after reading I think there's no question that Bugliosi was on the money....and here's just a few points as to why.  (Please know that I am doing this by thought and memory and in a quick manner so I may miss a few things).

One of the biggest points about there being a conspiracy is that no matter who you think it was... the mob, the CIA, the FBI, Hoover, Cuba, the Soviet Union... whomever, there would have had to have been a lot of planning and many people involved and yet 50 years later there's never been any slip ups.  No one has had a death bed confession (that was legitimate), no scorned lover has ratted out someone in jealousy... nothing.  Then depending on which conspiracy theory you prescribe to there are even more involved.   Let's take the infamous "Magic Bullet."  There are those who believe this is not accurate and that the bullet found on the stretcher at Parkland Hospital believed to have been from Gov. Connelly's body was planted.  Ok... who planted it?  And, how does anyone know it would have been found, so what was the point of planting it.... and how or why did it match the bullet from the casings found in the Schoolbook Depository? (I mention this because most believe it was planted AND that Oswald was not the shooter what so ever or involved at all).

Speaking of the hospital... in comes another conspiracy theory.  There was/is controversy as to what direction the bullets came from that hit Kennedy.  Obviously anyone who has ever read anything about this subject has heard about the grassy knoll.  Some of the more die-hards know that there was an argument in Texas at Parkland between the doctors and the Secret Service about keeping the body for an autopsy.  There's even a theory that the body's were switched for autopsy purposes and switched back later... ugh.  It was Texas law that anyone who died (or at least murdered) in Texas must have an autopsy performed there.  Secret Service did not necessarily say they were not going to have one performed per Mrs. Kennedy but they refused to leave the body of the President in Texas.  In the end, there was a huge argument and basically Secret Service bullied their way out and put the body on Air Force One.  It wasn't until they were in the air that Mrs. Kennedy decided on one of the two hospitals in Washington to perform the autopsy.  So basically in order for the conspiracy to have worked whomever was behind it would have had to have had a team of doctors at Parkland, as well as the two hospitals in Washington not knowing where for sure he would be going.  However, one would have likely presumed that the law would have prevailed and the autopsy would have been performed in Texas but as supposedly these conspirators were witty (I mean hey they have not been caught in 50 years) they were prepared.  Being prepared though meant more and more people knowing.  We have all heard the saying "Two people can keep a secret, if one of them is dead" and here... just at this point who knows how many people would have had to have been involved.... and we are not over yet.

Then there are those that believe that the Warren Commission who issued their report in 1964 also knew of a conspiracy and covered it up.  I admit that I have not read this. I have the "Warren Report" (which I also have not admittedly read) that is a condensed version of the 26 volumes in the Commission report.  The one thing that I can say in criticism about the Commission, although I do think they got it right, is that there were very few people who worked on it full time in the less than a year it took to compile and publish and while it appeared they did investigate nearly every angle, I do think it was politics to get it out as soon as it was.  Staying with the Warren Commission for a bit, some believe that Lyndon Johnson was also behind the assassination in some way, whether it be with another group, to make sure he became President and this group got the things they wanted.  However, Johnson is the one who ordered the Commission be assembled.  Why would he want more digging to be done if he was involved.  Then you have the issue of if they hid a conspiracy.  There were dozens and dozens of people involved in the Commission.  So you either have one guy going to another and saying "Hey...let's cover up this conspiracy (presumably naming the name of who was 'truly' behind it)" and hope like hell that person was on board and then go down the line, holding their breath each time.  Ok... that happens and yet again, now we have dozens of more people knowing what 'truly' happened and no one has talked.  Not even one investigator for the Commission has come out (credibly) and said "Hey, I dug up this information and the Commission refused to look into it and all but told me to shut up."

A huge theory is that the Mob was involved because Robert Kennedy was coming down hard on them and that if they took out John F. Kennedy, Johnson would take over and get rid of Robert Kennedy.  Well, obviously they did not look into that option very well as Robert Kennedy remained in his position under Johnson for another year and a half until he himself resigned to run for another off, and then later to run for President himself before he was assassinated in 1968.  Staying with the mob theory, many believe that the mob hired Oswald to kill Kennedy and then hired Jack Ruby to kill Oswald.  Here are the flaws in that. First, through all the research done the closest mob connection they could find to Oswald is his uncle (by marriage) knew a low level mobster in New Orleans.  Secondly, why would you hire a guy.... not give him any kind of escape help (Oswald left the building, got on a bus, got off the bus when it got jammed up in traffic involving the assassination, walked around, took a cab a block past his rooming house, changed his jacket, got a hand gun, went onto the street walking, shot a cop and then went into a movie theater), allow him to get caught and be interrogated for several hours then hire another guy to shoot him in front of a bunch of reporters and cops... and the guy they hire doesn't know enough to shoot him in the head or heart but shoots him in the stomach with no real certainty that he will die. So now obviously this new guy is going to get arrested and he could talk... not to mention Ruby was well known to be very friendly with the cops as well as a jabber jaw.  Add to this Oswald was originally supposed to be moved from the jail at 10 am in the morning to which it was proven Ruby was still at his home.  It was also proven that Ruby did not enter the underground garage until less than a minute before Oswald emerged.  So we have elaborate plan to assassinate the President.... we've covered it all up... we've even planted a bullet... we've shot from the grassy knoll yet no one knows... we've set this guy up... yet we give him several hours to talk and when we decide to have him killed we choose a guy who likes to be center of attention and is not even at the designated place at the time in which he should be?

Another group thought to believed to be behind the assassination was the CIA.  There was a lot of tension between Kennedy and the CIA after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.  Some carry that theory into their criticism of the Warren Commission as the head of the CIA at the time of the Bay of Pigs was fired by Kennedy but served on the Commission after the assassination.  Again you are reaching low... for as much planning as would have had to have taken place so many people would have have to have been involved and known about things that there's just absolutely no way it would have not come out over these years.... this goes with any other group.  Not to mention there is just nothing valid to make this to be true.  Some believe that many of these groups including the CIA thought Johnson could have been bought easier than Kennedy and could have been made to to what they wanted but two things do not make this seem possible.  For one, Johnson was not well liked and thought to be for a better term, an idiot.  Not just by the people but by those with political power. He was basically picked as the vice president on the premises that he would capture Texas in the election for the party and he was barely able to do that.  Secondly, Johnson proved early on the pretty much stick with policies set by Kennedy and followed through.  Some will say he had to in order to appease the American people who were devastated by the death of Kennedy, but I just do not see this valid. If there was a group somewhere, be it the Mob, the CIA, the KGB, Anti-Castro, Pro-Castro, the KKK... it does not matter, some one, somewhere believes that they were involved in a conspiracy in this assassination.  I am not going to go through them all. Bugliosi did, hence why his book was so long.  The bottom line is that for every group or thought it comes down to two things, first, too many people would have to be involved and more importantly there has never been any evidence.

You have two sides of the theories when it concerns Oswald and conspiracies.  Some believe he was totally innocent and had no knowledge of what was to happen and really was what he infamous stated, a "patsy" never shooting a gun at all. Or, they believe he did shoot, but he did not shoot all the bullets as they came from other areas (including the grassy knoll).  The problem with this is there is no connection between Oswald and any other group or faction that is credible.  Also keep in mind that it was not announced what the route was going to be until just a few days prior to the arrival.  There was no way of knowing until then that the motorcade would run past the Schoolbook Depository and Oswald had been there for a while before it was announced... so you can't have this huge elaborate plan where everything falls into place, having all these people involved and not have a shooter because you don't know where it is going and it just so happen to go by the Depository.  Oswald also was the only employee not present just after the assassination.  He is the only employee who left the building, saying he figured there would not be anymore work for the day.... WHAT???  Then you get to the snipers nest as all the evidence that even in 1963 pointed straight back to Oswald.  The gun found was easily traced back to him through his fake ID that he was holding when he was arrested in the theater.  There was even a picture of him holding said gun in the yard of his home several months prior.  Oswald claims that his head was "super imposed" on the body.  Think about it... it is even rare now, in 2013 that photoshopping is not obvious.  Think about what it would have looked like in 1963.  Not to mention everything else matched Oswald or his residence.  So some stranger got into his house, took his gun, posed in his yard with it, put the gun back and then photoshopped the picture.  A picture by the way that his wife admitted to taking as well as a copy was found with a friend in which Oswald had left a salutation on the back in his own writing.  Gun also contained colored fibers that closely matched (remember again this is 1963 and we are talking forensics) those from a blanket that had been wrapped around the gun for several months while it was stored in a garage.  There was also these fibers and impressions left in a homemade "bag" of sorts that Oswald was observed carrying into the Depository that morning that was determined had been made at the Depository.  Oswald had claimed to a co-worker he needed a ride to Irving (where his wife and children lived with a friend and his things, including the gun, were stored in the garage) to get curtain rods for his room at a rooming house and that morning claimed that is what he had in the said homemade bag.  No curtain rods were found... the landlady of the rooming house had no idea of any such things, nor did he mention them to his wife or her friend while visiting the night before the assassination.

On the evening prior to the assassination Oswald and tried to convince his wife for them to find a place together in Dallas.  They had been separated for some time.  He had been violent and abusive and he lived in Dallas and visited her and the children on weekends.  She had refused, saying basically later she wanted to give it more time.  On the morning of the assassination when he got up to leave he left less than $200 (all he had minus about $15) and his wedding ring on the dresser of the Irving home.  This was unusual as his wife rarely got money from him, and when she did it all had to be accounted for.  Add to this, it seems he was leaving this knowing he would not see her again.  Some can say he knew he would be killed or some would say that he just planned to take off.  One problem with this theory is that while few will attest he was a good husband, nearly everyone stated he adored his children.   Oswald was also pretty shrewd when it came to money.  If he was working with another agency of some sort he would not have done this for free and he would have had some money up front... much more than he had on hand and his family would have gotten more than what he left.  There was never even a note left indicating where more could be found, nor was any found in the many searches of both his rooming house, his PO box or the garage in Irving.

Even in 1963 they were able to determine at least a little in forensics as far as bullets and weapons and it as determined that all three casings found, as well as the bullets recovered were from the gun that was found in the snipers nest.  Oswalds fingerprints were found on the cases in the snipers nest in exclusion to anyone else.  Again, the gun found was easily traced to his PO box and to the alias of a name he was using and had an ID of on his body when arrested.  In 1964 the Warren Commission did a sound test at the site.  A large majority of the people in Daley Plaza stated they heard 3 shots (3 casings were found).  Yes, there were some that said they heard more but the largest majority heard only 3.  Another large majority stated they came from the area of the Schoolbook Depository.  The sound test was done to determine just how it would sound from the street.  It was determined due to the placement and size of the buildings and things in the area that there did appear to be echos so in the chaos and depending on where someone was it could have sounded as if it came from somewhere else.

The last thing I want to address before closing are some of the stories of things that have come out and about as truth.  Many of the stories did not come out from supposed 'witnesses' until around 1978 when the House on Assassinations Committee was formed and the JFK assassination was one included.  So, 15 years later people were claiming to have seen gunmen on the grassy knoll and amazingly many of them claimed to see Jack Ruby, who was proven not to be there.  One was even a former cop who supposedly "chased" a car from the scene, and called it in, yet there is no record and again, nothing was said for over a decade.  In most of these cases these witnesses were interviewed at the scene and never mentioned the things they were now stating.  In other cases some things could be verified but then were not as the witness said.  For instance a witness stated that a truck had stalled near the motorcade route an hour before it began, that there were three cops nearby and this witness saw three men, one of which was supposedly Oswald (who we know is in the Book Depository) pull a gun out of the truck and head toward the grassy knoll.  Yes, the truck stalled.  It belonged to a construction company and two of the cops stayed with the truck and the two occupants there while another cop went with the other occupant to call to have the truck towed and according to the officers they remained in their sights the whole time until the truck was towed.  There were tons of these types of stories that came out so long later and were punched holes in.

In the end, while I always believe that it was a possibility that there was a conspiracy, I am now convinced that a lot of the information we have heard or seen is lore and reality is that Oswald was a loner, without many friends, who was a political nut and who wanted to "be somebody."  He became someone.... Lee Harvey Oswald... (lone) President assassin.

Comments

  1. Well to each his own!! But if anyone had the power to "cover up " it would definitely be our government !! There is still today tons of evidence that " We the People " have not seen and won't until all the people involved are dead and gone.

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