If I had been part of the group of men and women who plotted the assassination of John F. Kennedy– if there was a plot– I would very gratified to know the state of the conspiracy theories today: it’s a colossal mess.
It’s democracy in action, of course, but a mess. A simply search of Youtube will turn up dozens and dozens and dozens– if not hundreds– of amateur criminologists all claiming to have turned up some hitherto secret detail that would finally prove that there was a conspiracy. And nothing, of course, does more to discredit the idea of a conspiracy than a multitude of crackpot theories.
Obviously, a number of crackpot theories does not really diminish the possibility that there was a conspiracy. If anything, these crackpot theories are the result of the massive gaps and omissions and errors in the initial investigation and the Warren Commission’s report on the assassination.
So when some theorist announces that he has proven decisively that there was no conspiracy, he is missing the point. He can’t prove that there was no conspiracy. He can’t even prove that Oswald fired the shots. He can only provide answers to the questions that a conspirator would be happy to offer as evidence.
That’s why there is such an obsession with proving that Kennedy was shot from behind. Zing, bang, biff: no conspiracy. But of course, even if the proof is decisive (it’s pretty good), it only proves that the shots came from behind, not that they came from Oswald.
When Dale Myers insists that he has proven conclusively that the shots came from the 6th floor of the Texas Book Depository, I really begin to wonder if he isn’t in the pay of the conspirators. The idea that he can establish, from his CGI reconstruction, that the shots came from exactly that location– that he can insist that he didn’t set out to prove that they came from this location to begin with and that he only “discovered” it from his “research”– beggars belief. Is he serious? Why would he make such a ridiculous assertion? Why not stick to something reasonably credible and demonstrable, like the idea that the shots probably came from behind and above?
Because he has an agenda.
And PBS’ Nova later showed that a more accurate reconstruction of the assassination implied that the shots came from the Dal-Tex building: at least these researchers accepted the science, not the ideology, while acknowledging that identifying the exact location of the shooters is not really possible.
ABC News, in their report, insists that the FBI has established that the bullets could only have come from the gun owned by Oswald. This was “proven” by a chemical analysis of the composition of the lead in the bullet. Impressed? We now know just how reliable that evidence is: the FBI itself has informed other law enforcement forces that it will no longer provide testimony to that effect in any court case in the U.S. Because it was never true.
ABC News insists that a palm print from Oswald’s hand was found on the barrel of the rifle. It omitted the fact that no prints at all were found when the rifle was initially examined by the most credible expert: the FBI’s Sebastian Latona. He reported that no identifiable prints could be found anywhere on the rifle. It was returned to Dallas where the Dallas police, surprisingly, found the magical palm print. ABC News also reported that Oswald’s finger prints were found on the boxes used to form the “sniper’s nest”. But only one was recent, and Oswald’s job, after all, was to handle boxes on the 6th floor. No other boxes were tested. Other prints from other Depository employees were also found. And so were prints from the police– the evidence was contaminated and would never have been accepted in court.
If Oswald had lived to receive a fair trial and he had had good representation, I think it is quite likely he could have given the Dallas prosecutors a hell of a run for the money. He would have been convicted anyway, because juries can be easily swayed by the weight of opinion held by what they perceive to be the establishment, but a reasonable person might easily have concluded that nobody showed that Oswald actually fired the shots, or that they could not just as well have originated from the Dal-tex building, or that Oswald was not exactly what he said he was: the patsy in a conspiracy.
Many Warren Commission defenders love to point out that it’s been 50 years now and no conspirators have yet come forward to confess their role in the assassination. And if one did, would that change their minds? They would never believe him. That’s the genius of it. A conspirator could come forward right now and give 60 Minutes a lengthy interview and provide all kinds of details and no one would believe him.
I Am a Patsy
Answer the right questions: the establishment seems to relish giving alternative answers to the questions that aren’t really germane to the conspiracy. The only essential question is, did Oswald fire the shots? Did he or someone else act alone? For all their protestations to the contrary, the evidence for Oswald as the shooter is quite weak.
I am a patsy.
I have always been intrigued by Oswald’s use of the word “patsy” in the Dallas police headquarters, when asked by a reporter if he shot Kennedy. If you had committed a serious crime and were arrested for it a few hours later, and someone asked you if you did it, what would your first response be? I think mine would be, you’ve got the wrong guy. I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me. I had nothing to do with it. I don’t know anything about it. I have an alibi. I was having my lunch when it happened. You’re making a big mistake.
Oswald said, “I’m just the patsy”. Patsy, of course, has a very specific meaning: I have been set up to take the blame.
Watching the film of Oswald after his arrest, I don’t find it difficult to imagine that Oswald was involved in something, of which he understood little, and quickly realized that he was being set up. I think he quickly realized that he was the patsy and that he would likely be killed rather than arrested. I wonder if Officer Tippit was sent to “arrest” Oswald, and report that this desperate criminal resisted arrest, so he had to shoot him, and Oswald realized that and shot him first.
When the police seized him in the movie theatre, he loudly protested against “police brutality”, almost as if he understood that they were going to kill him if could at all have been made to look creditable. The number of police who converged on the theatre to arrest him was astounding.
For example, check out this guy, George S. de Mohrenschildt. If you think it’s preposterous to believe in a conspiracy, how preposterous is it that this man would be acquainted with the “lone nut” who shot Kennedy? Or that Oswald would send him a copy of the famous backyard picture of him holding a rifle? Just too weird for words.
Bill O’Reilly now defends the Warren Commission. Why oh why do defenders of the Oswald acted alone theory always seem to discredit themselves (as do many conspiracy theorists). O’Reilly claims to have been at George S. de Mohrenschildt’s door at the moment he committed suicide. The private investigator working for the House Assassinations Committee, who visited de Mohrenschildt the morning of the event, begs to differ. (“Killing Kennedy: the End of Camelot”, “co-written” by Martin Dugard.)
And then you explain why there are conspiracy theorists…
We are told that many Americans just can’t accept that someone as inconsequential as Oswald could assassinate someone as important and charismatic as John F. Kennedy.
How about if I explain why so many Americans believe that the U.S. intelligence services and military have too much respect for democracy to ever take violent, drastic actions to “save America from itself” in the face of the global communist threat? There were Generals in the Pentagon who essentially regarded JFK as a traitor for backing down from the confrontation over missiles in Cuba. Moreover, they didn’t think he had the “character” to stand up to the international threats to American hegemony and economic dominance. They believed that they were the true guardians of the American nation– the same kind of people who today describe Obamacare as a communist plot and insist he was not born in the U.S.
Can we have Peter Jennings or Walter Cronkite please offer your mellifluous voices, projecting reason and sobriety, as you describe the behavior and attitudes of people like General Lemay? And then tell us that rational people don’t believe that people like that exist?