At 50 years, I’m not sure where we stand. Yes, we have more information. We know that most of the CIA’s public pronouncements about their connection to Oswald were simply lies. Yes, they had more than just a passing interest in Lee Harvey Oswald, much more. We know that a great many public figures, while publicly supporting the Warren Report, privately believed few if any of its conclusions. Despite the desperate efforts of former Commission attorneys like California Supreme Court Justice Richard Mosk, the segment of the people who believe that Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed JFK shrinks with each passing year.
Authors like Vincent Bugliosi and Gerald Posner have tried with all their might to back up the Warren Report, but they have been forced to cherry pick evidence, ignoring anything that didn’t fit their conclusions, just like the Warren Commission did. Indeed, Bugliosi uses blatant character assassination to counter conspiracy theories, which is not an argument at all. As I’ve pointed out before, it just makes Bugliosi look like an eight-year old on the playground. Bugliosi simply tries to overwhelm the reader with words–over 1.5 million on the subject as a matter of fact.
The smoking guns in the JFK assassination lie not in the streets of New Orleans or the belly of the old Soviet Union. No, the smoking guns here rest in the still unanswered questions.
1) Lee Harvey Oswald’s motive. He had none, at least none that’s ever been found. Even the Warren Commission could only come up with “possible” motives. Journalist Peter Savodnik tries to psychoanalyze Oswald in his new book, The Interloper, to provide a motive, but applying psychoanalysis to a man fifty years in the grave on the basis of what little we know of his life in the old Soviet Union is stretching it at best.
2) What, exactly, was Oswald’s connection to the CIA? Anyone, with even an ounce of common sense, could see right through the CIA’s initial comments that they weren’t interested in Oswald, never debriefed him. At the height of the Cold War, an American defector returns from the Soviet Union and he wasn’t debriefed? Please. And the CIA is still withholding thousands of pages on Oswald.
3) What happened to the rest of Oswald’s ammunition? You typically don’t just buy three rounds of ammunition, especially, I would think, if you are heading out to kill the President of the United States. No evidence of any other ammunition was ever found.
4) Oswald’s movements before and after the assassination are simply puzzling. He was seen calmly eating his lunch on the 2nd floor just minutes before the motorcade arrived. He was seen by a Dallas police officer calmly drinking a Coke just minutes after. This is not the behavior of a man who had just killed his first man, not to mention that the man was President of the United States. This is the behavior of a psychopathic killer, a description that doesn’t really fit Oswald. It just doesn’t track. And if he was looking to make a name, why did he not take responsibility for the killing? And let’s not forget that a voice stress analysis of recordings of Oswald’s public statements that weekend showed that when he said he was just a patsy, he was telling the truth as he knew it.
5) As author Bertrand Russell asked 50 years ago, if Oswald was a lone nut assassin, where lies the national security concern that has allowed the CIA and other agencies to continue to withhold files and documents relative to Oswald?
There are more questions, but answering these would make for a good start.
As long as Warren Commission defenders continue to ignore evidence that doesn’t fit their theory, as long as they spend more time in character assassination than in seeking to answer the unanswered questions, they will never sway the ever-growing number of Americans who believe that Oswald didn’t act alone or didn’t act at all. An ABC poll in 2003 showed that just 32% of those polled believed that Oswald acted alone. A May 2013 poll by AP/Gfk found that only 24% now accept that premise.
And until the conspiracy theorists quit their infighting and get back to an objective and sober analysis of the evidence, they will continue to be the butt of jokes.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with a couple of things to keep in mind about the government in 1963:
The US government, with the knowledge of JFK and RFK, conspired to assassinate Fidel Castro. That is true. It is a fact.
The Joint Chiefs developed a series of false flag operations to be conducted against the US and blamed on Cuba to provide a rationale to invade the island nation. It was called Operation Northwoods. While JFK rejected the plan, it had been authorized by the Joint Chiefs. This is not a conspiracy theory. It came to light in 1997 when documents detailing it were released by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. This is true. It is a fact.
So, those of you out there that think government conspiracy theories are absurd need to grow up and accept reality, too. Your government does not always have the cleanest of hands.
It is impossible in three limited posts to do justice to the JFK assassination. It may indeed be that Lee Harvey Oswald pulled the trigger on the bullet that killed the president. Or it may be that there’s a lot more to it than just Oswald. But I hope I've convinced you there are still things to learn; there are still good reasons to investigate.
This is Part 3 of a three-part series about The Death of JFK.
When Tony Hays isn’t traveling the world, teaching students, and adopting puppies, he takes time out to write the Arthurian Mystery series from Tor/Forge.
See all posts by Tony Hays for Criminal Element.