In the movie JFK, it was either Jim Garrison (Keven Costner) or the 'mysterious Mr. X' (Donald Sutherland) who said something like, "It has become the greatest parlor game in America....picking and choosing which of the conspiracy theories you want to believe!". Although Mr. Garrison probably never really said that (and the 'Mr. X' was a composite of information gathered after the trial), that is the BEST comment ever made on the Assassination!! It is not only the longest 'parlor game' ever done in America, but for many of the researchers and followers, it is probably the most expensive.
There have been hundreds of books written to date on the Assassination, dozens of movies, and who knows how many unaccounted hours and miles on the part of both serious researchers and those of us that just keep an ear out. It has become almost an entire industry on it's own.
And the biggest problem......we will never know exactly what happened!!
But the above is a cop-out. It is just an underlying thought that indicates that nobody's opinion really matters. Nobody, except the shooter(s) themselves, and those that hired them (if any did), will ever know the whole truth. And even then, if they came out today and admitted to it, a certain percentage of the researchers would scoff based on some other evidence, and claim they could not possibly have been the ones. (This happened recently with the "Files confession".)
But on my opinion of who did commit the crime, I first have to ask the question of "Which crime?" There appear to be even more than the apparent 2:
1. Who shot the President of the United States?
2. Who looked the other way either before or after?
3. Who continues to hide it by withholding evidence? (Which would be an actual crime if the ARRB had any real power to do the job properly.)
Before I venture an opinion on any of this, I need to point out something. Every theory is based on one item: The Zapruder Film (link to AVI 3367K). This has always been the "clock" that gave us the timing of the shots, and in many ways was the yardstick by which we can try to determine the direction of the shooters (head snap), reaction of the crowd, and other pertinent data. At this year's "November in Dallas" conference, a panel of researchers suggested that the Zapruder film had most likely been altered, including image tampering, removal and resequencing of frames, and the use of zooming the film to eliminate foregrounds in order to keep fixed items from being used in analysis. One such example is the almost instantaneous turning of Secrent Service Agent Greer (the limo driver) between frame 313 and 320.
The question arises then, that if the yardstick of the event is in question, how can any theory based on the film sequence be argued? I am not yet sure that I buy into the complete 'Zapruder film tampering' theory.
One of the bases of the argument was that the people by the sign never moved, and therefore could be 'pasted' there. I can see the first lady's scarf blowing in the wind the entire time, and the 3rd lady clapping.)
The Greer head turn is purported to occur between 316 and 317 of 115 degrees. At 1/18th of a second this would be a superhuman effort; however, it is hard to make Greer out and he is probably turning from 314 through 320. Of course, this is still 1/3rd of a second, and an amazing feat for a 53 year-old. But it is not clear enough to be made out exactly. (We need the original films, or 35mm copies.)
I also strongly believe that Ruby was sent to silence Oswald so he would never talk about whatever he knew. If he knew nothing, and was only a complete patsy, there would be no reason to silence him. Even the stroll he took that afternoon before encountering Tippet (if he did) would most likely mean he was going to meet someone. Those familiar with Dallas could contend that he was headed in the general direction of Jack Ruby's apartment from his boarding house.
I also can't believe that these pictures were all faked. Oswald's life up to the point of the shooting point to someone who either was involved with the darker elements or, more likely, really, really wanted to be!! He seemed to hang around elements of the Anti-Castro movement, Underworld and CIA groups, either as an active participant, or has a 'groupie' who wanted to be a player. This made him ideal to be either involved to the point of doing the shooting, or the perfect "patsy" to be only partially involved, but to be set up as the fall guy.
I have to believe there were at least 2 shooters. This is based on the difficulty that anyone would have shooting 3 (or more) bullets in that period of time, accurately; and of course on the many witnesses to the direction and number of shots. The majority of witnesses in and around Dealey Plaza insisted, on that day, that the shots came from the grassy knoll. These included policemen, and train workers up on the Triple Underpass that saw smoke and movement. Of the 90 some odd witness interviewed, around 60 (two thirds) insisted that was where the shots came from. Of the remaining 30 or so, 16 where actually in the motorcade, where their movement may have influenced their interpretation. The amphitheater-like conditions in Dealey Plaza would tend to help echoes make it very confusing to anyone in the plaza. But the smoke and suspicious movement of people and cars behind the fence that many people reported are more overwhelming evidence. There are just too many things that point to more than one shooter.
There is still much evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald at one time did some reporting to some US intelligence agency. This is evidenced by how he was allowed to learn Russian so well while in the Marines, defect to Russia with so much Radar and U-2 intelligence, denounce his citizenship at least twice (even if it was only verbally), and then easily get permission to come back to the US without any reported debriefing or investigation. In the heavy days of the Cold War, this was simply not done by any 'average' citizen. But his former association with some US intelligence agency does NOT necessarily mean that the CIA was behind the assassination.
In my opinion, the Mafia bosses where the force behind the conspiracy. This is not limited to the US Mafia, but also includes some drug dealers in southeast asia, and others who were interested in stopping the Kennedys. (At any rate, they were behind the MONEY to get the job done!) Many of the Mafia connections were used by the CIA in all sorts of anti-castro, and other operations. Again, just because the CIA had used many of these men in the past, does NOT mean that the CIA upper echelon knew or arranged the assassination. Of course, with the relationship that the CIA had with Kennedy, who had fired their director and had threatened to break up the CIA, any CIA agents or employees that may have heard even a 'whiff' of what was being planned by their Mafia and anti-castro associates could have simply turned the other way. Some of them were so firmly entrenched in illegal activities, drugs, and foreign assasinations FOR the US, it does not take much of a leap to understand that so-called 'rogue elements', or some CIA operatives, may have been directly involved.
The nature of the CIA's activities in Cuba, and other places, required the type of men that the Mafia and Anti-Castro group had. These men were well trained in assassinations, and in many cases already working for the Mafia. When the Mafia decided to kill the President, it only makes sense to use men trained for that kind of work. Although I doubt Oswald was ever trained to be an assassin, his strong desire to be associated with the Anti-Castro element and 'spy' element might have made him a good patsy. Hell, let him even do some of the shooting from his window, which will only reinforce him as a 'fall guy'. Especially if we can silence him before he starts talking. At any rate, he could get them access to a sniper's nest viewpoint.
OK, now let me talk (not really a lecture.....as a lecture would imply that I KNOW something, and I am guessing just as much as everyone else) about the second 'crime'......the cover up! It is only possible to discuss the cover-up by covering the involvement of the people covering it up.
Before I start, I want to remind you that this was 1963, and NOT 1997. Although I was only 8 years old in 1963, I can tell you that the mind set about our government and those in power was radically different than it is today. If you think about it, the Warren Commission itself, and the willingness of those in power, was the real beginning of the credibility gap in this country. Many people point to Watergate and the resignation of Nixon as this turning point, but the people who could not believe the Warren Commission could relate to this mistrust, long before Watergate. This general mistrust was strengthened by Johnson's involvement in the Viet Nam war, and was crystallized by the Watergate and other Nixon abuses. Of course, this was long before Iran-Contra, Whitewater, and the many more controversies of the last 3 decades. But in 1963, the American public still generally trusted their elected officials and government.
Lets talk about who probably was NOT involved with the planning and execution of the actual murder (although all of the people below were involved in the cover-up):
Lyndon B. Johnson. In Oliver Stone's movie "JFK", Johnson is heard talking to the 'Military Industrialists" saying something like, "If you gentlemen get me in office, I'll get you your (Viet Nam) war!". We are left with the impression that LBJ could have been arranging, or hinting, at the assassination.
David Lifton proposed the theory in his book, "Best Evidence", that the President's body was taken off of the back of the plane at Andrews, and taken somewhere to modify the wounds to support the lone gunman theory. (Which explains the change of coffin, body bag, etc. which the body is supposed to have at Bethesda Naval Hospital.)
At the 1996 "November in Dallas" conference, he showed bits of an interview with a military helicopter pilot that claims to be the pilot in a helicopter behind Air Force One at Andrews. This pilot states that although he was ordered there for that purpose, no body was carried out the back of Air Force One that night. I question his testimony in the first place, since he stated that he was "...surprised to see Mrs. Kennedy coming down the ramp and the coffin being unloaded into a waiting car." The unloading of the body was within full view of most of the networks, and I have seen the video many times. Air Force One was tall, but not tall enough for us to make out a large portion of the helicopter that is supposed to be behind it. Where the pilot sits in most helicopters, it would have been impossible to see much of what was going on in the front of Air Force One. Assuming the pilot did not have a network television aboard (it was broadcast live), I wonder how a military helicopter pilot would leave his aircraft, while on a 'secret' mission and walk around to the other side of Air Force One to watch the unloading!! Plus, Mrs. Kennedy did NOT come down the ramp, she came down in the lift truck with the body.
At any rate, the testimony of this pilot has caused David Lifton to propose that the President's body was NOT on Air Force One. He suggests that it was taken off of Air Force One while it was still at Love Field in Dallas, presumably while the swearing in of LBJ was taking place or while Jackie was being consoled at the bottom of the ramp before boarding (since she was with the coffin at all other times). He further speculates that the body was immediately transferred to the Vice President's plane and flown back to Andrews. The suggestion was made that the President's body was altered in-flight. This suggests a strong involvement of LBJ, and very astute planning to have pathologists on board with the proper surgical equipment and know exactly how the bullets were supposed to have hit the President, so that they could modify the body to those specifications during the flight!!! All of this is possible, if these doctors were just told to make all wounds look like they came from the back, but it is hardly unlikely to be able to plan that well.
Military Industrialists Oliver Stone's movie leads you to believe that these were the real power behind the 'Coup'. He talks about the billions of dollars made because of the Viet Nam war, and the intent of JFK to withdraw from the war. He implies that these alone were enough incentive to have the deed done. They may be. However, it is a job that would have to be done by Military Intelligence operatives. The Industrialists themselves would not have the skills necessary to pull something like this off, without hiring some trained assassins from the Mafia, or Intelligence community.
Many people laugh at the phrase "Military Intelligence" as a contradiction in terms, but you have to admit that the placing of the 'Magic Bullet' on the stretcher at Parkland Hospital (if it was indeed planted to frame Oswald) was probably the least 'intelligent' thing that was done. It almost single handedly scuttled the 'single bullet' theory. (Note, I differentiate between "Single Bullet" and "Magic Bullet". It is possible for a single bullet to cause all of the wounds in Kennedy and Conally, if you allow for the excitement to keep Conally from reacting immediately as shown in the now questioned Zapruder film......but it certainly could NOT have been THAT bullet!!) If the Magic Bullet was a plant, it was one of the dumbest things the conspirators could have done. Quite possibly something 'Military Intelligence' could have done.
It should also be remembered that if Oswald DID have Intelligence help and training to get in and out of the Soviet Union, it was probably our Military Intelligence agencies. They also had connections to the Anti-Castro elements, although that is purported to be a CIA project. If by 'Military Intelligence' you are including connections to the CIA, then all of the links match. However, I would think that Military Intelligence would handle the job a lot better, even without the CIA's help. If Military Intelligence was really involved, there are easier ways to kill a President....such as a plane or helicopter 'accident'.
Central Intelligence AgencyOf all the government institutions, this one probably had the most motive to kill Kennedy. It also had the most opportunity, and the most people trained for this kind of work. It had definite connections to the Anti-Castro elements, as well as organized crime. It possible had connections with Oswald himself, or at the very least, Oswald WANTED connections to the CIA. It had the clout in Washington to arrange for lessened security from the military that usually helped the Secret Service out. And had the technology to fake Secret Service Ids (reported on the grassy knoll that day), get high powered rifles and teams in and out of Dealey plaza, and arrange for coordination and communication. It also had the technology to help doctor the evidence after the fact (Zapruder film, wounds, etc.).
However, considering the Magic Bullet, the number of witnesses, the films and pictures taken in Dealey plaza, and the mysterious disappearance of many witnesses after they started testifying, I do not belive that the CIA was directly involved....at least not at a very high level. The CIA has been engineering assassinations and coups for 13 years prior to 1963, and there are better ways to take out a President than in front of 400 witnesses, law officers, cameras and other recording devices. I would not think the CIA would take out the President in such an obvious and flashy manner!! (Unless they were trying to make a statement.) I realize that the CIA has gotten a lot more practice and polished in the 37 years since 1963, but I still think if they were going to kill the President, and then silence the 'patsy', they would have picked a quieter place and time to get to the President. And they never would have done something as stupid as planting a pristine 'Magic Bullet'.
I should point out that all of the above, the Vice President, Texas Oil Money/Industrialists, the CIA and so-called Military Intelligence, are the 'big players' as far as government and 'legitimate' business organizations. And they all had very good reasons to want John Kennedy 'gone'. They also understood that JFK was very popular with the American people, and would be re-elected. However, I doubt they were directly resonsible for the FIRST crime (the assasination itself). Having said that, I also think that any or all of them may have known the assassination was being set up!!! They may not have known about the exact time, place or date (their is nothing like too many people knowing to mess a secret up), but they almost certainly knew that something was up. While I do not think they are the ones to order the killing, THEY WERE WILLING TO TURN A BLIND EYE TO WHAT THEY KNEW!! (And all retained 'Plausible Deniability'.)
Secret ServiceI have heard very few theories that implicate the Secret Service in the assassination. This is probably because they not only liked the President, but had little or no motive to kill him (or even look the other way for that matter, unless some of them got very rich). And like the CIA, if they truly wanted to kill JFK there are much better ways than on a public square in Dallas. With what they new about Kennedy's private life and extramarital affairs, they could have staged a shooting by a mistress or a jealous boyfriend!! They probably are guilty of partying too much the night before, and maybe even leaving their posts at the hotels (if that happened), but neither action was part of the conspiracy, unless it was the conspirators that took them out for those drinks.
Federal Bureau of InvestigationIt is supposedly true that J. Edgar Hoover did not like John F. Kennedy. It is reported that JFK was going to make Hoover retire. More importantly, he disliked Robert Kennedy, who was currently his 'boss' as Attorney General. They both made no secret of their disdain for one another. It is also reported that the FBI kept tabs on and made contact with Oswald here in Dallas, but I am not sure that this is any more contact than the FBI would put on any other radical, and would-be spy in any of their other areas. It was their job, after all to keep an eye on any people like Oswald and his Russian wife.
As much as Hoover and the Kennedys dislike each other, I sincerely doubt there was enough hatred to turn Hoover, or any other FBI operative into assassins against the President of the United States. Hoover was a bullheaded, strange man, to be sure, but other than a few of his person quirks and perks he may have taken from his position, he was a law biding citizen. He may have occasionally bent the rules, but it is doubtful he would have planned something this illegal against a member of the government. Besides, if Hoover wanted to destroy the Kennedys, I am sure he had enough evidence on John's extramarital affairs in his secret files to do that without killing him. To jump to the extreme of planning the death of the President of the United States, would be a major jump indeed.
The Soviet Union or Cuba, is another possible source of the assasination attempt. However, short of World War 3, neither country has anything to gain from such an attempts. Many have said that if John Kennedy had lived, the Cold War would have ended 20 years sooner. I do not know about that extreme, but Kennedy was making concessions to the Soviets and Cuba, and was working with them since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Indeed, this was the attitude that had many of the anti-Catro and Military/industrialists concerned and wanting JFK dead. If the communists HAD been behind the assasination, you can be sure that Lee Harvey Oswald would NOT have been framed because of his obvious connections to both governments.
No, everything points to the Mafia or other crime figures being responsible. If they used the same Anti-Castro elements that had been trained to kill by the Military and CIA, that makes sense. They may have even used some out of the country hit man (which is strongly a good idea....and something I believe in), and just used the CIA/Anti-Castro elements to frame Oswald. They had the best motive for doing it, and the least opportunity to do it any other way. They are about the only group that would be FORCED to do the job in an open environment, in front of so many witnesses. Jack Ruby's Mafia connections points even further to the Mafia, especially if you believe that Ruby was supposed to silence Oswald.
To understand the cover-up, while still believing that a US Government Agency was NOT involved, you have to again go back to the public mind-set of 1963, and consider the motives of those able to assist the cover-up:
Lyndon B. Johnson If you think about it, LBJ probably had the most admirable motive in 'white washing' the event. Remember that we were a little over 1 year away from the Cuban Missile Crisis! If there was even a possibility that a real investigation could have pointed anywhere near Cuba or Russia, there were a number of people in 1963 that would have had us invade Cuba. We were in the deepest and darkest part of the Cold War. If the Russians got involved, this could mean the World War 3, which we had narrowly averted the year before!! LBJ simply HAD to make sure the 'lone nut' theory was quickly accepted as fact, whether he believed it himself or not. This willingness to 'protecting the country' does not convey complicity in the assassination itself. (For a less noble motive: He was in power. What good would an investigation really do.)
Central Intelligence Agency The CIA had a very good motive for covering-up: Some of their people may have been involved. By this, I do not mean actual CIA agents, or the leaders of the CIA planning and actively participating. I mean some of the Mafia people, Anti-Castro people and other less 'desirables' that the CIA used at the time. Not only could a full investigation possible lead to assassins trained by the CIA, using weapons supplied by the CIA, but any arrest in the Mafia or Anti-Castro elements could mean exposure of many of the other illegal activities that the CIA was working with these people on. The CIA could not let their involvement or knowledge of Oswald or other participants surface through an thorough investigation.
Federal Bureau of InvestigationHoover and Johnson were very good friends, and it is very likely (almost certain) that Hoover suggested the 'white washing' to Johnson in the first place. There is a note discussing exactly such a meeting between Hoover and Johnson a couple of days after the shootings. Once this course of action is undertaken, it becomes essential to the FBI to keep it going so they don't look like total incompetents. Of course, Hoover was the one that had been claiming not too many years prior that there was no underworld crime syndicate even in this country. If it could be proven that this syndicate had assassinated the President of the United States, Hoover would have looked extremely foolish. (Something he preferred to do only in private.)
Robert Kennedy - the Attorney General If you were the Attorney General of the United States, and your brother was Assassinated, wouldn't you use every power you have to find out by whom? There are probably 3 reason he didn't:
1. He was powerless. With LBJ wanting to 'whitewash' the investigation, Bobby did not have the authority to do anything. And with the investigative branch of the Attorney General (the FBI) having a leader who dislikes you, and deciding a 'white wash' was the way to go, Bobby really had no staff to investigate even if he wanted to. Of course, if he was really serious about investigating it, his family had enough money to investigate it privately. (Many have said the Kennedys did this, but never went public because of the following 2 reasons.)
2. Guilt or fear factor. Robert Kennedy had been involved with the planning and execution of 'Project Mongoose', which was supposedly used to overthrow Castro (some believe it was a facade). Although the Kennedy brothers disliked the CIA, they still used them and were involved in many of their projects. If Bobby thought that some of the assassination machine that he had help set up against Castro had been turned against his own brother, he would have had tremendous guilt. Additionally, Robert was putting tremendous pressure on Organized Crime. Bobby could also believe that the Mafia hit the President to shut HIM up, and could have been afraid of reprisals against him or his family if he pushed an investigation forward.
3. World War 3. Bobby was not stupid politically, nor about the implications of the Cold War. Just as LBJ had, Bobby could have also seen the possibility of WW3, if an investigation opened that window of doubt towards Cuba. He may have willingly agreed with the cover-up to protect the country.
Secret Service and Dallas Police Authorities If either of these agencies were involved in any way with the cover-up, it would have been simply to cover the embarrassment in how they failed to protect the President. The major things that may implicate either department, would be the lack of any written notes on any of the interrogations of Oswald, or the washing of the Presidential limo at Parkland Hospital and the consequent destruction of evidence. In both cases, however, there are alibi's readily available. The SS was told to wash the car by LBJ, and did it while Kennedy was at Parkland, thus destroying evidence. The Dallas Police was also concerned by their ties to Jack Ruby, and their inability to protect Oswald, so they turned all materials over to the FBI as ordered, and dropped out of the investigative spotlight. The lack of investigation by either department was on orders from higher authorities.
Organized Crime If you think about it, the Mafia was an active player in the cover-up. If you consider all of the unexplained 'accidents' that happened to witnesses after the event, you would have to think that the Mafia did them. It fits into their style, although I am not naive enough to think that the CIA is incapable of such a deed. However, if I stick to my opinion that the CIA was not actually involved, just some of their more undesirable associates were, then you have to think that association was not enough for them to kill witnesses over. (I could, of course, be wrong.)
I am not a researcher. I am not an investigator, pathologist, ballistics expert, photo expert, nor have any other expertise. I am a glorified Computer Systems Analyst for a company that makes air conditioners and furnaces. I have the skill to supervise the arrangements of magnetic bits on a computer storage device, and someone with a good magnet could ruin my life's work if they knew where to look.
I have not done a lot of research into the JFK, although I have read and reviewed the work of others. But I am guessing, just like everyone else. The above is my guess. Every opinion can be defended by someone. But not everyone can explain their own opinion. This was mine, and my reasoning behind it. Take it for what it is worth (which is nothing).
Two crimes were committed against America:"Some bad men who were somehow associated with Lee Oswald, killed the President of the United States. The US government agencies decided it was best to stifle any subsequent investigation, and proceeded to bury the case." - This is all we have to know. And is probably all we ever WILL know.
OK, OK.....you twisted my arm............ (and you foolishly kept on reading.).
Prof. Douglas Philips (Robert Colbert) and Tony Newman (James Darren) were the two men behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll. They killed the President because his future son, through an illegitimate affair, would later be in government, and cancel the funding to get them back from "The Time Tunnel" that they were trapped in (remember that 1966-67 TV show?). The smoke seen by all the witnesses was them being pulled from the scene in a flash by General Heywood Kirk (Whit Bissell), Dr. Raymond Swain (John Zaremba) and the beautiful, but intelligent, Dr. Ann McGregor (Lee Meriwether). And we could have proven it too, but nobody thought to check the grassy knoll for radiation traces!!
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Last edited April 12, 1997
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