Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Kennedy assassination

It is 50 years since Pres. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. I remember this as one of the most profoundly shocking moments of my life. It was a watershed in American history, which brought Lyndon B. Johnson into the Presidency and led to the expansion of the Vietnam War and many other consequences. To a degree it represented the end of idealistic illusion in the American political scene, the end of the American "Camelot." Later revelations of his medical condition, his drug taking, his obsessive womanizing and his sparse political accomplishments have largely tarnished the earlier image.

Of course, the question is "who did it?" There are many actors who had cause to hate the Kennedys and JFK in particular. If we take them in approximately reverse order of likelihood:
1. Frank Sinatra; Frank was a pal of Kennedy, he endorsed him for President and profoundly believed in his liberal agenda. After JFK was elected, the first time he was due to go to the West Coast, it had been arranged thru Peter Lawford (a brother-in-law of JFK) and Robert F. Kennedy that the President would stay at Sinatra's home in California. To accommodate him and his entourage Sinatra built a special extension to his home to be the "Western White House." However, at the last minute JFK went elsewhere, mainly because of fear of Sinatra's mob connections. Frank in anger trashed the accomodation and later had it demolished. He was extremely angry wth JFK for this affront and vowed to get even. Whether or not he contacted his mob friends about this is unknown.
2. The Mafia: It was well-known that JFK, with his brother RFK as attorney general, intended to bring down organized crime in America. They knew a lot about it thru their father, Joseph P. Kennedy, who made his fortune running whiskey from Canada during prohibition (this was before he became respectable and was US Ambassador to Gt. Britain). Although mob contacts have been established from Sam Giancana to JFK, thru the prostitute Judith Campbell Exner, and even possibly to Jack Ruby, the small time gangster who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald the day after JFK's assassination, there has never been any proof that the Mafia itself was involved in JFK's death. Another mob connection was that the CIA reputedly used the Mafia to try to kill Castro in Cuba.
3. Lyndon Baines Johnson: LBJ and the Kennedys hated each other. Even though JFK chose LBJ as his Vice-President, it was entirely a matter of politics. He needed someone from the South who could garner votes, and LBJ was the obvious choice. But, JFK and especially RFK detested LBJ and considered him an uncouth, unsophisticated and ignorant hick. Likewise LBJ hated JFK and RFK because of their slights to him. Certainly LBJ had the most to gain from the assassination of JFK. However, there has never been any evidence of LBJ's involvement in this heinous act.
4. J. Edgar Hoover: It is no secret that the Kennedys, as one of their first acts in office, intended to remove Hoover from his position as head of the FBI. It is also well-known that Hoover kept files on everyone, including the Kennedys, and that he blackmailed them because he had information about JFKs infidelities, including with Exner and Marilyn Monroe. If anyone could secretly organize such an assassination it would be Hoover, who hated the Kennedys.
5. The anti-Castro Cubans: They may have had the greatest reason to want to murder Kennedy after he reversed his decision to bomb Cuba to support the anti-Castro Cubans who had invaded the Bay of Pigs in 1961 with his approval. As a result of his betrayal the invaders were defeated and many of those who were caught were tortured and murdered. But, also many of them were returned to the USA, where they were vehemently anti-Kennedy. There is a rumor that although Oswald was overtly pro-Castro, this may have been a front because he did have known contacts with anti-Castro activists. The involvement of the CIA with the anti-Castro Cubans is well documented.
6. Lee Harvey Oswald: Oswald was a known Communist sympathizer, he had defected to the Soviet Union and then returned to the USA, with his Russian wife. He was active in the pro-Castro movement. He had been to Mexico and contacted the Soviet and Cuban Embassies there, but he had been denied visas to their countries. It was probably coincidence that JFK went to Dallas and drove in an open car thru the city where Oswald was working in the School Book Depository, with a magnificent view of the motorcade. There is little doubt that Oswald wanted to prove his commitment to the communist cause to impress the Russians and the Cubans. Oswald bought the gun that was undoubtedly used to shoot JFK. Even though there may have been more than one gun involved, this has never been proven.

Recently I saw two interesting programs on TV, on Nova and "The Lost JFK Tapes" on the BBC. They showed in independent studies that first, a rifle shot causes two shock waves and this explains why different people heard more than three shots. Second and most importantly they showed that a bullet of the kind fired from the kind of gun, the Carcano rifle, that Oswald used could eaily have gone thru Kennedy's neck and then thru Gov. Connolly seated in front of him, without being severely damaged. Also, the trajectory of such a "magic" bullet would not be straight. Third, they showed that when a bullet destroys a person's brain the body rigidifies and jerks backwards, as Kennedy's body did after the third fatal shot from behind. There is a theory that one of the secret service men shot his gun accidentally at Kennedy, the third fatal shot, and this would explain the secret service's interference at both autopsies. But, this could also be out of zeal after their own incompetence, since Kennedy was shot on their watch, or according to the wishes of the Kennedy family.

In a sense, this is the simplest explanation, that a pro-Communist, pro-Cuban sympathizer took the opportunity to strike at the basis of American democracy. Because it seems too neat an explanation, many people distrust this conventional answer.


Post a Comment

<< Home