June 18th, 2011

The Kennedy conspiracists’ conspiracy

I’ve been reading a book by Vincent Bugliosi entitled Reclaiming History, which purports to definitively prove that Oswald killed JFK by himself and was not part of any conspiracy. Bugliosi amasses a mountain of evidence (almost literally; the book is huge) and strikes down each and every conspiracy theory point by point by point.

It’s a gargantuan task. I’ve not read the entire thing and probably won’t, but I’ve read a good deal of it, and I think he does a remarkably (and almost frighteningly) thorough job, and a convincing one as well.

Bugliosi makes an especially interesting point in his introduction, one I hadn’t really thought of before, which is that although most of the people who believe in the various conspiracies are probably sincere in their beliefs, many of those who actually write the conspiracy books are not. They are lying and they know it, but they count on their readers not to realize this.

The Kennedy assassination involves an almost unimaginable amount of data and evidence, so much so that most of us have forgotten many of the details although we may think we remember them. Authors of conspiracy books—who generally are exceedingly familiar with these details—are counting on their readers’ faulty or incomplete memories.

On pages xxviii-xxix of the introduction to his book, Bugliosi points out:

The conspiracy theorists are so outrageously brazen that they tell lies not just about verifiable, documentary evidence, but about clear, photographic evidence, knowing that only one out of a thousand of their readers, if that, is in possession of the subject photographs. Robert Groden (the leading photographic expert for the conspiracy proponents who was the photographic adviser the Oliver Stone’s movie JFK) draws a diagram on page 24 of his book High Treason of Governor Connally seated directly in front of President Kennedy in the presidential limousine and postulates the “remarkable path” a bullet coming from behind Kennedy, and traveling from left to right, would have to take to hit Connally—after passing straight through Kennedy’s body, making a right turn and then a left one in midair, which, the buffs chortle, bullets “don’t even do in cartoons.” What average reader would be in a position to dispute this seemingly common-sense, geometric assault on the Warren Commission’s single-bullet theory?…But of course, if you start out with an erroneous premise, whatever flows from it makes a lot of sense. The only problem is that it’s wrong. The indisputable fact here—which all people who have studied the assassination know—is that Connally was not seated directly in front of Kennedy, but to his left front.

Bugliosi goes on to add that Connally’s jump seat was also three inches lower than Kennedy, and his head was turned to his right (which is clear from the Zapruder film) at the time the bullet hit. The proper trajectory of the bullet was therefore exactly as the Warren Commission stated. None of these facts are all that difficult to ascertain, and there is little doubt that conspiracy author and consultant Groden is (or should be) well aware of them. And this is just a single point on which conspiracists prevaricate; there are countless others.

Bugliosi continues [emphasis mine]:

I am unaware of any other major event in world history which has been shrouded in so much intentional misinformation as has the assassination of JFK.

The question is why? Bugliosi notes that conspiracy sells, and he is correct. There is no question that some of the motivation to write these things is to make money. But for at least some of the conspiracy authors and promoters there is probably another reason, which is that belief in conspiracies undermine faith in our government as a whole. Earl Warren had this to say about the matter (page xxi of the introduction):

To say now that [the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and Departments of State and Defense], as well as the [Warren] Commission, suppressed, neglected to unearth, or overlooked evidence of a conspiracy would be an indictment of the entire government of the United States. It would mean the whole structure was absolutely corrupt from top to bottom, not one person of high or low rank willing to come forward to expose the villainy, in spite of the fact that the entire country bitterly mourned the death of its young president.

I would add that, as the years have gone on and conspiracy theories that allege that the above government agencies were responsible for killing Kennedy—rather than just incompetent or engaged in a coverup—have proliferated, Warren’s statement has become even more true.

I’ve never seen an analysis of whether Kennedy assassination conspiracists are predominately of the left or of the right. But my gut sense is that, although there are some on each side, the left is far more amply represented (Oliver Stone himself being a prime example). The left has a special reason not only to undermine faith in the US government but to exonerate Oswald as well, because there is no question (to any sane person, at least) that Oswald was a devoted man of the far left.

Somehow even that latter point has gotten somewhat lost. A significant number of pundits have been asserting for quite some time that the far right was responsible for Kennedy’s death (I discussed the phenomenon at greaster length here).

From my reading of Oswald’s testimony and demeanor, he was well aware that he would be championed and/or exonerated by those who would want to believe him innocent. His famous “I am a patsy” remark was a brilliant statement along those lines. Bugliosi’s book explains that Oswald maintained a resistance to police interrogation that was impressive; he virtually never lost his imperturbable demeanor during the time he was in custody. When confronted with clear evidence of his guilt, he calmly and arrogantly denied whatever implicated him, no matter how powerfully it did so. When asked, for example, to explain a fact that pointed strongly to his guilt, he merely answered, “I don’t explain it” (page 255).

Perhaps Oswald correctly surmised that others would do his explaining for him.

[ADDENDUM: Coincidentally, Ed Driscoll has some thoughts on a similar subject.]

127 Responses to “The Kennedy conspiracists’ conspiracy”

  1. Curtis Says:

    The question is why?

    Answer: communists. That’s with a little “c” to underscore the term incorporates all those who are under their control or influence and who may or may not know it.

  2. Gringo Says:

    In looking back, what strikes me the most is the mantra repeated ad infinitum after JFK was shot: “right wing hate killed JFK.” Yes, there were right wingers demonstrating against JFK in TX. But as Neo and others have pointed out, as as was known even back in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was of the far left, and had in fact tried to kill General Walker, an icon of the far right.

    Dan Rather established his journalistic integrity when he presented Highland Park – a rich Dallas suburb- schoolchildren as being happy that JFK was shot. They were happy to get the rest of the day off. I was then young enough and naive enough to have believed Dan Rather.

    While the conspiracy theorists are wrong, I don’t necessarily agree that they deliberately deceive. When we WANT something to be true, we will often ignore contradicting evidence. That is at least a partial explanation of why the conspiracy theorists get bamboozled- and bamboozle others.

    Neo’s discourse on a book that demolishes conspiracy theories reminds me of Allen Weinstein’s 1978 book, Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case. The liberal line on the conviction of Alger Hiss for perjury regarding his spying for the Soviets was that Richard Nixon had railroaded an innocent man. Weinstein’s book helped diminish the number of those who still believed that. Archives of the former Soviet Union and access to the Venona tapes further demolished the liberal conspiracy line on Alger Hiss.

    Similarly, even their sons now believe the Rosenbergs to have been spies- or in their mother’s case, an accessory to a spy.

    Government investigations sometimes uncover the truth.

  3. Mike Walsh Says:

    Tinfoil hats are always in season. And attempts to debunk conspiracy theories are made part of the conspiracy.

  4. SteveH Says:

    I think people disappointed in their lives look to explain their condition by using conspiracies to point out how everyone else is equally flawed but just cleverly hiding it.

  5. Roman Says:

    Much of the fodder for the many theories come from the planned release of much of the evidence 75 years after the fact. This just makes the conspiracy types speculate.

  6. nolanimrod Says:

    Well, OK, I hereby irrevocably put on my brow The Mark of the Boob. But here goes.

    1. In the Zapruder film Kennedy’s head snaps back violently on one of the subsequent shots. Oswald was above and behind him. Body parts do not, ever, snap in the direction a high-powered bullet comes from. You are talking about getting hit with well over a thousand foot-pounds of pressure.

    2. After all the hullabaloo of the shooting, the race to Parkland, getting Kennedy into the ER, etc., there was found on the stretcher next to him a pristine bullet with no markings on it … other than the markings which would be necessary to connect it up with the Oswald Mannlicher-Carcano carbine.

    I have shot a number of animals with high-powered rifles, which experience informs me that heads never snap in the direction of the shot.

    I did six months on a criminal grand jury, which experience informs me that having the one piece of evidence that you really need to prove your point magically fall right into your lap

    Oh! HERE it is! Why, if it was a snake it would have bit me!

    always means something’s not right.

    Well, there! Now I feel like Chuck Conners in the old TV
    series Branded!

  7. nolanimrod Says:

    P.S. I meant to add that I ain’t saying Oswald didn’t shoot him. I am saying he wasn’t acting alone.

  8. gcotharn Says:

    I saw, maybe on PBS, an analysis in which a laser beam was extended from the 6th story window and perfectly through Kennedy and into Gov. Connolly. Having driven down Elm Street at least 50 times, I instantly understood the laser beam analysis was correct, and it was simply true that the shot came from the 6th story window. The trajectory from the window, given the position of the vehicle and of the occupants, was perfect.

  9. SteveH Says:

    nolaninrod, i’ve seen the test shots into human skulls. They indeed do project backwards upon a bullet impact.

  10. Trimegistus Says:

    I date the collapse of civility in American politics to Oswald pulling the trigger.

    Consider: if you’re a liberal, confronted with the fact that Oswald was a communist fellow-traveler, your mind simply recoils. There are two fantasies into which you can escape: the first is the realm of conspiracy and paranoia, that the CIA shot Kennedy in order to … do something evil, never mind what. The slightly less crazy fantasy is to say that it was “America’s violent society” or the “climate of hate” that somehow made Oswald go shoot JFK. Either way, it’s the fault of American society in general and conservatives in particular.

    Meanwhile, if you’re a conservative, you watch a communist, a genuine Red communist who lived in communist Russia, shoot the President of the United States in broad daylight, and then … nothing. Obviously the communists have infiltrated American government so deeply that one of their agents can assassinate the President and there’s no ultimatum to Russia or Cuba or anything.

    The result? Both sides no longer view the other side as decent people with differing opinions. Instead, they’re part of something vast and monstrous, to be fought with every weapon at hand.

    Since the liberals are more invested in their fantasy, they have been more fanatical. They have really convinced themselves that conservatives are monsters — determined to reinstate slavery, deprive women of freedom, oppress workers, and wage war on the whole world. They really believe this.

    Consequently, no civility is possible. How can you be civil to monsters? No lie is out of bounds, no vote-stealing or corruption is unjustified.

    As the Kennedy assassination fades into history, the poison it released into the American body politic remains as toxic as ever.

  11. Michael Says:

    For Texans, believing that JFK was assassinated by a conspiracy was the default position simply because LBJ benefited. Johnson was such a notorious crook, with the radio stations, the Duval county election fraud, and all the rest of it, we just naturally assumed that he was guilty. It’s taken a long time to sift out the chaff, but it does look to more and more people in these parts that Johnson was, in this case, innocent. That’s a bigger shock than the death of a President.

  12. nolanimrod Says:

    If you instantly understood why the other 49 times?

  13. nolanimrod Says:

    Johnson was saving up for bigger crimes, like lying us into a war that he had reason to believe, per the Pentagon Papers, was going to require a million men and ten years.

  14. vanderleun Says:

    Sadly Nolan, Johnson did not lie us into a war. He just took over a Kennedy war that was already in progress thanks to the geopolitical theories of the time:

    The Kennedy administration remained essentially committed to the Cold War foreign policy inherited from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. In 1961, the U.S. had 50,000 troops based in Korea, and Kennedy faced a three-part crisis—the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and a negotiated settlement between the pro-Western government of Laos and the Pathet Lao communist movement.[112] These made Kennedy believe that another failure on the part of the United States to gain control and stop communist expansion would fatally damage U.S. credibility with its allies and his own reputation. Kennedy determined to “draw a line in the sand” and prevent a communist victory in Vietnam, saying, “Now we have a problem making our power credible and Vietnam looks like the place”, to James Reston of The New York Times immediately after meeting Khrushchev in Vienna.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_war#During_John_F._Kennedy.27s_administration.2C_1961.E2.80.931963

  15. vanderleun Says:

    Shot skulls: “They indeed do project backwards upon a bullet impact.”

    True. Think of a blob of fairly rigid jello moving about inside a rigid sphere when that sphere is struck.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    nolanimrod: your assumptions are completely incorrect. It has been demonstrated and proven that the shot came from behind and how Kennedy’s head actually reacted, and why. Read Bugliosi’s book if you want to gain some knowledge on the subject. Here’s a relevant excerpt, just to make it easier for you. Read the entire book if you want to see every possible conspiracy theory disproven.

    Or, if you’d prefer to cling to conspiracy theories, you can just skip it.

  17. rickl Says:

    vanderleun Says:
    June 18th, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Shot skulls: “They indeed do project backwards upon a bullet impact.”

    True. Think of a blob of fairly rigid jello moving about inside a rigid sphere when that sphere is struck.

    It all comes down to jello around here, doesn’t it?

  18. rickl Says:

    But seriously, folks, Trimegistus had a good comment at 6:44 pm.

  19. vanderleun Says:

    Thinking about this essay I happened across this quote from the writer Robert Heinlein in a letter he once wrote:

    “I could go on endlessly–but there isn’t time. This won’t change the mind of your friend; when a man makes up his mind without evidence, no evidence disproving his opinion will change his mind.”

    http://www.lettersofnote.com/2011/01/i-have-no-wish-to-have-man-who-doesnt.html

  20. SteveH Says:

    “”I am unaware of any other major event in world history which has been shrouded in so much intentional misinformation as has the assassination of JFK.”"
    Bugliosi

    Ummmm. The Obama administration surpassed that.

  21. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    What conspiracy theorists miss is the need to keep all those who planned and carried oput the operation quiet.

    The Kennedy shooting involved only one man, so, if the CIA had set up and trained Oswald, there would only be a small number with guilty knowledge. Not that I’m saying such a thing took place. Just that it is very hard to keep the wraps on any covert or black operation even if there are a small number of people involved. Something as big as assassinating the President would be explosive guillty knowledge and you would expect a deathbed confession or an end of life bio. Such as Harry Felt’s confession of his “Deep Throat” identity as he neared the end of his life.

    In the same vein, the 9/11 truthers can’t seem to understand how many people would have to have been in on a government conspiracy to carry ourt such an large operation. With the NYT and wikileaks constantly on the look out for information that exposes anything the right does, how could such a huge conspiracy plan be kept secret for very long? Along the same lines, if an airplane didn’t hit the Pentagon, where is the American Airlines airplane and the passengers, some of whom were well known public figures? These simple questions seem to elude conspiracy theorists.

  22. James Drake Says:

    I agree with Bugliosi on Kennedy’s assasination but have wondered about his soundness since he published The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. I haven’t read it but have read about the decision to go to war, which Congress supported, enough to think he’s kidding himself.

  23. gcotharn Says:

    @nolanimrod

    50 times, b/c I lived in Dallas and was traveling out of downtown and towards the freeway. LOL. I wasn’t trying to solve the Kennedy assassination! Though, the first times you make that drive, you cannot help twisting around and staring at the Book Depository building.

  24. kolnai Says:

    Drake –

    I agree with you about Bugliosi, and I did read that BushIsAMurderer book (it looked stupid enough to be fun, and it certainly was stupid).

    It’s unfortunate because his Kennedy book is pretty good (and neo is not joking, the thing is MASSIVE – I believe he published a more manageable shorter version boiling it down to its essence). Fact is, Bugliosi is a man of the far left, and he doesn’t just disagree with conservatives, he hates them. With a blistering, spittle-producing passion.

    One must admit that it’s at least slightly ironic to see a level-headed destroyer of conspiracy theories turn-around and morph into a BDS-inspired kook. However, in the Kennedy book, one would expect the “bias” of a far-leftist to make him want to join the conspiracy theorists in some way, so my sense is that Bugliosi’s prejudices were pretty much shut off there. In any case, other, saner people such as Gerald Posner have reached similar conclusions, so at least you’re not reading something, as is the case with the Bush book, that is seconded by the likes of Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky.

    If one were per chance curious to know what kind of work the Bush book is, just check out the reviews on Amazon. Even some of the Bush-haters couldn’t tolerate it. Here’s a quote from one:

    “It was like reading a second grader’s argument for not liking vegetables.”

    And then he goes to say that Bugliosi lost him on page 25 when Bugliosi wrote:

    “After all, he (Saddam Hussein) was a hell of a lot more sane than President Bush.”

    In fact, let me quote the end of this anti-Bush guy’s review:

    “He spent a whole chapter telling us how unbiased he is, then launched into a Unabomber-style manifesto, devoid of impartiality and facts. Don’t waste your time with this ideological piece of trash.”

    The whole book is based on one big conspiracy theory, which Bugliosi presents as hard fact without ever explaining exactly what the aim and intent behind the conspiracy was.

    One of the reviews is entitled: “HANG HIM!” (“him” being Bush).

    BDS remains one of the more fascinating cases of collective madness in modern history. And Bugliosi is a case-in-point: what he could see through with the Kennedy assassination, he could not with the decisions of the Bush administration. So it goes.

  25. kolnai Says:

    P.S. – Bugliosi just released a book on religion and God, and as the reviews come in, it seems to be terrible (as one would expect). What Bugliosi doesn’t seem to realize is that his moonbattery and tendency to substitute arrogance and invective for argument (all the while calling it “reason”) leads people to discount his work on Kennedy.

    One of the reviewers on Amazon who read the God book said, somewhat but not entirely jokingly,

    “Divinity of Doubt is so poorly researched and so ineptly argued that it casts doubt on the Kennedy book. In fact, at this point I’m open to the idea that JFK’s death was engineered by a conspiracy involving the Mafia, the CIA, Castro, the Easter Bunny, and Liberace.”

    Many people with intellectual dementia are like the proverbial broken clock. My favorite example is Tony Judt, whose views were euro-socialist, anti-American, and passionately anti-Israel (Judt also suffered from BDS, like Bugliosi and another once great historian, Simon Schama). Nonetheless, his book “Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals 1944-1956″ is one of the best eviscerations of post-War French philosophy and politics that I’ve ever read. It’s simply a great book.

    Anyway, I find the whole phenomenon fascinating. Apologies for the tangent.

  26. IGotBupkis Says:

    OK, I’m going to chime in on a couple points which seem to be problematic. I’m not a conspiracy believer, really, but I do agree with the notion that the best environment to have a conspiracy is the one where they are seen to be everywhere. In other words, if you WERE going to have a conspiracy about ANYTHING, now is one of the best times and conditions in which to execute it.

    Now, Gerald Posner writes in “Case Closed” that, while in Russia, Oswald went hunting with friends/coworkers there. He went hunting with a shotgun. I repeat — a shotgun — The friends alleged that he was hopelessly inept with that. Now, the Manlicher-Carcano (sp?) that Oswald used was hardly a state-of-the-art rifle even in the 60s, yet, despite being too inept to hunt with a shotgun, Oswald managed to pull of a supposedly impressive shooting job — not “impossible”, as Stone suggests, but actual professional marksman supposedly had to WORK to accomplish the three shots in the narrow time frame clearly defined by the Zapruder film. AND Oswald executed the kill shot on the third shot, not the first. The first should have been the “good” one, yet he clearly missed by a mile (that’s the one which hit the overpass). Now realize that Posner is NOT a supporter of conspiracy theories — his book was written specifically to challenge the stuff in Stone’s movie. It always struck me as very, very strange that he never, ever actually made the connection between those two facts. There’s nothing to put them together in his book, despite the fact that it seems pretty significant, to me, to be inept with a shotgun. It’s about as easy a weapon as there is to use.

    Now, as to answers WHY the government might be involved in a coverup, without there being some nefarious conspiracy plot that no one has come forth on with reliable info in nearly 50 years…

    There are two books — and no, I have read neither, but what “debunking” I’ve seen generally assumes that the error was kept on the QT by those in the immediate know rather than being brought up to the top levels and Oswald was used as not so much a scapegoat but as a convenient deflection of attention (all this would have occurred before the existence of the Zapruder film was known, and, once having come known, would have led to further efforts to hide knowledge rather than a proper “fess up”)

    The two books suggest that the fatal shot itself was fired in error by a Secret Service agent in the detail during the confusion that occurred after the first shots were fired. George Hickey and William Greer are the two SS agents that have been named as likely accidental shooters. Now, realize, please, I repeat: I haven’t read the books in question so I have no idea how well they make their case. I’m just saying that this DOES offer an explanation for a coverup (CYA being SOP in government) without there being some widespread eeeeevil conspiracy going on.

    After Kennedy got shot, the nation was in shock, and one can EASILY accept the idea that those “who knew” it was a frigging dumbass stupid random-chance accident that killed “a god” like Kennedy believed that America would not be able to accept that notion, that either they would go into deep despair over it, or, perhaps, start REALLY believing there was some kind of massive evil conspiracy to execute Kennedy. “Hey, we’ve got Oswald, there’s no question he TRIED to kill Kennedy, and, in fact, had he not, the accident would not have happened… so why should this poor shnook get burned for it? More importantly, why should WE have to deal with the fallout from it?”. I’m sorry, I can SEE that discussion occurring without presupposing some massive, well-planned and intricate conspiracy that created the situation. And I can even see Robert Kennedy accepting that for the good of the country, too, as he certainly had a notable chance of knowing something was going on as US AG.

    Again — not saying I believe JFK wasn’t shot by Oswald, but there, for your consideration, lies one fact I have yet to see explained, and an explanation of how it might have happened and yet not required a giant, complicated conspiracy that still has yet to be reliably outed 50 years later.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    IGotBupkis:

    Unexplained fact? Hardly. Please read the Bugliosi book, including this excerpt on Oswald’s marksmanship and his rifle.

    Oh, and also this excerpt about the fact that the first shot (the one that missed) was actually the most difficult one (click on the page number at the link to read the whole thing).

    As far as the fatal shot being fired in error by Secret Service agents: (a) there were eyewitnesses to a rifle firing from the Texas Book Depository at that time; and (b) bullet fragments were found in Kennedy’s brain during the autopsy (2 of them), and more fragments were found on the rug of the limousine under the jump seat and another near the front seat of the limousine. A ballistics expert testified to the Warren Commission that all of these fragments “produced a profile highly characteristic” of the type of ammunition Oswald used in his Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, and these fragments were found to all be from one bullet. Since some of those fragments were found in Kennedy’s brain, it seems pretty clear that the theory that they came from a Secret Service agent doesn’t wash—unless the agents were carrying Carcano rifles at the time.

    As far as the report about Oswald’s hunting in the Soviet Union with a shotgun goes, here are the facts (click on the page number at the link to read the whole thing).

    In fact, every single conspiracy theory has flaws you can drive a Mack truck through. Once again I will state that the evidence in Bugliosi’s book that Oswald did this alone is simply overwhelming. He deals with every single conspiracy theory that has been raised. The book is 1600 pages long, with a CD-ROM containing 1600 pages of footnotes. You cannot believe how thorough it is. That’s why I haven’t read all of it.

    But much of the book (perhaps even all of it?) seems to be at Google Books, here. There is a search function there, so you can find where the book deals with topics you want to read about. I also recommend highly the first two hundred pages, a timeline of the assassination.

    And for those who’ve mentioned Bugliosi’s more recent books (the anti-Bush one, and the one about religion), I think Bugliosi is good when he sticks to writing about crimes (not including “war crimes”). For example, his book about the Manson case, Helter Skelter, is quite good. He is great at amassing evidence in a systematic way and prosecuting a crime—that’s what he’s known for, after all. Politics or religion are completely different things.

  28. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    Unexplained fact? Hardly. Please read the Bugliosi book, including this excerpt on Oswald’s marksmanship and his rifle.

    Yes, neo, unexplained.

    You completely ignore — and I do mean completely ignore — what I said in favor of a straw man argument that I didn’t make though plenty of others have.

    I quote myself:

    Now, Gerald Posner writes in “Case Closed” that, while in Russia, Oswald went hunting with friends/coworkers there. He went hunting with a shotgun. I repeat — a shotgun — The friends alleged that he was hopelessly inept with that.

    THAT is POSNER, who is attempting to REFUTE Oliver Stone. I’m sorry, if you’re ANY good with a gun, you’re going to be able to use a flinkin’ shotgun.

    So there’s a really ODD discontinuity here. The government is claiming that Oswald was officially a “good shot”, yet people who specifically knew him and went hunting with him said he couldn’t hit a barn door at 50 paces with a shotgun.

    I’m not claiming either one is lying, I’m just wondering “WtF”? That’s the biggest problem with the whole JFK thing — there’s sooooo much crap that makes you go “Hmmmmm…” it strains credibility all around. On the one hand, there is a lot to the whole “conspiracies don’t work” which I concur with. As Benjamin Franklin is alleged to have said, “Three may keep a secret… if two of them are dead.”

    OTOH, there’s a lot of stuff that jars in its overall improbability, coincidence, and absurdity that really doesn’t fit the idea that NO ONE is futzing with the facts on the “Oswald was alone” side. Occam’s Razor starts to kick in.

    And that’s where my initial para fits in here. The best environment for a conspiracy is the one where everyone believes in conspiracies, because then everyone also discounts a lot of claims of conspiracy because a huge percentage of them are false. But in this scenario, one tends to throw the baby out with the bathwater and not even notice, too.

  29. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Igot
    I was pretty good with a rifle. M14 and M16 in the Army, M1 and Enfield before that on my own. Not that I was forunate enough to own a Garand…. Hey, today’s Father’s Day. Hmm.
    Anyway, I have fired three rounds through a shotgun in my life. It was familiarization with an M97 riot gun. At a paper target about fourteen feet away.
    Sorry. To be good with a rifle, as one would be in the service, does not mean good with a shotgun.
    A person might be good with a shotgun but that takes extra evidence, not merely the fact that he was in a military service.

  30. br549 Says:

    I was in fifth grade. I was totally confused by it. All I remember was thinking stuff like this doesn’t happen in America. My parents were from New England. They loved JFK and were totally devastated.

    In comparison to today’s political standards, it seems to me JFK would easily be a republican.

  31. Sergey Says:

    Since all these friends/coworkers with whom Oswald was hunting in Soviet Union were obviosly KGB operatives, they could say only what KGB want you to believe. Nuff said.

  32. Alex Bensky Says:

    Ha! Neo, you and the others have allowed yourselves to be focused on one conspiracy; that’s what they want you to do, so you ignore the older and much bigger conspiracy.

    Since the assassination of William McKinley over one hundred million Americans have died…and many under mysterious or unexplained circumstances. Coincidence? You may choose to think so.

    By the way, James Pierson has an excellent book on the subject, “Camelot and the Cultural Revolution.”

    Note that the left not only ascribes the Kennedy assassination to a “right-wing climate of hate,” but the “They” who killed Kennedy also killed Bobby Kennedy…although in this case “They” was a Palestinian who shot RFK over his support of Israel.

    But it is not new that the left ignores real violence on its side for fanciful violence on the other–witness the “rhetoric of hate” from the Tea Parties, with little actual evidence, with the violence perpetrated by the left, which the mainstream media pretty much ignore.

  33. rickl Says:

    Col. Mustard with the knife in the study.

    /Sorry, wrong thread…

  34. SteveH Says:

    The time line of Nov 22nd portion of what Neo linked to is fascinating reading. I was supposed to be out fishing two hours ago but can’t put it down!

  35. dsullivan Says:

    December 1962: Covert back-channel communications from an official high within the USSR reveal that Nikita Khrushchev is planning to assassinate President Kennedy out of revenge of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Top secret messages from the source warn that that the Soviets are unable to remove the mentally unstable Khrushchev from office while he has the support of his Army. It has become apparent that Khrushchev will go to any lengths to kill Kennedy, an event that will likely start World War III. Out of options, Kennedy decides to beat Khrushchev to the punch.
    There was nobody on the grassy knoll, there wasn’t a second shooter. The only conspiracy that took place in Dallas on November 22, 1963 was perpetrated by the President himself.
    The Greatest Patriot is a thought provoking spin on the history of the last five decades that leaves its readers with a serious case of “What if?”

    https://www.createspace.com/3440956

  36. OldTexan Says:

    A few things I know. Twenty years ago I moved back to Dallas and was asked by a writer to go through some files that were kept by one of the top detectives in the Dallas Police Department. He had died and the family found the files tucked away in a garage. There were several hundred copies of all sorts of little bits and pieces the police were following, lots and lots of trivia and not one smoking gun we thought we might find.

    There were copies of the interviews with Oswald and the FBI involvement with Oswald both before the Kennedy shooting and after.

    A lot of the information was also about Jack Ruby and where each police officer was at the time he shot Oswald. At the time of the shooting it never entered the mind of the cops that someone would be nuts enough to do what Ruby did.

    Later I spoke to people who personally knew Jack Ruby and they were not surprised at all that he could and would shoot Oswald.

    A couple of points about the gun and the shotgun thing above. Oswald was a Marine and he was good with a rifle and to make the shot he did you did not have to be great, only good.

    In November of 1963 Oswald had rented a room to be closer to his work and he was not living with his family. I surmise that he sat in his rented room night after night working the bolt on his rifle until the action was smooth as butter and he had his muscle memory perfected. I don’t think he had anything else to do.

    As far as the gun is concerned, it was an old Italian made gun that shoots a small diameter bullet that is longer than most. What this means is that in full metal jacket the bullet does real goofy things when it hits and if it does not impact bone, it can come out pristine.

    As for shotguns and rifles, I am a shot gunner and it takes hundreds and hundreds of rounds to use a shotgun with a decent level of skill. The rifle shot is a static shot with concentration while the shotgun is used with a sweeping fluid motion. Two very different skill sets are used to hit the target.

    I have had some contact with people who were in law enforcement and others in here in Dallas at the time and I am convinced that the smoking gun we were looking for twenty years just is not there.

    Speaking of gun smoke, on the grassy knoll, guns had not been smoking for about 70 years at the time of the shooting. You might see a flash at night but you do not see smoke from guns.

    One sorry, goofy guy who had already screwed up trying to shoot General Edwin Walker months before here in Dallas created a perfect storm that we all wish never happened, but it did.

    One guy, one gun and a mess that won’t go away.

  37. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    Also, while I’ve not read Bugliosi’s book (probably won’t because I really don’t give that much of a rodent’s pattootie), I did read Posner, and the one thing that I recall (I’d have to go back to my copy, with its extensive margin notes to be specific) is that, time and time again, he tap dances around any of several questions that immediately occur to me while reading his evidence… It’s like he’s managing to avoid putting two and two together to make four, because he’s too busy trying to show how neat it is that two and two equals eight.

  38. rickl Says:

    I have a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun. I’ve shot them a little at a nearby indoor range, but I haven’t practiced nearly enough. So I’m by no means an expert on guns. Take anything I say with a large grain of salt.

    But for what it’s worth, I’m better with the pistol than with either the rifle or the shotgun. Rifles are for long distance shooting, and I don’t have an outdoor range near me so I haven’t shot it much.

    The indoor range I’ve used allows shotguns, but I’m simply more accurate and more confident with the pistol. The shotgun is loud as hell even with ear protection, and kicks like a mule. It’s kind of intimidating.

  39. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    A person might be good with a shotgun but that takes extra evidence, not merely the fact that he was in a military service.

    We are not talking “good” here. We’re talking “vaguely competent”. The description used was pretty much that he was hopeless

    I’m sorry, the reason a shotgun is considered the “ideal” household gun protection for someone not interested in investing the time to be vaguely good with a handgun is that it’s hard to miss the target when using it at short ranges. For long range it sucks but that’s not what we’re talking about.

    In other words, it’s difficult to NOT be vaguely competent with a shotgun… and yet apparently Oswald the “pretty decent marksman” couldn’t do this.

    Since all these friends/coworkers with whom Oswald was hunting in Soviet Union were obviosly KGB operatives, they could say only what KGB want you to believe.

    LOL — Yeah, well, since all the info you’re getting about Oswald’s capacity as a marksman comes from the US government, who, if there WERE a coverup, has a vested interest… what does THAT say? Hmmmm?

    What this means is that in full metal jacket the bullet does real goofy things when it hits and if it does not impact bone, it can come out pristine

    Nice try, but you show ignorance here. This bullet — and only this bullet HAD to be the one which shattered Connolly’s wrist, along with battering through both Kennedy’s AND Connolly’s bodies. Assume we grant a smooth trajectory through Kennedy… what is the likelihood it did not begin tumbling on exit and hence strike Connolly at anything BUT a direct path — and THEN exit Connolly’s body AGAIN to shatter his wrist… and then “conveniently” plop out onto the floor of the car — almost pristine and pretty clean, with very little deformation of any kind…

    Again, not saying it’s not IMPOSSIBLE.

    But at what point does “unlikely x”+”unlikely y”+”unlikely z”+”unlikely a”+… finally make you decide that it’s time to apply Occam’s Razor to the problem and realize that a conspiracy theory IS the simpler of things?

    Especially when you answer several of the more legitimate arguments as I did above with the idea that perhaps it was a stupid accident and the coverup was only an after the fact CYA conspiracy (which, let’s face it, is the manner in which governments DO operate) rather than a perniciously evil cabal out to execute a nefarious coup…?

    Trust me, I’m vague because
    1) I really don’t CARE that much. I paid attention to this subject ONLY because Neo posted on it, not because it’s something I obsess over…
    2) If I’m vague, see “1″.
    3) I’m neither claiming it happened largely as the Federal gov’t says it did or not. I’m more pointing out that I believe Occam’s Razor calls a number of “factoids” out for consideration in lieu of reliable answers, and are sufficient to cause doubt about ALL the existing propositions… Both pro-conspiracy and anti-conspiracy…

  40. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    And then “conveniently” plop out onto the floor of the car — almost pristine and pretty clean, with very little deformation of any kind…

    P.S., this is more of a question of the convenience of the location — inside the car, on the floor, in plain sight — rather than doubting the idea that, spent, it might have done such a thing in general.

  41. rickl Says:

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I’m sorry, the reason a shotgun is considered the “ideal” household gun protection for someone not interested in investing the time to be vaguely good with a handgun is that it’s hard to miss the target when using it at short ranges.

    I failed to state it clearly in my 10:54 comment, but I have actually missed the paper target altogether with the shotgun, even though I can easily get close to the bull’s eye with the pistol.

    I’m not taking issue with anything else you said; I’m pretty much an agnostic on this subject.

  42. Richard Aubrey Says:

    IGot
    Not talking about home defense, nor about paper targets. It’s hunting. If it’s bird hunting, it’s moving, flying targets. Or rabbits? Probably moving,too. Completely different issue than military range marksmanship.
    I note that you are smart enough to know this but pretend it’s another issue altogether; home defense.
    Visualize transparency.

  43. Don Carlos Says:

    My rule of thumb: Most alleged conspiracies aren’t.

  44. Charles Frith Says:

    Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Repeat ad infinitum.

    The cries against Kennedy conspiracy become more shrill as time passes. And so they should.

  45. neo-neocon Says:

    IGotBupkis:

    I’m going out in a couple of minutes and only have a moment or two to tend to the blog right now. I may take some time to read your comments at greater length and respond, but I’m not sure it’s worth it because I was stunned when I read the following from you:

    Also, while I’ve not read Bugliosi’s book (probably won’t because I really don’t give that much of a rodent’s pattootie)…

    That tells me a great deal—which is that you’d rather traffic in distortions than facts on this topic, for some reason. Because nearly everything you’ve written is incorrect—simply does not conform to the facts.

    I took the time and trouble to give you links to passages from the Bugliosi book that specifically answered the charges you made and refuted them. You seem to have not taken the time and trouble to even read those brief excerpts (much less the entire Bugliosi book, which I grant would be a huge undertaking). If you did, you would see that the shotgun business you report from Russia (and your other points) are refuted handily and specifically.

    By the way, Posner’s book, although fairly good, cannot hold a candle to Bugliosi’s in depth and breadth of knowledge, facts, accuracy, and research (as well as length). Bugliosi demolishes some errors Posner made.

    If you won’t waste your time reading something that answers your questions, and you don’t give a rat’s patootie, why should anyone listen to you?

  46. neo-neocon Says:

    IGotBupkis: by the way, just to take another “fact” you report—the bullet that hit Connally after hitting Kennedy was not found in the limo, it was found on a hospital stretcher, and it was NOT “pristine.” I won’t bother to give you the links because you’re not interested anyway, right?

  47. Richard Aubrey Says:

    neo.
    Visualize shooting BBs at a basketball.

    As usual, there is a question; Does he really believe this stuff, or does he know better yet hope to fool us.?

  48. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Not to blow my own horn, but see the shotgun issue. If, according to igot, you’re good with a rifle, you must necessarily be good with a shotgun. Alternatively, if you’re bad with a shotgun, you can’t shoot a rifle. Nobody is dumb enough to believe it, yet he presumes somebody can be fooled with the planted axiom.

  49. vanderleun Says:

    Dear IGotBupkis. After carefully reviewing this discussion I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re right, you got bupkis.

  50. texexec Says:

    I ain’t goin’ dove huntin’ with some of you guys. :)

  51. Sergey Says:

    Ability to recognize and correct one’s biases, that is, to be objective, is the rarest of all intellectual virtues. It takes years of serios effort to aquire, and still almost never is perfect. This is the real reason why conspiracy theories are so successful among untrained minds. They also feed on natural proclivity of humans to paranoia.

  52. Uncle Bill Says:

    Richard Aubrey Says:
    neo.
    Visualize shooting BBs at a basketball.

    When I was in basic training, they taught us to hit moving targets by shooting at metal discs, about the size of a half dollar, with a bb gun. An instructor standing a few feet in front would flip the disc into the air, like someone flipping a coin, and the trainee would try to hit it with a snap shot from a bb gun.

    It sounds impossible, and when it was explained what we were going to be doing, I couldn’t believe it. But, it was surprisingly easy. After just a little training, I could hit the disc most of the time.

    So, a basketball could be considerably farther away, and still not be all that hard to hit.

    By the way: I became convinced a long time about that most of the conspiracy theory kooks are that way because they don’t want to admit that a leftist (a communist, for God’s sake!) killed the sainted Kennedy. Nothing has changed my opinion.

  53. Scott Says:

    I haven’t read the book.

    But the common sense reason why I believe it could not have been a conspiracy boils down mostly to one simple question.

    What if it were raining that day?

    If it were raining, the car’s top would be up and the plan foiled. A super secret conspiracy that would have taken weeks if not months of planning would have been derailed by the vagaries of the weather. Why would the conspiracy planners take the risk of planning a conspiracy — knowing that at any time during the planning stage any of the co-conspirators could get cold feet and expose the conspiracy — and yet have the conspiracy fail due simply to the weather? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    But let’s say the planners were willing to accept the risks noted above about weather and they went forward with an ill-conceived plan to assassinate the president using a high powered rifle from a building window — just in case the car’s top was down. I can’t imagine why the weapon of choice for a well planned but ill conceived assassination attempt would be a bolt action rifle. The weapon of choice would be an automatic rifle. And hitting a moving target in the head with a high powered rifle from about 100 yards (I think the official estimate was 88 yards) is not an easy task for even a skilled marksman. Compound that with the increased difficulty created by using a bolt action rifle rather than an automatic rifle. The bolt action shooter must: operate the bolt to manually eject the spent cartridge; reload a new round into the chamber; mentally recalibrate how much to “lead” the moving target to hit it; maintain controlled breathing after going through the exertion of operating the bolt; maintain breathing and control while experiencing the adrenaline rush from knowing you’re trying to assassinate the president of the United States. All of this is required to gently pull the trigger and maintain his aim to hit the target — a head at 100 yards.

    No, it wasn’t skill. It was luck. Even if Oswald was a single shooter within a larger conspiracy, would the conspiracy planners rely on luck for the plot to be successful?

    From a common sense perspective, none of it makes sense to be a conspiracy. From the choice of weapon, to the reliance on weather, to the need to keep co-conspirators quiet.

    Occam’s Razor: Oswald acted alone. And he got very, very lucky.

  54. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Uncle Bill.
    We had that training. Called “Quick Kill” until the PR people got hold of it and it was changed to “Quick Fire”. Trained to pull without thought, avoid buck fever.
    The key to hitting the slug, or, as the instructors did it, to knock the wad of paper out of the hole in the slug, is to wait until the slug is motionless at the top of the throw.
    You’ll recall the slug was thrown straight up. Not sideways. If you got the timing right, there was no lead necessary.
    My point about shotgun hunting vs. marksmanship on a range at a fixed target is that Oswald was awful at something not covered in his Marine training. Surprise.
    Igot is trying to fool the unwary into making the connection. If he couldn’t hit a bird with a snap shot, he couldn’t hit a guy at 90 yards moving slowly and diagonally away, making the lead little or zilch. Wrongo.

  55. Don Carlos Says:

    Enlighten me, Scott.
    What “automatic” rifles were in use in 1963? What semi-s, for that matter? Military or otherwise? Were you thinking BAR?

    As a shooter, Oswald was flat-out good. I accept that. That he could surmount shooting challenges that most of us can’t and couldn’t has little to do with it.

  56. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Don Carlos:
    I can’t recall when the M14 replaced the M1. It had a full-auto mod to replace the BAR for squad auto. Big, heavy sucker. Straight line stock, heavy barrel, bipod, and, of course, it was also illegal for civilian use.
    If the M14 were in, someplace there was the auto mod. But getting one for a nutcase shooter would be a clear signal there were some Big Shots involved. Wouldn’t want to start somebody down that line of thought.
    Listing the actions completed by working a bolt sort of stretches the thing out in the mind of the unwary–just a coincidence, I’m sure. Fact is, and I say this as the owner of a pre-war Enfield .303, it’s “whackety-whack” just about as fast as you can say it.
    And, as pointed out, the clock starts with the first shot. If you have the rifle in some kind of rest, if it’s done right, leaning against something, resting on something, your normal return from the recoil brings you back very close to the sight line. If you have a picture of your lead, that’s practically automatic.
    And, considering the auto was moving at the speed of politicians being seen, and not at right angles to the shooter, and the range was about or less than 100 yards, a minor mistake in lead means you hit the guy on the right side of his head instead of the middle, or something like that. Not necessarily a miss.
    About that time, or a couple of years earlier, the NRA had been offering M1 carbines for $20 if you joined,which I did, to find I was behind about forty-leven million other carbine lusters.
    The carbine round was perfectly effective at 100 yards, being the equivalent of a hot thirty-caliber pistol round. And it was semi-auto, if you were a purist. Shotgun News was offering full auto converter kits. So I heard.
    Point is, Oswald had access to a number of weapons which people not Oswald might think superior to his Carcano. And that’s only the legal ones.
    I’d be interested in knowing how long Oswald had owned the thing, how many rounds he’d shot with it, and how many times he’d sat around cycling the thing empty and trying to maintain a sight picture. He may just have thought this was the best weapon because it was familiar to him.

  57. OldTexan Says:

    Oswald purchased his rifle in March of 1963 thru a mail order ad for $14.95, if I recall correctly. He tried to shot General Walker through a window in his house in April and he was not successful. I think it was in the Posner book that he was reported to have been shooting on a range here in Dallas and after shooting his target at 100 yds he had the bad manners to shoot at targets in the lanes next to his.

    His gun was a 6.5 Carcano made in Italy in 1940, it was an old design that was still very good. The Italians have been making some of the finest guns in the world for the past 400 years and this was a well made rifle. At the time it occured I was in college but I had shot the same model rifle in 1962 when I was in high school working in a hardware store where we sold all types of used guns that I would clean up and test fire.

    These used war surplus guns were rough looking and inexpensive but they were very decent shooting rifles and with a scope I think 100 yard shots would not be hard to make. That was a sad sorry day for the whole world when a rifle that cost next to nothing could turn us all upside down, but it did.

  58. Andrew Zalotocky Says:

    Conspiracy theories about major world events are popular because they are comforting. I mean “major” in the sense of things that have a huge impact on the public consciousness because of their scale and/or the degree of media attention that is given to them, not necessarily the things that the judgement of history will find to be the most important.

    Conspiracy theories are comforting because they assume that we are not living in a brutal, chaotic world where Presidents can be murdered by kooks and fanatical politico-religious cults can obliterate buildings in New York. They assume that we are living in an orderly world where everything is planned, and that the planners are familiar Western politicians. They assume that the ordinary citizen can buy a book and learn the SECRET TRUTH OF THE WORLD yet not live in fear of being disappeared. So they appeal to wishful thinking and give the believers a pretext to feel that they are bravely facing the truth instead of running away from it.

    Conspiracy theories are to history what Agatha Christie novels are to murder. They take the stark, terrible reality and turn it into a cosy game.

  59. Don Carlos Says:

    Richard Aubrey: Thanks.
    Wiki say the M-14 was made for the military services 1959-64. A modified M-14 in semi-auto mode only was barred by Los Federales from civilian access in 1965.
    I agree Oswald having a mil-only rifle in 1963 would have been prima-facie evidence of conspiracy.

  60. Scott Says:

    Don Carlos:

    My bad. I was thinking semi-automatic when I wrote automatic.

  61. Jim Sullivan Says:

    Dear Mr. Vanderleun,

    I was enjoying my nightly perusal of the comments here at neo-neocon, sipping a frosty glass of Cherry Coke when I stumbled upon your comment at 1:39PM. At that point, I spewed said Cherry Coke all over my keyboard. The Cherry Coke then splattered on my mouse and subsequently changed velocity heading toward my monitor where it then, somehow defying the laws of physics, dripped down the backside of the monitor.

    Also, I nearly choked, as an almost infintesimal, yet adequate amount of Cherry Coke proceeded to go “down the wrong chute” as they say. My beloved wife thought I was choking. She claims that as I choked, my head went back and to the right. I repeat, back and to the right.She may yet recover from her shock (disappointment?).

    Kindly refreain from making such comments again or I may have to bill you the price of replacement components.

    My friend, that was one magic spew.

  62. dsullivan Says:

    And now we know…it never happened. Check out “The Greatest Patriot” on Amazon.

  63. Ymarsakar Says:

    If there is a conspiracy, I know the Left is behind it.

  64. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Old Texan.
    Crap. Did Oswald have a scope? If so, all this arguing about making a tough shot disappears.
    It’s not that tough over iron sights. A zeroed scope….

  65. rickl Says:

    Conspiracy theories persist because conspiracies are real, and they happen all the time. (OK, not all the time, but you know what I mean.)

    Political assassinations have been carried out by conspiracists from time immemorial. Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, and Archduke Franz Ferdinand were all assassinated by conspiracies, just to name three off the top of my head.

    Hell, 9/11 was a conspiracy. Not in the Truther sense, but in the Muslim terrorist sense. Those 19 hijackers didn’t just wake up one morning and spontaneously decide to do the same thing at the same time.

  66. Don Carlos Says:

    Scoped, based on Wiki photo of weapon ‘from National Archives’.

  67. vanderleun Says:

    Dear Mr Sullivan,
    We regret any damage to your equipment but we remind you to dig where the gold is and send the bill to the CocaCola company. After all any sensitive and caring global capitalist company should have foreseen the above intersection of comment and coke and taken steps to avoid catastrophe.

  68. neo-neocon Says:

    Iron sights vs. scope discussion here.

  69. SteveH Says:

    I find it fascinating that world events could have been drastically altered had Oswald’s buddy simply noticed the package Oswald was carrying into work was a gun and not curtain rods.

    A billion little things change the course of the world every day i suppose.

  70. rickl Says:

    Expanding on my earlier comment about the prevalence of conspiracies, I’ve often thought that the “lone nut” assassin might be a peculiarly American phenomenon.

    I haven’t exhaustively researched assassinations in foreign countries, so I could be completely wrong about that.

    I’m not saying it’s exclusively American; just more common here. Maybe it’s an unfortunate side effect of our traditional culture of individual liberty and self-determination.

  71. Richard Aubrey Says:

    neo
    Thanks for the sight discussion.
    I do note, however, that there is some talk about Oswald’s skill at rapid fire in the Corps. He was shooting an M1, which is semi-auto. One pull, one round, no bolt manipulation. Same as the M14 and M16 I used. With iron sights, with some kind of rest, or if you’re really good at what we called stockweld–cheek to stock–you come back down from the recoil very, very close to being right on target. Your entire connection with the rifle is almost immovable. Re-lining is very rapid.
    Completely different operation than firing a bolty rapidly. I could cycle my Enfield rapidly, although I didn’t live fire it that fast, and keep a fixed hold on the weapon. The left hand pulls it in against the shoulder while the right hand operates the bolt and you learn to do that without pulling the rifle around.

    Not saying it couldn’t be done, as it obviously was by a number of guys. Just that saying Oswald was good at firing the M1 fast is a weak connection to his Dallas shooting.

  72. Bruce Says:

    My favorite JFK assassination mystery:

    “On Nov. 22, 1963, sirens were already screaming across downtown Dallas when William Wayne Whaley parked his cab at the Greyhound station to get a pack of cigarettes.

    A taxi driver for 37 years, Whaley knew how to read a fare. He could spot the drunks and the deadbeats on first sight. He knew who would be a chatter and who would try to ride all day without paying a dime.

    That afternoon, he saw a fare walking down Lamar Street whom he took to be a wino.

    The man got into Cab 36 and sat down next to Whaley. He was dressed in a shirt with a soiled collar and three open buttons. Whaley thought perhaps he’d slept in his clothes.

    The driver didn’t know that minutes earlier, Oswald had gotten off a bus two blocks north. He had hoped it would take him out of downtown but instead had gotten snarled in traffic near Dealey Plaza.

    A few minutes before that, of course, Oswald had perched in a building overlooking that same plaza and shot President John F. Kennedy in the head.

    Before Whaley could pull out of the station, an old woman came up to the car and stuck her head through Oswald’s window.

    “Driver, will you call me a cab down here?” she asked.

    Oswald opened his door and offered to let the woman have his. She wouldn’t let him – and so Whaley, Oswald and Cab 36 rolled out of the station and into history.”

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20100603-Oswald-gave-Cab-36-its-checkered-2414.ece

    Oswald was an awfully polite assassin … or more likely a very confused patsy.

  73. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey: I think the point of bringing up Oswald’s shooting record as a Marine is not to say it’s an exact correspondence, but to show that the conspiracy theorists who bring it up and say it indicates he was a bad shot are wrong. He was actually an excellent shot.

    And he’d been practicing a lot since he’d been living in Texas—he went to the firing range quite a bit.

  74. neo-neocon Says:

    Bruce: and here’s Bugliosi on your favorite theory (when you get to the link, click on “p. 841″ and read the excerpt).

  75. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Neo, and one of his acquaintances said he sat around dry-firing it.
    From which it follows that he would have felt familiar with it and confident with it.
    Shooting at the range is sort of like pitching a dime or a quarter or whatever it is these days into the storm drain with every “bang”. You have to have money, or you have to really think you have to do it.
    Most guys, with Marine training behind them, could buy a rifle, run maybe hundred rounds through it to get used to it, and then just keep it clean, presuming correctly they’d be almost as good as in the Old Days. Yeah. Oswald had something in mind.

  76. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Bruce

    “Okay, you’re a cab.” Sorry. Late.

    I understand Prinzip was on the wrong street, but the guys on the right street either choked or had some kind of problem. But the driver went the wrong way, too.

  77. neo-neocon Says:

    Bruce: one other thing—Oswald was so unperturbed and relaxed that he killed Officer Tippit in cold blood on a Dallas street in the middle of the day with a whole bunch of witnesses looking on, and just because Tippit stopped him. Doesn’t everybody do that on their way to the movies?

  78. rickl Says:

    Richard Aubrey Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I understand Prinzip was on the wrong street, but the guys on the right street either choked or had some kind of problem. But the driver went the wrong way, too.

    From reading Barbara Tuchmann’s account in The Guns of August, it was practically a comedy of errors. To hear her tell it, there was hardly anybody in Sarajevo who wasn’t trying to kill him.

  79. dejake Says:

    From Gringo:
    Dan Rather established his journalistic integrity when he presented Highland Park – a rich Dallas suburb- schoolchildren as being happy that JFK was shot. They were happy to get the rest of the day off.

    At our school (T.W. Browne Jr. High) that day in Dallas, we were allowed an excused absence to go downtown to see the motorcade. One classmate, Tina Towner, did just that and has had her video footage shown in many stories of that day. But the rest of us sat around the school library for the remainder of the day with the girls sobbing and the guys thinking ‘oh sh*t’. Everyone was saddened and upset. Dan Rather’s biased reporting that day was obviously part of his DNA.

    Another schoolmate was Alan Tippet, son of the Dallas police officer J.D. Tippet who was killed by Oswald in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas that day. It was a bad day all around.

  80. Llarry Says:

    The History Channel recreated the Kennedy assassination using mannequins built by an Australian company that tests the destructive power of weapons such as landmines. The mannequins are comprised of ballistic-gel flesh and organs, resin bones, and chamois skin.

    A marksman fired the same rifle that Oswald used, from the same height, distance, and angle, and all the injuries to Kennedy and Connally caused by the “magic bullet” were recreated. In addition, the bullet was flattened somewhat, as was the “magic bullet.”

    I also saw a documentary years ago in which an 86-year-old retired doctor fired three on-target shots in the same time period as Oswald, with the same rifle. Apparently this doctor had demonstrated this ability on multiple occasions.

    There’s really no mystery to any of this.

  81. Bruce Says:

    I have to agree with neo-neocon that the whole Tippit thing was weird since Oswald took a cab home after offering it to someone else.

    Why wander around in broad daylight?

    Hardly the work of an assassin.

    More like a confused patsy.

  82. Ken Royall Says:

    Bugliosi wasted his time. There is no way to definitively prove all of these years later that NOBODY else was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Yes, you can dispel some of the more absurd conspiracy theories to a point, but the perpetrator is dead, may of the witnesses are dead, and some of the evidence went missing.

    Even if we all agree there was nobody else at the scene of the crime who was directly involved, which is also impossible because there could have been an accomplice who never got a shot off, what about other parties who may have been working with Oswald? Nobody knows his every move and every person he may have spoken with in the months or years leading up to the assassination.

    We know he once defected to the Soviet Union and then returned. Is it so far-fetched that he may have been working from their direction? How could ANYONE disprove that? Who really had knowledge of who he met with and what the content of the discussions were when he was there? They certainly had a motive to kill Kennedy.

    As to the point about the government knowing there was more to the story and perhaps covering it up, they wouldn’t have had to cover anything up, they could have just blown the investigation. Perhaps there were a few who harbored doubts but figured it would be irresponsible to voice them without absolute proof. If they did suspect the Russians, I can certainly see why they wouldn’t want to reveal that. It basically would have put us back into a potential nuclear standoff situation with them.

    If Bugliosi’s intent was to establish that Oswald was the only person who actually shot at Kennedy, then bully for him. That still doesn’t prove he was the only guy involved overall.

  83. jules Says:

    You should listen to some of the speeches that Bugliosi gave, found on C-SPAN’s video site, Youtube and FORA.tv. He explains that Oswald was in desperate flight, hence his desire to not be boxed in by an officer of the law.
    I’ve been in situations like that, but I was 14 and skipping school early morning to catch a bus to go see the Two Towers. It was a weird feeling of “any minute now” someone was going to look at me like “ain’t you supposed to be in school boy?”.

  84. Sergey Says:

    There was almost successful attempt to assassinate Brezhnev by a lone nut. Dressed in police uniform, armed with two handguns in the sleeves of his trenchcoat, he mixed with police officers standing in Kremlin along the path of limos carring Brezhnev and cosmonauts. He opened fire from point-blank distance from both hands and killed a driver of a limo. His only mistake was that he attacked the wrong car. (They changed the places in motorcade just minites before incident.) He was arrested, found legally insane and spent 18 years in a special prison for mentally ill criminals. Paranoid schizophrenia case. He had no helpers.

  85. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    the bullet that hit Connally after hitting Kennedy was not found in the limo, it was found on a hospital stretcher, and it was NOT “pristine.”

    You know, Neo, you keep misattributing comments to me that are VASTLY more absolute that ANYTHING I’ve made.

    This is the SECOND time you’ve done that. Please make an effort to actually STOP AND READ CAREFULLY what I’ve said, instead of forming some knee-jerk extreme reaction to it based on the fact that you are now, having read the book, far more ABSOLUTE on your own position’s correctness than I’ve EVER been about my own.

    You are now acting pretty much just as rabidly as anyone on the “other side” who is utterly certain of a conspiracy…

    Nota Bene: I concede the “discovery location” as being on the stretcher and not the floor of the car. I don’t believe this has a substantial impact on my doubts, as, it says very little about the real issues. Having flown as it is claimed to, it’s not unlikely (nor would I have argued or intended to suggest) that it should have passed out through the floor of the car or something.

    First –
    I quote what I said (emphasis added):
    And then “conveniently” plop out onto the floor of the car — almost pristine and pretty clean, with very little deformation of any kind

    That word “almost” was put there specifically and intentionally, as was the “very little” before the “deformation”.

    Here are two pictures of that bullet

    1) Sorry, that bullet is awfully damned close to “pristine”. This is what more typically happens to bullets, and yeah, I’m more than open to the idea that there may be reasons it didn’t happen that way.
    2) Note the above link, the bullet WAS NOT “steel jacketed”, but COPPER jacketed (someone claimed they were steel jacketed, I believe):
    a three-centimeter-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5-millimeter rifle bullet fired
    3) The bullet in the pictures passed through FOUR different “bodies”: one shot passed through President Kennedy’s neck and caused all of Governor Connally’s wounds (he was wounded in the chest, right wrist, and left thigh). I don’t claim to be a ballistics expert by any means, but most of the time when I see a bullet it’s pretty “smooshed” (to use a technical term, LOL… “mushroomed” if you want to be more technical), and that’s usually by a SINGLE impact into the body it struck, not blam-blam-blam-blam through FOUR successive impacts.
    4) bullet traveled as follows:
    a) Through JFK’s back and throat, begins tumbling on exit.
    b) Smashes into Connally’s back, passes through his chest, and shatters a rib as it passes THROUGH it.
    c) Passes through his wrist, shattering Connally’s radial BONE.
    d) Sinks into Connally’s thigh.
    e) falls into stretcher at some point as Connally is take to the hospital.

    Now — I wish to reiterate — I don’t think anything here is conclusive, it just seems reasonably suspicious that a bullet which does ALL THAT — smashes into/through four bodies and TWO bones comes out looking far less like the above “fired bullet” shots (or this, or this and instead like that fairly unaffected bullet from the wiki piece. Crap happens, things are not always as we expect… but it just seems really odd that the bullet came through with so little obvious damage when bullets generally expand on impact into the first solid thing they encounter.

    The problems we get are manifest, here –

    1) This single bullet has to have done a LOT of damage, yet come through it comparatively unscathed.
    2) The massive amount of damage done does seem to have required everyone be in an amazingly “perfect” position for it to have happened exactly as it did. Not only does the car have to be in an exact location, not only does Oswald have to have fired at a very precise moment, in a very precise direction, from a very precise angle, but the very body positions of the people involved have to be different from what they were only moments before the shot which “did the damage” had to have occurred.

    Occam’s Razor is called for.

    Now, OR is a logical principle, not a tautological rule — it proves NOTHING. I just says that, when faced with two explanations, the simpler of the two is more often right than wrong.

    THIS situation, a very important one, hinges on VERY specific movements, actions, and decisions on the part of literally dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals to act in a manner which, in many cases, is against training and/or common practice.

    Or we can assume that there was another person who shot a bullet into the limousine — which could be an accidental misfire by one of two SS agents (thus negating the need for some complicated scenario to deal with before the event) and which WAS covered up by multiple government agents/agencies after the fact, which is, really, not that improbable to believe. The worst part is that no one appears to have since come forth to fess up on their deathbed. And that’s probably the biggest issue with any conspiracy, really. Maybe the government made some deal that somewhere, there’s a set of large payments being made out to the family of each of those “in the know” for fifty years after their death, if and only if they don’t speak. That would do it, and is certainly possible to bury enough that there are maybe only a couple people, if anyone, left on earth who actually know. That would explain it sufficiently, and sufficiently reasonably, that that objection melts away. It’s pure supposition, mind you.

    My whole issue here is that
    a) I’ve listed a couple things which bother me about the matter.
    b) the reaction so far is NOT “Well, actually, xxx deals with that in book yyy, he says that these people said that, and these experts concur.”
    c) No, it’s instead, “Mischaracterization x of your statement, ergo ‘y’ proof that the mischaracterization is false… ” while ‘y’ pretty much clearly fails to apply to the actual original statement.

    …..

    And that’s the problem with the whole issue — people respond to requests for light with plenty of heat, but very little light. That’s the response of the converted evangelical to an assault on faith, not the rational thinker on a subject of curiosity.

  86. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    I took the time and trouble to give you links to passages from the Bugliosi book that specifically answered the charges you made and refuted them.

    No, YOU DID NOT.

    You refuted a complete MISCHARACTERIZATION of what I said, and I even TOOK THE TIME TO DETAIL THAT, as well as HOW it was a mischaracterization AND how your excerpt did NOT deal with the issue I raised AT ALL.

    See
    June 19th, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Stop MISQUOTING ME.

    Stop answering the question you THINK you’re hearing instead of the exact words I am applying.

    If I say “ALMOST” pristine that most emphatically DOES NOT mean the same thing as “PRISTINE”

    When I wrote that I had those EXACT PICTURES of the bullet in *my* head. I consider those to fit the bill of “almost”, as there is NO sign of any mushrooming at all, just a noticeable amount of axial flattening. And yes, it is certainly Possible for that to have been the entire damage done to it, but it is sufficiently small as to seem odd given that it shattered TWO bones, etc., etc…. That does not jibe with my own admittedly far from substantial experience with fired bullets.

    If you did, you would see that the shotgun business you report from Russia (and your other points) are refuted handily and specifically.

    Fine. Point me to THAT rather than to something largely, if not totally UNRELATED to it, and then yell at me as though I didn’t even look at what you pointed me to AND THEN expressly TOLD YOU THAT IT DIDN’T match up with my query.

    LOL.

    If you’re going to refute the state of that bullet, then why don’t you actually do it rather than refuting a minor point (where it was found) and then simply naysaying the rest…??

    I’m listening. I claim no position on the matter, just that, at this point, Occam’s Razor is cutting both ways.

    You’re the one claiming you’ve seen all the answers you need to see. That means you ought to have a bit of familiarity with the book and its claims, sufficient to at least point me at excerpts (either directly, via links, or indirectly, via a page or even a section number).

    Or you can ack that you can’t specify where the answer is (even with a “I don’t feel like finding the exact answer, but I believe it’s there if you read it).

    The latter isn’t even conceding the point, it’s just saying you believe you recall the question being asked and that it was answered sufficient for your opinion to remain firm, but have better things to do with your time than to hunt down the exact location of it for me.

    So far, though, your responses have been far more, as I note above, evangelical than rational.

    Quote me accurately please, and in any response assume that any words I used were used with substantial precision. If you see “almost”, that does not mean “not almost, but exact”.

  87. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    Not to blow my own horn, but see the shotgun issue. If, according to igot, you’re good with a rifle, you must necessarily be good with a shotgun. Alternatively, if you’re bad with a shotgun, you can’t shoot a rifle. Nobody is dumb enough to believe it, yet he presumes somebody can be fooled with the planted axiom.

    You know, I’m getting REALLY tired of idiots who cannot READ. And who somehow can, despite this illiteracy, read BETWEEN the lines to find things I never said.

    Idiots with telepathy. Some of you are X-mutants, then?

    Shotguns are RECOMMENDED WEAPONS for household protection for people who don’t want to actually BOTHER to take the time to learn how to shoot.

    The reason for this is that, for short ranges, a shotgun is, with its expanding field of fire, not that easy to MISS with.

    Now, you want to argue, from experience, or via some expert’s statement, that this says nothing about using a shotgun for hunting, I’m ready to hear it. It seems doubtful, but I’m listening, which is FAR more than anyone else supporting Neo appears to be doing.

    And yes, I believe that, lacking any expert’s claim to the contrary, that, if you can’t aim a shotgun, which does NOT require much accuracy, that that is likely to be relevant to how well you aim a rifle, which DOES require some accuracy.

    And yes, there is more “kick” involved… how much does the shot from a small-game hunting shotgun kick? Is it so much that a man of Oswald’s size and build would have a problem with it while not having any problem with the kick from a MC?

    These are QUESTIONS. But they are REASONABLE questions, and it’s amazing how many times and just how precisely specific I’m having to actually state them to get the point across in this forum to get someone to actually attempt a reply to THEM, and not some near-question which isn’t the same at all.

    And finally, who, exactly, is it that tells us that Oswald was a good shot…?

    Oh, right, the same ones who have a vested interest in our believing him to be a good shot.

    … I have some land for sale, if you’re so utterly gullible as to assume that MUST INDISPUTABLY BE TRUTH.

    And, since I’m SURE you’re about to mischaracterize the above, THAT DOES NOT CLAIM HE WAS NOT a good shot.

    It says there are two sets of claimed facts I find in opposition –

    1) That Oswald was a good shot, for which the sole evidence is the people who have an interest in your believing that.

    2) That Oswald could not fire a shotgun at all in hunting, which suggests within the bounds of reason that one might RATIONALLY question claim number “1″, and ask for an explanation which expressly deals with the question.

  88. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    Scott @3:31

    Your arguments have merit, but they don’t apply to the other suggestion I’ve pointed to, which is that there WAS a coverup, but only after the fact, and that a lot of the problems of the magic bullet, etc., are resolved by an errant shot from one of the SS agents in a misfire incident.

    IF there was any conspiracy (everyone: NOTICE THE “if”!!! that’s an INTENTIONAL “if”…), then this one seems far more likely to fill the bill than a vasssst eeeevil cabal’s intricate (“MWAAAhahahahhhahahaa!!”) plan.

  89. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    Igot is trying to fool the unwary into making the connection.

    Yaaassss. That’s my eeeeevil wiiiiiicked plannnnnn….

    MWAAAAAAAhahahahahahahhaaaaaaa!

    Yeesh. Telepathic idiots.

  90. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    Having flown as it is claimed to, it’s not unlikely (nor would I have argued or intended to suggest) that it should have passed out through the floor of the car or something.

    This, on the other hand, might be reasonably misunderstood.

    Having punched through four things, it is reasonable that the bullet was found on the floor of the car or on Connolly’s stretcher. Its velocity at that point would be low.

    I find issue with the lack of mushrooming more than anything else, here, and that’s hardly a conclusive statement on my part — just one of a stack of “little things” that provide justification for doubt.

  91. SteveH Says:

    There was nothing abnormal about that bullet. It simply didn’t deform to an average degree one might expect. But normal and average aren’t the same thing. Some time spent at examining spent bullets while target practicing with a rifle will reveal that not all bullets react the same.

    Its oddity was most misfortunate for fueling conspiracy buffs in the same way had Oswald been carrying ten Canadian quarters in his pants pocket.

  92. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Once more and done.
    Shotguns for home defense and not missing in home defense. Igot introduces a new subject not covered in the whole enchilada, home defense and shotguns.
    Matter of fact, shotguns for home defense are not the same as those for bird shooting. Most guys aren’t going to get two, one with a long barrel and a choke for birds and one with a short barrel to be handy in a house. So one will do for both, or you get one for one use and something else for the other, or, maybe you get a shotgun for home defense with the various characteristics you want and don’t bother bird shooting.
    Point is, the home defense distraction aside, there is no necessary connection between being good at bird hunting and being good with a rifle except being used to the recoil. Or being bad with….
    Jacketed military bullets which don’t hit bone are less likely to suffer deformation passing through soft tissue than are hunting rounds. Indeed, bullets expressly designed to deform in soft tissue are illegal–see dum-dum–and there was some lefty agitation against the M16 round with its reduced rifling and designed propensity to tumble in the flesh.
    The copper-jacketed lead slug is not only the legal bullet for most combat uses, it is handy. Nicely pointed and will penetrate thin-skinned vehicles and some structures and retains its shape in brush. These characteristics make it less likely to deform than a hunting round.

    Whether there were communists behind Oswald in the sense that they arranged for him to assassinate Kennedy or not has, afaik, not been seriously addressed, not least for lack of smoking guns, so to speak. But there is certainly no reason to think that Oswal wasn’t motivated by the communist ideals he had, and possibly encouraged, as opposed to enabled, by the communists, to take some pains with his life to be able to do this.
    Strikes me that the Marines went into WW II with the bolt-action Springfield ’03. Switched to the M1 later on and used it up until the M14. I wonder if there were any ’03s still around and perhaps some of the Old Corps insisted on everybody putting a few rounds down range, maybe as a sniper rifle.
    I’ve seen demos of re-enactors doing the Brit pre-WW I regulars’ “five rounds rapid” with the Enfield (bolt action). Really fast. Long range accuracy was not the issue, but from watching the way the rifle was held steady, hundred-yard hits might have been pretty likely.
    Talked this over through the years with various soldiers–emphasis on soldiers–and only civilians think Oswald had a tough shot.

  93. SteveMG Says:

    Bugliosi notes that conspiracy sells, and he is correct.

    It must be unfortunately noted however that Mr. Bulgiosi himself committed this act (in my view) with his outrageous book claiming that George Bush should be prosecuted for first degree murder because of his decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein. And that the entire justification made by the White House to intervene military was a lie.

    I had a great deal, indeed enormous, respect for Mr. Bugliosi before he wrote that last book.

    As to the JFK assassination: everything Oswald did the days before the assassination, the day of the assassination and the days after it, show to me that he killed the President and did so alone. Now it’s possible (but I don’t think so) that he was somehow manipulated into commiting his crimes but the evidence that he did it is overwhelming.

  94. Increase Mather Says:

    Look folks…if you want to believe that JFK was killed by a lone nut assassin who was killed by a lone nut assassin, up to his eyeballs in organized crime contacts. Go right ahead.

    Take a look at the youtube short…”secret service stand down”…and then tell me there was no conspiracy.

  95. TANSTAAFL Says:

    IgotBupkis

    You’re right, you do.

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a Marine.

    There’s your explanation.

  96. TANSTAAFL Says:

    Increase Mather

    There was no conspiracy.

  97. CJinPA Says:

    Take a look at the youtube short…”secret service stand down”…and then tell me there was no conspiracy

    So, Warren Commission Report, Gerald Posner and Bugliosi’s 1,000 pages vs….a YouTube video.

    Yes, an avowed Marxist who scored well as a Marine sniper shot a man in an open car moving directly and continuously within the range of his gun sights.

    There are two main reasons for this conspiracy talk to prosper: 1. The Left cannot accept that a hero of the Left was killed by an extremist of the Left. 2. Many others find comfort in the notion that their lives are rigged, controlled by some shadowy cabal, ultimately relieving them of responsibility for their lot in life.

  98. CJinPA Says:

    IF there was any conspiracy (everyone: NOTICE THE “if”!!! that’s an INTENTIONAL “if”…),

    Sorry, pal. The old, ‘I’m just saying IF…’ game doesn’t work anymore. Same with the 9/11 Conspiracy Boys ‘just asking questions.’ There comes a time when it’s clear you just don’t want to hear the answers. That time is now.

  99. SteveMG Says:

    Take a look at the youtube short…”secret service stand down”…and then tell me there was no conspiracy.

    And the person who gave the order not to have the Secret Service ride on the limousine was…. John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

    JFK ordered the SS not to ride along because he believed that it was limiting his contact with the public. This was after a previous trip where they did ride along on the boards.

    Kennedy was fatalistic about his life. He stated numerous times that if someone wanted to kill him and didn’t care what happened to themselves, that there was nothing that could be done to stop them.
    As such, he ignored a lot of precautions.

    If there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, then JFK himself was at the center of it.

    I’m surprised that the conspiracy buffs haven’t promoted that one.

  100. Increase Mather Says:

    JFK did not order the secret service off of his car…that order came from the secret service itself.

    Problem is I’ve read so many books about the assassination…both pro and con conspiracy I can’t remember which one got to the bottom of that particular story. Bottom line was JFK never interfered with the ss. As long as they looked the other way while he had private time with his women.

    Every single nut who has killed or wounded a president of the US…except Oswald…has said essentially the same thing…”I did it…I’m proud I did it…here’s why I did it”.

    Oswald said…” I didn’t do it” “I am a patsy”.

    After saying those approximate words on Friday the 22nd…Oswald was murdered by a man who used to run guns to Cuba…to both sides in the revolution…and who was on a first name basis with top Dallas police officials…and members of the US mafia…while Oswald was being moved by the police to another jail for his own safety.

    2 plus 2 = 4.

  101. neo-neocon Says:

    SteveMG: I agree that Bugliosi’s book on Iraq sounds pretty awful, although I haven’t read it.

    But, as I wrote in an earlier comment, Bugliosi’s strength is criminal law prosecutions. War crimes or alleged war crimes, not so much. In his area of strength, he’s very strong indeed. His book Helter Skelter, about the Manson murders, is also good.

  102. neo-neocon Says:

    Increase Mather: well, you sure didn’t read Bugliosi’s book. Or if you did, you didn’t understand it, or are ignoring it.

    Because it dealt with the points you are supposedly making, and demolished them as well. But if you want to take a look, see the footnote on p.59. The main point made is that it is well documented that Kennedy himself was on record as not wanting Secret Service agents to the right and left REAR bumper of the presidential limo. It was something he had said many times. However, Secret Service agents could overrule this if they thought it especially necessary to have agents stationed there, in certain circumstances. Four days before the assassination, when the president was visiting Tampa, agents mounted the rear in just that manner, and Kennedy told the agent stationed in the front seat of the limo to have them get off and return to the follow-up car. They complied when the limo slowed down a couple of minutes later.

    So in Dallas, agents were following his general orders and oft-expressed desires, although in the final analysis they could have overruled him if they saw an exceptionally special reason to do so. That they did not overrule him implicates no one.

    But I doubt very much that you care about these facts. My experience of conspiracy advocates is that they don’t care; they prefer to cling (bitterly or otherwise) to their conspiracies.

  103. vanderleun Says:

    IncreaseMather, your namesake in Puritan times sat in on the judging of the Salem Witch Trials. You’d fit right in then. Now you’re just an advertisement for “The Triumph of Unreason.”

  104. SteveH Says:

    From what i’ve seen of Oswald’s firing angle, i don’t believe agents on the rear bumper would have been much of an obstacle anyway.

    And if a bullet would have went through an agent before Kennedy and Connelly we could pretty much hang it up on combatting conspiracist at that point.

  105. SteveH Says:

    From this view of Oswald’s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU69lMs2FMg

    He could have also simply taken the arguably easier shot of the limo coming towards the book depository had agents been on the bumper.

  106. vanderleun Says:

    Dear IgotBupkis,
    Not only do you still gotbupkis you are blathering about bupkis. You’re like the man who stands up in front of the crowd and shouts out, “I’VE GOT NOTHING TO SAY AND I AM SAYING IT!”

    But as we read in the Sacred Book of Jack Nicholson, “Go sell crazy somewhere else. We’re all stocked up here.”

    See:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxOwHutnXNA&feature=related

  107. SteveH Says:

    “”So far, though, your responses have been far more, as I note above, evangelical than rational.”"
    IgotBupkis

    A four part manifesto of an answer is noted as belonging to the rational side?

  108. vanderleun Says:

    SteveH: “A four part manifesto of an answer is noted as belonging to the rational side?”

    Ah, charity to the mentally challenged please. He knows he’s nuts but around here he’s treated as “special.”

    Besides, it’s not easy to do a four part manifesto with the stick taped to the forehead.

  109. neo-neocon Says:

    To IGotBupkis:

    Anger isn’t enhancing your reasoning powers.

    Re your comment today at 6:35 AM, you are confusing several comments of mine with each other. When I wrote, “I took the time and trouble to give you links to passages from the Bugliosi book that specifically answered the charges you made and refuted them,” I was referring back to this comment of mine, which at the time was my only previous comment to you in this thread. In it, I did what I said—I provided links to excerpts from the Bugliosi book that were in response to points you had attempted to make earlier. The first excerpt I linked to concerned Oswald’s marksmanship and the rifle. The second concerned whether the first shot was an easy one or was actually the most difficult. I had trouble with a link for the third, so I summarized it; it had to do with the theory about Secret Service agents firing the kill shot accidentally. The fourth excerpt concerned the reports from Russia about Oswald’s skill (or lack thereof) with a shotgun.

    It was after my post with those links that you had made this comment about the bullet supposedly on the floor of the limo and whether it was “almost pristine.” In that comment, you were responding to a different commenter who used the phrase “pristine,” and you wrote:

    what is the likelihood it did not begin tumbling on exit and hence strike Connolly at anything BUT a direct path — and THEN exit Connolly’s body AGAIN to shatter his wrist… and then “conveniently” plop out onto the floor of the car — almost pristine and pretty clean, with very little deformation of any kind…

    Again, not saying it’s not IMPOSSIBLE.

    But at what point does “unlikely x”+”unlikely y”+”unlikely z”+”unlikely a”+… finally make you decide that it’s time to apply Occam’s Razor to the problem and realize that a conspiracy theory IS the simpler of things?

    Whether you had used the term “pristine” or “almost pristine,” you were making the point that the bullet was “almost pristine and pretty clean, with very little deformity of any kind,” and therefore suspicious as the bullet that did the damage to both Kennedy and Connally.

    I wrote in response:

    just to take another “fact” you report—the bullet that hit Connally after hitting Kennedy was not found in the limo, it was found on a hospital stretcher, and it was NOT “pristine.” I won’t bother to give you the links because you’re not interested anyway, right?

    Yes, I didn’t write “almost pristine,” as you did. But my point was that (a) if you didn’t even know where the bullet you were talking about was found and didn’t even want to read Bugliosi (which you had also said in an earlier comment), you were not dealing with the details of facts or interested in learning them, so why bother?; and (b) your point about “almost pristine” was that the bullet was not deformed enough in the way that would have been expected had it passed through both Kennedy and Connally consistent with their wounds. Whether you use the phrase “pristine” or “almost pristine” the point is the same: you are questioning whether the bullet is deformed enough. In both cases you would be incorrect: the evidence is very clear that it was deformed in exactly the expected manner.

    If you care to calm down and actually read a link and learn some relevant details, you can look here (click on p. 808 or p. 809 and start reading) to see why the bullet found on the stretcher—whether “pristine” or “almost pristine”—was deformed in a way that conformed to what would be expected considering its path through the bodies of Kennedy and Connally.

  110. vanderleun Says:

    Neoneoconsays: “To IGotBupkis:

    Anger isn’t enhancing your reasoning powers.”

    I call “TEACHER’S PET!”

  111. SteveMG Says:

    JFK did not order the secret service off of his car…that order came from the secret service itself.

    And JFK was the one who ordered the Secret Service not to ride along on the limousine.

    The head of the SS that day in Dallas was passing along the orders that JFK gave earlier.

    This is all in the Warren Commission report. JFK told the secret service after a trip in Miami that he didn’t want them riding on the car.

    No conspiracy. It was JFK wanting to be more accessible to the public.

    Again, he had a fatalistic attitude about someone killing him.

  112. neo-neocon Says:

    Ken Royall: How do you do it? If you read Bugliosi’s book, you see he does it quite effectively, by pointing out, among other things, that (a) Oswald was an unstable character and everyone who came into contact with him knew it. He was the last person anyone would choose to conspire with. (b) if you follow Oswald’s life, there is far more than enough evidence to show that his own actions, political leanings, and personality were quite enough to motivate him (c) there are discrepancies such as the fact that Oswald only got the Book Depository job about five weeks before the assassination, and the route was not chosen until a couple of days before the Kennedy visit. Strange conspiracy that would rest on his being in the right place and the right time, when that place and time could not be known more than a couple of days ahead of time (d) no conspirators with financial resources would choose that particular gun as the murder weapon.

    And on and on and on. Read the book.

  113. CJinPA Says:

    Every single nut who has killed or wounded a president of the US…except Oswald…has said essentially the same thing…”I did it…I’m proud I did it…here’s why I did it”.

    An avowed Marxist takes a shot at the President during the height of the Cold War. And he doesn’t proudly confess in less than 24 hours?? We’re through the looking glass, people.

    1 +1 = 2.

  114. Richard Aubrey Says:

    neo
    What’s the probability that the communists/KGB encouraged one way or another various loose cannons that came their way. If all it is is encouragement, there’s no connection and the logistics can be managed by the loose cannon himself. Ex. Oswald and his rifle. Just a matter of luck.
    I agree that financial resources may have limited Oswald’s choices, but suppose the Reds had explained to him, jovially and apropos of nothing much at all, that the Italians made really good stuff. As did the Brits. I got my Enfield about that time for $14. Terrific rifle. My friend’s ’03 Springfield was a few dollars more. Either of us, Oswald or me, were paying eight or nine hours of minimum wage labor for our weapons. World was full of them. You could spend more but what for? “American Rifleman” is for the guys who would otherwise be spending huge amounts on Just The Right Carburetor, or Just The Right Putter. My weapon and Oswald’s, or more accurately, the clones in the millions, had already killed millions. Perhaps Oswald was savvy enough to know when more was, if not less, not more.

  115. SteveH Says:

    Oswald wanted to prove he was the superior mind on top of being a superior marksman. He relished the game of interrogation he was playing with detectives for those two days.

    Plus all communist reflexively lie when the truth would do. They can’t help it apparently.

  116. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Steve H.
    I recall somebody, probably Rebecca West in “The New Meaning of Treason”, saying that the doctrine for reds was to insist on innocence if caught in US jurisdiction and use the trial to both attempt to be acquitted and to discredit US justice. In Britain, admit guilt and take your–presumably–mild hit. If this is so, it would fit Oswald’s claim of innocence. It’s not just enough that he said he didn’t do it and they had the wrong guy. He jump-started the conspiracy within days of the killing by mentioning “patsy”. Think that was his idea? It won’t help him in investigation or prosecution. It would only help The Cause in the larger sense.

  117. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey: the Soviets themselves, in their own files (if you believe what they say) tried to steer clear of Oswald. They considered him a loose cannon of major proportions. He was quite upset with his treatment there. It is very unlikely they would have recruited him for any sort of assassination, or even suggested it to him. If they’d wanted to do Kennedy in, they would have used more trusted people.

    Oswald was actually under psychiatric observation at a hospital in the USSR in 1959 because he was so unstable he had tried slashed his wrist there after his application for citizenship was denied. He kept a diary in the USSR that detailed his disillusion with how he was being treated by the Soviets. It stretches credulity to imagine he was recruited by them—not that they were above trying to assassinate Kennedy and using an agent. But it would not have been Oswald.

  118. Sergey Says:

    Russian secret services never employ anybody with mental instability, in any capacity. This fact was so widely known during Communist epoch, that there was a standard trick (also widely known) to avoid being recruited into these organizations as informant without much fuss about it: play psycho. It worked every time, even if the recruiters knew perfectly well your ploy: they could not take a risk. This was a polite form of rejection of the offer.

  119. Richard Aubrey Says:

    neo
    It follows that the KGB would not want to recruit Oswald. Nobody would. But, if you have him on hand, putting a bug in his ear, metaphorically speaking and not talking about those electronic thingies, would cost nobody anything.
    Perhaps, instead, they told him about how bad the capitalist system was, most especially the far right, and let him think about doing something. He’d have needed little detail to be convinced.
    Perhaps nothing happened. But planting bombs which might or might not go off and cause disruption could be a good idea if there were complete deniability and zero actual resources expended.
    The only positive reason not to was if the Sovs thought JFK was better than the alternative. But if half a dozen notable figures, mostly on the far right, had been killed in the space of a couple of years, along with some important dems,all by nutcases, the resulting disorganization of the country might have provided the Sovs an advantage. Couldn’t have hurt. Cost nothing.
    This is speculation based on the claim of “patsy” as a tactic and what I’d have done in the KGB’s shoes.

  120. RickZ Says:

    I admit, I’m a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist. JFK was assassinated by aliens angry that he was aiming to put a man on the moon (taking away their dark side base). Once he was killed, and the aliens saw we were still pushing ahead with the space program, they abandoned the dark side of the moon base for one hiding in plain site in an Iowa corn field owned by Kevin Costner.

  121. vanderleun Says:

    From the grassy knoll to an Iowa corn field.

    OK. That’s a wrap.

    Move along. Nothing more to see here.

  122. bon homme richard Says:

    What I’ve aways wondered is, where did the conspiracy meet? I figure it must have been Madison Square Garden, because you had to have the entire Presidential Detail of the Secret Service, the entire Dallas Police Force, all of the doctors and nurses on the ER staff at Parkland Hospital (in each case, somebody might be sick at the last minute and call in a substitute, and you have to cover that possibility), the pathologists at Parkland (they have to cover up that one of the wounds was made by a Secret Service handgun), Earl Warren, Arlen Specter, the US Marine Corps (remember, they faked his marksmanship record, Bupkis) and a host of others. So Madison Square Garden it is.

    Other questions: how much money is necessary to pay off all these people to keep silent. Also their spouses, family, friends, and random strangers they might spill the beans to? What do you pay off Arlen Specter with? A lousy Senate seat, when he could have been President if he found a conspiracy?
    And Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the UNited States, what’s his bribe?

    And where do you get the additional shooters?
    1-800-Assassins? Special Forces? The Army Marksmanship Unit? Marine Corps Sniper School? The first one you ask will beat you to a bloody pulp, then drag you to the nearest FBI office. Smuggle in Soviet Spetznaz snipers? “Purpose of visit?” “Is assassination of US President.” And what is in that odd-looking case?” “Is Soviet Sniper Rifle for use in assassination.” “Oh, okay. Welcome to the US. Next!”

    Oh, wait, I’ve got it! You bring over Dr. Yen Lo of the Pavlov Institute, and he calls up a bunch of mind-controlled Russian agents and says, “Why don’t you pass the time of day by playing a game of solitaire, Raymond?”

    TANSTAAFL and Vanderleun are — you got bupkis!

  123. Richard Aubrey Says:

    bon homme richard
    That’s how the customs/border patrol would act now. Back then, they might have been of some use.
    Were I part of the KGB back then, and had some loose cannons running around, I’d get them back home, unless they looked stable enough for a work camp, with suggestions that they could make a Big Difference wherever they were, for the cause, by wrecking stuff. Shooting people.
    The reason not to do it? Same as the reason the KGB didn’t support the Peace Movement….Scruples. Gentlemen don’t do that. Or, perhaps it would have been redundant, in either case.

  124. House of Eratosthenes Says:

    [...] Neo-Neocon has been reading something interesting. [...]

  125. Lead and Gold Says:

    On the futility of arguing with conspiracy theorists…

  126. Avinash Machado Says:

    What about Jack Ruby’s possible connections to the Mob?

    What about Oswald s connections to the CIA?

    So many other inconsistencies.

  127. Walter Sobchak Says:

    “Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism” by James Piereson, published by Encounter Books in 2007.

    ISBN-10: 1594031886
    ISBN-13: 978-1594031885

    “The Day the Music Died: Camelot and the American Left.” in National Review Online on June 19, 2007.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2I3YmRlMjZkZTc1ZDI5Y2EzZmEwNTExMjU1M2ZjMjg=

    “Trapped In Camelot” by Edward B. Driscoll Jr. : 23 Jul 2007

    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=071807C

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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