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JFK and his Killers
John Fitzgerald Kennedy came into this life on May 29, 1917 and left it nearly fifty years later. The thirty-fifth President of the United States was assassinated in 1963, on the twenty-second of November, killed by a shot to his head. The death of this great and inspiring leader was a shock that rippled all around the world. It truly was a horrific event that touched everyone’s hearts.
The clear blue sky of November 22, 1963 was the perfect weather for a visit from President John F. Kennedy. He was making a stop in Dallas, Texas for his campaign to be re-elected for another term. The motorcade, originally planned to go down Main Street, went down Houston Street and turned on Elm Street instead. As soon as “the limousine passed the Stemmons Freeway Sign” (The Assassination) three gun shots rang out, causing immediate panic and fear. The first shot hit President Kennedy, the second hit Texas Governor Connally in the back, and the last, and fatal shot, hit Kennedy in the head. Malcolm Kilduff, the acting White House Press Secretary announced that “President John Fitzgerald Kennedy died at approximately one o’clock” (Hampton47).
Forty-five minutes after the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, charged with the murder of police officer J.D. Tippit. He underwent hours and hours of interrogation, and was accused of the murder of President Kennedy. On the flight back to Washington D.C., Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President on Air Force One.
Many years have gone by since November 22, 1963. There are people today that believe it was a conspiracy—a multi-person plot—that killed the United States President, contrary to what the Warren Commission found as a result. ABC News, in 2003, took a poll where they found that “70% of Americans believe Kennedy’s death was a result of a broader plot” as well as “32% of those polled by ABC believe Oswald carried out the killing on his own” (Conspiracy Theories).
John F. Kennedy’s assassination created one monstrous conspiracy involving many institutions and people, while the arrested killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted as a patsy Thesis. Lee Harvey Oswald, the Warren Commission and witnesses, and the institutions and people, all have some part in this ever so mysterious plot to kill the man who was changing history—the one and only J.F.K.
In a PBS special called “Twenty-Four Years”, Lee Harvey Oswald’s short life was examined. At around thirteen years old, Lee Harvey Oswald had his first interaction with Marxism: a leaflet that he found about the impending execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, two people who were being convicted of spying for Russia. It was forgotten for some time—four years later Oswald joined the Marines, receiving extensive training in marksmanship. He then earned a “sharpshooter” qualification. Throughout his training as a Marine, Oswald also began to learn Russian, which is where his thoughts of Marxism were sprung back to life. But, there is speculation that in his years as a Marine, Oswald was brought into the CIA—in 1957 he was shipped to an Air Force defense base at Atsugi, Japan; also a CIA base.
When Lee Harvey Oswald was discharged from the Marines, he went home for three days, then immediately went to Russia, where he got a Soviet Union citizenship. Oswald said in a written appeal that he wanted a Soviet citizenship because “I am a communist and a worker and I have lived in a decadent capitalist society where the workers are slaves” (Twenty-Four Years). At first, the KGB refused him, but after finding him in a bathtub with slit wrists, gave some thought into recruiting him as a spy. The KGB, after some thought, decided to allow him to stay. When Oswald defected from Russia a couple years later and returned to the U.S., it is said in the film “J.F.K.”, that he was able to get a visa and passport within forty eight hours. Oswald also received a loan to travel, along with his wife. In modern times a passport takes at least a couple weeks. No information is to be found, although it would most likely not be that different of a time frame in the 1960’s.
Jim Garrison, a District Attorney in New Orleans at that time, conducted an under-the-radar investigation of President Kennedy’s murder, and believed that Oswald had been an intelligence official from before he had gone to Russia to the day he died. Furthermore, an article on JFK’s assassination by the Mary Ferrell Foundation states that “while no proof has ever surfaced, there is circumstantial evidence to support the allegation brought by Texas officials that Oswald was an FBI informant, and possibly an agent of U.S. intelligence as well.”The KGB had bugged Oswald’s apartment in Minsk, Russia, but concluded that he was not working for American intelligence because, as KGB officer Vacheslav Nikonov said, “His intellectual training experience and capabilities were such that it would not show the FBI and the CIA in a good light if they used people like him” (Twenty-Four Years).
In the spring of 1963, Oswald, who now lived in New Orleans, started to hand out pro-Castro leaflets. What is peculiar is that the return address on those leaflets—544 Camp Street, New Orleans—was a place that housed a private detective agency run by Guy Banister, a former FBI agent working to overthrow Fidel Castro (his address was 551 Lafayette Street). One of Banister’s friends in the anti-Castro debacle was a man named David Ferrie, a former airline pilot. There is evidence that suggests Ferrie and Oswald crossed paths in the 1950s when they were both in the Civil Air Patrol. There is also evidence that they saw each other again in the summer of 1963 in New Orleans. Lafayette Square, which was very close to where Oswald lived, had buildings for the CIA, FBI, and the Secret Service. It is very peculiar, for it would be strange that a “communist” would live somewhere like that. It is believed that “if there was a plot to kill President Kennedy, then it was probably hatched in New Orleans” (Twenty-Four Years).
September twenty-fifth was a mystery to where Oswald had gone on that day. It was believed by the Warren Commission that he took a bus from New Orleans to Houston. There is an event that occurs in Dallas, nearly two hundred miles away, where it is thought that Oswald had actually gone. In the “Twenty-Four Years” PBS special made on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, that day brings up a very interesting point:
Three men—two Latins and an American—show up unexpectedly at the doorstep of three young Cuban exiles whose father headed an anti-Castro organization. Sylvia and Annie Odio maintain that Oswald was one of the three men; he is introduced as ‘Leon Oswald…the other two—Leopoldo and Angelo…Two days later, Sylvia Odio receives a call from one of the men: ‘They were trying to sell me the American because they spoke that he was a marksman, that he had been an ex-Marine.’...Leopoldo and Angelo have never been identified and the meaning of this incident remains elusive. If Oswald was there, was he infiltrating another anti-Castro group or was someone setting him up to take the blame for the Kennedy assassination?
Every person, whether alive or dead, knows the familiar words Lee Harvey Oswald spoke when he was arrested on November 22: “I’m just a patsy.” It is extremely possible that people were using him as the “red herring” to distract the United States population and government of the truth. The truth that he was just a patsy and that bigger people and minds were behind it all.
A couple months later, and it’s the day the world remembers: November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald woke that morning at 6:30AM, his wife still asleep, and left her close to $200 and his wedding ring. Forty-five minutes later, he left the house to go to work at the Texas Schoolbook Depository; carpooling with a neighbor; carrying a long package wrapped in brown paper. When investigated, this was believed to hold the rifle in which he used to assassinate President Kennedy. Noontime: Someone has screened off a corner window with boxes on the sixth floor of the depository. Two people who work in the building see a man with a rifle at the window but assume that he was some kind of presidential security. At this time, Oswald claims he was eating lunch with two co-workers and had then gone to buy a Coke. The co-workers deny having lunch with him, but perhaps the claim was to seem like he was not a loner.
Twelve-thirty. Within thirty seconds the tragedy unfolds. And the rest is pure United States history.
Former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, once said that the thing he was most concerned about was “having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin” (Beyond JFK). The Warren Commission, created by President Johnson a week after the assassination, and headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, investigated the assassination of President Kennedy. This Commission and its report was the icing on the cake when it came to convincing the United States population of the events that took place on November 22, 1963. It was nearly a year later when the 888 page Warren Commission Report was given to President Johnson.
The Commission found that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin and was acting alone and that he shot President Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building, which was behind the President’s limousine at the time of the assassination. Oswald was interrogated for over twelve hours. No records were kept. The Commission came up with a theory—the “magic bullet” theory—in which a single bullet created most of the injuries that both President Kennedy and Governor Connally received. These pictures describe what the Commission’s “magic bullet” theory looked like:
The Commission, their report saying that all bullets were fired from behind, also state that “President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet which entered at the back of his neck and exited through the lower front portion of his neck…The President was struck a second time by a bullet which entered the right-rear portion of his head, causing a massive and fatal wound” (United States of America19). The second shot, which the Commission clearly states came from behind, is entirely false. The Zapruder film, the only video of the assassination, filmed by Abraham Zapruder, clearly shows that the fatal shot came from the front. The President’s body, when shot in the head, went backwards and to the left. Any person with the basic knowledge of physics knows that if the President had been shot from the back he would go forward; that is what happened when he was hit by the first shot. But, the second shot caused him to go backwards. Lyril Wecht, a Forensic Pathologist, says, “…medical scientific evidence that demonstrates clearly that there were two or more shooters” (Beyond J.F.K.: The Question of Conspiracy). Not only does scientific evidence demonstrate that, but common sense and intelligence as well.
The Commission Report further states that “Governor Connally was struck by a bullet which entered on the right side of his back and traveled downward through the side of his chest, exiting below his right nipple. This bullet then passed through his right wrist and entered through his left thigh” (The Warren Commission Report p. 19). This statement can be referred back to the “magic bullet” theory—but this one bullet could not possibly do what the Warren Commission says it did. It is impossible for a bullet to turn to a severe degree. This bullet was also found on the Governor’s stretcher in pristine condition, which is also impossible because a bullet that goes through flesh and bone will most definitely come out ruined in some way.
The Commission Report declares that “witnesses at the scene of the assassination saw a rifle being fired from the sixth floor window of the Depository Building” (The Warren Commission Report p.18). But, there are witnesses from that day who say a complete different thing. These anonymous witnesses claim to see shots from behind a tree on the grassy knoll. Ed Hoffman, who wouldn’t be listened to on the day because he was deaf, said that he saw a man with a suit walk over to a railroad man and threw a gun to him. The railroad man then walked away, taking the gun apart, and put it in a toolbox, then in a railroad electric box, and just walked away towards the railroad.
The Warren Commission’s report on the assassination, predominantly, helps cover up what really happened—perhaps because the Commission’s resources were the intelligence agencies, and being an intelligence agency, there is no need to give them all the files, only files where it would lead them on the path of a cover up. A cover up that would never reveal its makers.
“Ye shall know the truth and it shall set you free.” This line from the Bible is the CIA motto, and is completely contradictory, especially in the situation of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Part of the monstrous conspiracy is believed to involve the CIA as well as the FBI, and possibly the Secret Service. First and foremost, there was some evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was an FBI informant. Regarding intelligence agencies, there was knowledge of the CIA having at least one defector to the Soviet Union as part of a false defector program. Oswald could have been one of them. Also, the FBI, CIA, and Secret Service all had buildings right near Oswald’s residence in New Orleans.
But that is just the surface of the involvement of these institutions. The real question is why they would kill President Kennedy. The first possible answer? Mission gone wrong—Operation MONGOOSE and the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Operation MONGOOSE was a top secret operation where there would be sabotage and commando raids against Cuba. The CIA wanted Fidel Castro dead.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was originally planned under the Eisenhower administration, but failed to happen. The CIA was trying to “do in Castro, but CIA efforts had begun two years earlier in the Eisenhower administration, which recruited gangsters to kill Castro” (Burner68). The Kennedy administration kept pressure on Castro, encouraging continuing efforts to dislodge Castro. The Bay of Pigs occurred in 1961, where the CIA Black-Ops were to overthrow Castro. But, it completely failed. Somehow, the Cubans knew about the surprise attack and were there when the U.S. forces landed. Kennedy, during the down-spiraling operation, was asked to send in U.S planes, but firmly said no. Yes, U.S. soldiers would die, but it was the CIA’s fault that the operation had gone wrong. Kennedy had been told it would be fine, but the truth of the matter did not set him free. In fact, this could have been a component of what brought President Kennedy to his death.
In 1962, the threatening and intimidating Cuban Missile Crisis began when Castro and the Russians agreed to a secret installation of Soviet missiles on the island. It then ended soon, when Soviet Czar Khrushchev announced that Soviet missiles would be withdrawn. President Kennedy told the world that the U.S. would never invade Cuba and secretly canceled Operation MONGOOSE.
Jim Garrison, the DA from New Orleans, believed that Lyndon Johnson could have been involved. The assassination, he said, was military tactics from start to finish. To Garrison it was a coup d’état with Johnson waiting at the sidelines. In a way, it does bring up a thing about Johnson after the assassination. Lyndon B. Johnson orders to be sworn in as President, the same day President Kennedy was assassinated, on Air Force One while going back to Washington D.C. It seems too rushed, no matter what circumstance; even this one.
There are some very curious things that happen during the assassination. The Zapruder film shows one of them that stands out the most. A big, black umbrella. An umbrella open on a cloudless sky is strange, even to shield the sun; the thing to shield the sun is called a hat. This big, black umbrella belonged to a man, who, unknown at the time, was called The Umbrella Man. And to the right of the Umbrella Man is a man who thought to have looked like he had a walkie-talkie with him. He was called the Dark-Complected Man. As seen in the Zapruder film, when the limousine passes the street sign the black umbrella is opened and a man to the right raises his right hand. This was supposedly a radio system that the CIA used. These men could have provided signals for the hidden gunmen.
Their actions after the shooting also arouse suspicion. Both men just sit down on the sidewalk. “In this situation, several photographs indicate that the dark-complected man talked into a radio. Jim Towner made a photograph where an antenna—or better an antenna-like device—can be seen jutting from behind the man’s head and his hands holding an object to his face” (The Umbrella Man). The two men then stood up and walked away in the opposite direction of each other. The dark-complected man walked towards the Triple Underpass while the Umbrella Man walked towards the Texas Schoolbook Depository.
Later, a picture was released of the Umbrella Man, and anyone with information needed to contact the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Just after that release, the Umbrella Man was found. He was now known as Louis Steven Witt, a Dallas insurance salesman. Researcher Penn Jones Jr. interrogated him, said that he “felt the man had been coached. He would answer no questions and pointedly invited us to leave” (The Umbrella Man). When Witt went in front of the Committee, all of his statements were inaccurate. His recount of the event:
I think I went sort of maybe halfway up the grassy area (on the north side of Elm Street), somewhere in that vicinity. I am pretty sure I sat down… (When the motorcade approached) I think I got up and started fiddling with that umbrella trying to get it open, and at the same time I was walking forward, walking toward the street…Whereas other people I understand saw the President shot and his movements; I did not see this because of this thing (the umbrella) in front me…My view of the car during that length of time was blocked by the umbrella’s being open.
This man’s involvement couldn’t be any clearer. His statements were completely false, which caused him to look even more suspicious.
These people and intelligence agencies were the brains of the biggest operation that could be known to man. They plotted to kill the President of the United States, and they succeeded in not only that, but covering it up as well, with the blame lying on their “puppet”, or as the man, Lee Harvey Oswald himself, called it, a patsy. No matter what Oswald got into throughout his short life, there could be no way that he could think of this entire plan all by himself. There was, without a doubt, involvement from the CIA, and maybe even Lyndon Johnson.
The overall answer to the question of why it was done? It is partly because John F. Kennedy wanted to bring back all the troops from Vietnam in his second term. But, the overall answer: John Fitzgerald Kennedy wanted to change things!
In John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald takes part of an astronomical conspiracy involving certain institutions and people, where he is used as a patsy. Lee Harvey Oswald; the Warren Commission and witnesses; and the institutions/people are all engulfed in this multi-layered and complex conspiracy that surrounds the assassination of President Kennedy.
There is no question that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was thought of and planned by more than person, and acted out with multiple shooters. One shooter was on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository, another behind the fence on the Grassy Knoll, and a third in the Dal-Tex Building, ultimately creating a triangular crossfire. None of the shooters were Oswald. All he acted as was as a patsy.
The question surrounding this whole conspiracy is when the conspirators will be unmasked. Knowing what the U.S. may be hiding, it might take a long time. Although, The House Select Committee on Assassinations is going to be releasing the files on the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 2029. At that time, the United States public might actually know the truth about the great and inspiring leader we lost on the tragic day of November 22, 1963. President Kennedy wanted change, and that was the reason why he was killed. Change is something the whole world needs, and President Kennedy understood that.
“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we all are mortal.”
John F. Kennedy
35th President of the United States (1961-1963)
May 29, 1917- November 22, 1963
JFK and his Killers: Works Cited
"The Assassination: An Overview." The John F. Kennedy Assassination Homepage. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://www.jfk-assassination.de/articles/index.php>.
Beyond J.F.K.: The Question of Conspiracy. Dir. Danny Schechter. Warner Bros., 1991. DVD.
Burner, David. John F. Kennedy and a New Generation. New York City: Harper Collins, 1988. Print.
Hampton, Wilborn. Kennedy Assassinated!: The World Mourns : A Reporter's Story. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 1997. Print.
"The JFK Assassination - Conspiracy Theories - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1860871_1860876_1861003,00.html>.
"The JFK Assassination." Mary Ferrell Foundation. Mary Ferrell Foundation. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/JFK_Assassination>.
J.F.K. Dir. Oliver Stone. Perf. Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman. Warner Bros., 1991. DVD.
Photograph. The JFK Assassination Single Bullet Theory. John McAdams. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/sbt.htm>.
Photograph. The John F. Kennedy Assassination Homepage. Web. 1 May 2011. <http://www.jfk-assassination.de/media/drawings/magic.php>.
Schuster, Ralph. "The Umbrella Man." The John F. Kennedy Assassination Homepage. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://www.jfk-assassination.de/articles/umrella.php>.
"Twenty-Four Years." PBS. WGBH Educational Foundation, 22 Dec. 2003. Web. 1 May 2011. <www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/oswald/cron/>.
United States of America. Warren Commission Report. Comp. Earl Warren. Smithsburg: Doubleday, 1964. National Archives and Records Administration. Web. 01 May 2011. <http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/chapter-1.html>.