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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ron Unz: the JFK Assassination, Part Part I - What Happened?



American Pravda: The JFK Assassination, Part I - What Happened?
• June 18, 2018
shutterstock_698532424
About a decade ago, I got a Netflix subscription and was amazed that the Internet now provided immediate access to so many thousands of movies on my own computer screen. But after a week or two of heavy use and the creation of a long watch-list of prospective films I’d always wanted to see, my workload gained the upper hand, and I mostly abandoned the system.
Back then, nearly all Netflix content was licensed from the major studios and depending upon contract negotiations might annually disappear, so when I happened to browse my account again in December, I noticed that a couple of films on my selection list included warning notices saying they would no longer be available on January 1st. One of these was Oliver Stone’s famous 1991 film JFK, which had provoked quite a stir at the time, so thinking now or never, I clicked the Play button, and spent three hours that evening watching the Oscar winner.
Most of the plot seemed bizarre and outlandish to me, with the president’s killing in Dallas supposedly having been organized by a cabal of militantly anti-Communist homosexuals, somehow connected with both the CIA and the mafia, but based in New Orleans. Kevin Costner starred as a crusading District Attorney named Jim Garrison—presumably fictional—whose investigation broke the assassination conspiracy wide open before the subtle tentacles of the Deep State finally managed to squelch his prosecution; or at least that’s what I vaguely remember from my single viewing. With so many implausible elements, the film confirmed my belief in the wild imagination of Hollywood scriptwriters and also demonstrated why no one with any common sense had ever taken seriously those ridiculous “JFK conspiracy theories.”
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Despite its dramatic turns, the true circumstances of President John F. Kennedy’s death seemed an island of sanity by comparison. Lee Harvey Oswald, a disgruntled young marine had defected to the USSR in 1959 and finding life behind the Iron Curtain equally unsatisfactory, returned to America a couple of years later. Still having confused Marxist sympathies, he’d joined public protests supporting Fidel Castro’s Cuba, and gradually turning toward violence, purchased a mail-order rifle. During the presidential visit, he had fired three shots from the Dallas School Book Depository, killing JFK, and was quickly apprehended by the local police. Soon, he too was dead, shot by an outraged Kennedy supporter named Jack Ruby. All these sad facts were later confirmed by the Warren Commission in DC, presided over by the U.S. Chief Justice together with some of America’s most respected public figures, and their voluminous report ran nearly 900 pages.

Yet although the film seemed to have affixed an enormous mass of incoherent fictional lunacy on top of that basic history—why would a murder plot in Dallas have been organized in New Orleans, five hundred miles distant?—one single detail troubled me. Garrison is shown denouncing the “lone gunman theory” for claiming that a single bullet was responsible for seven separate wounds in President Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connolly, seated beside him in the limousine. Now inventing gay CIA assassins seems pretty standard Hollywood fare, but I found it unlikely that anyone would ever insert a fictional detail so wildly implausible as that bullet’s trajectory. A week or so later, the memory popped into my head, and I googled around a bit, discovering to my total astonishment that the seven-wounds-from-one-bullet claim was totally factual, and indeed constituted an absolutely essential element of the orthodox “single gunman” framework given that Oswald had fired at most three shots. So that was the so-called “Magic Bullet” I’d occasionally seen conspiracy-nuts ranting and raving about. For the first time in my entire life, I started to wonder whether maybe, just maybe there actually had been some sort of conspiracy behind the most famous assassination in modern world history.

Any conspirators had surely died of old age many years or even decades earlier and I was completely preoccupied with my own work, so investigating the strange circumstances of JFK’s death was hardly a high personal priority. But the suspicions remained in the back of my mind as I diligently read my New York Times and Wall Street Journal every morning while periodically browsing less reputable websites during the afternoon and evening. And as a result, I now began noticing little items buried here and there that I would have previously ignored or immediately dismissed, and these strengthened my newly emerging curiosity.
Among other things, occasional references reminded me that I’d previously seen my newspapers discuss a couple of newly released JFK books in rather respectful terms, which had surprised me a bit at the time. One of them, still generating discussion, was JFK and the Unspeakable published in 2008 by James W. Douglass, whose name meant nothing to me. And the other, which I hadn’t originally realized trafficked in any assassination conspiracies, was David Talbot’s 2007 Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, focused on the relationship between John F. Kennedy and his younger brother Robert. Talbot’s name was also somewhat familiar to me as the founder of Salon.com and a well-regarded if liberal-leaning journalist.
None of us have expertise in all areas, so sensible people must regularly delegate their judgment to credible third-parties, relying upon others to distinguish sense from nonsense. Since my knowledge of the JFK assassination was nil, I decided that two recent books attracting newspaper coverage might be a good place to start. So perhaps a couple of years after watching that Oliver Stone film, I cleared some time in my schedule, and spent a few days carefully reading the combined thousand pages of text.
I was stunned at what I immediately discovered. Not only was the evidence of a “conspiracy” absolutely overwhelming, but whereas I’d always assumed that only kooks doubted the official story, I instead discovered that a long list of the most powerful people near the top of the American government and in the best position to know had been privately convinced of such a “conspiracy,” in many cases from almost the very beginning.


The Talbot book especially impressed me, being based on over 150 personal interviews and released by The Free Press, a highly reputable publisher. Although he applied a considerable hagiographic gloss to the Kennedys, his narrative was compellingly written, with numerous gripping scenes. But while such packaging surely helped to explain some of the favorable treatment from reviewers and how he had managed to produce a national bestseller in a seemingly long-depleted field, for me the packaging was much less important than the product itself.
To the extent that notions of a JFK conspiracy had ever crossed my mind, I’d considered the argument from silence absolutely conclusive. Surely if there had been the slightest doubt of the “lone gunman” conclusion endorsed by the Warren Commission, Attorney-General Robert Kennedy would have launched a full investigation to avenge his slain brother.
But as Talbot so effectively demonstrates, the reality of the political situation was entirely different. Robert Kennedy may have begun that fatal morning widely regarded as the second most powerful man in the country, but the moment his brother was dead and his bitter personal enemy Lyndon Johnson sworn in as the new president, his governmental authority almost immediately ebbed away. Longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who had been his hostile subordinate, probably scheduled for removal in JFK’s second term, immediately became contemptuous and unresponsive to his requests. Having lost all his control over the levels of power, Robert Kennedy lacked any ability to conduct a serious investigation.
According to numerous personal interviews, he had almost immediately concluded that his brother had been struck down at the hands of an organized group, very likely including elements from within the U.S. government itself, but he could do nothing about the situation. As he regularly confided to close associates, his hope at the age of 38 was to reach the White House himself at some future date, and with his hands once again upon the levels of power then uncover his brother’s killers and bring them to justice. But until that day, he could do nothing, and any unsubstantiated accusations he made would be totally disastrous both for national unity and for his own personal credibility. So for years, he was forced to nod his head and publicly acquiesce to the official story of his brother’s inexplicable assassination at the hands of a lone nut, a fairy tale publicly endorsed by nearly the entire political establishment, and this situation deeply gnawed at him. Moreover, his own seeming acceptance of that story was often interpreted by others, not least in the media, as his wholehearted endorsement.

Although discovering Robert Kennedy’s true beliefs was a crucial revelation in the Talbot book, there were many others. At most three shots had allegedly come from Oswald’s rifle, but Roy Kellerman, the Secret Service agent in the passenger seat of JFK’s limousine, was sure there had been more than that, and to the end of his life always believed there had been additional shooters. Gov. Connolly, seated next to JFK and severely wounded in the attack, had exactly the same opinion. CIA Director John McCone was equally convinced that there had been multiple shooters. Across the pages of Talbot’s book, I learned that dozens of prominent, well-connected individuals privately expressed extreme skepticism towards the official “lone gunman theory” of the Warren Commission, although such doubts were very rarely made in public or on the record.
For a variety of complex reasons, the leading national media organs—the commanding heights of “Our American Pravda”—almost immediately endorsed the “lone gunman theory” and with some exceptions generally maintained that stance throughout the next half-century. With few prominent critics willing to publicly dispute that idea and a strong media tendency to ignore or minimize those exceptions, casual observers such as myself had generally received a severely distorted view of the situation.

If the first two dozen pages of the Talbot book completely overturned my understanding of the JFK assassination, I found the closing section almost equally shocking. With the Vietnam War as a political millstone about his neck, President Johnson decided not to seek reelection in 1968, opening the door to a last minute entry into the Democratic race by Robert Kennedy, who overcame considerable odds to win some important primaries. Then on June 4, 1968, he carried gigantic winner-take-all California, placing him on an easy path to the nomination and the presidency itself, at which point he would finally be in a position to fully investigate his brother’s assassination. But minutes after his victory speech, he was shot and fatally wounded, allegedly by another lone gunman, this time a disoriented Palestinian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan, supposedly outraged over Kennedy’s pro-Israel public positions although these were no different than those expressed by most other political candidates in America.

All this was well known to me. However, I had not known that powder burns later proved that the fatal bullet had been fired directly behind Kennedy’s head from a distance of three inches or less although Sirhan was standing several feet in front of him. Furthermore, eyewitness testimony and acoustic evidence indicated that at least twelve bullets were fired although Sirhan’s revolver could hold only eight, and a combination of these factors led longtime LA Coroner Dr. Thomas Naguchi, who conducted the autopsy, to claim in his 1983 memoir that there was likely a second gunman. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses also reported seeing a security guard with his gun drawn standing right behind Kennedy during the attack, and that individual happened to have a deep political hatred of the Kennedys. The police investigators seemed uninterested in these highly suspicious elements, none of which came to light during the trial. With two Kennedy brothers now dead, neither any surviving members of the family nor most of their allies and retainers had any desire to investigate the details of this latest assassination, and in a number of cases they soon moved overseas, abandoning the country entirely. JFK’s widow Jackie confided in friends that she was terrified for the lives of her children, and quickly married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek billionaire, whom she felt would be able to protect them.
Talbot also devotes a chapter to the late 1960s prosecution efforts of New Orleans DA Jim Garrison, which had been the central plot of the JFK film, and I was stunned to discover that the script was almost entirely based on real life events rather than Hollywood fantasy. This even extended to its bizarre cast of assassination conspiracy suspects, mostly fanatically anti-Communist Kennedy-haters with CIA and organized crime ties, some of whom were indeed prominent members of the New Orleans gay demimonde. Sometimes real life is far stranger than fiction.

Taken as a whole, I found Talbot’s narrative quite convincing, at least with respect to demonstrating the existence of a substantial conspiracy behind the fatal event.
Others certainly had the same reaction, with the august pages of The New York Times Sunday Book Review carrying the strongly favorable reaction of presidential historian Alan Brinkley. As the Allan Nevins Professor of History and Provost of Columbia University, Brinkley is as mainstream and respectable an academic scholar as might be imagined and he characterized Talbot as
the latest of many intelligent critics who have set out to demolish the tottering credibility of the Warren Commission and draw attention to evidence of a broad and terrible conspiracy that lay behind the assassination of John Kennedy — and perhaps the murder of Robert Kennedy as well.

The other book by Douglass, released a year later, covered much the same ground and came to roughly similar conclusions, with substantial overlap but also including major additional elements drawn from the enormous volume of extremely suspicious material unearthed over the decades by diligent JFK researchers. Once again, the often bitter Cold War era conflict between JFK and various much harder-line elements of his government over Cuba, Russia, and Vietnam is sketched out as the likely explanation for his death.

Summarizing a half-century of conspiracy research, the Talbot and Douglass books together provide a wealth of persuasive evidence that elements of organized crime, individuals with CIA connections, and anti-Castro Cubans were probably participants in the assassination plot. Oswald seems to have been working with various anti-Communist groups and also had significant connections to U.S. intelligence, while his purported Marxism was merely a very thin disguise. With regard to the assassination itself, he was exactly the “patsy” he publicly claimed to be, and very likely never fired a single shot. Meanwhile, Jack Ruby had a long history of ties to organized crime, and surely killed Oswald to shut his mouth.
Many others may have suffered a similar fate. Conspirators daring enough to strike at the president of the United States would hardly balk at using lethal means to protect themselves from the consequences of their action, and over the years a considerable number of individuals associated with the case in one way or another came to untimely ends.
Less than a year after the assassination, JFK mistress Mary Meyer, the ex-wife of high-ranking CIA official Cord Meyer, was found shot to death in a Washington DC street-killing with no indications of attempted robbery or rape, and the case was never solved. Immediately afterwards, CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton was caught breaking into her home in search of her personal diary, which he later claimed to have destroyed.
Dorothy Kilgallen was a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist and television personality, and she managed to wrangle an exclusive interview with Jack Ruby, later boasting to her friends that she would break the JFK assassination case wide open in her new book, producing the biggest scoop of her career. Instead, she was found dead in her Upper East Side townhouse, having apparently succumbed to an overdose of alcohol and sleeping pills, with both the draft text and the notes to her Jack Ruby chapter missing.
Shortly before Jim Garrison filed his assassination charges, his top suspect David Ferrie was found dead at age 48, possibly of natural causes, though the DA suspected foul play.
During the mid-1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations held a series of high-profile hearings to reopen and investigate the case, and two of the witnesses called were high-ranking mafia figures Sam Giancana and Johnny Rosselli, widely suspected of having been connected with the assassination. The former was shot to death in the basement of his home one week before he was scheduled to testify, and the body of the latter was found in an oil-drum floating in the waters off Miami after he had been subpoenaed for an additional appearance.
These were merely a few of the highest-profile individuals with a connection to the Dallas assassination whose lives were cut short in the years that followed, and although the deaths may have been purely coincidental, the full list is rather a long one.

Having read a couple of books that completely upended my settled beliefs about a central event of twentieth century America, I simply didn’t know what to think. Over the years, my own writings had put me on friendly terms with a well-connected individual whom I considered a member of the elite establishment, and whose intelligence and judgment had always seemed extremely solid. So I decided to very gingerly raise the subject with him, and see whether he had ever doubted the “lone gunman” orthodoxy. To my total astonishment, he explained that as far back as the early 1990s, he’d become absolutely convinced in the reality of a “JFK conspiracy” and over the years had quietly devoured a huge number of the books in that field, but had never breathed a word in public lest his credibility be ruined and his political effectiveness destroyed.
A second friend, a veteran journalist known for his remarkably courageous stands on certain controversial topics, provided almost exactly the same response to my inquiry. For decades, he’d been almost 100% sure that JFK had died in a conspiracy, but once again had never written a word on the topic for fear that his influence would immediately collapse.
If these two individuals were even remotely representative, I began to wonder whether a considerable fraction, perhaps even a majority, of the respectable establishment had long harbored private beliefs about the JFK assassination that were absolutely contrary to the seemingly uniform verdict presented in the media. But with every such respectable voice keeping so silent, I had never once suspected a thing.
Few other revelations in recent years have so totally overturned my understanding of the framework of reality. Even a year or two later, I still found it very difficult to wrap my head around the concept, as I described in another note to that well-connected friend of mine:
BTW, I hate to keep harping on it, but every time I consider the implications of the JFK matter I’m just more and more astonished.
The president of the US. The heir to one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in America. His brother the top law enforcement officer in the country. Ben Bradlee, one of his closest friends, the fearless crusading editor of one of the nation’s most influential media outlets. As America’s first Catholic president, the sacred icon of many millions of Irish, Italian, and Hispanic families. Greatly beloved by top Hollywood people and many leading intellectuals.
His assassination ranks as one of the most shocking and dramatic events of the 20th century, inspiring hundreds of books and tens of thousands of news stories and articles, examining every conceivable detail. The argument from MSM silence always seemed absolutely conclusive to me.
From childhood, it’s always been obvious to me that the MSM is completely dishonest about certain things and over the last dozen years I’ve become extremely suspicious about a whole range of other issues. But if you’d asked me a couple of years ago whether JFK was killed by a conspiracy, I would have said “well, anything’s possible, but I’m 99% sure there’s absolutely no substantial evidence pointing in that direction since the MSM would surely have headlined it a million times over.”
Was there really a First World War? Well, I’ve always assumed there was, but who really knows?….

Our reality is shaped by the media, but what the media presents is often determined by complex forces rather than by the factual evidence in front of their eyes. And the lessons of the JFK assassination may provide some important insights into this situation.
A president was dead and soon afterward his supposed lone assassin suffered the same fate, producing a tidy story with a convenient endpoint. Raising doubts or focusing on contrary evidence might open doors better kept shut, perhaps endangering national unity or even risking nuclear war if the trail seemed to lead overseas. The highest law enforcement officer in the country was the slain president’s own brother, and since he seemed to fully accept that simple framework, what responsible journalist or editor would be willing to go against it? What American center of power or influence had any strong interest in opposing that official narrative?
Certainly there was immediate and total skepticism overseas, with few foreign leaders ever believing the story, and figures such as Nikita Khrushchev, Charles DeGaulle, and Fidel Castro all immediately concluded that a political plot had been responsible for Kennedy’s elimination. Mainstream media outlets in France and the rest of Western Europe were equally skeptical of the “lone gunman theory,” and some of the most important early criticism of U.S. government claims was produced by Thomas Burnett, an expatriate American writing for one of the largest French newsweeklies. But in pre-Internet days, only the tiniest sliver of the American public had regular access to such foreign publications, and their impact upon domestic opinion would have been nil.
Perhaps instead of asking ourselves why the “lone gunman” story was accepted, we should instead be asking why it was ever vigorously challenged, during an era when media control was extremely centralized in establishmentarian hands.
Oddly enough, the answer may lie in the determination of a single individual named Mark Lane, a left-liberal New York City attorney and Democratic Party activist. Although JFK assassination books eventually numbered in the thousands and the resulting conspiracy theories roiled American public life throughout the 1960s and 1970s, without his initial involvement matters might have followed a drastically different trajectory.
From the very first, Lane had been skeptical of the official story, and less than a month after the killing, The National Guardian, a small left-wing national newspaper, published his 10,000 word critique, highlighting major flaws in the “lone gunman theory.” Although his piece had been rejected by every other national periodical, the public interest was enormous, and once the entire edition sold out, thousands of extra copies were printed in pamphlet form. Lane even rented a theater in New York City, and for several months gave public lectures to packed audiences.


After the Warren Commission issued its completely contrary official verdict, he began working on a manuscript, and although he faced enormous obstacles in finding an American publisher, once Rush to Judgment appeared, it spent a remarkable two years on the national bestseller lists, easily reaching the #1 spot. Such tremendous economic success naturally persuaded a host of other authors to follow suit, and an entire genre was soon established. Lane later published A Citizens Dissent recounting his early struggles to break the total American “media blackout” against anyone contradicting the official conclusion. Against all odds, he had succeeded in sparking a massive popular uprising sharply challenging the narrative of the establishment.
According to Talbot, “By late 1966, it was becoming impossible for the establishment media to stick with the official story” and the November 25, 1966 edition of Life Magazine, then at the absolute height of its national influence, carried the remarkable cover story “Did Oswald Act Alone?” with the conclusion that he probably did not. The next month , The New York Times announced it was forming a special task force to investigate the assassination. These elements were to merge with the media furor soon surrounding the Garrison investigation that began the following year, an investigation that enlisted Lane as an active participant. However, behind the scenes a powerful media counterattack was also being launched at this same time.


In 2013 Prof. Lance deHaven-Smith, past president of the Florida Political Science Association, published Conspiracy Theory in America, a fascinating exploration of the history of the concept and the likely origins of the term itself. He noted that during 1966 the CIA had become alarmed at the growing national skepticism of the Warren Commission findings, especially once the public began turning its suspicious eyes toward the intelligence agency itself. Therefore, in January 1967 top CIA officials distributed a memo to all their local stations, directing them to employ their media assets and elite contacts to refute such criticism by various arguments, notably including an emphasis on Robert Kennedy’s supposed endorsement of the “lone gunman” conclusion.
This memo, obtained by a later FOIA request, repeatedly used the term “conspiracy” in a highly negative sense, suggesting that “conspiracy theories” and “conspiracy theorists” be portrayed as irresponsible and irrational. And as I wrote in 2016,
Soon afterward, there suddenly appeared statements in the media making those exact points, with some of the wording, arguments, and patterns of usage closely matching those CIA guidelines. The result was a huge spike in the pejorative use of the phrase, which spread throughout the American media, with the residual impact continuing right down to the present day.
This possible cause-and-effect relationship is supported by other evidence. Shortly after leaving The Washington Post in 1977, famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein published a 25,000 word Rolling Stone cover story entitled “The CIA and the Media” revealing that during the previous quarter century over 400 American journalists had secretly carried out assignments for the CIA according to documents on file at the headquarters of that organization. This influence project, known as “Operation Mockingbird,” had allegedly been launched near the end of the 1940s by high-ranking CIA official Frank Wisner, and included editors and publishers situated at the very top of the mainstream media hierarchy.
For whatever reason, by the time I came of age and began following the national media in the late 1970s, the JFK story had become very old news, and all the newspapers and magazines I read provided the very strong impression that the “conspiracy theories” surrounding the assassination were total nonsense, long since debunked, and only of interest to kooks on the ideological fringe. I was certainly aware of the enormous profusion of popular conspiracy books, but I never had the slightest interest in looking at any of them. America’s political establishment and its close media allies had outlasted the popular rebellion, and the name “Mark Lane” meant almost nothing to me, except vaguely as some sort of fringe-nut, who very occasionally rated a mention in my mainstream newspapers, receiving the sort of treatment accorded to Scientologists or UFO activists.
Oddly enough, Talbot’s treatment of Lane was also rather dismissive, recognizing his crucial early role in preventing the official narrative from quickly hardening into concrete, but also emphasizing his abrasive personality, and almost entirely ignoring his important later work on the issue, perhaps because so much of it had been conducted on the political fringe. Robert Kennedy and his close allies had similarly boycotted Lane’s work from the very first, regarding him as a meddlesome gadfly, but perhaps also ashamed that he was asking the questions and doing the work that they themselves were so unwilling to undertake at the time. Douglass’s 500 page book scarcely even mentions Lane.
Reading a couple of Lane’s books, I was quite impressed by the enormous role he had seemingly played in the JFK assassination story, but I also wondered how much of my impression may have been due to the exaggerations of a possible self-promoter. Then, on May 13, 2016 I opened my New York Times and found nearly a full page obituary devoted to Lane’s death at age 89, the sort of treatment these days reserved for only the highest-ranking U.S. Senators or major rap stars. And the 1,500 words were absolutely glowing, portraying Lane as a solitary, heroic figure struggling for decades to reveal the truth of the JFK assassination conspiracy against an entire political and media establishment seeking to suppress it.
I read this as a deep apology by America’s national newspaper of record. President John F. Kennedy was indeed killed by a conspiracy, and we are sorry we spent more than a half century suppressing that truth and ridiculing those who uncovered it.
===============
utu says:
Both patsies Harvey Lee Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan were selected with respect to the legends, real or synthetic, that could be used in the post assassination story spin off. In both cases the legends were to deflect the attention form the actual conspirators. In the case of Oswald it was his defection to the USSR. Involvement of Soviets in the assassination was an option that was not played in the media in the end but it could have been if the lone nut assassin narrative for some reason could not gain the traction. In the case of Sirham his legend as a disgruntled Palestinian who was upset with RFK’s alleged support for Israel was played to the full extent. It was done for two reasons: (1) to decouple JFK assassination from RFK assassination; crazy lone nut Texan American and crazy lone nut Arab Palestinian had only one thing in common: being a crazy lone nut, and (2) paint RFK as a martyr for his pro Israel views. The second spin off was risky because it brought Israel into the story, nevertheless the conspirators thought it was important and took the risk so the could make out of RFK the first (and the only one so far afaik) American politician who died for his pro Israel position. This certainly pushed away any suspicions that Israel might have been involved or could have benefited from his assassination. Sirhan Sirhan legend was also used to foreshadow Palestinian terrorism that began to grow in the wake of the Six Day War of 1967.
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Follow the Jack Ruby trail: If Oswald was “just a patsy,” the first thing to do is to investigate on the man who silenced Oswald, thereby preventing any doubts being raised in a court case. Strangely enough, no one (not even Ruby’s biographer Seth Kantor) seem to care that Jack Ruby’s real name was Jacob Leon Rubenstein. Allow me to quote from my earlier article, and add a few details: Ruby, the son of Jewish Polish immigrants, was a member of the Jewish underworld. He was a friend of Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen, whom he had known and admired since 1946. Cohen was the successor of the famed Benjamin Siegelbaum, aka Bugsy Siegel, one of the bosses of Murder Incorporated. Cohen was infatuated with the Zionist cause, as he explained in his memoirs: “Now I got so engrossed with Israel that I actually pushed aside a lot of my activities and done nothing but what was involved with this Irgun war”. Mickey Cohen was in contact with Menachem Begin, the former Irgun chief, with whom he even “spent a lot of time,” according to Gary Wean, former detective sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department. So there is a direct line connecting Jack Ruby, via Mickey Cohen, to the Israeli terrorist ring, and in particular to Menachem Begin, a specialist in false flag terror. We also know that Ruby phoned Al Gruber, a Mickey Cohen associate, just after Oswald’s arrest; no doubt he received then “an offer he couldn’t refuse,” as they say in the underworld. Ruby’s defense lawyer William Kunstler wrote in his memoirs that Ruby told him he had killed Oswald “for the Jews,” and Ruby’s rabbi Hillel Silverman received the same confession when visiting Ruby in jail.
Probably as a cryptic message to Johnson, whom he expected to pardon him, Ruby made the following odd statements to the Warren Commission: “There will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don’t take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don’t suffer because of what I have done.” He said that feared that his act would be used “to create some falsehood about some of the Jewish faith.”
According to a declassified US State Department document, Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir reacted to the news that Ruby had just killed Oswald with this sentence: “Ruby is alive, Oy vaaboy if we get caught!” (quoted in Alan Hart, Zionism, vol. 2, p. 279).

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Make it three assassinated Kennedys, with JFK Jr. Hell, make it four, counting his unborn child: On July 20, 1999, the New York Daily News published a piece by Joel Siegel titled: “JFK Jr. Mulled Run for Senate in 2000”. The page seems to have just been deleted, but I had saved it, so I reproduce the first lines : “A private poll in 1997 found that John F. Kennedy Jr. was by far the state’s most popular Democrat, and two friends said yesterday they believed he would have run for office some day. Earlier this year, in one of the best-kept secret in state politics, Kennedy considered seeking the seat of retiring Sen. Daniel Moynihan…” Moynihan was a former Kennedy associate, so it is likely that he would have supported JFK Jr.’s bid. And recall that the same seat had once been held by RFK. So JFK Jr. was walking on his father’s and his uncle’s footsteps. They saw him coming, and decided to eliminate him before his ambitions even became public. Guess who won the seat, after JFK Jr. died in a mysterious plane crash: Hillary Clinton.
What would JFK Jr. have done next if he had been allowed to walk this path? Well, if you want to know what was on his mind, check some of the covers of his magazine George on https://www.vfiles.com/vfiles/16372 You will see that he was obsessed with “conspiracy theories”:
In a special “Conspiracy Issue”, October 1998, George published a piece by Oliver Stone, director of the film JFK, titled “Paranoid and Proud of it”. Earlier in December 1996, the cover announces an article on “TWA Conspiracy Theories” (about TWA 800). And in March 1997, another conspiracy theory under the title “Who was behind the killing of Yitzhak Rabin?”. And so on.
Considering that JFK Jr.’s unborn child also died with him, and if we follow the logic of Ronald Kessler, author of The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded (1996) (a message to JFK Jr.?), then three generations of Kennedys were punished for “the sins of the father”. That fulfills Exodus 20:5: “I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous god and I punish a parent’s fault in the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren among those who hate me.”

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kikl says:
I think we all know the JFK-assassination was a conspiracy. Oswald was the patsy.
But, we do not know for sure who participated in the conspiracy.
The report by the Warren commission was a cover up. CIA Director McCone was “complicit” in a Central Intelligence Agency “benign cover-up” by withholding information from the Warren Commission, according to a report by the CIA Chief Historian David Robarge released to the public in 2014.[24] According to this CIA report, CIA officers had been instructed to give only “passive, reactive, and selective” assistance to the commission, in order to keep the commission focused on “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’ — that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.”
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/jfk-assassination-john-mccone-warren-commission-cia-213197
Witholding evidence in order to cover up a crime is usually done because of involvement in the crime. Thus, it is most likely that the CIA was involved in the Kennedy Assassination.
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In considering whether or not there was a conspiracy to kill JFK on Nov. 22, 1963, two hard facts are paramount :
1) The average store bought weight of the “pristine” bullet that entered Kennedy’s back, from behind, was 162 grains. The bullet, which was found on a stretcher at Parkland Hospital, was only slightly misshapen at its end and weighted 158 grains and free of all blood matter. According to the Warren Commission, this 158 grain bullet hit Kennedy in the back, traveled upwards and popped out of the front of his neck, then traveled downwards, hitting Gov. Connelly in the back, then exited at Connelly’s right nipple, then hit the radius bone of Connelly’s right wrist, and then finally bounced off Connelly’s left thigh, near the groin. (According to the Parkland surgeon, who operated on Connelly on Nov. 22, pre-op X-Rays showed that Connelly’s left thigh was full of tiny pieces of shrapnel. The 158 grain bullet was an obvious plant on that Parkland stretcher.
2) On Nov. 23, 1963 at 10:45PM, “lone’” gunman Oswald tried to telephone John Hurt, who lived in Raleigh, NC. Hurt’s most recent job in 1963 was that of a “contractor” for the US Defense Dept. There were two operators on the Dallas County jail switchboard that night. One of the operators claimed, in 1970 or 1971, that the Secret Service would not let Oswald’s call go through to John Hurt in Raleigh. Oswald would be truly alone until Ruby shot him the next morning. Then Oswald was silent and dead. No more desperate telephone calls to employees of the Deep State for Lee Harvey!
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Ever go to Dallas, Ron? I was down for two weeks for a school with Nortel in 1984. I spent the weekend between classes in Dallas, snooping about. I spent a day down there at Dealy, the Grassy Knoll (a tiny strip of grass barely the size of a suburban front lawn with a Memorial of some sort at the top) and I bought a 6 dollar ticket to the Book Depository museum on the 6th floor, complete with the cardboard boxes Oswald supposedly hid behind. While the ‘nest’ itself was glassed in, they allowed the view toward the street to Oswald’s right and it was indeed a tiny window of opportunity. I believe the car was past Oswald’s view when the shots that killed Kennedy were fired based on Lane’s work. Plus, the weapon was a POS. He would have had to be hanging from his toenails out that window to have even SEEN the car, let alone shoot at it. From the museum, convinced now that the School Book Depository story was bullshit, it was off to the scene on the ground. Armed with Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgement, I went to the Knoll, the overpass and examined the curbing where there were storm drains in the street that would have concealed the shooter that provided the star of the Zapruder film, the up-and-to-the-left head shot.
All around the Plaza are perches with EZ-escape routes that still exist on that Plaza. Oswald, if he had killed Kennedy, would never have selected the 6th floor of the Depository, he would have used another perch. MAYBE at the hard left turn at the Plaza, had Kennedy been shot THERE, in the face, I’d buy the Depository story, but Kennedy got his AFTER the turn and while headed down the hill toward the overpass. By then it was too late for the 6th floor of the Depository. It was on the ground that were the best lines of sight, the best routes of egress. If I was going to shoot Kennedy in that day and age at that moment, that’s exactly how I would have done it. It’s how it was DONE. The Oswald/Book Depository caper is fiction, always was. No one would have selected that window from which to shoot Kennedy, in particular a rifleman from the Marines. But in this fiction, exit wounds are entrance wounds, one bullet did the work of several, the witnesses and anyone prominent all dead inside fo a few months and years. And of course 5 years later, RFK, dead of more magic bullets, from a puny, eight shot .22 that created 20 holes in people, walls and ceiling panels.
If you’ve ever hunted, if you’ve ever fired a rifle with a scope and if you ever go to Dallas and look things over you’ll understand that Oswald wasn’t the guy, no way, no how. The who of Kennedy’s murder can be debated. Mob, MIC, CIA, pissed off Cubans, Fidel, rogues, the Soviets, name the shooter, but the shooter didn’t do it from the 6th floor.
Go to Dallas. walk the walk, step off the distances, read the clock on the shots, go to the museum. If you haven’t done so, do so. I’m a pretty reasonable guy, happy to come to whatever conclusions are reasonable. Oswald’s perch isn’t. Unless you have mush for brains.
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Iris says:
The “magic bullet” theory is mocked because it is simply grotesque; nobody with a scientific background can ever believe this cornerstone evidence of the Warren report and of the “lone gunman” theory.
Link below is to a sketch, showing the miraculous bullet changing its trajectory in both vertical and horizontal directions, as a controlled drone would do.
http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=78YYjuADdv3YutdWIyOYmJM5tm0Zxrvol3sywaAHBAlHN$rjGwyADZhGTgRYwhVvE0$uXvBjavsllACLNr6VhLEUIm2tympBeeq1Fwi7sIigrCfKm_F3DhYfWov3omce$8CAqP1xDAFoSAgEcS6kSQ–&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdf&CONTENTDISPOSITION=ptr-gx-jfk2-111713.pdf
After causing 7 wounds and breaking 3 bones, the “magic bullet” exited unscathed, and was found intact on a Parkland hospital sketcher. The Warren commission was never able to replicate the bullet’s pristine condition: similar bullet shot through a cadaver’s wrist came out completely deformed.
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Heros says:
My red pilling occurred when I finally looked deeper into the Building 7 collapse. Up until that point, I could never believe that a conspiracy so grand could exist to pull off 9/11 or the Kennedy assassinations. The freefall collapse of Building 7 was the smoking gun that I needed to prove conspiracy does exists.
I mention this because on a previous thread some of those UNZ readers, still bitterly clinging to the CIA narrative, were arguing something to the effect that: “just because one little piece is proved wrong doesn’t mean that there is narrative collapse”.
I disagree, once the official propaganda organs have been caught in such as malicious and criminal lie as covering up for 9/11 or the Kennedy assassinations, then their entire narrative and all their credibility collapses too. From then on, each datapoint along the narrative’s path has to be re-proven without the benefit of power of the narrative or the benefit of the doubt.
We also then have to discard the narrative back to the point that we can be satisfied that the truth had been told and that “consent” and “social contract” had some kind of meaning. The problem is that likely there has never been a point in time where there wasn’t a narrative that was made of lies. In that sense we are all Chinese coolies now, because centuries of lying narratives have left us unable to find the truth.
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Iris says:
@utu
“Some correspondence of JFK with PM’s of Israel is available on line.”
From a letter of President Kennedy to Levi Eshkol, Israeli PM, on July 5th 1963,with regard to activities at the Dimona nuclear plant:
” As I wrote Mr. Ben-Gurion, this Government’s commitment to and support of Israel could be seriously jeopardized if it should be thought that we were unable to obtain reliable information on a subject as vital to the peace as the question of Israel’s effort in the nuclear field.”

Very significantly, the threats made by President Kennedy in his letter seem to have been “re-classified” and are redacted from the official archives available to the public.
https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v18/d289
Why is official correspondence of President Kennedy with Israeli authorities still classified?
What is there to hide, 55 years on?

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Mulegino1 says:
Like all such official stories, the “lone nut theory” of the Kennedy assassination is a narrative constructed from the top down by official pronouncement as opposed to a fact and evidence based investigation and legal due process. The official conclusion is reached within a day- or even in hours- with a convenient cookie cutter suspect as lone perpetrator or mastermind (as in 9/11). There is no trial according to the proper rules of evidence, only a “commission” which offers a vacuous official pronouncement which the corporate Mockingbird media immediately proclaims as definitive and ironclad.
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@Hamlet's GhostWhen I log on to Unz now, I get diverted to an odd webage that says its checking my browser. Then my post from last night produced a blank white page and never showed up here. Same thing this morning using a different computer. Just a FYI to whoever.
Oswald is the smoking gun. The only reason Oswald was never arrested after returning to the USA must be because he was a CIA plant. The Soviets were not fooled, so Oswald came home, then got a government job in Texas too? As Col. Prouty pointed out, one could buy a rifle at a gun store without showing any ID back then. Why didn’t Oswald do that, instead of buying a crappy rifle mail order that could be traced to him? And why did he shoot that policeman much later? And how did they “find” him in a movie theater? And now we recently learned the FBI lost the fingerprints from the rifle.
Here are more detailed posts from my blog:
Dec 8, 2009 – Lee Harvey Oswald
One of the little known oddities of the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy is Oswald’s strange life, as partly described here:
“…in October 1959 he became the first Marine to defect to the Soviet Union. In Moscow, he delivered a letter stating: “I affirm that my allegiance is to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” Not only did he publicly renounce his American citizenship, but he told the U.S. consul that he intended to turn over to the Soviet Union military secrets that he had acquired while serving in the Marines [he was a radar operator], adding that he had data of “special interest” to the Russians. Since he indeed had exposure to military secrets such as the U-2 spy plane, his defection had serious espionage implications. Oswald thus had not only compromised the secret data he had come in contact with in the Marines, but put himself firmly in the hands of another country. He was now completely dependent on Russia for financial support, legal status and protection.
Before disappearing into the Soviet hinterland for a year, Oswald spelled out his operational creed in a long letter to his brother. From Moscow, he wrote presciently of his willingness to commit murder for a political cause: “I want you to understand what I say now, I do not say lightly, or unknowingly, since I’ve been in the military …. In the event of war I would kill any American who put a uniform on in defense of the American Government –”, and then ominously added for emphasis, “Any American.” His willingness to act as an assassin was now known to anyone who read this letter, which included not only his Russian hosts but American intelligence, since his letter was intercepted by the CIA and microfilmed. Oswald returned from the Soviet Union in June 1962, joined by his Russian wife Marina, and settled in Dallas.”
The author continues with his story, but wait one minute! Oswald deserted from the Marines, defected to the Soviets, and openly bragged that he gave them top secret information, which some suspect helped the Soviets shoot down the U-2 with Gary Francis Powers. Then Oswald simply “returns home” and is not arrested and imprisoned for decades! Oh, he wants a visa to bring his Russian wife too! No problem, you Marine Corps deserter and traitor!
Dec 18, 2017 – Another JFK Coup Fact Revealed
Congress created the five-member Assassination Records Review Board in 1992 as part of a law requiring the release of all Kennedy assassination documents within 25 years. The law authorized the president in office in 2017 to block releases if he deems it would harm US intelligence, law enforcement, military, or diplomatic interests. President Trump had no plans to block anything and the Deep State threw a fit and refused to obey the law. To avoid a confrontation, Trump allowed a few more months to “review” most files. Just under a third of the materials were released on December 15th, an estimated 85,000 pages worth, which had long been categorized as irrelevant to the JFK assassination.
Among these “irrelevant” documents is a July 1978 memo to an attorney on the staff of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. It stated that the FBI was unable to locate the original fingerprints lifted from the rifle found at the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Dallas Police turned those over a few days after the assassination and never got them back. Top FBI officials told House investigators that finding the prints would be a “mammoth research effort” and refused. So either the FBI bungled its most important case by losing key evidence or someone intentionally destroyed that evidence because the fingerprints on the rifle didn’t match Oswald’s.
Last October, President Donald Trump gave agencies six more months to finish this 25+ year review of material that might damage national security. Upcoming deadlines:
March 12: FBI, CIA and other agencies must report to the archives any material they want withheld
March 26: National Archives makes its recommendations to the president on what material warrants further withholding
April 26: The president’s deadline for release of all remaining records.
The best stuff will never be released because the truth about the JFK coup will never be revealed, unless Trump sends General Kelly and US Marines to these federal offices to rough up some people.

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Skeptikal says:
@Technomad
“The kinds of scenarios I’ve seen from conspiracy believers”
Following the evidence is usually the simplest thing.
There may have been a bimbo who tried to off Kennedy, but so far I am not aware of any such evidence. And if such an attempt had been made, it might have been hard to off the bimbo quickly and then for the Navy to get control of the corpse and control the photo and autopsy evidence, as did occur.

However, there is evidence that the killing shot came from a very obvious, “simple” place:
through a grating in the road over an underground utility corridor. Easy peasy.
The main point is that the whole Oswald narrative is the “legend.”
It is the professional skill set of the CIA to manage covert operations and part of that process is creating the legends that misdirect attention. Very simple. You could call them red herrings, false trails. this concept is so pathetically simple and obvious that I am surprised how supposedly sophisticated “conspiracy theory” debunkers consistently fall for it. The perfect targets for Three Card Monte operators in (the old) Times Square!

It is part of the skill set of the mobster to kill efficiently and hide the traces, use an untraceable weapon and make it disappear. On hindsight I think we can say that the immediate production of Oswald as the assassin is comparable to the miraculous discoveries of passports lying in rubble and on car seats that lead law enforcement directly to the perp. Again, the “conspiracy” debunkers are happy to swallow such miracles hook, line, and sinker. In fact, I would call the smart-ass debunkers “miracle theorists.” Becuase their acceptance of official narratives in both the JFK assassination and 911 depends on miracles.
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Anon[242] • Disclaimer says:
Bravo, Ron. I have followed a path similar to yours–from ignorant (or perhaps lazy) acceptance of the WCR to total rejection.
Anyone who starts to examine the facts in the most cursory manner is quickly overwhelmed by the numerous things that just don’t make sense. Here are a few off the top:

- The limousine in which JFK was riding, the principal “crime scene,” was immediately shipped off to Detroit, where it was cleaned up and renovated. This was done by the FBI which had to be acting on the instructions or at least with the approval of LBJ.

- The doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital, where JFK was taken, uniformly said that the back of his skull was missing and that the wound on his throat was a small entrance wound. Jackie reached backward onto the trunk of the car to retrieve pieces of JFK’s skull/brains. This could not have happened from shots fired from the rear (the Book Depository Building).

- Abraham Zapruder, who was standing in front of the grassy knoll when he took his famous film clip, said that the shots seemed to come from behind him, as did other witnesses who were in the same area. The WC ignored or rejected their testimony.

-The Zapruder film shows JFK being violently thrown to his left and rear by the fatal head shot. Incredibly, this film was kept under wraps for 12 YEARS. IMO the WCR would have been a joke if the film had been available to the public when it was released.

I prefer to deal in facts, not labels like “conspiracy.”
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c matt says:
@Dube
You generally zero a scope at a range, before going hunting. It is not uncommon for a properly zeroed scope to come loose after some shooting, particularly if the mounting mechanism is of poor quality. If this was mail order rifle from the ’60s, I would not think it unusual for the scope to be loose after several rounds. On the other hand, if you are assassinating the POTUS, you have military training, and you are a crack enough shot to have made the shot Oswald is argued to have made, you would think a little extra care would have been taken to make sure your scope, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of the rifle for accurate long range shooting, was in good working order. Not the place to go cheap. Seems a loose scope could be argued either way.
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j2 says:
@Achilles“Here is a clip from a documentary using computer simulation techniques with the actual limousine configuration and dimensions to model the path of the bullet, completely debunking the ridiculous and dishonest Stone JFK movie contention about the magic bullet:”
In this animation it is claimed that the magic bullet came on Zapruder frame 223. In that frame and before it JFK is completely invisible, so it is totally impossible to say where he was sitting. After being shot, his position most probably changed at lest a bit. He can be seen in the frame 225, but we cannot assume that we know his position in the frame 223. This means that the maker of this animation is intentionally trying to confuse the viewer into believing that the position of the two men was obtained from the film and corresponds to the magic bullet theory. The problem with the theory is that the bullet did not get much deformed. If a bullet gets deformed, it probably would turn when it has slowed down and do more damage. Another problem with this animation is a claim that the first bullet (a miss) came in the frame 167. Nothing happens in that frame and it is not blurred. According to the blurred frame theory, the first shot should cause the cameraman to shake the camera so the frame is blurred. That would put the first shot to the frame 197.
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@Achilles
Former Navy marksman Jesse Venture did a TV show about him trying to hit a stationary target with Oswald’s exact rifle type at the same angle and distance by quickly firing three rounds, and failed repeatedly. He also paid a world famous sniper to try, and he failed dozens of times. Ventura also mentioned the limo windshield had a bullet hole at Parkland hospital that was replaced the next day and never discussed again.

If someone wants to try this themselves and post a youtube video about successfully firing three rounds in less than six seconds to hit a moving target, do it! Otherwise, respect the reality proven by Ventura. I’ve fired bolt action rifles many times. After firing it takes at least four seconds to work the bolt and aim to fire an accurate shot at a moving target.
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