JFK: The Mysteries

Jefferson Morley is a specialist on the JFK assassination, and in this long article examines the critical factors people need to consider to come to terms with the mysteries of the assassination.

While there are a number of issues involved, including the CIA’s contacts with Oswald prior to Nov 22, a critical factor for me is the murder of Oswald — as if he knew things that had to be silenced.

Cuba? CIA? Lone nut?

Two years from today Americans will observe the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is likely to be a moment of national introspection, as well as an opportunity to complete the historical record of one of the most painful days in American history.  Yet, incredibly enough, the Central Intelligence Agency is likely to object to declassifying all of its records related to the murder of the 35th president in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The question on the 48th anniversary of the tragedy is whether the CIA’s extreme claims of JFK secrecy — reiterated in federal court filings this year — will be allowed to stand.

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  • Rick in IL (formerly Rick in TX!)

    Read Vincent Bugliosi’s 1600 page book “Reclaiming History”, which will be made into a film for HBO, by Tom Hanks – tentatively set to air in 2013. It establishes beyond reasonable doubt that LHO acted alone. Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Ch. Manson case; also won a guilty verdict in the televised “Trial of LHO” which, though an early reality TV show, was a trial with attorneys arguing the case before a judge and a jury, with the actual witnesses.

  • TJJ

    My take on it has long been that LHO was only a trigger man, that an arm of the Mob was behind the killing, and that it was not political, it was personal. There were mob bosses who were furious with JFK and also RFK, for reasons too much to get into now in this post.

    LHO was probably supposed to be killed before he was captured by law enforcement, but either the hitman failed or was thwarted in doing so. In any case, Ruby days later did the job. Ruby was a very low level mob guy who probably knew nothing other than to go make the hit on LHO.

    All records/documents should now be released and disclosed. It is long past due.

    The unanswered question to me is did the mob act alone, or were they also hired and paid by another entity to do something they were more than willing to do? That may be the big sercret still to be revealed.

    I am not some conspiracy nut, this is just the only scenario that makes the most sense of out of most of the information puzzle pieces that are now available.

  • AHH

    I commented on a different post yesterday about the seductive lure of conspiracy theories.
    A book 10-15 years ago by journalist Gerald Posner called Case Closed pretty effectively debunked the JFK assassination conspiracy theories IMO.

  • BDR

    AHH #3, Do you recall how Posner or Bugliosi explain forensic issues, such as how LHO fired a bolt-action rifle faster than the footage allows for even an expert marksman to recycle and fire the cartridges? In other words, from what I’ve read, the bullets were fired way to quickly for LHO’s gun alone to allow for.

  • DRT

    Tangential, but, after college I spent some time working for the Army and regularly made use of the data conducted to determine penetration mechanics of bodies. There were huge studies of determining how bullets interact with people.

    A guy I worked with got a special bonus because he came up with the idea of bandsawing pieces of the, er, target off when they are frozen and then not wasting the whole thing.

  • Just to tack on to what Rick said, Bugliosi’s book is superb – and a great way to get exercise, considering its bulk. Several years ago a company decided to put Oswald “on trial,” using a real judge, jury, and attorneys. Bugliosi was the prosecutor, and Gerry Spence the defense lawyer. Someone has broken it down on youtube – here is part 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO-UrGDUUzA

    Really interesting stuff!
    Shane Scott (2 T’s)

  • AHH

    BDR @4,
    I haven’t read Bugliosi, and I don’t have Posner in front of me, but as I recall Posner did analyze the timing of the 3 shots and showed that it was reasonable for an ex-Marine to fire that weapon at those intervals.
    I think some of that depends on whether the 2 shots that hit JFK (which are the only ones where you can really know the time from the film) were #1 and #3, or #2 and #3, and Posner makes a case for the latter.

  • There’s just something laughable (not!) about a government that is to be for the people and of the people yet has agencies that can keep such secrets.

    Any ways, I not sure why but my father always thought LBJ had something to do with the assassination of JFK.

  • Tess

    Of those who have posted, were any of you alive and old enough to remember that horrific November day? I was 11 years old. Our family had been staunch Kennedy supporters, and nearly every moment of that long day and weekend is still fresh in my memory. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me whether Oswald acted alone or not (I think not), and I’ve never countenanced the conspiracy theories.
    We lost a lot on that November day, and I’d rather recall that, than focus on the sorry Oswald or any other characters.

  • Rick in IL

    Both Posner and Bugliosi are must-reads. Most people who have an opinion on the incident have never read the Warren report or any book that effectively presents the evidence beyond reasonable doubt that Oswald acted alone. These 2 books bury every conspiracy theory.

  • phil_style

    Doesn’t Frank Sheeran basically admit that Jimmy Hoffa’s crowd were behind the JFK assassination?

  • Adam Legler

    The book Brothers is a good one to read. It shows the real possibility of conspiracy but not an outright organized one. Just one talked about in certain circles that came to be when the right elements were in place.