Monday, July 26, 2010

The Death of JFK: Introduction

Many suggest that the republic began to die when John F. Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1962. These people usually suggest that the C.I.A. and/or the F.B.I. were involved. Some suggest that a’secret government” has been in control ever since. Before he died, Gerald R. Ford, former president and member of the Warren Commission, wrote a book in which he claimed that the C.I.A. destroyed much evidence about the assassination and that Lee Oswald was the lone gunman. Tim Miller, once an LBJ Scholar, who worked with Ford on the book insisted the murder was a conspiracy and that Ford knew far more than he was telling. A December 12, 1963 J. Edgar Hoover memo makes it clear that Gerald Ford was Hoover’s source within the commission. Ford has acknowledged that he had the staff raise Kennedy’s back wound up a few inches. It is also known that he reported to F.B.I. director Hoover on the commission’s proceedings.

Unofficial comments from the C.I.A. make it clear they believe that the Soviets and Castro was behind the death of John F. Kennedy. Before leaving office, Lyndon Johnson said “Kennedy was trying to get Castro but Castro got to him first.” The agency cites Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko who claimed Oswald was working for the Soviets. But there is other evidence that suggestes that Nosenko earlier said thew KGB never used Oswald. But admission that he was used came only after a long period of severe mistreatment. Angleton insisted he was a double agentThe problem was the agency was never sure he was a plant. Richard Helms told Congress about Nosenko’s testimony in 1998. Since then, historian Michael Salla has turned up a C.I.A. document that proves that Oswals was trained to work within the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, Salla thinks the assassination took place because JFK was about to tell the nation about contacts with aliens.

The C.I.A. withheld files on Oswald from the 1978 HSCA hearings and in 2006, a federal judge pitched a Freedom of Information lawsuit aimed at getting those files. The Secret Service admits that it destroyed some assassination files in 1995. We now know that Oswald was debriefed by a “Commander Anderson” when he returned from Russia. “Anderson, ” probably Eleanor Reed, reported to Robert Trumbull Crowley, who headed the contact division. The actual report has never surfaced. In the Spring of 1960, Oswald was on the C.I.A.’s mail opening list.

The F.B.I. lost 210 Dallas Police Department photographs, one was of Oswald’s Minox mineature camera. It was a model not then commer C.I.A.lly available. At one point the House Select Committee on Assasssination’s 91 page interview with Lawrence Howard, a C.I.A. linked soldier of fortune, was released. Then the C.I.A. withdrew it. The Dallas police ran a nitrate test on Oswald, but it came out negative— thus adding to our puzzlement.

A French intelligence figure said of that tragic event: “ President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of magicians. It was a stage trick, complete with accessories and false mirrors, and when the curtain fell the actors, and even the scenery, disappeared. But the magicians were not illusionists but professionals, artists in their way."

There is in place now an Assassination Records Review Board, entrusted with further pursuing the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 1998, retired military criminal investigator Gene Wheaton provided them with written information suggesting that C.I.A. agent Carl Jenkins and Chi Chi Quintero were somehow involved in the assassination. Chief Investigator Ann Buttimer was interested in following up this lead, but she was soon off the job. Wheaton met with her in 1995 and sent the board a follow-up letter in 1998, repeating his claims. In 1986, Wheaton and Jenkins came forward with information about Iran/Contra. It is apparently a lead that will not be pursued.

Christian Cafarakis, Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s butler in Athens, has claimed that Aristotle Onassis paid for an investigation that produced the names of Kennedy’s four killers. Threats to the lives of her children convinced her not to turn over the information to the US government. Cafarkis said he was Onassis’s “man Friday” for a decade. Some believe that Onassis had ties that would have helped in the euest for information in that they believed he sometimes work3eds with the mafia by moving drugs in his tankers. He began his rise to wealth in the 1930s moving drugs, “ Turkish tobacco” to Argentina.

It is so clear that government has gone to great lengths to suppress information about the assassination and sell a story offered in the Warren Commission Report that is clearly implausible. The problem is that there is still not enough evidence to piece together what may have really happened. Two pieces on key figures in the speculation about that event are offered for the reader’s consideration. They underscore how difficult it is to believe the official story or construct a better one. There are many tantalizing hints that will probably never lead to solid information. When asked about the Kennedy assassination by Wilmer Thomas, former Kennedy aid Arthur Schlesinger,Jr.. responded “We were at war with the National Security people.” After Kennedy’s death, former President Harry Truman wrote in the Washington Post that the C.I.A. had been running a’shadow government” that had become “operational.” Speaking of the assassination, Charles de Gaulle said that Kennedy died as the result of an intra-governmental conflict.” Richard Reeves wrote that Kennedy repeatedly said he had to do something about “those C.I.A. bastards.” He planned to transfer the U-2 program to the Strategic Air Command and to limit the powers of the Director of Central Intelligence.

There are persistent reports that a group from the Christian Right, minutemen, Cuban exiles, and former Nazis plotted to kill John F. Kennedy in Van Nuys, California before the 1960 election. But there is no evidence to connect that planning to the Dallas tragedy.

The Warren Commission said that only three shots were fired by a lone assassin and that the second shot missed. A bullet hit the curb and cement injured a bystander named James Tague. But Tague was on the next street, Main Street. The Kennedy vehicles were on Elm. It missed by 260 feet. Gerald Posner, a defender of the official story, insists that Tague was hit by a piece of the first shot. Tague himself is certain he was not hit by the first shot.That would mean there wre more than three shots. Posner said he interviewed Tague twice but Tague says he never talked to Posner. According to Jim Marr, Random House approached Posner with the idea for the book and assured him that the C.I.A. would cooperate completely.

But only three shell casings were found on the sixth floor, which creates a problem. It is difficult to believe that it could have been fired from the 6th floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository and missed by that much. If it were fired from a much lower position, it would have been a near miss. But that assumes a second firing position.

No comments: