As the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination recently went by, there seems to be an increased animosity between those who believe the conclusions of the Warren commission about Lee Oswald, the lone gunman, and on the other hand the ones who believe that JFK was murdered by a group of people who conspired and benefited from his death.
I certainly am not a lover of conspiracy theories, but
what makes this subject so interesting is that so far nobody has been
able to present conclusive proofs about one or the other theory. Not the
official commission, not the conspiracy lovers and not the conspiracy
bashers. Not even the arrogant ones who titled their work "Case closed".
This extremely well-researched book by Jim Douglass is more
serious and credible than most of the JFK literature out there for two
1) it is not trying to sell you a specific theory or tell
us who shot JFK (by the way, it doesn't even mention the single / magic
bullet theory), but rather it tries to find some coherence in all the
hundreds of facts and information that we have about the assassination.
it doesn't focus on "who did it?" as much, while it spends most of its
pages on the most important questions: "why they did it, and why does it
Douglass makes a compelling argument that is
not pointing at one single reason (for example, they shot him because he
wanted to end the Vietnam war, or because he pissed off the CIA in
numerous occasions). He takes a truly holistic approach at JFK's main
policies in the last years of his life, and where they were headed for
the years to come. In particular, JFK's determination to end the Cold
War through diplomatic strategies and back-channels communications with
Krushev and other communist leaders, was an extremely unpopular stance
with most of the government people who surrounded him, the military
apparatus and of course the CIA, that JFK had sworn he would "splinter
in a thousand pieces".
The writing is not great, there is no
doubt about that. And yes, Douglass tends to repeat concepts and entire
sentences along his book.
But overall, this book strikes me as
the result of really honest hard work, including in-person interviews,
and - at the very least - it makes you question the official version
that has been presented to the public about this assassination.
for the event itself, what strikes me as really odd is not that 60% of
Americans today believe there was some sort of conspiracy. What strikes
me as odd is that many of the remaining 40% are aggressively promoting
the Warren Commission's version of the "lone gunman". Maybe they should
read this book from cover to cover.
One of the conspiracy
bashers is Stephen King. His book 11/23/63 has an afterword where King
states that anybody rational must believe at 99% probability that there
was no conspiracy. He doesn't explain why though. Very, very odd.
massive recent public-influencing event about this topic is Tom Hanks's
movie "Parkland", which is nothing more than the reenactment of the
official version of the events. What's the point of that? Why even make
the freaking movie? But most importantly, how can a big-budget movie
about Parkland hospital completely ignore the documented fact that 15
doctors who saw JFK's body said that they saw an "entry wound" in his
throat?? Were they just all so utterly incompetent, that Tom Hanks
decided to dismiss that fact as non important?
It's more probable that this is effective propaganda. Hollywood has been re-writing history for many decades now.
Look, this is the mystery of the century. So it's not like anyone is going to solve it any soon. Anything could have happened. In my opinion, JFK was killed by a conspiracy, either because of some behaviors or plans he had that would have potentially endangered national security, or because of a secret coup d'etat.
Some more food for thought now.
To believe that Oswald killed JFK by himself, you must also believe the following things:
Two witnesses saw Oswald carrying a bag into the Texas School Book
Depository on the morning of the assassination. They insisted that it
was too small to contain a rifle and must have been mistaken.
Julia Ann Murcer claimed that she saw a man going up the grassy knoll
carrying a rifle one hour before the assassination. She said a man
looking like Jack Ruby waiting for him in a parked truck. Murcer was not
called by the Warren Commission. She must have been mistaken.
The 51 eyewitnesses claimed to have heard gunshots from the grassy
knoll and saw smoke or smelled gunpowder coming from that direction must
have been mistaken.
4- The 15 Parkland Hospital doctors who said there was an entrance wound in President Kennedy’s throat must have been mistaken.
Doctors and witnesses who claimed to have seen a large exit wound
located toward the back of Kennedy’s head must have been mistaken.
Pathologists at the autopsy who were insistent that the entry wound on
President Kennedy’s skull was lower than the large exit wound and that
there was no entry wound high on the back of the skull must have been
7- John Connally, who was sitting directly in front of
Kennedy, and who maintained under oath and repeatedly in later
interviews that he and Kennedy were injured by separate bullets, must
have been mistaken.
8- The paraffin tests on Oswald’s hands and
cheek indicated that he had not fired a rifle on the day of the
assassination and therefore must have been incompetently administered.
9- It was just a macabre coincidence that seven top FBI officials due to testify at HSCA died within a 6 month period in 1977.
Although the probability is one in 100 billion trillion that at least
26 of 1100 witnesses sought in four JFK investigations would be
murdered, it was just a coincidence and does not prove a conspiracy.
said all that, this book also works well as a history book, especially
in its coverage of the Cuban crisis, the Bay of Pigs, the beginning of
the Vietnam escalation, and the very tense relationships between JFK and
his Joint Chiefs.
The problem of powerful internal warmongers,
it seems, is a problem that every non-military leader has always had to
face. Krushev had a similar situation in Russia.
Read this book if the JFK assassination mystery is of any interest to you.