Reprinted from my old blog:
Monday - September 18, 2006
I should start by saying that I’ve always believed that Oswald acted alone and that the conspiracy theories were all a bit far-fetched. After watching the movie J.F.K. - which is an amazing and entertaining film - after reading scores of articles over the past ten years or so; and now after reading 200 pages of the Warren Commission Report, I’m convinced that my long held belief is correct: Oswald, a crazy man, acted alone.
If I hadn’t read anything, there would still be two things that I’d not be able to get over, which would be death knells to any JFK conspiracy theory.
1. If your goal is to assassinate a president using three or more gunman, it would be very difficult to expect to be able to pull it off in such a way that a single gunman could be framed for it. I mean, it would be awfully difficult to pin it all on Oswald if gunman two or three missed one of their shots and it hit a couple of bystanders, if extra bullets were found, or if blood were to spatter bystanders from an odd angle.
2. Secrets are very hard to keep, especially in this day in age where a book deal exposing the truth could make a multimillionaire out of anyone involved if still alive. If it was a conspiracy, one of this magnitude would insure that there would be possibly as many as one hundred people or more involved.
Conspiracy theories are entertaining, I admit that. It’s much more interesting to believe that a great man was brought down by factions bent on controlling the world rather than a lone nut. It’s more interesting to believe that the Bush administration orchestrated the events of 911 (as a recent survey shows as many as 15% of Americans do) in order to justify an attack on the middle east for its oil rather than accept it as an attack of religious fanatics. It is more interesting to believe that the news media is out to destroy the republican party, Christian beliefs, and aid terrorists in their war against us rather than accepting the depressing facts and ugly images they present to us every day. It may be more interesting to believe that the United States faked the moon landing in the Nevada Desert to win the space race against the Russians rather than… Well, my jury is still out on that one (kidding of course).
What it all comes down to is information, or the lack thereof. Conspiracy theorists tend to throw around all sorts of facts and anomalies to support their case at the expense of ignoring the mountains of evidence to the contrary. As I’ve been reading the Warren Commission Report, I’ve been amazed at how thorough it is. The number of corroborating witnesses and pieces of evidence is astounding. For example, bullet casings found at the sixth floor window of the school book depository not only matched the gun (we’ve all heard that) but had apparently been loaded and unloaded into that gun several times previously, as if one had been practicing rapidly loading and unloading, which was necessary in order to fire the three shots in seven and a half seconds.
How about the autopsy? Conspiracy theorists like to point out how Kennedy’s body was rushed from Dallas without an autopsy required by Texas law. They like to point out how the body was manipulated during a military autopsy to remove the evidence of multiple shooters. What they don’t point out is that such an arrangement would require two teams of military doctors at two separate bases in on the conspiracy - National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and the Army’s Walter Reed Hospital in Washington. Why two? Because those overseeing the conspiracy could not have foreseen which hospital would be conducting the autopsy. The choice was up to Mrs. Kennedy, who chose the National Naval Medical Center because of her husband’s service in the Navy. And why did the body leave Dallas without an autopsy? Because Lyndon Johnson refused to leave Dallas without Mrs. Kennedy, and she refused to leave without the body of her husband - another unforeseeable development.
As I said, it’s all about information. The first 200 pages of this report have an astounding amount of it with very little room for holes. I’m amazed by how thoroughly conclusions are reached and even how the report documents dead ends in parts of the investigation and witnesses whose memories aren’t reliable enough to include as part of their conclusions.
I still have another 500 pages to go. Alas, I fear that my opinion is not likely to change. I know how this book ends. While not the happiest of endings, while not the most exciting of stories, I find it to be a gripping tale none-the-less; one that is closer to the truth. The real question is: can we all handle the truth or is it easier to live in a world we create for ourselves in order to feed our imagination and soothe our fears?