The Kennedy Assassination
November 21, 2003 3:06 PM   Subscribe

The Kennedy Assassination It seems forty years later, more people believe in a conspiracy theory. So what do you think of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby and others? Was Mark Lane right? Maybe Prouty had even more answers he didn't share.
A previous post here : ...Up Close and Personal
posted by alethe (35 comments total)
kennedy was killed by the mafia because of his trade embargo on cuba. why can't people accept this?
posted by lsd4all at 3:08 PM on November 21, 2003

My personal theory is that he was killed by Shari Lewis or agents of the Privy Council. It's pretty widely known that he was duffing Lamb Chop and Margaret Trudeau.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:23 PM on November 21, 2003

Speaking as a Freemason.... We did it. Sorry.
posted by keswick at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2003

Some do accept Oswald as the most likely assassin..
posted by boneybaloney at 3:39 PM on November 21, 2003

Who cares? It was not like he *did* anything as President. Just because a bunch of idiots thought that he was going to create "Camelot", the New Jerusalem, or whatever, is no reason to idolize somebody.
Seriously, if you ask most people, they will mumble something about the Cuban Missile Crisis and maybe that "He was good for the economy", or something.

I put him right up there with Millard Fillmore as being a "whatever" President. Better than Hoover, maybe.
posted by kablam at 4:06 PM on November 21, 2003

kablam, wasn't Kennedy involved in the Moon missions (Apollo and what not)? If so, isn't that an accomplishment worth noting?

As for my conspiracy theory, I don't believe it was Oswald, and if it was, he wasn't acting alone. Events and other details of the assassination just don't seem to add up to me.
posted by thebabelfish at 4:11 PM on November 21, 2003

Some do accept Oswald as the most likely assassin.

Yeah, boneybaloney. Complete roobs. I like the part in that Flash presentation where it says: "At this point the first shot was fired. The bullet was deflected by trees and hit the wall of the underpass." If you've ever been to Daley Plaza or seen pictures of the area at the time, you'd know that there were no trees in the way (or leaves, for that matter, as it was November).

Then, of course, there's bullet that's supposed to have caused something like 7 wounds and yet not marred the bullet in any way.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:26 PM on November 21, 2003

There have been many excellent Theories and I have believed them all. Now I resign myself to the fact that half the detailed Theories are smoke screens to add to the confusion with the probability that one is actually right.

I really don't know and those that really DO know aren't talking. I've resigned myself to never knowing the full story as much as I would want to.

Does it matter? I've already lost faith in US politics, the fact that I should have 40 years ago doesn't really make a difference other than expose me aas a chump.
posted by DBAPaul at 5:08 PM on November 21, 2003

I recently met a old man named Billy Sol Estes who says he knows for a fact and has proof it was LBJ that was behind the assassination. He says he recently published a book "the lone man" or something similar that has the proof. I couldn't find it online---or any books that really have this theory except this one. Either way Billy Sol Estes has a pretty good story that maybe one day I will add to Metafi. Just hard to believe a man who says he has proof/tapes of the assassination when he is the biggest con man in Texas. He even has his own song.
posted by DailyBread at 5:27 PM on November 21, 2003

hsm, i would think kablam would remember kennedy's plan to lower the tax rate on the rich from 91 percent to sixty-someodd with a little more fondness. who knew?
posted by lescour at 5:52 PM on November 21, 2003

kablam: "Who cares? It was not like he *did* anything as President..."

Well let's see..
  • Signed the executive order that instigated the Peace Corps.
  • He stared down Fidel Castro and the russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis - called their bluff.
  • He approved the expense of over 22 billion dollars for the space program, putting a fire in the bellies of the boys at NASA, by asking them to get a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. He didn't live to see it, but he got the ball rolling.
  • He took a stand on live television, asking the American people to end racism.
  • He inspired an entire generation.
  • His life and his death have affected modern culture in America and the world in ways no other president has or ever will.
  • Bill Clinton admitted that as a child, seeing president Kennedy inspired him to seek the presidency himself.
So before claiming that Kennedy isn't worth anyone's time to consider, one might want to doublecheck their facts.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:11 PM on November 21, 2003

Who cares? I care even though I would probably never have voted for him. When Kennedy was assasinated, the final nail in the coffin of our democracy was hammered in. It's always a little different after a coup d'detat
posted by tcskeptic at 6:38 PM on November 21, 2003

Civil: "If you've ever been to Daley Plaza or seen pictures of the area at the time, you'd know that there were no trees in the way (or leaves, for that matter, as it was November)."

That's weird because I'm pretty sure the pictures that most people have seen of Dealey Plaza at the time are from the Zapruder film, which shows a very large Pine Oak that was between the Book Depository and Kennedy. It being November is irrelevant as Pine Oaks don't shed their leaves, at least not at that time of year.

A quick search on Google turns up this:

"The FBI and the Secret Service determined that from [frame of the Zapruder film] Z166 to Z209 , the view would have been obscured by the intervening oak tree, except for a split-second break in the tree's foliage at Z186, which would have lasted only 1/18th/second."
posted by dobbs at 8:14 PM on November 21, 2003

Kennedy died so abruptly that his soul fled his body and immediately set to finding another body to use to fulfill his visions - sadly unrealized - which he had held for for his presidency.

JFK's soul found a new home in the body of a young teenager - the body of a boy which was at the time occupied by an upwardly-mobile soul which had existed as an armadillo recently crushed by a cadillac on a Texas dirt road.

That body was named George W. Bush. There was, for decades, fierce conflict between the armadillo (which had first dibs on the GW Bush body) and the intruding Kennedy. This conflict resulted in excessive consumption of alcohol, on the part of the George W. Bush body, for the simple reason that both JFK and the armadillo drank - each to forget the other. But the rivals finally came to their senses and reconciled.

The reconciliation was, effectively, orchestrated (unbeknownst to him) by the Rev. Billy Graham when Graham converted George W. into a "Born Again" Christian.

Needless to say, the two personality strains - both the pugilistic idealism of John F Kennedy and the plodding, implacable toughness of the nameless armadillo - were in the end harmoniously combined in the resultant personality-amalgam.

And this is how President George W. Bush came to be.
posted by troutfishing at 8:33 PM on November 21, 2003 [2 favorites]

Oh, Oswald acted alone.

Sorry. Everything else is too attractive and too easy. People act as if the idea of a massive conspiracy is sca-a-a-ry when it's obvious that what scares the piss out of people is the idea that a single miserable individual could affect so many people and, perhaps, so much history so deeply.

People want to believe that enormous events have enormous causes. Conspiracy theories feel right and they make a satisfying story. But -- no.

That, along with the fact that there's an enormous mountain of evidence that points to Oswald; that every one of the bits of evidence has to be improbably explained away; and that any conspiracy of notable size would have to involve too many people to stay silent ...

come on, people. Occam's Razor. Move on.
posted by argybarg at 8:42 PM on November 21, 2003

trout, that was magnificent.

oh, and before i forget, kablam, you are a damned moron woefully misinformed in this matter.
posted by quonsar at 9:14 PM on November 21, 2003

quonsar - * takes deep bow, farts to the wind.....*

argybarg - Kennedy was killed so that an overmatched armadillo stuck in a human body could be made whole. But more than one human - unwitting participants in the real plot, perhaps - carried out the job ; they had their own motivations which were nonetheless irrelevant to the true, mythic story I've just sketched out.

Has anyone here ever noticed the similarity between home Kennedy iconography and the Hindu tradition involving the worship of family Gods?
posted by troutfishing at 10:46 PM on November 21, 2003

Or - you really can't kill Kennedy - He just pops up each time more mythically powerfull!

you bastards! you killed kennedy! Bastards!
posted by troutfishing at 10:54 PM on November 21, 2003 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure why the conspiracies have always intrigued me, maybe they're just 'fun' to learn about. I've no dog in the fight though.

(I'm just glad people posted to this). I was hoping that someone who followed Prouty's work would have posted - he's an interesting fellow.
posted by alethe at 11:08 PM on November 21, 2003

Ever since I saw the original 1986 broadcast of Gerry Spence squaring off against Vince Bugliosi in a mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald using (unscripted & using 21 actual witnesses) called: "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald", I've been anxiously awaiting the book Bugliosi claimed he'd be writing from his show notes. Bugliosi played prosecutor to Spence's defense attorney and efficiently shredded Spence at every turn (no mean feat). I heard mention of the proposed book a few times since (said to be a giant 2-book compendium meant to be the ultimate refutation of all theories other than Oswald acted alone) but nothing ever came of it.
posted by RavinDave at 11:52 PM on November 21, 2003

I should add that it is interesting to see all the people blaming LBJ lately. Did I miss something? Was there a big book or movie that put his name above the usual suspects this particular year? It sparked a memory. I think the first one to accuse LBJ directly was probably Lenny Bruce, who challenged people to look at that picture of Ruby killing Oswald. See that big Texan? Gotta be LBJ's cousin.
posted by RavinDave at 12:10 AM on November 22, 2003

And let's not forget the incalculable spec-fic premises built upon the Kennedy assassination? (Do we dare include Oliver Stone?) All should be throroughly charted down. After all, what's an anniversary without homage to the lunatic fringe?

you really can't kill Kennedy

Silly rabbit. It's Reagan you couldn't kill. Even today, the man sits stupified within the carapace of Alzheimer's, conveniently avoiding any hard-hitting criticisms by unapologetic muckrakers. Even Jack's schtupping of Marilyn, et al. can't compete with this bullshit legacy. Of course, by the time the Gipper kicks the bucket, it will be a celebratory travesty worse than Nixon's.

Ain't that America?
posted by ed at 12:17 AM on November 22, 2003

Everyone still interested in this question should read Gerald Posner's Case Closed. If you've read it and still believe in some sort of conspiracy, there's no hope for you.

Here's a question: why do so many people consider the "lone nut with communist sympathies killed Kennedy" theory farfetched, but readily accept the "lone nut obsessed with the movie Taxi Driver shot Reagan" theory? The only difference is that one attempt succeeded and one failed. If Oswald had missed his third shot, no one ever would have questioned that he was just a lone nut with a rifle. If Hinckley had killed Reagan (and I'm very happy he didn't), there'd be a cottage industry devoted to weird theories about that assassination -- the Soviets were behind it, the Ayatollah was behind it, George Bush did it, Jimmy Carter did it, one of the secret service agents must have been a second gunmen. Hell, somebody would have self-published a book proving that Jodie Foster really masterminded the whole thing.
posted by Daze at 12:54 AM on November 22, 2003

ed : It's very sad that you think Alzheimer's is a convenient way of "avoiding hard-hitting criticisms." Perhaps, not sad though, maybe just disgusting.
posted by alethe at 1:22 AM on November 22, 2003

quonsar and troutfishing killed Kennedy! He was a die-hard anti-Communist with conservative tax policies. He hated Castro and believed in all sorts of stuff antiethical to leftist agitators!
posted by kablam at 8:34 AM on November 22, 2003

Frontline ran their 1993 Oswald documentary again on Thursday. Executive producer Michael Sullivan has said that although he and his crew were conspiracy theorists before they began the project, their investigations finally led them to believe Oswald acted alone.

"The big thing to think about with him -- there's nothing in his life indicating that he's doing anything with anyone at any time. Look at his Fairplay for Cuba chapter. He was the only member. He didn't plot with others to defect to the Soviet Union. He operated in his own fantasy, a politics of one. He's not joining organizations. He can't get anyone to play with him. He can't get into Cuba. He can't get back into the Soviet Union. He's just not with anybody. He's always alone. Always. He's very political, but always alone. It's a politics of one." --from the Washington Post Live Online discussion.
posted by azimuth at 9:02 AM on November 22, 2003

RavinDave: Check out "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner. It makes a damned effective argument that the Warren Commission was right (except for a few details). That book enrages the conspiracy nuts.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:21 AM on November 22, 2003

kablam - It's always the ones you'd least expect, just as in an Agathie Christy Mystery! We didn't pull the trigger, of course. We merely controlled Oswald from afar. Why, you ask?...........Well, Kennedy was worse than Clinton, the backsliding centrist. But that's not really why :

It was all for the benefit and greater glory of Chairman Mao.
posted by troutfishing at 10:53 AM on November 22, 2003

I shouted out, "Who killed the Kennedy's," when after all it was you and me...
posted by thebabelfish at 11:06 AM on November 22, 2003

any conspiracy hinges on Jack Ruby's motivation. he killed Oswald b/c: he was completely distraught/incensed by the president's assassination; or someone or some people didn't want Oswald to talk.

i would pick the latter, especially considering the ease with which he murdered a suspect in police custody.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:45 AM on November 22, 2003

Gerald Posner has a new book out.
posted by euphorb at 12:49 PM on November 22, 2003

dobbs, why like to a text article, when you can examine the actual photos of the area.

And I can't believe anybody still points to Case Closed. Just a google entry off the top of the list dispels the Single Bullet argument (revisited). You want Occum's Razor? Here you go: What's more likely? That a single bullet caused all the wounds, and did so with an impossible trajectory (see above link, post-Case Closed), then ended up as new and shiny as the day it was manufactured? That the other shot, Oswald's first shot, which was aimed almost looking down at the limo, completely missed his target and the entire limo, yet the other two were spot-on?

Or, that there was another gunman?

Occum's razor, indeed.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:55 PM on November 22, 2003

Civil, perhaps I'm misunderstading your first post because I thought you were contesting the idea that there were trees and foliage. Now you link to a picture with trees?! Perhaps your " is in the wrong place and was supposed to be at the end of the paragraph?
posted by dobbs at 10:40 AM on November 23, 2003

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