Fifty Years Later, Kennedy Shooting Less Certain than Lincoln Conspiracy
50th anniversary commemorations of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will include a tickets-only memorial at the scene of the crime, Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, Texas. No doubt there will also be celebrations in some places, just as there were in the aftermath of the November 22, 1963, killing.
Whatever events are held, whether formal or impromptu, they will all have one thing in common: no one knows the full story of what happened. The official version put out by the Warren Commission, is long since discredited, but independent investigations have yet to present a coherent alternative narrative.
That there is such a narrative is certain, since that would be the event as it happened. One reason we don’t know what happened is that our government has kept assassination-related material secret – protecting national security secrets say secrecy defenders. Others say stonewalling.
Polling in April 2013 suggests a waning interest in the Kennedy assassination, since only 59% of Americans now believe the official version is false. That number is considerably lower than a 2003 Gallup poll in which 75% of Americans said the Kennedy killing was a conspiracy.
In 1978, the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations’ lengthy inquiry concluded that JFK “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” The official version holds that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and fired only three shots. The House Committee produced evidence that at least four shots were fired. While coming to the inevitable, evidence-based conclusion that a conspiracy killed Kennedy, the committee did not reach a conclusion as to who was part of the conspiracy.
We Know It Was a Conspiracy, But Not Who Were The Conspirators
Myriad books have been published arguing various versions of events, but for the most part the big money from publishers has gone to writers (Gerald Posner, Vincent Bugliosi). But other, conspiracy-centered writers (Mark Lane, Jim Marrs, Anthony Summers) have far out-sold the official version
That’s perhaps to be expected when the majority of Americans have believed for almost 50 years that their government is lying to them about the Kennedy assassination, just as the government has lied about so many other important things, such as the Viet-Nam war, and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and assassination by drone.
A couple of Hollywood movies are in the works, both based on books: “Legacy of Secrecy” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro (the Mafia did it) and “Parkland” with Colin Hanks and Paul Giamatti (Oswald did it alone). Academy Award winner Erroll Morris is working on a documentary of the assassination (he hasn’t said who did it).
From the start, other suspects have included the CIA (because Kennedy wanted to get out of Viet-Nam), Castro (because the CIA was trying to assassinate him), and the KGB (because they’re Russian or something).
Another popular suspect has long been Lyndon Johnson, who was Kennedy’s Vice President at the time, when there were rumors that Kennedy was going to replace him on the 1964 presidential ticket. Johnson is the most obvious first choice, at least based on the traditional analysis of means, motive, and opportunity.
Texas attorney Barr McClellan put the case against LBJ pretty strongly in his 2003 book, “Blood, Money & Power.” McClellan was one of LBJ’s personal lawyers, but his book did not get wide notice in the mainstream media at the time – when his son, Scott McClellan was serving as White House Press Secretary for President Bush.
“Blood, Money & Power” Did Not Appear on 2003 Bestseller Lists
The New York Times referred to McClellan’s book dismissively in early 2004: “It is the most serious of public accusations, but it is so serious that serious people dismiss it as nuts. “
The only reason the Times brought it up then was that Barr McClellan had repeated his accusation on a History Channel program about the Kennedy assassination, “The Guilty Men.” The Times was reporting on serious, and eventually effective pushback against the program by “Bill Moyers and other powerful men who worked for President Johnson,” as the Times put it.
Early in May 2013, the same charge against LBJ was lodged by Roger Stone, in early publicity for his book, “The Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ,” due out in the fall. The publisher, Skyhorse Publishing in Manhattan, begins its description of the book this way:
“Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man of great ambition and enormous greed, both of which, in 1963, would threaten to destroy him. In the end, President Johnson would use power from his personal connections in Texas and from the underworld and from the government to escape an untimely end in politics and to seize even greater power. President Johnson, the thirty-sixth president of the United States, was the driving force behind a conspiracy to murder President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.”
Skyhorse started publishing in 2006. In 2011, the company issued a paperback edition of Barr McClellan’s “Blood, Money & Power. Skyhorse has some 2,000 titles in print, including “Guns Across the Border” (about Operation Fast and Furious), “Hit List” by Richard Belzer (about mysterious deaths of JFK assassination witnesses), “Shooter’s Bible,” and “Big Breasts & Wide Hips” (a novel).
Roger Stone Hinted at Running for Governor of Florida as a Libertarian
As described on Huffington Post,
“Roger Stone is a legendary American Republican political consultant who has played a key role in the election of Republican presidents from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Long a an outspoken libertarian Republican Stone stunned the political world when he announced he would leave the GOP over it’s lurch to the far-right on social issues and join the Libertarian Party. The Libertarians will be on the ballot in all 50 states.”
Roger Stone (along with Karl Rove) worked for the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP), Richard Nixon’s 1972 campaign committee. Reportedly, Stone has a tattoo of Nixon on his back.
According to Stone, when Nixon was in the House, Johnson told him to hire Jack Ruby, which Nixon did. In 1963, Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald in the Dallas police department.
Richard Nixon was in Dallas on business for his client Pepsi Cola at the time of the assassination, leaving Dallas on the morning of November 22.
There was a fingerprint on the rifle found in the “sniper’s nest” in the Texas School Depository on November 22, 1963, that did not belong to Lee Harvey Oswald. That fingerprint belong to an associate of the vice president, a convicted murderer named Malcolm (Mac) Wallace, according to Barr McClellan and others.
According to LBJ biographer Robert Caro:
“In attaining this influence, [LBJ] displayed a genius for discerning a path to power, an utter ruthlessness in destroying obstacles in that path, and a seemingly bottomless capacity for deceit, deception and betrayal in moving along it.”
“JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary” is the name of a facebook page dedicated to encouraging a grassroots letter writing campaign to get the U.S. to release all its information relating to the 1963 assassination. Started in August 2012, this page had 286 “likes” as of late May 2013.