Exactly 50 years after the violent, tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the debate about how and why he was murdered remains just as fiery as ever. But this year, many famous faces have stepped up to the plate to contradict the Warren Commission, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to kill JFK. Among them: Marina Oswald, the late suspect's estranged wife. Although she initially told the Warren Commission that her husband shot Kennedy, she now maintains that he was innocent, and the murder was a cover-up.
Marina's not alone. No less than 61 percent of Americans believe there's more to Kennedy's murder than the "official" findings, reports a Gallup Poll. Here, 10 reasons it's crazy to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the one and only assassin ...
- Bigger motives: Continued propaganda about the Warren Commission may want us to believe that Oswald, with his own personal, twisted motives, acted alone and managed to kill JFK from the Texas Book Depository with a Mannlicher-Carcano World War II rifle. But other, much more powerful people were even more motivated to oust President Kennedy. As former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, points out: "The facts are conclusive that JFK was on terrible terms with the CIA and the Joint Chiefs. ... He had indicated that after his reelection he was going to pull US troops out of Vietnam and that he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. ... The CIA and Joint Chiefs’ belief that JFK was an unreliable ally in the war against communism spread into the Secret Service." In other words, those hungry for war and the money and power attached to it were on a mission to remove the peace-seeking president.
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: JFK's nephew has spoken out in recent months, stating that his father, Bobby Kennedy thought the Warren Commission was a "shoddy piece of craftsmanship." And that he, too, questioned the report. "The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman." He recently wrote a fantastic piece in Rolling Stone about the circumstances surrounding his uncle's assassination.
- Persuasive evidence that points to the Warren Commission being set up: According to author James W. Douglass' book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why It Matters, on November 25, 1963, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach sent a memorandum to Bill Moyers, President Johnson’s press secretary, urging a premature identification of Oswald as the lone assassin, lest speculation of either a Communist or a right-wing conspiracy get out of hand. He wrote, "The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial." Thus, the Warren Commission's intent would be to find Oswald as the lone assassin.
- The Oswald/single bullet theory defies common sense: The Warren Commission wants us to believe that one bullet, fired from the sixth floor of the book depository, on a downward trajectory, entered Kennedy's back and then moved upward, out his throat and into Texas Gov. John Connally to his front, where it zigged and zagged breaking two bones and creating seven wounds. "This Alice in Wonderland scenario defies physics and common sense. The American people are not stupid," JFK director Oliver Stone writes in USA Today.
- More logistics: "Only top players within the government could have pulled back the motorcycles, the Secret Service protection team, the Dallas police, and planned that ridiculous hairpin turn, exposing Kennedy to the assassins that day in Dallas," notes Seth Jacobson, co-author of JFK and the Unspeakable: The Graphic Adaptation.
- The Warren Commission scenario has never been replicated: Despite numerous attempts, no person ever achieved what the commission said Oswald did on the first try, i.e., attain two of three direct hits in the head and shoulder area to Kennedy in six seconds, explains Stone. This alleged shooting has been achieved only with computer simulations.
- The Zapruder film: As you may know, the footage taken by Abraham Zapruder on that day shows a sequence of motions that indicate five, probably six shots fired.
- The fence area in Dealey Plaza: More than 50 witnesses testified to the Warren Commission that they heard or saw a shot coming from a supposedly empty fence area to the front of the president.
- Gov. Connally's bullet: The governor contends he was not hit by the same bullet as Kennedy and added, "I do not for one second believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission."
- The autopsy: "The original autopsy of JFK’s fatal head wound was discarded and a faked one substituted in order to support the official story that Oswald shot JFK from behind," according to Dr. Roberts.
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What do you believe about JFK's assassination?
Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston