Conspiracy in President Kennedy Assassination
Since the killing of President John F Kennedy in November 22, 1963, there has been several unsatisfying investigations by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and the Warren Commission. As a result, several conspiracy concepts have arisen regarding the President’s assassination. Most Americans and investigators believe that there was a conspiracy (a clandestine plan made by more than one person to do something that is illegal or harmful) to kill the president. The paper seeks to demonstrate the possible evidence of conspiracy and the people and/or organizations behind the conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.
On Friday, November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was killed by gunfire while touring in a motorcade, using an open-top limousine in Dallas, Texas. John Connally, Texas Governor, was injured in the course of the shooting, although he survived. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested within 2 hours for the killing of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit and charged that evening. On Saturday, soon after 1:30 am, Oswald was charged for assassinating President Kennedy, as well. On November 24, nightclub possessor Jack Ruby shot and seriously injured Oswald as he was being relocated to the region jail. Soon after the gunfire, numerous people supposed that the murder was part of a greater conspiracy. The shooting of Oswald by Ruby strengthened preliminary suspicions.
After the analysis of the events, the Warren Commission came to a conclusion that Oswald performed the assassination solely, and that they did not find any reliable evidence supporting the argument that he was involved in a plot to kill Kennedy. The American House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) approved the Warren Commission claim that Oswald killed Kennedy, but then, concluded that the report of the Commission and the initial FBI analysis were extremely faulty. The HSCA conclusion was that at least four gunshots were fired with a “great likelihood” that two assassins fired at President Kennedy, and that a conspiracy was possible. According to the HSCA, the Warren Commission failed to explore sufficiently the possibility of a conspiracy existence to kill the President.
According to Schauer, public opinion polls have constantly indicated that most of Americans trust there was a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. A 2003 Gallup survey stated that three-quarters of Americans believe that Oswald must have conspired with other people or organizations to assassinate the President. In addition, an ABC News poll revealed that approximately 70% of respondents supposed that the killing involved two or more persons. A Fox News survey revealed that over 66% of Americans believed there had been a conspiracy, and 74% supposed there had been a cover-up. A latest CBS News poll showed that approximately 76% of individuals interviewed believed that President Kennedy was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy. A Gallup poll conducted in 2013 showed that approximately 61% of Americans supposed that other individuals alongside with Oswald were involved in a conspiracy.
Possible Evidence of Conspiracy
According to Michael Benson, the Warren Commission received only material provided by the FBI, and that its obligation was to develop the sole gunman theory. A declaration from the Chair of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), Federal Judge John R. Tunheim, stated that no “smoking guns” showing a cover-up or conspiracy were revealed during their determinations in the early 1990s release documents connected to the killing. A research named James H. Fetzer identified several “smoking guns”, which, he alleges, demonstrate the official description by ARRB is impossible, and, in such way, the cover-up and conspiracy transpired.
Fetzer asserts that confirmation released by the ARRB demonstrates the following concerns: issues with shot trajectories; the killing armament; discrepancies between the Warren Commission’s explanation and the autopsy results; the ammunition used; discrepancies between the autopsy results and what was described by witnesses at the spot of the assassination; prove that the diagrams and photographs of Kennedy’s brain in the National Archives are not Kennedy’s; witness claims that contradict with x-rays taken of Kennedy’s body; testament by those who took and handled the autopsy pictures that the photographs were modified, twisted, or damaged; evidence that the Zapruder movie had been interfered with; claims that the Warren Commission’s account of the events contradicts with broadcast reports from the area of assassination; an alleged negligent Secret Service and regional law implementation security; a supposed modification to the motorcade direction which enabled the murder; declarations by people who assert that they were aware of, or contributed to a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.
Richard Buyer reported that several witnesses of the events, whose narrations suggested a conspiracy, were frightened and overlooked by the Warren Commission. In a book of Bill Sloan, a witness named Jean Hill claimed that Arlen Specter, an officer of the Warren Commission, tried to chasten, disgrace, and threaten her with the aim of preventing the woman from telling her story. Sloan also asserted that she was ill-treated by Secret Service representatives, assaulted by the FBI, and received death threats. There are also claims of cryptic or suspicious witnesses’ deaths associated with the Kennedy murder. Approximately 103 individuals are supposed to die “convenient deaths” under doubtful situations. The deaths were connected with the examinations performed by New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison, member of the Warren Commission, the HSCA, and the Senate Intelligence Committee. A State Hospital physician named Dr. Victor Weiss reported to a House Select Committee investigator that 3 days after the murder one of his co-workers told him that a patient by the name Rose Cheramie stated that she had been aware of the fact that President Kennedy would be murdered. Dr. Weiss also claimed that Rose told him after the killing that she had worked for Jack Ruby and that her awareness of the killing initiated from “word in the underworld”. On September 4, 1965, Rose was found murdered by a highway near Big Sandy as she had been hit by the car.
Various assassination investigators claim that witnesses’ testimonials showing a conspiracy were overlooked by the Warren Commission. For instance, in 1967, Josiah Thompson reported that the Commission disregarded the testaments of seven witnesses, who saw gun smoke in the zone of the barrier fence on the green knoll, as well as of eighth other spectators, who smelled gunpowder at the moment of the murder. Various investigators stated that spectators, who captured the killing in pictures or on video, had their films and cameras confiscated by police and other authorities. One witness, Gordon Arnold, reported that his film of the presidential motorcade was seized by two policemen soon after the killing. Another observer, Beverly Oliver, claimed that she was the “Babushka Lady” seen in the Zapruder film, recording the motorcade. She reported that after the killing, two men, who she believed were either Secret Service agents or the agents of the FBI, contacted her and told her that they needed to study her video and promised to give it back to her in ten days. Nevertheless, they never returned the film back to her.
Numerous researchers, including Richard Buyer, have claimed that several documents relating to the killing have been withdrawn over the years, such as, for example, the files from the Warren Commission research, the HSCA research, and the Church Committee research. Some of the files dealt with the President’s autopsy documents. Nowadays, certain files are still not planned for publication till 2029. Several records were released in the mid-to-late 1990s by the ARRB under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. Nevertheless, a number of the information released comprises redacted parts. The availability of many secret files linked to the killing, and the extended period of secretness, indicate some possibility of a conspiracy.
After the disbandment of the HSCA in 1979, Groden (an investigator), reported that four autopsy photos displaying the back of the President’s head were falsified so that to hide a wound made by the second gunman’s bullet. As stated by Groden, a photo of a cadaver’s head was placed over another one portraying a big exit wound in the back of the President’s head. David Lifton, a researcher, stated that the President’s body had been modified between the Dallas hospital and the autopsy scene at Bethesda in order to create specious conclusions regarding the sum and direction of the gunshots.
After its analysis, the Warren Commission found that only three gunshots were fired (from the Texas School Book Depository). However, the House Select Committee on Assassinations found that there were four gunshots, one originating from the direction of the green knoll. It suggests that there were multiple gunmen and not merely Oswald. Moreover, Nellie Connally, who sat next to her spouse, Governor John Connally, supposed that her spouse was hit by a bullet that was not connected to the bullets that hit the President.
Conspiracy philosophers consider a number of individuals and groups, who acted single-handedly or in a combination, to be behind the conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. They include:
New Orleans Conspiracy
In 1964, the Warren Commission, when addressing the theory that Oswald was a CIA representative or had certain connection with the Agency, reported that their examination did not find any evidence that Oswald was hired by the CIA to take part in any capacity. In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations also found no evidence in Oswald’s CIA record that he had had any interactions with the Association. However, Gaeton Fonzi, a detective for the HSAC, wrote that detectives were pressured not to investigate the connection between the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald. He reported that the CIA representative David Atlee Phillips, using the alias “Maurice Bishop”, was associated with Oswald before the Kennedy murder with regard to anti-Castro Cuban sets.
In 1995, former United States Military Intelligence constable and National Security Agency administrative assistant John M. Newman issued indication that both the FBI and the CIA intentionally interfered with accessing to the documents on Lee Harvey Oswald prior to and after the killing. Moreover, he discovered that both agencies withdrew evidence that could have informed authorities in Dallas that Oswald posed a possible danger to the President. Consequently, Newman stated a certainty that the CIA principal of counter-intelligence James Angleton was possibly the strategic character in the assassination. As stated by Newman, Angleton was the only one who had the access, the ability, and the original thoughts to achieve such urbane conspiracy. Nevertheless, Newman alleged that the cover maneuver was not connected with James Angleton, but with Allen Dulles, who was the former CIA executive, and later Warren Commission participant, who had been dismissed by President Kennedy after the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs attack.
Shadow Government Conspiracy
One conspiracy concept proposes that a trace of secret government, including rich entrepreneurs and right-wing politicians, organized the killing of Kennedy. Peter Dale Scott showed that the death of Kennedy permitted for political steps required by the secret government to intensify the US military participation in Vietnam. Several conspiracy thinkers claim that Kennedy intended to terminate the participation of the US in Vietnam, and was consequently targeted by those individuals who were profiting from the continued military fight, counting the security contractors and Pentagon. Ralph Yarborough, a former Texas Senator, claimed that if Kennedy lived longer, there would be no War in Vietnam, with all of its disturbing and troublesome influences on the United States.
Israeli Government Conspiracy
Soon after the killing of Kennedy, theory that the assassination was conducted by a “Zionist conspiracy” was established in most of the Muslim countries. There were speculations that Zionists were interested in assassinating Kennedy due to his disapproval of an Israeli nuclear program. Moreover, it was stated that Lyndon B. Johnson received instructions from Zionists to ensure that Kennedy was killed, and that the murderer was a Zionist representative. An investigator named Michael Collins claim that David Ben-Gurion, the Israeli Prime Minister, arranged the murder after he learnt that Kennedy intended to stop Israel from acquiring nuclear weapons. Piper reported that the killing “was a joint business carried out on the uppermost levels of the United States CIA, in partnership with organized crime, and most precisely, with direct and deep participation by the Israeli intelligence service known as the Mossad”. The concept also claims participation of the Anti-Defamation League and Meyer Lansky. In addition, Mordechai Vanunu claimed that the killing was Israel’s reaction to the pressure that Kennedy put on Ben-Gurion, to clarify on Dimona’s nuclear device in Israel. Additionally, in 2009, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi supposed that Kennedy was murdered for his desire to inspect Dimona.
Soviet Government Conspiracy
The House Select Committee on Assassinations and the Warren Commission stated that they did not discover evidence that associated the Soviet Union with the assassination of Kennedy. However, according to some conspiracy philosophers, the Soviet Union, with Nikita Khrushchev driven by the necessity to concede defeat in the Cuban Missile Crunch, was liable for the killing. In accordance with the FBI file as of 1966, Colonel Boris Ivanov, principal of the KGB during the time of the killing, reported that he believed the killing was planned by an organized set, instead of a single individual. The same file indicated that executives of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union supposed that there was a certain ordered conspiracy organized by the ‘ultra-right’ in America to plan a ‘coup’.
After their analysis, the House Select Committee on Assassinations stated that anti-Castro Cuban groups were not linked to the murder of Kennedy. However, they stated that the existing evidence did not deny the probability that specific participants may have taken part in it. With the Cuban Rebellion in 1959 that conveyed Fidel Castro to authority, a great number of Cubans left their motherland to move to America as refugees. Various refugees hoped to defeat Castro and return to Cuba.
Their expectations were ruined with the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs Conquest in 1961, and numerous exiles accused Kennedy for his inability to deal with the problem. The conclusion of the House Select Committee on Assassinations was that several rebellious Cuban exiles could have taken part in Kennedy’s assassination. These exiles collaborated closely with CIA agents in violent actions against Castro. The committee stated that President’s admiration amongst the Cuban exiles had intensely decreased by 1963. However, their resentment is demonstrated in tape footage of a gathering of right-wing Americans and anti-Castro Cubans in the Dallas district of Farmer’s Branch.
Cuban Government Conspiracy
After the investigation of the given theory, the House Select Committee on Assassinations and the Warren Commission reported that they did not find any evidence of Cuban participation in the killing of President Kennedy. Nevertheless, various plot theorists allege that Fidel Castro organized the killing of President Kennedy in revenge for the CIA’s earlier efforts to eliminate him.
Clare Boothe Luce was one of a few popular Americans who funded anti-Castro sets, including financing exiles to organize commando motorboat attacks against Cuba. According to Clare Luce, Julio Fernandez, a member of a commando set she had funded, called her claiming that he was in New Orleans in the night of the killing. Luce narrated that Oswald approached Fernandez’s set proposing to aid kill Castro. However, Fernandez and his allies ultimately discovered that Oswald was a Marxist and follower of Castro. Fernandez further claimed that there was a Cuban Communist assassination group and Oswald was their employed killer.
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Secret Service Conspiracy
The House Select Committee on Assassinations’ conclusion regarding the apparent Secret Service participation involvement in the assassination was that they found no evidence of their involvement. Nevertheless, the HSCA stated that the Secret Service was not professional in execution of its obligations. HSCA noted that Kennedy did not receive sufficient defense in Dallas, and that the Secret Service had information that was not appropriately examined or used with regard to the President’s tour to Dallas. Moreover, the Secret Service representatives in the motorcade were incompetently equipped to shield the President from an assassin. The HSCA precisely noted that no precautions were taken by the representative in the right anterior seat of the governmental limousine to shield Kennedy with his body, though it was the Secret Service’s representative direct obligation to do so. The main purpose of the agent was to continuously remain in close vicinity to the President in the occurrence of such tragedies. Abraham Bolden, a Secret Service agent, stated that he had heard representatives say that they would not shield the President from prospective killers.
Organized Crime Conspiracy
Although the House Select Committee on Assassinations believed that, as a group, the members of the organized crime did not participate in the killing of President Kennedy, they stated that the obtainable evidence did not exclude the possibility that separate members may have taken part in it. Robert Blakey, who was leading counsel for the HSCA, later stated in his book that New Orleans Mafia chief Carlos Marcello was probably part of a Mafia conspiracy behind the murder, and that the Mafia had the opportunity and means the needed to perform the assassination. Various Government files have shown that certain associates of the Mafia collaborated with the Central Intelligence Agency in actions directed at slaying the Cuban head Fidel Castro.
There was a revelation by Bill Bonanno, who was a child of New York Mafia frontrunner Joseph Bonanno, which revealed that some Mafia relatives had established friendly connections with the anti-Castro Cubans via the Havana casinos run by the Mafia prior to the Cuban Revolution. Several Cuban exiles and Mafia leaders hated President Kennedy, accusing him for the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs Assault. Both the anti-Castro Cubans and the members of Mafia were professional killers, while the Cubans were taught this craft by the CIA. Bonanno stated that he acknowledged the high possibility of other Mafia “families” participation in the killing of President after Jack Ruby attacked Oswald, as Bonanno knew that Ruby was a member of Chicago gang of Sam Giancana.Various conspiracy investigators claim a conspiracy linking elements of the CIA, the Mafia, and the anti-Castro Cubans, all of whom were not satisfied with what they perceived as Kennedy’s conciliation strategies toward the Soviet Union and the Communist Cuba.
In conclusion, it is possible that there was a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Evidence indicates that different individuals and organization wanted to hide the facts concerning the President Kennedy’s killing. Additionally, evidence indicates that Lee Harvey Oswald could not have performed the murder solely and that the gunshots did not originate from one site. Those people who were possibly behind the conspiracy to assassinate the President included organized crime group, Cuban government, Secret Service Agency, Cuban Émigrés, Israel government, Soviet Union, as well as the secret government.