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Jim Hargrove

John Armstrong blasts the mail order rifle “evidence”

419 posts in this topic

David J.,

The reason the PMO issue is important (not a distraction) is because it has a short learning curve and is easy to understand.

You're kidding, right Sandy?

I don't know why you ask that, David. No I'm not kidding. It's very easy to understand that an unprocessed PMO could not have bought a gun. Compare that statement to the following:

There is no evidence Kleins ever had C2766 to ship in March in the first place other than a list of 100 rifles for which not a single other rifle has EVER been found - only C2766. There is also nothing to refute the locations the FBI claimed did not sell the rifle even though as we see below, 2766 appears in a shipment in June to Empire Wholesale. As we come to learn - there were no rifles without prefixes in the 100 rifle shipment claimed to go to Kleins so to assume these 1300 rifles did not have a letter prefix appears to be quite a stretch.

In addition, SOP for Rupp and Crescent is to accumulate orders and then instruct Rupp to remove rifles and prepare them to ship when enough orders are ready to go from Kleins. The Hidell Order of C20-T750 being shipped in March and recorded on the microfilm with 900+ other orders would have to be part of a larger # of shipments of C20-T750 orders, fulfilled by any one of the other 99 rifles.

If this was going on for all C20-T750 orders - a $19.95 36" TS carbine being replaced with the larger 40" FC rifle then surely ALL C20-T750 orders fulfilled after Feb 22 would have shipped one of these rifles. The FBI could shut the door on the entire matter by showing Kleins record of doing the same thing with all their C20-T750 orders... yet not one is ever seen, ever offered and not one of the 99 rifles has EVER been found.

which makes my eyes glaze over.

I understand the statement "there is no evidence Klein's ever had C2766 to ship in March in the first place." And that would be compelling if I understood the situation well enough to know that there truly was no C2766 rifle to ship. But that looks a lot more complicated than this one statement: "There are no bank stamps on the PMO, and this proves it wasn't processed." All I need to be convinced of beyond that is that bank stamps really were required. And the documented regulations for that are short and easy to read as well. Then you're done. It literally takes less than five minutes to understand. (If it seems more complicated than that in the forum, that's only because we have a lawyer making it more complicated than it really is.)

I see nothing easy about the PMO issue once you throw Holmes' story into the mix, or the conflicting reports as to where and when it was found.

So don't throw it in... it's not necessary.

Let's see if I can recap:

During the course of his day, March 12, 1963 Oswald kept detailed records of the projects he worked upon for JCS.

His timesheet shows no breaks prior to 10:30am - the time of the Kleins envelope postmark. In fact, there is no time during that day when Ozzie can take care of this errand.

All the USPS reports state that the PMO, if real, would have been purchased in the morning of March 12 while Ozzie is at work.

Plus, does it make sense to microfilm the envelope and not the PMO enclosed inside?

That's another easy thing for people to grasp. But it's a little problematic because people are known to cheat on time sheets.

On page 14 of this folder http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/po-arm/id/34791we get a report from LH Stephens USPS Inspector in charge who claims the same thing as Holmes, that

"a check was made of the issued stubs of the Dallas office from March 1 through March 13 and only one money order in this amount was found"

IOW we should see a PMO stub for $21.45 from the Dallas office as definitive proof that THAT PMO was purchased on that date by A. Hidell and made out to Kleins - but we don't ever get to see it.

Another easy thing to understand. But not seeing the stub does not mean it doesn't exist.

The item of evidence which appears in numerous reports as being found and leading to the recovery of the PMO, is not in evidence and Holmes can't remember the name of one of his own clerks who found it...

Uh, right . :rolleyes:

I see what you're saying now...

With regards to the stub - if that is the central point of evidence which connects the PMO to reality, which it does since process marks can easily be faked but the other part of a form which mirrors the PMO cannot - not within a book, which is why we also never see the bus transfer book and why the master records for McWatters' transfer books at the bus station office are also gone - IOW, there is no proof McWatters had THAT BOOK, only that stamp.

So within a book of continuous #'s the stub would be very hard to fake... the PMO is relatively easy.

With regards to the long and twisted story of the rifle... we find yet again that SOP never applies to the incriminating evidence against Ozzie. It is always the exception.

As I continue to say and write - The Evidence IS the Conspiracy. I have yet to find an area where it is not.

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I see what you're saying now...

With regards to the stub - if that is the central point of evidence which connects the PMO to reality, which it does since process marks can easily be faked but the other part of a form which mirrors the PMO cannot - not within a book, which is why we also never see the bus transfer book and why the master records for McWatters' transfer books at the bus station office are also gone - IOW, there is no proof McWatters had THAT BOOK, only that stamp.

So within a book of continuous #'s the stub would be very hard to fake... the PMO is relatively easy.

With regards to the long and twisted story of the rifle... we find yet again that SOP never applies to the incriminating evidence against Ozzie. It is always the exception.

As I continue to say and write - The Evidence IS the Conspiracy. I have yet to find an area where it is not.

It seems to me that this is "conspiracy logic." One becomes so wedded to the notion of a conspiracy (or, conversely, a non-conspiracy) that every item of evidence, or even the absence of evidence, becomes proof of the conspiracy.

It seems to me that the evidence is not the conspiracy. The conspiracy (or lack thereof) is in the presuppositions one brings to the evidence.

In itself, the "missing" stub is evidence of nothing at all. I feel sure that the reaction of almost everyone who didn't have a vested interest in the matter would be along the lines of, "Well, once they had the money order, the stub probably didn't seem important."

But now, 53 years later, the absence of the stub becomes a "central" piece of evidence for the conspiracy. The stub is missing, but the money order itself is not, because the money order could more easily be "faked." A postal money order with LHO's handwriting and a File Locator Number imprinted on it would be easier to fake and plant in the Federal Records Center than a Postal Record stub in the Dallas post office? It appears to me that the stub would be exceedingly easy to fake - it contains nothing the money order does not, and does not contain most of what the money order does. (And, lest we forget, the File Locator Number is not proof the money order was not faked and was duly processed, which might seem the logical inference; rather, it is proof of how clever the conspirators were, although they did overlook the need for those pesky bank stamps.)

Conspiracy logic. It makes my head hurt. There may well have been a conspiracy, but it must be proven by those items of evidence that actually point toward a conspiracy - not by forcing every item of evidence, or even the absence of evidence, into the conspiracy mold, regardless of whether it actually fits.

As a native Arizonan, it has been my moral obligation to buy and sell a number of handguns and rifles over the years. In my living room, in someone else's living room, out of car trunks, at swap meets and in other places where this might be impossible in a more highly regulated state. (In 1973, I bought for a mere $75 a pristine Remington 30.06 with an excellent Weaver scope that would have made a lovely assassination weapon.) In these informal transactions, which are always 100% cash, I don't recall anyone - seller or buyer - ever asking to see any identification. There is usually some sort of half-assed bill of sale, just so the buyer can show the gun isn't stolen. Putting on my conspirator hat for the moment, it seems to me that if I wanted to frame LHO with a rifle, a purported cash transaction in Texas or Louisiana and a dummy bill of sale planted among his personal effects would have done the trick without any of the risks of the Rube Goldbergian conspiracy hypothesized by Armstrong. Why, just to establish that LHO had purchased the rifle found on the sixth floor, would sane conspirators have concocted such a clumsy conspiracy? (According to conspiracy logic, of course, the answer is: It doesn't matter why they did - they did. But it does kind of matter why they did, if you are insisting on a conspiracy that seems to make no sense at all.)

post-7231-0-53072300-1457202842_thumb.png

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I've never seen the back side of this so-called document, but wouldn't you think Waldman or one of those expensive WC attorneys might think to look at the deposit slip--front and back--at that point?

I think there's a good chance that the "Extra Copy" of the deposit ticket was never sent to the bank by Klein's. It's a carbon copy of the original ticket that could very well have just stayed with Klein's all the time for their records. So if it never was sent to First National, of course it would never have been stamped by the bank.

It certainly does look like a carbon copy.

Would a carbon copy have gone to the bank with the original, and been stamped? I think the answer to both questions would be no.

It makes a whole lot of sense, then, that Waldman would say that he had no way of knowing the date of deposit.

Really? Waldman (or a WC attorney or staff member) couldn't call the First National Bank of Chicago and ask when Kleins had last made a deposit of $13,827.98? For that matter, why couldn't Waldman have merely looked at Kleins' FNBC bank statements for those earlier months in 1963 and checked to find when the $13,827.98 deposited. I'll bet there was only one deposit in that amount for the whole year.

Waldman was the vice president of a huge mail order outfit in Chicago. He doesn't know this simple stuff? And the well-paid WC attorneys? They let that kind of weasel language slide under the table? My guess--just a guess--is that Waldman said something else entirely.

Jim,

When Waldman said he had no way of knowing the date of deposit, that was when he was testifying before the Warren Commission, right? I will reply to your post assuming that that is the case.

Waldman was presented evidence in the form of a carbon copy of a deposit receipt. It had nothing from the bank stamped on it. So he testified that, from the evidence presented, there is no way for him to know the deposit date. And that is true.

Waldman could indeed have given the true deposit date had he brought in his own evidence (which he wouldn't have done unless asked to do so by the WC), or had he investigated it on his own and made a mental note of the deposit date prior to giving his testimony. But from what little I know, he was merely asked what the deposit date was based on evidence presented... the carbon copy of the deposit slip.

(If my assumption or line of reasoning is wrong, please let me know.)

It is the WC's fault that the correct evidence wasn't presented. Or the FBI's for not gathering the correct evidence.

If you look at my List in post 275 (on page 19) you will see that I made a note of this problem.

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So…. You're the vice president of a company that has been accused of selling the $12.78/$21.95/$21.45 magic rifle with scope that killed a sitting president to a pseudonymous young “commie” (in violation of Postal regs, no?), and you have a bank deposit slip that seems to show the magic money order… untouched by any U.S. bank or financial institution... was deposited a month before it was received… and you literally have months to prepare for your testimony… and you don't bother to check your bank statements to see when the magic deposit was really made?


Assuming Mr. Waldman didn't know at the time how ludicrous this all was, he had to know enough to at least look into the fundamentals of this transaction. There is no indication that the FBI seized Kleins' banking records--they weren't, after all, nearly as important as “Lee Harvey Oswald's” grade school and teen-aged employment records, many of which were seized.


You're quite right, Sandy, that this is mostly the fault of the WC/FBI, but I just don't believe Mr. Waldman was that dumb.

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Time now for a DVP CS&L Break (reprised from two earlier EF posts)....

As far back as 1964, everybody in officialdom already knew the money order was totally legitimate. And that's because they knew it had Lee Harvey Oswald's very own handwriting all over the front of it, plus the Klein's stamp which proves that Klein's handled it, plus the fact it was found in the exact spot where it should have been found on 11/23/63. What more did they need?

It's only the obsessive conspiracy theorists of the world who have the slightest desire to pursue this subject to the ends of the Earth. And that's because they'll do anything they can--no matter how far-fetched--in order to take that rifle out of the hands of the man who obviously purchased it, Lee H. Oswald.

Additional CS&L....

The-Oswald-Never-Ordered-The-Rifle-Myth-

Edited by David Von Pein

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"I've never heard such a major distortion of what is actually a conclusive fact." -- Joseph A. Ball; Dec. 4, 1964

Edited by David Von Pein

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I see what you're saying now...

With regards to the stub - if that is the central point of evidence which connects the PMO to reality, which it does since process marks can easily be faked but the other part of a form which mirrors the PMO cannot - not within a book, which is why we also never see the bus transfer book and why the master records for McWatters' transfer books at the bus station office are also gone - IOW, there is no proof McWatters had THAT BOOK, only that stamp.

So within a book of continuous #'s the stub would be very hard to fake... the PMO is relatively easy.

With regards to the long and twisted story of the rifle... we find yet again that SOP never applies to the incriminating evidence against Ozzie. It is always the exception.

As I continue to say and write - The Evidence IS the Conspiracy. I have yet to find an area where it is not.

It seems to me that this is "conspiracy logic." One becomes so wedded to the notion of a conspiracy (or, conversely, a non-conspiracy) that every item of evidence, or even the absence of evidence, becomes proof of the conspiracy.

It seems to me that the evidence is not the conspiracy. The conspiracy (or lack thereof) is in the presuppositions one brings to the evidence.

In itself, the "missing" stub is evidence of nothing at all. I feel sure that the reaction of almost everyone who didn't have a vested interest in the matter would be along the lines of, "Well, once they had the money order, the stub probably didn't seem important."

But now, 53 years later, the absence of the stub becomes a "central" piece of evidence for the conspiracy. The stub is missing, but the money order itself is not, because the money order could more easily be "faked." A postal money order with LHO's handwriting and a File Locator Number imprinted on it would be easier to fake and plant in the Federal Records Center than a Postal Record stub in the Dallas post office? It appears to me that the stub would be exceedingly easy to fake - it contains nothing the money order does not, and does not contain most of what the money order does. (And, lest we forget, the File Locator Number is not proof the money order was not faked and was duly processed, which might seem the logical inference; rather, it is proof of how clever the conspirators were, although they did overlook the need for those pesky bank stamps.)

Conspiracy logic. It makes my head hurt. There may well have been a conspiracy, but it must be proven by those items of evidence that actually point toward a conspiracy - not by forcing every item of evidence, or even the absence of evidence, into the conspiracy mold, regardless of whether it actually fits.

As a native Arizonan, it has been my moral obligation to buy and sell a number of handguns and rifles over the years. In my living room, in someone else's living room, out of car trunks, at swap meets and in other places where this might be impossible in a more highly regulated state. (In 1973, I bought for a mere $75 a pristine Remington 30.06 with an excellent Weaver scope that would have made a lovely assassination weapon.) In these informal transactions, which are always 100% cash, I don't recall anyone - seller or buyer - ever asking to see any identification. There is usually some sort of half-assed bill of sale, just so the buyer can show the gun isn't stolen. Putting on my conspirator hat for the moment, it seems to me that if I wanted to frame LHO with a rifle, a purported cash transaction in Texas or Louisiana and a dummy bill of sale planted among his personal effects would have done the trick without any of the risks of the Rube Goldbergian conspiracy hypothesized by Armstrong. Why, just to establish that LHO had purchased the rifle found on the sixth floor, would sane conspirators have concocted such a clumsy conspiracy? (According to conspiracy logic, of course, the answer is: It doesn't matter why they did - they did. But it does kind of matter why they did, if you are insisting on a conspiracy that seems to make no sense at all.)

attachicon.gifFaking the money order.png

The Stub, from which the PMO is discovered and at one time was attached - is the very thing that gives the PMO any initial credibility. To then claim not to have this item breaks the chain of evidence. The PMO then requires other forms of authentication. When that cannot occur due to conflicting evidence, that item cannot be authenticated or regarded as "real evidence". It's worthless. Only a dead defendant and no trial changes the need to authenticate evidence. you can look at RFK's case for how the LAPD treated evidence and witnesses with a trial and defendant ...

Why, just to establish that LHO had purchased the rifle found on the sixth floor, would sane conspirators have concocted such a clumsy conspiracy? (According to conspiracy logic, of course, the answer is: It doesn't matter why they did - they did. But it does kind of matter why they did, if you are insisting on a conspiracy that seems to make no sense at all.)

Your question was answered over 50 years ago Lance -

The truth asks you devote your time and attention to the study of what was left behind... Arlen Specter only asks that you trust the Warren Commission Commissioners, the FBI, the work they did and the conclusions they offered. Independent lawyers like Salandria and Lane saw it differently from the start.

"I'm afraid we were misled," Salandria said sadly. "All the critics, myself included, were misled very early. I see that now. We spent too much time and effort micro-analyzing the details of the assassination when all the time it was obvious, it was blatantly obvious that it was a conspiracy. Don't you think that the men who killed Kennedy had the means to do it in the most sophisticated and subtle way? They chose not to. Instead, they picked the shooting gallery that was Dealey Plaza and did it in the most barbarous and openly arrogant manner. The cover story was transparent and designed not to hold, to fall apart at the slightest scrutiny. The forces that killed Kennedy wanted the message clear: 'We are in control and no one -- not the President, nor Congress, nor any elected official -- no one can do anything about it.' It was a message to the people that their government was powerless. And the people eventually got the message. Consider what has happened since the Kennedy assassination. People see government today as unresponsive to their needs, yet the budget and power of the military and intelligence establishment have increased tremendously.

"The tyranny of power is here. Current events tell us that those who killed Kennedy can only perpetuate their power by* promoting social upheaval both at home and abroad. And that will lead not to revolution but to repression. I suggest to you, my friend, that the interests of those who killed Kennedy now transcend national boundaries and national priorities. No doubt we are dealing now with an international conspiracy. We must face that fact -- and not waste any more time micro-analyzing the evidence. That's exactly what they want us to do. They have kept us busy for so long. And I will bet, buddy, that is what will happen to you. They'll keep you very, very busy and, eventually, they'll wear you down."

Wondering "Why" about the thoughts and actions of others is a dead end and even doubly troubling when dealing with intelligence based activity.

"why" is a point of view... freedom fighter or terrorist

what actually happened that day and how it was covered up is a singular truth... from start to finish it only happened one way.

Though that one way has been woven into a complex fabric of lies and evidence. You can't just pull a thread and it all unravels...

You may want to read some of Larry Hancock's books if you haven't. Or a bio of some of the key intel players like Angleton (Lisa Pease wrote a great two parter on him) and Helms and Dulles, Bundy and Harriman and scores of others. It's as if you forget what was going on at the time - that all the intrigue and murder and spying and Cold War was meaningless when in fact it was everything to some of the most dangerous people on the planet.

They didn't just take 1963 off, sit back and watch.

Super Pacs are a direct result of unchecked Military Industrial Congressional Complex power. Industry buys Congress to support the military which fuels the desires of the industries feeding them...

How can we spend more than the next ten nations combined, yet still have a Military that is in need of such repair?

-----------------------------------

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Why, just to establish that LHO had purchased the rifle found on the sixth floor, would sane conspirators have concocted such a clumsy conspiracy? (According to conspiracy logic, of course, the answer is: It doesn't matter why they did - they did. But it does kind of matter why they did, if you are insisting on a conspiracy that seems to make no sense at all.)

That's a good question, and I'd like to add to what DJ wrote….

The original plan of the conspirators was quite clearly to put a 300 Savage rifle with scope on the sixth floor TSBD, which was to have been purchased by “Lee Oswald” from a Texan named Robert McKeown, who was a personal friend of Fidel Castro and had been convicted of running guns to him during the Cuban revolution.

Here is the conclusion of John's write-up on the mail order rifle:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Labor Day weekend, 1963, Robert McKeown, his wife, and friend Sam Niel were in McKeown's house in Texas when a car drove into the driveway and two men soon knocked on his front door. When McKeown opened the door the American said, "You are McKeown, are you not? I understand that you can supply any amount of arms." McKeown asked for the man's name and he introduced himself as LEE Oswald (not Lee Harvey Oswald), and his friend as Mr. Hernandez. Oswald asked McKeown if he could obtain rifles, and offered to pay him $10,000 for four 300 Savage rifles with scopes. Somewhat perplexed, McKeown told Oswald that he could buy the same rifles at Sears & Roebuck for $75 and then asked, "Why come to me?"

McKeown, who was nearing the end of his 5-year probation for running guns to Castro, was leery of Oswald and refused his offer. McKeown told the (HSCA), "I said, you are not going to get them through me. I did not want anymore part of any kind of rifles. I would not be caught with a rifle. I said, you came to the wrong man, I am not going to get involved, and thank God I did not get them."

LEE Oswald and Hernandez left the house and were walking toward their car when McKeown closed the door. McKeown said to his friend Sam Niel, "Ain't that a hell of a mess?" Niel replied, "Mac, don't mess with them." A few minutes later LEE Oswald returned and knocked on McKeown's door. He repeated his offer, which McKeown again refused, and then left with Hernandez and never returned.

NOTE: After the assassination Sam Neil saw Oswald's picture on television. He called McKeown and said, "Mac, are you watching the TV..…That's the bastard who was at your house that got killed, that Ruby killed."

The HSCA asked McKeown why Oswald would offer him so much money for a rifle and he replied, "That is what puzzled me, why would he come to me to buy rifles." McKeown may have been puzzled, but it made perfect sense to those who were setting up Lee HARVEY Oswald (Marina's husband) as the "patsy." On Labor Day weekend, when Lee HARVEY Oswald was in New Orleans, LEE Oswald visited Robert McKeown in Texas. CIA-handlers were using LEE Oswald in an attempt to create the illusion that Castro furnished rifles to Lee HARVEY Oswald through his friend and former gunrunner, Robert McKeown.

If LEE Oswald had managed to purchase rifles from McKeown, then one of those rifles would probably have been found on the 6th floor of the TSBD after the assassination of President Kennedy. The rifle would have been traced back to Cuban gun-runner Robert McKeown, and there is little doubt that Castro would have been blamed for JFK's murder. The American public, and the CIA-influenced media, would have demanded an immediate retaliatory invasion of Cuba. The US military would respond, overthrow Castro, and thousands of Cuban exiles would be able to return to their homeland. In the author's opinion,LEE Oswald's attempt to purchase rifles from Robert McKeown on Labor Day, 1963, was the most significant and obvious attempt to link "Lee HARVEYOswald" to Castro and Cuba. During the next two months LEE Oswald impersonated HARVEY Oswald on numerous occasions, in an attempt to set him up as a "patsy", and create the illusion that HARVEY Oswald was planning to kill JFK.

LEE Oswald's attempt to purchase rifles from Robert McKeown is important for two reasons. First, and most important, was the attempt to purchase a rifle from McKeown and then link that rifle (assassination weapon) to Castro and Cuba. Secondly, the attempt to purchase rifles from McKeown was a good indication that as of Labor Day weekend, 1963, the assassination weapon had not yet been chosen. And, as we have seen from the evidence, Kleins did not sell nor ship C2766 to Lee HARVEY Oswald in March, 1963.

Castro_McKeown.jpg

From http://harveyandlee.net/Mail_Order_Rifle/Mail_Order_Rifle.html

Copyright © 2016 by John Armstrong

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

McKeown didn't want to testify to the HSCA, and refused to do so until he was granted full immunity. I'm surprised the HSCA took his testimony, but it was suppressed for decades. It can now be read in full HERE.

The Carcano was an afterthought, the plan put together some time after the effort to purchase a Savage rifle from Castro's personal gunrunner failed. It is one of the weakest points in an otherwise brilliant plot.

Edited by Jim Hargrove

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I meant to conclude the above by saying that the immediate purpose of the JFK hit was to provoke an invasion of Cuba, which the McKeown rifle purchase by "Lee Oswald," had it succeeded, might well have accomplished.

Jim DiEugenio also has a marvelous Powerpoint presentation showing how out of touch JFK's total foreign policy was with the military industrial intelligence complex's idea of Good Foreign Relations. Very revealing!

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I meant to conclude the above by saying that the immediate purpose of the JFK hit was to provoke an invasion of Cuba, which the McKeown rifle purchase by "Lee Oswald," had it succeeded, might well have accomplished.

Jim DiEugenio also has a marvelous Powerpoint presentation showing how out of touch JFK's total foreign policy was with the military industrial intelligence complex's idea of Good Foreign Relations. Very revealing!

That is my belief (or "working hypothesis") as well, or at least a purpose to retaliate for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Of course, that could have been the purpose of a much less elaborate and complex conspiracy than is typically conjectured, which is also my working hypothesis. I was aware of the McKeown encounter; it, and numerous other pieces of evidence (like the Silvia Odio encounter), do have to be dealt with by anyone attempting to make sense of the assassination. As I've said, I accept that one or more Oswald imposters were at work, at least in the time period immediately preceding the assassin, in an effort to create a portrait of LHO that would make him a more believable assassin. But the conjectured conspiracy has grown like Topsy to the point that (IMHO) it doesn't even make sense anymore, and many people are so neck-deep in the minutiae that they no longer even seem to care whether it makes sense.

I don't know if you've ever studied the "Shakespeare didn't really write Shakespeare" movement, but back 100 years or so ago it reached such heights of silliness, with so many "researchers" finding such goofy "evidence" under every rock, that it became laugh-out-loud funny. There is a legitimate question about Shakespeare, and some of the real evidence is intriguing, but it's been buried beneath layers of goofiness because this sort of phenomena seems to have an inherent propensity to keep growing and becoming ever more complex and ever more mysterious. This is particularly true today, when anyone and everyone can declare himself an instant expert and attempt to make a splash (look for my new book, The File Locator Number - Key to the Assassination of JFK, to be released in the late summer; the First Annual File Locator Number Conference will follow shortly thereafter).

Even as one who has read Harvey and Lee, I hadn't been picking up on the notion that the theory is that the entire Klein's evidence was fabricated sometime after Labor Day of 1963. I realize that all of the following is rejected by the followers of Armstrong (and others), and is not without inconsistencies itself, but it does happen to fit perfectly with Oswald's acquisition of the rifle precisely when the money order said he acquired it: The time when Marina said he bought the rifle, the time when the De Mohrenschildts said they first saw the rifle, the attempt on Gen. Walker, the backyard photos (including the dated photo given to De Mohrenschildt), and De Mohrenschildt's "patsy" manuscript found after his death. I don't want to provoke another firestorm or to debate these items, because I realize they are all controversial - I'm just saying they do point in the direction of March 1963 as the acquisition date and must be accounted for as well.

As to the Salandria quotation provided by David, I believe I understand the point that Salandria was making. The very circumstances of the assassination - a brutal head shot in broad daylight, with hundreds of people watching and dozens of cameras clicking - do have an in-your-face, don't-mess-with-us aspect to them, as though a message were being sent. However, a much smaller and more focused group of conspirators could have intended to send the same message, particularly if they were seething with anger over the Bay of Pigs fiasco. A much smaller and more focused conspiracy might also explain why the assassination was conducted the way it was - the parade in Dallas actually may have been the best opportunity a small group enraged by the Bay of Pigs fiasco would ever have to whack the President, which would not have been true of the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, Army Intelligence, etc. The fact that the assassination may have left LBJ, Hoover, the Texas oilmen, a large segment of the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, military, Dallas Police and right-wing population of America grinning from ear to ear doesn't necessarily mean that they (or any of them) were involved in the situation; because successful conspiracies seldom involve this many actors or this many opportunities for things to go wrong, my working hypothesis is that this one didn't either.

It seems to me that Salandria is referring to the circumstances of the assassination - or at least that this is where his point fits best. I don't believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that he was talking about alterations to the Zapruder film, an altered body, fake autopsy photos, fake money orders or this sort of thing. If he was seriously suggesting that the conspirators did all of these things and more, and did them as clumsily as a Single A farm team of the Keystone Cops, just to send the message that they were so powerful they didn't even care how absurd it all looked, then I'll have to respectfully disagree.

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Well, Lance, good luck with your First Annual File Locater Number Conference…. But if it has fewer attendees than you hoped, blame it on my competing (and far more reverent) “IN GOD WE TRUST” seminar. At my meeting, I'll explain to anxious Americans that all those counterfeit twenty and hundred dollar bills their banks refused to honor can't possibly be phony since each one clearly says, “IN GOD WE TRUST.” How can such a spiritually righteous bill POSSIBLY be bogus?

I can't speak for anyone else, but John Armstrong's analysis of the assassination is really pretty simple.

A young Russian-speaking emigre (call him “Harvey”) is given the same identity as an American-born youth (“Lee”) for the purpose of eventually sending him to the Soviet Union where he secretly understands Russian and can learn about the conditions of common Russians... which is exactly what happened. His smart report, hiding in plain site in Warren Volume 16 for more than half a century, can be read HERE.

In the spring or summer of 1963, Harvey is selected to be the patsy for the upcoming assassination of JFK. (If you are conspiring to assassinate a U.S. president, you absolutely must have a patsy, otherwise the relentless search for you will eventually succeed.) Harvey is a superb choice for three reasons:

1. With his trip to Russia and staged FPCC activities, it's easy to paint him as a commie with ties to Castro.

2. His ties to both the FBI and the CIA will make G-men, especially J. Edgar Hoover, all too happy to enter full scale cover-up mode.

3. Harvey has demonstrated that he will follow even difficult orders, which will be critical in the days and hours before and immediately after the assassination. He absolutely needs to be in the right places at the right times.

In and around Dallas for six weeks or so prior to the hit, Lee framed Harvey as the assassin-to-be. Simple, yet quite brilliant.

The McKeown affair shows that the assassination rifle hadn't been selected by around Labor Day of '63, but John and many others believe that ALL the evidence for the Carcano was fabricated after the hit. It was six days after the assassination before the FBI declared, in any publicly verifiable source, that the rifle cost $21.45 instead of $12.78. I can't prove this, but I think it may have been a Mauser originally found on the sixth floor, that it had some immediately traceable link to Castro, and that the Carcano was an after-the-fact substitute to make the Cuban connection go away.

The cover-up was FAR more complicated than the original plot.

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The McKeown affair shows that the assassination rifle hadn't been selected by around Labor Day of '63, but John and many others believe that ALL the evidence for the Carcano was fabricated after the hit. It was six days after the assassination before the FBI declared, in any publicly verifiable source, that the rifle cost $21.45 instead of $12.78. I can't prove this, but I think it may have been a Mauser originally found on the sixth floor, that it had some immediately traceable link to Castro, and that the Carcano was an after-the-fact substitute to make the Cuban connection go away.

The cover-up was FAR more complicated than the original plot.

Jim, I do appreciate your (and David's) willingness to confront the questions I am asking.

I can accept that an Oswald imposter attempted to buy four Savage .308’s from an arms dealer with Castro connections like McKeown. (If this was actually an effort to buy the weapon to be planted on the sixth floor, the attempt to buy four is a bit strange – this seeming would have screamed “Conspiracy!”) But anyway, I have no great difficulty fitting this and other attempts to paint LHO as a pro-Castro fanatic into my notion of a small-scale conspiracy by folks enraged by the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Your last post almost stuns me – but OK, we’ll say that a Mauser was originally found on the sixth floor. (I am fully informed about the initial “Mauser” confusion and Roger Craig's testimony.) If Oswald was the selected patsy, how could the conspirators have possibly planted any rifle other than one that could easily be connected to Oswald? How could they possibly have planted the "wrong" rifle?

They then go into scramble mode and, in a matter of days after the assassination, create all of the Klein’s paperwork and a fake money order that they imprint with a File Locator Number and plant in the Federal Records Center, as well as a veritable flurry of fabricated and postdated FBI, Secret Service and Postal reports suggesting who, what, when, where and how the money order was located on the night of the day after the assassination? And all of this is done to substitute a clunker Mannlicher-Carcano with a misaligned scope and no connection to Castro as the assassination weapon?

My head is spinning. How would any rifle other than the one they wanted to be connected to the patsy have been left on the sixth floor in the first place? And even if that somehow occurred, why not substitute a more plausible assassination weapon with a far less convoluted (albeit fabricated) trail connecting it to Oswald?

Isn’t it far more likely that the Mannlicher-Carcano became the weapon planted on the sixth floor because it was, in fact, the rifle LHO had purchased from Klein’s in March? If you wanted LHO as your patsy (and he certainly fit the bill perfectly), this was the rifle you were going to have to plant, even though it might seem like rather a poor choice as an assassination weapon? (Of course, we can extend this to it being found on the sixth floor because it was the assassination weapon and Oswald was the assassination, but I am wearing my conspiracy hat for purposes of this discussion.)

I just happened to notice on "Oswald’s Mother," a blog I have sometimes enjoyed in the past, that the author stated (in 2009) very matter-of-factly that all the postal money orders Oswald used to repay his State Department loan had the requisite bank stamps on the back and that the receipt for the Klein’s money order was found in Oswald’s possessions after the assassination. None of this is true, to the best of my knowledge, but it does illustrate how these things take on a life of their own and become “conspiracy gospel.” It also made me think – why wasn’t the money order receipt found among Oswald’s possessions? Plenty of equally odd things were. Were those who faked the money order and planted it at the Federal Records Center asleep at the wheel on this one?

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Lance,

I'll try to make a better response tonight or tomorrow a.m., but if you have a few minutes to spare, you might want to take a look at the thread here called "Did somebody screw up." It has some info on the evidence that a Mauser was found on the sixth floor.

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If I may attach my Harvey and Lee propeller to my conspiracy beanie for a moment, I would have thought a more plausible theory would have been: Harvey is induced to buy the rifle from Klein's for some ostensible purpose, perhaps in connection with Sen. Dodd's investigation of mail-order gun merchants (thanks to Tommy for steering me in this direction). Voila, our patsy now has a rifle, with no need to fake or fabricate anything. Not an especially convincing assassination weapon, but probably the sort of thing Harvey actually would have purchased for himself. As the time for the assassination draws nearer, Lee engages in a variety of activities, including the encounter with McKeown, to paint Harvey as an increasingly radical and gun-oriented pro-Castro fanatic. On the morning of the assassination, Harvey is induced to bring his rifle to work for some ostensible purpose, or the conspirators simply remove it from Ruth Paine's garage after Harvey has left. The rifle is planted, the Klein's paperwork and money order are easily located, and the conspirators toast each other with margaritas. Marina's testimony and the de Mohrenschildts' testimony is basically true and the backyard photos are authentic. All the "Mauser stuff" was just an understandable mistake in the confusion surrounding one of the most traumatic events in U.S. history. Even in Harvey and Lee land, doesnt this make more sense?

While I have my Harvey and Lee beanie on, I will say I was disappointed that the book simply stopped with the assassination as though we had hit a brick wall. I think I would have left no stone unturned to figure out what became of Harvey and the Marguerite imposter.

Edited by Lance Payette

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Lance,

Stepping outside of Harvey & Lee Make Believe Land for another brief moment....

An even more reasonable, sensible, and believable scenario is the following one:

The one and only Lee H. Oswald (whose middle name just happened to be Harvey) purchases a cheap rifle for himself in March 1963 (so he can shoot a certain retired general in Dallas). He misses in his attempt to kill General Walker, but decides to hang on to the Carcano rifle (for some reason that I've never quite been able to figure out, other than his own extreme stinginess and unwillingness to get rid of something he only used once).

Oswald is then afforded the perfect opportunity to kill an even bigger political figure seven months later in November when the President is scheduled to come to town. And Lee just couldn't let such a golden target pass him by without trying to redeem himself for failing in an assassination attempt in April. Ergo, the "curtain rod" story is born, a long brown paper package is constructed, and an unusual Thursday night trip to Irving, Texas, is hastily planned.

The biggest snag for conspiracy theorists in the standard "Oswald Was Framed In Advance" theory is, in my view, the manner in which Lee Oswald obtained his job at the Book Depository. In order to get Oswald "planted" into the building, CTers have no choice but to twist things into a silly unbelievable plot involving Ruth Paine, Linnie Mae Randle, Roy Truly, and/or Buell Wesley Frazier (or any combination of the above). The normal, ordinary fashion in which Lee got the job just doesn't appeal to CTers, so an imaginary version of the event becomes mandatory for the conspiracists.

In short, every single thing the conspiracy theorists insist was the result of "conspiracy" in the JFK case are things that Lee Harvey Oswald could quite easily have accomplished without any conspiracy entering into the equation whatsoever. E.G., ordering the rifle and revolver via mail order, getting his job at the TSBD, transporting the rifle to the Depository on 11/22/63, firing 3 shots at JFK with his Mannlicher-Carcano, and getting to 10th Street in time to kill J.D. Tippit.

Not a single thing Oswald did on Nov. 21st or Nov. 22nd required the intervention of "conspiracy" or the assistance of a single other human being (other than the use of Wesley Frazier, Cecil McWatters, and William Whaley as Lee's chauffeurs). Lee Harvey Oswald—alone—could easily have committed the two murders that the Warren Commission (correctly) says he did commit in November of 1963.

Edited by David Von Pein

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