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Lance Payette

A conspiracy theory even a Lone Nutter can love ...

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During a recent bout of the flu in which I was confined to my Kindle, I read or re-read several old standbys including James Hosty’s Assignment: Oswald, Larry Sneed’s No More Silence and Ernst Titovets’ Oswald: Russian Episode.  I was struck, as I always am, but by the utter fumbling, bumbling ordinariness of the people and agencies involved, which makes an elaborate, convoluted conspiracy seem extremely far-fetched.

I can understand the appeal of elaborate conspiracy theories.  If the JFK assassination were my consuming hobby or quasi-religion, the Lone Assassin explanation would have no appeal.  I'd want an endless stream of mysteries and puzzles to sink my teeth into.  The Lone Assassin explanation is superficially less plausible than many conspiracy theories and certainly no fun as a hobby or religion.

As one who favors the Lone Assassin explanation, it seems to me that the conspiracy theories that have Oswald as a CIA operative, fake defector, fake Marxist, fake Castro supporter, etc., are preposterous.  They are the most fun and the most engrossing (well, perhaps not as much fun as the ones that involve aliens),  but they are completely at odds with the reality of Oswald the man from his youth to his death and are based almost entirely on wild speculation.  They seem to me to be driven by motives other than a sincere wish to get to the bottom of the assassination.

Those theories in which Oswald is posited as a genuine Marxist who was used as a patsy by anti-JFK and/or anti-Castro zealots typically plug him into scenarios where he simply doesn’t fit, factually or ideologically.  He is a like a cardboard stand-up figure who is inserted into the theory as needed.  He unquestionably had some involvement with anti-Castro types, but this is hardly surprising since he made clear that he was attempting to infiltrate or antagonize anti-Castro groups to bolster his pro-Castro credentials.

I strongly suspect that what is being uncovered by the intense efforts of conspiracy enthusiasts are some genuine conspiracies – whether actual conspiracies in the planning stages, incipient conspiracies in the pre-planning stages, or simply before-the-fact or after-the-fact conspiracy braggadacio.  Gerry Patrick Hemming (of all people) was quoted as saying that even though he knew of several teams involved in planning attempts to get JFK, “maybe Oswald got there ahead of them.”  I think it is entirely possible that what is being uncovered is evidence (or at least hints) of genuine conspiracies in which Oswald simply wasn’t involved and which themselves had no part in the events at Dealey Plaza.  Trying to plug Oswald into these conspiracies, or these conspiracies into Dealey Plaza, is never convincing.

I also believe that, as one of the key historical events in U.S. history, the JFK assassination is plagued to an extraordinary degree by the false leads, wannabes and crackpots that plague every attempt to get to the truth of a high-profile event.  Nothing can be done about this, but many conspiracy theorists seem extraordinarily willing to follow these false leads and give credence to pretty obvious wannabes and crackpots.

And yet, as books like Hosty’s make clear, there was skulduggery by the DPD, FBI and CIA (at least).  This included the alteration of documents, destruction of documents and obfuscation – all for the purpose of shifting blame or making an agency seem less negligent than it was (or than others might view it in hindsight as having been).  Hosty (if you believe him, as I do) wasn’t made privy to details of Oswald’s trip to Mexico City, such as the real identity of  Kostikov, that might have caused him to take Oswald as a more serious threat to JFK.  (I'm aware that whether Kostikov actually was the KGB’s “assassination guy” for the Western Hemisphere, as well as the precise nature of Oswald’s contacts with him, are still the subject of speculation – but certainly the FBI and CIA viewed this situation with near-hysteria in the aftermath of the assassination.)

According to Hosty, there was indeed a cover-up conspiracy.  What was covered up was evidence suggesting possible Russian or Cuban ties to the assassination.  Such things as Marina being a perfect match for the previously developed FBI profile of a KGB sleeper agent; Oswald having had contacts with the official at the Soviet embassy in Washington who was known to be the paymaster of KGB deep-cover agents; Oswald having met in Mexico City with Kostikov; and Oswald having made “provocative” (Castro’s term) comments at the Cuban embassy, which previously reliable FBI informants in Cuba later learned from Castro himself were references to killing JFK.  Kostikov’s real identity was withheld from Hosty when he received the Oswald file from New Orleans and even when he testified before the WC, where the WC mistakenly assumed he had known who Kostkov was and thus faulted him for not having brought Oswald to the attention of the Secret Service.

As Hosty indicates, there was no clear evidence that the Russians or Cubans actually encouraged Oswald or participated in any way in the assassination, but mere facts such as those above – especially the involvement of Kostikov, whatever it may have been – would have been explosive.  Perhaps whatever Oswald said was mere braggadacio in response to Castro’s then recent speech about retaliating against American assassination attempts and Oswald had no real plan (as I believe he didn't) until JFK was practically served up to him on a platter at the TSBD.  Or perhaps Kostikov or some other Soviet or Cuban official actually said “Cool, we’ll make sure you get to Cuba if you pull it off.”  Perhaps in the day or so immediately before the assassination Oswald made contact with someone who assured him that he would have transportation to Mexico City and then on to Cuba if he got out of Dallas alive.  Voila, this would be an assassination conspiracy of sorts.  To extend the conspiracy beyond this point, to the extent of actual Russian or Cuban involvement in the assassination itself, sends us off into the realm of pure speculation.

While a conspiracy of this sort is no fun and will not sustain a conspiracy hobby or religion for very long, it's at least entirely believable and entirely consistent with who Oswald actually was.  The explosive nature of facts such as those set out above meshes perfectly with LBJ’s statement to Earl Warren that the case had to be handled carefully and could result in a nuclear war with millions of lives lost if it were not (as well as LBJ's statement that he convinced Warren by relating what Hoover had told him about "a little incident in Mexico City").  It explains why the WC bent over backwards to adopt a Lone Assassin perspective and dismissed Oswald’s Mexico City trip as inconsequential – not because the evidence didn’t point squarely to Oswald being the lone assassin and entirely responsible for the events in Dealey Plaza, as it did, but because a domestic political crisis or even a nuclear war could have ensued with no real basis for believing the Russians or Cubans had affirmatively done anything to participate in or encourage the assassination.

I realize I’m saying nothing startling and new, but it is puzzling to me that a theory that requires no reinvention of Oswald, no implausibly elaborate and convoluted scenario, and no wild speculation about what took place in Mexico City or anywhere else – and that is entirely consistent with the historical record – doesn’t receive more attention.  I happen to lean toward a pretty straightforward Lone Assassin explanation, but I’m not troubled in the slightest by a scenario whereby someone in the Russian-Cuban sphere may have had some advance knowledge of Oswald’s plans, may even have encouraged him, and may have taken steps to assist in his escape to Mexico City – voila, a conspiracy!  All of the screw-ups and confusion on the part of the CIA and FBI in regard to the actual events in Mexico City and their aftermath strike me as nothing more than the fumbling, bumbling ordinariness and after-the-fact CYA scrambling that we see throughout the record of the assassination.

Edited by Lance Payette

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Bumbling is a good cover for people. Don’t discount it. Regardless when Hosty followed orders and destroyed that note from LHO he destroyed evidence. When JFK was left alone while a party ensued well its obvious it was bad. Was it to conceal foreknowledge w an excuse of drunkenness for the slow response?  Who knows only Hill did not go out and only he responded when shots rang out. Don’t discount bumbling as a cover. Many politicians use it regularly. 

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Hi Lance,

That's a good post with a lot of points worthy of consideration and discussion. I agree with a few of them.

It seems to me there are people on the Lone Assassin side that are just as determined to continue debating this subject as are people who favor the idea of conspiracy. I find that strange, because for those on the Lone Assassin side there is nothing left to be investigated. As far as Lone Assassin supporters are concerned, the case is solved. Yet there are those still determined to debate the details again and again. I don't know what drives them. At least those on the conspiracy side are still ostensibly investigating unresolved issues and have some excuse to keep pursuing the case and debating the fine points.

If I recall correctly, the idea of a benign cover-up was promoted by Newsweek the year Oliver Stone's JFK came out. So you're right in that a benign cover-your-ass cover-up was not exactly a new idea, but I believe the theory has been out there long enough to say that it's probably been given an adequate amount of attention.

In my view, the problem with that theory is that it still doesn't explain a few important things. What about the instances of foreknowledge, like the Odio incident? What was Oswald's motive? Why didn't Oswald have a getaway plan? If Oswald was truly acting alone, why did some people receive death threats against their families ordering them to keep quiet?

I'll try to address some of your other points in future posts.

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4 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

I can understand the appeal of elaborate conspiracy theories.  If the JFK assassination were my consuming hobby or quasi-religion, the Lone Assassin explanation would have no appeal.  I'd want an endless stream of mysteries and puzzles to sink my teeth into.  The Lone Assassin explanation is superficially less plausible than many conspiracy theories and certainly no fun as a hobby or religion.

I get what you're saying here. I've thought that about those researchers who are into Jack the Ripper. It's no fun for them if the case is solved, so there's equal enthusiasm for knocking down other theories as there is for promoting one above the others. But there Lone Assassin theory supporters who I assume find it fun because they keep coming back to argue a case that, for them, is already settled.

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49 minutes ago, Denny Zartman said:

Hi Lance,

That's a good post with a lot of points worthy of consideration and discussion. I agree with a few of them.

It seems to me there are people on the Lone Assassin side that are just as determined to continue debating this subject as are people who favor the idea of conspiracy. I find that strange, because for those on the Lone Assassin side there is nothing left to be investigated. As far as Lone Assassin supporters are concerned, the case is solved. Yet there are those still determined to debate the details again and again. I don't know what drives them. At least those on the conspiracy side are still ostensibly investigating unresolved issues and have some excuse to keep pursuing the case and debating the fine points.

If I recall correctly, the idea of a benign cover-up was promoted by Newsweek the year Oliver Stone's JFK came out. So you're right in that a benign cover-your-ass cover-up was not exactly a new idea, but I believe the theory has been out there long enough to say that it's probably been given an adequate amount of attention.

In my view, the problem with that theory is that it still doesn't explain a few important things. What about the instances of foreknowledge, like the Odio incident? What was Oswald's motive? Why didn't Oswald have a getaway plan? If Oswald was truly acting alone, why did some people receive death threats against their families ordering them to keep quiet?

I'll try to address some of your other points in future posts.

I've mentioned as well that I have difficulty fathoming why anyone would have a deep emotional commitment to the Lone Assassin explanation.  It's not merely that they (or me, if you will) regard the case as solved, but that they should realize that conspiracy thinking is a religion for a dedicated conspiracy enthusiast and that they are only beating their heads against the wall of the conspiracy temple.  To the extent that I do it, it's because I'm a natural-born argumentative agitator and contrarian (and a retired lawyer, which is perhaps the same thing), I enjoy the mental exercise in small doses, and I do have (as I always have) that little Monty Python demon on my shoulder egging me on to have some fun with this.  I fulfill exactly the same role on Christian and UFO forums as well.  But I can't see accumulating 10,000 posts trying to shout down conspiracy theorists on every last point as though the Lone Assassin explanation occupied some sort of higher moral ground.  In the great scheme of things, I really don't care whether Lee Harvey Oswald or the local high school hockey team shot JFK.  Moreover, I really don't think an understanding of the assassination is to be gained by examining every aspect with a microscope, which is indeed the conspiracy approach; I think it's to be gained by thoroughly examining Oswald the man and the events surrounding the week of the assassination at the macro level (or at least not the microscopic level, which is very distorting).

The Odio incident?  I happen to think the best explanation is confusion on Odio's part - it simply wasn't Oswald (BOO! HISS!).  Or if it was, it was part of his game to infiltrate the anti-Castro movement.  Or - I have no idea.  The supposed death threats?  Those have to be examined on a case-by-case basis and their credibility assessed on that basis.  I really don't know how well they stand up to scrutiny, individually or collectively.  Are there all sorts of weird loose ends that may or may not have significance?  Sure, there always are.

My theory on Oswald is that his motive was either: (1) "Screw it, I've hit rock-bottom in my crappy life and my crappy marriage, I ran into a dead-end in Mexico City, and this is how I'm going to become the historical figure I've always envisioned myself being.  Fate has handed me this opportunity on a platter."  Yes, he had a wife and two young daughters - but the note he left for Marina at the time of the Walker incident showed utterly no family affection or any concern that he might not survive the attempt.  As Marina said, I believe her three cold refusals to agree to put their family back together  the night before the assassination were a last straw that pushed him into an assassination he would not otherwise have committed.  In this scenario, I think he was probably astounded he survived and found himself outside the TSBD.  I don't think he had any getaway plan at all.  Once he was arrested, I think he was crafty enough to realize he'd be a much bigger historical figure with a sympathetic attorney like Abt and a two- or three-month trial where he could strut his political and social philosophy.  OR (see, I'm flexible!):  (2) The assassination was the ultimate establishment of his credentials as a bona fide Marxist and Castro supporter, and he would thereafter waltz to Cuba as a hero of the revolution.  The fly in the ointment here is that it really doesn't appear to me that he had a getaway plan at any time after he walked down the steps of the TSBD, which is why I favor theory 1.  A fallback position was that there was some understanding that he would receive assistance to Mexico City or Cuba if he could make it to the Red Bird Airport or possibly the border, but the whole thing just looks too messy for this to be believable to me.  When you look at the 36 hours before the assassination, the assassination itself and the two hours after it, to me it screams ad hoc, seat-of-his-pants Lone Assassin rather than any sort of realistic conspiracy scenario.

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Lance,

How do you figure that the guy, Bill Hunter, a Dallas reporter, was shot and killed, by police, in the 16 hours between the two interviews of Jack Ruby’s roommate, George Senator’s, differing Warren Commission testimonies, when George was the guy who gave that same reporter a tour of Ruby’s apartment on Sunday, the 24th of November,1963.

Lance, feeling guilty, yet?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Michael Clark

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18 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

I happen to lean toward a pretty straightforward Lone Assassin explanation, but I’m not troubled in the slightest by a scenario whereby someone in the Russian-Cuban sphere may have had some advance knowledge of Oswald’s plans, may even have encouraged him, and may have taken steps to assist in his escape to Mexico City – voila, a conspiracy!  All of the screw-ups and confusion on the part of the CIA and FBI in regard to the actual events in Mexico City and their aftermath strike me as nothing more than the fumbling, bumbling ordinariness and after-the-fact CYA scrambling that we see throughout the record of the assassination.

Excellent post and I think you have very effectively explained why/how the CTs have misinterpreted the evidence. Some of this is probably innocent on their part, but much of it is purposeful and based on their political ideology (Jim D. being the most obvious example). The case is a gold mine for conspiracy theories-you have a disgruntled Marxist who defects to the Soviet Union at the height of the cold war. He also brings home a Russian wife and befriends an eccentric oil man who knows both Jackie K. and George Bush. Fertile ground indeed and any number of scenarios can be concocted that seem plausible at first blush.

Of course, Gus Russo wrote two books about the possible Cuban angle, but strangely his theory is one that CTs have little interest in. 

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14 hours ago, Denny Zartman said:

As far as Lone Assassin supporters are concerned, the case is solved. Yet there are those still determined to debate the details again and again. I don't know what drives them. At least those on the conspiracy side are still ostensibly investigating unresolved issues and have some excuse to keep pursuing the case and debating the fine points.

Speaking for myself, I don't like to see people wasting time with conspiracy theories and that is my prime motivation. I was an agnostic when I first read Lifton's book and open to the idea of conspiracy. But I never saw anything to win me over. After Posner's book and the "Image of an Assassination" DVD came out and I could see the two men reacting to the same shot for myself I was convinced.

Yes, the case is solved for me, but after spending years studying a subject you tend to maintain an ongoing interest even though I have tried to quit a few times. The JFK case is also a good "jumping off point" to a general study of post World War 2  America.

Denny, I was going to answer a few of your questions but Lance beat me to it and I agree with everything he said. JFK got a place in history by becoming a war hero, Senator and President. LHO didn't want to wait around and shooting JFK did it instantly for him.

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7 hours ago, Michael Clark said:

Lance,

How do you figure that the guy, Bill Hunter, a Dallas reporter, was shot and killed, by police, in the 16 hours between the two interviews of Jack Ruby’s roommate, George Senator’s, differing Warren Commission testimonies, when George was the guy who gave that same reporter a tour of Ruby’s apartment on Sunday, the 24th of November,1963.

Lance, feeling guilty, yet?

 

 

 

 

This is what I figure (from the Spartacus site, so I assume it's reasonably accurate):  "[On] 23rd April 1964, Hunter [a reporter for a Long Beach, CA newspaper] was shot dead by Creighton Wiggins, a policeman in the pressroom of a Long Beach police station. Wiggins initially claimed that his gun fired when he dropped it and tried to pick it up. In court this was discovered that this was impossible and it was decided that Hunter had been murdered. Wiggins finally admitted he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer, Errol F. Greenleaf, testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place. In January 1965, both were convicted and sentenced to three years probation."

Your post is inaccurate in key respects.  If you're going to play the "Oh, yeah, what about this?" game, you've got to play it better than that.

I assume that by the rules of conspiracy logic, two Long Beach police officers named Wiggins and Greenleaf were sucked into the vortex of the all-embracing conspiracy as well, albeit five months after the assassination?  By the rules of non-conspiracy logic by which those of us in the real world operate, I would have expected a planned hit to silence The Reporter Who Knew Too Much to have looked just slightly less goofy than the "hit" on Hunter.  I would like to have been in on the planning for that particular "conspiracy":  "Now listen, Wiggins, this comes straight from the Big Guys, and you know who I'm talking about:  If you and Greenleaf expect to be alive tomorrow morning, you're going to pump a bullet into Hunter at point blank range in the pressroom and claim you dropped your gun; if that doesn't fly, the fallback story is that you were playing quick draw with Greenleaf.  Greenleaf, you just keep your mouth shut and say you had your back turned."  I personally admire the creativity, but if I'd been Wiggins I think I might have suggested "Wouldn't it be a lot simpler just to have someone from out of town shoot him as he gets out of his car at the mall or something like that?"

Yes, I am feeling sort of guilty.  Thanks for asking!

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It's true that the JFK assassination event and all the 55 years of research findings, CT theories and ominously heavy contemplation spawned from it can be so overwhelming in their vastness at times , you have to take real breaks from it all for your own sanity. 

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer

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44 minutes ago, W. Tracy Parnell said:

Speaking for myself, I don't like to see people wasting time with conspiracy theories and that is my prime motivation. I was an agnostic when I first read Lifton's book and open to the idea of conspiracy. But I never saw anything to win me over. After Posner's book and the "Image of an Assassination" DVD came out and I could see the two men reacting to the same shot for myself I was convinced.

Yes, the case is solved for me, but after spending years studying a subject you tend to maintain an ongoing interest even though I have tried to quit a few times. The JFK case is also a good "jumping off point" to a general study of post World War 2  America.

Denny, I was going to answer a few of your questions but Lance beat me to it and I agree with everything he said. JFK got a place in history by becoming a war hero, Senator and President. LHO didn't want to wait around and shooting JFK did it instantly for him.

Interesting post, Tracy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I appreciate you attempting to save others from wasting their time on conspiracy theories, but unless I'm mistaken the current position of the US government is that the JFK assassination was probably a conspiracy. So, those who believe it was probably or definitely not a conspiracy are on the wrong side of the official position and are (in my opinion) arguably the ones that are wasting their time, not conspiracy theorists.

Even the WC did not say that there wasn't a conspiracy, only that they could find no evidence of one. Members of the WC expressed doubt in the single bullet theory, which most of us seem to agree is essential in advocating the theory of a lone assassin. Lyndon Johnson himself said he wasn't able to completely dismiss the possibility of conspiracy.

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20 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

They are the most fun and the most engrossing (well, perhaps not as much fun as the ones that involve aliens),  but they are completely at odds with the reality of Oswald the man from his youth to his death and are based almost entirely on wild speculation. 

14 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

Once he was arrested, I think he was crafty enough to realize he'd be a much bigger historical figure with a sympathetic attorney like Abt and a two- or three-month trial where he could strut his political and social philosophy.  OR (see, I'm flexible!):  (2) The assassination was the ultimate establishment of his credentials as a bona fide Marxist and Castro supporter, and he would thereafter waltz to Cuba as a hero of the revolution.

Since we're trying to stay away from wild speculation, what documented behavior are you basing this belief that Oswald was saving his reasons for killing JFK so that he could deliver a political polemic at his trial, or delaying taking credit for the actions that he thought would bring him fame in Cuba?

If killing JFK would make Oswald a hero in Cuba, why did Castro initially respond to the news of JFK's killing by saying it was very bad?

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20 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

many conspiracy theorists seem extraordinarily willing to follow these false leads and give credence to pretty obvious wannabes and crackpots.

I have to disagree with you somewhat here, or at least argue that this behavior is not widespread and shared equally by both sides. For example, very few serious CT'rs believe that George Hickey Jr. shot JFK by accident. That's a theory that has gotten a fair amount of media coverage due to Mortal Error and JFK: The Smoking Gun, but again, from what I've seen, few serious CT'rs endorse it. On the LN side, it seems that whenever I'm on an online forum and the subject of the JFK assassination comes up, invariably someone will suggest the possibility that Oswald was actually intending to kill Connally, a theory I find fairly ridiculous.

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17 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

I also believe that, as one of the key historical events in U.S. history, the JFK assassination is plagued to an extraordinary degree by the false leads, wannabes and crackpots that plague every attempt to get to the truth of a high-profile event. 

This is unfortunately true.

 

17 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

As one who favors the Lone Assassin explanation, it seems to me that the conspiracy theories that have Oswald as a CIA operative, fake defector, fake Marxist, fake Castro supporter, etc., are preposterous. 

Preposterous?  You may doubt it, but to call it preposterous is just not intellectually fair.  There is plenty of evidence that Oswald was a false defector.  I mean this marine private stumbles into the only place in the world (Helsinki) where he could get and entry into the USSR on the spot?  He goes into the US Embassy and declares that he will commit treason by handing over military secrets and 30 months later he comes back to the US and is never even debriefed by anyone?  Does that make any sense whatsoever?  Jane Roman, retired CIA officer, admitted to Jefferson Morley and John Newman that in October 1963 information handling in the CIA on Oswald was  "indicative of a keen interest in Oswald held very closely on the need to know basis.”

And then this Oswald this supposedly broke low life is impersonated in Mexico City.  This is just some weird random act?

Preposterous?  Wild speculation? 

Do we know the whole story?  No we don't.  But if you can't admit that there is plenty to ponder then you have no credibility with me.

17 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

I think it is entirely possible that what is being uncovered is evidence (or at least hints) of genuine conspiracies in which Oswald simply wasn’t involved and which themselves had no part in the events at Dealey Plaza.  Trying to plug Oswald into these conspiracies, or these conspiracies into Dealey Plaza, is never convincing.

I would not doubt that there were multiple efforts of varying seriousness, or at least talk among different groups, about assassinating JFK.  Trying to conflate everything into some "Grand Unified Theory" is probably a fool's errand.  However, Oswald was clearly part of the plan that worked.  I mean, seriously, do you honestly believe the Dallas police force was truly innocent and naive?  The whole timeline and process of Oswald's capture just doesn't add up.  And you've got the White House situation room declaring Oswald as the sole guilty party before any real investigation has even begun.  Hoover declares Oswald guilty on the afternoon of 11/22 before there is any shred of evidence tying Oswald to any illegal activity and in the face of overwhelming eyewitness statement that would at least point honest investigators to look into multiple shooters.  The fix was in.

 

17 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

And yet, as books like Hosty’s make clear, there was skulduggery by the DPD, FBI and CIA (at least).  This included the alteration of documents, destruction of documents and obfuscation – all for the purpose of shifting blame or making an agency seem less negligent than it was (or than others might view it in hindsight as having been).

Thank you for being intellectually honest here about "skulduggery."  And this is one of the difficulties in finding the truth, in my opinion:  multiple motivations can explain the same actions:  covering your a** or covering up your crime.  You choose CYA.  I don't think it is that simple.

 

18 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

According to Hosty, there was indeed a cover-up conspiracy.  What was covered up was evidence suggesting possible Russian or Cuban ties to the assassination. 

So it is "preposterous" that Oswald was connected to the CIA, but fully plausible that he was a Russian or Castro agent?  Seems to me you can't have it both ways.  Is it preposterous to think that Oswald's ties to the Soviets made him the perfect patsy? 

18 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

Oswald having met in Mexico City with Kostikov

Oswald was impersonated in Mexico City.  This is fact.

18 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

While a conspiracy of this sort is no fun and will not sustain a conspiracy hobby or religion for very long, it's at least entirely believable and entirely consistent with who Oswald actually was. 

Who was Oswald?  He was a US Marine.  So you buy that he was a real defector, yet the Soviets themselves did not.  You buy that he was a Marxist, yet he associates in New Orleans with known hard core right wing paramilitary types.  So you claim to know who Oswald was?

 

18 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

The explosive nature of facts such as those set out above meshes perfectly with LBJ’s statement to Earl Warren that the case had to be handled carefully and could result in a nuclear war with millions of lives lost if it were not (as well as LBJ's statement that he convinced Warren by relating what Hoover had told him about "a little incident in Mexico City"). 

Johnson knew that Oswald had been impersonated in Mexico City when he made this statement to Warren, knew that he was lying to Warren!  So the whole reason for the WC to lie (taking away the euphemism of "handle carefully") was itself based on a lie.

 

18 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

I realize I’m saying nothing startling and new, but it is puzzling to me that a theory that requires no reinvention of Oswald, no implausibly elaborate and convoluted scenario, and no wild speculation about what took place in Mexico City or anywhere else – and that is entirely consistent with the historical record – doesn’t receive more attention. 

Well, Mr. Payette, the problem is that all the evidence against Oswald is tainted.  

 

19 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

I happen to lean toward a pretty straightforward Lone Assassin explanation, but I’m not troubled in the slightest by a scenario whereby someone in the Russian-Cuban sphere may have had some advance knowledge of Oswald’s plans, may even have encouraged him, and may have taken steps to assist in his escape to Mexico City – voila, a conspiracy! 

But what was in it for the Cubans or the Russians?  Kennedy had already begun serious back-channel negotiations with Castro.  Castro knew that with Kennedy's death, any chance of normal relations with the US were gone.  Kennedy's death was bad for the Cubans.  Likewise Khrushchev and Kennedy had reached an accommodation.  They had just signed a nuclear test ban treaty.  Kennedy was proposing joint lunar missions.  (It is true that the hard-liners in both the US and the Soviet Union came out ahead as Khrushchev was out shortly after.)

The problem with the Oswald alone or Russians were behind it scenario are myriad.  Did Oswald or the Russians put a rookie in charge of Secret Service protection in Dallas?  Did Oswald or the Russians order the motorcycle escort reduced from 18 to 4 (and then tell them to ride behind) creating conditions that were "uniquely insecure?"  Did Oswald or the Russians tell the Dallas Police to show up with multiple squad cars and at least 15 officers to arrest someone for not paying for a movie ticket (while already claiming that he shot the president before they can even know his name or anything about him)?  And so on and so on.  So while looking for a simple solution is laudable, to do so here means you must ignore dozens of relevant facts.  Some of the facts are subtle.  Some, like there is no legitimate chain of evidence for anything to link Oswald with the whole mess, smack you in the face.

14 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

My theory on Oswald is that his motive was either: (1) "Screw it, I've hit rock-bottom in my crappy life and my crappy marriage, I ran into a dead-end in Mexico City, and this is how I'm going to become the historical figure I've always envisioned myself being.  Fate has handed me this opportunity on a platter."

My wife (who I don't care about) won't get back together with me, so I am going to shoot the president?  So I'm going to become this "historical feature" by denying everything?  Now that makes no sense.

 

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1 hour ago, Denny Zartman said:

unless I'm mistaken the current position of the US government is that the JFK assassination was probably a conspiracy.

Their position is also that LHO fired the shots that killed JFK.

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