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Why did the second version of the Zapruder film buttress conspiracy?


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One of the few truly comical sights in JFK assassination research land is that of an anti-alterationist playing what is thought to the cause’s trump card: "So they altered the film to show a rear movement of the head, and thus a frontal gunman, thus fuelling conspiracy theories, right? Please!" The sight of a grown man or woman being satisfied with such naïve and anti-historical guff remains dependably amusing. The point of this thread is to show why.

The first example combines two distinct explanatory models:

1) The lesser of two evils & 2) the utility of undefined conspirators

Jim Douglass. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters (NY: Orbis Books, 2008), p.456n367:

Those who would argue that the film was not altered point especially to its depiction of the backward snap of JFK’s head, providing evidence of a shot from the front. As David Wrone writes, “Why would the government steal and alter the Zapruder film to hide a conspiracy only to have that alteration contain evidence that a conspiracy killed JFK?” (David Wrone, The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK’s Assassination [Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003], p.122)

However, if as we have seen the initial assassination scenario’s purpose included scapegoating the Soviet Union and Cuba, evidence of a conspiracy was no problem, so long as it did not implicate the U.S. government per se – as would have been the case if the film revealed the Secret Service stopping the car to facilitate the shooting.

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One of the few truly comical sights in JFK assassination research land is that of an anti-alterationist playing what is thought to the cause’s trump card: "So they altered the film to show a rear movement of the head, and thus a frontal gunman, thus fuelling conspiracy theories, right? Please!" The sight of a grown man or woman being satisfied with such naïve and anti-historical guff remains dependably amusing. The point of this thread is to show why.

The first example combines two distinct explanatory models:

1) The lesser of two evils & 2) the utility of undefined conspirators

Jim Douglass. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters (NY: Orbis Books, 2008), p.456n367:

Those who would argue that the film was not altered point especially to its depiction of the backward snap of JFK’s head, providing evidence of a shot from the front. As David Wrone writes, “Why would the government steal and alter the Zapruder film to hide a conspiracy only to have that alteration contain evidence that a conspiracy killed JFK?” (David Wrone, The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK’s Assassination [Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003], p.122)

However, if as we have seen the initial assassination scenario’s purpose included scapegoating the Soviet Union and Cuba, evidence of a conspiracy was no problem, so long as it did not implicate the U.S. government per se – as would have been the case if the film revealed the Secret Service stopping the car to facilitate the shooting.

3) The double-bubble

Peter Hain. A Putney Plot? (Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 1987), p.132:

A former British intelligence officer, Colin Wallace, told me in 1987: ‘The [Colonel Cheeseman] saga is know in intelligence circles as the “double-bubble” because it contains a second dimension in deception and not only deflects attention from the main target but also “bursts” leaving the investigator doubting everything he has uncovered so far.

The patsy-from-the-rear stuff comprised the overt, outward layer of deception. The inner layer was the grassy knoll, a built in fall-back that has come to nothing over succeeding decades, “bursting” over its advocates with monotonous regularity. In order for the inner layer to become effective, it had first to appear to be suppressed, then championed as truth by seemingly dissident advocates. Mark Lane’s career in a nutshell, I can’t help thinking.

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