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Cognitive Bias in the Formulation of Theories


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9 minutes ago, Denny Zartman said:

If Oswald fired a rifle from that window, why weren't nitrates found in his cheek? According to Mark Lane, that negative nitrate cheek test would have been court admissible evidence that Oswald had not fired a rifle that day.

My understanding is the nitrate test at the time (1963) was court-admissible evidence, but later such tests were abandoned.

LHO's cheek could have been negative due to sweating, or if he had washed his face at the rooming house, the Texas Theater, or even at the Dallas PD before testing. Additionally, if the wind had been blowing out from the TBSD window (the building was hotter than outside, for example) that would have reduced the dose his face got. 

Also, it may be LHO fired but a single shot, the Tague shot, reducing the dosage his face got. For that matter, maybe LHO knew about the nitrates test, and put Saran wrap on his face. 

As to LHO's position, no one has ever said they saw LHO at the time shots rang out. His whereabouts are unknown, but we are pretty sure he was nowhere to be seen. My take is he was in the "sniper's nest." 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Benjamin Cole said:

My understanding is the nitrate test at the time (1963) was court-admissible evidence, but later such tests were abandoned.

LHO's cheek could have been negative due to sweating, or if he had washed his face at the rooming house, the Texas Theater, or even at the Dallas PD before testing. Additionally, if the wind had been blowing out from the TBSD window (the building was hotter than outside, for example) that would have reduced the dose his face got. 

Also, it may be LHO fired but a single shot, the Tague shot, reducing the dosage his face got. For that matter, maybe LHO knew about the nitrates test, and put Saran wrap on his face. 

As to LHO's position, no one has ever said they saw LHO at the time shots rang out. His whereabouts are unknown, but we are pretty sure he was nowhere to be seen. My take is he was in the "sniper's nest." 

 

 

 

 

 Why wasn't he in position at the time the motorcade was scheduled to pass?

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Just now, Denny Zartman said:

 

 Why wasn't he in position at the time the motorcade was scheduled to pass?

Where was he? Nobody knows. Not one person ever said, "I was talking to LHO when we both heard the shots ring out." 

He was seen before and after. But he was young, agile and smart. Being seen just before and after the JFKA was just a ruse? 

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Just now, Benjamin Cole said:

Where was he? Nobody knows. Not one person ever said, "I was talking to LHO when we both heard the shots ring out." 

He was seen before and after. But he was young, agile and smart. Being seen just before and after the JFKA was just a ruse? 

The question is "If Oswald was intended to be a shooter why was he not in position at the time the motorcade was scheduled to pass?" If he was the single most important element in this entire operation, why was he not in position and ready to shoot at the time Kennedy's motorcade was scheduled to pass by the building?

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The possibility that Oswald washed his face or that the nitrates came off in his sweat or in some other unknown way is not evidence. The negative test for nitrates on his cheek is evidence. If there were police photos of a wet sink and bar of soap with suds on it at Oswald's rooming house, or of a sweaty shirt in Oswald's possession that had nitrates on it, then that would be evidence. The mere possibility that he washed his face or sweated it out is not evidence. The possibility should not be considered as having equal evidentiary value as an actual negative test for nitrates on the cheek. Benjamin may hand wave away evidence, but I'm fairly certain a court would not.

I'm puzzled why anyone would ignore exculpatory evidence anyway. Cognitive bias, I suppose. We get tied to our pet theories and cling to them, even if they are contradicted by the evidence.

It's very surprising that we are discussing an assassination that apparently involved extensive pre-planning, preparation, and co-ordination with names like Angleton, Harvey, Lansdale, Hunt, ect. and a cover up that went up immediately, reached to all branches of the government, the top of the FBI, the top of the CIA, and resulted in such a mess that sixty years later we don't even know if Oswald could drive, and we're all seriously entertaining the thought that the whole event relied on one guy's ability to run and superhuman acting ability, a guy who for some unknown reason wasn't even in position at the scheduled time, and who the evidence, both direct and circumstantial, indicates that he hadn't fired a rifle that day.

In this "Oswald as a false flag shooter" scenario, wouldn't the other riflepersons need to know if Oswald was in position before the motorcade arrived? Doesn't the whole thing fall apart if he isn't there in the sixth floor window as a shooter? What purpose could it serve to have Oswald wait until beyond the scheduled time of JFK's arrival before getting into his needed position? To give him a semblance of an alibi? Well, gosh, good job there, since we're still arguing about it six decades later.

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5 hours ago, Matt Allison said:

How do you know he wasn't?

 "Murder In Dealey Plaza" 2000 Edited by James Fetzer, from Ira David Wood III's "22 November 1963: A Chronology"

 PG 29:

 "12:25 PM Depository employee Carolyn Arnold sees Oswald on the first floor near the front door of the building."

 

 PG 30:

 "12:29 PM

...

THE MOTORCADE TURNS ONTO HOUSTON FROM MAIN

(The motorcade is now five minutes behind schedule.)"

Edited by Denny Zartman
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14 minutes ago, Matt Allison said:

Your PDF quotes Carolyn Arnold as stating to the FBI:

"I did not see Lee Harvey Oswald at the time President Kennedy was shot."

This is irrelevant because Kennedy was shot at 12:30 PM and we are discussing who Carolyn saw and where she saw them at 12:25 PM. The FBI statement you quote makes no mention of when or where she last saw Oswald.

Arnold is on record saying that she saw Oswald as she was leaving to go watch the Kennedy motorcade. The first time reported by the FBI was a "fleeting glimpse" of someone she "thought" was Oswald sometime between 12:00 and 12:15 PM. That time was later clarified to be 12:25 PM. She confirmed this 12:25 PM time in the PDF you cited, as well as in an interview with the Dallas Morning News in 1978.

Quote

 

Mrs. Carolyn Johnston of Stephenville, Texas, told The News last week - that she saw Oswald in the 2nd-floor lunchroom as she was on her way out of the depository to watch the presidential motorcade Nov. 22, 1963.

She left the building at 12:25 p.m., she said, or five minutes before the assassination.

...

Mrs. Johnston, then Mrs. Carolyn Arnold, was secretary to depository vice president O.V. Campbell. She said she never had read the FBI reports of two interviews with her. She was surprised to learn they made no mention of her sighting of Oswald in the lunchroom.

Mrs. Johnson said she "would have thought" she told the FBI during both interviews of her encounter with Oswald in the lunchroom because "that's the only time I remember having seen him" on the day of the assassination.

"I do not recall that he (Oswald) was doing anything," Mrs. Johnston said. "I just recall that he was sitting there ... in one of the booth seats on the right hand side of the room as you go in. He was alone as usual and appeared to be having lunch. I did not speak to him, but I recognized him clearly."

She knew Oswald because he would come to her desk on the second floor and ask for change...

 

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/B Disk/Bronson Charles/Item 27.pdf

According to the Dallas Morning News on November 20, 1963, Kennedy's motorcade was scheduled to arrive at the Trade Mart at 12:30 PM on November 22.

https://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh22/pdf/WH22_CE_1364.pdf

If Kennedy was scheduled to arrive at the Trade Mart at 12:30 PM, why is Oswald reported sitting in a booth on the second floor of the TSBD having lunch at 12:25 PM? According to this "Oswald as false flag shooter" theory, Oswald is the single most important element in the entire professional/paramilitary operation, both in the fake attempt and in the actual assassination. Again, wouldn't confirming that Oswald was in position be absolutely essential information to all the other conspirators?

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If she left the building at 12:25, then she would have missed the motorcade as well, if it had been on time.

Right?

That's why her original statement to the FBI 4 days after the assassination about leaving to go outside between 12:00 and 12:15 makes more sense.

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D. Zartman:

That is a good question about LHO not being in his assigned position at 12:25 or so.

Unfortunately, all we have are garbled witness statements as to LHO whereabouts from about 12:20 to shortly after the JFKA.  He may have been in position at 12:25 pm. 

The one thing that seems clear is that LHO was nowhere to be seen when shots rang out. He did not go streetside to see JFK pass by, despite an intense interest in politics.  

IF LHO was part of an operation, it is possible he was told to await a signal that would alert him to the pending arrival of the motorcade in front of the TBSD. So, for example, somebody outside the TBSD car-honked three times in quick succession at the right time for LHO to move into position.  LHO wanted to be seen just before and after the event, as a ruse. 

The problem with making LHO an entirely unwitting patsy is you are left with the problem: What if LHO decided to go onto the sidewalk and watch JFK? Or run an errand at lunch and be seen eating at a local deli? 

Also, LHO's reaction after the JFKA is not consistent with an entirely unwitting patsy. LHO goes home, even hires a taxi, and then gets a gun. Why did not LHO assume kooks, or punk-mobsters, or right-wing nuts had taken a potshot at JFK, an event in which he had no involvement at all?  

It seems LHO was involved in some way in the JFKA, and deduced he was the patsy within moments of the shooting. 

That's my story and I am sticking with it. 

 

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1 hour ago, Matt Allison said:

I thought Ron's suggestion yesterday that LHO could have been guarding the freight elevator and back door was very intriguing as well. I hadn't heard or considered that idea before.

Also, the power went out in the TBSD just as JFK passed by. No one seems to know why, but perhaps a switch was thrown. So, who threw the switch? 

Edited by Benjamin Cole
typo
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