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Wikipedia and the Assassination of JFK

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Wikipedia is fast becoming the first port of call for history students. As a result of a variety of factors, Wikipedia comes up very high in any search-engine rankings. Therefore, history students doing research will usually come across this site. The impression is given that it provides an objective accounts of the past.

Lets me take an example of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. You will find the Wikipedia site here:


On the surface it appears to be a very objective account of the case. The main conclusion is that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK but he did not do it alone. This is in fact the official view of the assassination. It was for example the conclusion of The House Select Committee on Assassinations when it published its report in 1979. The chief counsel of the HSCA, G. Robert Blakey, went on to write a book about the case, The Plot to Kill the President, where he argues that Oswald was employed by the Mafia to kill JFK. The HSCA also discovered Jack Ruby’s links to the Mafia.

This theory was Plan B. Plan A, that Oswald had done it on his own had been completely discredited by 1979 and had to be ditched. Therefore, the people behind the assassination needed a second patsy, the Mafia


In reality, this entry is not objective at all. It is peddling disinformation. The page is linked to another page called “Conspiracy Theories”. It lists most of the theories except for the one that is correct.

Who then is responsible for writing this entry? Students cannot find out from looking on the website. The reason given by Wikipedia is that it is not written by any one individual. That it is open to anyone to edit this page. This is true. I have on several occasions tried to edit this page. However, within a few ours my contribution has been removed.

Who is doing this? The clue comes from looking at the recommended websites at the bottom of the page. Top of the list is the website owned by John McAdams, Associate Professor of History at Marquette University. When I have edited this page I always put my own website on the JFK Assassination at the top of the list of links. When my contributions are removed, McAdams website goes back to the top of the list. Therefore, I assume that it is McAdams, or one of his friends, who has done the editing.

In fact John McAdams plays a very important role in providing information on the JFK assassination. If McAdams has done a page about one of the characters involved in these events, it will immediately be ranked first on Google and other search-engines. Why is this? After all, his site does not have many websites linked to his, the main criteria for this ranking.

Is it possible that McAdams is getting special help? Is it possible that some powerful organization (even more powerful than Google) want McAdams to be students main source of information on the JFK assassination?

I know some people think the JFK assassination is not an important topic and that it does not matter that a disinformation agent should control this particular entry. However, what is true of this page, will also be true of other pages where the CIA hold a particular point of view. Those pages are no more likely to be objective than the one on the JFK assassination.

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