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Robert Kennedy and the Death of JFK


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One thing that has always puzzled me is the behaviour of Robert Kennedy after the assassination. It must have been clear within hours of it happening that his brother had been killed by the Mafia with the support of rogue elements in the CIA and FBI. Yet, rather than calling for a full investigation into this possibility, he even took measures that attempted to cover up the conspiracy (taking control of the brain and autopsy X-rays that showed he had been hit in the front as in the back).

Robert and John Kennedy had both upset the Mafia with its policy towards organized crime in the United States. Therefore some historians have speculated that Robert knew the assassination had been carried out by the Mafia and was taking action to prevent himself being assassinated. However, I was not convinced by this portrayal of Robert Kennedy as a coward.

I came across some information yesterday that I think explains Robert Kennedy’s action after his brothers assassination. It concerns Kennedy’s attitude towards the CIA Executive Action programme.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKexecutiveA.htm

Executive Action was run by Richard Bissell and Richard Helms of the Directorate for Plans (a CIA organization instructed to conduct covert anti-Communist operations around the world). Executive Action was plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power. This including a coup d'état that overthrew the Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 after he introduced land reforms and nationalized the United Fruit Company. Other political leaders deposed by Executive Action include Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, the Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo, General Abd al-Karim Kassem of Iraq and Ngo Dinh Diem, the leader of South Vietnam. However, in the early 1960s the main target was Fidel Castro who had established a socialist government in Cuba.

In March I960, President Dwight Eisenhower of the United States approved a CIA plan to overthrow Castro. The plan involved a budget of $13 million to train "a paramilitary force outside Cuba for guerrilla action." The strategy was organised by Bissell and Helms. This eventually led to the Bay of Pigs disaster. Afterwards, Bissell, the head of Executive Action campaign, was forced to resign by Kennedy. It has been thought that was Kennedy’s way of showing he disapproved of the policy of Executive Action. However, there has always been doubts about this because Helms took over control of the Directorate for Plans. He continued to run the organization and was responsible for the killing of the democratically elected Marxist leader, Salvador Allende in Chile in September 1973.

Recently I discovered that John F. Kennedy did not in fact order an end to Executive Action. What he tried to do was to bring it under his own control. The plan to assassinate Fidel Castro now became known as Operation Freedom and was to be run by his brother Robert Kennedy. Of course he had to rely on people like Richard Helms to organize the killing of Castro but he insisted on being kept fully informed about what was taking place. I suspect that either John Kennedy, Richard Helms or J. Edgar Hoover (who was heavily involved with Execution Action) also told Lyndon Johnson about Operation Freedom.

This is what I think happened. Senior members of the Mafia and CIA involved in Operation Freedom decided to change their target from Fidel Castro to John Kennedy. By 1963 the Mafia had decided that you would not overthrow the socialist government of Cuba by assassinating Castro. The best way forward was by having a president who was willing to launch an invasion of Cuba. Kennedy would not do that (in fact he was at that time involved in negotiating a peace deal with Castro).

This is where the clever bit comes in. Helms tells Kennedy and Johnson that they have selected an agent to kill Castro. His name is Lee Harvey Oswald. They are told that efforts were being made to get Oswald into Cuba to carry out the killing. This is true although there is evidence that this was a man posing as Oswald.

John Kennedy is then assassinated. Lee Harvey Oswald is quickly announced as being the killer (the original plan was for J. D. Tippit to kill Oswald but this fails and Jack Ruby is brought in to do the job).

Now consider the reaction of Robert Kennedy to the news that the man he had arranged to kill Castro had killed his brother. Any full investigation of Oswald and the Kennedy assassination would reveal details of Operation Freedom. What the CIA had cleverly done was to implicate Robert Kennedy into the killing of his brother. He could now be guaranteed to join in the cover-up.

Lyndon Johnson could also be relied on to join in this cover-up. Hoover had full control over Johnson as a result of what he knew about his political career in Texas (Johnson was one of the most corrupt politicians in American history).

Under the Freedom of Information Act some of the transcripts of the telephone calls between Johnson and Hoover following the assassination have recently been published. These are fascinating to read as they show the political strategy being adopted by Johnson. He is willing to go along with the cover up but rejects the idea of Oswald being exposed as a Soviet agent.

As Johnson points out, if this became public knowledge, he would be under considerable pressure from the American people to go to war with the Soviet Union. This would, according to Johnson, “chuck us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour”. In order that the world was not destroyed in a nuclear war, Johnson agrees with Hoover that it is important to establish that Kennedy had been the victim of a lone gunman and not part of a conspiracy. Johnson also refuses to invade Cuba as it would also probably lead to a nuclear war.

Well, that’s my theory? What do you think?

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Role of Lee Harvey Oswald

Twenty years ago I was the co-author of a booklet entitled "The Kennedy File:The Assassination of President Kennedy," part of the Active Learning in The Humanities series published by Tressell Publications, a teachers' publishing co-operative. While working on the book, I read a large number of books on the Kennedy Assassination, most of which peddled a particular theory concerning the persons or groups who carried out the killing of the President. It soon became clear to me that there was in effect a "conspiracy theory industry" associated with the assassination of JFK and, over a number of years, dozens if not hundreds of books had been published that argued the case for a whole range of conflicting and contradictory theories. Here are just a few of the conspiracy theories that have been put forward :

1. The Russian Communist Plot Theory

2. The Pro-Castro Plot Theory

3. The Cuban Exile Plot Theory

4. The Oganised Crime Plot Theory

5. The American Intelligence Plot Theory

6. The Right Wing Plot Theory

A range of conspiracy theories also implicated individuals in an assassination plot, including Marina Oswald, Mrs Paine and Jack Ruby. Lyndon B Johnson was bound to be mentioned by some, as he clearly met one of the standard considerations mentioned in all murder investigations - “motive, means, and opportunity". As Vice President, Johnson would obviously immediately benefit from the sudden death of the President.

Along with the standard conspiracy theories, there were also books published that claimed that there was an " Oswald Double," who either carried out the crime or was planted to confuse investigators. One of the most bizarre suggestions is that the assassination was planned as a 'mercy killing' because Kennedy was suffering from a cruel affliction called Addison's Disease. This could lead to the surprising, but ludicrous conclusion that Kennedy plotted his own violent death.

It became apparent that nearly every conspiracy theorist could put forward "evidence" for their particular argument. To make a case, all an author had to do was to be selective in the presentation of "evidence," conveniently ignoring all the material that would undermine their case. ( I think when we consider a conspiracy theory we should look closely at the author of the book and the particular source for the story and apply the same standard considerations of “motive, means, and opportunity" - clearly the main motive for many is a potential financial reward or a way of achieving notoriety )

For what it's worth, I personally believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin and acted alone. The Warren Commission's investigations were flawed and the verdict rushed, but essentially I think the Commission's basic findings were correct when it concluded that Kennedy was murdered by a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, and that he worked alone in the assassination. To return to the phrase I mentioned earlier, Oswald had the “motive, means, and opportunity”. Despite Oswald's muddled involvement in politics, I beleve that his motivation and actions can be explained by psychology [ see James W. Clarke, American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics (1982) ] Given the evidence that is available, Oswald also had the "means" and the "opportunity".

In many of the conspiracy theories, the facts that implicate Oswald in the killing prove to be an inconvenience and have to be explained away with phrases such as "patsy" or " fall-guy". For others, given Oswald's peculiar life and career ( Communist defector, Pro-Castro activist etc etc ) Lee Harvey Oswald is a wonderful ingredient for a conspiracy theory.

I have yet to be convinced by any of the conspiracy theories and will not be persuaded until they can put forward a believable account of Oswald's role in the assassination story. I will continue to hold on to my belief that Oswald was the "lone gunman". I realise that this is now a minority view and I probably will not convince the conspiracy theorists that this is the historical truth - well, not until I perish in a bizarre road accident or expire from carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Gentlemen,

If I understand the position correctly that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, killed JFK, this means that a lone, probably demented gunman, without any other human involvement or connections or contacts, probably brought or smuggled into the Texas School Book Depository, possibly on the very morning of the assassination, a rifle with a clip holding three (or possibly four) bullets, and displaying an amazing proficiency, was able to do an awful lot of damage in a remarkably short space of time using a remarkable bullet that no doctor, including all the government controlled autopsy doctors, would admit to being able to do without itself being seriously damaged. I hope this is a fair assessment.

I just have two questions for the Warren Commission apologists.

1)The so-called Secret Service agents that no one denies seeing on the Grassy Knoll need to be explained somehow. Supposing Oswald, acting alone, had no knowledge of these people, their presence still needs to be explained in some sort of credible, rational way that would make sense to a fairly reasonable person that no conspiracy was involved. I may have trouble expressing myself, but I hope that my meaning is understood.

2)The Oswald sightings are a fact. They are not sombody's claims. He was seen by any number of people any number of times firing a Mannlicher-Carcano at a shooting range. The real Lee Harvey Oswald was somewhere else at the time. I now have read somewhere that the real Oswald might have driven the car in the test drive, but most researchers will claim he still didn't know how to drive then. There were other Oswald sightings, the most written about concerning Sylvia Odio. She claims, along with her sister, that three men, including Leon Oswald, visited their apartment when he was supposedly on his way to Mexico. At the same time. Supposing the real Oswald knew nothing of all this, anyone studying this case needs to be able to explain to themself and others what is going on here without involving the element of conspiracy

Again, the easiest explanation for all this is that somebody or organization had involved LHO in a plot that he was totally unaware of. I would be truly interested if anybody at all would be willing to answer these two questions honestly and intelligently without being in any way evasive.

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For what it's worth, I personally believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin and acted alone. The Warren Commission's investigations were flawed and the verdict rushed, but essentially I think the Commission's basic findings were correct when it concluded that Kennedy was murdered by a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, and that he worked alone in the assassination. To return to the phrase I mentioned earlier, Oswald had the “motive, means, and opportunity”. Despite Oswald's muddled involvement in politics, I beleve that his motivation and actions can be explained by psychology [ see James W. Clarke, American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics (1982) ] Given the evidence that is available, Oswald also had the "means" and the "opportunity".

Although we share the same parents we completely disagree about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. (In fact it is one of the few things that we do disagree about). There are several reasons why Lee Harvey Oswald could not have been the only gunman involved in the assassination of Kennedy. In fact, I think it is highly unlikely that he fired any shots at all from the Texas Book Depository.

Let us assume for a moment that Oswald did decide to kill Kennedy. If so he needed a motive. As he said after being charged with the murder, what was the point of killing Kennedy, for he would only be replaced by a more right-wing president. It is argued that Oswald was paid to kill Kennedy by some group (Texas oil industry/Mafia, etc.) who wanted Johnson to become president. But Oswald would have been the last person to be employed for such a task (given his lack of ability as a marksman). Nor would the task have been carried out using a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. Nor does his behaviour before the killing suggest that he was a professional hitman.

In Texas in 1963 it was possible to buy a gun in a shop without showing any means of identification. Instead Oswald buys the the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle by mail-order using the name A. Hiddell. When he was arrested, the police found that Oswald was carrying a forged identity card bearing the name Alek Hiddell. The rifle had been sent by the mail order company from Chicago to P.O. Box 2915, Dallas, Texas. The Post Office box belonged to Oswald.

This is hardly the actions of a professional hitman. According to the Warren Commission Oswald behaved in this way because he wanted to be caught (there is probably no other explanation for this behaviour unless you believe, as I do, that he was being set-up to take the rap for the assassination). That is, Oswald wanted to be included in the history books as the man who killed Kennedy. If that is the case, why is it that when he is arrested, he denies all involvement in the killing and instead claims he is a patsy.

Even if we ignore this information and continue to believe that Oswald was determined to kill Kennedy. Does his behaviour make sense in the Texas Book Depository on the 22nd November, 1963?

As Harold Weisberg points out in his book Whitewash (1965).

”When the motorcade turned toward the Depository Building on Houston Street, for several hundred feet there was a completely unobstructed view of it from the sixth-floor window. The police photographs and the forgotten Secret Service reconstruction of 1963 also show this. There was not a twig between the window and the President. There were no curves in that street, no tricky shooting angles. If all the shots came from this window, and the assassin was as cool and collected as the Report represents, why did he not shoot at the easiest and by far the best target? Why did he wait until his target was so difficult that the country's best shots could not duplicate his feat?”

If Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, why did he wait until the motorcade had reached Elm Street before opening fire? As Weisberg points out, Houston Street provides a clear view whereas from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository the first part of Elm Street was obscured by a tree. That is why the gunman had to leave it so late before opening fire.

The obvious reason is that gunmen in more than one position were involved in the assassination. In other words, he had to wait until Elm Street so that a gunman in the Grassy Knoll area was in a position to hit his target. If the gunman on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository had opened fire when the car was in Houston Street, the reactions of William Greer, driving Kennedy’s car, would have been such that the gunman at the Grassy Knoll would have stood no chance of hitting his target.

See David Simkin’s drawing of the Dealey Plaza in November, 1963.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmapL.htm

Here are just a few other pieces of evidence that suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald was unlikely to have been a lone gunman.

(1) The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle that the gunman used underwent several tests between 1963 and 1979. Despite using expert marksmen it was impossible to recreate the accuracy and timing achieved by the gunman in the Texas School Book building.

(2) The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle had a bad reputation for accuracy and was unlikely to be the weapon chosen by someone attempting to hit a moving target.

(3) Bullets fired from a Mannlicher-Carcano have low velocity/penetration power.

(4) The police tapes discovered in 1978 clearly show that four bullets were fired. The second was fired 1.66 seconds after the first bullet. The fourth bullet was fired .81 seconds after the third bullet. It was impossible for one gunman to have fired all four bullets.

(5) The majority of scientific experts who have looked into the casebelieve that Kennedy’s head wound was caused by a shot from the front.

(6) The so-called “magic bullet” went through Kennedy’s neck before hitting the fifth rib, right wrist and left thigh. Tests were carried out with the gun and ammunition used by the gunman in the Texas Book Depository. This included the firing of a bullet into the wrist of a corpse. These tests showed that it would have been impossible for the “magic bullet” to have created these wounds and remained in the condition that it was in when found on the stretcher in Parkland Hospital.

(7) There were a large number of witnesses who immediately after the assassination of Kennedy came forward to provide evidence that a gun was being fired by someone standing behind the fence on the Grassy Knoll. This included Jean Hill and Mary Moorman, the two people standing nearest the car when the fatal shot was fired. It also included the two police motorcyclists closest to the car. All this evidence was ignored by the Warren Commission.

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In John Simkin's reply to my posting, which posits the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin, he outlines Oswald's actions in connection with the shooting of President Kennedyand highlights those features which indicate that Oswald was not a professional hitman. The points mentioned by John ( the purchase of the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, etc. ) merely reinforce my argument that Lee Harvey Oswald was not part of an organised conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy.

When he discusses Oswald's possible motive, John writes :

Let us assume for a moment that Oswald did decide to kill Kennedy. If so he needed a motive. As he said after being charged with the murder, what was the point of killing Kennedy, for he would only be replaced by a more right-wing president
.....Oswald wanted to be included in the history books as the man who killed Kennedy. If that is the case, why is it that when he is arrested, he denies all involvement in the killing and instead claims he is a patsy.

This is all well and good, but these are not the motives that I was suggesting in my earlier posting. I believe there were psychological reasons for Oswald's actions and he was emotionally disturbed at the time of the killing. James W. Clarke, in his chapter on Lee Harvey Oswald in the book American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics (1982) puts forward a convincing psychological explanation for Oswald's behaviour. There is not much point in seeking a rational explanation for the assassination when the accused assassin was clearly acting irrationally at the time. Perhaps, if Oswald had survived Jack Ruby's attack, an examination would have revealed Oswald's emotional state leading up to the assassination.

Turning to the questions raised by John in the listed points numbered (1) to (7) at the end of his posting which cast doubt on Oswald's lone involvement in the assassination. It is my understanding that points (1) to (6) have been challenged by "scientific experts " over recent years. Regarding point (7), I believe the majority of the witnesses stated that they believed the shots came from the sixth floor window of the School Book Depository. A number of other witnesses thought the shots came from a different part of the building and some claimed they saw two men on the sixth floor. Eye-witnesses are not always reliable when rapid, violent acts take place.

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This is all well and good, but these are not the motives that I was suggesting in my earlier posting. I believe there were psychological reasons for Oswald's actions and he was emotionally disturbed at the time of the killing. James W. Clarke, in his chapter on Lee Harvey Oswald in the book American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics (1982) puts forward a convincing psychological explanation for Oswald's behaviour. There is not much point in seeking a rational explanation for the assassination when the accused assassin was clearly acting irrationally at the time. Perhaps, if Oswald had survived Jack Ruby's attack, an examination would have revealed Oswald's emotional state leading up to the assassination.

This was of course the argument put forward by the Warren Commission. It is a very convenient argument because as soon as you point out the flaws in the evidence the reply is that Oswald was acting illogically because he was suffering from a psychological illness. In fact, it is impossible to have a logical debate about Oswald on these grounds.

What the Warren Commission did not do was to provide any evidence that Oswald was suffering from any psychological illness before the assassination. This is how Kerry Wendell Thornley, Oswald’s cloest friend in the Marines, responded to the Warren Report.

“When news of Oswald first began to appear, I wondered how any man could have changed so thoroughly in a few short years. A national news magazine called him a psychopath, a schizoid, a paranoid, and probable homosexual - all in the same single column of print. Suddenly I was reading that he was constantly fighting with his fellow Marines and that in the service he displayed a conspicuous yen for physical violence. I observed no such traits. That an appendix of the Warren Report had to be devoted to speculation and rumours is in my mind argument enough that a good deal of fabrication and exaggeration was involved somewhere along the line.”

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I heard that Robert Kennedy rang up a secret division of the CIA, that was responsible for carrying out assassinations, and told them 'You did it'.

In The Kennedys: An American Drama by Collier & Horowitz, pg. 317, "Had his acts created an environment for assassination? Had his zeal helped create the concatenation of forces that wanted Jack dead? "Did the CIA kill my brother?" he asked John McCone in a choked voice soon after the assassination. McCone's answer was no, but Bobby knew as much and in some cases more than the CIA director about "executive action" plots, the secret war against Castro, and the nightmare marriage between the intelligence services and the mob."

This conversation the authors attribute to Walter Sheridan in an oral history at the JFK library. The problem here is that I cannot find an oral history there by Mr. Sheridan. Could it be that it was pulled after the book was published in 1984?

For what it's worth, I personally believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin and acted alone.

I grew up firing all manner of "long arms", rifles, shotguns and target guns. I have an expert weapons qualification from the U.S. Army. I also have the "Schuetzenschnur", the German Army Shooting Badge. LHO had a marksman qualification from the U.S. Marines (the lowest passing qualification). It was simply not possible for him to hit those targets from the "sniper's nest" with accuracy in that time frame. The best snipers in the world have already weighed in and concur. If you take this into consideration then there must be a conspiracy. There really is no other alternative.

Chris Newton

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  • 2 weeks later...

According to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (Robert Kennedy and His Times pages 664-665). Robert Kennedy contacted Jim Garrison (since RFK took seriously the notion of a domestic plot), and that he was concerned with the possibility that the CIA may have had involvement in the assassination.

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  • 1 month later...

I have just discovered (via another strand of the forum) that Edward Grant Stockdale visited Robert and Edward Kennedy on 26th November, 1963.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=943

When Stockdale returned to Miami he told his friends that "the world was closing in." On 1st December, he spoke to his attorney, William Frates. He later recalled that Stockdale: "He started talking. It didn't make much sense. He said something about 'those guys' trying to get him. Then about the assassination."

On 2nd December, 1963, Stockdale fell (or was pushed) from his office on the thirteenth story of the Dupont Building in Miami.

I suspect Stockdale told Robert and Edward Kennedy what he knew about the assassination. Stockdale was obviously shocked when he discovered that the Kennedy brothers showed little interest in the story. In fact, Edward goes as far to undermine his credibility by questioning his mental state.

Why should the Kennedy brothers do this? Why, did they not want the case investigated? My own view is that Robert Kennedy was himself implicated in the killing of JFK (via Operation Freedom).

It is only a matter of time before Stockdale goes public. But is it in the interests of the Kennedy family to let the world know what has happened? This involves the world discovering that John and Robert Kennedy were involved in a plot to kill Fidel Castro. Might the reaction have been: “he got what he deserves”. The image of JFK as a honourable political figure would have been destroyed by this information. Robert Kennedy’s political career would also have been over. It would not have needed LBJ to tell the Kennedy brothers why it was important that they joined the cover-up. However, for it to work, Stockdale would have to be stopped from telling the truth.

For more details on the role of Grant Stockdale see:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKstockdale.htm

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I would like to add to the list of possible groups made by David Simkin who may have reason to kill President Kennedy. This would be the eastern Establishment, or simply the Establishment, of the United States. This view was expressed as long as ten years ago by the american sociologist Donald Gibson in his book "Battling Wall Street". His answer is so obvious that I'm very surprised that no one has come forward before 1994 to express this viewpoint.

Before the publication of this book I would have thought the biggest red herring would have been the Mafia-cia angle. Now it would appear the largest waste of time was the Cuban-cia angle.

About five years later Gibson published "The Kennedy Assassination Cover-up". In my opinion these are the two best books ever written on the case. I am simply astonished that the american research communities haven't picked up on these valuable books, or that people haven't researched the hell out of the subjects Gibson points to in his books. I believe his two books have the answers.

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It is possible that the conspirators had "the goods" on the Kennedy's, enough to force Bobby to keep his mouth shut.

For example, I am convinced Marilyn Monroe was pregnant from JFK, refused the abortion that Giancana would arrange in Chicago, just like with Judyth Exner, then fell victim to JFK's request to Giancana to solve the problem. Giancana sent a private plane with his men to the west coast on the early morning of August 4, 1962, and RFK was there personally to make sure the evidence would suggest suicide.

I'd say that's enough to make sure Bobby won't call for an investigation.

Wim

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Before the publication of this book I would have thought the biggest red herring would have been the Mafia-cia angle. Now it would appear the largest waste of time was the Cuban-cia angle.

I agree about the Mafia set-up but need convincing that researching the anti-Cubans is a waste of time.

I will take your advice and will buy the two books mentioned.

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On Robert Kennedy, it is interesting to note that a magic bullet was involved in his assassination too. While the convicted assassin Sirhan fired at him from a few feet in front, the fatal shot was fired point-blank behind RFK's ear complete with powder burns. IMO that qualifies as a magic bullet.

While it's debatable whether an umbrella gun was used from the CIA arsenal in the JFK hit, that arsenal seems to have had no shortage of magic bullets. Note also the bullet that somehow curved around a car door to hit Ronald Reagan. I suspect that someone wanted the CIA's George Bush in the Oval Office sooner rather than later.

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Hi Ron,

You got it right about the powers that be wanted Reagan dead so that their man Bush would become President. Here's some info that was in the Washington Post after Reagan was shot, info which, for some reason, no one found suspicious:

“When Reagan came out of the Hilton, the bulletproof Presidential limousine was not waiting directly in front of the hotel exit, as Secret Service practice usually requires.”

“If it had been, Reagan would have had a straight-line walk of about eight feet from door to car. Instead, he had to walk diagonally down the sidewalk about twenty-five feet, bringing him around a curve and into the line of fire of accused assailant John W. Hinckley, Jr.”

“A Secret Service official said the advance agent on the scene concluded that it would be counterproductive to set up an area restricted only to the press on the narrow, curving walk outside the hotel.” (Counterproductive?)

“Television crew members at the Hilton said they had complained to the Secret Service about bystanders pushing into the area reserved for the press. One bystander, as it turned out, was the accused gunman.”

“Henry M. Brown of ABC,” a television cameraman who had photographed most of the event, “said he had complained earlier to the Secret Service that members of the public had ‘penetrated the police line,’ creating crowded conditions in the press area and making it difficult to work. His complaint went unheeded, and Brown went on working. He was standing near the assailant when he started to fire.”

“‘He just opened up and kept squeezing the trigger,’ Brown said.”

“A Secret Service official said the press area outside the hotel was not a ‘dedicated press area.’”

“Generally, agents want the armored limousine waiting in a direct line with the President’s exit door as he moves from building to car.”

“Such positioning shortens the period of vulnerability and makes it easier for agents to form a human shield as the public figure moves. In some cases, agents have had the car moved one foot or less to have it perfectly aligned with the exit.”

“On Monday, though, Reagan’s limousine was waiting about twenty to twenty-five feet down the driveway from the door. To reach the car, Reagan had to walk down the curving sidewalk. Around the curve, flush against the hotel wall, the assailant waited with his pistol.”

On April 4, 1981, the Washington Post reported: “The bullets that struck President Reagan and two of the three other persons wounded in Monday's assassination attempt were positively identified yesterday by the FBI as ‘Devastators,’” which are “expensive, customized .22 caliber cartridges designed to explode upon impact with the force of slugs fired from much more powerful handguns. None of those bullets exploded, however . . . A ‘strong possibility’ exists that a fourth bullet, which struck White House press secretary James S. Brady in the head, was a Devastator that did explode.”

Besides the fact that the “Secret Service” was intrinsic to trying to get Reagan killed, Hinckley had been in cities where the “Secret Service” would have been, along with an off-and-on stay in Washington DC dating back to September 1980.

The Washington Post reported on May 6, 1981, that Hinckley “was in Chicago, Dayton, and Nashville last October at the same time Carter was in those cities for campaign appearances.”

It also stated that Hinckley “was registered as a guest at the Capital Hilton Hotel September 27-28 and at the Quality Inn on Capitol Hill October 17-19, February 10-11, and February 16-17.”

The Washington Post said, “There is no evidence to indicate that these visits were tied either to the attack on Reagan or to any plan directed at former President Carter,” and no evidence “that he was stalking Reagan or any other political figure,” but “many of Hinckley’s travels are otherwise unexplained.”

It is a state secret that the Secret Service is the CIA. This is highly classified information and intelligence officers must have a “need to know” before they are privy to this information.

In 1980, an intelligence officer and I were heading into the CIA’s Chicago field office in the Dirksen Federal Building in Downtown Chicago, but instead of driving into the underground parking garage and taking an elevator up, which is what we had done several times before, he violated procedure and we took the public elevator up to the offices of the Secret Service.

The intelligence officer flashed his badge and a woman behind a window buzzed us in. We took a few steps through a small office with a desk and a chair in it, and as he opened another door, I said, “That’s a good idea, having the CIA offices behind the Secret Service.” He turned to me and, even though he wasn’t supposed to do it, he said, “The Secret Service is the CIA,” and after we walked through the door, I found myself in the CIA’s Chicago field office, the same CIA field office that I had been to on previous occasions.

From 1977 through 1984, I had a couple of interactions with intelligence officers assigned to “Secret Service” duty, intelligence officers that I also interacted with in their capacity as CIA field agents.

Tony

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