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Ground distractions in Dealey Plaza


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At 11am, Julia Mercer is driving west on Elm street. She notices a pickup truck, this green pickup truck is parked partly on the kerb. The driver of the truck is witnessed as being Jack Ruby, and he is witnessed by Julia Mercer to be carrying a rifle to the grassy knoll area. Joe Murphy, a Dallas patrolman reports that “there were three construction men in this truck, and I took one to the bank building to obtain another truck in order to assist in moving the stalled one. The other two men remained in the pickup truck along with the two other officers. Shortly prior to the arrival of the motorcade, the man I took to the bank building returned with a second truck, and all three of the men left with the two trucks, one pushing the other”

A young man described as wearing army fatigues suddenly collapses at 100 N. Houston, near the front door of the TSBD. He is apparently suffering from an epileptic seizure. An ambulance is called at 12:19pm to take him to Parkland Hospital. Parkland never records a patient registered at this time. This ‘patient’ is later identified as Jerry B. Belknap.

Here there is a stalled truck on the motorcade route in the immediate vicinity of the assassination as well as an epileptic seizure which occurs minutes prior to the presidents arrival.

Two incidents where eyes deflect from ‘above’ in order to concentrate on the seizure and stalled truck ‘below’. Major security attention is now focused on the street level.

Has this focus and attention been diverted on purpose or is this merely a coincidence?

However, not all attention was diverted:

9:30-10:00am - Julius Hardee is driving along towards the triple underpass on Elm street. He sees three men on top of the underpass. He states that two of the men he saw were carrying long guns. Whether these men were police officers or not has never been determined.

12:00pm - Richard Carr, a steelworker, notices a man in the window of the TSBD. The man is wearing a

brown suit coat.

12:15pm - Arnold Rowland notices a man on the sixth floor in the far left window of the TSBD with a rifle, like others, he thinks he is a security agent. He also notices a second figure in the right hand

window, he is of dark complexion.

- John Powell, an inmate housed on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Jail watches two men with a gun in the sixth floor window of the TSBD. He and other inmates recall them “fooling around

with the scope”

- Mrs. Carolyn Walther notices two men with a gun in an open window at the extreme right hand

end of the TSBD on the fifth floor, one of the men is wearing a brown suit coat.

- Ruby Henderson sees two men standing back from a window on one of the upper floors of the

book depository, she notices that one had a dark complexion

What are everybody’s views on these events? Were they coincidences or an attempt at attracting attention away from the windows?

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As most know, "misdirection" is a standard technique used by magicians.

Makes eminent sense that a sophisticated assassination plotter would employ one or more diversionary tactics.

The tactics could well have been employed even after Dealey Plaza, e.g., the planting of false leads, etc.

Problem is if someone could determine for sure who was behind a diversionary tactic such person was most likely (tautologically?) a member of the conspiracy.

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Personally I find the mention of the man with the dark complexion most interesting. He seems to pop up a few times. Didn't Amos Euins also initially describe a man with a dark complexion?

Amos Euins, Arnold Rowland, Robert Jackson and James Worrell below. Sorry about the poor quality.

James

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The failure of the Secret Service to secure the grassy knoll, the railroad overpass

and the open windows along the route, along with the slooooow crawl through the

Plaza point to a co-ordinated effort by government factions to eliminate the President.

Lee Forman has found a number of camera lenses, and the whole operation appears "Staged"...

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It should also be noted that windows along the motorcade route were not systematically being watched by law enforcement personnel since no order had been given, confirmed by Dallas policeman Perdue Lawrence, as well as the triple underpass not being cleared of spectators.

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Shanet wrote:

"The failure of the Secret Service to secure the grassy knoll, the railroad overpass and the open windows along the route, along with the slooooow crawl through the Plaza point to a co-ordinated effort by govern-ment factions to eliminate the President."

Hogwash.

Read the chapter in "Ultimate Sacrifice" re how diligentlly the Secret Service worked to protect the President from a reported threat in Tampa on November 18th (just four days before Dallas). I guess the government factions decided sometime between November 18th and November 21st to relax Kennedy's protection in Dallas?

But despite the threat in Tampa, Kennedy still rode standing open in an open car. The authors of "Ultimate Sacrifice" suggest he did it to send a message to his enemies that he had no fear.

Regarding the "slow crawl" through Dallas, "Ultimate Sacrifice" reports that the JFK motorcade also had to make a very slow left turn in front of the tall Floridian hotel in Tampa (again this was done despite the reported threat of an assassination.

What is chilling, however, is that the SS did not inform the Dallas PD of the threat in Tampa a few says earlier. Nor was the incident reported to either the WC or the HSCA (again according to "Ultimate Sacrifice").

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Shanet wrote:

"The failure of the Secret Service to secure the grassy knoll, the railroad overpass and the open windows along the route, along with the slooooow crawl through the Plaza point to a co-ordinated effort by govern-ment factions to eliminate the President."

Hogwash.

Read the chapter in "Ultimate Sacrifice" re how diligentlly the Secret Service worked to protect the President from a reported threat in Tampa on November 18th (just four days before Dallas). I guess the government factions decided sometime between November 18th and November 21st to relax Kennedy's protection in Dallas?

But despite the threat in Tampa, Kennedy still rode standing open in an open car. The authors of "Ultimate Sacrifice" suggest he did it to send a message to his enemies that he had no fear.

Regarding the "slow crawl" through Dallas, "Ultimate Sacrifice" reports that the JFK motorcade also had to make a very slow left turn in front of the tall Floridian hotel in Tampa (again this was done despite the reported threat of an assassination.

What is chilling, however, is that the SS did not inform the Dallas PD of the threat in Tampa a few says earlier. Nor was the incident reported to either the WC or the HSCA (again according to "Ultimate Sacrifice").

I do believe in one of those "conspiracy comments by Jack Ruby" when reporters were talking to him as he was being whisked to and fro, he said something to the effect of (referring to the assassination) "a massive conspiracy, you wouldn't believe."

If you take those comments literally, then a 'massive conspiracy,' ala either

1. CIA

2. Army Intelligence

3. FBI

4. Secret Service

5. Variations of the above, as part of one big black op, don't seem so "out of the question."

FWIW

Edited by Robert Howard
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Adam and Shanet,

What you are confusing here is a breakdown in communications and acceptable practice from 1963 to present. The Tampa threat was not passed on to Dallas no more than the Chicago threat was passed on to Tampa. This is not conspiratorial, but simply a lack of communications that was not an issue prior to the Kennedy assassination as it is so blatent aftarwards. Presently, the USSS sends an agent in advance that is in a primary intelligence role to communicate with the local USSS and LE as to previous threats and to present a watch list. Local LE also provide a list of subversives to add to the watch list. The watch list contains names of those who are a possible threat to the president or whatever visiting dignitary that requires USSS protection. Persons on that list are isolated by local LE, State LE or Federal LE. They are isolated by means of monitoring where they go and if they go into a region where the protected party is to be, they are detained. This is a tricky issue as it deals with constitutional issues on illegal seizure without cause.

As far as the issue of watching open windows and overpasses; The secret service maintains security within the motorcade and at points of arrival, departure and destination. Even at these points, they rely heavily on local LE to provide the majority of physical security. In a moving motorcade, the Secret Service does not have agents on the ground and rely on local LE to provide security. The majority of this security is to block off traffic and to focus on points of concern along the motorcade route. To say that all open windows along a motorcade route are to be monitored is rediculous, considered Dallas alone and how many buildings were along the motorcade route. As far as the overpass, local LE is and was required to man anything that the motorcade passes under or over and the Dallas PD did that. The problem was the officers who were assigned interpretation on who was allowed atop. They utilized supervisors from the railroad to identify workers and allowed them atop. When they should not have allowed anyone on the overpass. This is not conspiratorial, simple poor judgement and poor communications.

I will comment further if needed.

Al

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To Robert:

I do not agree with the concept of the "grand conspiracy" you suggest, but even if there was such, do you REALLY believe Jack Ruby would know about it? Why in the world would he be informed of all of the players? Makes no sense. So please don't read too much into anything Ruby said.

Al's post is very good, BTW.

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Adam and Shanet,

What you are confusing here is a breakdown in communications and acceptable practice from 1963 to present. The Tampa threat was not passed on to Dallas no more than the Chicago threat was passed on to Tampa. This is not conspiratorial, but simply a lack of communications that was not an issue prior to the Kennedy assassination as it is so blatent aftarwards.

HI AL, BUT I HAVE TO AGREE WITH SHANET, AND DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT WAS SIMPLY A MATTER OF A BREAKDOWN IN COMMUNICATIONS OR INCOMPITANCE ON THE PART OF THE SS.

AN ARTICLE IN PROLOGUE - THE MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & RECORDS AD OF A FEW YEARS AGO, BY THE SS ADVANCE MAN FOR FORT WORTH, DETAILS THE ROUTINE THEY GO THOUGH EVERY WHERE, EXCEPT DALLAS. WILL GET A CITATION FOR THIS ARTICLE, BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT.

Presently, the USSS sends an agent in advance that is in a primary intelligence role to communicate with the local USSS and LE...As far as the issue of watching open windows and overpasses; The secret service maintains security within the motorcade and at points of arrival, departure and destination. Even at these points, they rely heavily on local LE to provide the majority of physical security. In a moving motorcade, the Secret Service does not have agents on the ground and rely on local LE to provide security. The majority of this security is to block off traffic and to focus on points of concern along the motorcade route. To say that all open windows along a motorcade route are to be monitored is rediculous, considered Dallas alone and how many buildings were along the motorcade route....This is not conspiratorial, simple poor judgement and poor communications.

I will comment further if needed.

Al

AL, WITH YOUR BACKGROUND ON THESE SECURITY ISSUES, I'D LIKE YOU TO READ THE PROLOGUE ARTICLE IF I CAN DIG IT UP, AND COMMENT ON FLETCHER PROUTY'S FOLLOWING COMMENTS. PLEASE NOTE THE REFERENCES TO SECURITY AND FINAL SENTENCE.

I FIRST ENCOUNTERED PROUTY AT A NYU LAW SCHOOL SYMPOSIUM ON THE JFK ASSASSINATION, AND SAT IN ON A LECTURE HE GAVE ON COVERT OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES THAT WENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

The Anatomy of Assassination – By L. Fletcher Prouty – From Uncloaking The CIA (Edited by Howard Frazier, The Free Press, Macmillan, 1978, p. 196-209)

Assassination is big business. In fact, assassination is the business of big business and of the CIA and of any other power center that can pay for the “hit” and control the assured getaway. Rare is the individual “nut” who even gets a chance to shoot a chief of state or other big figure. The CIA brags that its operations in Iran in 1953 led to the pro-Western alignment of that important country. It takes credit for what it calls the “perfect job” in Guatemala. Both were achieved by assassination. In the Dominican Republic, Trujillo was removed by assassination. In Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem was removed by assassination. In both countries the hand of the CIA was evident. But what is this assassination business? How does it really work? How is it set up?

In all but a handful of countries around the world, power simply rests in the hands of those who have it until someone else is strong enough to take it away. There is little or no provision for change. The strongman stays in power until he dies or is removed by a coup d’etat, which often mean by assassination…

What, then, are the actual mechanics of an assassination? (In the business, the assassin – the professional secret murderer – is in fact, called a “mechanic”) How is an assassination made? If the CIA is involved, how does the CIA lay it on? The reality is much different from the usual picture. There is not some young character – an Oswald, a Ray, a Sirhan, or a Bremer – who broods over things for months, who writes a queer diary, who sends away for a mail-order gun and then draws attention to himself by all manner of strange activities. These are the characteristics of the “patsy” and the cover story. The real assassination scenario is quite different.

[bK NOTE:] Foreign assassinations, and to a degree domestic murders of that kind, are set in motion not so much by a definite plan to kill the intended victim as by a sinister plan to remove or relax the protective organization that is absolutely essential to keep the victim/leader alive.

If the CIA lets it be known, ever so secretly, that it is displeased with a certain ruler and that it would not raise a finger against a new regime, you may be sure that some cabal will move against that ruler…..

Murder is the violent and unlawful killing of one human being by another. Assassination is murder, but the motivation and sometimes the method is different. Historically assassination is the murder of the enemies of a religious sect as a sacred religious duty. The assassin is a professional secret murderer who kills for someone else or for a great cause. In many cases today, the religious called “anti-communism” is such a greater cause….

We re now finally beginning to hear much about the CIA and the subject of assassinations, both domestic and foreign….By the summer of 1963 ( a summer that we should write about and research a lot more because it was a very important period),…By August of 1963 memoranda were being circulated in the highest offices of the U.S. government. (At the time I was working in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.) These papers were so secret that they were unmarked, with no classification, and hand-carried from “need-to-know” person to “need-to-know” person. If papers are really that secret, you don’t put “top secret” stamps on them, or “eyes only” stamps on them, or registered numbers on them. You don’t put anything on them….

The actual killing was a simple thing, “for the good of the cause.” The USA and the CIA could wash their hands of it. They had nothing to do with it. Like all assassinations, it had just happened….

Since World War II there have been hundreds of coup d’etats, a common euphemism for assassination. The list will grow for as long as the United States chooses to do its diplomatic work clandestinely….

Practitioners of the profession of assassination by the removal of power reach the point where they see that the technique as one fit for the removal of any opposition anywhere. Thus it was that President Kennedy was killed – not by some lone gunman, not by some limited conspiracy, but by the breakdown of the very system that should have functioned to make an assassination impossible. Once insiders knew that he would not be protected, it was easy to pick the day and the place. In fact, those responsible for luring him to that place on that day were not even in on the plan itself.

The President went to Texas innocuously enough to dedicate a hospital facility at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. That simple event brought him to the state. It was not too difficult then to get him to stop at Fort Worth “to mend political fences” and accept the plaudits and the backslaps and thee promises of votes from the millionaires and the billionaires at General Dynamics who had just bought off the tremendous $6.5 billion contract for the TFX, a plane that hasn’t flown very well even yet. And, of course, no good politician would go to Fort Worth and skip Dallas. All the conspirators had to do after that was to let the right “mechanics” know that the President would be there, when he would be there, what time he would be there and, most importantly, that the usual precautions would not have been made and that escape would be facilitated.

[bK - ALSO PLEASE NOTE: ]

This is the greatest single key to that assassination: Who had the power to call off or drastically reduce the usual security precautions that are always in effect – by law – whenever a President travels? The answer to this question is more important to me than a genealogy of Lee Harvey Oswald or the people on the grassy knoll.

Edited by William Kelly
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... This is the greatest single key to that assassination: Who had the power to call off or drastically reduce the usual security precautions that are always in effect – by law – whenever a President travels? The answer to this question is more important to me than a genealogy of Lee Harvey Oswald or the people on the grassy knoll.

The answer to that question seems to lie in Al's comment: "[the USSS] rel[ies] heavily on local LE to provide the majority of physical security."

On 11/22/63, DPD was "the men on the ground," the "tactical squad" if you will. There were many more doings that they had sole control over, and looking closely at some of those will tell a lot about how some of the "tactical" aspects of the murder(s) were accomplished. Think "Tippit killing" here, too, and "the Oswald in the basement trick."

Ruby's comments should be paid attention to because he did have a clue, tho' he probably couldn't have named many names, and then not very high up on the food chain.

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... This is the greatest single key to that assassination: Who had the power to call off or drastically reduce the usual security precautions that are always in effect – by law – whenever a President travels? The answer to this question is more important to me than a genealogy of Lee Harvey Oswald or the people on the grassy knoll.

The answer to that question seems to lie in Al's comment: "[the USSS] rel[ies] heavily on local LE to provide the majority of physical security."

On 11/22/63, DPD was "the men on the ground," the "tactical squad" if you will. There were many more doings that they had sole control over, and looking closely at some of those will tell a lot about how some of the "tactical" aspects of the murder(s) were accomplished. Think "Tippit killing" here, too, and "the Oswald in the basement trick."

Ruby's comments should be paid attention to because he did have a clue, tho' he probably couldn't have named many names, and then not very high up on the food chain.

Duke,

I do not fault the DPD on the assassination although the issues of allowing unauthorized personnel atop of the overpass was poor judgement or miscommunication, regardless, it should not have happened. The DPD were stretched very thin as the motorcade route was long and tedius as it covered a long route of slow movement with an open limo. Dallas was not the first time this occurred, but it was an ideal killing zone throughout the motorcade for a sniper. Because of the availability of the target with the terrain afforded throughout, there was little anyone could have done to prevent a successful attempt on the life of the president. Where it became ingenious was the ability to pull it off and escape. DPD major screwup was allowing DP to be opened up to pedestrian and vehicular traffic immediately after the incident. It should have been shut down and it would not have been difficult to do as it was already shut down to vehiclular traffic and with the DCSO manpower standing around a block away, they could have sealed it off from pedestrians going in and preventing wits from going out.

Al

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... This is the greatest single key to that assassination: Who had the power to call off or drastically reduce the usual security precautions that are always in effect – by law – whenever a President travels? The answer to this question is more important to me than a genealogy of Lee Harvey Oswald or the people on the grassy knoll.
The answer to that question seems to lie in Al's comment: "[the USSS] rel[ies] heavily on local LE to provide the majority of physical security." On 11/22/63, DPD was "the men on the ground," the "tactical squad" if you will. There were many more doings that they had sole control over, and looking closely at some of those will tell a lot about how some of the "tactical" aspects of the murder(s) were accomplished. Think "Tippit killing" here, too, and "the Oswald in the basement trick."
I do not fault the DPD on the assassination although the issues of allowing unauthorized personnel atop of the overpass was poor judgement or miscommunication, regardless, it should not have happened. The DPD were stretched very thin.... DPD major screwup was allowing DP to be opened up to pedestrian and vehicular traffic immediately after the incident. It should have been shut down and it would not have been difficult to do as it was already shut down to vehiclular traffic and with the DCSO manpower standing around a block away, they could have sealed it off from pedestrians going in and preventing wits from going out.

If only the simple measures raised by Al Carrier had been taken, many of the questions with which we still wrestle would be long-ago answered. What if we had the identification of the men who appeared to assemble at Houston and Main Streets? I do have some difficulty with reports of policemen confronting self-proclaimed Secret Service agents and not being a bit more tenacious about examining the identifications. Imagine the historical difference if just one Secret Service imposter had been caught up in the kind of quickly established cordon described by Al. Searching cars in the parking lot behind the Grassy Knoll would have been a good thing as well, or at the very least, making a list of the license numbers of the cars parked there. If there was an assassin on either the north or south knoll, the simple act of throwing any weapon or evidence into the trunk of a car was sufficient to forever relegate it to the realm of mystery.

T.C.

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Al, "Ultimate Sacrifice" reports a serious threat to JFK in Tampa on November 18, 1963. Should that threat, so close in time, have been communicated by the SS to the DPD?

By todays standards, that threat would have been passed on to the advance team of the SS in Dallas who would have coordinated an effort with the Dallas Office of the SS and then communicated it with the DPD. However, we are basing this on the communication channels of today, not of '63. A similar thought is why was the Chicago threat of Nov 1, 1963 not passed onto Tampa? This was a loophole in communications that seemed to be consistent of that era, or was stalled in DC during that time. We may never know for sure.

Al

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