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Jim Root
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I am searching for knowledgable comments on a possible scenario that would suggest that Oswald was given an assignment to either assassinate or fake an assassination attempt on the life of General Walker.

Those persons who would be acting as the control agents for Oswald would first have required him to place an order for the weapon to be used and would require him to establish a mail drop to receive that weapon. The assignment would, of course, be considered a major one by Oswald that would carry a certain amount of risk, a chance for capture, adventure and an opportunity to gain or regain prestige within an organization that he may have thought had abandoned him upon his return from Russia.

Either way (his failure to succeed in the assassination attempt or his success at providing a publicity stunt for Walker's political adventures) would perhaps elevate Oswald's self esteem as a participant within a covert organization while at the same time providing him with the boldness to take on additional assignments. These activities might include contact with Cuban nationals as well as activities for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in the New Orleans area in the weeks following the attempted assassination of Walker.

I have heard the phrase, "building a backround" or something to that effect while some have described the activities of Oswald at this time.

This scenario would imply that thse plotting to assassinate JFK would have been opperating prior to April 10, 1963 (the night of the attempted assassination of General Walker).

This scenario would also suggest that Walker's actions in the 24 hours following the assassination of JFK (contact with a German publication while staying at the Captain Shreve Hotel in Shreveport, LA) was pre-arranged.

Comments?

Jim Root

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According to one of the top scholars on this case, historian Gerald D. McKnight, in his latest book, Breach of Trust, the bullet recovered from the Walker shooting didn't ballistically match the fragments found at the scene of the JFK killing. See pages 49 and 50 for his discussion of the Heilberger report conducted for the Warren Commission.

Quoting directly from page 50: "Heilberger's report was persuasive evidence that the ammunition Oswald allegedly used to kill Kennedy could not have been invovled in the Walker shooting." And, oh, yeah---no surprise to anyone here---"Heilberger was never called as a Commission witness."

On page 51 the excellent McKnight points out that there was "no persuasive physical evidence to tie Oswald to the Walker shooting."

There's more in the next 8 pages of this chapter. There isn't much of a case on this one folks. Based on McKnight's dissection of the "evidence" against Oswald, I'd say on the night Walker was shot at, Oswald was no where near his residence.

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According to one of the top scholars on this case, historian Gerald D. McKnight, in his latest book, Breach of Trust, the bullet recovered from the Walker shooting didn't ballistically match the fragments found at the scene of the JFK killing. See pages 49 and 50 for his discussion of the Heilberger report conducted for the Warren Commission.

Quoting directly from page 50: "Heilberger's report was persuasive evidence that the ammunition Oswald allegedly used to kill Kennedy could not have been invovled in the Walker shooting." And, oh, yeah---no surprise to anyone here---"Heilberger was never called as a Commission witness."

On page 51 the excellent McKnight points out that there was "no persuasive physical evidence to tie Oswald to the Walker shooting."

There's more in the next 8 pages of this chapter. There isn't much of a case on this one folks. Based on McKnight's dissection of the "evidence" against Oswald, I'd say on the night Walker was shot at, Oswald was no where near his residence.

Jim and I have agreed on some themes in the past, BUT........

I don't think Oswald ever took a shot at Edwin Walker, I think the thing was set up to make it

look like he had, to set him up as a "real" assassin...........

I think the shadowy bunch that manipulated Oswald did it and pinned it on him as part of a plot.......

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Brian

"According to one of the top scholars on this case, historian Gerald D. McKnight, in his latest book, Breach of Trust, the bullet recovered from the Walker shooting didn't ballistically match the fragments found at the scene of the JFK killing. See pages 49 and 50 for his discussion of the Heilberger report conducted for the Warren Commission."

Reread Breach of Trust. The Heilberger report centered on the spectrographic analysis, not the ballistics. Heilberger's report showed that if Oswald did both, the attempted assassination of Walker and the actual assassination of Kennedy, that he needed to buy an additional box of ammunition sometime during the seven months between the two events. If we allow for some target practice by Oswald in the ensuing period of time we could logically conclude that this is not out of the relm of possibility.

While the Warren Commission would have appreciated a finding that the bullets came from the same batch, they to seem to have concluded that it was possible that Oswald purchased more than twenty rounds of ammunition between April of 1963 and November 1963.

On the other hand, according to McKnight, the report that was used by the Warren Commission from Robert A. Frazier dealing with ballistics states:

"...Frazier was asked about the Walker bullet (FBI designated Q-188), Commission assistant counsel Melvin A. Eisenberg asked whether Q-188 could have been fired from Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano. According to Frazier, the Walker bullet was a 6.5-mm copper-jacketed bullet, but because of its distorted condition he could not answer conclusively. However, on the basis of 'its land and grove impressions.' the FBI's firearms expert left open the likely possibility that it could have been fired from Oswald's rifle." (Breach of Trust, Gerald D. McKnight page 49)

So what do we have? Same caliber rifle used in both events, land and grove impression match in both events and were possibly fired by the same rifle and the bullets came from different batches. Once again the "different batches" senario suggests nothing more than the fact that the bullets used to assassinate the President were purchased sometime during the seven months between the two events.

McKnight goes on to later state (when dealing with the Walker assassination attempt):

"If the note (referred to as the 'Walker Note') Oswald had left his wife on the evening of April 10, 1963, and the circumstances surrounding its timely discovery were legitimate, then Oswald should have been a prime suspect in the Walker case. Pressing the point even further, if Oswald had written the note, then it was the most damaging evidence the government ever came up with connecting him with the assassination of President Kennedy. As the Warren report pointed out, this attempt on General Walker demonstrated Oswald's 'determination and the other traits required to carry out a carefully planned killing of another human being and was willing to consummate such a purpose if he thought there was sufficient reason to do so." (ibid, page 53)

Mr. McKnight has been very gracious in the exchange of information over the past months. He is, as you point out, one of the few authors who has studied and deals with the Walker case. I was surprised to learn that he, like so many other researchers, was not aware of the note written by FBI Agent James P. Hosty that identified Oswald's place of employment in the TSBD before the motorcade route was designated. (See my "Big Fish" posts)

I, for one, have reason to believe that Warren Commissioner John J. McCloy may have been one of the conspirators behind the assassination of JFK and the cover-up that followed.

If my assumptions are true then the conspirators would have needed an assassin that had (according to the Warren Commission) the "determination and the other traits required to carry out a carefully planned killing of another human being and was willing to consummate such a purpose if he thought there was sufficient reason to do so"

Could McCloy have known what was later written into the Warren Commission Report about Oswald's "determination and the other traits required to carry out a carefully planned killing of another human being and was willing to consummate such a purpose if he thought there was sufficient reason to do so" before the assasssination of John F. Kennedy?

Looking further into what I suggest:

IF someone, such as McCloy (backround in intelligence that goes back to WWII where he was the guardian of such highly classified secretes as the Atomic Bomb and the "Magic" intercepts) , were inclined to want to see the President assassinated (Limited Test Ban Treaty disagreement) and IF McCloy were aware of Oswald's movements in and around Dallas (Jefferson Morley's research shows that the CIA was in fact monitoring Oswald's movements), and IF McCloy were aware a Walker connection to Oswald (Oct. 1959) and IF McCloy were aware of Oswald's place of employment (Hosty note that was never given a Commission Exhibit Number but which McCloy questioned Hosty about) and IF McCloy and other potential conspirators had the ability to plan the motorcade route (which was planned in Washington) and IF McCloy knew that Oswald had attempted to take the life of General Walker (Walker himself, in later life, suggested that the government did in fact know who had shot at him) then we could have Oswald as an assassin doing the work of the conspirators. But then Oswald would need to be quickly eliminated, just as he was.

I have found that most assassination researchers are stuck with the belief that if Oswald was a shooter that would somehow eliminate the possibility of a conspiracy. My research shows just the opposite, Oswald as a shooter manipulated or set up by the conspirators.

I for one remain open to the possibility that the biggest misinformation campaign that the conspirators may perpetrated on the public is the belief that Oswald was not a shooter. Perhaps, if I am correct, that could explain why, after over fourty years of investigation, we have not been able to uncover the truth surrounding this event. Rather than focusing on the conspirators it seems that most researchers remain mesmerized by the few minutes in time that surround the assassination itself.

As Gerald McKnight wrote to me in a recent email:

"My deepest view of this whole thing is that if we ever get near the truth surrounding the assassination it will exceed any fictional rendereing."

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Jim,

With all the shooters that John J. McCloy and other powerful conspirators could have at their disposal, including military snipers who don't miss, they would choose Lee Harvey Oswald?

Frame Oswald, yes, he was certainly framed; use him as a decoy shooter, yes, it's possible (though there is no evidence that he fired a shot); but not actually as "the assassin."

Ron

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Ron

You are one of the best and your comments always make me think while forcing me verbalize my thoughts, thank you!

In my mindset I am always looking for ways to minimize the number of participants in the assassination event as well as the original conspiracy which would have led to a cover-up. It seems very easy to suggest that the conspirators would have a plethora of assassins to choose from but the details of recruitment, I would assume, would be a little more difficult. Something as simple as identifing which assassin to use could leave a trail that someone could follow not to mention the logistics (support personal) necessary to move an assassin(s) into and out of the selected target area.

Is it out of the relm of possibility to hypothisise that the consiprators could identify a potential assassin that was already in location (Hosty note) whom they knew had a proclivity to kill (Walker attempt) and then put the target in front of him? No middlemen, no logistic, no trail and 40 plus years of mystery searching for people who may never have existed in Dallas at the time of the shooting.

Rather than having a conspiracy that would have involved numerous individuals, any of whom might have "spelled the beans" over the years, I would suggest the need for very few people to have been involved to insure a successful operation.

My thoughts are that the "powerful conspirators" would have chosen a methodology that minimized the potential for being caught in the event of failure or success at least as much as they would have planned for the successfull murder of their intended victim......I think we can all agree that if a conspiracy did in fact exist the conspirators were successful in the assassination, the cover-up and the concealment of their identities.

But how do you minimize your risk of being identified as a conspirator? Could it be by taking the focus off of Oswald as a shooter if in fact he were a shooter?

Research that has been conducted over the years which centers around eliminating Oswald as a shooter, while shedding light on many things, has, as of yet failed to pinpoint the conspirators. Each different theory tends to identify a plausible group of conspirators which each have different motives. It seems that a majority of these theories require that Oswald be a "patsy" rather than a potental assassin. Each argues that the evidence in the TSBD must have been planted, once again increasing the number of people involved in the conspiracy. Evidence planted at Parkland Hospital, forensic evidence altered, Marina Oswald manipulated, etc., etc., etc.

Have you ever attempted to count the number of individuals necessary to logistically carry out some of the conspiracy theories that are discussed on this forum? After running out of fingers and toes when dealing with any one theory I start to become skeptical, not because the theory is not logically derived but because the logistics timming and potential for leaks increases algebraicly with each additional participant. The sheer number of "mysterious deaths" linked to the assassination would have required a conspiracy so broad based that I have difficulty believing that someone, to protect themselves, would not have hidden or provided evidence that would surface upon their death if for no other reason than to protect themselves and their families.

I return to a premise that I have been led to by my 13 + years of research: A conspiracy may well have existed and the potential conspirators that my research has identified would have known who Oswald was, would have had access to Oswald's intelligence "file," with his history with intelligence organizations, they would have had a motive, they would have even had an association with a person named John Hurt, they could have identified Oswald as the attempted assassin of Edwin Walker, they could have planned the motorcade route and they could have manipulated the cover-up of evidence that would have suggested their own involvement in a conspiracy.

In other words, no need for some huge group of participants that would be needed to plant, destroy or distort evidence. Rather a very small group of men who first became associated together during WWII and can be tied to Oswald perhaps most tightly by their association with John B. Hurt and their unanimous disqust with Kennedy's position on Nuclear disarmament and perceived weakness toward the Soviet Union.

Jim Root

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Jim,

Even assuming they chose Oswald as their assassin, minimizing participants, they would not have him shoot from one of the worst possible positions in Dealey Plaza (unless he was supposed to shoot JFK on Houston Street), using a piece of crap for a weapon (that might have even missed the target on Houston).

I would agree, based on your research, that Oswald made a perfect patsy for McCloy and company. But hardly the best assassin. I believe that the conspiratorial planning implicit in what you propose would leave a great deal to be desired. Indeed I would imagine that the few participants involved, when given this Oswald plan, would have said, "Leave me out of this."

Ron

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Ron

Your phrase, "hardly the best assassin" discounts the fact that the assassination did take place in site of the TSBD, that a gun was discovered on the 6th floor of the TSBD, that Oswald worked at the TSBD, that Oswald had taken a long package to work with him that day, that he is the only TSBD employee to leave the scene, that the CIA (perhaps others) were aware of where Oswald was working, that the assassination route did pass Oswald's place of employment, etc., etc.

While I am not convinced that the conspirators knew that Oswald would in fact take a shot that day, they, I believe, gave him the opportunity. By not having any direct contact with Oswald they insured that they themselves would not be detected providing minimal risks for the participants (a necessary ingrediant to garner support for a coup). Once again my suggestion here is that as few as three people were all that may have been involved (McCloy, Taylor and Walker, with Walker having the closest association to Oswald).

Between May 25, 1963 and June 12, 1963 each of these men speak of Sylvanus Thayer either to each other by letters (McCloy - Walker) or in speeches (McCloy - Taylor). Each may well have been aware that the date of November 22 is an important date in the life of Sylvanus Thayer. Is this a coincidence? While speculative, my research provides a consistant tracking of Oswald beginning in 1957 with his contact with the Socialist Workers Party in New York. Oswald's marine enlistment, his training as a radar operator and stationing at U-2 basis, his unusual travel and defection to the Soviet Union (with the possible help of Walker et a, the shoot down of the Francis Gary Powers in his U-2 which led to the failure of the Paris Summit (something that McCloy did not want to see happen), the naming of McCloy as Nuclear Arms negoiator by Kennedy at his first press conference, the firing of McCloy, Kennedy's change of position on Nuclear Talks that coincides with the May 25 - June 12, 1963 dates mentioned above, the planning of the motorcade route past Oswald's place of employment, the assassination and the cover-up. These three men remain consistantly in the loop!

I believe that Taylor's actions in the minutes leading up to the assassination (as reported by his son) are telling. Taylor left a meeting with a group of German NATO representatives in the Pentagon to be alone in his private office, only returning to the meetings after the information was brought to him about the death of JFK. I believe these are the actions that a man in his position might have taken knowing the exact timing of the event.

I believe that this is plausible.

Jim Root

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"It seems that a majority of these theories require that Oswald be a "patsy" rather than a potental assassin."

perhaps the definition of patsy as scapegoat is off target here. Patsy can be used as someone who is cheated or set up. ie saying 'I'm a patsy' can mean 'I've been set up by my fellow conspirators', or what may be closer: 'I've been made the fallguy here, isolated and blamed by those who were involved with me...and I can and will sing.

http://www.word-detective.com/092205.html

"A "patsy" is, as the American Heritage Dictionary puts it, "A person easily taken advantage of, cheated, blamed, or ridiculed." The Oxford English Dictionary acknowledges the similarity to "scapegoat" in its definition: "A person who is easily taken advantage of, especially by being deceived, cheated, or blamed for something; a dupe, a scapegoat." But both of these definitions are rather broad, and obscure what I believe is the difference between a "patsy" and a "scapegoat." A "patsy" is a person who can be victimized by an unscrupulous party in a number of ways, ranging from being defrauded in a rigged card game to being set up to be blamed for (or to bear the entire blame for) something. A "scapegoat," however, is merely one who is unjustly blamed for something."

Perhaps saying 'I'm a patsy' sealed his fate? Perhaps the foolishness was imagining he had some leverage?

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Jim,

I believe that such a small conspiracy leaves too many questions unanswered, including the presence of so many suspicious characters in Dallas (CIA, Cuban, Mafia) and Ruby's shooting of Oswald, and leaves too many things to coincidence.

I certainly think Taylor was involved (for which tellingly he later exhibited profound remorse on more than one occasion). I doubt that he was in the Pentagon at all on 11/22. I suspect that he was in Dallas, having stopped over on the way home from the November 20 Honolulu Conference, ostensibly to play host to Yitzhak Rabin, who would depart for Israel only hours before the shooting.

I believe that the assassination was a coup d'etat involving officials of the CIA, FBI, and military in league with LBJ, and that the perps were fully prepared that day to stage an overt coup d'etat in a worst case scenario. I believe it was no coincidence that most of the Cabinet was somewhere over the Pacific Ocean at the time of the coup.

Ron

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Ron

"I certainly think Taylor was involved (for which tellingly he later exhibited profound remorse on more than one occasion). I doubt that he was in the Pentagon at all on 11/22."

From John M. Taylor's (son of Maxwell Taylor) bookGeneral Maxwell Taylor, the Sword and the Pen:

"At the Pentagon his (Taylor's) staff was on notice that when hsi door was closed he was not to be disturbed for anything except the most dire emergencies. On November 22, 1963, he had just stretched out on his sofa following meetings with a German NATO delgation when his buzzer went off. It was the Pentagon's communications room, the National Military Command Center. General Tibbetts apologized, but said that they had just received word from Dallas that President Kennedy had been shot and was probably dying....Tayor then rejoined the German, telling them of the assassination attempt but withholding word, passed to him during the afternoon, that the President was dead."

Jim Root

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Jim,

I'm aware of the official story of the JCS meeting at the Pentagon with the Germans. Manchester describes it in some detail, though he neglects to name a single JCS participant except Taylor. We know for a fact that JCS member LeMay wasn't there. Were any of the others?

McNamara says he met with Taylor and the JCS that afternoon, but either he, Manchester, or both have the story all wrong as to when this occurred. McNamara and a couple of RFK biographers have Taylor accompanying RFK and McNamara to Andrews, at RFK's request, to meet the body. But McNamara's whole account of that afternoon is not a credible source, and neither is one of the RFK biographies. I have found no account or photo of Taylor actually being at Andrews, other than Manchester's odd mention of him sort of wandering around by himself. RFK may well have requested Taylor's presence, but that doesn't necessarily mean Taylor was available. Manchester names dignitaries present at Andrews who shook hands with the new president as one would expect. Taylor isn't mentioned among them.

As for the son's description of Taylor in his office during the meeting with the Germans, Manchester states that Taylor was "napping in his office between sessions with the Germans" (p. 192), he had not gotten up and left a session in progress. They had presumably adjourned for lunch. Presumably being there in the first place.

Ron

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Ron

Taylor's son makes mention of the meeting with McNamara and Chiefs of Staff in his office before the resumption of his meeting with the Germans.

My point is that at the time of the assassination Taylor was alone and in his private office and was informed of the event by phone. By coincidence or plan Taylor was not in an enviornment where history could clearly reflect his reaction to the event. Even within the discription given by his son there is no emotion revealde as being apparent on the part of Taylor.

Taylor's son does relate two accounts of Taylor reflecting upon the assassination that do show emotion concerning the event. "with Elspeth Rostow who interviewed Taylor for the Kennedy Library's oral history series. All went smoothly until the subject of the assassination arose. According to Rostow, Taylor then broke down; for several minutes there was nothing on her tape except the sound of an occasional passing car. Once he had composed himself, the interview continued."

The other occurs in a family setting: "Taylor had recently returned from a speaking engagement at a small New Jersey college, where hecklers had prevented him form speaking. he commented that Kennedy, had he lived, was the one person who might have preserved a degree of national cohesiveness. Then his voice broke; it was a moment before his nomal self-control returned."

Were these the expressions of an emotional man? In no other biography of Taylor do I find a similiar reaction to any other event in war or in peace. I hold open the possibility that he may have had more reason for his emotion than what his son felt was the cause of his brake downs.

Jim Root

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Taylor's son makes mention of the meeting with McNamara and Chiefs of Staff in his office before the resumption of his meeting with the Germans.

According to McNamara, he did not meet with Taylor and the other chiefs until sometime after 2:45 pm EST, long after the session with the Germans had resumed, which Manchester portrays as proceeding as if nothing was wrong, i.e. uninterrupted. This to me smacks of people who simply didn't have their stories straight.

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