Cut to the chase: Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. How’s that for stirring the pot on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the tragic events of Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas?
But it’s what I believe. Not because the Warren Commission said to, not because I haven’t watched countless hours of TV programming examining the JFK assassination from every possible angle. Not because I haven’t seen the Zapruder film broken down frame by frame by frame.
I’ve read the books offering any number of theories about who was involved: a shooter or shooters on the grassy knoll or the bridge above, the theories even that Oswald, forever not guilty by reason of himself being assassinated in the days following the JFK murder, had nothing to do with the shooting, that he was the “patsy” that he tried to make himself to be in those odd public appearances made possible by the Dallas PD after the shooting.
Here’s why I’m convinced that it was Oswald and Oswald alone: If we are to believe that it was a conspiracy that killed Kennedy, then we are also to believe that no one else who participated had a word to say about it in the intervening 50 years.
Not one person. No one on a deathbed talking to a family member to confess their sins before leaving the world. No one accused of another crime who could be tempted to use what they really knew about the shooting of JFK to gain some leverage for a reduced sentence.
Everyone involved outside of Oswald (better say, if he was involved, right, to appease some of the theorists?) clammed up forever and ever amen.
We don’t want to buy the official story that Oswald, this absolute loser of a 24-year-old, who tried to emigrate to Russia, was rejected, decided that communism still was for him, spent his days handing out leaflets and otherwise annoying passersby on public streets with his nonsense, and somehow apparently just missed assassinating a right-wing military general, was able to squirrel himself away in a school book depository, lean out a window, point his rifle at the leader of the free world, and fire three times, killing him and Camelot in the span of a few seconds.
We can’t believe that the Dallas Police Department and the Secret Service would allow our president to ride through the streets of a major American city in an open-topped vehicle without having taken steps to secure every single inch of territory along the motorcade route, much less leaving an entire six-story building at a key turning point on the route wholly unswept.
It had to be Castro, or Khruschev, or the CIA, or the mob. Any of those individually or in concert makes much more sense than Oswald. It was revenge for the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy decision against invading Cuba, his support of the civil rights movement.
It had to be about something bigger.
It couldn’t be a single ne’er-do-well who paid $12.78 for a mail-order rifle because he wanted to be famous.
Dozens, maybe hundreds, of people make a living debunking the lone gunman theory. I’m a businessman, too, so I’m all for that. And anyway, the questions will linger as long as anybody cares about the history of the good ol’ U-S-of-A. Even the unsealing of classified documents in the case won’t resolve the questions that have persisted these last 50 years, because we’re so far along in our distrust of anything official, one of the key byproducts of what happened on Nov. 22, 1963, that all you’d have to do is speculate aloud about documents that must be on some sort of double-secret-probation security clearance to debunk whatever the official documents might have to say.
It’s almost as if it doesn’t matter anymore who did it or why, and that’s the great shame of all of this.
I don’t fault the conspiracy theorists for what they do. Americans ask questions and don’t settle for half-assed answers; that’s what makes America great, if you ask me.
Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin in the JFK murder is a half-assed answer, because Oswald is a half-assed historical figure. He should right now be somebody’s crazy 74-year-old birther uncle, cheering on mass school shootings and babbling at Thanksgiving dinner about the coming endtimes.
America is a different place because of what happened on Nov. 22, 1963, and it’s not a better place. But that’s not because a murder plot was covered up; it’s because we have yet to be able to come to grips with the reality that the same America that could elevate a shining prince like John F. Kennedy could also empower a blithering idiot like Lee Harvey Oswald to blow his head off with a high-powered rifle for absolutely no reason at all.