FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Oswald Did It and He Acted Alone?

by DAVID MACARAY

With the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination just around the corner, we can expect the media to be inundated with solemn remembrances, first-person recollections, and extravagant revisionism. Alas, every heavy-duty plot and whacked-out account of the Kennedy administration will demand and very likely be given its moment in the sun.

The next time you’re at a social gathering and, masochistically, wish to have the guests pelt you with cheese balls, announce to everyone that you not only believe it was the hapless, 24-year old Lee Harvey Oswald who killed Kennedy, but that he acted alone. Then sit back and prepare to be attacked.

It’s rare indeed to find anyone who thinks Oswald acted alone. In fact, although no one can, with certainty, tell you precisely who did it, they’re positive of two things: (1) It wasn’t Oswald, and (2) it was either the USSR, Cuban Fidelistas, Cuban anti-Fidelistas, official CIA agents, rogue CIA agents, ex-CIA agents, official FBI, rogue FBI, the Mafia, the Trilateral Commission, Lyndon Johnson, or the oil companies. That’s a partial list.

Of course, I have no idea what I’m talking about. Like everyone else, I’m reduced to sifting through the wreckage, trying to make sense of it. All I know is what I’ve read. Another thing I know is that it’s futile to argue forensics with the “true believers.” The PBS show that aired last week (Nov. 12), featuring high-tech forensic evidence supporting the “single-bullet” theory, changed no one’s mind. Not only did it not change their minds, they smirked at it. They ridiculed it; they howled with laughter.

Personally, I think Oswald probably did it, and that he probably acted alone. My reason for thinking this is two-fold: (1) A Dallas newspaper had unwisely published in advance a map of the presidential motorcade’s route, and (2) the assassination went down the way most assassinations go down, so there was really no need to get all exotic about it.

I can understand why people reject the theory that Oswald could have pulled this off by himself. It’s hard to embrace the notion that this fool—this nobody, this loser—could single-handedly snuff out the life of the vibrant and charismatic leader of the Free World, and change the course of human history forever. But this is how most assassinations occur. It’s the Lee Harvey Oswalds of the world who do this sort of thing.

Political assassinations aren’t Hollywood movies, where shadowy international figures are paid millions of dollars and then get plastic surgery. Check the list: Charles Guiteau, Garfield’s assassin, Leon Czolgosz, McKinley’s assassin, Gavrilo Princip, the 19-year old who killed Archduke Ferdinand, Sirhan Sirhan, Guiseppe Zangara, Thomas Hagan, Yigal Amir. These were basically “average” or “below average” guys.

Also let’s not forget that Manson family member Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme was within two feet of Gerald Ford when her gun misfired. It was sheer luck Ford wasn’t shot. Then we have those unstable misfits and nut-cases: Mark Chapman, who killed John Lennon, Arthur Bremer, who shot George Wallace, and John Paul Franklin, who shot Larry Flynt. These guys just walked up to their victims and fired. They were Oswaldesque nobodies, and yet they changed history.

The sterling example of this, of course, was 25-year old John Hinckley, the man who shot Ronald Reagan. This happened in 1981, eighteen years after the JFK assassination, when presidential security was infinitely better than it was in 1963. Yet Hinckley, a former mental patient, walks up to Reagan on a Washington D.C. street in broad daylight, with Secret Service agents surrounding him, and gets off six shots. He misses Reagan’s heart by inches.

A subsequent jury finds Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity. But if a certifiably insane man, fresh out of the mental ward, can devise a plan where he walks up to the president in broad daylight, and fires six shots at point blank range, why is a confused (but sane) wannabe like Oswald deemed incapable of planning an assassination?

But what do I know? Like everybody else, I’m just guessing.

David Macaray is a Los Angeles playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor”).  He can be reached at dmacaray@earthlink.net

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 27, 2017
Edward Curtin
The Deep State, Now and Then
Melvin Goodman
The Myth of American Exceptionalism
Nozomi Hayase
From Watergate to Russiagate: the Hidden Scandal of American Power
Kenneth Surin
Come Fly the Unfriendly Skies
Andre Vltchek
Philippines: Western Media is Distorting Reality, People and Army Unite to Battle “ISIS”
Robert Fisk
Out of the Ruins of Aleppo: a Syrian Community Begins to Rebuild
Andrew Moss
What is Adelanto?
Thomas Mountain
Free Speech or Terror TV? Al Jazeera’s Support for ISIS and Al Queda
Robert J. - Byers
Jamboree Travesty
Thomas Knapp
Send in the Clown: Scaramucci Versus the Leakers
Rob Seimetz
Because the Night Belonged to Us in St. Petersburg (Florida)
Paul Cantor
Momentum Not Mojo
Patrick Walker
In Defense of Caitlin Johnstone (Part Two)
July 26, 2017
John W. Whitehead
Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind
Pete Dolack
Trump’s Re-Negotiation Proposal Will Make NAFTA Worse
George Capaccio
“Beauty of Our Weapons” in the War on Yemen
Ramzy Baroud
Fear and Trepidation in Tel Aviv: Is Israel Losing the Syrian War?
John McMurtry
Brexit Counter-Revolution Still in Motion
Ted Rall
The Democrats Are A Lost Cause
Tom Gill
Is Macron Already Faltering?
Ed Kemmick
Empty Charges Erode Trust in Montana Elections
Rev. William Alberts
Fake News? Or Fake Faith?
James Heddle
The Ethics and Politics of Nuclear Waste are Being Tested in Southern California
Binoy Kampmark
Slaying in Minneapolis: Justine Damond, Shooting Cultures and Race
Jeff Berg
Jonesing for Real Change
Jesse Jackson
The ‘Voter Fraud’ Commission Itself is Fraudulent
July 25, 2017
Paul Street
A Suggestion for Bernie: On Crimes Detectable and Not
David W. Pear
Venezuela on the Edge of Civil War
John Grant
Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike
Charles Pierson
Like Climate Change? You’ll Love the Langevin Amendment
Linda Ford
Feminism Co-opted
Andrew Stewart
Any Regrets About Not Supporting Clinton Last Summer?
Aidan O'Brien
Painting the Irish Titanic Pink
Rob Seimetz
Attitudes Towards Pets vs Attitudes Towards the Natural World
Medea Benjamin
A Global Movement to Confront Drone Warfare
Norman Solomon
When Barbara Lee Doesn’t Speak for Me
William Hawes
What Divides America From the World (and Each Other)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Chandra Muzaffar
The Bilateral Relationship that Matters
Binoy Kampmark
John McCain: Cancer as Combatant
July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail