The Kennedy assassination debate… is being dominated by lone gunman theorists who have gained momentum in recent years. Vincent Bugliosi’s massive, yet flawed book was intended to bring legitimacy to an argument most people associated with the Warren Commission. National Geographic is airing a new documentary attempting to explain “the lost bullet” by including rare footage from a second home movie taken in Dallas on the fateful day. For the record, Practically Historical does not believe in the lone gunman theory. Biases aside, there are troubling trends visible in the current discourse. Let’s start by dispelling some common myths used as “evidence” in most arguments:
- Kennedy wanted to end the Vietnam war. Conspiracy theorists on both sides point to National Security Memo #263 as the smoking gun in Kennedy’s secret plan to get our troops out of Vietnam; and, also Memo #273 as proof the warmonger Johnson wanted to escalate the war. Both accounts are demonstrably false. Memo #263 simply states that Kennedy wanted to follow the recommendations of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor following their visit to South Vietnam(withdrawal was not one of them.) The second memo was drafted November 21, 1963 and is clearly a Kennedy document approved by Johnson. In an interview given on the Huntley-Brinkley Report Kennedy reaffirmed our committment to South Vietnam and his belief in the “domino theory.”
- Lee Harvey Oswald was an avowed communist. Oswald was involved with pro and anti-Castro groups in New Orleans during the summer of 1963. Several of these groups had ties to the CIA. Oswald was working with known anticommunists that summer while trying to maintain a public persona as a Pro-Castro radical. The truth about Oswald and his activities prior to November 22, 1963 will never be learned until the CIA opens all its files.
- The Magic Bullet Theory has been proven. The physical evidence never supported the findings of the Warren Commission. Commission member(and 38th President) Gerald Ford admitted to altering the final statement to better suit the findings. Recreations by Discovery Channel, Dale Myers, and ABC News all relied heavily upon the original findings of the Warren Commission. A simple look at the agreed upon facts are telling:
The Magic Bullet —
- had no thread striations (fine lines etched onto a copper encased bullet tip and/or bullet side casing by clothing threads when the bullet first penetrates clothing threads),
- was marked with no blood,
- was marked with no human tissue,
- had no pieces of clothing attached,
- had lost only 1.5% of its original average weight
Consistency is lacking among lone gunman… theorists. Regarding the forensics, they expect the public to suspend disbelief and trust contested scientific studies as the only true evidence. Skeptics are expected to provide definitive proof for every conspiracy assertion, preferably in writing(they are waiting for Oswald’s anticommunist membership card), for eyewitness testimony cannot be reliable. This sort of documentary purity prevents any true progress from being made.