Tag Archives: Lee Harvey Oswald

Remembering JFK

22 Nov

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“We must use time as a tool, not a crutch.” — JFK

NOVEMBER 22

Today marks 48 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

It is a time when all Americans (even those who were not yet born in 1963) stop to reflect on what our country lost that day for we lost so much more than more than just a man — and we ponder what role that tragic event played in shaping the world we now find ourselves living in.

While it is important that we pause to remember the past, and to ask these questions about America’s future (he would want us to), let’s not allow ourselves to forget the man Jack Kennedy was. Because it seems that far too often, we focus our attention on his death and the many questions that still remain unanswered. Shouldn’t we instead remember his life?

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder took film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Sitting atop the perch where Abraham Zapruder shot his film of the assassination, a young boy tries to make sense of it all. Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX. June 1, 2008

Since this somber anniversary happens to fall around Thanksgiving, it just doesn’t seem appropriate somehow to be mournful. Rather, let us give thanks for all of the good things he brought to this world as a catalyst for change. Let us recall the way he inspired people around the globe; the hope and optimism he brought to the presidency. Let’s celebrate his vision, his strength, his courage, his razor-sharp mind, his gracecharm, and of course, that delightful, sometimes wicked wit.

This would be a perfect time to reach for one of your favorite books on the shelf and immerse yourself in some of his words. Listen to some of his best speeches. Because these things are the legacy he left us. His words will live in history forever and cannot be erased.

A single red rose on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

A single red rose, left by an unknown admirer on the Grassy Knoll in front of the former Texas School Book Depository (now the 6th Floor Museum).

Naturally, we all have our own favorite books and speeches of JFK’s; I’ve certainly got a long list of works I find deeply moving and inspiring, but I’ll refrain from making any recommendations here because I feel that how each of us remembers him today should be a strictly personal choice.

But there is one little tidbit I want to share:

On November 19, 1963, just three days before his death, President Kennedy wrote this message for the re-dedication ceremonies of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

“The goals of liberty and freedom, the obligations of keeping ours a government of and for the people are never-ending.”

Just one sentence, but this says it all. Written nearly a half century ago, his words serve to remind us all that there is still so much work to do. Lest we forget.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 29, 1917- November 22, 1963

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

Notes and flowers left for President Kennedy on the Grassy Knoll Fence. Dallas, June 2008

 PHOTO GALLERY

Text and images copyright 2008-2011, New Frontier. All rights reserved.

 

New JFK Assassination Evidence “Found” in Dallas

18 Feb

President Kennedy in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963

(Moments before the tragedy, the President, Mrs. Kennedy, and Texas first lady Nellie Connolly are all smiles. Governor John Connally looks surprisingly somber as the motorcade makes its’ way towards Dealey Plaza. November 22, 1963)

15 BOXES OF FILES MAY PROVIDE NEW CLUES FOR RESEARCHERS

In a peculiar President’s Day present to historians, The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office has announced the discovery of a trove of documents relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Locked away in a man-size safe for 44 years, these rare documents and artifacts (which reportedly include Jack Ruby’s gun holster and the clothing Oswald wore when he was shot) were kept secret from the public for decades — although their existence was certainly no secret to every Dallas County D.A. since 1963.

Among the documents is an alleged transcript of a conversation between Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, planning the assassination together on behalf of the Mafia. This document has aroused the greatest amount of interest but has also been described as “highly suspect” and immediately dismissed as either a fake or a possible movie script.

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins explained at a news conference today that the documents were “found” in a safe about a year ago — soon after he took office — and that his staff have been examining and cataloging them ever since. Previous DA’s had decided not to reveal the information, but Watkins said his administration is devoted to openness and felt it was “too important to keep secret.”

“It will open up the debate as to whether there was a conspiracy to assassinate the president,” Watkins stated.

Dallas D.A. Watkins' News conference, Feb. 18, 2008

(Watkins, elected in 2006, is the first African-American D.A. in Dallas history.)

Ruby, the owner of a Dallas burlesque club, shot Oswald while he was in police custody two days after the November 22, 1963 assassination. The transcript has Oswald telling Ruby, “the [Mafia] boys in Chicago want to get rid of the Attorney General [Robert Kennedy]. … There is a way to get rid of him without killing him. … I can shoot his brother.”

Gary Mack, curator of the 6th Floor Museum in Dealey Plaza has pointed out that Oswald is known to have been elsewhere on October 4, the alleged date of the alleged conversation.

The transcript resembles one published in a report by the Warren Commission, which investigated Kennedy’s assassination and determined that Oswald was the lone gunman. The FBI determined that conversation – again between Oswald and Ruby, but this time about killing the governor – was definitely fake.

Mr. Mack suggested that the transcript in the Warren Commission report was probably used as a model for the one found in the district attorney’s safe.

The conversation published in the commission report was a fake account of a conversation between Ruby and Oswald on the same night at the Carousel Club. A now-deceased Dallas attorney “re-created” the conversation after Kennedy’s assassination for authorities after he claimed he recognized Oswald in a newspaper photo as the man he saw talking to Ruby that night.

“The fact that it’s sitting in Henry Wade’s file, and he didn’t do anything, indicates he thought it wasn’t worth anything,” Mr. Mack said of the newly found transcript. “He probably kept it because it was funny. It’s hilarious. It’s like a bad B movie.”

IS THE TRANSCRIPT BOGUS OR EVIDENCE WITHHELD FROM TRIAL?

William J. Alexander, the only surviving prosecutor from Ruby’s trial for killing Oswald in the days after Kennedy’s assassination, told the district attorney’s office he’d never seen the Ruby-Oswald transcript. But it’s labeled with a sticker that says, “Plaintiff’s Exhibit 27.” Typically, exhibits for criminal trials are marked as state’s exhibits or defense exhibits.

The DA’s office said Mr. Alexander, who rarely talks about the Ruby trial, declined to be interviewed.

While the two-page transcript is most likely fake, District Attorney Watkins says he’s never believed Oswald acted alone.

“You know me: I’m always a conspiracy theorist,” Mr. Watkins said. “It was too simple of an explanation. I don’t see that.”

COUNTDOWN IN DALLAS

The safe also contained a 1967 million-dollar contract with the then-district attorney Henry Wade for a movie about the assassination, and the DA’s assistant has suggested that the Ruby/Oswald “transcript” was part of a proposed movie script.

The film, tentatively titled Countdown In Dallas, never went into production. But the timing of the film’s making is certainly curious.

By 1967, a large segment of the American public had openly expressed disdain for the conclusions of the Warren Commission. Several books suggesting a conspiracy were already on the shelves, and most importantly – New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison was at that very moment bringing murder charges against Clay Shaw for the murder of President Kennedy, the only such court case in history.

As all this concurrent activity was brewing, the need for a big-budget Hollywood film to refute the charges of conspiracy seems more than plausible; something to placate the general public and put their concerns to rest once and for all.

While many suspected that Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby knew one another, the “transcript” of thier alleged October 4 conversation would have been quite helpful in pursuading the people that although there was some advance conspiratorial planning between the two men, Oswald ultimately was the lone assassin.

The suspect transcript/movie script notwithstanding, perhaps the real hidden treasure within these 15 newly-released boxes is yet to be found. Once the documents are fully opened to researchers (which Dallas officials tell us will be soon), it will be fascinating to see what, if any, previously undiscovered evidence in the case may come to light.

We’ll keep you posted.

(Click here for video of the Dallas D.A.’s press conference from earlier today.)

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

“Oswald’s Ghost” Cannot Speak (How convenient!)

14 Jan

THE SPIN NEVER ENDS

Well, it looks like the usual suspects are at it again, making yet another effort under the guise of ”investigative reporting” to convince the American public that there was no conspiracy in the assassination of our 35th president, John F. Kennedy.

Tonight PBS will air a new documentary film, “Oswald’s Ghost.” It’s produced by Robert Stone, not Oliver Stone – an important distinction — indeed, the two filmmakers’ approaches to this subject are worlds apart.

Expect it to be another narrative of Lee Oswald as a troubled loner who somehow miraculously managed to take down the President of the United States at high noon on a busy downtown Dallas street, all by himself. This version of events is likely to appeal to those who prefer the accidental view of history, or who find the very notion of a domestic conspiracy just far too disturbing to even contemplate.

Expect to see more attacks on JFK assassination researchers who have taken the conspiratorial view of history, the late Jim Garrison and of course, Oliver Stone. Expect to see Arlen Specter once again wheezing through his explanation of why that one bullet was so magical. Even Norman Mailer chimes in with a few final words on Oswald.

Oswald’s ghost cannot speak to clarify the record or defend himself. If he could, I somehow get the feeling he would not give this documentary a resounding endorsement.

We present below a preview from (who else?) The Dallas Morning News, where one can always expect to find fair and balanced coverage of anything JFK-related. (cough)

OSWALD’S GHOST

Why one deadly day in Dallas continues to fascinate us

12:00 AM CST on Monday, January 14, 2008

By CHRIS VOGNAR / The Dallas Morning News
cvognar@dallasnews.com

How long does it take to exorcise a ghost? This is no garden-variety specter, mind you. It ripped a hole in the center of the country’s universe some 44 years back, then left vexing questions in its wake. It has haunted us ever since.

It pays another visit tonight at 9, summoned by documentary maker Robert Stone. Mr. Stone’s Oswald’s Ghost kicks off the new season of American Experience then hits DVD shelves Tuesday. The film had its regional premiere in November at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, where one Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested Nov. 22, 1963.

Ruby moves in for the kill. Dallas Police Headquarters, Nov. 24, 1963

“METICULOUS AND RESPONSIBLE” – So Sayeth the Morning News 

Oswald’s Ghost is a meticulous and responsible dissection of the Kennedy assassination, but it’s also much more. Using archival footage (much of it never before seen) and interviews with the likes of Dan Rather, former Dallas Morning News reporter Hugh Aynesworth and the late Norman Mailer, Ghost examines the unfulfilled need for closure born of an improbable and life-shattering Dallas day. It’s not just a film about conspiracy theories, but an examination of that within us that needs to keep the theories alive.

The driving question, as stated early on by presidential historian Robert Dallek, is this: “How could someone as inconsequential as Lee Harvey Oswald kill someone as consequential as John F. Kennedy?” Doesn’t there have to be a bigger, shadowy answer? Multiple gunmen? Anti-communist conspirators? Foreign governments seeking payback for previous CIA plots? Such explanations help make sense of a senseless act. And human beings have never been particularly comfortable with that which doesn’t make sense.

So Mr. Stone takes us through various conspiracy theories, engaging some, dismissing others. Jim Garrison, the former New Orleans district attorney played by Kevin Costner in the controversial JFK, goes in for a thorough and convincing drubbing, with some suggesting that he forever set back the efforts of more reasonable theorists. We see a young Philadelphia lawyer and Warren Commission junior counsel named Arlen Specter explain the “magic bullet” theory,” and we’re confronted with the unsettling but undeniable notion that the late ’60s zeitgeist, soaked in distrust and the blood of two Kennedys and a King, made conspiracy seem like the only logical explanation.

Mr. Stone achieves something greater than nuts and bolts here. He explores the qualities that make us want to fathom the unfathomable. “The real shock was philosophical,” explains Mailer, “as if God had renounced his sanction from America.” It’s a shock from which we haven’t really recovered, though Mr. Stone renders our attempts with quietly poetic flourishes. At one point he shows the covers of various conspiracy books slowly spiraling into the abyss of a black screen, a bottomless pit of irresolvable frustration and grief.

Some of the images are as familiar as your morning commute. You’ve seen the mobs of tourists that flock to Dealey Plaza during all seasons. They stand and get their pictures taken with loved ones. They look for the spot where it happened. It’s a fairly ghoulish enterprise when you think about it, but the place has some kind of magnetic pull. They all crowd around as if they’re looking for something. But what do they expect to find?

And are they all that different from the rest of us?

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is one document PBS will not show you tonight — one of many showing that Oswald in fact worked for the CIA, under cover of ONI. He was also an FBI informant, information J. Edgar Hoover was not ignorant of. Facts are stubborn, if not inconvenient, things.)

Oswald was a CIA agent, under cover of ONI  

* Assassination researchers have yet to reach consensus on the authenticity of this document.  If it is genuine, however, it only serves to confirm the long-suspected — that Lee Harvey Oswald had been a government agent for at least six years, working for a variety of intelligence agencies. If the document is a fake, you’d have to call its creator a genius.

Here is a link to another blog that discusses the validity of the McCone/Rowley document in great detail.