Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The JFK Assassination: The Conspiracy to Promote Conspiracy Theories

Last night, George Noory of Coast to Coast AM (1460AM: weekdays 2200hrs) did a show for the second night in a row on the JFK assassination. I didn’t listen to the previous show, but I’m betting that like last night’s show, all of the guests promoted the myth of a “conspiracy” and no guests promoting the common sense view. For most conspiracy people, believing in a grand conspiracy is a matter of “faith”. No matter how thoroughly a conspiracy is debunked, the true believer will go on believing in the conspiracy and usually will accuse the debunker of being part of “The Conspiracy”.

I feely admit I’m a reformed conspiracy believer. For over twenty years I was about 90% sure there was a conspiracy involved in JFK’s abrupt removal from office.

I’ve read a dozen or so books on the subject. Some seemed more probable than others. If all of the theories promoted in the books were true, the Grassy Knoll and the Texas School Book Repository would have been one crowded place that November 22nd morning.

I never did fully buy into the Martin Luther King or RFK conspiracy theories. Last night on Noory’s show, he said the King family believes James Earl Ray was innocent. Whether they actually believe that or not, I’m sure they feel King’s martyr status is more enhanced if he was the victim of a grand government conspiracy rather than just a victim of a racist, somewhat stupid ex-con.

The main reason I believed in the JFK conspiracy was because of the “magic bullet” theory. The books promoting the conspiracy all claimed Oswald wasn’t a good shot. In Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, Congressman Hale Boggs tells New Orleans Prosecutor Jim Garrison that Oswald got “Maggie’s Drawers” meaning he wasn’t any good.

I was always suspicious of that claim. Oswald was a US Marine. While obviously not every Marine is a Carlos Hatchcock, one generally doesn’t need to be at 88 yards. Practically ANYONE can hit a human-sized target at 88 yards with a scoped rifle. ANY Marine who made it through Boot Camp could have made that shot. Granted, being as the target was sitting in a moving vehicle made it more difficult. I would imagine since the vehicle was moving away from Oswald at a slight angle, rather than moving across his field of vision from left to right, the shot still wouldn’t that difficult.

An A&E or History Channel special about the assassination thoroughly debunked the myth of Oswald not “being any good” as a marksman. An investigator for the show produced a range scorecard for Oswald showing that at the distance the shot at JFK was taken, Oswald’s marksmanship was more than adequate for the task.

The only difficult thing dealing with Oswald’s marksmanship was the number of shots. The Warren report concluded there were three shots with one shot being a complete miss. The missed shot was apparently the first shot he took. True Believer’s have a field day with that. Most conspiracy theorists claim the first shot is always the most accurate.

That isn’t always case. I’ve spent some time behind a scoped rifle, granted, not a Mannlicher-Carcano, but a scoped rifle all the same. Especially with a moving target, the first shot isn’t always going to be the most accurate. I’ve done a little bit of hunting and sometimes my first shot at the target misses with my second shot connecting if the target is till present.

Also remember, Oswald wasn’t The Jackal nor was he a professional hitter at all. He would have been nervous and I’m betting he was sure he had been seen as soon as he stuck his rifle out of the window. It’s highly likely he rushed his first shot.

The True Believers repeat the legend that no one has been able to duplicate the number of accurate shots in the time (6.8 seconds) that Oswald “allegedly” made the shots. While perusing my copy of the Warren Commission Report, I read in one of the sections that several military shooters WERE able to duplicate the shots. Remember, only two of the three shots needed to be accurate to show Oswald was capable of the feat.

Granted, the tests were not conducted with an actual moving target, but three targets were placed at the distances where Oswald is believed to have scored hits. The military shooters in the experiments still would have had to fire, locate their target through the scope and fire again.

I tried firing three shots with a bolt-action rifle at a target 100 yards away as fast as I could. I’m not in any way claiming my test duplicated what Oswald did, I was only trying to get at least two accurate shots in 6.8 seconds. I was able to do it in 6.8 seconds and got three shots in a 2 inch group. I’m guessing the 6.5 round kicks less than the 7.62 round I was firing.

For me the only evidence of a conspiracy was the “Magic Bullet”. According to the Warren Report, one of Oswald’s bullets struck Kennedy in the back, came out his chest, went through Connally’s back, struck his right wrist and ended up in his thigh.

The bullet was later recovered from the stretcher Connally was transported on. Obviously this Warren Commission Report conclusion seemed highly unlikely, until you actually see how JFK and Connally were seated. Conspiracy theorists have Connally seated directly in front of JFK and at the same height. In reality however, JFK was sitting a bit higher that Connally and Connally was sitting a bit to the left of JFK. In this scenario, the bullet wound line up perfectly.

This information is not new. Any JFK conspiracy theory “researcher” could easily find this. However, it appears to me the true “conspiracy” involves the people who promote the myths about the tragic JFK assassination. Many may do it to sell a book, some are True Believers who really feel there was a conspiracy and feel anyone who can’t see that is in denial.

Others I fear, are people who truly hate This Country and want to promote the myth that This Country is pure evil and will believe and promote any half-baked tale of evil-doing by Our Government.

Obviously, This Country isn’t perfect, but Our government is too incompetent to successfully pull off most of the conspiracies Its accused of participating in.

For more on the JFK assassination Conspiracy Theory Myths see: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/home.htm

For more on the “Magic Bullet” Theory see: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/sbt.htm

Bryan Grasper


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