Jfk conspiracy

This essay has a total of 3039 words and 11 pages.

jfk conspiracy

In 1976, the US Senate ordered a fresh inquiry into the assassination of John F Kennedy,
who was murdered in 1963 during a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. People who had been involved
in the original Warren Commission investigations were asked to make fresh statements. The
FBI and the CIA were persuaded to release more of their documents on Oswald. New lines of
inquiry were opened and individuals who had not previously given evidence were persuaded
to come forward. Most important of all, pieces of evidence such as photos and sound
recordings were subjected to scientific analysis using the most up-to-date methods and
equipment. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) completed their
investigation in 1979 and they finally came to a discrete verdict that Lee Harvey Oswald
fired three shots at Kennedy, one of which killed the president. The fourth shot was fired
from the grassy knoll. They concluded that John Kennedy was assassinated as a result of a
conspiracy. There are many reasons why the HSCA came to this verdict, but firstly it was
important that the American people understood why this case was re-opened over a decade

The investigation was set up as direct result of the assassinations of two other major
political figures; the civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King and the Presidents
brother Robert Kennedy, in 1968. Naturally this aroused immense suspicion and the American
public started questioning why so many key US figures had been assassinated in the space
of just four years when previously this type of incident had been rare. At the time there
was also an increasing amount of corruption and scandal within the government. This
alarmed the public who had completely trusted the government before. The Watergate Scandal
in 1974 involving President Nixon had clearly shown that this was not the case anymore.
Nixon had abused his authority and power to his advantage. This indicated that even
politicians were prone to sleaze and scandal. As a result of this, people also started
questioning the behavior of the government. This is most likely why they were more
receptive in accepting that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, later on.

The public also became increasingly interested in the Kennedy assassination as books such
as ‘Rush to judgment' by Mark Lane and ‘Inquest' by Edward Jay Epstein, started to be
written. They immediately became best sellers and played a large role in raising awareness
regarding the assassination. As a result people started to inquire more and rumours began
that other people or organisations had been involved in Kennedy's assassination i.e there
had been a conspiracy. As people became more and more aware about the events surrounding
the assassination, many blamed the Dallas police as being incompetent in handling the
whole investigation. They had proven to be extremely unorganised despite the fact that the
President had just been murdered. The fact that interviews hadn't been recorded was one of
the reasons why there was so much confusion. Yet the only excuse the Dallas police could
come up with was that they couldn't find a tape recorder! The questions that were asked by
the officers proved to worthless and what little records were kept are said to be
inadequate. However more seriously, the Dallas police were wildly believed to be at fault
for Oswalds death and even the world wide doubt over his guilt. Even though previously an
attempt had been made to kill Oswald, no further security precautions had been taken to
prevent this from happening again. Considering that they were holding the alleged assassin
of the President in custody, the security was appalling. At the hands of Jack Ruby, one
bullet had proved sufficient enough to kill Oswald. The fact that reporters were allowed
to mingle around Oswald as he was escorted out of court, probably caused the death. Public
access to Oswald should not have been permitted under any circumstance. Oswald was
murdered in front of cameras and video footage of the incident shows that the police
didn't make hardly any attempts to prevent the murder, but literally just stood there.
Many people have found this to be extremely suspicious. Some believe that Jack Ruby killed
Oswald to silence him and the police were ordered to let it happen. If this is true, who
were they taking orders from?

Despite discrepancies such as these, for many years the American public had to be content
with the Warren Commissions verdict that Lee Harvey Oswald had been the sole assassin in
the murder of John Kennedy who died as result of three shots being fired from the Texas
school depository building. However since the report was published on 24 September 1964,
fresh evidence kept surfacing, as did inconsistencies on the Warren Commissions part.
There was a general feeling that they had disregarded evidence if it contradicted their
conclusion. They had been under immense pressure from the public to come to a verdict. At
the time Oswald had seemed like the perfect person to blame - a motiveless man with a
grudge. They had no doubt been influenced by public opinion and their conclusion had been
a hasty one. In fact, three days after the assassination, Lyndon Baines Johnson received a
memo saying; "The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin, that he did not
have confederates."

By the 1970's Americans were actually alarmed that the Warren Commission had been so
single minded and did not make any attempt to investigate other possible theories and that
they hadn't followed a number of promising leads. It later also came to light that none of
the commission members had any investigative experiences and completely relied on Hoover
and the FBI. However, probably their biggest mistake was disregarding key eyewitnesses
whom they considered to be incompatible, inconsistent and were contrary to their lone
psychotic assassin theory. Nobody of the commission heard one of the witnesses who
appeared before the counsel. Among them were crucial witnesses such as Abraham Zapruder.
Others didn't even give evidence. J C Price, a bystander at the motorcade, claimed to have
seen a man with a rifle running behind the fence on the grassy knoll. Similarly, Gordon
Arnold and James Simons stated that the shots came from the grassy knoll. Jean Hill, a
teacher who was standing near the Presidents car, said: "I heard four to six shots and I'm
pretty used to guns. They weren't echoes. They were different guns that were being fired."

Credible testimonies from literally dozens of witnesses such as these was ignored purely
because it contradicted the Warren Commissions conclusion of a lone assassin firing three
shots from the depository building. This indicated that their report was based on
appallingly selective reading of evidence and just shows how reliable it was!

All these eyewitness testimonies remained inconclusive to the Warren Commission at the
time, as they just didn't make sense. Similarly Kennedy's autopsy reports also contained
many discrepancies. Two autopsies were carried out on Kennedy. It was hoped at the time
that they would reveal the angles at which the bullets had entered Kennedy's body,
hopefully pointing to where the gunman or gunmen were situated. The autopsies actually
created even more confusion, as they were completely contradictory. The first autopsy was
conducted in Parkland Hospital, Dallas although the official one was conducted in Bathesda
Naval Hospital, Washington DC. When the two examinations were compared, alarming
differences showed up. The main difference was that the exit and entry wounds were said to
be different. In Dallas, doctors claimed that the bullet entered Kennedy's body at the
front of the neck, about bow-tie height. When Kennedy was brought into Parkland Hospital,
Dr Malcom Perry said that when he was about to perform the tracheotomy, he noticed a hole
of about 5mm just below Kennedy's adams apple, presumably where the bullet had entered.
Contrary to this, in Washington the autopsy reports show that the bullet exited from the
neck. Their report confirmed the ‘single bullet theory' addressed by the Warren
Commission whose conclusion was highly dependent on this theory. This was that the bullet
entered Kennedy's right shoulder blade, bruised the strap muscles of the right side of the
neck, damaging the windpipe and making its exit through the front of the neck. According
to the ‘single bullet theory,' the very same bullet entered Governor Connally's back,
who had been seated in front of Kennedy, went through his chest taking out part of his
fifth rib and collapsing his lung. The bullet then went into his right wrist and then
buried itself in his left thigh. Although there is medical evidence to support this
theory, some believe that the bullets path and velocity could not have been possible. Even
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