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After the death of John F. Kennedy, his deputy, Lyndon B. Johnson, was appointed president. He immediately set up a commission to "ascertain, evaluate.

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Presentation on theme: "After the death of John F. Kennedy, his deputy, Lyndon B. Johnson, was appointed president. He immediately set up a commission to "ascertain, evaluate."— Presentation transcript:

1 After the death of John F. Kennedy, his deputy, Lyndon B. Johnson, was appointed president. He immediately set up a commission to "ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy." The seven man commission was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren and included Gerald Ford, Allen W. Dulles, John J. McCloy, Richard B. Russell, John S. Cooper and Thomas H. Boggs. Lyndon B. Johnson also commissioned a report on the assassination from J. Edgar Hoover. Two weeks later the Federal Bureau of Investigation produced a 500 page report claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin and that there was no evidence of a conspiracy. The report was then passed to the Warren Commission. Rather than conduct its own independent investigation, the commission relied almost entirely on the FBI report. The Warren Commission was published in October, It reached the following conclusions: 1.The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the sixth floor window at the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository. 2.The weight of the evidence indicates that there were three shots fired. 3.Although it is not necessary to any essential findings of the Commission to determine just which shot hit Governor Connally, there is very persuasive evidence from the experts to indicate that the same bullet which pierced the President's throat also caused Governor Connally's wounds. However, Governor Connally's testimony and certain other factors have given rise to some difference of opinion as to this probability but there is no question in the mind of any member of the Commission that all the shots which caused the President's and Governor Connally's wounds were fired from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. 4.The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. 5.Oswald killed Dallas Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit approximately 45 minutes after the assassination. 6.Within 80 minutes of the assassination and 35 minutes of the Tippit killing Oswald resisted arrest at the theatre by attempting to shoot another Dallas police officer. 7.The Commission has found no evidence that either Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby was part of any conspiracy, domestic or foreign, to assassinate President Kennedy. 8.In its entire investigation the Commission has found no evidence of conspiracy, subversion, or disloyalty to the U.S. Government by any Federal, State, or local official. 9.On the basis of the evidence before the Commission it concludes that, Oswald acted alone. The Official Report by the Warren Commission, 1964

2 In 1976, the US Congress approved the setting up of a 12 man committee to launch a new investigation into Kennedys assassination after people began criticising the Warren Commissions Report. It was called the Select Committee on Assassinations and it published its findings in Here are some of the main points: 1.Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President. 2.The shots that struck President Kennedy from behind him were fired from the sixth floor window of the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository building. 3.Lee Harvey Oswald owned the rifle that was used to fire the shots from the sixth floor window of the southeast comer of the Texas School Book Depository building. 4.Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the assassination, had access to and was present on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building. 5.Lee Harvey Oswald's other actions tend to support the conclusion that he assassinated President Kennedy. 6.Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. 7.The committee believes that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy. 8.The committee believes that anti-Castro Cuban groups, as groups, were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved. 9.The committee believes that the national syndicate of organized crime, as a group, was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved. 10.The Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. 11.The Secret Service possessed information that was not properly analyzed, investigated or used by the Secret Service in connection with the President's trip to Dallas; in addition, Secret Service agents in the motorcade were inadequately prepared to protect the President from a sniper. 12.The Warren Commission failed to investigate adequately the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President. 13.This deficiency was attributable in part to the failure of the Commission to receive all the relevant information that was in the possession of other agencies and departments of the Government. Findings of the Select Committee on Assassinations, 1979

3 Edward Reid interviewed Edward Becker for his book, The Grim Reapers (1969) It was then that Carlos Marcello's voice lost its softness, and his words were bitten off and spit out when mention was made of U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who was still on the trail of Marcello. "Don't worry about that little Bobby, son of a bitch," he shouted. "He's going to be taken care of!" Ever since Robert Kennedy had arranged for his deportation to Guatemala, Carlos had wanted revenge. But he knew that to rid himself of Robert Kennedy he would first have to remove the President. Any killer of the Attorney General would be hunted down by his brother; the death of the President would seed the fate of his Attorney General. No one at the meeting had any doubt about Marcello's intentions when he abruptly arose from the table. Marcello did not joke about such things. In any case, the matter had gone beyond mere "business"; it had become an affair of honour, a Sicilian vendetta. Moreover, the conversation at Churchill Farms also made clear that Marcello had begun to move. He had, for example, already thought of using a "nut" to do the job. Roughly one year later President Kennedy was shot in Dallas - two months after Attorney General Robert Kennedy had announced that he was going to expand his war on organized crime. And it is perhaps significant that privately Robert Kennedy had singled out James Hoffa, Sam Giancana, and Carlos Marcello as being among his chief targets. G. Robert Blakey was interviewed by ABC News in ABC News: In your book you point the finger squarely at Carlos Marcello and his organization. Why would he want to kill Kennedy? Blakey: Carlos Marcello was being subject to the most vigorous investigation he had ever experienced in his life, designed to put him in jail. He was in fact summarily, without trial, deported to Guatemala. He took the deportation personally. He hated the Kennedys. He had the motive, the opportunity and the means in Lee Harvey Oswald to kill him. I think he did it through Oswald.... ABC News: Since you believe that Lee Oswald shot the president, and you also believe that Carlos Marcello was behind the assassination, what connections do you point to between Oswald and Marcello? Blakey: I can show you that Lee Harvey Oswald knew, from his boyhood forward, David Ferrie, and David Ferrie was an investigator for Carlos Marcello on the day of the assassination, with him in a court room in New Orleans. I can show you that Lee Harvey Oswald, when he grew up in New Orleans, lived with the Dutz Murret family (one of Oswald's uncles). Dutz Murret worked for Carlos Marcello. Was the Mafia Involved?

4 Billy James Hargis, The Far Left (1964) [There is]… absolute, indisputable evidence that Lee Oswalds mind was moulded by Communist conspiracy propaganda… There is no doubt in my mind that the Communist assassin, Lee Oswald, intended to kill the President of the United States and disappear in the confused crowd, thus letting the capitalist people of Dallas take the blame. But it didnt work. God is on the throne. He saw to it that Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended by a courageous Dallas policeman, Officer Tippit, who, in turn, gave his life for the cause of freedom in attempting to arrest the Communist assassin of the President. Lee Harvey Oswald posing with his rifle, a handgun and a copy of The Militant The Militant is the newsletter of the Socialist [Communist] Workers Party in America. Michael Eddowes, November 22: How They Killed Kennedy (1976) If, as the evidence indicates, the KGB organised the assassination, it would seem that it had appeared imperative to remove Kennedy from the area of international relations, for he had captured the ear of the world and had obtained the support of the United Nations over the Cuba Crisis. The KGB was the Soviet Unions equivalent of the CIA – in charge of spying on foreign countries. Was the Soviet Union involved?

5 Michael Kurtz, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historians Perspective (1982) The CIA knew that the Cuban government employed assassins and that it had actually carried out an assassination in Mexico. On 19 March 1964, the intelligence agency learned that a "Cuban-American" who was somehow "involved in the assassination" crossed the border from Texas to Mexico on 23 November, stayed in Mexico for four days, and flew to Cuba on 27 November. The CIA also received information that on 22 November, a Cubana Airlines flight from Mexico City to Havana was delayed for five hours until a passenger arrived in a private aircraft. The individual boarded the Cubana flight, and it left for Havana shortly before 11:00 p.m. These occurrences clearly arouse suspicions of an assassination plot engineered by the Cuban government under Fidel Castro. Various items of information gleaned from the recently declassified FBI and CIA assassination files reinforce those suspicions. On 24 November 1963, for example, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent an urgent telegram to the FBI legation in Madrid: "Spanish Intelligence possesses a report that attributes president's assassination to Castro and claims that Oswald was acting as Cuban agent." The CIA also received similar information from several sources. One claimed that the Chinese Communists and Castro had masterminded the assassination. Another source claimed that a "Miss T" heard Cubans talking about having the president killed. Yet another source in Spain told the CIA that local Cuban officials asserted that Oswald "had nothing to do with Kennedy's murder. Louis Stokes, House Select Committee on Assassinations (September 28, 1978) Before he died, Roselli [a Mafia boss] hinted to associates that he knew who had arranged President Kennedy's murder. It was the same conspirators, he suggested, whom he had recruited earlier to kill Cuban Premier Fidel Castro. According to Roselli, Castro learned the identity of the underworld contacts in Havana who had been trying to assassinate him. Castro believed that President Kennedy was behind the plot. According to Roselli, Castro enlisted the same underworld elements whom he had caught plotting against him. They supposedly were Cubans from the old Trafficante organization. Working with Cuban intelligence, they allegedly lined up an ex-Marine sharpshooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been active in the pro-Castro movement. According to Roselli's version, Oswald may have shot Kennedy or may have acted as a decoy while others ambushed him from closer range. When Oswald was picked up, Roselli suggested the underworld conspirators feared he would crack and disclose information that might lead to them. This almost certainly would have brought a massive U.S. crackdown on the Mafia. So Jack Ruby was ordered to eliminate Oswald making it appear as an act of reprisal against the President's killer. At least this is how Roselli explained the tragedy in Dallas. Was Cuba involved?

6 Harold Weisberg, Whitewash (1965) The Warren Commission was reconstructing the crime, to find out what happened, not to prove that Oswald alone committed it. When the motorcade turned toward the Depository Building on Houston Street, for several hundred feet there was a completely unobstructed view of it from the sixth-floor window. The police photographs and the forgotten Secret Service reconstruction of 1963 also show this. There was not a twig between the window and the President. There were no curves in that street, no tricky shooting angles. If all the shots came from this window, and the assassin was as cool and collected as the Report represents, why did he not shoot at the easiest and by far the best target? Why did he wait until his target was so difficult that the country's best shots could not duplicate his feat? Michael Kurtz, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historians Perspective (1982) The evidence against Oswald is impressive: the discovery of his rifle bearing his palmprint on the sixth floor of the Book Depository building; the testimony of eyewitness Howard Brennan; Oswald's prints on the cartons and paper sack at the window; the discovery of three cartridge cases from his rifle by the window; the discovery of two bullet fragments fired from his rifle in the limousine; his departure from the building soon after the shooting. On the other side of the coin, the evidence in Oswald's favour is equally impressive: eyewitness identification of him on the second floor of the Depository building fifteen minutes before the assassination and two minutes after it; the lack of his prints on the outside of the rifle; the questions as to whether the cartridge cases had actually been fired from the rifle during the assassination; the extremely difficult feat of marksmanship an assassin firing from the window faced; the lack of corroboration for Brennan's contradictory and confused identification. Michael Kurtz, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historians Perspective (1982) Oswald bought ammunition, had his rifle repaired, inquired about the view from a Dallas building, remarked about coming into possession of a lot of money very soon, and called attention to himself at the firing range. All these incidents clearly cast suspicion on Oswald. Yet, the real Lee Harvey Oswald did not participate in any of them. The evidence demonstrates that he was elsewhere when each of these events took place. Yet the evidence also demonstrates that they did take place and that numerous reliable eyewitnesses saw a man who they believed was Lee Harvey Oswald participate in them. While no absolute evidence exists to explain this curiosity, it is not unreasonable to hypothesize that someone impersonating Oswald went to great lengths to focus attention on himself during the three weeks prior to the assassination. Was Lee Harvey Oswald the Assassin?

7 Michael Kurtz, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historians Perspective (1982) The most plausible explanation for the forward and backward movement of the head and body is that of a double impact on the head, one shot fired from the rear, and the other from the front. The author has interviewed numerous physicians and veterans who served in Italy during World War II. He has also interviewed several veterans of the Italian Army who used Mannlicher-Carcano rifles and copper-jacketed ammunition. Collectively, these people have seen several thousand gunshot wounds inflicted by Mannlicher-Carcano rifles. Their unanimous experience has been that the type of head wounds suffered by President Kennedy, as well as the double movement of his head, could not possibly have been caused solely by Oswald's rifle. The Times (23rd November, 1963) The assassination took place as the presidential party drove from the airport into the city of Dallas. One witness said the shots were fired from the window of a building. People flung themselves to the ground as armed policemen and Secret Service agents rushed into the building. A rifle with telescopic sights was found there. The President was wounded in the head and collapsed into the arms of his wife: She was heard to cry, "Oh, no", as she cradled his head in her lap and the car, spattered with blood, speeded to Parkland Hospital. Were the Shots Fired From the Texas School Book Depository?

8 Michael L. Kurtz, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination From a Historians Perspective (1982) The Zapruder and other films and photographs of the assassination clearly reveal the utter lack of response by Secret Service agents Roy Kellerman and William Greer, who were in the front seat of the presidential limousine. After the first two shots, Greer actually slowed the vehicle to less than five miles an hour. Kellerman merely sat in the front seat, seemingly oblivious to the shooting. In contrast, Secret Service Agent Rufus Youngblood responded instantly to the first shot, and before the head shots were fired, had covered Vice-President Lyndon Johnson with his body. Trained to react instantaneously, as in the attempted assassinations of President Gerald Ford by Lynette Fromme and Sara Jane Moore and of President Ronald Reagan by John Warnock Hinckley, the Secret Service agents assigned to protect President Kennedy simply neglected their duty. The reason for their neglect remains one of the more intriguing mysteries of the assassination. Evidence of four police officers protecting the motorcade about what the presidential car did when the shots were fired in the Dealey Plaza. James Chaney (motorcyclist on motorcade): "From the time the first shot ran out, the car stopped completely, pulled to the left and stopped." Bobby Hargis (motorcyclist on motorcade): "The car stopped immediately after that and stayed stopped for about half a second, then took off." Earle Brown (police officer on overpass): "When the shots were fired, it (the car) stopped." J. W. Foster (police officer on overpass): "Immediately after Kennedy was struck... the car pulled to the curb. James H. Fetzer, Assassination Science and the Language of Proof, included in Assassination Science (1998) I have discovered at least fifteen indications of Secret Service complicity (complicity means they took part in it) in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, from the absence of protective military presence to a lack of coverage of open windows, to motorcycles out of position, to Secret Service agents failing to ride on the Presidential limousine, to the vehicles arranged in an improper sequence, to the utilization of an improper motorcade route, to the driver bringing the vehicle to a halt after bullets began to be fired, to the almost total lack of response by Secret Service agents, to the driver washing out the back seat with a bucket and sponge at Parkland Hospital, to the car being dismantled and rebuilt (on LBJs orders), to the driver giving false testimony to the Warren Commission, to the windshields being switched, to the autopsy photographs being taken into custody before they were developed, and more. Were the Secret Service involved?

9 Matthew Smith, JFK: The Second Plot (1992) In his actions and responses, Oswald began to display all the hallmarks of working for the CIA. His display of distress when shooting off a few rounds, no doubt at nothing at all, provided a cover for his speedy return to Japan to participate in preparations for his new work, which included learning Russian, a difficult language for any Westerner to acquire. It is worth recalling at this point, that while Oswald was at Keesler Air Base, he was remembered for his mysterious 100-mile weekend trips to New Orleans. Time would reveal Oswald to have close links with New Orleans in respect of his CIA work. It would seem entirely plausible that, at this early stage in his military career, Lee Harvey Oswald had been sent on a series of visits to that city to have his aptitudes and attitudes for espionage carefully examined. It was happening to a number of young men, selected for the same kind of mission, both in and out of military service at about the same time. Whatever was the case the trips to New Orleans were something he strictly did not talk to his friends about. G. Robert Blakey statement on the Central Intelligence Agency in I am no longer confident that the Central Intelligence Agency cooperated with the Warren Committee. I now no longer believe anything the Agency told the committee. We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Had the commission known of the plots, it would have followed a different path in its investigation. The Agency deprived the commission of a chance to obtain the full truth, which will now never be known. Daniel Marvin, The Unconventional Warrior (2002) I shared a gut feeling with a few others in my class that our CIA instructors had first-hand knowledge of what happened in Dallas. During a coffee break one day, an instructor casually remarked on the success of the conspiracy in Dallas, tending to confirm my suspicions that the Presidents murder was conceived, executed and covered up by high-level echelons within our government. What I subsequently gleaned led me to believe that evil factions in certain agencies within our government had engineered and executed the conspiracy that left President Kennedy dead. Was the CIA involved?

10 Madeleine Brown, interviewed on the television programme, A Current Affair (24th February, 1992) On Thursday night, Nov. 21, 1963, the last evening prior to Kennedys demise, I attended a social at Clint Murchison's home. The jovial party was just breaking up when Lyndon made an unscheduled visit. With Lyndon's hectic schedule, I never dreamed he could attend the big party. After all, he had arrived in Dallas on Tuesday to attend the Pepsi-Cola convention. Tension filled the room upon his arrival. The group immediately went behind closed doors. A short time later Lyndon, anxious and red-faced, reappeared. I knew how secretly Lyndon operated. Therefore I said nothing... not even that I was happy to see him. Squeezing my hand so hard, it felt crushed from the pressure, he spoke with a grating whisper, a quiet growl, into my ear, not a love message, but one I'll always remember: "After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again - that's no threat - that's a promise. Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy (1990) Madeleine Brown, reported to be Johnsons mistress for twenty years, has publicly stated that Johnson had foreknowledge of the assassination. But did Johnson really have enough power to initiate the assassination and force literally dozens of government officials and agents to lie and cover up that fact? Probably not. Barr McClellan, Blood Money and Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K. (2003) There was another private meeting at Johnson's ranch. The vice president was certain he would be dumped (by Kennedy), and he had to know what Clark was planning. He needed to know when action would be taken. Clark was not about to let Johnson know any of the details. The assassination had to be a complete surprise to Johnson. Under no circumstances would he know what was planned. Clark had one more worry detail, a small one in the overall scheme of things but an important one. He knew how pleased, even ecstatic, Johnson would be when the assassination occurred. He wanted Johnson to react with surprise and then express the correct condolences for the Kennedy family with appropriate assurances to the nation. The best approach for Johnson would be the usual one, to say and do nothing. As things turned out, Johnson would react in good form except on three minor but telling occasions. Was LBJ involved?

11 Madeleine Brown, interviewed on the television programme, A Current Affair (24th February, 1992) On Thursday night, Nov. 21, 1963, the last evening prior to Kennedys demise, I attended a social at Clint Murchison's home. The jovial party was just breaking up when Lyndon made an unscheduled visit. With Lyndon's hectic schedule, I never dreamed he could attend the big party. After all, he had arrived in Dallas on Tuesday to attend the Pepsi-Cola convention. Tension filled the room upon his arrival. The group immediately went behind closed doors. A short time later Lyndon, anxious and red-faced, reappeared. I knew how secretly Lyndon operated. Therefore I said nothing... not even that I was happy to see him. Squeezing my hand so hard, it felt crushed from the pressure, he spoke with a grating whisper, a quiet growl, into my ear, not a love message, but one I'll always remember: "After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again - that's no threat - that's a promise. Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy (1990) Madeleine Brown, reported to be Johnsons mistress for twenty years, has publicly stated that Johnson had foreknowledge of the assassination. But did Johnson really have enough power to initiate the assassination and force literally dozens of government officials and agents to lie and cover up that fact? Probably not. Barr McClellan, Blood Money and Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K. (2003) There was another private meeting at Johnson's ranch. The vice president was certain he would be dumped (by Kennedy), and he had to know what Clark was planning. He needed to know when action would be taken. Clark was not about to let Johnson know any of the details. The assassination had to be a complete surprise to Johnson. Under no circumstances would he know what was planned. Clark had one more worry detail, a small one in the overall scheme of things but an important one. He knew how pleased, even ecstatic, Johnson would be when the assassination occurred. He wanted Johnson to react with surprise and then express the correct condolences for the Kennedy family with appropriate assurances to the nation. The best approach for Johnson would be the usual one, to say and do nothing. As things turned out, Johnson would react in good form except on three minor but telling occasions. Was LBJ involved?


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