Saturday, November 22, 2014

Destinies collide: Kennedy, Oswald, Johnson

           John                             Lee                          Lyndon
           Fitzgerald                     Harvey                     Baines
           Kennedy                       Oswald                     Johnson

One more junction in the pathway of history

It occurred to me a few days ago that the assassination/murder/execution (call it what you will) of John Fitzgerald Kennedy has one more thing in common today with the murder of Abraham Lincoln than it did only a short time ago: Moving beyond the fifty-year mark (the fifty-first anniversary is today), it has passed from the realm of the contemporary into the annals of history. Therefore, there is less and less chance the answers to all the lingering questions about it will ever be known.

Was Lee Harvey Oswald the lone shooter?

I am inclined to think so. No matter who conducted what experiments to cast doubt on whether or not Oswald could have accomplished three shots in under six seconds and scored hits on two of them on a moving target at the distance involved, I, as a "seasoned" rifleman, know it is absolutely possible to have done so if one has devoted himself to practice, has an innate calmness and has a coolness created from trained self-discipline.

Were there other accomplices behind the scenes?

I believe he had assistance. With all the theories about CIA involvement; wealthy right-wing/military-industrial complex types providing assistance; payback from Fidel Castro for assassination plots on his life; payback from anti-Castro Cubans for Kennedy's Bay of Pigs invasion betrayal; payback from certain Mafia figures for brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy's criminal investigations; and other assorted areas of speculation, I think it is entirely possible others played a role.

I have my own ideas/theories in that regard, have mentioned them once or twice in previous posts, but will not go deeper into them again right now.

The currents of history twist and turn often on random events. It seems to me the assassination of Kennedy is a good example of this. For instance, I believe most of the nearly sixty thousand Americans -- and thousands more Vietnamese -- would not have died where and when they did had Kennedy lived.

United States involvement in Vietnam began with President Harry Truman in the 1950s, continued on to a degree with Dwight Eisenhower and increased measurably under Kennedy. But, it was Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, whose decisions unleashed the debacle that became known as the Vietnam War.

All historical indications were that Kennedy was pulling back from Vietnam when he was killed, and the massive influx of American troops sent there in support of a corrupt South Vietnamese regime rests on the shoulders of another political liberal icon: Lyndon Baines Johnson.

I have not spent any serious amount of time studying or even thinking about the Kennedy assassination in recent years, but I stumbled onto a novel a few months ago which offered some fascinating theories about mysteries surrounding the so-called "magic bullet" and other physical elements of the event. The book, by Stephen Hunter, is titled, "The Third Bullet." Besides being a novelist, Hunter is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper film critic and a firearms lover/expert.

This tale also offers a plausible explanation of how Oswald might have been "set up" as the fall guy for the murder of a president in which others, who remain unknown, were also actively involved. Hunter's book has Oswald being one of two shooters. You might find the story interesting, even fascinating -- or, you might not.

History sometimes is a straight line from Point A to Point B. More often, it is a pathway going uphill and downhill and filled with twists and turns. The pathway which met at a junction called Dallas, Texas, USA, on November 22, 1963, affected the lives of millions of individuals, not just the lives of three men named Kennedy, Oswald and Johnson, and changed the course of history in irrevocable and immeasurable ways.


ANITA said...

Hello my friend!What an intresting post!i do think Oswald was not alone on that plot..although he did that shooting himself..However..iam way to town.Iwill be back later on your post..when night working tonight and read more..very intresting all of if!!Makes me wonder..the question is..Who is behind who..if you understand..

Fram Actual said...

The murder of John Kennedy was then and is now the greatest mystery of the Twentieth Century from my point of view, Anita.

I do not think the "who" and the "why" of the event will ever be answered fully. The reality of the incident may, in fact, be quiet simple and uncomplicated, but the murder of the supposed killer, Lee Oswald, placed an impenetrable seal over the window to the absolute truth.

Do not work too hard, Anita, and thank you for coming to visit me today. Possibly, we can find a time machine and travel back to solve the mysteries surrounding the death of Kennedy. I think that would be the only way to know everything with certainty.

A Cuban In London said...

Fascinating post on a subject that has occupied my mind many a time. Well, you mentioned the Cuban connection. I believe there was some, but don't know to what extent. Fidel and Kennedy seemed to agree on a lot of things and it was Eisenhower who thought up the blockade in the first place. But it was under Kennedy that the embargo took shape and the reason it's lasted so long. The anti-Fidel lobby was very strong in those years and moneyed. So, I would not leave out any theories pointing at Cuban exile money paying for the assassination.

Just one note of disagreement, though. History NEVER moves in a straight line. Even in what could be seen as straightforward historic events, there's always the hidden hand of the victor writing its own version of events. :-)

Listening to Bus Rider by The Guess Who now. Raining cats and dogs in London now.

Greetings from London.

ANITA said...

I agree with you Cuban in London!
Even in what could be seen as straightforward historic events, there's always the hidden hand of the victor writing its own version of events. :-)

Fram Actual said...

Timing/timing/timing ....

Here we were, CiL, writing comments for the other's post at the same time. I do not think that has happened before.

I am not sure if we are talking apples and oranges, but the blockade was not until 1962, well after Dwight Eisenhower was out of office. Eisenhower was the one who initiated the embargo just before he left office, and John Kennedy expanded it. Anyway, we probably could discuss/debate this topic on and on and on.

As for the relationship between Kennedy and Fidel Castro, CIA plots against Castro are well documented, but the depth of Kennedy's personal involvement probably could not be defined. Just to slip sideways for a moment, Che Guevara was higher on the CIA target list. It kept tracking him until catching up with him in 1967 in Bolivia.

As for the possible presence of anti-Castro influence in Kennedy's murder, I do have first-hand knowledge of some of the rage that existed after Kennedy called off American air and naval support in the midst of the Bay of Pigs invasion. I have mentioned this in a sort of convoluted manner in a post from time to time. The son of one of the primary figures in the "conspiracy theories" even saw one such post a couple of years ago and sent me an email asking for more specific information.

As for straight line/wavy line in terms of history, I will give you the point with a footnote that the line begins straight, but how long it stays that way is a legitimate question.

I have been on a Def Leppard kick this week. I do not like the lead singer's voice (and do not even know his name), but I love the overall sound of the band. Most of the time, "the voice" is overpowered by the music, which suits me just fine.

Nice to see you here, CiL. I appreciate your visits and your words.

Fram Actual said...

Hello, Anita .... nice to see you here again ....

A Cuban In London said...

First of all, thanks for your comment. You don't disclose a lot of personal information, so I really appreciate your comment about your mother.

I must also add that, even despite the difficult circumstances you mentioned in your response, I feel somewhat jealous of you. You got to see your mother in her final years. I don't know if I will have the same opportunity. We bury our dead very quickly in Cuba. One day I would like to read more about this importan figure in your life.

You're right about the date, 1962. What I meant in my comment (maybe it wasn't clear) was that Eisenhower started the process. The official embargo kicked off a year after the botched Bay of Pigs invasion. I believe that one reason why the US government didn't intervene in Cuba in '59 was because they didn't like Batista and wanted to get rid of him, so Fidel did them the favour, and they never thought Fidel would go that far and nationalise the main industries. They saw him as a "petit bourgeois", which he was by the way and has continued to be.

I'm with you on the straight line of history. In fact, that's how usually it starts. Then, it gets twisted and turned by those who manipulate it and have control over it.

One last point (I promise). I know that when it comes to government handouts and subsidies we sing from a different hymnsheet, but what I meant in my post is that the support should be available regardless of means. It's up to the individual (and on this I think we both agree, individual rights) to accept or refuse. In the UK, for instance, lately pensioners who are well-off have started to refuse their "freedom passes", free travel cards that are available to the over 60s (or 65, cant' remember). That's the sort of individual conscience I would like to develop in the world. I earn enough, I don't need to take from the state. I don't earn enough, maybe I need some support. I think that we, society, owe that to our elderly, for the sacrifices they have made, for their contribution (I know that that doesn't apply to everyone, but let's not be picky) and because it makes more humane. If there were a way to reimburse you those hundred thousand dollars, I would, because what you did was admirable. That's my argument. Why is it easier to find the money to bail banks out but not to treat our older citizens with respect?

Yes, I agree on the timing of our comments. Spooky, and yours was about Kennedy! :-) Go figure.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Two visits on the same day. I will mark this on the calendar. I am teasing you now, CiL. I enjoy our continuing discussions.

Yes, there is a distinct difference between living a few hundred miles away and a few thousand miles away from parents and other family members. I had the advantage of proximity; that is for certain. My mother's health went up and down during her last few months. She was, in effect, on a death watch twice before the actual event. On one occasion, I had been told on a Friday by her doctor that she would be gone by Monday. She actually lasted another two months. And, when her death came, it took me by surprise. She was down and out in about two hours. Being nearby made life better and easier for me.

I think it would be accurate to describe the U.S. government as jubilant when Fidel Castro and his crew marched into Havana in January 1959, but relations deteriorated rapidly over the next several months and had collapsed by the end of the year. There is no doubt U.S. officials had believed Castro would become a mirror image of the Shah of Iran or of President Diem of South Vietnam -- which is to say, become a puppet for the U.S.

The U.S. system of care for the elderly is ridiculous, from my point of view. I guess my position regarding my own situation with my mother was that money was not an initial part of the equation: That she should be in a center located where she wanted to be and which had the reputation of paying its caretakers well -- all of them, from the most basic to the highly-trained medical professionals; that she should be in a center with many programs and activities for its residents; that she should be in a center which scored high in meeting state and federal standards and guidelines, and was state of the art in every way.

I will stop there except to say that less expensive places were available (with a lesser degree of services and care); that government assistance was available in some areas (had I wished to dance to the tune of bureaucrats rather than to my own melody and lyrics); that the money we have is available for us to spend how we choose (and it seems to me I was spending it wisely and well in this instance). In addition, to be fair, government programs and private insurance did take care of a significant portion of hospital and doctor costs at the time of the stroke.

In some ways, it is a question of what an individual owes to the society into which he is born and what a society owes to its individual members. In most respects, I am a firm believer in the U.S. Constitution and I think the federal government has usurped the powers of the states and of individuals to a near-dictatorial degree. And, while I probably would not disagree strongly with anything you wrote, I might argue much of that which you advocate is not possible to achieve in a practical sense.

You have the heart of an idealist, CiL. Thank you, for continuing this conversation. We sure do live in interesting times ....

Smareis said...

Oi Fram!

Achei sua postagem excelente, li por varias vezes mais é difícil comentar porque eu não sei nada a respeito desse assassinato do Kennedy. Já assisti e li alguns documentários sobre esse caso, mais nada concreto.
Achei a foto bem curiosa. Amanhã eu volto pra ver o vídeo, aqui já é quase 3 da manhã e preciso sair muito cedo. Amanha te mando uma nota.
Obrigada pelo comentário Fram!
Fico feliz quando te leio!

Ótima semana!

Fram Actual said...

I wonder how many people born and raised in the United States actually know much about the murder of John Kennedy and the intrigue and the mystery and the unanswered questions which surround the event. Not all that many, I would wager, so it would surprise me a great deal if a young lady from Brazil had more than passing knowledge of it. I usually write something about it in a post on the anniversary of Kennedy's death, mostly, I suppose, because I am curious, but also because I have met people who personally "brushed against it" in real time.

So many people and places from the past seem like a memory to me. I can close my eyes and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln seems only a few years ago and the assassination of Kennedy only a few months ago. It is the same with many other events: I can sense myself watching the Sioux slaughtering the Seventh Calvary at the Little Big Horn in 1876 .... then turn my head and witness the Seventh Calvary shooting down the Sioux at Wounded Knee in 1890. Time is measured in more than one way .... anyway ....

Sleep well, night owl. I will look forward to reading your note and many more of your posts in the days ahead. Your last one is haunting me a bit. By the way, I have another post going up for Wednesday (Tuesday evening), and then, on Wednesday, I will be on the road again.

Thank you, Smareis, for your visit here and your words here. They give me reason to smile.

P.S. I hope you do remember to watch the video ....

Something special ....