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NYT op-ed: J.F.K.’s Death, Re-Framed

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 10:35 AM
Original message
NYT op-ed: J.F.K.’s Death, Re-Framed
J.F.K.’s Death, Re-Framed
By MAX HOLLAND and JOHANN RUSH
Published: November 22, 2007


National Archives and Records Adminstration

FORTY-FOUR years ago today, a clothing company owner named Abraham Zapruder filmed the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas. And for 44 years, most people have presumed that his home movie captured the assassination in its entirety. This presumption has led to deep misunderstandings.

The majority of witnesses in Dealey Plaza heard three shots fired. Lawmen found three cartridges in Lee Harvey Oswald’s nest on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Yet Zapruder’s film captured only two shots clearly. As a result, the film has been scoured for evidence of another shot, presumably the first one fired at the president. Research has yielded contradictory findings.

But what if Zapruder simply hadn’t turned on his camera in time?

Zapruder’s 26-second movie has two distinct parts. Approximately seven seconds after he started filming from the north side of Elm Street, Zapruder stopped his Bell & Howell Zoomatic at frame 132 because only Dallas police motorcycles were driving by. He did not restart his camera until the president’s limousine was clearly in view. Consequently, Z 133 is the first frame to actually show the president’s Lincoln — a frame exposed several seconds after the car had made the sharp turn onto Elm Street from Houston Street — and, we believe, after Oswald had squeezed off his first shot.

Several witnesses saw a man firing from the sixth floor. No one’s recollection about the first shot was more precise, though, than that of a ninth grader named Amos L. Euins. He told the Dallas County sheriff, “About the time the car got near the black and white sign, I heard a shot.” As the above photograph from a December 1963 restaging shows, the president’s limousine would have passed a black and white sign before Zapruder restarted his camera (the ghost image here approximates the location of the Lincoln at the moment Zapruder started filming again).

If one discards the notion that Zapruder recorded the shooting sequence in full, it has the virtue of solving several puzzles that have consistently defied explanation. The most exasperating one is how did Oswald, who was able to hit President Kennedy in his upper back at a distance of around 190 feet, and then in the head at a distance of 265 feet, manage to miss so badly on the first and closest shot?...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/opinion/22holland.htm...
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Louis J Sheehan Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Doesn't sound as if it is very easy to do --- Louis J Sheehan
" ... upper back at a distance of around 190 feet, and then in the head at a distance of 265 feet ...."


Louis J Sheehan
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for posting, Louis -- welcome to DU!
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. I always wondered about the impact of shooting this film on
Zapruder and his family.... Their surname will always be associated with, not only the film, but with the assasination in general.....

This interpretation does make some sense--not to say that I don't believe there was a conspiracy and very likely more than one shooter.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. What a waste of ink and time. There is one sentence in the piece
where a reference contains the words "a person" rather than Oswald.

Any article that assumes that Oswald shot one, two, or three times is a waste of time.

Here we are - four decades later and no definitive truth coming from the NYT.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Except it's clear that Oswald killed JFK
Read Vincent Bugliosi's masterful new book, "Reclaiming American History:The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy". As hard as it is to believe, a nobody like Oswald killed JFK and the Warren Commission got it substantially right. Bugliosi devotes nearly 1600 pages (not including endnotes) to an exhaustive examination of the evidence of the assassination and the major conspiracy theories. Then ask yourself this question: "If there was someone else involved in the assassination, wouldn't it make sense that we'd have some clear evidence of it after 44 years?". The answer, of course is that no credible evidence has emerged of anyone other than Oswald as the assassin. There is no evidence to find because the right guy was apprehended.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. in your opinion
...and you don't have all the evidence.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Oh, please...
what evidence don't I have?
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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Visual Evidence of Conspiracy

Could LHO have ordered the Stand Down in Dallas?

The Kilduff Announcement
Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff officially announces the death of President Kennedy, attributing the death to a bullet that entered through the front of the skull.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Apparently, neither do you
Watch the video clip again and listen to the audio very carefully. Kilduff never says ANYTHING about a bullet striking JFK in the forehead, instead he says "bullet to the head" and points to his own head as he is doing it. He is describing the part of the body where JFK was shot, not where on that part of the body the bullet hit. Did you expect him to point to the back of his own head when all he is doing is merely describing the cause of death in a general way? It is beyond intellectually dishonest to twist Kilduff's words to mean something beyond what he actually said.

What's really hysterical is one of your sources is Fletcher Prouty, claiming there was a military "stand down" on the day of the assassination. Contrary to Prouty's claims, that the 316th Field Detachment of the 112th Military Intelligence Group was ordered to "stand down", "(t)he House Select Committee on Assassinations took testimony from Colonel Robert E. Jones, who had been the Operations Officer of the 112th Military Intelligence group from June, 1963 until January 1965. He was questioned about a variety of matters, including his unit's role in the protection of President Kennedy during his Texas trip. Not only did Jones not mention any orders to "stand down," he explicitly noted that his unit provided protection for the president in Dallas!

He stated:
We provided a small force — I do not recall how many, but I would estimate between 8 and 12 — during the President's visit to San Antonio, Texas; and then the following day, on his visit to Dallas, the regions also provided additional people to assist, that is additional people from Region 2. Hearings Before the Subcommittee on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy of the Select Committee on Assassinations, House of Representatives, Executive Session, Washington, DC., April 20, 1978, p. 1-14."

Prouty's claim is thus flatly at odds with the on-the-record sworn testimony of the Operations Officer of the unit. Like so many of his claims, it just doesn't jibe with the historical record.

For the life of me, I don't understand why JFK assassination conspiracy theorists believe that offering material from other conspiracy theorists is going to prove anything to skeptics.
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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why
Thanks to the JFK Records Act of 1992 nobody has to take Prouty's word, Colonel Robert E. Jones' word, SDuderstadt's word or my word. Also thanks to the efforts of researchers like Jefferson Morley and Gerald McKnight, exhaustive examination of those files, we are learning more everyday..

Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why
http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/mckbre.html
by Gerald D. McKnight
The Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President
John F. Kennedy . . . was instantly implausible because the authors hid the secrets they knew (and ignored the ones they didn’t). —David Ignatius, Washington Post Book World

That recent appraisal reflects a growing consensus that the Warren Commission largely failed in its duty to our nation. Echoing that sentiment, the Gallup organization has reported that 75 percent of Americans polled do not believe the Commission’s major conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the “lone assassin.” Gerald McKnight now gives profound substance to that view in the most meticulous and devastating dissection of the Commission’s work to date.

The Warren Commission produced 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits, more than 17,000 pages of testimony, and a 912-page report. Surely a definitive effort. Not at all, McKnight argues. The Warren Report itself, he contends, was little more than the capstone to a deceptive and shoddily improvised exercise in public relations designed to “prove” that Oswald had acted alone.

McKnight argues that the Commission’s own documents and collected testimony—as well as thousands of other items it never saw, refused to see, or actively suppressed—reveal two conspiracies: the still very murky one surrounding the assassination itself and the official one that covered it up. The cover-up actually began, he reveals, within days of Kennedy’s death, when President Johnson, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and acting Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach all agreed that any official investigation must reach only one conclusion: Oswald was the assassin..

“Just when scholars deemed the John F. Kennedy assassination ‘case closed,’ along comes Gerald McKnight to shatter certain fundamental assumptions. Breach of Trust is a shrewd, well-researched, deeply provocative investigation into the gross delinquencies of the Warren Commission. Essential reading for anybody trying to solve the twentieth century’s great murder mystery.”--Douglas Brinkley, James H. Clark Professor of U.S. History and Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Tulane University

(4)Gerald D. McKnight, Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why (2005)
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmcknight.htm
The CIA's concerted effort to distance itself from Oswald is contradicted by disclosed facts. For example, a special unit of the agency's Counterintelligence (CI) staff, the Special Investigations Group (SIG), had a pre assassination file on Oswald. The SIG was staffed by a select handful of operatives whose mission was to ferret out any foreign attempt to penetrate the CIA. John Whitten, the former chief of the agency's Western Division, noted that the SIG worked on cases that were "so sensitive ... that they should not be handled by one of the area divisions." Raymond G. Rocca, deputy to the agency's CI chief, James J. Angleton, disclosed to a congressional committee that he was certain the KGB had debriefed Oswald about U.S. radar secrets and any information he had about the agency's top-secret U-2 spy plane."

These revelations indicated that the CIA's attempt to distance itself from Oswald was a tactical charade. Why did the supersensitive SIG have a file on an ex-marine defector? Why did the CIA wait for a year before opening a file on Oswald after learning about his defection? Even more inexplicable is the CIA's contention that it never debriefed Oswald before or after he returned to the United States. If the CIA was certain that the KGB had questioned Oswald about the U-2, then it was in the agency's interest to find out what his Soviet interrogators had wanted to know, where he had been questioned, and much more. That is, if his defection had not been staged.

Assuming Oswald's defection was genuine, the Soviet branch of the agency's CI Division would have needed to know if the redefecting Oswald had been "turned" while in Russia and was returning as a KGB "sleeper," or dormant agent. Angleton, who was famously ensnared in his own web of Cold War paranoia, would never have missed an opportunity to aggressively debrief Oswald if he had indeed breached security. Angleton's suspicions of the Soviet menace were so ingrained that he never retreated from his deep conviction that the KGB was behind the Kennedy assassination. As mentioned earlier, it was Angleton who wrested the CIA's in-house investigation away from John Whitten because he either was convinced or pretended to believe that the purpose of Oswald's trip to Mexico City had been to meet with his KGB handlers to finalize plans to assassinate Kennedy.

(5)Gerald D. McKnight, Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why (2005)
One of the most closely held of Helms's secrets had to do with George E. Joannides, the JM/Wave contact officer for the DRE in 1963. Helms never revealed that the CIA was funding the directorate when the DRE had contact with Oswald, who was publicly agitating in favor of the Castro revolution in New Orleans during the months of July and August. Joannides probably knew more about Oswald and his relationship with the DRE and other anti Castro exile groups in New Orleans than anyone else in the government. It was Helms who assigned Joannides to the CIA's Miami station because he was skilled in psychological warfare and disinformation operations. It was Helms who assigned veteran clandestine officer John Whitten to head up the CIA's in-house investigation of the Kennedy assassination and then withheld from him important information from Oswald's pre assassination file. When Whitten protested, Helms removed him and turned the investigation over to Angleton. It might have been just another awkward coincidence that David Atlee Phillips, the DRE's first contact officer, was chief of covert action in the Cuban Section of the CIA's Mexico City station when Oswald arrived in Mexico City in September 1963."

Thomas Powers's biography of Richard Helms, The Man Who Kept the Secrets, could not have had a more fitting title. Helms kept Joannides and his DRE connections secret through four investigations into the Kennedy assassination." Joannides's name did not publicly surface until the 1990s, when the so-called JFK Act led to the establishment of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB). Over a four-year period the ARRB, empowered to declassify JFK files, dislodged somewhere between four and five million pages of declassified documents. Joannides's record was one of those files, and his personnel records revealed that he had been the DRE's contact officer when the CIA claimed it had no contact with the directorate in 1963. But his file was purged, according to the Washington Post's Jefferson Morley, who is the researcher responsible for introducing Joannides into the historiography of the JFK assassination. Morley described the file as "thin." There were no reports in the Joannides file for the entire seventeen months that he was the DRE's contact officer. All that his personnel file revealed is that Joannides was paying the directorate for "intelligence" and "propaganda." John Tunheim, now a federal judge in Minneapolis, chaired the ARRB. After reviewing all the CIA suppression and stonewalling surrounding the Joannides story, Tunheim remarked to Morley, " shows that the CIA wasn't interested in the truth about the assassination..
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmcknight.htm


What JFK Conspiracy Bashers Get Wrong
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jefferson-morley/what-jfk...
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Gee, really?
You mean we can just look at records from the JFK Records Act of 1992 link? Would that be the same one I have had bookmarked on my computer for some time now? Will wonders never cease? It's kinda telling that you didn't respond to the essence of my post, which is you put words in Malcom Kilduff's mouth that he never said. Do you deny that?

And, predictably, you link to several conspiracy sites. Why is it that CT's believe that referring a debunker to another conspiracy site actually proves something?

I'm willing to make you a bet. I've read both sides of the issue, from "Plausible Denial" by Mark Lane to "Crossfire:The Plot that Killed Kennedy" by Jim Marrs to books by Robert Lifton, John Newman, Robert Groden, etc., etc. I bet that you haven't cracked Vincent Bugliosi's book. If I'm correct, why haven't you?
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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Huffington Post is a Conspiracy Site?
That's news to me. The other site was useful for excerpts from the "Breach of Trust" book. It also contains useful information and links, to multiple sources in the JFK case, pro-conspiracy and con. If you can give some actual examples of misinformation please do.

As a matter of fact Vincent Bugliosi does a good job of debunking Barr McLellan's book on the case. Other than that there was not a lot of new information there but I'll admit that at around 1600 pages I was not going to spend all day in the library. But once again feel free to edify us if there's something that you think needs further discussion.

Speaking of books, Jefferson Morley has one coming out..

Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA

and another article.

THE MAN WHO DIDN'T TALK
and other tales from the new
KENNEDY ASSASSINATION FILES

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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. No, I'm saying Spartacus is a conspiracy website
And I'd be glad to point to misinformation. From your previous post:

"The cover-up actually began, he reveals, within days of Kennedy’s death, when President Johnson, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and acting Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach all agreed that any official investigation must reach only one conclusion: Oswald was the assassin.."

Here's the problem. Nicholas Katzenbach was NOT the acting Attorney General during the period in question ("within days of Kennedy's death"), as RFK remained AG until he resigned in September of 1964. "After his brother's assassination in late 1963, Kennedy continued as Attorney General under President Johnson for nine months. He resigned in September 1964 and was elected to the United States Senate from New York that November. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy ). In the event that you don't trust Wikipedia, which is reasonable given that it is user-edited, the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?inde... ) states the exact same thing: "Attorney General of the United States from January 1961, until his resignation September 3, 1964, to be a candidate for the United States Senate".
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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Katzenbach's memo to Bill Moyers
Good point. Katzenbach was actually the deputy Attorney General at that time. Here's the memo he sent to Bill Moyers.

November 25, 1963; MEMORANDUM FOR MR. MOYERS
It is important that all of the facts surrounding President Kennedy's Assassination be made public in a way which will satisfy people in the United States and abroad that all the facts have been told and that a statement to this effect be made now.

1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.

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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Reading Katzenbach's memo....
it's hard to reach the conclusion that Katzenbach (or anyone else involved) was, in any way, out to frame Oswald. The evidence, at that point, overwhelmingly pointed to Oswald as the assassin. In fact, he begins with "It is important that all of the facts surrounding President Kennedy's Assassination be made public in a way which will satisfy people in the United States and abroad that all the facts have been told and that a statement to this effect be made now." Does that sound like a frame-up to you? The next statement can really only be viewed suspiciously when interpreted in a way that hardly matches Katzenbach's intent when drafting the memo:

"1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial."

What, if anything, is all that suspicious about what Katzenbach wrote, especially given Katzenbach's choice of the word "satified"? Again, the evidence pointed overwhelmingly to Oswald and Katzenbach is merely stating (after the preamble) that the public will not settle for anything less than all the facts, that no evidence existed of other assassins or conspirators and that the evidence would had to have been conclusive enough to result in conviction, had Oswald lived to be tried. Put simply, there are plenty of innocent reasons for Katzenbach to have written this and, as is the case with most, if not all, tenets of the various conspiracy theories, the proverbial "smoking gun" (no pun intended) promised by the CT's simply fails to be presented.

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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-24-07 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Re: Katzenbach's memo
It would have been a lot less suspicious if Katzenbach had left it at ..
1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin

and not added.
that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.

Does that mean Katzenbach was part of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy? No.

Does that make Katzenbach complicit in the cover-up? Yes, by definition of the term, however benign his intent was.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-24-07 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Huh?
Katzenbach is NOT mandating an outcome, by any stretch of the imagination. If you read the preamble in which he calls for all the facts to come out, he is saying, in effect, that we need to find out if Oswald DOES have confederates who are still at large (in which case he would NOT be the lone assassin) and that any evidence collected must be strong enough to have convicted Oswald, had Oswald lived to be tried. Katzenbach is merely articulating what burden of proof must be met to "satisfy" the public "beyond a reasonable doubt" and I am frankly at a loss as to how you see something nefarious or negligent in it.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Nah, I refuted the Commission Report within about four or five years of the
take-out of JFK. The case against Oswald doing it builds.

All the motives were totally credible.

All the players stayed in power and it got worse.

You can't try your logic on me. And I'm not about to attempt to convince you.

Say, does Geroge, Sr still say he can't remember where he was that day?
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. "You can't try your logic on me"...
funny....I get the same response from evolution and global warming deniers.
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. I don't doubt that there could have been a 2nd acolyte of the nobody Oswald...
a 2nd crazy who because Oswald didn't live long enough to talk has never been discovered, but a conspiracy of 2 crazies is not much of a conspiracy.

For me, Oswald going to work with a long brown paper wrapped object he called curttain rods can not be explained in any other way than he brought a gun to work that day.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-23-07 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Absolutely
As well, there is a wealth of evidence that ties Oswald directly to not only the assassination of JFK, but the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit (ballistics, eyewitnesses, etc.). Unfortunately, the JFK assassination conspiracy theorists will never rest, no matter how many years with no evidence of anyone else being involved pass.

While it is possible that a 2nd crazy could have been involved, the fact that no evidence of this second person has emerged after all these years leans more in the direction that no such person existed.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Just a note: this is an opinion piece on the op-ed page, not a news article...
and, as such, is presented only as the opinion of the writer, not as news in the NYT.
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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
12.  Max Holland's Weird "Science"
Max Holland's Weird "Science"
Over the years, one of the many ways in which the lone nut scenario in the JFK assassination falls apart is this: If Oswald only had three shots, how could he make them in the time allotted by the Zapruder film? All credible experts on this matter have conceded, he can't.

Now, a scientist would say, if the only scenario that would make Oswald the lone assassin doesn't work, scientifically, than it had to be a conspiracy.

Max Holland has a different method, one which the Bush Administration seems to live daily: If the facts don't fit the desired conclusion, alter the facts. This is exactly what Holland does in his column today, co-written with Johann Rush:

If one discards the notion that Zapruder recorded the shooting sequence in full, it has the virtue of solving several puzzles that have consistently defied explanation. The most exasperating one is how did Oswald, who was able to hit President Kennedy in his upper back at a distance of around 190 feet, and then in the head at a distance of 265 feet, manage to miss so badly on the first and closest shot?

A first shot earlier than anyone has ever posited gives a plausible answer.

Incredible. The reason no one has posited a first shot earlier is because there's never been any evidence to support that!

So who does Holland turn to to support the insupportable?

Amos Euins.

I have a decent memory of all that I've read over the years, and as soon as I saw Euins referenced, I started laughing. Evidently Holland didn't bother to read Euins testimony, or was praying no one else had, because Euins is not the witness he wants to highlight.

Euins heard FOUR shots, which means there was a conspiracy. And Euins saw a man with a big white bald spot fire a gun, which means it wasn't Oswald on the sixth floor!

Now - at this point, you have three options, only one of which is useful. You can believe Holland. You can believe me. Or you can actually go look at the data yourself. I highly recommend you always choose option three. Don't just believe. Find out. On any topic.

Because most of you don't have access to the Warren Commission hearing evidence, I've summarized the key points here. You can check this out by going to a library and double checking this for yourself. But here is what Euins had to say. Interestingly, the man questioning Euins, who took his testimony re a fourth shot, was none other than Arlen Specter, the current Senator from Pennsylvania, and the man who ultimately gave the world the "magic bullet" scenario in which, like Holland, Specter simply remade the facts in the image of the conclusion he wanted..
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-22-07 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Ever notice...
...how the only people that still bring up the JFK assassination are those trying to bolster the official line?
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