With the release of what some might call a treasure trove of government documents, up to now classified as secret, about the President John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963 (I was a freshman in high school), it seems so far nothing really new has come out — and may never. There may be nothing to come out.
More documents are to come pending further review, it has been reported. Since most of the stuff is like five decades old it is hard to see how it could affect anything now in intelligence or international relations. It’s history.
But to hear the stories, it is always a wonder to me how many people wanted Kennedy dead.
Not in any order here and not a complete list, but Fidel Castro, the late Cuban communist dictator who was the subject of assassination attempts or plans by the U.S., and the U.S. mafia who were purported to have been angry because they had supposedly helped boost the vote count for JFK in 1960 when he won a squeaker over Richard Nixon only to become subject themselves of an investigation on organized crime by the Kennedy administration, and Lyndon Johnson who as JFK’s vice president despised the Kennedys as uppity and was likewise despised by them for his earthy ways, and the CIA for JFK calling off the botched invasion of Cuba, and President Diem supporters in Vietnam who were incensed about the Kennedy administration giving tacit approval for the assassination of Diem, who had become an embarrassment to the U.S. during the Vietnam War, not to mention various right-wing groups who saw JFK as too liberal (pushing civil rights and all), and there are no doubt more possibilities.
But even though all these people or groups may have had a beef with JFK I suppose it is possible that one nut case, Lee Harvey Oswald, who had served in the U.S. Marine Corps but who had defected to the Soviet Union for a time, may have been the lone assassin, and who knows what his motivation was?
It does seem like the FBI and CIA were not too eager to let the public know that they failed to take proper measures after Oswald purportedly made open threats against JFK and met with Soviet and Cuban officials in Mexico City weeks before the JFK assassination. That item is among the so-called treasure trove. Actually I had heard of Oswald’s meeting with the commies in Mexico City as long ago as maybe not long after the assassination — I am not sure about his open threats to JFK.
And then of course there is that infamous “grassy knoll” on the parade route on that fateful day in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963. It’s like legend (the term “grassy knoll” is forever connected with the JFK assassination). My memory is that the TV news reporters immediately after the event were saying some people had spotted suspicious men on a grassy knoll. Some have speculated that the president was killed in a crossfire.
We don’t live in a police state (yet), so maybe it is understandable that the security for the president that day missed out on the fact that a known Soviet sympathizer who had made threats against the president lived in Dallas and worked in a tall building on the presidential parade route. Oswald no doubt knew the president would come by his place of work because a map of the route had been published in the local paper.
And JFK, who was running for re-election, eschewed the bubble on his limousine for an open car, against the advice of his security.
In the United States each and every one of us has a right to have guns (Second Amendment to the Constitution). Oswald bought a mail order rifle and used it to shoot the president.
A man named Jack Ruby had his own handgun and dispensed instant justice; he walked right up and shot Oswald dead as the local cops were taking him on what amounted to a “perp walk” (those displays of prisoners they like to do and journalists either like to or are obligated to cover). They were actually trying to move Oswald out of the police headquarters to another (more secure?) jail facility.