JFK assassination: was any consensus ever reached as to who actually did it and why?

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Has the "unhinged lone killer" at least been completely debunked by now?

Gra C. Nole, Thursday, 7 October 2004 11:49 (fifteen years ago) link

the documentary on the BBC last year was criticised for being quite one-sided in it's belief that LHO acted alone, but it was very convincing nonetheless.

Freelance Hiveminder (blueski), Thursday, 7 October 2004 11:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Geir did it.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Thursday, 7 October 2004 11:52 (fifteen years ago) link

the rand corporation, in association with the reverse vampires.

lukey (Lukey G), Thursday, 7 October 2004 11:52 (fifteen years ago) link

Lee Harvey Hongro

Velveteen Bingo (Chris V), Thursday, 7 October 2004 13:26 (fifteen years ago) link

one of my old school classics.

http://webpages.charter.net/cmvenuti/images/rubyshot.jpg

Velveteen Bingo (Chris V), Thursday, 7 October 2004 13:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Rebecca Loos did it in revenge for his failure to support the bay of wanking pigs proposals.

Dave B (daveb), Thursday, 7 October 2004 13:28 (fifteen years ago) link

there's no solid evidence to believe anyone other than oswald killed jfk. BUT...oswald's exact motivations are unclear. he was up to some funny things in the months before the assassination (making scenes in New Orleans and trying to "infiltrate" and befriend anti-castro groups, even though he was a self-proclaimed marxist).

my guess is that in his warped and desperate mind he thought he would impress the cubans and soviets by killing kennedy, whose administration was ordering attempts on castro's life. he had unsuccessfully attempted a month earlier in mexico city to get a visa to cuba, and even allegedly offered a representative (at the soviet embassy if i remember correctly) to kill kennedy.

there are several other strands of evidence and counter-evidence though, and it gets really murky and complicated. depending oon who you believe oswald may have even been manipulated by both pro-castro and castro agents for various reasons, which may or may not have been related to the assassination. who knows?

but the evidence suggests oswald mostly likely killed kennedy, whatever his motivations.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 7 October 2004 13:50 (fifteen years ago) link

The Zapruder film, despite what you saw in JFK, proves that Kennedy was shot from the back, not the front.

Gold Teeth II (kenan), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Funny how the consensus that Oswald did it, and acted alone, is far more prevalent following the Stone film's crazed assertions. Great work, Ollie!

briania (briania), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:25 (fifteen years ago) link

There are other considerations, like the magic bullet, etc. But there's not much down, except from loonies, that Oswald delivered the famous kill shot.

Gold Teeth II (kenan), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:27 (fifteen years ago) link

down=doubt

Gold Teeth II (kenan), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:28 (fifteen years ago) link

"KENNEDY SLAIN BY CIA, MAFIA, CASTRO, LBJ, TEAMSTERS, FREEMASONS,"
"President Shot 129 Times From 43 Different Angles."

From the Onion

Michael White (Hereward), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Lyndon Johnson did it, but not alone. Lady Bird helped. She was on the grassy knoll.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:31 (fifteen years ago) link

READ LIBRA PEOPLE!

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:32 (fifteen years ago) link

HOLY SHIT, THEY KILLED JOHN F. KERRY!?!?!!!!???

nickalicious (nickalicious), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:32 (fifteen years ago) link

I like American Tabloid more than Libra actually.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Not that either makes a compelling case for anything except wild imagination.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Elroy wrote AT as a tribute to Libra, which he considers one of the greatest books ever written. I love both, but the way Delillo writes as Oswald and Oswald's mother is captivating.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Yesterday I saw a news report on the tube that Dallas might be opening up the garage where Ruby shot Oswald to tourists. They refered to Oswald as the "alleged" killer of JFK. Which I found odd.

Huk-L, Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Who would sue them for slander?

Michael White (Hereward), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:43 (fifteen years ago) link

The people at the Lee Harvey Oswald: JFK's Killer resort and casino would!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:44 (fifteen years ago) link

And didn't the Warren Commission, disputed though it is, find Oswald solely responsible? You call someone "alleged" this before a verdict, but once the (guilty) verdict is reached, fair game!

Huk-L, Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:47 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm pretty sure the Warren Commision's report doesn't have the same legal standing as a jury verdict.

Michael White (Hereward), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:51 (fifteen years ago) link

read this piece on slate today -- at the end jfk comes up.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Thursday, 7 October 2004 17:25 (fifteen years ago) link

The Cuban mob was sick of RFK's meddling. They talked to Fidel, who spoke to Raul, and Raul "took care of it." JFK was killed because of his BROTHER'S meddling. Common knowledge.

andy, Thursday, 7 October 2004 20:02 (fifteen years ago) link

not the cuban mob; the CHICAGO mob in cuba, who wanted their casinos back. they hated rfk for moving the justice department against them, but rfk had little influence on cuban policy.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Thursday, 7 October 2004 20:08 (fifteen years ago) link

According to the book about the NSA I'm reading right now, the intercepts of Castro and the Cuban government's communications at the time showed them to be dumbfounded and a little terrified at JFK's death. They felt they could only get worse. Apparently, they believed it had to be a right-wing U.S. military hit.

Michael White (Hereward), Thursday, 7 October 2004 20:25 (fifteen years ago) link

the chicago mob wanted their casinos in cuba back, cuban refugees in florida wanted cuba back, Pepsi wanted cuba back for cheap sugar, everyone wanted cuba back. Then JFK bailed on the Bay of Pigs at the last minute. Nixon worked for Pepsi and was in Dallas that day.

http://www.prouty.org/nixon.html

George Bush Sr. was working for the CIA at the time, dealing with cubans, but that's another story.

I love me some conspiracy theories.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Thursday, 7 October 2004 21:22 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.sumeria.net/politics/kennedy.html

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Thursday, 7 October 2004 21:33 (fifteen years ago) link

HOLY SHIT

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Friday, 8 October 2004 20:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I am reading 'Body of Secrets' this week.

Michael White (Hereward), Friday, 8 October 2004 20:43 (fifteen years ago) link

hmm maybe the premse behind delillo's "libra" wasn't too far off...

latebloomer (latebloomer), Saturday, 9 October 2004 03:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Gareth the KILLER

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Saturday, 9 October 2004 15:04 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Historical side note, the last person alive who was in the limo just died.


Former Texas first lady Connally dies

By Kelley Shannon, Associated Press Writer
September 2, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas -- Nellie Connally, the former Texas first lady who was riding in President Kennedy's limousine when he was assassinated, has died, a family friend said Saturday. The 87-year-old was the last living person who had been part of that fateful Dallas drive.

Connally, the widow of former Gov. John Connally, died late Friday of natural causes at an Austin assisted living center, said Julian Read, who served as the governor's press secretary in the 1960s.

As the limousine carrying the Connallys and the Kennedys wound its way through the friendly crowd in downtown Dallas, Nellie Connally turned to President Kennedy, who was in a seat behind her, and said, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you."

Almost immediately, she heard the first of what she later concluded were three gunshots in quick succession. A wounded John Connally slumped after the second shot, and, "I never looked back again. I was just trying to take care of him," she said.

She later said the most enduring image of that day was the bloodstained roses.

"It's the image of yellow roses and red roses and blood all over the car ... all over us," she said in a 2003 interview with The Associated Press. "I'll never forget it. ... It was so quick and so short, so potent."

Read said Connally had been sitting at her desk writing thank-you notes when she died.

"She has been extremely active and vital the past few days and weeks," he said. "It's a shock to all of us."

In 2003, she published a photo-filled book -- "From Love Field: Our Final Hours with President John F. Kennedy" -- based on 22 pages of handwritten notes she compiled about a week after the assassination and rediscovered in 1996.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Connally "the epitome of graciousness."

"Long before she was propelled into the national spotlight from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, she was a Texas icon," Perry said in a statement.

Connally, formerly Nellie Brill, met her husband at the University of Texas in Austin, and they married on Dec. 21, 1940.

John Connally managed several political campaigns for fellow Texan Lyndon B. Johnson, including his 1964 presidential campaign. Connally was elected Texas governor as a Democrat in 1962 and won re-election twice, serving three two-year terms.

He was treasury secretary in the Nixon administration and ran for president as a Republican in 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected. John Connally died in 1993.

Nellie Connally helped raise money for many charities. In 1989, Richard Nixon, Barbara Walters and Donald Trump turned out for a gala to honor her and raise money for diabetes research.

"I've never known a woman with Nellie's courage, compassion and character," Walters said. "For all her ups and downs, I've never heard a self-pitying word from her."

John and Nellie Connally suffered financial difficulties after he left office. Private business ventures after 1980 were less successful than John Connally's career as a politician and dealmaking Houston lawyer. An oil company in which he invested got into trouble, and $200 million worth of real estate projects went sour, and he ended up filing for bankruptcy.

Nellie Connally served on the Board of Visitors of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center since 1984, and a fund in her name raised millions for research and patient programs. The Houston hospital's center for breast cancer also is named for Connally, a survivor of the disease for more than 15 years.

About a year ago, Connally moved back to Austin after decades in Houston.

Survivors include her daughter, Sharon Connally Ammann, two sons, John B. Connally III and Mark Connally, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are pending. She is to be buried near her late husband in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 20:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Gear did it.

cousin larry bundgee (bundgee), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 20:36 (fourteen years ago) link

it was the second gator

latebloomer (latebloomer), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 21:14 (fourteen years ago) link

There are other considerations, like the magic bullet, etc. But there's not much doubt, except from loonies, that Oswald delivered the famous kill shot.

There was a documentary, maybe a couple of years ago, that pretty convincingly dealt with every doubt/conspiracy theory including the 'magic bullet' one. IIRC it was to do with the fact that the seats at the back were higher than the seats at the front, and that the front of the car was more narrow at the front. Or something. Anyway, by the end of the documentary I was completely won over to the Oswald-acting-along side.

Teh littlest HoBBo (the pirate king), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 21:18 (fourteen years ago) link

along = alone

Teh littlest HoBBo (the pirate king), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 21:29 (fourteen years ago) link

ha freudian slip

latebloomer (latebloomer), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 21:59 (fourteen years ago) link

It seems like some recognize only two possibilities for this event:

1. Oswald did it and he was a lone gunman, without any assistance whatsoever.

2. Oswald was a patsy and INSERT CONSPIRACY HERE did it.

Why not

3. Oswald was solely responsible for physically shooting Kennedy, but he was aided/abetted/instructed in doing so by party or parties unknown.


Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 22:34 (fourteen years ago) link

Kennedy was clearly killed by the missing plane that never struck the Pentagon.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 22:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Oswald was solely responsible for physically shooting Kennedy, but he was aided/abetted/instructed in doing so by party or parties unknown.

I've always thought that this was the most likely explanation.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 22:54 (fourteen years ago) link

i figure it was the mob using oswald

disappointing goth fest line-up (orion), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 23:08 (fourteen years ago) link

i figure it was the mob using oswald

That's kinda what I believe too. With the CIA & FBI knowing all about it, but looking the other way.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 23:22 (fourteen years ago) link

3. Oswald was solely responsible for physically shooting Kennedy, but he was aided/abetted/instructed in doing so by party or parties unknown.

wasn't like 30 minutes of Stone's JFK spent on this?

oops (Oops), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 23:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, but since he thought the killing was ordered by rabid anti-communists...or giant alien space bats, or something equally likely...

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Thursday, 14 September 2006 02:29 (fourteen years ago) link

i figure it was the mob using oswald

This documentary (that I mentioned earlier) looked into that as well, and the gist of it was that there had been so many supergrasses over the past 40 years that it was unthinkable that if the mob had been involved the truth wouldn't have come out by now.

Teh littlest HoBBo (the pirate king), Thursday, 14 September 2006 08:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Kennedy had spiked the White House programme looking into amusing ways to kill Castro and on 22 November 1963 was in the middle of arranging secret talks with Cuba to assure a peaceful co-existence. He was more worried about the exiles in Florida than the communists in the Caribbean.

Hello Sunshine (Hello Sunshine), Thursday, 14 September 2006 08:40 (fourteen years ago) link

(Actually, wait--he concluded Oswald did it, but I can't remember if he extended that to acting alone.)

clemenza, Friday, 1 May 2020 10:24 (four months ago) link

Can't find the video of the guy who spent a decade constucting a 3d map of the scene in order to prove it was a conspiracy / grassy knoll, etc., but instead it showed that it really was Oswald.

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 1 May 2020 10:31 (four months ago) link

now that aliens are making themselves known i feel we're only a short span from discovering everything

mark s, Friday, 1 May 2020 11:01 (four months ago) link

jfk: "for the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace"
aliens: "omg drag his ass"

mark s, Friday, 1 May 2020 11:02 (four months ago) link

I always get a reminder from various talk of JFK on here that I must read Harlot's Ghost (even when it isn't mentioned).

xyzzzz__, Friday, 1 May 2020 11:12 (four months ago) link

oh you must!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 1 May 2020 11:12 (four months ago) link

my belief _isn't_ based on the evidence, not really, it's more of a, uh, epistemological? (if i'm using the word correctly) argument about the nature of conspiracy, the limits of human knowledge, our capacity to perceive scope.

honestly the keystone to my theory is the errol morris film about the umbrella man. i didn't know about the umbrella man before that film. nobody ever seemed to mention it. here is a man standing right by where kennedy was shot holding an open umbrella, on a perfectly sunny day. surely he had to be involved somehow, right?

except that no, he wasn't, and everybody agrees that he wasn't, at least ever since he testified before congress and came up with a rationale for his behaviour that was so bizarre, illogical, and implausible that everybody immediately accepted that it had to be true, because who would make up shit like that?

so my theory on the assassination is a sort of extrapolation from that. there are lots of curious "coincidences" and unexplained events, and the deeper you look into the assassination the more of these you find. my belief is that if you look deeply enough into _anything_ you will find the same sort of deep weirdness and implausibility, because the world just doesn't make as much sense as we assume it does, people just don't make as much sense as we assume they do. people do weird or stupid things all the time for inscrutable reasons or for no reason at all. most of what people did in dallas on that day, and in the months prior, had nothing to do with what happened in dealey plaza on november 22, 1963, but conspiracy theorists, because of their particular interest, will assume the opposite.

i recognize that's not an airtight argument against conspiracy. my argument against conspiracy is the statistical one, based on the old saw that "three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead". i forget who, i don't have a cite, but somebody did a meta-analysis of conspiracies that have leaked, and how long it took them to leak, and how many people were involved, and i found their reasoning convincing, and i find it accordingly extremely unlikely that more than, let's say, six people, inclusive of oswald, knew about the plot to assassinate kennedy.

most of the kennedy conspiracy theories i know assume the involvement of more than six people. because, what interests me more about whether conspiracy theories are true is _why_ people believe them, _why_ people propagate them. conspiracy theories, it seems to me, fill a deep psychological need in the people who believe them. in the kennedy case, it strikes me as a belief in the fundamentally orderly, rational, and predictable nature of the world. presidents are important, more important than us everyday people. particularly kennedy, who even while he was alive had a mythos built around him, and everything that's been said about him since, even the "humanizing" stuff like the addison's and whatever, only adds to that mythos, only makes him less ordinary. he was a hero (or i guess a villain, to some people), and a hero's life, a hero's death, should have meaning. that someone as Great as that should be killed by some random deranged person with a sketchy history and no comprehensible motive devastates some unspoken belief at the heart of our world. better to believe it was LBJ, the CIA, all the people who had _motive_, because _motive_ is what determines what has happened, right? motive matters, right?

not really. when something has happened, all that matters is that it happened. why it happened, who benefits, these questions are all basically irrelevant in the face of evidence.

and so people pick at the evidence, people look at what they say happened and talk about how "unlikely" it is, and yes, it is unlikely, but the secret is unlikely and improbable things happen all the time. you can't argue against physical evidence by pointing out how unlikely it is. it might be in fact infinitely improbable and maybe somewhere on the other side of the world there's a sperm whale and a pot of petunias thinking "oh no, not again", but it's like the monty hall problem, whatever has happened has a probability of 1. you can't say there was another shooter by saying how unlikely the trajectory of the bullet was, there are a lot of bullet trajectories that would be difficult to replicate and oswald wasn't trying to make a replicable shot in the first place. the only way you can prove a second shooter is with positive evidence, and the positive evidence for a conspiracy is weaker than the positive evidence for bigfoot. it's all supposition and motive and weird coincidence.

ok, i've gone off as a substitute for going off about what's really on my mind, really burdening me, and now i'm going to duck out of this thread because i know what happens when you say this stuff, a swarm of theorists will be there with their non sequiturs and whatabouts and nobody, myself included, cares enough to stand up to that barrage, and that's why everybody believes there was a conspiracy to kill jfk. and also why a lot of other things have happened, continue to happen, which are, i suppose, outside the scope of this discussion.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 1 May 2020 15:15 (four months ago) link

before i go... you know what fascinates me about the kennedy assassination? the conspiracy theories people _don't_ believe. the conspiracy theory is pretty strictly bounded in certain respects. nobody, for instance, believes that kennedy was assassinated because he was catholic. it just literally never crosses anybody's mind that this could have been a motive. of course there's no evidence for it, but there's no evidence for most of people's conspiracy theories about the assassination. as far as i can tell nobody dares to suggest the theory because we've decided, collectively, to completely erase america's history of anti-catholic prejudice.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 1 May 2020 15:39 (four months ago) link

Er, I think Oswald getting shot live on televison two days after the assassination might have helped fuel a few conspracy theories.

The Corbynite Maneuver (Tom D.), Friday, 1 May 2020 16:33 (four months ago) link

nobody, for instance, believes that kennedy was assassinated because he was catholic

You never met my dad.

The Corbynite Maneuver (Tom D.), Friday, 1 May 2020 16:34 (four months ago) link

everyone is always erasing the anti-catholic bias in anglo-countries. proddy bastards!

I also believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and acted alone.

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Friday, 1 May 2020 16:58 (four months ago) link

i feel like i'm the last person on earth who genuinely believes that it was lee harvey oswald, acting alone.

I'd describe my thinking as the preponderance of evidence supports the idea that Oswald fired the shot and had no direct co-conspirators, but there are so many intricacies surrounding the event that cannot be easily disposed of that 'preponderance' is as near as I can get to a conclusion.

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 1 May 2020 17:40 (four months ago) link

many xposts I havent read Harlot’s Ghost yet either, feels like a good time to give it a whirl maybe

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 1 May 2020 17:41 (four months ago) link

the stylistic template of all conspiracy theory thinking is antisemitism and there's nothing cute or fun to me about conspiracy theories. Some guy shot the president.

silby, Friday, 1 May 2020 17:43 (four months ago) link

xxposts to rushomancy

it’s totally fine not to buy into the conspiracy! I am sure you’ll get no heavy blowback itt. Besides it’s a great post, it’s always good to get some “cross-breeze” opinions

i think the assasination a hard thing to be a true believer about anyway because it’s such an “if this then that” precarious tower of coincidences — if you’re 100% sure it was a conspiracy then maybe you’re a bit nuts lol

speaking for myself, i dunno that i really hang my hat on conspiracy, but i feel like the lone gunman has an element of “you will eat the conventional wisdom and you will like it” which def gives me pause. This is one of the few happenstances where I really enjoy the not-knowing. I am not usually like that.

i think i just perversely enjoy the shadowy world of people on the periphery, the weird fragments of facts that turn to air when you examine them. it feels very Chandler yknow? like, it all FEELS so foreboding but all of it could just as easily be a barrel of red herrings

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 1 May 2020 18:05 (four months ago) link

speaking for myself, i dunno that i really hang my hat on conspiracy, but i feel like the lone gunman has an element of “you will eat the conventional wisdom and you will like it” which def gives me pause. This is one of the few happenstances where I really enjoy the not-knowing. I am not usually like that.

― terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl)

ha, that's the other thing i didn't get into! looking into it, i do legit believe that purpose of the warren commission was a whitewash. i don't believe lyndon johnson was nearly as interested in finding out what "really happened" as he was in keeping people from freaking out about, you know, the fact that the president had just fucking been shot and killed, like, what, a year after the goddamn cuban missile crisis? people were freaking out back then almost as much as we are now, and johnson's chief interest as president would probably be to control that so he could get on with passing the civil rights act of 1964.

(i also note that caro has said that he has found no evidence that lbj was involved in any conspiracy. yeah, he knew, absolutely knew, that the only way he would be president would be if jfk were somehow to die, he did not get along personally at all with jfk and particularly with bobby, was frustrated at being sidelined in the administration, was uncommonly driven towards power, would do pretty much anything to be president. caro establishes all of those things. except that he didn't do it, and coming from caro, who has made johnson his life's work, who has documented in exhausting detail all the nasty things lbj _did_ do in the pursuit of power, well, i find that really persuasive.)

so yeah, when people look at the warren commission report and say "come on, look at all the leads they ignored or declined to follow up on, they obviously weren't really trying to do a good-faith investigation" - i agree! but that doesn't mean that the commission's conclusion was factually incorrect.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 1 May 2020 18:16 (four months ago) link

"very Chandler" bingo!

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 1 May 2020 18:16 (four months ago) link

i feel like i'm the last person on earth who genuinely believes that it was lee harvey oswald, acting alone.
No, I'm right there with you. I think the reason so many people dismiss that is because they can't believe such an insignificant loser like Oswald could take out the leader of the free world on his own. But he had the means and motivation, security was lax back then and he was a good shot. It's as simple as that.

TO BE A JAZZ SINGER YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SCAT (Jazzbo), Friday, 1 May 2020 18:16 (four months ago) link

the stylistic template of all conspiracy theory thinking is antisemitism and there's nothing cute or fun to me about conspiracy theories. Some guy shot the president.

― silby

agreed in principle. to me, i see the deepest historical roots of conspiracy thinking in the roman republic, in things like the catiline conspiracy (a conspiracy that may or may not have ever existed), of caesar's infamous statement that his wife must be "above suspicion" (in this case cruel and absurd, particularly because in other cases suspicion, proven or no, is grounds for action; his reasoning here was perverse and malicious). above all, the roots of conspiracy, for me, are in cicero's frequent invocation of cassius' maxim, "who benefits?" he used this maxim to ensure perverse outcomes, make a mockery of supposed "reasonable" jurisprudence, by appealing to shadowy conspiracies rather than evidence.

probably conspiratorial thinking predates the roman republic as well, and it is just particularly well-documented through the primary sources of the era. certainly in this day and age conspiracy theories are difficult to separate from anti-semitism, racism, prejudice and ethnic/racial hatred, and if they persist it is because of, well, the continuation of actual conspiracies. jeffrey epstein, the catholic church's organized coverup of child sexual abuse, watergate, as far as i can tell everything the president has ever done in his fucking life. these certain and unusual cases where it is justified to question the _credibility_ of the claimant.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 1 May 2020 18:25 (four months ago) link

i like errol morris's umbrella man film, it's really well-done and thought-provoking, if i were a teacher i'd probably show it to every class no matter what the subject was, but i also kind of think that he did viewers a disservice by not revealing that josiah thompson -- the professor in the film who amiably and amusingly explains why the "umbrella man" theory is bunk -- does not believe that oswald acted alone.

i think it was probably a conspiracy because ruby shot oswald (which required him to be there at exactly the right time and have his gun pulled at the exact moment necessary to commit a murder in front of dozens of police officers, which doesn't really jibe for me with ruby's claim that he just kinda happened to be there and just spontaneously got mad at oswald and just had to shoot him right then and there). combine this with oswald insisting that he was a "patsy" and that he didn't shoot anybody (inexplicable if you assume that he was either someone who wanted attention or someone who did it to bring attention to a political cause) and it all looks, well, suspicious!

i think this is why ppl believed in a conspiracy in 1963, and i think we still think that because the basic problems with the case were never resolved to everybody's satisfaction. i have never believed the "we just can't accept that a random nobody could kill the president" thing was true. (for one thing, lincoln's assassination was a conspiracy that involved a lot of ppl, yet almost everyone thinks of john wilkes booth and nobody else.) i also think that plenty of conspiracies either never come to light or, if they do, are largely ignored -- there is strong evidence for the "october surprise" theory that reagan made a secret deal with iran to win the 1980 election, but it doesn't get much attention these days.

oh fwiw i do not think that lbj was involved in any conspiracy. otoh i find it interesting that he told a bunch of ppl that he thought that oswald hadn't acted alone! apparently rfk felt the same way.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 1 May 2020 20:16 (four months ago) link

i like errol morris's umbrella man film, it's really well-done and thought-provoking, if i were a teacher i'd probably show it to every class no matter what the subject was, but i also kind of think that he did viewers a disservice by not revealing that josiah thompson -- the professor in the film who amiably and amusingly explains why the "umbrella man" theory is bunk -- does not believe that oswald acted alone.

― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.)

i agree with morris on this one! the basic issue, again, is one of scope. which is why i think caro is right to not dismiss out of hand the idea that there was a conspiracy, because the nature of the conspiracies is so broad and so diverse that dismissing all of them requires a sort of analogue to "strong" atheism. the conspiracy, at this point, is a sort of secular religion, and like religion shares the fallacy in that all the believers read this byzantine, arcane text, and they all come to different conclusions, yet all of them think they believe the same things, share the same bond.

what are the articles of faith, what is the creed of the kennedy conspiracy? it is not, simply, a negative creed, it is not just "john f. kennedy was not killed by lee harvey oswald acting alone". there is, universally, a They in this creed.

1. They killed John F. Kennedy, because he was dangerous to Them.
2. They covered it up, because the success of Their plan required that the truth never be known.
3. Those who deny the Conspiracy are either unwitting dupes or active agents of Their secret plan. Those who deny the Conspiracy are not to be trusted. Either they are maliciously upholding the values of the Conspiracy, or they are too gullible and/or unreasonable to be trusted.
4. The fight against the Conspiracy requires that one spread the truth about it, for the truth shall set you free.

What _isn't_ part of the conspiracy proper is who They are and what They wanted. I guess most often the theory is something something Vietnam, and that's a whole other false consensus there. Everybody agrees that Vietnam was bad, some people because it was a war of aggression that we had no business fighting in the first place, some people because namby-pamby liberals undermined the heroic efforts of Our Brave Troops. Honestly? I think these days it's probably more the latter, that the real issue people these days have with Vietnam is that we lost, and so we have our own homegrown Dolchstosslegende.

But I guess now we're getting back to what silby was saying...

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 1 May 2020 22:00 (four months ago) link

yeah They is overtly or subtly always one group

silby, Friday, 1 May 2020 22:06 (four months ago) link

I think that jfk is the one conspiracy area I haven't ever heard "the jews" implicated in.

usual suspects = mafia, cia, cuban exiles, communists of some variety

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Friday, 1 May 2020 22:12 (four months ago) link

I mean I'm sure I can google and find plenty

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Friday, 1 May 2020 22:12 (four months ago) link

xxpost: i don't really disagree w/ you but at the same time i don't feel that i'm subscribing to any creed by not fully accepting the conclusions of the warren commission. (which, remember, was not the last word! the HSCA in the late 1970s concluded that there had been a conspiracy but could not officially agree on a culprit. robert blakey, who was in charge of the committee, has since said that he thinks it was the mafia.) i don't think of the killers as being "they," just as specific ppl who did it and somehow got away with it. and i don't think that the same ppl who committed the crime necessarily covered it up -- as you noted LBJ had good reason to want the whole thing to be over and done with as fast as possible.

i try to avoid thinking too much about "why" in this matter because we don't know, beyond doubt, who did it. (tbh even if oswald was the lone killer, we don't know why, cuz he never said.) but certainly jfk, like any president, had a lot of enemies. (at least one of whom, allen dulles, was on the warren commission.)

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 1 May 2020 22:18 (four months ago) link

my accepting the conclusions of the warren commission isn't meant as an endorsement of the warren commission. i just haven't heard any theory that has _more_ evidence for it than "lee harvey oswald, acting alone" does. all of them seem to rely, in some manner or another, on all of the conspirators of being hyper-competent and professional, golgo-13 on the grassy knoll, and i just am not persuaded. where are the overenthusiastic idiots? where are the botched coverups? well, all the idiots seem to be the ones haplessly trying to foist the lone gunman theory on the public, and this, more than anything else, is why i accept the theory. i don't _never_ attribute to malice alone what can be explained by incompetence because fucking _everything_ can be explained by incompetence... i just tend to find incompetence, in most cases, to be a more compelling explanation. if somebody could make a plausible case for an _incompetently_ malicious conspiracy i would be more likely to accept it.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 1 May 2020 22:33 (four months ago) link

it is hard to make the case w/o getting into the weeds, and tbh it's been a few years and my grasp of this subject is not as embarrassingly strong as it was in, like, 2015. but a couple of the books i recommended earlier do make a strong case for conspiracy. i prob would not have ever been persuaded that there was anything to it if i had not bothered to dig into the details.

imo if there was a conspiracy it was not particularly competent, given that most of the public doesn't buy the official account!

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 1 May 2020 22:47 (four months ago) link

so, if their competence was mediocre enough to have been seen through, one presumes they would stand out among the half dozen suspected entities as the true culprits. So, who are They?

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 1 May 2020 22:50 (four months ago) link

i think the biggest wrinkle in the conspiracy theory, and an argument for lone gunmen is the paternalism that the government & agencies had at that time about unnecessarily scaring or upsetting The Public

get a quick, clean decidion that looks official on paper so that people can go on with their lives& not be unsettled by any kind of ugly truth

it really fucked everything up from start to finish: the more they tried to hide facts or cut corners the more it looked suspicious, because they completely underrated the public’s desire to know, even then.

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 1 May 2020 23:12 (four months ago) link

they thought the public shouldn’t know. it’s not their job.

RONG lol

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 1 May 2020 23:13 (four months ago) link

i kinda glibly summarized allthat though, i think there’s way more to it

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 1 May 2020 23:14 (four months ago) link

i look at it in the context of, you know, everybody freaked out when FEMA bought a bunch of coffins and before you knew it we had a bunch of stupid fucking rumors about "FEMA death camps", because what could FEMA possibly need that many coffins for?

raise your hand anybody who still doesn't have any idea what FEMA could possibly have needed all those coffins for

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 1 May 2020 23:20 (four months ago) link

Warren (to other Commission members): So, it's agreed then, gentlemen. We will carefully explain why, despite the many assassination attempts by the CIA ordered by JFK against Castro, we have ruled out Cuban involvement. Also, despite JFK sharing a mistress with Sam Giancana, RFK's vendetta against the mafia, the CIA's backdoor mafia connections, and CIA anger over the Bay of Pigs, we see no reason to think the mafia or CIA were involved either. It all goes into the report, because this was our remit, gentlemen, and the public deserves to know we aired all the dirty laundry before coming to a conclusion.

Other Commission members: u mad?

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 1 May 2020 23:25 (four months ago) link

reading about the sex pest president JFK this morning pic.twitter.com/sFDKDl6qJ5

— roland barfs (@rolandbarfs) May 2, 2020

It's like a horror film where you're punished for having sex

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 2 May 2020 10:27 (four months ago) link

damn

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 2 May 2020 16:17 (four months ago) link

can you imagine if Oliver Stone had known about any of that when he was making JFK

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Saturday, 2 May 2020 16:21 (four months ago) link

Assumed this thread was revived for the revelation that Sir Alex Ferguson is obsessed with JFK’s assassination.

Dan Worsley, Saturday, 2 May 2020 16:33 (four months ago) link

Hitchens reviewing several bios:

What several of these books combine to show—sometimes but not always unintentionally—is that the three years of the JFK regime were consumed by extraordinary hyperactivity on two fronts, and by extraordinary torpidity on two others. The hyperactivity consisted of continuous and stressful “crisis management,” often necessitated by self-induced crises, and reflected a picture of narcotic and sexual debauchery within the White House that still has the power to make one whistle. The torpor concerned two “macro” subjects—the pursuit of a nuclear test-ban treaty and the adoption by the administration and Congress of a serious position on civil rights—that really were both urgent and overdue.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 2 May 2020 16:42 (four months ago) link

But at least Joe Kennedy, Sr. lived to see a son in the White House. It was like the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the super-rich.

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 2 May 2020 17:51 (four months ago) link

Was RFK at all dogged by the vices and hungers that characterised JFK's time in the WEhite House?

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Tuesday, 5 May 2020 08:56 (four months ago) link

He couldn't keep it in his pants either afaik.

Angry Question Time Man's Flute Club Band (Tom D.), Tuesday, 5 May 2020 09:07 (four months ago) link

dogged eh

kim rong un (darraghmac), Tuesday, 5 May 2020 09:15 (four months ago) link

they're filthy animals

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Tuesday, 5 May 2020 09:30 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...

🤔🚀🤯🛸
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ObvK4NR_LI

Bstep, Monday, 1 June 2020 06:44 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

this got me crying. 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/fsxVQ2txI6

— 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐩𝐮𝐬𝐬𝐲 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧. (@arisaidthat) September 12, 2020

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 12 September 2020 18:29 (two weeks ago) link

i feel very old

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 September 2020 19:34 (two weeks ago) link

Leon Czolgosz shot President McKinley 53 years before I was born and when I finally learned about it in grade school it felt like an impossibly remote event of ancient history. It's been 57 years since Oswald shot President Kennedy. I'm sure that Kids These Days feel the same as I did then. btw, I was 9 when Kennedy was killed, so it is a real memory for me, not something that feels utterly remote and irrelevant.

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Saturday, 12 September 2020 19:58 (two weeks ago) link

i have it on good authority that Gene Rayburn was seen running away from the depository looking distraught and nobody ever questioned him

Neanderthal, Saturday, 12 September 2020 21:32 (two weeks ago) link

Does Sada Baby get paid from all the tiktok plays?

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Saturday, 12 September 2020 21:35 (two weeks ago) link

Apparently TikTok does pay a tiny amount (less than Spotify!) now, but it's basically "exposure"

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 14 September 2020 20:08 (one week ago) link


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