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Wed, March 20

Column | Conspiracy theories remain alive and well

Lee Harvey Oswald with rifle, taken in Oswald’s backyard, on Neely Street in Dallas March 1963.
Photo by Marina Oswald/from report of Warren Commission

Lee Harvey Oswald with rifle, taken in Oswald’s backyard, on Neely Street in Dallas March 1963.

He was of Cuban descent with connections to Italian friends in New York City. Some said he spoke with a hint of a Russian accent and hung around people from the CIA.

He came out of the bushes and climbed down into the sewer. The switch to the flashlight was tight, but with his adrenaline at maximum, he easily turned it on and began walking east under Elm Street. It wasn’t the first time he made this walk, but it would be his last.

The creepiness of being in a sewer was far from his mind, and he kept his steps even and composed. He finally saw the traces of sunlight from the sewer drain into the sewer. He was a pro’s pro, quickly retrieving his weapon and manning his post. He had the signaler and the target spot in view.

The limousine made its way down Elm Street. The signaler gave to the go sign, the target came into view, and he pulled the trigger. He was a part of history now. Or was he?

Many historians, researchers, and yes, conspiracy theorists eagerly waited for 25 years for the release of hundreds of records and files on the John F. Kennedy assassination for 25 years. There was law on the books that by the end of Thursday all the files would be released and the suspicions of a conspiracy regarding the murder of the 35th President of the United States could be put to rest.

Those of us whose mouths water at the thought of getting to the bottom of the most famous unsolved mystery are disappointed to say the least. There are many theories regarding Kennedy’s death, but instead of being silenced as promised 25 years ago they will continue to occupy the conversation.

Donald Trump wrote in an email he had no choice and the release of the records in totality would “allow potentially irreversible harm to our Nation’s security.”

Trump’s partial release does allow for curiosity with some of the subject matter that was released in the more than 2,800 records that the National Archives released Thursday.

The Soviet Union was concerned that certain U.S. generals would blame the U.S.S.R. and try to make plans to retaliate against it. Prior to the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald spent time in Mexico. Our neighbor to the south cooperated with the U.S. by trying to wiretap the Soviet and Cuban embassies, and investigated Oswald’s activities while in Mexico. The CIA was told that Oswald had deposited $5,000 into a Mexican bank, and in March of 1964 Mexico reported it had traced all deposits in Mexican banks, but the transaction of interest was not found.

Other tidbits discovered was a theory Oswald’s mother’s attorney talked about that Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit, allegedly killed by Oswald the same day, was, in fact, Kennedy’s assassin.

Then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was immediately concerned about the possibility the story of Oswald being a lone shooter wouldn’t be believed. He had an agent report to the hospital where Oswald was after being shot by Jack Ruby. Hoover hoped to get a confession before Oswald died, but that didn’t happen. In Hoover’s memo, he was concerned to get “something issued so that we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”

A brighter light has been shown on the Kennedy assassination, but by not releasing everything the government has in its possession means that the different theories still have life to them. And rightly so.

President Kennedy’s assassination took place 54 years ago come Nov. 22. Trump has ordered the rest of the files to be reviewed with a decision to release them or not due in April. He did Tweet late Friday night he wanted release them all and only withhold those with names and addresses of people still alive. It’s not clear when that will be.

If they don’t release them, there leaves at least one pressing question.

Have you considered the sewer-drain shooter theory?


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