Saturday, September 19, 2009

Common Things Being Common...

There have been several theories over the years as to how and why President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and by whom. His political enemies did it ... the Mob did it ... his political enemies and the Mob together did it ... it was a lone gunman ... the lone gunman had an accomplice. The Warren Commission finally put together an 888-page report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President Kennedy. This report has been challenged over the years, but never successfully, and the conclusion of the report still stands.

When a famous, larger-than-life American President is assassinated on American soil, people presume -- and in fact, expect -- that there is a larger plan behind it. Conspiracy theories abound. A great man must have been cut down by a great scheme. No one commonplace or ordinary could have plotted such a thing. In Oliver Stone's film "JFK", Stone alleged a cover-up, and if he were to believed, half of the population of the United States was in on JFK's assassination.

A physician I once knew said that one of the first rules in diagnosing a patient is to use the maxim, "Common things being common..." In other words, sometimes the solution to a problem is the most simple and obvious. In the case of the assassination of JFK, it would seem that yet another theory was discovered, one that indeed has been covered up, simply because it was -- common. An interesting article in this month's Vanity Fair makes public that theory, and using the principle of "common things being common" it is the theory that I think is the most believable one so far.

In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy commissioned author William Manchester to write the official account of Kennedy's assassination. After years of Manchester's investigations and his final manuscript of the book, Jacqueline Kennedy tried to stop it from being published. The book was entitled "The Death of a President", and after initially being published, the book has all but disappeared. The tapes of Manchester's interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and others, are kept in a sealed vault in the JFK library, not to be opened until 2067. Here is an excerpt from the magazine article:

"Like many young couples, Oswald and Marina were obsessed with the Kennedys. Priscilla Johnson McMillan, in her fascinating 1977 account of the Oslands, Marina and Lee, reports that Marina's schoolgirl crush on the chestnut-haired president -- her mooning over magazine photographs of Kennedy strolling on the beach in his khaki pants, her insisting that Oswald translate for her any articles about the Kennedys -- was becoming a sore point in their already troubled marriage. "He is very attractive," Marina Oswald told her husband. "I can't say what he is as president, but I mean, as a man." She would flip through the pages of every magazine she could lay her hands on asking "Where's Kennedy? Where's Kennedy?" "

William Manchester concluded that JFK's assassination was the result of a lone gunman, a nondescript man by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, and he had no grand motives. As Manchester wrote:

"In the end I concluded that the Warren Commission Report was correct on the two main issues. Oswald was the killer, and he had acted alone. ... Those who desperately want to believe that president Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy have my sympathy. I share their yearning -- if you put the murdered President of the United States on one side of a scale and that wretched waif Oswald on the other side, it doesn't balance. You want to add something weightier to Oswald. It would invest the President's death with meaning, endowing him with martyrdom. He would have died for something."

Jacqueline Kennedy agreed with Manchester's assessment, and therefore tried to stop the book from being published. After all the investigations and reports, and all the conspiracy theories and movies, wouldn't it be ironic if indeed the motive for President Kennedy's assassination were not for a great cause, but for something as common and banal as simple jealousy.

Common things being common...


ivan said...

Well, I gotta etch a sketch or something.
Osame bin Laden had penis envy?

David said...

1. 1.5 hours after he was arrested, Oswald was submitted to gun residue test which conclusively proved he had not fired a rifle that day, yet the authorities announced it proved, falsely, that he had fired a gun that day.
2. No one who has studied the case believes the Warren Report.
3. Bobby never believed it, nor Jackie.
4.Perpetuating the lie, even innocently, does a disservice to JFK and our democracy.

Jo said...

Ivan, Huh?

David, which lie? Does anyone know the truth? The paraffin tests were positive on Oswald's hands, but negative on his cheek. Jackie did not believe the Warren Report, however, William Manchester did an even more extensive investigation, and she believed his report.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Interesting theory, which I hadn't heard before. I guess that I, for one, will never learn the truth because I don't expect to be around in 2067, much as I would like to be.


I think I've read at least 25 books on this topic; probably reviewed 6 hours worth of video that's been made public, and there's way too much evidence that Oswald did not act alone.

If you Google 'sign of the times', you'll find a web-site that's built quite a number of historical findings, that also discuss who and why, a consortium of individuals were part and parcel of the Kennedy killing. If you locate it, just go to the side-bar on the right; you'll find a number of their summaries with very hard facts that Oswald didn't act alone.

My comment would be way too long, if I tried to give you a few examples, and Google can give you enough links that will keep you busy for days, looking at the impossibilities of JFK being killed by just one lone gunman.

Sadly, some of those same entities have been responsible for other atrocities prior to, and subsequent to JFK's murder. Further, they were also involved in his brother's killing as well as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death.

If also type into Google - freedom of information act, as well as CIA and FBI 'buzz words', you'll get actual copies of numerous reports that are on file in the USA, regarding this subject.

I worked for an investigative reporter on this issue years ago; my job was merely to type his manuscripts that he was preparing for supporting text of the truth that Oswald didn't act alone, so I spent nearly 2 years helping him complete his project.

Rather than take up space in your comment section on any of the details, it's better that you spend the time (if you're so inclined) to look deeper into this topic. I'm sure you'll be amazed at what you'll find if you're so inclined to pursue this further.

DUTA said...

Very interesting and well-written post. I totally agree with its contents. All the talk about conpiracy was meant to cover up the incapacity of those who were supposed to protect the president, and shamefully failed to do so.

PhilipH said...

You've put a lot into your post Jo.

At the end of the day the wicked deed was done and nothing can change that. People will continue to come up with theories and make a few bucks as a result. It is the same with many other topics of the past that never cease to interest us.

the walking man said...

What difference does it make why the man was murdered? The changes of the American politic from his death have been set.In the balance of everything going on now how is it relevant to this new day and age of new turmoil. Let the dead rest in peace.

TomCat said...

The Commission blew it. It was Ivan. He did it. ;-)

ivan said...


They told me they could use a man of my calibre.

Whitney Lee said...

You seem to have a particular talent for finding controversial topics. It makes for fascinating reading, regardless of one's opinion. Thank you for keeping it interesting.

DUTA said...

The walking man,

Allow me to tell you that it is relevant.It's not only because of Kennedy1 and Kennedy2. There will always be some nut who wants to assassinate a President or a Prime Minister, so the people who are in charge of the VIP 's security (bodyguards and their superiors) have to be on the alert and do their job properly,not come up afterwards with theories of conspiracy to explain the fact that one man could nurder so easily under their eyes.

Alissa said...

Like many murders, we may never know the whole story. Because this was the president of the United States and because it occurred at a time when the CIA was out of control (yes, more so than now) there is always going to be doubt in people's minds. I'm not sure about Kennedy, but I've always felt government operatives played a part in the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was not killed until he started speaking out against the Vietnam war.

Kennedy's assassination occurred just 20 days after the US had assassinated their own "puppet" president in Vietnam. Naturally, the US people were never supposed to know about the role we played in that assassination. No one counted on the release of the Pentagon Papers. I think for that reason there will always be doubt in the minds of the American people.

Land of shimp said...

I'll be completely honest, I've never known quite what to think about Kennedy's assassination, or the theories behind it.

My inclination, like yours is to follow the old rule of, "When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras." Just a variation on, "Common things being common..."

Yet I've seen and read so many things that seemingly contradict the possibility of Oswald acting alone. Sometimes those things end up contradicting one another.

If it was something like jealousy, well a woman was at the root of Hinkley trying to kill Reagan, also. Only, not really. Madness was truly the main cause.

Do you know what's odd, the very reason the author stated is the reason I've always wanted to believe Oswald acted alone. I don't like to think there was a far-reaching plot behind something that caused so many people so much pain, terror and confusion.

It's easier to believe that one man, guided solely by whatever it was he felt himself to be trying to accomplish did such an awful thing. If it was a conspiracy then there is just something even sadder about all the pain the assassination caused.

I don't think there was a conspiracy though, not really. I think it was sort of the Perfect Storm of unfortunate events lining up to lead to a cataclysm.

I like thinking it is that because really, that would make it an awfully rare thing, whereas power plays are all too common.

Jo said...

Hearts, yes, I wonder in 2067 if people will have as much interest in it as they do now? Possibly not.

Diane, that must have been an extremely interesting project. My gosh! And yes, I think there has been more written about JFK's assassination than almost anything else, and if that many people were indeed involved, someone should have known about it. It's hard to keep a secret of that magnitude. I have not really come to a conclusion, but I still go with the theory, "Common things being common..."

DUTA, "All the talk about conpiracy was meant to cover up the incapacity of those who were supposed to protect the president, and shamefully failed to do so." I think you have hit the nail on the head. That fact was in Manchester's book as well.

Philip, yes, as long as it remains a mystery, people will be interested in it. Perhaps one day it really will be solved, and perhaps not.

Mark, JFK's assassination is history, along with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Archduke of Ferdinand of Austria (which act started World War One), and many other historical events which changed the tide of history. People will always be interested in discussing them, and because they are historical events, they do have relevance.

TomCat, *heh* You may be onto something there. How about it, Ivan?

Whitney, I thrive on controversy. It is what makes conversation interesting. And thank you. :-)

DUTA, yes, what was it the philosopher Santayana said, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." There are certain things we must never forget and never repeat.

Alissa, there will always be doubt in everyone's minds about JFK's assassination. That is what makes it so interesting. And you're right, we may never know the truth.

Alane, you're so right. That was the reason Jacqueline Kennedy wanted to ban the book. As the magazine article states, "Great crimes are often the result of petty, almost banal motives. Jacqueline Kennedy came to a similar conclusion: that her husband had not died for a great cause but for a private, pathetic grievance of which he was totally unaware."

Russell said...

To the Davids of the world (and yes, Jackie DID believe the Warren report....) and all the others who relish the conspiracy theory, you are just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and, oh, did I say wrong?! Heh!!

But it makes for lots of entertainment, doesn't it? Was it the mob? Did J. Edgar Hoover do JFK in? Was it the military?

I am sure some conspiracy nuts, uh, I mean, theorists (heh!!) believe the Cub Scouts of Troop #248 of No Where in Particular, Alabama, were behind it all. Wait. There is a book on THAT theory, too?! Sorry....!!

Oh course it could have been aliens or maybe the Society for Cover Up acting with Skull & Bones in conjunction with the Nutty Professor!

The truth? Oswald killed Kennedy. Period. End of story. Now to the conspiracy folks I suggest this: GET A LIFE!

Jo said...

Russell, "Oh course it could have been aliens or maybe the Society for Cover Up acting with Skull & Bones in conjunction with the Nutty Professor!" *heh* I heard a rumor from someone's cousin, who knew someone who lived down the street from someone who sometimes rode the same bus as that person's brother that it was actually Marilyn Monroe who did it. Hell hath no fury...

Gosh, I better not start that theory -- someone might believe it!

Ruth W. said...

Hi Jo, it has been ages since I have commented but do want to let you know I read it daily.

Your following has increased dramatically and rightly so, it's just that I'm not a very intelligent enough to comment.

You go girl!!!!

Carla said...

Marilyn Monroe. Now that would be an interesting theory. Only problem is...Monroe died in 1962. But then maybe she planned it before she died and Oswald was just carrying out her wishes. :-)

Seriously, Jo, I have no idea why Oswald did it and I think he acted alone. But what the heck do I know? As usual, all of the comments here are so interesting!

ivan said...

Never did like them Cat'lics, even if I are one.

Jo said...

Ruth...!!!! I was just thinking about you today, and here you are!! How are you? Please visit me and comment anytime. You are always welcome here at my boring-little-blog!!!

Carla, I used to think it was more than one person, until I read the article and transcripts of Manchester's book, and then I realized, "common things being common..."

Ivan, *heh*

TomCat said...

DUTA, JFK gave his security detail fits. He simply refused the protection they wanted to provide in order to be closer to the people. At gthe other extreme was GW Bush. He traveled with a porta-potty, because even his poo was classified top secret.

Jo said...

TomCat, how do you KNOW this stuff!!??

lovelyprism said...

Nice job Jo! We'll never know, but it is interesting to discuss. The comments today were almost as fun as the post.

TomCat said...

Jo, that's old news, and my memory is only starting to go. On an average day, I spend two or more hours researching material for my blog and checking facts.