David Blackburst Archive:Subject: How It Looked on 11/22/63
How It Looked on 11/22/63
From: email@example.com (Blackburst)
Date: 7/4/02 9:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Some posters have recently taken "the government" to task for their actions in the aftermath of the assassination. To younger people who didn't live through it, it probably seems like the investigators' actions were incompetent, even sinister. But whether or not we NOW think there is evidence which may indicate a conspiracy, let's not forget how it LOOKED to the investigators in 1963.
Remember that the actual initial investigation was conducted by the Dallas police; they, in turn informed the FBI and Secret Service, who, in turn, informed the White House.
While there were conflicting accounts of the shooting, a number of people said there were 3 shots; several people said they saw a gun in a window of the TSBD; investigators in that building found what appeared to be a shield of cartons; behind those cartons they found two boxes that appeared to be set up as a shooter's perch; nearby, they found 3 spent shells; further investigation revealed a rifle on the same floor. It must have LOOKED like someone fired 3 shots from that window.
In some fashion, a description of a possible shooter went out over the police radio; Across town, a policeman is killed. A store clerk sees a man avoid police and duck into a theater, and notifies police. When they approach him, the man allegedy assaults an officer. The man is carrying a gun and IDs in two names. They get him downtown, and discover that he is employee of the TSBD (and they soon find that he left the building very soon after the shooting, went to his room and got a gun.) It must have LOOKED like he had something to do with both crimes.
They ask his wife if the man (Oswald) owned a rifle. She says yes, but the rifle is not where she expects it to be. Oswald's ride says he brought a package with him to work that morning. Oswald denies owning a rifle, but police soon discover photos of him holding what appears to be that rifle. The FBI locates an order form for such a rifle, ordered in the false name found in Oswald's wallet, and shipped to Oswald's PO box. It must have LOOKED like Oswald owned the rifle found in the TSBD.
The FBI already has information on Oswald. They know he apparently defected to the USSR and returned with a Russian wife; they know he has been in mail contact with the Soviet Embassy and various left-wing groups; they know he drew attention to himself with Fair Play for Cuba activities in New Orleans. They know he recently made a trip to Mexico City. They know that 10 days previously, Oswald had left a note at the FBI office. It must have LOOKED like Oswald saw himself as a Marxist revolutionary.
Perhaps they were just distancing themselves from bad publicity, but a number of people indicated that Oswald had an unpredictable personality and kept to himself. It must have LOOKED like he was a bit of a loner and a bit of a nut.
In retrospect, some people have speculated that some or all of the foregoing is untrue. There are really two choices: Either somebody went to a lot of trouble to make it look like Oswald was the lone assassin, or Oswald himself did.
It must have been a super-charged time for those investigating these events. At that early stage, there was probably no single person who had the "whole picture"; And certainly, we know a lot more about these events now than they must have in the first few hours and days. It probably LOOKED like Oswald had committed the crime, and done it himself.
(It IS fair to state that the FBI and CIA wanted it both ways: They wanted Oswald to be the lone assassin; but if he wasn't alone, he was inspired in some way by the Soviets or the Cubans.)
The initial investigators had not yet gone through a "learning curve" about the assassination. They got what was given to them, and made assumptions. (Look at how screwed up J. Edgar Hoover got things in his communications with President Johnson.)
Maybe there was a conspiracy. If there was, it is not necessary to suspect that anybody who initially thought the evidence pointed to Oswald as the lone assassin was doing anything sinister. Read this message again. I've seen people convicted on a lot less evidence.
Back to the top
Back to David Blackburst Archive menu
Back to Jim Garrison menu
Back to JFK menu
Dave Reitzes home page