Tuesday, December 21, 2010

                               John F. Kennedy
                         History, Memory, Legacy:
                         An Interdisciplinary Inquiry

                                      Edited by
                             John Delane Williams
                                  Robert G. Waite
                                         and
                                Gregory S. Gordon

Copyright, 2010 by John Delane Williams, Robert G. Waite, and
Gregory S. Gordon

The copyright for individual chapters is held by the respective authors. If multiple copies of individual chapters are desired, please contact the respective authors. Their e-mail addresses are provided in the Contributor Section.

The University of North Dakota, Grand Forks






                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction, Gregory S. Gordon                                                                                          1
Part I:  The Presidency                                                                                                         8
1.        Address at the University of North Dakota, September 25, 1963,
              President John F. Kennedy                                                                           9                                                                                 
            2.  Presentation of Robert Kelley, President of The University of North Dakota,
                         At the Eternal Flame Memorial Ceremony, JFK Conference,
         
                         September 23, 2008                                                                                      15
                                                          
             3.  “I Was Chief of Staff for Ideas.”  A Conversation with Ted Sorensen              
                            
                                 and Gregory S. Gordon                                                                         17

 4.  President Kennedy:  Profile of Power, Richard Reeves                                      29
Part II:  JFK, Literature and the 1960s                                                                       44             
      5.  The Long Shadow of the Confessional and Beat Poets, Heidi K. Czerwiec         45
      6.  “A Revival of Poetry and Song.”  Allen Ginsburg, Rock and Roll and
                  the Return to the Bardic Tradition, Katie M. Stephenson                              49
      7.  Living and Writing on the Edge in Don DeLillo’s Libra, Lucia Cimpean           63
      8.  “I Feel Like a Spring Lamb.”  What Clay Shaw’s Literary
                  Life Reveals, Michael Snyder                                                                        77
Part III:  JFK and the World                                                                                        91
      9.  Experiencing the Peace Corps:  A Discussion, Robin David, Michael Beard,
                  Cory Enger, Kathleen Gershman, Joe Vacek                                                 92
      10.    “There Are Bigger Issues At Stake.”  The Administration of
                  John F. Kennedy and United States -  Republic of China
                  Relations, 1961-63, Charles Pellegrin                                                           100
      11.  JFK, Berlin, and the Berlin Crises, 1961-1963, Robert G. Waite                     116
      12.  JFK and Vietnam:  An Unanswered Legacy in Film and History,
                  Scott A. Racek                                                                                              135
      13.  JFK’s Legacy Regarding Consular Relations, Cindy G. Buys                          151
      14.  “We Choose To Go To The Moon.” JFK and the Race to the Moon,
                  1960-1963, Richard E. Collin                                                                       167
      15. The Indochina Bind: John Kennedy and Vietnam, Albert I. Berger                  179
            16. The Cuban Missile Crisis and New Narratives of the Cold War
                        
                        Albert I. Berger                                                                                             185
        
Part IV:  JFK and the United States                                                                           193                                                                               
      17.    The Kennedy Justice Department’s Enforcement of Civil Rights: 
                   A View from the Trenches, Brian K. Landsberg                                         194
      18.  Civil Rights Chronology, January 1961 – November 1963,
                  Compiled by Brian K. Landsberg                                                                 209
            19.  Atomic Power, Fossil Fuels, and the Environment: Lessons Learned and

                         The Lasting Impact of the Kennedy Energy Policies, Joshua P. Fershee    225

Part V:  JFK – Media, Image and Legacy
      20.  Kennedy’s Loyal Opposition:  National Review and The Development of
                  A Conservative Alternative, January – August 1961, Laura Jane Gifford   242
      21.  “Primarily a Political Problem.”  Constructing the Image of the Kennedy
                  Presidency, 1961-Present, Richard M. Fillipink, Jr.                                     253
      22.  JFK:  The Exceptional Ideal?  James Boys                                                        264   
      23.  Rhetoric in the Campaign Website of Barack Obama, Mary Stromme             282
Part VI:  The Death of the President                                                                           293
      24.  That Day in Dallas, Eleanor Williams                                                                294
      25.  “I Looked Up and I Looked Down.”  JFK, Mrs. D and The Space of                299
                  Citizenship, Steve Andrews
      26.  The Day Kennedy Was Assassinated, David F. Marshall                                 309
      27.  Three Gunshots at Life? Gary Severson                                                             311
            28.  Lee Harvey Oswald:  North Dakota and Beyond,
                  John Delane Williams and Gary Severson                                                    318
      29.  The Workings of the Assassinations Record Review Board,
                  John R. Tunnheim                                                                                         337
       30. Dealey Plaza Revisited: What Happened to JFK? James H. Fetzer                   343
       Contributors                                                                                                              369



















            John F. Kennedy
History, Memory, Legacy:
An Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Introduction

Gregory S. Gordon

            On September 25, 1963, President John F. Kennedy traveled to Grand Forks, North Dakota, greeted its citizens while touring the city, and delivered a speech at the University of North Dakota Field House, which addressed important issues still vital today: environmental protection, conservation of natural resources, economic development, the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism, and the importance of education and public service.  The University conferred on the President an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.  Over 20,000 people assembled on campus that day to see JFK -- the largest campus gathering in UND history.  Tragically, less than two months later, the thirty-fifth President of the United States was assassinated in Dallas. 
            To commemorate the forty-fifth anniversary of the President's Grand Forks visit, and in tandem with the University's one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary, UND organized a September 25-27, 2008 conference to foster interdisciplinary discussion and analysis of the issues addressed in JFK's UND speech, as well as other significant issues of the Kennedy era, including civil rights, space exploration, the nuclear threat, and the influence of the media on presidential politics.  The Conference also explored issues related to the President's assassination within weeks of his UND visit.   With one of the finest aerospace schools in the country, a nationally renowned Energy & Environmental Research Center, an innovative Peace Studies Program and faculty expertise in areas as diverse as international law, Beat poetry, voting rights, supply-side economics, and forensic anthropology, the University of North Dakota was an ideal venue for this interdisciplinary exploration of the Kennedy era.
            Moreover, scholars from institutions as varied as Grinnell College and the University of Maryland joined UND faculty in examining Kennedy-era themes through various academic lenses, including literature, political science, film, economics, philosophy, law, history and the sciences.  Critical contributions were also made by a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, a United States District Court Judge, and academics from other countries, such as Britain and Germany.  
            Anchoring the Conference were keynote addresses by President Kennedy's Special Counsel, Ted Sorensen, the last living member of JFK's inner-circle, and Richard Reeves, his biographer and award-winning author of what is considered by many to be the authoritative work on JFK's administration – President Kennedy: Profile of Power.  Finally, the UND Eternal Flame, at the heart of campus, provided a fitting locale for a JFK memorial service. 
            From all the scholarship and discussion of those three scintillating days, we present this publication of Conference proceedings, which includes the papers presented and transcripts of significant addresses and discussions.  We are very pleased to make this scholarship easily accessible to the public through this on-line format.
            The materials presented here represent a fascinating mix of eyewitness personal accounts of the Kennedy years and scholarly analysis of perhaps the era's most critical issues.  Some of the papers offer ground-breaking research into such topics as East German intelligence gathering in connection with JFK's Berlin visit, the impetus behind development of a consular relations treaty, and the Kennedy administration's policy on civilian use of nuclear power.  Other papers suggest compelling revisions of conventional wisdom on familiar topics such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War.  And, when viewed in their entirety, the papers have great breadth. 
            That breadth is apparent from the beginning.  Part II of the compilation covers the topic "JFK, Literature, and the 1960s."  This section features works on the poetry of the early portion of the decade, including Dr. Heidi Czerwiec's insightful look at the period's Confessional and Beat poets ("The Long Shadow of the Confessional and Beat Poets") and Katie Stephenson's brilliant expos√© on the relationship between Allen Ginsberg and the music of the era ("'A Revival of Poetry and Song:' Allen Ginsberg, Rock and Roll, and the Return to the Bardic Tradition").  Other papers in the section touch on the JFK assassination, including Lucia Cimpean's trenchant analysis of Don DeLillo's Lee Harvey Oswald roman √† clef, Libra ("Living and Writing on the Edge in Don DeLillo's Libra"), and Michael Snyder's fascinating examination of alleged assassination conspirator Clay Shaw's work as a playwright and its connection to Shaw's possible involvement in the conspiracy. 
            Part III of the compilation, "JFK and the World," considers President Kennedy's impact on foreign policy and space exploration.  Some of the topics covered here one would expect to find, such as the Peace Corps, Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Space Program.  "Experiencing the Peace Corps" captures an interdisciplinary panel discussion moderated by UND Professor Robin David.  The interlocutors were UND Professors and Peace Corps volunteers Kathy Gershman (Bolivia, 1967-69, healthcare), Michael Beard (Iran, 1968-70, English education), Joe Vacek (Georgia, 2006, judicial reform and English education), and Cory Enger (Niger, 2006-08 sustainable agriculture).  Each described his or her individual Peace Corps experiences, which provide great perspective as they took place during the bookend decades of the program in the 1960s and the 2000s.   
            Many wonder if the United States would have descended into the bloody abyss of the Vietnam War if President Kennedy had been reelected in 1964.  In "JFK and Vietnam: An Unanswered Legacy in Film and History," Scott Racek focuses on the CIA-sponsored November 1963 assassination of Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in trying to disabuse readers of the notion, accepted in the popular imagination and in the cinema, that JFK would have withdrawn all American troops from Vietnam had he lived.  This analysis is rounded out by Albert Berger in his paper "The Indochina Bind: John Kennedy and Vietnam."  Dr. Berger explains that the Vietnam quagmire was the unfortunate byproduct of Democrats' worst fears about the potential of a new McCarthyism that might have turned them out of office had they abandoned Indochina to the Communists.
            Dr. Berger also demythologizes the thirteen most dramatic days of the Kennedy presidency in his paper "The Cuban Missile Crisis and New Narratives of the Cold War."  The paper reveals that, far from the omnipotent nuclear menace portrayed by the American press and politicians in the period leading up to and during the Crisis, the U.S.S.R. was in a vastly inferior military position to the United States.  Dr. Berger establishes that Khrushchev used bluff and bluster to compensate for the inferiority but after his ouster -- due in large part to the Crisis -- the Soviets invested in closing the vast military gap and inaugurating the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). 
            Finally, there has always been much speculation about President Kennedy's motives in ramping up the American space program for a 1960s moon launch.  In "'We Choose to Go to the Moon': JFK and the Race for the Moon," Richard Collin details and analyzes the Cold War strategic thinking behind President Kennedy's push to land a man on the moon by decade's end.  Given the decline of NASA in recent years and its fight to remain relevant, this is a valuable and timely contribution.
            The balance of Part III occupies ground less trodden.  Much scholarship on JFK's Cold War foreign policy has centered on the administration's dealings with the Soviet Union.  But President Kennedy never lost sight of the era's other Communist behemoth, China.  In his paper "There Are Bigger Issues at Stake": The Administration of John F. Kennedy and United States-Republic of China Relations, 1961-63," Dr. Charles Pellegrin explores the evolution of JFK's China policy.  His is a well researched examination of how that policy began to veer away from total support of Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China and position itself to improving relations with Mao Tse-tung's People's Republic of China. 
            Similarly, foreign policy experts have shed relatively little light on the Kennedy administration's achievements in the area of consular relations.  Cindy Buys helps fill this void by offering fascinating insights on the Kennedy State Department's pivotal role in codifying the international law of consular relations.  "JFK's Legacy Regarding Consular Relations Law," explores the JKF-orchestrated negotiation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the bilateral U.S.-U.S.S.R. Consular Convention, and the continued importance of consular treaties today. 
            Finally, Dr. Robert Waite's ground-breaking scholarship in his paper "JFK, Berlin and the Berlin Crises: 1961-1963" rounds out this Part of the compilation. Based on his original primary-source research of East German Secret Police ("Stasi") archives, as well as reviews of East German newspapers from the period, Dr. Waite shows that East German officials and the media considered President Kennedy's summer 1963 "Ich bin ein Berliner" visit to Berlin quite provocative.  He also demonstrates the surprising level of grief East Germans experienced shortly thereafter in the wake of JFK's assassination.
            Part IV of this compilation, "JFK and the United States," turns the focus inward and examines some of JFK's domestic policies.  It begins with perhaps the most important domestic issue JFK faced -- civil rights.  From the Freedom Riders to the March on Washington, with its famous "I Have a Dream" speech, there are many powerful associations between the Kennedy years and the Civil Rights Movement.  This section benefits from the scholarship of Brian Landsberg, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.  As a Division line-attorney in the 1960s, Professor Landsberg operated on the Movement's front lines and provides his insights about it in his paper "The Kennedy Justice Department's Enforcement of Civil Rights: A View from the Trenches." 
            Professor Landsberg's paper calls into question the notion that, despite some of the powerful symbolism of its era, the Kennedy administration was ultimately ineffectual with respect to promoting and securing equal rights for America's black citizens.  He demonstrates that, without Congressional authorization, and in addition to its Herculean efforts to secure voting rights and equal access to interstate transportation for African-Americans, the Division was active in devising ways to combat racial segregation of public schools.  To place all that in context, Professor Landsberg has also contributed to Part IV a "Civil Rights Chronology: January 1961-November 1963."
            This section concludes by analyzing a topic little explored until now: JFK's energy policy.  In "Atomic Power, Fossil Fuels, and the Environment: Lessons Learned and the Lasting Impact of the Kennedy Energy Policies," Joshua Fershee contributes innovative research and analysis regarding the complexity of President Kennedy's energy policy and its visionary global approach.   Professor Fershee demonstrates that JFK sought to promote conservation while appropriating nuclear steam generation for civilian energy use and expanding American infrastructure for coal and electricity.  He concludes that, from a strategic perspective, JFK's bold and expansive vision should still serve as a model for modern policymakers. 
            Many commentators have noted that, for politically strategic purposes and unlike any president before him, John F. Kennedy used the media to establish a glamorous image and style, posthumously embodied in the term "Camelot."  Part V of the compilation, "JFK – Media, Image and Legacy," considers the implications of this trend-setting presidential phenomenon.  It begins by chronicling early opposition views of Camelot in Laura Jane Gifford's paper "Kennedy's Loyal Opposition: National Review and the Development of a Conservative Alternative -- January-August 1961."  Next, Dr. Richard M. Filipink examines the evolution of JFK's image over time in "Primarily a Political Problem": Constructing the Image of the Kennedy Presidency, 1961-Present."  Using the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam as analytic prisms, Dr. Filipink traces the development of JFK's public persona from Cold Warrior-icon, as crafted by Kennedy biographers and historians in the 1960s and 1970s, through a 1980s transition period, to a new statesman-figure created for the 1990s and 21st century.   
            In the Section's third paper "JFK: The Exceptional Idea," Dr. James Boys explains how the term "Kennedyesque" entered into our political and cultural lexicon and how it continues to exert considerable influence on the American national psyche.  Dr. Boys demonstrates how all office seekers and statesmen try, to one degree or another, to partake of or co-opt the Kennedy style but ultimately come up short because their efforts are measured against what Boys describes as the "sentimental constructs of the Kennedy golden age."  Finally, Mary Stromme concludes Part V by specifying the Kennedy impact on the most recent presidential contest.  In her paper "Rhetoric in the Campaign Website of Barack Obama," Stromme recalls the central role of television in JFK's political fortunes and compares it to the comparable role played by the internet in the political rise of our most recent president, Barack Obama.
            Part of the Kennedy mystique is inextricably bound up in his assassination – the poignancy of a vibrant leader violently and graphically cut down in the prime of life amid an adoring public.  Part VI, "The Death of the President," attempts to measure what happened that day in Dallas, both in terms of emotional impact and forensic investigation.  With regard to the former, Eleanor Williams connects her personal anguish of that day to the iconography of the Kennedy presidency and to larger national themes in her paper "That Day in Dallas."   Similarly, Dr. Steve Andrews's paper "'I Looked Up and I Looked Down': JFK, Mrs. D, and the Space of Citizenship," explains how November 22, 1963's collective grief brought the first glimmerings of an American identity to a young adopted boy taken from his foreign birthplace and brought to an unwelcoming rural America.  Finally, in "The Day Kennedy Was Assassinated," David Marshall describes the moment that time and all of humanity seemed to stand still in Grand Central Station when it was announced that President Kennedy had been killed.
            The balance of Part VI deals with the evidentiary and forensic aspects of the assassination.  Many Americans reject the conclusion of the Warren Report that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and believe there was a conspiracy behind President Kennedy's assassination.  Gary Severson and John Williams point to possible North Dakota conspiracy links in their scholarship.  In his piece "Three Gunshots at Life," Severson tells the story of Life magazine Managing Editor Edward K. Thompson, a native North Dakotan who was closely connected to the infamous "Zapruder film" – the most complete visual recording of JFK's murder.  Does Thompson's connection to the Zapruder film leave possible clues about an assassination conspiracy?  In a separate paper, "Lee Harvey Oswald: North Dakota and Beyond," Severson teams up with John Williams to demonstrate that there may have been a Lee Harvey Oswald double living in Stanley, North Dakota during the 1950s.  They contend this doppelganger might have been controlled by the United States government for eventual use in the alleged assassination cabal.  Looking at the bigger picture, James Fetzer presents a treasure trove of photographic and diagrammatic material that he believes points to a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy in "Dealey Plaza Revisited: What Happened to JFK?" 
            Finally, the Conference was honored and enriched by the presentation of U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim, who had previously served as the Chair of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board.  In "Workings of the Assassination Records Review Board," Judge Tunheim traces the Board's origins and explains how it pursued the painstaking work that led to the release of thousands of new assassination-related documents to the public. 
            Although it appears first in the compilation, I have reserved Part I for last here to highlight its moving and meaningful impact.  Titled simply "The Presidency," it includes the timeless words of President Kennedy himself in the transcript of his address to the University of North Dakota on September 25, 1963.   And it provides the insights of the man who wrote that speech for JFK, Special Counsel to the President Ted Sorensen.  I felt privileged to have a discussion with Mr. Sorensen on the stage of the Chester Fritz Auditorium forty-five years to the day after President Kennedy's historic appearance on the UND campus.  In that conversation, whose transcript is titled "I Was Chief of Staff for Ideas," Mr. Sorensen shared fascinating personal insights about his relationship with the president, his work at the White House, and his participation in some of the most significant events of the twentieth century, including the Cuban Missile Crisis.
            Part I also includes the moving words of UND President Robert Kelley at the memorial to President Kennedy held at the campus's Eternal Flame.  Finally, it concludes with the remarks of perhaps the finest chronicler of the Kennedy administration – award-winning author and journalist Richard Reeves.  His remarks, titled "President Kennedy: Profile of Power," dig deeply into the territory covered by Reeves's acclaimed 1992 book of the same title.  Focusing chronologically on one 48-hour period in June 1963, Reeves demonstrates that, unlike conventional presidential histories that handle themes individually in serial fashion, the actual experience of the presidency, in real time, consists of several themes intersecting simultaneously.  In this case, he considers JFK's drafting and delivering the epochal "peace speech," the stand-off at the schoolhouse door with George Wallace as the University of Alabama was being desegregated, the drafting and delivering of JFK's great civil rights address immediately after the stand-off, the iconic self-immolation of the South Vietnamese monk, and the assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers.  It is a fascinating exposition.
            I would like to thank Drs. John Delane Williams and Robert G. Waite for their devotion and hard work on this project.  Without them, and their fine organizational and editing skills, this publication would never have seen the light of day.  I would also like to thank UND Conference Service's Robyn von Ruden, who was instrumental in helping us organize and conduct the conference, and Doris Boernhoft, UND Computer Services, who helped us integrate this material into the online format.  I must also express my gratitude to those who worked with us on the JFK Conference Committee and to the University for its tremendous support.  It has been a team effort from the beginning.
            The University of North Dakota sesquicentennial celebration seemed a fitting framework in which to commemorate JFK's historic UND visit.  We believe this publication beautifully captures the creative and interdisciplinary spirit of that commemoration.  Americans in 1963 no doubt understood that President Kennedy chose UND for his North Dakota visit because it was the flagship university of a great state.  More than four decades on, our national gathering to discuss JFK's life and legacy served as a welcome reminder that UND remains one of the premier higher learning and research institutions on the Great Plains.  We are grateful and proud to be a part of this intellectually vibrant campus at the country's center and from this unique vantage point we are thrilled to reach out to the world at large and give it this publication about our nation's thirty-fifth president.  We hope you will enjoy it.   


For the chapters to this book, go to www.und.edu/org/jfkconference/.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

           Recent Findings Regarding the JFK Assassination

                               John Delane Williams


            Presumably, after more than 30 years past an event as well known as the JFK assassination, the advent of new information could be expected to be incremental.  Yet several important bits of "new" information have emerged in the past year.  Hosty1 finally published his story; "Tex" Brown2 described his having taught Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald how to shoot guns in the Fall of 1963.  Walt Brown3 adds several interesting points including J.D. Tippitt having had a pregnant girlfriend, in his theory that the Dallas Police Department killed Kennedy.  Ray and Mary LaFontaine4 reveal new information regarding Oswald talking to two inmates while imprisoned in the Dallas Police Station.  Livingston5, in his fourth contribution as a conspiracy theorist, strongly implies much of the evidence in the JFK case has been faked, including the Zapruder film and the autopsy photos.  Norman Mailer6 sides with the Warren Commission, adding details of Marina Oswald's promiscuousness in Russia.  Peter Dale Scott's7 essays mainly serve as review but also include material on Richard Cain, an underling of Sam Giancana; Cain's implication in the assassination is of recent origin.  The continuing work of Harold Weisberg8, who has specialized in investigating the Warren Commission evidence, relates his gleanings from his first look at 250,000 pages of newly released evidence.  Details on the number of shots being more than three can be controverted by the new data.  Claudia Furiati9 used previously secret Cuban files, implicates Hermino Diaz, Eladio DeValle, and Richard Cain as shooters.  Furiati's contribution has been recently reviewed by Evans10.
            In a more visual demonstration, Robert Grodin11 presents evidence against the Warren Commission conclusions, including a photo of Ruby at the questioning of Oswald.  Dan Rather seems to have a yearly paean to the Warren Commission (now including Gerald Pozner12).  The 1995 anniversary edition13 was shown on the cable Arts and Entertainment Channel on the 20th Century Program.  Two far more interesting videos were produced during the past year.  One, shown also on the History Channel, The Men Who Killed Kennedy - The Truth Shall Set You Free14, concludes that the fatal shot was likely to have come from the manhole in the street.  The second, The Murder of JFK: Confession of an Assassin15, contains the confession of James E. Files to shooting Kennedy; Files is currently serving a life sentence at Joliet State Penitentiary.  Taken together, the newer evidence is, at a minimum, striking--were it to have been presented three decades ago, it may well have been definitive.  In the interim, we perhaps have become too skeptical to call any findings as definitive.


                            Hosty's Statement
            Hosty's16 book relates his personal view of the FBI in Dallas in 1963.  The book represents his defense of his own behavior and his personal cost in following Gordon Shanklin's instructions (orders) in destroying Oswald's note to Hosty.  Hosty thought Oswald incapable of planning and executing the assassination, but fully accepted the Warren Commission's findings.  Interesting details include a threat given to the FBI to kill Oswald from an anonymous source, received at 2:30 AM, Sunday morning (11/24/63).  The same threat was received by the Police; Sheriff Shanklin advised Chief Curry not to transfer Oswald on Sunday morning.  Hosty also reports that Oswald's identification was found by J.D. Tippitt's body, and not on Oswald's person when he was arrested, according to official police records.
            Hosty also reveals that dirty secrets within the FBI kept Hosty from being exonerated by Hoover's successor, Clarence Kelley.  In contrast to other reports, Hosty (p. 218) states that Oswald was granted a travel visa to Cuba.  He would have to have gone to Mexico City to pick it up.


                           Tex Brown's Story17
            Ray "Tex" Brown was an 18 year old cowboy and a high school dropout in 1963.  He worked for John Marshall, who was also a bounty hunter, bringing back bailbond jumpers.  Brown accompanied Marshall in bounty hunting.  Jack Ruby watched them bring in a fugitive and asked Marshall to teach him to shoot.  The job was given to Brown, who gave lessons to both Ruby and Oswald.  Oswald never got the hang of shooting, always blinking when he pulled the trigger.  While working for Ruby, he met Carlos Marcello (11/6/63) at the Rodeo Cafe in Fort Worth.  The Rodeo Cafe was also the place that Brown frequently met with Ruby and Oswald.  Two days before the assassination, Brown was offered a million dollars "for one day's work," which Brown turned down.  Years later, Brown realized that he saw Charles Harrelson in Dallas twice just prior to the assassination, and once near Waco months after the assassination.
            Within two weeks of the assassination, Brown received an unexpected call from Lyndon Johnson, telling him to move to South Texas, where Brown met Johnson on several occasions; Brown continued working with bounty hunting and began undercover work for the Drug Enforcement Agency.  Brown called the Warren Commission; they declined to interview him; they had their case wrapped up.
            Other interesting details revealed by Brown included Ruby stating to Brown at 1:30 PM on November 23 in front of the Carousel Club, "And watch old Jack, too.  I'm going to be a hero" (p. 168).  Oswald denied being in Mexico (p. 177).  The gun Ruby used to shoot Oswald was bought for him by Dallas police officer Joe Cody (p. 179).  Ruby was paranoid when he was in jail (if not before).  He heard them torturing Jews in the Dallas Police Department basement (p. 237).
            Brown would seem to settle the argument as to whether Oswald had target practice prior to the assassination; Brown claims to have taught Oswald and Ruby to shoot in the Fall of 1963 at Lake Worth.  Also, Oswald never learned to shoot well, almost shooting himself in the foot on one occasion.  It is no wonder that LBJ and the Warren Commission wanted Brown's silence.


               Did the Dallas Police Department Do It?
            Walt Brown 18 relates that Todd Wayne Vaughan, an expert in fingerprint identification, told Brown that, in addition to Oswald, several Dallas police officers left fingerprints on boxes on the sixth floor of the Texas School Depository (TSD).  Within hours of the assassination, the Stemmons Freeway sign was removed from Dealy Plaza by persons unknown.  It was asserted by Geneva White, widow of Roscoe White (who began working in the DPD in the Fall of 1963) that her husband was a shooter on the grassy knoll.  Further, White killed Officer Tippett (p. 147).  Brown republished a Jim Murray film showing a person believed to be an FBI agent retrieving a stray bullet from the grassy area ten minutes after the assassination, surrounded by a Dallas police officer (J.W. Foster) and a deputy sheriff (Buddy Walthers).  The daughter of J.D. Tippett (born of his girlfriend, pregnant at the time of his death) recently passed away (p. 197).  A cigarette pack was found in the snipers lair on the sixth floor of the TSB building.  Not only was Oswald not a smoker, no employee would likely have had a pack of cigarettes there; they were prohibited in the building.  The inference is that the occupant of the lair was an outsider.  An interesting point is that in the appendix are listed 28 possible shooters; unfortunately, the list is not exhaustive of those who have been nominated for this dubious task.
            Brown relates the story of Mike Robinson (pp. 186-190), who claims to have been with a friend (who was the son of a Dallas police officer), who found access into the Dallas Police Department (DPD) shortly after the assassination.  They overheard many conversations, including one in a basement restroom where one person admitting to screwing up and killing J.D. Tippett rather than killing Oswald.  At the time, the boys were hiding in a stall; when they left the restroom, a police officer stopped them and asked if they had been in the restroom at the same time as the officers.  That officer was Roscoe White.  A review of Brown's book was done by Murray19.
            Brown shows many flaws in the DPD investigative work, and also finds individual members of the DPD who may have had an involvement in the assassination.  It is not unlikely that several such officers may have also been in the employ of other secretive organizations either public or private.  It seems highly unlikely to me that the JFK assassination would be completely the work of persons from the Dallas Police Department without other loyalties.

                        Oswald Talked
            The LaFontaine's20 took advantage of evidence made available in the Dallas files on the JFK assassination.  Their findings are new, and perhaps for some, startling.  They relate that an inmate, John Elrod, overheard Oswald talk about Jack Ruby, about a secret motel room meeting regarding money and guns and about another prisoner at the jail.  Shortly after Oswald met with the Dallas FBI on November 16, a teletype was received in New Orleans at 1:45 AM on the 17th by William S. Walter describing a threat to kill JFK in Dallas, November 22-23.  The text of the teletype is included (p. 300).  No one within the FBI would corroborate Walter's story.
            In Appendix B, a summary of the new information is given regarding the released DPD files, confirming (or tending to confirm) several theories regarding Oswald, including Oswald being directed by either the CIA or military intelligence in his defection to Russia, being an asset of the FBI and/or the CIA and controlled by George deMohrenschildt; Oswald knew of Ruby's gunrunning and may have participated in it, according to the LaFontaine's.  The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was not found on the sixth floor of the TSBD, but rather on either the fourth or fifth floor (p. 374).  While in the cell with Oswald, Elrod observed a third man, Lawrence Miller, who was involved in an auto accident where stolen guns and ammunition were found.  Oswald talked about the relationship of Miller to Ruby and the arrangement to sell the guns in a motel.  Perry21 has reviewed the LaFontaine's book, showing some degree of dissatisfaction with their story, and bristling at being called an "amateur sleuth" by them.


                               Weisberg's Never Again
            Weisberg22 is rather unique in assassination researchers in that he restricts his informational base to governmental files from the Warren Commission.  By his own statement, he has had .33 million pages of previously unreleased documents released through the Freedom of Information Act.  He has only began sifting through this stack of information; Weisberg states flatly that there "...is an absence of relevant publications by other authors" (p. 453).  Notwithstanding the limitations Weisberg places on his research, he continues to mine the Warren Commission documents that collectively continue to show the implausibility of the Warren Commission findings.  Weisberg found that someone other than Oswald picked up the Fair Play for Cuba handbills in New Orleans.  The magic bullet may have come from Kennedy's, rather than Connally's stretcher.  There is evidence of more than three shots, cited by Weisberg.


                               The Cuban Connection
            Claudia Furiati23 accessed the Cuban files on the Kennedy assassination, which also investigated plots against Castro.  The Cubans thought those most responsible were Santos Trafficante and David Atlee Phillips.  Cuban exiles (possibly including the Revolutionary Student Directorate [DRE]) were involved in the actual shooting.  The source of this information, General Fabian Escalante, accused Eladio del Valle, Herminio Diaz Garcia (who as a paid assassin killed General Trujillo of the Dominican Republic) and Richard Cain (of the Chicago Mafia) in the assassination of JFK.  Escalante believed the assassination to be a combination of the CIA, the Mafia, and anti-Castro Cubans, who were also involved in plots against Castro.

                              Confession of an Assassin24
            James E. Files was James Sutton until just after the JFK assassination.  He had been working with a radical Cuban group (unnamed, but perhaps the DRE) and wanted to keep secret this relationship; he also was getting married and wished to have a family.  Sutton-Files became a stock car driver after returning from military service.  Charles Nicolletti, of the Chicago crime family, saw him drive the racing car and felt Sutton-Files would make an excellent personal driver, bringing Sutton-Files into the periphery of organized crime.  Though Sutton-Files claimed never to have become a member of organized crime, he nevertheless became a participant.  He became involved in the training of Cubans for the Bay of Pigs invasion.
            Prior to the assassination, Sutton-Files drove to Dallas, staying at a motel in Mesquite, taking with him weapons to be used in Dallas.  Lee Harvey Oswald came to the motel, and showed Sutton-Files around the Dallas area.  Sutton-Files tested the weapons in the Mesquite area.
            Ruby took John Roselli to a pancake house near a major highway in Fort Worth (The Rodeo Cafe?).  Ruby passed a manilla envelope to Roselli containing identification for the secret service, according to Sutton-Files.
            Sutton-Files was in Dealy Plaza at 10:30 AM on November 22 when Nicolletti asked Sutton-Files to be a backup shooter.  Nicolletti was supposed to be shooting from the Dal-Tex Building behind the motorcade.  Nicolletti hit JFK perhaps 1/1000 of a second before Sutton-Files, causing Sutton-Files to hit JFK in the temple instead of the right eye, according to the Sutton-Files confession.  Sutton-Files was using a Remington fireball with a bullet that would explode in the skull on impact.  After the shooting, Sutton-Files switched his coat around, putting the gun in a briefcase.  In an act of bravado, he says he made toothmarks on the shell casing, and left it on the fence as a trademark; the toothmarks were apparently identified as such in 1994.
            He got into a 1963 burgundy Chevrolet with Nicolletti and Roselli.  He later received $30,000 supposedly for his work in Dallas.  Nicolletti later told Sutton-Files (now Files) that he should not have shot, because Nicolletti had already delivered the fatal shot.
            Frank Sturgis and Eugene Brading were seen by Sutton-Files in Dealy Plaza.  Mary Moorman's photograph included Sutton-Files behind the picket fence (presumably Badgeman), according to him.  Sutton-Files said that J.D. Tippett was killed by a man who was thought to still be living (as of the interview in March, 1994).


                       The Truth Shall Make You Free25
            Tom Wilson, using an imaging process technique on the Zapruder film, concluded Kennedy was assassinated from the front.  The imaging allows looking inside the brain and observe the path of the bullet.  It is Wilson's contention that the shooter was inside a storm sewer in Dealy Plaza.  Jack Brazil, using the storm sewer identified in Wilson's analysis, demonstrated how an assassin could shoot at the presidential limousine, then, in 20-30 minutes, escape underground to the Trinity River.  Wilson also used the imaging process technique and determined that the autopsy films had cosmetic alteration and manipulation of the actual photographs.
            Lt. Colonel Dan Marvin was involved in specialist guerilla training at Ft. Bragg in late 1963/early 1964.  The training used the Kennedy assassination for training for assassination.  One CIA instructor told another, "Things really did go well in Dealey Plaza."  Marvin was asked by the CIA official to kill William Pitzer, a naval officer who had taken the autopsy photographs.  Although Marvin originally agreed to the assignment, he declined when he found he was to complete the killing in the United States.  Wilson guesses that David Vanek, a co-trainee of his, accepted the assignment and was the actual killer of Pitzer.  Wilson never heard from Vanek after he had heard that Vanek had been offered the assignment.
            The video also contains the conjecture that Robert Kennedy, on the belief that his brother was killed by a secret operation (Operation Freedom) under Robert's direction, help restrict the autopsy at Bethesda.  RFK oversaw the autopsy to keep from public knowledge this secret program, which was supposed to have killed Castro, but was instead turned on his brother.
            If the newly reported evidence is taken together, the outline of the conspiracy becomes more clear.  The conspiracy has two different components: first, the actual assassination appears to be sought by members of the CIA, coordinated by members of the Mafia, and accomplished by selected anti-Castro Cubans.  The actual persons involved undoubtedly interfaced as being involved with two or more of these groups, with perhaps other relationships as well (including possibly persons in the DPD who might have been connected to either the CIA, Mafia, or anti-Castro Cubans).
            The second part of the conspiracy is the coverup, which is more extensive than the original conspiracy, and continues to the present.  And it contained, at one time, at least one Kennedy, Robert.  (Though this last point is disputed by Folliard26.)


                                 Notes
1.Hosty, J.P. (1996). Assignment: Oswald. New York: Arcade Press.

2.Brown, R., with Lasseter, D. (1996). Broken silence: The truth about Lee Harvey Oswald, LBJ, and the assassination of JFK. New York: Pinnacle Books.

3.Brown, W. (1995). Treachery in Dallas. New York: Carroll and Graf.

4.LaFontaine, R., & LaFontaine, M. (1996). Oswald talked: The new evidence in the JFK assassination. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publication Company.

5.Livingston, H.E. (1995). Killing Kennedy and the hoax of the century. New York: Carroll and Graf.

6.Mailer, N. (1995). Oswald's tales. New York: Random House.

7.Scott, P.D. (1995). Deep politics II: Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba. Skokie, IL: Green Archives Publications.

8.Weisberg, H. (1995). Never again. New York: Carroll & Graf.

9.Furiati, C. (1994). ZR rifle: The plot to kill Kennedy and Castro: Cuba opens secret files. Melbourne, Australia: Ocean.

10.Evans, M. (1996). ZR rifle: A review. The Fourth Decade, 3(3), 28-32.

11.Grodin, R.J. (1995). The search for Lee Harvey Oswald: A comprehensive photographic record. New York: Penguin Books.

12.Posner, G. (1993). Case closed. New York: Random House.

13.The Kennedy assassination. (1995, November 22. Twentieth-Century, Art and Entertainment (TV).

14.The men who killed Kennedy - The truth shall set you free. (1995). New York: New Video Group.

15.The murder of JFK: Confession of an assassin. (1996). New York: MPI Home Video, UTL Productions.

16.Hosty. (1996).

17.Brown, R. (1996).

18.Brown, W. (1995).

19.Murray, H. (1995). Treachery in Dallas: A review. Fourth Decade, 3(1), 7-8.

20.LaFontaine, R., & LaFontaine, M. (1996).

21.Perry, D.B. (1996). A few words from an "amateur sleuth." Fourth Decade, 4(1), 21-26.

22.Weisberg, H. (1995).

23.Furiati, C. (1994).

24.The murder of JFK: Confession of an assassin. (1996).

25.The men who killed Kennedy - The truth shall set you free. (1995).

26.Folliard, J. (1995). Blaming the victims: Kennedy family control over the Bethesda autopsy. Fourth Decade, 2(4), 5-13.


Unpublished Manuscript (1997).