Sixty five million people visited about About.com in February 2013. If they were seeking answers to the enduring questions about the asssassination of President John F. Kennedy, they got a lot of bad information.
The About.com entry on JFK’s assassination opens with the categorical but debatable claim that JFK was killed by one man alone and unaided. Instead of a factual summary of the debate about the causes of Kennedy’s death, the popular site offers an account that is riddled with factual errors.
Written by Jennifer Rosenberg, the About.com entry needs to corrected.
“Oswald was a former Marine who was identified as having ties to both communist Russia and Cuba. At one point, Oswald traveled to Russia with hopes of establishing himself there; however, the Russian government believed him to be unstable and sent him back. He then attempted to go to Cuba but failed to get a visa through the Mexican government.”
Wrong: Oswald traveled to Moscow in October 1959, was admitted by the Russian government and lived in the city of Minsk until May 1962. The Russian government did not regard him as unstable and did not send him back. Oswald returned to the United States on his own volition. Oswald had no ties to Cuba; he identified himself with a pro-Castro organization. In September 1963 he traveled to Mexico City and applied for a visa to travel to Cuba that was rejected by the Cuban consulate. He had no contact with the Mexican government.
Erroneous statement #2
“For the remainder of 1963 and most of 1964, the Warren Commission intensively researched all that had been discovered about JFK’s assassination and Oswald’s assassination. They carefully examined every aspect of the case, visited Dallas to examine the scene, requested further investigations if facts seemed uncertain, and poured over the transcripts of literally thousands of interviews.”
Wrong. The Warren Commission did not carefully examine “every aspect of the case.” There were at least five areas where even supporters of the Commission’s conclusion agree it did very little examination.
The Commission did not examine the accounts of the eyewitnesses who were closest to the president when he was fatally wounded. The FBI did not interview bystanders such as Bill Newman or Jean Hill who were standing less than 20 feet from the presidential limousine. So the Warren Commission did not investigate the possibility that shots came from in front of the limousine.
The Commission did not examine the possibility that Kennedy’s assassination was related to the CIA’s efforts to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro. Only one member of the Commission, former CIA director Allen Dulles, knew about these plots, and he did not share what he knew.
The Commission was told very little about the extensive pre-assassination monitoring of Oswald by the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff and thus was unable to investigate this aspect of the case.
The Commission was not told that Oswald had delivered a threatening note to the Dallas FBI office a week before the assassination, or that FBI agents had destroyed the note. The existence of the note and the FBI’s destruction of it was not revealed until 1975.
The Commission did not carefully examine the relationship between Jack Ruby, the assassin of Oswald, and organized crime figures. This was not done until 1978 when the House Select Committee on Assassinations documented those relationships.
Erroneous statement #3
“The final report [of the Warren Commission] was highly controversial and has been questioned by conspiracy theorists through the years. It was briefly revisited by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1976, which ultimately upheld the major findings of the Warren Commission.”
Wrong. The HSCA did not uphold the major findings of the Warren Commission. Rather, the final report of the HSCA, issued in 1979, found that the Kennedy’s death was “in all likelihood” the work of conspirators who could not be identified.
If this was a paper on the Kennedy assassination, it would get a grade of F.