Tunheim: no ‘real evidence’ of a conspiracy

The former chair of the Assassination Records Review Board, a federal judge in Minneapolis, has reached a verdict on the JFK evidence. He sees no ‘real evidence’ of a conspiracy, according to U.S. News.

77 comments

  1. DRB says:

    Below is a more favorable report of Tunheim’s comments by Eric Black of the MinnPost. Tunheim’s position is more like that of an agnostic than a lone-gunman supporter.
    ______________________________________________________________
    Federal Judge Jack Tunheim believes Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone 50 years ago today to murder President John F. Kennedy. But on a topic where a great many people — on both sides of the question — are close to frothing-at-the-mouth sure that the other side is some version of blind, crazy or part of the cover-up, Tunheim asserts his conclusion mildly, humbly, even a tad uncertainly.

    “I wouldn’t dismiss any theory,” Tunheim told me earlier this week.

    In fact, he expressed great respect for some of those who believe that Oswald was part of a larger conspiracy. He acknowledged that some of the established evidence is hard to believe. He supposes that the ultimate answers to all of the troubling questions that have fed those conspiracy theories will probably never be known.

    Tunheim’s conclusions carry some weight, considering that he has been, for almost two decades, chair of a special board that reviewed all records relating to the assassination for the purpose of making most of them public.

    As he often has in the many interviews he has given in this week of the assassination anniversary, Tunheim plays the judge card. Is there any evidence or testimony that could be introduced in a courtroom, stand up under cross-examination, and convincingly prove that anyone other than Oswald was involved? Tunheim says no. And he oughta know, both what the evidence shows and how that evidence would stand up in court.

    On the other hand
    Personally, I fell out of the “lone gunman camp” many years ago and remain skeptical. Mostly, my doubts start with Jack Ruby, who shot Oswald two days after the Kennedy assassination. Ruby was a Dallas strip club owner with many established relationships to members of organized crime. Tunheim confirmed that those Ruby-Mafia associations existed, although the details were murky.

    In custody, Ruby claimed to have killed Oswald out of compassion for Jacqueline Kennedy, specifically to spare her the trauma of having to come back to Dallas to participate in a trial of Oswald. Seriously? I asked Tunheim what he made of the question of Ruby’s motive. “We really don’t know,” he said. “Certainly the reasons he gave didn’t seem to make much sense.”

    Humphrey School of Public Affairs
    Judge Jack Tunheim
    Many of the conspiracy theories assign an important role to organized crime. Attorney General Robert Kennedy wanted to go after organized crime. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who technically worked for RFK, was less enthusiastic, even to the point of denying there was any such thing as organized crime.

    When I asked Tunheim whether he agreed that Hoover seemed to have a cooperative relationship with the mafia, he replied: “Well, he never went after them very hard.” During the decades that Hoover ran the FBI, “the mob had a free hand,” Tunheim said. He added that there were a few high-ranking mobsters who were reported to have said on their deathbeds that the Mafia had a role in the assassination. The FBI was among the key agencies that contributed material to the Warren Commission’s investigation of the assassination.

    Ruby died of cancer three years after the assassination, while awaiting a second trial for killing Oswald. If Oswald knew something about a Mafia role, if Ruby knew he was dying and could get some kind of favor from the mob in exchange for silencing Oswald, perhaps that would explain why he would shoot Oswald. Tunheim agreed that the strongest suggestion that organized crime may have been involved in the assassination would be the role of Ruby and his lack of a credible motive. Tunheim said that two employees of Ruby had testified that they saw Ruby with Oswald before the assassination. Seriously, if those witnesses were correct, the two men had to be part of a larger conspiracy.

    Tunheim also expressed “great respect” for the work of the House special committee that investigated the assassination and reported in 1978 that it believed there had been a conspiracy and that, although it was unable to reach a conclusion about who, other than Oswald, participated, the investigators told Tunheim that they had what the judge called “a strong and distinct impression that organized crime, or some members of organized crime, were involved.”

    Ever since the “on the other hand” sub-headline above, I’ve been explaining why I do not subscribe to the lone gunman theory. Others who are more serious believers in a conspiracy have many more points. But, as you have noticed, the main points I’ve mentioned were all more or less confirmed by Tunheim, but he does not subscribe to a conspiracy theory.

    Why not? Apparently because the evidence is not hard or confirmed enough to stand up in court.

  2. D. Olmens says:

    After reading your previous post linking to an interview with Tunheim I was wondering if you’d mention this article. The relevant quote is as follows:

    “I look back to the hard evidence of the case, the real evidence, the evidence admissible in court, and all of that points to Oswald acting alone,” Tunheim, who is now a federal judge, said this week from his chambers in Minnesota.

    I don’t see any problem or contradiction with his views on the ongoing unavailability of the remaining records.

    • leslie sharp says:

      D. Olmens, you state:

      “After reading your previous post linking to an interview with Tunheim I was wondering if you’d mention this article. The relevant quote is as follows: “I look back to the hard evidence of the case, the real evidence, the evidence admissible in court, and all of that points to Oswald acting alone,”

      Did Judge Tunheim consider hard evidence that included a defense of Oswald? Did he or others charged with the responsibility of hearing evidence relating to the assassination of John Kennedy ever consider a defense of Oswald? We recognize that they heard the prosecution, but did they ever hear a defense?

      The contradictions in the articles relating to Tunheim’s position are worrisome, not simply because he appears unable to declare Oswald guilty beyond a shadow of doubt, but equally disturbing, the Fourth Estate seems to be incapable of hiring reporters capable of reporting. Hopefully Judge Tunheim will have the integrity to address these disparities in an op-ed some time soon.

      Assuming that Oswald survived November 24, 1963, and that his defense team was highly competent, and that through appeal he survived numerous dates of execution, wouldn’t his defense team have demanded that ALL evidence be revisited, including that which surfaced decades later through the efforts of Jeff Morley et al, to indicate that he was at the very least a subject of interest to the US intelligence community leading up to his movements in November of 1963? Is Judge Tunheim concerned about the implications of such a scenario?

      • D. Olmens says:

        I don’t have a problem with Judge Tunheim’s comments because I think it’s a reasonable point of view to believe that the evidence suggests Oswald was responsible whilst at the same time being frustrated by the lack of candour from the intelligence services as to the degree of their knowledge about Oswald.

        It is now a well established fact that there was a substantial amount of paperwork relating to Oswald that was assembled by the intelligence services. However, to date there has been no concrete, irrefutable evidence that was working with at or at the behest of the intelligence services. Any claims you might make, or suggestions that there was some kind of direct relationship, are at this point in time nothing more than speculation. These “implications” you speak of are nothing more than hypothetical and unsupported by available information.

        • leslie sharp says:

          “I think it’s a reasonable point of view to believe that the evidence suggests Oswald was responsible . . . ”

          It is also reasonable to consider evidence that suggests that the CIA is involved in a decades long cover-up of the assassination plot still in progress, whether Oswald was a lone gunman, involved in the plot, or set up as a patsy.

          “Any claims you might make, or suggestions that there was some kind of direct relationship, are at this point in time nothing more than speculation.”

          The term “suggests” carries different weight in these statements. In the former, it is acceptable as an argument, but in the latter (which seems an unfortunate and unproductive device) it is derisively applied in an attempt to reduce to pure speculation the reasonable and responsible consideration of what is in those files.

          For instance, if as fact, Joannides was in New Orleans the summer that Oswald was posing, that suggests the the high probability of a connection based on the now known fact that files on Oswald existed at the time.

          The argument against Oswald is predicated on cherry-picked evidence, and vulnerable to the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The intelligence services’ lack of candor contributes to the stumbling blocks in the State’s proof. Surely most judges would be frustrated with that.

          As Mark Lane argues (paraphrasing), either Oswald acted alone and the files are meaningless, or the files hold evidence that is highly pertinent to the case. Further from Lane’s Duquesne speech when he quoted a conservative member of Congress: “It is not settled until it is properly settled.”

          • D. Olmens says:

            “The term “suggests” carries different weight in these statements. In the former, it is acceptable as an argument, but in the latter (which seems an unfortunate and unproductive device) it is derisively applied in an attempt to reduce to pure speculation the reasonable and responsible consideration of what is in those files.”

            Given that none of us know precisely what the information the files might contain, any discussion about their contents is speculative. Simple as that.

            “For instance, if as fact, Joannides was in New Orleans the summer that Oswald was posing, that suggests the the high probability of a connection based on the now known fact that files on Oswald existed at the time.”

            High probability? Connection? Not necessarily. I don’t agree that his hypothetical presence automatically equates to this. There’s a range of possibilities here. Again, at this point, that is speculation, to date unsupported. The files may be illustrative on this point, who knows.

            “The argument against Oswald is predicated on cherry-picked evidence, and vulnerable to the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The intelligence services’ lack of candor contributes to the stumbling blocks in the State’s proof. Surely most judges would be frustrated with that.”

            Cherry-picked evidence? Such as the fact that it was his gun, the motorcade drove directly past his workplace, he departed the scene of the crime, subsequently killed a policeman, and so on… The sort of “cherry picking” that would actually be admissible in court. As opposed to evidence of Oswald being connected to a conspiracy… Hard evidence of which, at this point in time, simply does not exist.

            “As Mark Lane argues (paraphrasing), either Oswald acted alone and the files are meaningless, or the files hold evidence that is highly pertinent to the case. Further from Lane’s Duquesne speech when he quoted a conservative member of Congress: “It is not settled until it is properly settled.””

            This would be the same Mark Lane that was at Jonestown? The same Mark Lane who represented Liberty Lobby?

          • Photon says:

            Oswald would have been executed for killing Tippit alone. The evidence for his guilt in that matter was overwhelming, forensically sound and legally admissible,from eyewitness testimony, ballistics and even the vaunted paraffin testing so loved by conspiracy theorists.
            Only the truly deluded refuse to see the truth of Oswald’s guilt in this matter.
            And there lies the truth, if you are willing to look.

          • leslie sharp says:

            I continue to argue that a reasonable and responsible consideration of what the files contain is not the same as idle speculation. From what I have gleaned from Jeff Morley relating to this issue, there are trajectories, patterns, implications in other files surrounding those that continue to be withheld that beg the consideration of their importance.

            It is one thing to subjectively doubt that there was no connection between Joannides and Oswald; it is another to ignore common sense, to ignore the rarefied air of the intelligence world particularly in the early 60′s. It was a club, a tight club, and if Oswald had a CIA file, and Oswald was functioning in New Orleans in a fashion that appeared to relate to intelligence or counter-intel, debating conditions in a region that was a direct focus of George Joannides, I believe an objective observer would say more than “who knows?” and insist on knowing. What are you afraid of in joining with other Americans who insist that the files that belong to them/us be released? Are the next 3 years critical to some operation that causes you to insist we wait until 2017?

            For new students, a bit of context:
            His gun? A rifle ordered under the name Hidell, and Oswald had Hidell identification. Refer to Dick Russell’s work on the name Hidell. Speculative, but worth consideration. Refer also to the manner the rifle ended up in Dallas, the adverts for the rifle showing up in Murchison related publications, and S. Klein history.

            Motorcade drove directly past his workplace? Oswald returned to the Dallas area almost the same time that Frazier moved to Irving, into the neighborhood of Ruth (familial connections to the CIA) and her estranged husband Michael Paine (whose family wealth and his own were directly tied to Ft. Worth/Amarillo military contractor Bell Helicopter); Ruth, who seemed to have adopted Marina Oswald, befriended Frazier’s sister, Mrs. Randle (roots in Hunstville, TX – space does not permit elaboration) who suggested that there might be a job opening at the depository; Ruth phones Roy Truly; Truly hires Oswald. (keep in mind all of this is occurring in just weeks before the assassination). Study Truly’s history with the book depository business, who owned the business, what publishers were tenants of that business, and how that leads to establishment military industrial connections (who writes the history controls the future, and choice of textbooks in Texas drove the national selection). Further study Truly’s history with North American Aviation, and consider that he alone identified Oswald so that Oswald would be tracked to his rooming house. Then study the records of the parade route, carefully.

            Hard evidence does not exist? Might that be a sign on a highly effective and well executed cover-up, and except for vigilant pursuit of the truth we would not able to hold onto the thread of justice in the case. The cherry-picked evidence excludes and or ignores hundreds of facts that very early on introduced contradiction into the official story.

            No need to defend Mark Lane. His character is sufficient to withstand this level of attack. I’m disappointed when anyone on this site stoops to it, particularly one who insists that a high standard be upheld.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Photon, the evidence you allude to in the Tippitt case has been challenged over and over. I’m interested if you know anything about Tippitt’s history as an off-duty police officer for security at the Texas Theatre? Their site references the fact, and I’m wondering if that has ever been mentioned or verified?

          • D. Olmens says:

            In response to Leslie Sharp in this thread:

            Firstly, re: Tippit – I really struggle to believe that in a court of law Oswald would have been exonerated for that crime. The evidence is solid. Researchers delve around in Tippit’s background trying to find connections to this and that, but you can’t overlook the hard evidence. Courts don’t tend to.

            re: Mark Lane – I treat Posner’s work with a high degree of caution given his plagiarism scandals. Similarly, I treat Mark Lane’s work with a high degree of caution because I find his involvement in the two situations I mentioned very troubling. As far as conspiracy authors go, I don’t rate him highly at all. There are better researchers and writers. Same for Posner.

            Getting back to your other points, I don’t understand why you keep mentioning my position on the unreleased files. I’d like to see them released asap, same as you.

            What you describe as “common sense” and “appeared to relate to ” in the case of Joannides is hypothesis. Furthermore, it’s hypothesis with a strong inclination to always see conspiracy. There’s a range of possibilities here.

            I’m afraid I just don’t believe the chain of connections you’ve created in regards to the parade route where you end up at North American Aviation. It’s join-the-dots reasoning because you start with a fixed viewpoint, then look at a set of facts and impose meanings on them. Using this approach it’s probably possible to connect Oswald with the United Nations, NASA, or virtually anything. The single biggest weakness in this viewpoint is that nothing is ever the result of random chance, every single aspect down to the most minute circumstantial detail is planned and orchestrated by omniscient hidden hands which are never identified. If you take any historical event and dissect it to the microscopic level of detail in which the assassination has been, all manner of curious incidental details will merge. However, it takes a very specific approach to assemble those and end up connecting Oswald with North American Aviation.

            “(who writes the history controls the future, and choice of textbooks in Texas drove the national selection)”

            Are you suggesting that the TSBD employing Oswald was part of a larger plot to control the national educational curriculum? I find that an incredible idea.

          • Photon says:

            Mark Lane’s involvement with Jim Jones and the paranoia that he helped stimulate in that psychopath is never mentioned or accepted in conspiracy circles. Lane convinced Jones that the CIA was out to get him and would launch an attack to end the Jonestown “experiment”. It was in response to this that Jones started planning the mass suicide that would deprive the evil US government of taking over the Peoples Temple. Lane never apologized for his role in the deaths of 900 people, nor did he ever acknowledge any proof whatsoever supporting his claims of CIA plans against the Peoples Temple. It is one thing to put out misleading and false information about the assassination of JFK ( remember his claim about seeing Jack Ruby in a picture standing in front of the TSBD?) but it is entirely another matter to put similar unfounded drivel in the mind of a monster who might use it to justify a horrendous action. Obviously Mr. Lane never considered what Jones was capable of, but at a minimum it shows a colossal lack of judgement.And that is not a Rush to Judgement, but a personal opinion.

          • leslie sharp says:

            D. Olmens,
            “This and that” diminishes to irrelevance a serious consideration of fact. How could anyone with any degree of curiosity not wonder about Tippitt’s history? Did he or did he not frequent Ruby’s Carousel Club? Was he or was he not an off duty security guard at the Texas Theater, the ‘random’ location that Oswald fled to? Was Tippitt on his way there when he encountered his assailant? Was Oswald en route to the theater because it was a rendezvous, and if it was, could Tippitt have been involved in an escape plan gone awry, or a set up that ensured Oswald’s arrest that cost Tippitt his life? The evidence against Oswald is not solid beyond a reasonable doubt while critical questions remain unanswered. Presenting the prosecution’s case only, which many attempt, is not the same as affording Oswald a fair trial, let alone uncovering the truth behind the assassination.

            Yours is the leap from North American Aviation to Oswald, and seemingly from your fixed viewpoint that Oswald alone assassinated John Kennedy. Oswald was not connected to NA, Roy Truly was. The very essence of recognizing the pattern created by dots is to not jump from one end to another without considering the points in between. I suppose if Oswald is in the center of your frame (no pun intended), there are no other dots, and the entire event occurred in a vacuum.

            A solid trajectory of circumstantial evidence relating to Oswald in the depository building implicates certain elements, passive and active, of a vast and yet intricate web that to this day enjoys the secrecy that power exerts, and within which a coup could have been executed by means of a sophisticated, compartmentalized plot.

            “Are you suggesting that the TSBD employing Oswald was part of a larger plot to control the national educational curriculum? I find that an incredible idea. ”

            That’s a clever twist on what I was saying, and indeed would be an incredible idea. But it is nonetheless, a twist of my words.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Photon, the messenger appears to influence your evaluation of their message in a number of instances. Mark Lane’s commitment to quality assassination research is evident. If you have evidence that his presence in Jonestown compromises that research, please present it.

        • Photon says:

          As far as Truly’s connection with NAA, why don’t you mention those conspirators Ed White and Roger Chaffee, whose connections with NAA were much stronger than anything Truly ever had. In addition, they died under mysterious circumstances less than 5 years after the assassination of JFK..

  3. JG says:

    Perhaps the conspiracy crowd needs a little more time, 50 years wasn’t enough.

    • JSA says:

      It took over 100 years after they were freed from slavery before black Americans could gain voting rights. When CIA releases all the JFK assassination related files, we can talk.

      • D. Olmens says:

        That’s not a relevant historical comparison. The two are completely unrelated. As far as the files, let’s see what they contain first. However, for researchers pinning their hopes on finding a “smoking gun” in amongst the unreleased documents, I fear you might well be disappointed. A possible scenario is that the documents will raise more questions than they answer. No doubt researchers will then shift their focus to other documents located elsewhere.

        • John Kirsch says:

          I think people who believe the CIA is somehow going to “come clean” on 11/22 are naive. The agency has a documented record of obstruction. Case in point: Joannides. Given that history of obstruction, does it seem sensible to think that this very same agency will somehow make a complete turnabout and give up everything it knows about 11/22? No, because the pattern of long-time obstruction suggests that the agency is hiding something.
          The other possibility is that the CIA is toying with us over the files it refuses to give up. One day, it will release them with great fanfare about “openness” in order to obscure the fact that the files contain little, if anything, of value. And the government will have succeeded in wasting yet more of our time in the search for truth.
          What objective reason do you have for believing that we are dealing with honest people?

          • leslie sharp says:

            This is an interesting consideration. What message is being reinforced by holding certain documents from public scrutiny? It reminds one of Vince Salandria’s proposition that the spectacular nature of the assassination was designed for affect. Likewise, are US citizens still being subjected to a not so subtle message for affect: “Fear us, we’re still in charge.”

          • D. Olmens says:

            Sorry, typo: should read “haven’t”, not “have”.

        • leslie sharp says:

          The outcome of Morley v. CIA is as significant for our nation’s future as is the material being sought. Personally, it has taken me months to recognize this fact, but as the smoke is clearing from the 50th, it is clear that in order to honor Kennedy’s life, it is incumbent upon us to see this very particular legal issue through – regardless of some speculative possibility of being disappointed. Ironically, it’s at the very heart of what Kennedy stood for, and high on the list of contentious issues behind his assassination.

        • JSA says:

          It’s actually quite a good comparison, when you look at how long it took for the US government to admit to wrongdoing with regard to race separation, with regard to promising to come clean and change a corrupt policy. I think it may take another 50 years before the government officially admits that we had a domestic coup in this country, orchestrated by elements of our own government, paid for with US tax dollars (CIA). To further my analogy, I’d like a “Truth and Reconciliation” to occur in our future, as happened in South Africa, when apartheid was finally ended as a bad state policy.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      Yes, I guess we (at least I) do. After 50 years 60-70-80% of the American people still believe in a conspiracy. So, if it’s not true, then just FREE THE FILES.

    • Ramon F Herrera says:

      If we divide people in two groups: LNs and CTs.

      (a) Which group do you think has more imagination?

      (b) Which group has more love for freedom? Democracy?

      (c) Which group is more passionate about the truth (the whole and nothing but)?

      Certainly not your group, Mr. JG.

      • D. Olmens says:

        This comment is truly bizarre. a) and b) are completely irrational.

        How on earth did this comment get approved? How is this a useful contribution to the discussion?

        The comments moderation policy on this site needs an overhaul. Publishing this kind of nonsense only serves to diminish the site’s credibility.

        I completely disagree with the notion that a belief in Oswald’s guilt equates to a diminished love for freedom and democracy. That is quite frankly complete bullsh*t, and deserves to be called out as such.

  4. Rick Anderson says:

    Both JudgeTunheim and the Professor Joyce say there are gaps in the historical record and that they are open to new evidence but this does not give them pause in declaring their opinion that evidently Oswald did it and he did it alone!

    Judge Tunheim reminds us that some cannot “believe that a 24-year-old misfit that has had really an awful life, who has these pro-communist tendencies, difficulty navigating life, could publicly assassinate the leader of the free world,” And Professor Joyce says “he believes in, and hopes for, an “emerging consensus” against a conspiracy.” His own feeling is that Oswald got lucky.

    Both should be careful that their “opinions” (and that’s all that they are) are not misconstrued as advocacy for a solution to the case that is not true.

    Their reputation and legacy as members of the ARRB and the Board itself is what is at stake.

    At last count their are many hundreds of documents still to be released-it is nearly 20 years since the Board was constituted! The “unhealthy societal angst” of conspiracy theorists of which Professor Joyce speaks is a direct result of the this delay.

    I would hope these both honorable men would advocate strongly for immediate release of these files.

    But I see articles and interviews with them that seem to argue a position on this case.

    This was not the mission of the ARRB.

    • Using the standard of a courtroom with a dead defendant – without representation – makes a mockery of the concept of evidence, facts, or a court standard.To take one teeny example:
      The rifle ordered was not the rifle found; the money order to buy the rifle was never cashed; the law prohibited unauthorized people getting packages from Oswald’s mailbox.The rifle – examined by the FBI the evening of the murder, found neither palm nor fingerprints on either the outside or the inside of the rifle.Within the first 48 hours, the FBI learned that Oswald had been impersonated in Mexico City in a way suggestive of treason and, the autopsy doctors in Bethesda were under the control of military personnel who instructed them not to dissect a bullet wound.
      God help us all if such is to be held as proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” of guilt. In addition of course, this murder needs “truth” not legalese.

      • leslie sharp says:

        RH: “God help us . . . ” This should cause even the most disinterested citizen to pause and consider: are you willing to accept the consequences of being set up for a crime, are you willing to forego your day in court and a jury of your peers, are you willing to be subjected to a Kangaroo Court orchestrated by unelected speculators in cyberspace no less; are you willing to have your own murder reduced to a farce?

        Would John Kennedy be satisfied with the evidence against Oswald? Would he demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Would he question the Warren Report in minute detail? Would he ask … did Rudy know Oswald?

    • TLR says:

      Judge Tunheim reminds us that some cannot “believe that a 24-year-old misfit that has had really an awful life, who has these pro-communist tendencies, difficulty navigating life, could publicly assassinate the leader of the free world,” And Professor Joyce says “he believes in, and hopes for, an “emerging consensus” against a conspiracy.” His own feeling is that Oswald got lucky.

      One could easily turn this psycho-babble around and point it back at defenders of the official story. Some people cannot believe or accept that conspiracies happen in America, or that innocent people can be framed by police and intelligence agencies, or that powerful institutions would actually deceive the public. After everything that’s happened in this country during our lives, tell me which is the more pathetic belief?

  5. Ronnie Wayne says:

    VERY interesting how his comments go from no conspiracy on 11/22/13 to “treachery” by the CIA and “if they fooled us on this…” on 11/24/13.
    See the thread 5 threads down “…judge calls for release of files”

    Or:

    http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/news/citing-cia-treachery-federal-judge-calls-for-release-of-secret-jfk-files/#more-9791

  6. bogman says:

    So assassination researchers and not the ONGOING, DEMONSTRATED subterfuge, connivance and illegality of the CIA are to blame for society’s angst?

    Got it.

  7. bogman says:

    With conspiracy theories from the Secretary of State no less and Tunheim’s head-spinning change of mind, why does it feel like this pimple on the American psyche is coming to a head?

    Release the godd@mm files now!

  8. Hans Trayne says:

    As I understand it, a Federal complaint filed against a person or agency accused of not obeying a law (or laws)originates from within the US Government (example: FBI, Justice Department, Pentagon, President, etc.)This authorizes arrest & detainment (jail). A Federal judge decides of granting bail or not until trial date. Then there’s a trial.

    In the case of non-transparency (those withholding documents & records in violation of Federal law), defense lawyers for the accused would argue their client had reason to violate the law. A Federal judge or jury would decide the case & determine appropriate punishment (if applicable).

    What’s missing in the issue of non-compliance with transparency law is the Federal complaint against the alleged offender. Once everything is released Judge Tunheim might see the hard evidence indicating more than ‘just Oswald’ that he doesn’t see now.

  9. jeffc says:

    The ARRB’s Jeremy Gunn was interviewed by NPR a couple of weeks ago (see November 12 on this site) and managed to address these issues from a far more nuanced position. For example:

    “There is substantial evidence that points toward Oswald and incriminates Oswald,” he says, “and the only person we can name where there is evidence is Oswald. But there’s also rather important exculpatory evidence for Oswald, suggesting he didn’t do it, and that he was framed.”

    I think most persons who have looked closely at the evidence against Oswald agree that a good defense lawyer would have carved holes in the prosecution’s case. The standby line from those who accept the official story is then: there is no proof of a conspiracy. But the existence of physical evidence meant to, and used for the purpose of framing the suspect – is proof of a conspiracy.

  10. Thomas says:

    There was not enough proof to convict O.J. Simpson in a court of law so for me the “court” criteria isn’t the be-all-and-end-all.

    It’s easy to see why evidence in this case doesn’t live up to a high courtroom standard: The evidence that might have been raised in court was tampered with or is covered up to this day by the authorities themselves. How many other cases can you say that about? That’s the crux of the problem.

    • S.R."Dusty" Rohde says:

      Still…there is enough evidence in the JFK autopsy evidence to prove that the evidence has been altered, tampered with or destroyed. To date, no one has been charged and no trial has been convened, it’s past due.

      • Photon says:

        Such as?

        • S.R."Dusty" Rohde says:

          LOL….visit my FB “JFK Altered Autopsy Images” page, you’ll find all of the evidence you could possibly want and some you may never heard of.

          • Photon says:

            And what makes you an expert in autopsies or photographic interpretation? I thought that you were a firefighter? That makes you a brave and valuable member of society but not an expert in forensic sciences.

  11. JSA says:

    If Oswald was guilty (for the whole crime) and if there was no conspiracy, why does the government keep his documents sealed? Why?

    • S.R."Dusty" Rohde says:

      The CIA and the Government refuse to release the records because they are afraid they will prove Oswald guilty and that no conspiracy existed. (Lone Assassin logic)…LOL.

    • D. Olmens says:

      This is an interesting question. However, I think you’re looking at this the wrong way. Simply because the records are unreleased, this does not automatically mean that the government is attempting to conceal a conspiracy. I can think of a number of possible explanations why those records are unreleased. There is the “national security”/”sources and methods” argument for example, which seems a bit of a stretch at this point. I suspect there might also be some kind of legal aspect to this, whether it’s to do with revealing information about people still living, or leaving open the CIA in particular to legal complaints. There is also the possibility that the files might reveal additional and unrelated programs that the CIA would prefer not be made public. Until we see what’s in those records or pending a more detailed explanation regarding their non-disclosure it’s hard to say with precision.

      However, I think you’re extremely optimistic if you think there’s a “smoking gun” in there. What are expecting the records to reveal? I think we’d all be well advised to keep an open mind here until the files are opened.

      My hunch, and it’s no more than that, is that there might perhaps be further details in the records that demonstrate organisational incompetence, internal CIA rivalries/molehunts, efforts by the CIA to spin the assassination to their benefit in the media regarding Cuban involvement, a very detailed knowledge of Oswald and his activities, or perhaps details of CIA people engaged in activities which were highly questionable. The appointment of Joannides to liaise with the HCSA is intriguing. Who better to divert attention from the CIA’s ties to the DRE. That in itself might suggest that there’s more to this story. Who knows. Time will tell.

      At the end of the day though, I’m not sure the release of the records will settle the matter for researchers. There’s always another file somewhere. The nature of the CIA as a clandestine service leaves it wide open to claims that’s concealing or withholding something.

      • S.R."Dusty" Rohde says:

        There may be no “smoking gun at all” but you manage to evade the 2nd biggest reason people want CIA records released. The CIA has proven themselevs less than honest in relationship to the assassination. The CIA was directly connected to perpetuating a false public image of Oswald. Those deceptions and others involving the HSCA cost them the trust of the American public. A public in no mood to tolerate more evasion.

        • D. Olmens says:

          I’m not evading anything, I’d like to see the documents released as much as anyone and have said that repeatedly. I fully support Mr Morley’s efforts here.

          I’m not sure the public cares as much as you would hope. Otherwise we’d see an awful lot more agitation to get the records released. This all happened a long time ago, and I’d argue that for a lot of people issues like the economy, jobs and so on are somewhat more important in their day-to-day lives.

          • JSA says:

            Let’s free the documents as you said originally. Then we can decide for ourselves if CIA is hiding anything. To say that “national security” is involved with regard to methods—-you could use that argument to never release anything!

            The pattern of abuse by our intelligence services, established by the CIA from its inception as Harry Truman mentioned in his Post OP/ED in Dec. 1963, through the NSA abuses today should be brought into review and changed. If people care about whether we are becoming a police state, the JFK assassination still matters.

          • S.R."Dusty" Rohde says:

            Yes…this happened a long time ago. But, violating someones Constitutional rights is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago, no matter the economy or job situation. It has been relevant every year since the signing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I was in school when JFK was assassinated, I know when it happened.

      • leslie sharp says:

        If the hunch persists, then shouldn’t one argue vociferously for the release of the Oswald/CIA related documents. Why defend the CIA’s deliberate impediment to the investigation by positing pure speculation as to their motive?

        With what comes across as a balanced approach, why diminish Joannides’ role as liaison with the HSCA as little more than ‘intriguing.’ Why not delve into the questions begged by that intrigue, with both feet? Beyond a reasonable doubt hangs in the balance.

        • D. Olmens says:

          In my view the documents should be released as soon as possible. Simple as that.

          The reason I describe the Joannides situation as intriguing is because clearly at this point we’re missing some pieces of the jigsaw. There are several bits of information that we know about this man. But beyond that it’s hypothetical at this point.

          As far as delving in with both feet, obviously I don’t have access to any more information than you do about Joannides. Rather than indulge in speculation beyond what we can know with some certainty, I’d like to see more verifiable, documented details. There’s a very limited threshold of information here, beyond which anything is speculation.

          If more information emerges I’ll be very interested to read it.

          • leslie sharp says:

            D. Olmens, I’ll ignore this presumption, but with respects, you do not know what information I have. I’m not sure who is represented in your use of the pronoun “we.” If you are not doing your own research, but relying on that of others, I can understand the collective term. Otherwise it seems an attempt to further promote the idea that we are ALL helpless in pursuing, yet alone solving, the murder cases of John Kennedy and Lee Oswald.

    • Photon says:

      First prove they have anything to do with Oswald.

      • S.R."Dusty" Rohde says:

        Since you want the truth Photon, why don’t you start a petition demanding the government begin the trial Lee H. Oswald was denied?

        • Photon says:

          The plan truth is that by Nov 23 the Dallas Police department had enough on Oswald to bring him to trial for the murders of Tippit and JFK.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Photon, I would propose that by November 21st, evidence against Oswald had been fairly well established.

        • S.R. "Dusty" Rohde says:

          For the record let me say this. If a trial should ever occur, and LHO is found guilty, I would be perfectly okay with that. If that decision included all available evidence. Anything less than that gives me no choice but to support “Fair Play for Oswald”.

  12. Mark Groubert says:

    “The FBI and CIA had tape recordings of Oswald’s discussions in the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City in the fall of 1963 — but they have disappeared. ”

    Well, that’s a lie. As we know, it was an impostor, thereby laying the ground work for a conspiracy. If you are framing a man later held as the killer, then by definition a conspiracy. [edited]

  13. Mark Groubert says:

    “Joyce said that he believes in, and hopes for, an “emerging consensus” against a conspiracy. He said that the conspiracy theorists keep alive an unhealthy “societal angst,” and that he has yet to see any reliable documentation.”

    And of course one must appreciate the honesty of this man. He is rooting against the truth coming out via conspiracy because of the angst it would cause society – what he means the shaking of the empire.

  14. TLR says:

    I guess Tunheim couldn’t be bothered to actually pay attention to the medical testimony taken by the ARRB, or to familiarize himself with this case in any depth.

    http://www.history-matters.com/medcoverup.htm
    http://www.history-matters.com/essays/jfkmed/How5Investigations/How5InvestigationsGotItWrong_1a.htm

    A lifelong government employee supports…the government! Shocked, I’m shocked.

  15. Dan says:

    Rex Bradford located a transcript of an erased tape of a telephone call between President Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover the morning of November 23, 1963. Hoover informs Johnson that based on photographs and audio tapes in FBI possession, there was a second person in Mexico City pretending to be Oswald. I think this is pretty strong evidence of conspiracy.

  16. S.R."Dusty" Rohde says:

    To say “I see ‘no evidence’ of a conspiracy is akin to saying “I see no evidence the Sun came up this morning, because they didn’t happen to watch it. Nevermind the bright daylight or shadows seen everywhere for the whole World to see. The moment of assassination was not an exclusive act. Deniers try so desparately to isolate the act itself, so they may so deceptively boast “there is no evidence of a conspiracy”…all at the angst of most Americans. Those Americans understand the term “reasonable doubt” and that no trial has taken place. Those Americans hold fast to the right of “innocent until proven guilty”…in a COURT OF LAW, Not a kangaroo court. Americans understand the lack of a trial was an injustice that undermined the integriy and thier trust in the legal system. Americans know they were lied to and or deceived by the CIA, FBI, Dallas Police, the Warren Commission and the Media. A small mountain of evidence exists to prove that. The CIA, DRE, and Dallas Police all contributed to creating a false public persona of a lone renegade serial killer, not just an assassin. Bethesda autopsy staff put the final nail in Oswalds coffin with their destruction of evidence. All of this is relevant to the murder and overwhelmingly points to certain deception and a likely conspiracy.

  17. “Is there any evidence or testimony that could be introduced in a courtroom, stand up under cross-examination, and convincingly prove that anyone other than Oswald was involved?” ABSOLUTELY
    We can prove with certainty, and with evidence that is accepted in courtrooms nationwide today, a front shooter.

    In the years since President Kennedy’s death, various technical fields have made great strides in understanding ballistics. Developing accurate methods to establish projectile trajectories and establishing a better understanding of wound ballistics continues to be the focus of new research and technical publications. Scientifically establishing directionality of the projectile striking Kennedy in the head is paramount supporting a single rear shooter, establishing a conspiracy. Beveling, fracture sequencing, projectile fragmentation, target movement, and blood spatter in gunshot wounds to the head are current methods of assessing a projectile’s direction of travel.

    Identifying the head shot as a front or rear injury is significant as it proves a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Contemporary research indicates there are five methods to determine the direction of travel of the projectile fatally wounding President Kennedy. One – beveling- is deemed unreliable; the other four support a shot from the front.

    Importantly, they do so while meeting the evidentiary standard required to support a criminal conviction in today’s courtroom. Forensics is changing the face of justice in every state in the nation. Isn’t it time it was changing our nation’s historical narrative?

    • Photon says:

      Sherry, when is the last time that you testified as an expert witness in a murder trial?

      • leslie sharp says:

        Photon, I’m guessing that you have much to contribute, but how can you when you are preoccupied with credentials, a characteristic that reveals indoctrination rather than a capacity for critical analysis. Getting up to speed in the latest forensics is difficult enough without having to consider your slaying of the messenger, in this case Feister. I don’t care if Sherry Feister is five years old, providing she has the most up to date information.

        • Photon says:

          Sherry Feister is claiming to be an expert in wound ballistics and blood splatter characteristics,not a five year old witness. As her take on the blood spatter data in this case is unique and not supported by any other expert in the topic I question the validity of her findings. Zapruder frame 313 clearly shows skull fragments going up and forward, invalidating her hypothesis. The question about her recent trial experience is valid; if she hasn’t testified in a case for over 10 years how could she possibly have the most up to date information? Anybody who has never seen an autopsy is incompetent to give judgement on wound characteristics and direction of origin of the missiles causing such wounds.
          To not care about credentials is the hallmark of conspiracy theorists; as they rarely can find true experts to confirm their often ridiculous claims. As a result you have X-ray techs promoted as experts on X-rays when they may not even have high school diplomas ; you have small town police officers promoted as forensic experts with no medical background; you have laymen with no comprehension of radiographic procedures or anatomy claiming to recognize pathology in X-rays without even knowing the difference between a PA and an AP film.
          Perhaps you would find it acceptable to have a dentist take out your gall bladder or have an X-ray tech review your CAT scan or have an ER physician do an autopsy.
          The point is that if a true expert contradicts your theory, you need to come up with something better than a tech with only a superficial knowledge of the topic.
          Perhaps if you had an advanced degree or an academic background you could understand what credentials mean and why they are important.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Photon, There is no dispute that credentials signify that a certain degree of formal education or training has been either completed (or bought). However, credentials do not guarantee the application of accuracy, integrity, truth, wisdom or common sense.

            Those with solid credentials were subjected to the harsh reality of the emergency room in Parkland along with those without credentials while credentialed military and government officials swarmed around the proceedings. Credentials were also applied in the far more intense and contained reality of the Bethesda autopsy, a procedure that (in spite of those holding said credentials) will be highly suspect until, like it or not, this case is settled and settled properly. I would also propose that all but a select few on that day, caught in the immediate vicinity of the tragedy, were metaphorically stripped of their credentials and reduced to the bare bones of their humanity.

            Why do I believe Sherry Feister’s conclusions? They make sense, that’s all. I’ve not studied her credentials.

    • Photon says:

      Exactly how many autopsies have you attended?

    • S.R. "Dusty" Rohde says:

      I would be confident in presenting the case for a frontal shot, as well as from behind to a jury, as solid evidence exists. And you are certainly correct about the drastic advancements in technology. That new technology is opening doors to greater understanding in this case.

  18. Photon says:

    So much for the Ole and Lena conspiracies?

  19. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Huhh??? Sorry for my ignorance but please explain these.

    Or could they just Free The Files and end the controversy over Joannnaides and the “other things” they “may have fooled them on”

  20. John Kirsch says:

    Don’t fret, Ronnie. Our good friend Photon likes to issue cryptic, Delphic statements. You are only the latest target.

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