Did Dallas do it?

In their new book “Dallas 1963″ veteran author BIll Minutaglio and Steven Davis offer a “biography of a city” that they say has lessons overlooked by historians of JFK’s asssassination..

“We felt there was a welling toxic environment in Dallas,” Minutaglio tells KUT News radio in Austin.

“That there was something that started as unease and dread in the community at large and it really began building to a fevered pitch. It was waiting there for Kennedy, and he didn’t know it,” he said.

It’s a great topic and I look forward to reading it. Minutaglio’s case that the Dallas political environment is important to understanding the causes of the assassination is marred only by his unconvincing conclusion: that anti-JFK hysteria on the patriotic right somehow inspired Lee Oswald, a pro-Castro leftist, to kill the president.

Minutaglio doesn’t sound very convinced himself.

“Lee Harvey Oswald was there, and was kind of caught up in the swirl, and might have been motivated as a disturbed individual to action, to be a part of this maelstrom.”

First of all, there is little evidence that Oswald was “disturbed” in the clinical sense of other would-be assassins like John Hinckley, Arthur Bremer and Mark David Chapman. He was not dissociated in his thinking. He was not socially isolated.

The claim that Oswald, a well-read leftist, “might have been motivated” by right-wing fervor is surpassingly weak.

 

Interview: The Political Climate in Dallas Leading to JFK’s Assassination | KUT News.

24 comments

  1. John Kirsch says:

    For me, one of the many mysteries of Oswald is why he chose to settle in the Dallas area after leaving the Soviet Union. Despite his alleged disillusionment with life in the “workers’ paradise,” Oswald still identified himself as a communist or Marxist of some sort. Why would a person like that choose to live in the Dallas area, which was a hotbed of extreme right-wing activity at the time? Don’t forget the violent reception that Adlai Stevenson got and his effort to dissuade JFK from visiting Dallas. Are we really expected to believe that Oswald wanted to be near his nightmare of a mother?

    • Photon says:

      Considering the fact that he slept in the same bed with his mother until he reached adolescence I would say that it was a strong possibility that proximity to his mother played a significant role in his decision to go to Dallas.

      • Jason L. says:

        What is the point of that factoid, even if true (which I have no idea whether it is)? Perhaps he did move to be close to his mother, though there isn’t much evidence he had a very high regard for her or even much contact. He certainly didn’t communicate with her much while he was in Russia.

  2. Dan says:

    Does anyone know more about this report from a Washington Times article in 2006 about the “Famed Oswald Window”? This relates to the owner of the TSBD building in 1963, D. Harold Byrd-

    “Mr. Byrd told friends, including the president of the Dallas Morning News at the time, that he had quietly removed the southeast corner window and briefly stored it. Later he displayed it in his home, where it became the centerpiece of many social gatherings.”

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/may/02/20060502-103326-3519r/#ixzz2fj01pTyW

    • leslie sharp says:

      Dan,
      In response to your question, I have a typewritten statement made by the owner of the book depository business (not the owner of the building, D.H. Byrd) which clarifies the confusion involving Aubrey Mayhew’s purchase of the window. I will try to locate it and scan and attach it to a comment in the hopes that it will clear scrutiny on this site. Right now I’m awaiting for another of my comments to clear customs relating to this thread.

      • Dan says:

        Thanks Leslie. I am aware of the dispute over the provenance of the window. Does anyone know who the people were attending the “many social gatherings” for which the window was the “centerpiece”?

        • leslie sharp says:

          Dan,
          Are you referring to the O.V. Campbell affidavit (of sorts) relating to the wrong window having been removed?

          • Dan says:

            Yes, the statement that the southwestern-most window on the Sixth Floor was taken out rather than the southeastern-most. I don’t remember the name of the person who made the statement.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Dan, I’ve researched Campbell and his business colleague Cason, owners of the book depository business, and it is significant that Campbell became involved in the debate over the window, imo.

      • Anonymous says:

        “When we talk about JFK in 2013 we’re ultimately talking about fixing the problem of entrenched secret power in America, says a reader who goes by JSA.

        I like this formulation. It identifies the contemporary relevance of the story.”

        That was stated back in April of this year, though “off the table” since.

        So that’s right Leslie … those of us who dare mention the ‘B’ word (Bush), the ‘C’ word (Cheney) and likely, the ‘K’ word (Kissinger) are relatively scorned at this site, and subject to “customs.”

        • leslie sharp says:

          Anonymous:
          Tks. And here is an edited version of my original comment that seems either lost in the ethers or held up by the gatekeepers. Perhaps this will clear:

          “Relating to the Minutaglio/Davis book, at first glance the book and your reaction seem to fail to consider that certain Dallasites might have been directly involved in the authorization, planning, execution, and/or cover-up of the assassination. You seem to introduce as fait accomplis that Oswald was the shooter, and then they/you move to consider only how Dallas might or might not have contributed to the mindset behind his (alleged) crime. Unless I’m confused, there is a degree of obfuscation going on here, and the waters are being further muddied until ultimately the general public will cease to care. We are fast approaching that watershed moment.

          I suggest that “Dallas” held a mind set that considered the assassination of John Kennedy a “necessity” (to borrow Dan Hardway’s term), that certain Dallasites were directly involved in the assassination based on that necessity, that Oswald was a patsy by necessity, and that members of the community who are directly related to those alive in and involved with 11.22.63 are by necessity continuing to cover up the crime to this date.”

        • leslie sharp says:

          Anonymous,
          The following is the introduction to the comment that has now been posted. I will be interested to see if it is posted.

          “Jeff,
          If this is such a great topic [Did Dallas Do It?], why didn’t you contribute to a similar discussion that ensued on your site several months ago as a result of one of your threads? I recall posting my assessment of the role that Dallas (as a collective) played in the assassination based on experience in the city and having brushed against a number of power players who at the very (very) least owe our nation an apology for not demanding that the autopsy and the investigation remain in Dallas. (That is not to suggest that the outcome would have been less corrupted, but given that the crime was committed in Dallas, the investigation and the autopsy should have remained there. Why did Dallas authorities so readily relent to Federal pressure?)

          During that discussion, a guest posting as “xxxxx (the name escapes me)” ridiculed my suggestion that former fascist collaborators were embedded in the city in collaboration with the ultra-conservative, military-related corporate establishment – some of whom were involved in failed prosecutions during the Nuremberg Trials and who later returned to Dallas to enjoy lucrative and influential careers. I know this first hand.

          Once again, I worry that your site has become a honey pot for research and opinion and theory without full disclosure. I challenge your practices.”

          • Dan says:

            You mention fascist collaborators, which reminds me that the true story of who set the Reichstag Fire in 1933 is still debated. Was it the confused young Dutch communist arrested on the scene and later executed? Or was it a false flag operation, as Allen Dulles believed, actually organized by the Nazis and putting forward the hapless young Dutch communist as the “false flag”.

        • leslie sharp says:

          Anonymous,

          I went back to review the 1960 election stats: Kennedy 49.7 v. Nixon 49.5. Not exactly a landslide.

          Anyone intent on uncovering the truth about the assassination of John Kennedy might keep in mind that those sitting across the table from them, even now in 2013 – be it descendants, friends, family, loved ones or co-workers – may not have a similar passion for knowing who was behind the murder of an elected US President.

          And if the dinner debate progresses to the issue of Democracy (with the largest D I can find in this font) as taught in the most fundamental of civics classes, we can only hope that historians and educators will view the assassination – not in light of the man, John Kennedy, but – in light of the office, that which was intended to balance the powers. We will get the Democracy we deserve, and we deserve only that which we demand.

  3. Paul Samilpa says:

    I am born and raised in Austin TX, born in 67 but i have always been interested in the JFK assassination. I know he was supposed to come to Austin after Dallas and I have always wondered how that may have transpired. i also always think if there were any plans for an assassination attempt on him here in Austin. I have been to Dealy Plaza and the 6th floor museum and it is very eerie to just stand stand there and imagine what happened that day. I hope i am still around when we found out the truth of what really happened that tragic day.

  4. Stephen Dale says:

    Oswald was emotionally ill. He was diagnosed with Schizoid features when he was 13. This condition does not improve over time. He was detached and cold emotionally and had a deep fantasy life. This does not mean he shot JFK or that he was not involved in a conspiracy. In fact he was at high risk of being set up because he really could not figure people out.

    • Photon says:

      It doesn’t prove that Oswald shot JFK but does suggest that he was capable of antisocial behavior- as had been seen since his childhood. It is not logical that anybody would set up such an unstable person as a “patsy” .

    • leslie sharp says:

      Stephen,
      Have you studied Oswald’s adolescent history thoroughly? His biological father – an employee of a major national insurance company – died at an early age, leaving Lee bereft of fundamental grounding, a familiar archetype in the dissolution of a personality in modern American society. Have you studied those involved in Lee’s assessment at Youth House up to and including the law firm representing the adolescent care institute? Have you studied the professional associations between the care professionals at Youth House and the social science experts at Columbia University which influenced the methods employed at Youth House, including most likely Beatrice Berle, the wife of Adolph Berle? In case you are not aware, Adolph Berle was highly regarded in a number of administrations, and a confidant of the Rockefeller family Berle signed off on the CIA-funded Human Ecology study which morphed into MkUltra stating “this one scares me …it will be as if men are ants.” (paraphrasing)

  5. leslie sharp says:

    (I inadvertently posted this on another)
    Dan,
    I’ve read the comparison with the Reichstag fire.

    Some of the earliest credible researchers (PD Scott and Dick Russell come to mind) had the intelligence and logic to concentrate their investigation on the scene of the crime. They paid a good deal of attention to the culture of Dallas and of Texas.

    Over the years, that focus – for whatever reasons – shifted primarily to “THE” CIA, in spite of the term being an enormously broad label having no real meaning other than “intelligence,” and striking exclusive images of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. (Jeff Morley’s quest for undisclosed documents has fueled that shift.) If one is to consider the Bay of Pigs as sufficient justification to assassinate an elected president in broad daylight in a young, ultra-conservative city like Dallas, one must also consider this tiny little snippet in reference to the last US Ambassador to Cuba, Philip Bonsal’s “serious concern at the treatment being given American private interests in Cuba both agriculture and utilities.” No where in that exchange did Bonsal express concern for freedom loving (Bay of Pigs type) Cubans. Dallas and Texas represent ties to a significant portion of private investment in Cuba at the time.

    The shift to THE CIA may also have been induced when more facts surfaced about planned assassination(s) in Miami and Chicago, leading many to believe that Dallas simply happened to be the scene of the crime, and that it could have happened anywhere because the CIA functioned everywhere (which begs the nagging question, why did we as Americans accept that CIA was operating on domestic soil in the first place? Where was our collective outrage?) I am of the opinion that the 3-city theory was part of the cover-up. The three major cities represented diversion and cover for Dallas because all three shared similar characteristics – Miami, Chicago and Dallas were bound together via the Mafia; Miami and Chicago connected through sheer wealth and investment; and Dallas and Chicago connected via the military industrial financial complex; all three shared connections via the intelligence community which I believe were tied to the semi-private effort designed to protect private interests outside of US boundaries. I personally do not believe the assassination would have been successful in any city but Dallas. There would not have been sufficient esoteric meaning in Miami, (the impact of the manner in which the assassination took place in Dallas on our democratic psyche cannot be overstated – Salandria said as much) and Mayor Daly and the Irish community in Chicago would have been difficult to silence in the aftermath in their city.

    (Assuming my comment will be posted beyond the aforementioned): on the topic of Allen Dulles, I recently posted this on another thread on this site.

    Even Dulles could have been set up as a patsy. I’m not naive when I share the following passage from “Gentleman Spy,” by Peter Grose (pg. 540). Of course Allen Dulles was a master of propaganda and counter intelligence, but I think this is worthy of study:
    Dulles: “I shall never forget when I first heard the news of the Dallas tragedy.” …. [John Kennedy] “was a man who hadn’t had a chance really to show his full capabilities,” Allen told Tom Braden in his oral history for the Kennedy Presidential Library. “He’d gone through the very difficult days ….” and here Allen had to recall his own part in making those difficulties. “All that, he had put behind him,” Allen said. “He was at a point to move forward and show us the full possibilities of a very extraordinary man.”

    Dulles may have been the master deceiver in the Great Game, but a man of his apparent temperament would never have authorized the assassination without being guaranteed he would get away with it. Who had the power to make that guarantee? His colleagues at Sullivan & Cromwell?

    • Dan says:

      A lot to think about, Leslie. We are learning that the German Gehlen Organization became a key component of CIA, and I would suggest that you analyze any German or Eastern European connections in this light. There are more than one might think.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Dan, I have done just that over the last decade. The tentacles are deep and wide. Certain characters have only surfaced in the last few years that can be traced to global oil interests, and that lead straight to Houston and Dallas. I won’t post my material relating to this particular area of research on this site for a number of reasons, primarily because I want to avoid getting into a defensive posture on the topic. If you know of any credible venue(s) that are pursuing the Gehlen connection in earnest, I would be interested in hearing.

  6. leslie sharp says:

    Dan,
    I remembered reading some of your comments several weeks ago, and did a quick review (I copied this one as an example). By sheer coincidence, Photon seems interested in the Miami, Chicago story which seems to lie outside his forensic, ballistic expertise.

    “From the Secret Service Final Survey report for Tampa on Nov. 18: “All intersections along the route were controlled by uniformed police officers and these men were reinforced by motorcycle escort intersection control. The sheriff’s office secured the roofs of major buildings in the downtown and suburban areas. All underpasses were controlled by police and military units.”

    Third time’s a charm strikes me as being possibly applicable in this scenario.

    • Dan says:

      I think the official explanation for less security in Dallas is that the Milteer threat was not passed along to those agents preparing security in Dallas. The Sheriff’s Office in Dallas was located in the County Criminal Courts Building on Houston St. overlooking Dealey Plaza, which would have been an excellent place for rooftop security as was provided in Tampa.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Dan,
        Or Milteer’s claim was designed to dilute or minimize the threats, thus introducing the possibility of a number of lone nutters that were targeting Kennedy. Milteer was conveniently positioned in Valdosta, GA, a small community in the deep South with links to the extreme right.

        The following youtube post may or may not be relevant. I’ll post it in hopes that some might pick up on the significance. Anyone frustrated by the emphasis on the Gaelic can jump to minute 3:45 for the essence.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TKHlYqSjRo

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