Lisa Pease writes with an insistent question:
“Either you believe JFK was killed by more than one person deliberately, you believe he was killed by more than one person by accident, or he was killed by a lone nut. Which is it, Jeff?
“No matter what you say, you DO have a theory. You don’t claim to know it’s true, but you HAVE a theory. Don’t pretend you don’t.”
I’m not pretending, Lisa! I don’t have a JFK theory. I have three of them.
Forgive my pedantry but let’s start with Dictionary.com, which offers two definitions of “theory.”
“1. a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity.”
Theory #1: the “lone nut” theory hypothesizes that President Kennedy was killed by one man for no reason who was then killed by another man for no reason.
When I subject this theory to experimentation, I find some supportive evidence but not nearly enough to confirm it.
Theory #2 is the “national security faction” theory: that JFK was killed by enemies of his policies in the national security agencies of his own government who arranged for the blame to fall on the “lone nut.”
When I subject this theory to experimentation I find more supportive evidence but not enough to identify the intellectual authors of the hypothesized plot. So I cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any one person was guilty of conspiracy.
Theory #3 is the “wrongful death” theory: In this perspective, I look at the case of the murdered president as a civil, not a criminal, matter; not as a homicide, but as a wrongful death. One can argue that this approach is evasive and/or sophistic but it is method of judgment well established in American law.
I am not looking to prove “conspiracy,” a criminal charge that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt for verification. I am looking to assign responsibility for a “wrongful death,” a civil verdict based on the preponderance of evidence.
When I subject this theory to verification, I find the preponderance of evidence shows that up to a dozen senior CIA undercover operations officers reporting to deputy director Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief James Angleton may be guilty of negligence in the wrongful death of JFK.
To me this is the most plausible theory of JFK’ s death but its “status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation.” Thus I cannot report it as a matter of actual fact or exclude the other two theories from consideration.