A few things are known for sure. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, 34 years old and dressed in a U.S.-made knock off of a pink Chanel suit, was looking at her husband’s face with concern from inches away when a bullet shattered his head.
After that horrible moment, Jackie had to pull herself together, give Jack the funeral he deserved. She assumed that her husband’s enemies had killed him. A week after the assassination, she and her brother-in-law Robert Kennedy confided in a friend, William Walton. They said they believed Dallas was the work of a high-level domestic plot, meaning JFK’s enemies on the political right.
But mostly Jackie didn’t want to think about who killed Jack. She was close to insane with grief, clutching to her brother-in-law who was devastated as well. She was often suicidal. And so Jackie fades from the crime story. The men who dominate the discussions of JFK conspiracy theories are often united in ignoring the views of the woman closest to the crime.
In his news report, New CIA Information on JFK Assassination, on the release of thousands of presidential briefings from the 1960s, HuffPo reporter Keith Thomson devoted considerable effort to ridiculing unnamed JFK conspiracy theorists who attended a press briefing at the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas last week.
Along the way, Thomson managed to miss the historical significance of the CIA’s disclosure. Read more
In the wake of a federal appellate court’s obtuse decision saving the CIA from embarrassment over ancient report on the agency’s epic fail at the Bay of Pigs 50 years ago, it is worth recalling the U.S. government’s latest botched covert action in Cuba.
Former Senator Gary Hart talked to the Huffington Post yesterday about a missed opportunity in the mid-1970s when Congress reopened the JFK assassination investigation, two Mafia bosses knowledgeable about the events of 1963 were murdered — and the Washington press wasn’t interested.
“The Obama administration has classified the 1967 Freedom of Information Act, according to intelligence officials. The landmark piece of legislation, often referred to as FOIA, was signed by President Lyndon Johnson and guaranteed access to previously unreleased information and documents controlled by various branches of the U.S. government.”
Peter Mandel, author of children’s books, has a sad piece in the Huffington Post about how happy memories of his father who died when he was eight have been clouded by JFK conspiracy theorists. One can only sympathize. The sins of the father should never be visited upon the son.
Mandel’s father, Paul Mandel, was a Life magazine staff reporter who wrote an erroneous story about Abraham Zapruder’s film of JFK’s assassination in 1963. Some unprofessional writers jumped his mistake and published stupid, unsubstantiated claims about him and even stupider claims about his death from cancer in 1965. Megan Knuth usefully picks apart this rubbish at John McAdams’ JFK Web site.
Robert Kennedy’ Jr.’s courageous comments in Dallas Friday night on his father’s suspicions about the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, are drawing coverage across the political spectrum, an indication of the broad interest in alternative views of the JFK story as the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaches later this year.
The desire for a more factual explanation of JFK’s murder is not liberal or conservative. It is American.