You see, I don't claim to be an expert on all aspects of the JFK assassination, nor do I aspire to be. My interest is in all things that pertain to Oswald's innocence.
In a way, I have greater sympathy for Oswald than I do for Kennedy. That's because Kennedy knew the risks he was taking. He was warned that his enemies might try to kill him. He knew that he was hated by some very powerful people. He knew that in his actions as President he was defying them and that they might kill him. His favorite poem was I Have A Rendezvous With Death by Alan Seeger.
I have a rendezvous with Death At some disputed barricade, When Spring comes back with rustling shade And apple-blossoms fill the air— I have a rendezvous with Death When Spring brings back blue days and fair. It may be he shall take my hand And lead me into his dark land And close my eyes and quench my breath— It may be I shall pass him still. I have a rendezvous with Death On some scarred slope of battered hill, When Spring comes round again this year And the first meadow-flowers appear. God knows ‘twere better to be deep Pillowed in silk and scented down, Where love throbs out in blissful sleep, Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath, Where hushed awakenings are dear... But I’ve a rendezvous with Death At midnight in some flaming town, When Spring trips north again this year, And I to my pledged word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous.
Alan Seeger was an American, a Harvard graduate, who for
some reason, wanted to fight in WW1 before the U.S. got into it.
After joining the French Foreign Legion in 1914, he was killed in
action in Northern France on July 4, 1916. He was still in his 20s.
JFK fought in WW2, and he was nearly killed. How sad that a guy
who had serious health problems to begin with should have acquired
more serious health problems from the war. It is amazing that he
survived at all.
But, as President, he knew the risks, and frankly, he could have been
and should have been more more pro-active about his safety
Why did he ride in a open limo? They say it's because he liked to
interact with the people. But, on November 22, 1963, it wasn't his
decision. We often hear the lie that he insisted that the top be
removed- against the advice of the Secret Service. That is bull.
His biggest mistake was trusting the Secret Service.
I'm sure that the many men who were involved in killing him
justified it- to themselves and perhaps others- on the basis of him
being a traitor and a peril to the country. It was sick and twisted, but
I'm sure it gave their conscience all the balm it needed.
But, what about Oswald? What did he do? He too was a father of
two, so how did they justify killing him? How did their consciences
deal with that one? You might think that they regarded Oswald as
collateral damage, but if so, you'd be wrong. Collateral damage,
which is a military term, refers to deaths and injuries inflicted on
people without them being your target. It's not that you don't know
in advance that they're going to be killed, it's that you're willing
for them to die so that you can accomplish your military objective.
It's not that you want them dead, but you're willing to kill them in
the process of prosecuting the war.
But, in this case, Oswald very much was the target. It's not as though
he was killed incidentally. Oswald was targeted every bit as much as
Kennedy was targeted. There was nothing "collateral" about him.
So, how did they justify killing him? How could they sleep at night
after doing it?
We should stick with the psychology of war because that is where
the answer lies. We know that in war, men are sacrificed, that
soldiers are sent into certain-death situations.
In war, soldiers are pawns, and they are played just like pawns on
I am reminded of something from the movie Enemy at the Gates
which is about a Russian sniper during the Battle of Stalingrad,
which you may know was the turning point in the war for the
Russians. Before the battle, the Russian commander is commanding
the troops. He explains that they're running short on weapons, so
they can only assign one rifle for every two men. So, they were
going to pair the men- one behind the other- and the instruction was
that if you're the guy behind, and the guy in front of you falls, you
pick up the rifle and keep going. He said it several times- the naked
admission that in war, lives are expended; your own men's lives are
just spent like money.
And that, I think, sums up how JFK's killers viewed Oswald:
as a pawn. This was a military operation - to them. Oswald was
needed, and Oswald's death was needed. But, after all, he was just
one person. You simply can't prosecute a war without being willing
to kill some innocent people.
During the invasion of Iraq, the Secretary of Defense, who was
the former pharmaceutical salesman Donald Rumsfeld, had to
sign off on any bombing run in which the collateral damage was
expected to be 50 persons or more. Do you know what percent
of those that Rumsfeld signed off on? 100%.
So no, I don't think they had a twinge of sympathy or regret
for Oswald. They felt nothing. But, what makes the whole thing
really sick and twisted is that it wasn't just about killing him but
pillory-ing him for all time as the most vile assassin in the history
of assassins. He was going to be tortured even in death just so that
they could bamboozle the American people about what really
Again: he was a pawn; they played him; it was a military operation.