Two mishaps this weekend have driven home a point about the JFK assassination-to me. One the whole world knows about: Warren Beatty naming the wrong movie as the winner of Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It really is pity that that happened because up to that point, the show had been fantastic. Jimmy Kimmel was very funny. What happened was that Warren Beatty was handed a duplicate of the envelope for the previous award, Best Actress. And it even said Best Actress on the outside of the envelope, although he presumably didn't see that. But then, when he opened it, it said Emma Stone for La La Land, and that certainly should have given him pause, and it did. He showed it to Faye Dunaway without saying anything, and she's the one who blurted it out. So, if you were going to blame either of them, it would have to be her. Ultimately, it was Price Waterhouse' fault for giving him the wrong envelope. Still, it was the kind of thing that I'm sure nobody ever thought could happen in a million years.
The second mishap wasn't as momentous, and it only affected me, personally. I had a new commode installed in one of my bathrooms by a plumber, and that evening, long after he left, I noticed that water was puddling around the bottom. So, I figured he didn't install it right; he didn't tighten the bolts enough, or something. So, I turned off the water to it and called him, and he came out the next day- on a Sunday- only to discover that he made no mistake at all; the tank was cracked. I mean the brand-new tank above that holds the water was cracked. So, he suggested that we leave the basin commode as is, since it was happy, and I just bring back the tank and get Home Depot to swap it out. Well, I did that, but they gave me a hard time about it, first saying that I had to return the whole unit. So, I demanded to see the manager of the store who fortunately saw it my way. So, they opened another box and let me take the tank. But, I was going to be out more money to the plumber, and they didn't offer to compensate me for that. If you're wondering if I asked, yes, I did. "Not corporate policy" was what I was told.
Anyway, the point is that things can go wrong. Even when you least expect it, things can go wrong. Anything can go wrong, anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyhow. And if that's true for toilet installations and Academy Award announcements, then how true is it for assassinations?
Assassinations are notorious for going wrong. In the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which triggered World War 1 (although it was in the works for years) the teams of assassins missed the Archduke, hitting an assistant of his instead. The only reason they ended up getting the Archduke is because he insisted on going to the hospital to check on the condition of his wounded assistant, and on the way to the hospital, they got him.
The assassination of French President Charles DeGaulle failed, and he wasn't shot at all. The book and the movie, The Day of the Jackal dramatized what happened, loosely. To his dying breath, DeGaulle insisted that the CIA was behind the plot to kill him. And when JFK got killed, DeGaulle immediately thought "CIA" and said so.
And what about the CIA's numerous attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro? As you know, Castro recently died peacefully of natural causes at the age of 90.
So, unlike these other things, assassination attempts are notorious for going wrong.
The HSCA concluded that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy by the Mafia, that they, the Mafia, got Lee Harvey Oswald to shoot President Kennedy. But, just because the Mafia are criminals doesn't mean they are stupid. Why WHY WHY would they choose Lee Harvey Oswald to shoot JFK? He was NEVER a combat Marine; he was a RADAR Marine. And, he did only the minimal amount of shooting required by the Marines. And according to his friend Nelson Delgado, he resented having to do that, that he was a slacker about cleaning and maintaining his weapon; he just wasn't into guns. Then, after the Marines, he went to Russia for 3 years where the only shooting he did was to go rabbit-hunting with a shotgun. A Russian friend of his told David Lifton that Oswald was so bad at shooting that someone would usually shoot a rabbit for him just so that he would have one. Whether you believe that or not, the facts are clear: minimal shooting experience and none of it in combat; almost failed his last marksman test, with a score of 91 and the minimum was 90. And then he had no experience after that. After returning from Russia, he worked various low-paying jobs in which the closest he got to a gun was a grease-gun at the Reilly Coffee Company in New Orleans.
What about any of that qualified him to shoot the President of the United States? Do you think the Mafia are stupid? No. They're not stupid. The people who came up with the idea are the stupid ones.
Oswald was not a sniper. He wasn't even a marksman really. So, where did this idea come from that he was working for the Mafia? It came from the HSCA. The HSCA may have started with good intentions but it quickly evolved into a scheme to protect the government. They were determined to find no wrong-doing or complicity by any government entity. So, who else was there to blame except the Mafia? They didn't want to find for lone-nuttery again because they knew that all the JFK conspiracy theorists would be outraged. So, they threw them a bone. That's what it amounted to. They gave them a conspiracy- one that did not impugn the government. And they got a patsy to be a mouthpiece for it, G. Robert Blakey. Apparently, Richard Sprague and Bob Tannenbaum were unwilling to do it, so they got rid of them and replaced them with Blakey who delivered just fine.
But, nobody took it seriously. It was January 1979 when their Final Report came out, and Jimmy Carter still had 2 more years in office before Ronald Reagan took over. Reagan surely wasn't going to do anything, but Carter was a Democrat and the first President after JFK who didn't have blood on his hands from the killing. So, why didn't Carter do something? Well, the 1980 election was at hand, and he wanted to be re-elected. He knew that the media would pillory him if he reopened the JFK murder investigation. He knew the powers-that-be didn't want it- no matter what the HSCA said. Who knows, maybe he was afraid they would kill him too. So, he didn't do anything, nor did any law enforcement official anywhere do anything. The conclusion of the HSCA was completely and totally ignored by everybody, including the Kennedy family.
And it was for good reason because the HSCA conclusion was stupid, really stupid. The Mafia could not have killed Kennedy. The Mafia had no means to change the motorcade route. The Mafia had no control over the U.S. media. They couldn't orchestrate a cover-up. And most of all, they never, in a million years, would have chosen Lee Harvey Oswald to be their shooter- them not being high on LSD. The Mafia had an ancillary role in the assassination, but it wasn't their show. They provided some shooters but not Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was just the pasty. That's all. Not the shooter and the patsy; just the patsy. And he said so himself.
So, the next time someone tries to tell you that Mafia killed Kennedy, that it was their operation, just realize that you are talking to an idiot, and then stop talking to them.