It is a well known fact that the Dallas Police were immediately besieged with pressure from Johnson's people to close the investigation because they "had their man." That includes Cliff Carter and everyone's favorite public television mystic guru, Bill Moyers. But, if you think about it, you realize that shutting down the investigation because of Oswald wasn't nearly enough. What was to follow? Oswald's trial? How do you suppose that could happen, with phony rifle- ordering and even a phony P.O. Box? Wouldn't that have come out at trial? And don't you think Johnson knew that? So, shutting down the investigation was only the first step. The second was that Oswald had to die; there could be no trial. And the only way there could be no trial was for Oswald to die.
There are reports that LBJ, himself, personally, called Oswald's surgeons during surgery. Well, if he would take the time to talk to doctors, don't you think he would take the time to talk to police? Is it possible that Johnson, himself, at some point, called Curry or Fritz, and we just never heard about it because it was kept hush-hush? I certainly wouldn't put it past Johnson to do that.
But, one way or another, the message had to be communicated to the Dallas Police that Oswald had to die. And, there isn't a shred of doubt in my mind that the Dallas Police took on that grisly task. But, I am also baffled that they were able to do it, and here's why. Because: they spent a lot of time with Oswald: Fritz, Boyd, Sims, Hall, Leavelle, Graves, and they had to get a sense about him. And by that I mean that they had to get the sense that he wasn't insane; and he wasn't a mad-dog killer.
Watch the Midnight Press Conference again. See if you recognize that Oswald does not come across as an insane maniac, nor does he come across as a psychopathic killer.
In little more than a minute, Oswald exuded an air of non-lethalness. So, what did he exude in 13 hours of interrogation? More of the same, I expect, and they had to pick up on it. And remember that there was more time of interaction between Oswald and the Dallas Police than that. He got some meals, didn't he? Although, I have never heard specifically what he was fed. Did he converse with his captors, say, when he was waiting to do a line-up? Even Jim Leavelle admits he addressed Oswald as "Lee." Was Charles Manson addressed as "Charlie"? Was Jeffrey Dahmer addressed as "Jeff" by his police handlers? I rather doubt it.
In the Ruby and Oswald television movie, the Oswald character was depicted as very belligerent. But, the real Oswald that we saw never came across as belligerent. He came across as defiant that he wasn't guilty, but that's a good thing. That's what you'd expect from an innocent person who is falsely accused of a crime. So, he showed determination to defend himself but no belligerence. He never seemed like a punk with an attitude. The guy in the movie seemed like a punk with an attitude. And, the real Oswald was very impassioned in proclaiming his innocence.
So, how could the Dallas Police go through with shooting him? I am reminded of how sometimes a person who cares for a livestock animal regularly, and I mean a particular one, freaks out when it's time to send it to slaughter. Why? Because they got to know it. Well, those Dallas Police got to know Oswald, and I can't imagine why their impression of him would be any different from ours. Why should it be?
So, how could they go through with it? And I mean, of course, that Jack Ruby was a witless patsy who was bamboozled into thinking that he shot Oswald. He really didn't. But, somebody did.
And that's the first point in answering my own question as to how the Dallas Police could go through with killing him: only one of them had to do it. Only one person had to pull the trigger. Now, I don't know who that was, but I suspect it wasn't any of the familiar names. I suspect it was someone who didn't get to know him. And, I suspect it was someone who had close ties to Tippit.
But, nevertheless, all of them, including the familiar names, were accessories to Oswald's murder. So, what was the means by which they could participate in such a gruesome task, overruling their own first-hand impression of Oswald? The means was mathematics. The numbers. You see, each one who participated was a source of confidence and reassurance for the others. It was "group-think" that enabled them to do it. And there was the realization that the most exalted authority in the land (LBJ) wanted them to do it. The group-think trumped everything else. The group-think reshaped their impression of Oswald. They saw Oswald through the eyes of group-think, rather than their own eyes and their own experience.
You could say that they had a cult going, and they all believed the dogma of the cult, that Oswald was BAD, that he murdered their friend and the President.
And think about what Johnson told Earl Warren to overcome his resistance to heading the Presidential Commission to investigate the murder of JFK. He told him that if he didn't do it, it could result in war that could kill 100 million people. Well, if Johnson told that to Earl Warren, why couldn't he have told it to the Dallas Police, that if they didn't kill Oswald, it could very likely result in war? When you cast in that light, one life doesn't seem like that much. And look how many lives you are saving?
Then, after it was over, there was a natural tendency for all parties involved to justify it, to make excuses for it, to keep selling it to themselves and others. It's like Truman with his decision to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Afterwards, he said that it saved 50,000 lives, but over time, the number kept getting bigger and bigger. Eventually, it was 1,000,000.
The irony is that those who set Oswald up as monster were the real monsters. Lyndon Baines Johnson and Allen Dulles, for instance, were monsters; real monsters. Do you get that? I mean, do you get it deep inside that they were deranged monsters?