25 Nov 2013

Thoughts on JFK Assassination

Big Brother, Conspiracy 102 Comments

Hey let me add my two cents–everyone else is.

A year or two ago I actually spent about a week really diving into this issue. I wanted to see if I thought a reasonable person could adequately assess the evidence without becoming a “buff.” I decided at the end of this inquiry–in which I focused on the work of Josiah Thompson but also relied on Gerald Posner to make sure I wasn’t missing any obvious problems–that I personally could state, with a high degree of confidence, that the official Warren Report was clearly nonsense.

Note: My tentative conclusion was based on the logistical and forensic evidence. I wasn’t speculating as to who really did orchestrate the assassination, I was merely saying that I was quite confident it couldn’t have been a lone shooter from the book depository.

Naturally, given that that was my conclusion, and that the US government was clearly trying to suppress the truth, plus the other evidence seeming to suggest that the Secret Service deliberately left Kennedy vulnerable, my hunch was that it was indeed an “inside job.” But I hadn’t done enough research to say that extension with confidence. What I was confident about saying, was that there was more than one shooter. (At some point, I will write all this up more carefully so you can see how I reached that conclusion.)

Within the last year or so, I stumbled across the only alternate, non-“conspiracy” explanation that makes any sense to me: I read someone who claimed that it really was Oswald acting alone, but that in the panic a Secret Service guy jumped up on the back of the presidential car, and when he was pulling his gun he accidentally shot Kennedy. Naturally, after the fact the government didn’t want this horribly awkward fact being made public, and hence the “cover up.”

Note, I’m not endorsing this theory, but it’s theoretically possible, in light of my earlier study. But people who say, “Nah, all the bullets came from Oswald’s gun,” I think are demonstrably wrong.

102 Responses to “Thoughts on JFK Assassination”

  1. Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:


    I’m not trying to be a jerk about this, but can you explain to me why I should care? This is one of those historical things that everyone seems to be obsessed about, and for the life of me, I couldn’t care less. Is there something wrong with me? What relevance does “who shot JFK” have to some of the issues confronting society today?

    • Gamble says:

      Well Matt, there are at least 2 of us non caring “weirdo’s.”

      I have went door to door, passing government limiting petitions and 1 of the firs things I learned was that statist love to waste your time. It is 1 of their first strategies…

  2. Gene Callahan says:

    By the way, my views on this involved this point: after studying Kennedys life behavior in office in greater depth, I now think the following: if the CIA did assassinate Kennedy, thank God!

    (And this, by the way, makes me more sympathetic to conspiracy theories: there were excellent reasons why the CIA might have been thinking “Good God, we need this guy out of here as soon as possible. 1964 is not soon enough!”)

    • Richie says:

      Are you being sarcastic, or are you seriously thanking god that human beings brutally murdered another human being because the victim was not such a great guy?

      • Gene Callahan says:

        I am being hyperbolic, but…

        He nearly plunged the world into nuclear war just to save face: he was afraid he would be impeached if he didn’t “look tough” in the Cuban missile crisis. He was getting us into Vietnam for similar reasons. Totally reckless, and danger to millions of people.

        I would not recommended assassination, but he really had to be removed from office.

        • Richie says:

          So what makes him so much different from any other President? That haven’t been peaceniks.

        • Anonymous says:


      • Gene Callahan says:

        “not such a great guy?”

        Yeah, and, no: he was already responsible for hundreds or thousands of needless death: it is a lot worse than “not such a great guy.”

    • Major_Freedom says:

      What did Kennedy do that would justify him being killed?

      • Ken B says:

        You talked about antilife. If I ever doubted you on this MF I apologize.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          I’ll give Callahan the benefit of the doubt and welcome him to explain how Kennedy was going to kill people unless someone killed him first.

          • Gene Callahan says:

            “how Kennedy was going to kill people unless someone killed him first.”


            • Major_Freedom says:

              What about LBJ then? He was the one who made the decision to escalate US involvement in what would become known as the Vietnam War.

              And what about Bush ! and II for that matter? Iraq, Afghanistan?

              Should they all have been bumped off because they started wars?

            • Ken B says:

              Which killing him averted.

        • Gene Callahan says:

          Kennedy was an evil, reckless, self-centered man who was a constant danger to the country. But I suppose to not want millions killed uselessly in Vietnam is “anti-life,” hey?

          • Ken B says:

            Well anti statistics anyway. Millions killed in Vietnam?

            But as major freedom points out it was Johnson who escalated The war Vietnam. The American role prior to Johnson’s escalation was mostly in a consultative capacity. You may object to that but it’s not the same thing as a full-scale effort that Johnson tried. Why it should be blamed on Kennedy rather than the man in charge is a puzzle to me. Surely if were going to count the Vietnam war as the major issue it was the death of Kennedy which is suspect rather than his life.

            • Gamble says:

              It was almost like Ladybird knew in advance her investments in military contractors would someday payoff.

      • Gene Callahan says:

        See comment above.

      • Rick Hull says:

        I’ve heard secondhand from someone that had undergrad-level access to certain internal documents from the presidency. Take this with a metric buttload of salt, but the word was:

        Despite his friendly, fluffy exterior, Kennedy was the power-crazed warmonger while his generals tried desperately to restrain him — a near complete inversion of the classic relationship between, say, Merkin Muffley and Buck Turgidson.

        Please, only take this for what it’s worth.

        • Ken B says:

          Yes too bad Curtis Lemay wasn’t in charge during the missile crisis.

          • Bob Murphy says:

            So Ken, in real life do you go to dinner parties and sarcastically rip the sh*t out of every single person who says anything? I’m not complaining, I’m genuinely curious.

            • Ken B says:

              Rather an odd question in this context since I am seconding Rick Hull’s comment not criticizing it.

              And I am making a substantial point whilst doing it. All the evidence we have indicates that it was JFK who exercised restraint vis-à-vis the generals during the missile crisis. Which I take to be Rick’s point as well.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                I think you need to re-read Rick’s comment, Ken.

                But, if you genuinely misunderstood him and thought he was saying Kennedy held back his generals, then I apologize for my question about you and dinner parties.

              • Ken B says:

                Maybe I’m wrong but I took Rick Hull’s comment as gentle mockery of conspiracism. There’s the whole 22nd hand obviously ridiculous source, the usual “I just heard” disclaimer, and the patently untrue claim about who restrained whom. So yes I took his comment ironically. And chimed in.

                We know — we have tapes as well as memoirs and minutes and witnesses — that JFK was less aggressive than most of his joint chiefs.

                The whole dinner party thing is odd. This blog isn’t an Emily Post canape party, it’s a discussion forum. We debate, suing the word loosely.

              • Rick Hull says:

                FWIW, my comment really was made in earnest. I treat facts more seriously than personalities.

              • Ken B says:

                Facts? Two references to a movie, none to the white house tapes. Facts; labile word that, it seems.

              • Rick Hull says:

                Hence all the disclaimers. In earnest. 🙂

  3. Bob Roddis says:

    Perhaps the “conspirators” might have exposed Kennedy’s private behavior to the public instead?
    But then there would have been exposure of Dear Lyndon’s behavior.

    Never mind.

    • Gene Callahan says:

      “Perhaps the “conspirators” might have exposed Kennedy’s private behavior to the public instead?”

      Yes, I would have tried going that route, not assassination. But JFK was a wreck.

  4. Z says:

    I don’t know about when you say “But people who say, “Nah, all the bullets came from Oswald’s gun,” I think are demonstrably wrong.”

    I suppose after I saw the following videos, I was convinced it happened the way the mainstream view says it did. I don’t know what your take on it is:



    • martinK says:

      What view do you mean by “mainstream view”? (It looks like you mean the view “Oswald did it alone”, but as Bob shows below a majority of Americans hold the opposite view, so wouldn’t that be the mainstream view?)

    • JohnB says:


      I saw the exact same videos and found that guy very convincing. I need someone to show me why that guy is wrong to change my mind.

      • Ken B says:

        You can derive it from the action axiom John.

  5. JohnB says:

    About the above comments, Kennedy was an amphetamine addicted liar in very poor health.

    About the conspiracy theory, I’d be interested in seeing what evidence there is that Oswalt didn’t act alone. His shooting records in the Marines showed that he was more than capable of making the shots and the ballistics make perfect sense given the positioning of the shooters and the positioning of Kennedy and the Texas governor in the car.

    • Ken B says:

      Interesting place free advice. Maybe death camps are all for the best; maybe we should start assassinating elected leaders we don’t like.

  6. JohnB says:

    Also, Dr. Murphy, do you really think that the government is so good at keeping secrets that they’d be able to keep something this big buried for 50 years. That credits them with a lot more capabilities than I think they have. If they could really get everybody that knew to keep a huge secret like this for that long, maybe we really should let them run our economy and try to take over the world.

    • Ken B says:

      Pangloss planned it, and it’s the best of all possible conspiracies.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      It doesn’t take a lot of individuals to conduct an assassination. The secret can die with them.

      • JohnB says:

        What are the odds that none of them tell anybody ever? That stretches my imagination with a secret this juicy. Someone would feel that they owe it to history to write it down or tell somebody.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          JohnB., I’m not saying I personally looked at the voice signature to confirm the identity, but you know Howard Hunt apparently *did* confess on his deathbed?

          • JohnB says:

            Was Hunt’s story that Oswald did the shooting? The ballistics seem to show that Oswald was the only one in the position to pull off the shot and his life story shows that he was the last guy you would want in a conspiracy as he had a reputation for being extremely difficult and uncooperative.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Why would any of them tell? Moral compunction? Really? The people who assassinate people would feel morally obliged to spill the beans?

          Lots of conspiracies go secret for many, MANY years, before finally being exposed.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      JohnB, I really think that is a weak retort. In my view, examining the Warren Report and the available evidence shows that it is obviously a lie.

      This recent poll shows 62% of Americans today think there was a wider plot to kill JFK. So in that sense, no the government wasn’t able to “get away with it.”

      And you say why has no one come forward? Well, there are audio tapes of Howard Hunt, CIA agent, claiming that LBJ was part of a plot to take out Kennedy. Oh wait, the LA Times looked into it and said it was “inconclusive.” Damn.

      JohnB ask yourself, what would the world have to look like for you to believe the government tried to cover it up but failed, since there are limits to what government can do? Would the New York Times have to run a front page story saying there had been a coup d’etat?

      • JohnB says:

        I think 62% of people believe that there had to be something more than a single gunman because it’s hard to get your head around someone as insignificant as Oswald killing someone as important as Kennedy so they look to larger forces.

        Like I said, point me to the ballistic evidence that suggests that the bullets came from anywhere other than the book depository building (5th floor I believe). I’m not saying that my mind is made up one way or another, I just think that there is a large burden of proof to overturn the principle of Occam’s Razor here.

      • JohnB says:

        According to what I’ve seen about Hunt, the entire Warren Commission would have had to have been on board. How tough would it be to get all those people of different political motivations to get on board with something as outrageous as the assassination of a sitting American president by his own government? Darn near impossible if you ask me.

        In order to convince me, someone would have to put forward a much better, more complete theory that fits the facts better than Oswalt as the lone gunman. I’m completely open to this, I just haven’t seen it yet. I look forward to your future post on this matter.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          The Warren Commission was allowed access to information the conspirators wanted them to have access to.

          Foreshadowing the 9/11 Commission, where the members constantly complained that they were prevented from having access to needed information.

          In other words, “Commissions” are public fronts only, designed to give an appearance of officialdom and impartiality. In reality, they function as flag carrying priests who stand in front of Kings in the battlefield, so as to make getting close to the King an affront to God’s will.

  7. DesolationJones says:

    What’s your opinion on 911?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      What the science shows or what the government says?

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        Do you think the science shows something different from what the government says in this case?

        • Ken B says:

          Major_Freedom believes that in every case.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Of course. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of engineering, chemistry and physics knows immediately that the official conspiracy is inconsistent with a number of scientific inquiries into the disaster.

          • Keshav Srinivasan says:

            Do you have any references or sources?

          • DesolationJonrs says:

            Agreed. When will the government finaly admit 911 never happened?

  8. Rick Hull says:

    Welp, this comment is just to acknowledge that WordPress has seemingly eaten two of my previous comments. R.I.P.

    To the extent this is not actually the case, please delete or disregard.

    • Rick Hull says:

      Aw man, mark that 3 Ken B rips that are R.I.P. Honestly, though, I am holding my breath until they show up and I regret them.

      • Ken B says:

        You might be including too many links. The spam filter traps things with more than one link.

        • Rick Hull says:

          See, we *can* work together. xD

          • Ken B says:

            I thought we were. Didn’t I play along with your response to Gene?

            • Rick Hull says:

              Let me acknowledge that I have my doubts… But the door remains open!

  9. Ken B says:

    Nah, all the bullets came from Oswald’s gun.

    Z has posted some interesting we construction videos above. Anyone who wants to deny these is faced with a problem. The problem is that this is a very plausible reconstruction which makes the bullet trajectory straight. That more or less clinches the argument. It’s like if you decrypted a long encoded message and what came out was the book of Daniel complete I think no one would dispute that you had found the correct key and decoded the message correctly. Finding a moment when the trajectory is linear and which is otherwise plausible is essentially a slamdunk. Absent any arguments based on magic bullets there’s really no reason to believe in conspiracy. And that leaves the conclusion all the bullets came from Oswald’s gun.

  10. Gamble says:

    I think we were given extra “facts” and a few real facts were hidden.

    When you have powerful governments, you don’t always get to know the truth. Just the way it is.

    • JohnB says:

      You may not get the truth in words but you get the ballistics and the laws of physics do not lie.

      • Gamble says:

        What ballistics and what laws of physics?

        Pinewood at close range is not the same as human bones at long range.

        There is just no way to know anything about this case other than it is more f-up government bs. Oswald was ex service man, crazy communist to boot. Ruby was mobster that only existed because of government. The Secret service guys did not know if they were coming or going. The autopsy was conducted by naval doctors rater than the state coroner. None of it makes any sense therefore in conclusion we do not, and never will have all the pieces to the puzzle.

        • JohnB says:

          Watch the video Z posted earlier.

          • Gamble says:

            Okay I just followed both of the above listed YouTube links. Nothing new to me, I have seen every video related to this subject.

            Assuming the single bullet theory is correct I have some questions.

            The first missed shot, how do we know it came from Oswald and Oswald’s gun? Could it not have come from the same make, model caliber gun yet from a different shooter?

            Why did the secret service man jump off of Kennedy’s rear bumper, allowing a clean shot?

            Why did this shooting take place at exactly the same time the Zapruder film was blocked by a large sign?

            Why was there a job opening at the book depository?

            Why was Jack Ruby allowed so close to Oswald?

            Why was Oswald not wearing a bpv, it looked like he was under his sweater?

            How did Oswald die from a small (.38 special are wimpy) sgw, especially considering he was near medical care?

            Why do Americans waste so much time on historic conspiracy theories and other non conclusive events when the largest conspiracy is happening right before their very eyes, Global digital fiat fractional reserve banking with near zero reserves…

            • JohnB says:

              I’m just gonna go with Occam’s Razor on these and try to point out the simplest answers here.

              1. How likely is a second shooter with the exact same gun?

              2. Maybe the Secret Service man was startled, didn’t know where the shot was coming from exactly, and was reacting on instinct? I don’t think there’s anything here.

              3. The second shot happened right after he finished the sign and all of the hits are on the camera. This seems like a completely harmless coincidence that he was behind the sign for the first missed shot.

              4. I don’t know, maybe someone quit. How is this relevant?

              5. There were a lot of spectators very close to Oswald if you look at the pictures. It was a crowded scene.

              6. I think bulletproof vests were much much less common back then.

              7. It could’ve hit something vital and I don’t think people were that interested in saving someone so hated anyway.

              8. I agree with you on this but I think the reason is that mainstream economic opinion sees it as a good thing unfortunately.

              Question for you. If Oswalt was innocent, why did he shoot a cop who stopped him?

              • Gamble says:

                I don’t think Oswald was innocent.

                I also do not necessarily think he worked alone.

                As a humbled, advanced Christian, rather than believe I am privy to divine knowledge, I have succumb to the fact much of life will always remain a mystery to me and for that matter, humanity.

                I will not waste anymore time answering questions that you cannot answer with facts. The truth is not incumbent upon me, I did not make the claim. I simply don’t care and have better things to do.

  11. Ken B says:

    I think you’re confusing your bees. Your final rhetorical question seems to be addressed to John B’s argument. You have not addressed my point about decoding the book of Daniel.

    • Ken B says:

      This was attached to a reply from Bob. Bob, have you removed your comment?

      • Bob Murphy says:

        Yes, sorry, I made a comment about Gerald Ford altering the Warren Report, but I deleted it because I don’t want to say something careless 2 years after I was hip-deep in this stuff.

        • Ken B says:

          That’s a relief. The 6 ft rabbit is enough, I don’t want to have to worry about seeing invisible comments too.

  12. Nick J says:

    Come on Bob, don’t you have anything to say about the Feds prospect of tapering? Or Janet Yellen? I haven’t seen you talk much on the subject and I want to know what you think about all this recent news about the fed. I was surprised you hadn’t said anything about China’s announcement that they were not going to expand there balance sheet of foreign currency’s. Thought it was big news they finally said it.

    • Gamble says:

      Nick J,

      Yup China don’t want no more fake money from US.

      Yellen is going to double down where GreenSpam and Helicopter left off.

      Who is going to hate a woman, not all the woman voters and their husbands. She will be able to go where no man has gone before. Kinda the way Obama was able to double down on socialism in the name of reparations.

  13. Lord Keynes says:

    “but that in the panic a Secret Service guy jumped up on the back of the presidential car, and when he was pulling his gun he accidentally shot Kennedy. Naturally, after the fact the government didn’t want this horribly awkward fact being made public, and hence the “cover up.””

    JFK’s autopsy report should put the idea to rest.

    And as for the idea that JFK died in a government conspiracy, Noam Chomsky showed that it is absurd: the alleged motives for doing so just fall apart: See Chomsky, Rethinking Camelot JFK, the Vietnam War, and U.S. Political Culture..

  14. skylien says:

    Aren’t there other questions to answer as well than just if he was the only shooter?

    – Was it really Oswald?
    – What was the actual motive; was he blackmailed?
    – What was the motive of Ruby to kill Oswald? Was he blackmailed (too?)
    – What was the reason that Ruby’s health deteriorated so fast that he died during his trial (about 3 years later)? (I mean it looks like Arafat was poisoned too.)

    I haven’t looked into it in detail, and I definitely do not have any opinion on it what happened or who was behind it, but these kind of questions come up when you follow the story.

    This episode obviously contains everything you need to make good and unrealistic conspiracy theories. However let’s not forget that of course there was a conspiracy else no one had shot JFK. The only question is which one is actually true..

  15. Per says:

    Dr Murphy:
    “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” (http://www.amazon.com/Reclaiming-History-Assassination-President-Kennedy/dp/0393045250/ref=pd_sim_b_2) might be worth checking out?

    McAdams site, http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/home.htm has a lot of information on details of the case.

  16. skylien says:

    And I forgot the most important question: Cui Bono?

    Who benefited most by JFK’s death?

    • Gamble says:

      Lyndon Johnson

      • JohnB says:

        He got a job that was so stressful it basically killed him. Serves him right if he planned it (which I don’t think he did).

        • Gamble says:

          People do that everyday.

        • Gamble says:

          From Wiki:
          Johnson died at his ranch at 3:39 p.m CST (4:39 pm EST) on January 22, 1973 at age 64 after suffering a massive heart attack. His death came the day before a ceasefire was signed in Vietnam and just a month after former president Harry S. Truman died. (Truman’s funeral on December 28, 1972 had been one of Johnson’s last public appearances). His health had been affected by years of heavy smoking, poor diet, and extreme stress; the former president had advanced coronary artery disease. He had his first, nearly fatal, heart attack in July 1955 and suffered a second one in April 1972, but had been unable to quit smoking after he left the Oval Office in 1969.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson

    • Ken B says:

      “And I forgot the most important question”

      See, some of us think the most important question is what the evidence shows. Besides, as a good Austrian how can you ask such a question?

  17. Blackadder says:

    Nah, all the bullets came from Oswald’s gun.

  18. RPLong says:

    Bob, is it your position that a reasonable person could never reasonably assert the lone/Oswald gunman theory?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      RPLong wrote:

      Bob, is it your position that a reasonable person could never reasonably assert the lone/Oswald gunman theory?

      Not after reading my essay, which I have yet to write. Unless the person explained to me why one or more of the “facts” on which I was basing my essay, actually was incorrect.

      • RPLong says:

        That’s a strong claim. I hold no knowledge of any JFK Assassination theory, so for my sake I do hope you write that essay, ha ha…

      • Blackadder says:


        No reasonable person could read my as-yet-unwritten fisking of your essay and not conclude that Oswald acted alone.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Glad to hear it. And if you wanted to put on your personal blog, “Bob Murphy says he doubts Warren Report, but I believe it,” it wouldn’t occur to me to bust you in the comments for saying something without providing a treatise in support of it.

          • Blackadder says:


            You’re a much nicer person than I am, so I’m not surprised.

          • Ken B says:

            Bob, Do you really not see the tit for this tat?

  19. TravisV says:

    What REALLY happened on September 11th??????

    • Gamble says:

      What REALLY happened on September 11th??????”

      A massive government failure to protect American citizens from theft, fraud and force.

      Now let us not go down a historic tangent when there are more pressing, modern issues that must be dealt with now.

    • Blackadder says:

      “What REALLY happened on September 11th?????”

      Allende was overthrown in a military coup.

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