Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bread & Circuses: Political Theatre, the Shutdown, and JFK50

The US Government passed a bill to avoid defaulting at the 11th hour. Again.

As any political watcher should have expected, Congress pulled America back from the brink yet again on Wednesday, averting a default that could have potentially derailed the world economy.  The Shutdown was political theatre at its finest, an opportunity for both sides of the aisle to play to their bases, brand the other side as the ones responsible, then pat themselves on the back for reaching a compromise.  The media rushed to detail the partisan war before, during, and after the Shutdown, all the while continuing to sell the lie that America has a two party system.  There's only one party in Washington:
According to OpenSecrets.org,  almost half of Congresspersons are millionaires.  The half that isn't is pretty close, so it's a fair assumption that the only "party" in Washington is the one of the ultra-rich.  Political brinksmanship is a game of Russian Roulette, except Congress is pointing the gun at America, not themselves.

So now government programs will be funded; bread for the teeming masses who will soon forget this ever happened.

But what is government except a type of theatre?  I've always thought of politics as simply a dressed up version of professional wrestling.  Two combatants fake-fight and pretend to hate one another for 10 or 15 minutes while the cameras are rolling, and then head back stage, have a beer and laugh at all the rubes that fell for it.  Case in point:

The Pentagon has admitted to faking military funerals for the past seven years.

According to an NBC reporter, the Pentagon admitted "that no honored dead were in fact arriving, and that the planes used in the ceremonies often couldn't even fly but were towed into position.”  These funerals -- which play an important role in keeping America's war machine in a sacred position in the minds of the public -- are all for show; a political pantomime. 

Circuses to mollify the public.  Makes you wonder what else they've been faking, huh?

JFK50, Part 1:

As the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination draws near, the media and the government have been dusting off the "Might Wurlitzer" to play the old familiar "lone nut" tune again.  In case you're not aware, my hometown of Dallas is doing everything they possibly can to ensure that anyone who believes anything other than the Gospel According to the Warren Commission is excluded from the official ceremony

Recently the mainstream media has been pimping an upcoming book by Larry Sabato, one that claims to "blow the conspiracy theories out of the water."  Mr. Sabato's book deals with the police recordings used by the House Select Committee on Assassinations to determine that more than three shots were fired.  Sabato has analyzed these tapes using modern technology and determines that only three bullets were fired in Dealy Plaza that day.  If you actually read the article, the three shots is Sabato's only contention and he's actually open to other ideas, yet the eye-catching headline is all most people will absorb.  Three shots or not, audio tapes don't put a gun in Oswald's hands, and his contention that no one fired from the Grassy Knoll is only applicable if the reports of the police motorcycle's positioning are accurate. 

Color me surprised, but there is still 25% of the American public that believes Oswald acted alone.  I imagine that this 25% is made up exclusively of government officials and the mainstream media, but in the next six weeks I have no doubt that each and every member of this minority will be given a chance to present their case. 

I would like for you to be prepared for this.  I want you to know the truth before the deluge of lies starts.  I don't really care whether you believe the same things I do or not, but I consider it very important that you are informed enough to be able to see through blatant lies when you're presented with them. 

It took me a while, but I was able to find an anti-JFK conspiracy site that wasn't just picking apart Oliver Stone's fast-and-loose version of history.  The site has a pretty good overview of the arguments you're likely to hear, so I'd like to give you the facts behind the claims that will be trotted out as the 50th approaches.  This will be Part 1, and during the weeks leading up to the anniversary I'll pick more arguments I find and provide the evidence against.

The site I'm using is: Lee Harvey Oswald's Sole Guilt: Point by Point
My rebuttals will use the Warren Commission Report, which can be viewed in its entirety here at the Assassination Archives and Research Center. Page numbers will be given when applicable, since that's easier for me than linking every citation.  In case you're unaware, the "Warren Commission Report" is a single volume.  There are 26 volumes of hearing transcripts and exhibits (vol XV through XXVI) that I'll be referring to.

Point 1: Lee Harvey Oswald owned the rifle found on the 6th Floor of the TSBD (Texas School Book Depository) on November 22, 1963.
Response: This is, on its face, true.  A Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was ordered from Klein's Sporting Goods on March 13, 1963 by "A. Hidell" to be shipped to what is believed to have been Oswald's post office box, #2915.  A. Hidell or Alec Hidell was one of Oswald's aliases.  There is, however, no evidence that Oswald took possession of the rifle and it is unknown under what name he acquired the PO Box since the Dallas Post Office threw his registration card away. 

Furthermore, there is little proof that the Mannlicher-Carcano (M-C) could have been capable of making the shots required to assassinate the President.  The M-C is a notoriously unreliable weapon, easily knocked out of alignment and referred to as "flimsy" by the FBI's firearms experts.  It was an Italian made rifle that was several decades old technology by the 1960s.  Allegedly, the Italian Army referred to the M-C as "the Humanitarian Rifle" because you couldn't kill anyone with it.

I'll save the hard forensics data regarding the spent shell casings and whether or not they were fired by the M-C for another time.  It does bear noting though that the M-C wasn't the only gun found on the 6th floor of the TSBD on November 22nd.  Deputy Sheriff E.L. Boone found a 7.65 mm German Mauser behind the boxes in the alleged "Sniper's Nest."  The fact that a Mauser was found is supported by the statement of other police officers, and the statements made to the press Friday night by District Attorney Henry Wade.  The film Evidence of Revision has NBC news footage of the Dallas PD holding the Mauser up for the cameras.

Point 2: Oswald owned the handgun that was shown to have been used in the J.D. Tippit killing.
Response:  Oswald admitted owning a handgun.  This is verified by the testimony of Capt. Will Fritz in Vol IV where he states Oswald claimed to have bought it a few months prior in Ft. Worth. 

The testimony of the witnesses to Oswald's alleged killing of Tippit can be found in Vol III.  The primary witness proclaiming Oswald's guilt was Mrs. Helen Markham.  Markham's testimony is contradicted by that of the medical staff as well as the other witnesses, none of whom saw her at the scene.  A cab driver, William Scoggins, did not see the shooting but identified Oswald as the man leaving the scene.  This identification occurred on Saturday afternoon, however, a full day after the entirety of the world knew Oswald's name and face, and every newspaper, radio, and television had stated he killed Kennedy and Tippit. 

Additionally, Oswald's gun is important in that fact that the .38 shell casings found at the scene were linked to his gun.  This is a misdirection -- Oswald was carrying a .38 Special revolver when he was captured.  Revolvers don't eject spent shell casings, automatics do, so if there are shell casings at the scene a gun other than Oswald's was used.

Point 3:  Oswald was positively identified by witness Howard L. Brennan as the person firing a rifle at JFK on 11/22/63.
Response: Brennan reported seeing a man matching Oswald's general description aiming a rifle out of the window of the 6th floor.  Brennan made his statements to police within a short time frame after the murder, and before Oswald was identified in the media. 

Brennan repeats his story to the Warren Commission in Vol III.  Not noted in the testimony is the fact that Brennan was unable to pick Oswald out of a police line-up later on Friday evening.  Furthermore, now that public has been allowed to view the Zapruder film, it is able to be seen that Brennan is looking the wrong way to be able to see the TSBD during the shooting.

Point 4: Marina Oswald admits to having taken pictures of Lee with these weapons on his person, which (all by itself) validates the "Backyard Photographs".
Response: Ignoring the fact that Marina Oswald is perhaps the least reliable person interviewed by the Warren Commission, this statement is illogical.  Ownership of weapons does not prove that the owner used them to commit a crime, nor does it serve as proof that those specific weapons were used in that crime. 

For more on Marina's memory lapses and outright fabrications, see her multiple appearances in front of the Commission.  Inter-staff memos released in 1971 reveal that even the Chief Council Lee J Rankin believed that Marina was lying during parts of her testimony.

Point 5: Wesley Frazier observed Oswald take a package into the Depository on the morning of November 22nd, 1963. .... Frazier said (via his 11/22 affidavit): "I saw him go in the back door at the Loading Dock of the building that we work in, and he still had the package under his arm."
AND
Point 6: Oswald's claim of "curtain rods" within the package cannot be supported at all. His room needed no curtains, nor rods, and NO such rods were ever found in the TSBD or at 1026 N. Beckley Avenue in Oak Cliff.
Response: Frazier testified in Vol III that Oswald brought the disassembled gun into the TSBD in a paper bag claiming it was a set of curtain rods.  Other TSBD employees state they did not see Oswald carrying anything that morning.  We've already gone over how unreliable the M-C was, and it would have been even worse if Oswald had taken it apart and reassembled it that day.

Point 6 is a bit of logical trickery.  Oswald never officially claimed he was carrying curtain rods, Frazier said that he did.  According those present during Oswald's interrogation, he claimed he only brought his lunch that day.  Finally, the disassembled M-C would have been 35 inches long -- about half as tall as Oswald himself and therefore it would have been cumbersome and obvious to anyone he encountered that morning.

I'll skip Point 7 since no one has ever disputed that Oswald was in fact working on the 6th Floor that day.  It isn't as damning a piece of evidence as the Warren Commission supporters think it is.

Point 8: Oswald's palm print is found on his Carcano rifle.
Response: This is a blatant misrepresentation of the truth that is repeated ad nauseum both by the media and the Warren Commission in their official statement.  To clarify since the anonymous author doesn't, Dallas Police Lt. John Carl Day stated to both the Warren Commission (Vol IV) and other police officials that he discovered Oswald's palm print on the M-C around midnight the day of the assassination.  Day -- by his own admission -- did not document this finding in writing, or photograph it as was official procedure for the Dallas PD.  Day states that he verbally told FBI Agent Drain about the print; Drain however denies this.

Completely ignored by the anti-conspiracy crowd is the testimony of FBI fingerprint expert Sebastian Latona.  Latona's testimony appears on pages 1 through 48 of Vol IV.  Latona, one of the FBI's top fingerprint analysts, testified that there were NO prints on the rifle and NO evidence that prints had been attempted to be taken when he examined it the following day, November 23rd.  Additionally, former Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry stated in his 1969 book JFK Assassination File that paraffin tests to Oswald's face came back negative: he had not fired a rifle that day.

I'll be back in a few days to conclude these points and address a few more.