Why The JFK Assassination Still Matters

Discussion of the Week
Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The media coverage leading up to it has largely missed the significance of the tragedy. It has instead separated into two main categories: adoring the Camelot image of the Kennedy family and the celebrity side of JFK himself, or offering the official Oswald-acted-alone conclusion of the Warren Report. The former is unrelated to today’s important anniversary and could have been run at any time. The latter is certainly wrong.

The primary significance of this travesty was never about JFK the man. It was not even about who actually orchestrated the assassination. Fifty years later, the reason it’s still important is that it’s one of only a few incidents illustrating clearly that the people you think are in charge of the country, are not.

While nobody knows exactly who killed JFK, serious students of the subject know that it was not Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, as the official Warren Commission Report contends. There are books filled with reasons to dismiss the Warren Report, but the easy one that even casual observers of the Zapruder film should understand is that Oswald shot from a location behind the president, but the fatal shot to the president came from the front as evidenced by his head snapping back and to the left. Heads shot from behind do not move backward; they move forward. It was not a bullet from a gun fired by Oswald that killed JFK. If you read just one book on this and other reasons to dismiss the Warren Report as a whitewash, make it Best Evidence by David S. Lifton.

Getting people to accept the absurdity of the lone gunman theory is hard when media such as 48 Hours and The New York Times continue supporting it. It’s even harder to accept that dismissing the Warren Report is not synonymous with knowing who killed the president. We don’t know exactly and probably never will. That does not prevent us from drawing important conclusions that help citizens keep government in perspective.

Start by asking who benefited from Kennedy’s murder. Mainly, the intelligence community and military industrial complex (MIC) that President Eisenhower warned against. They embarrassed Kennedy and the nation when they bungled the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, an operation the CIA began planning during the Eisenhower administration. It wanted Fidel Castro out of power and to establish a non-communist government. When this failed, the next opportunity to attack Cuba was the Cuban Missile Crisis, sparked by an American U-2 spy plane photographing the preparation of nuclear missile sites in Cuba by the Soviet Union in October 1962. The military wanted an all-out invasion risking a nuclear war, but Kennedy resisted and eventually prevailed through diplomatic means.

He also began speaking in peaceful overtones about the Soviet Union and the Cold War. He encouraged the reconsideration of stereotypes and urged a non-confrontational allowance for diversity in the world. He established a teletype “Hotline” between the Kremlin and the White House and signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in July 1963. One month prior to signing it, he delivered one of his most memorable messages in a speech at the American University titled A Strategy of Peace: “For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” In October 1963, Kennedy issued National Security Action Memorandum 263 discussing “the implementation of plans to withdraw” troops from Vietnam. As far as the military was concerned, this guy had to go. The following month, he was gone.

The war in Vietnam accelerated into the calamity it’s remembered as today, but the pointless wars didn’t stop there, did they? Presidents following Kennedy have continued the pointless wars that seem to have MIC profits as their primary goal. When people as wildly different as George W. Bush and Barack Obama pursue roughly the same senseless military adventurism overseas, you know it’s a systemic problem. Guess when it asserted its chokehold on government? Fifty years ago today.

Not a single president has dared resist it since, and probably none ever will. The perpetrators of the Dallas murder saw to it that all concerned knew the locations of uncrossable lines. They killed Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968 and produced an Oswald equivalent patsy named James Earl Ray. King opposed the Vietnam War and had called the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” They killed Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968. RFK carried the flag of liberalism and looked likely to win the Democratic nomination for president that year. While serving as a U.S. Senator from New York, he championed minorities and wanted to stop the escalation of the Vietnam War.

Americans are relegated to seeing their tax dollars fund military spending of nearly $1 trillion per year when including off-budget allocations to it, such as the CIA, NSA, past war debt, and so on. By comparison, Russia spends less than $100 billion. US military spending alone accounts for some 40 percent of global military expenditures. The country controls more than 700 bases worldwide and now has a sprawling network of spy agencies that infringe ever more on the privacy of its own citizens.

Such costly militarism harms the home front. The U.S. is ranked 17th among nations in education, 26th in infant mortality, and 37th in life expectancy and general health, but first in war.

Meanwhile, how’s the economy been for the average citizen? Consider testimony delivered last week to the Senate Banking Committee by Federal Reserve Chair nominee Janet Yellen. She said that the widening gap between the haves and have-nots is “a problem that really goes back to the 1980s, in which we have seen a huge rise in income inequality … For many, many years the middle and those below the middle [have been] actually losing absolutely and, frankly, a disproportionate share of the gains — it’s not that we haven’t had pretty strong productivity growth for much of this time in the country — but a disproportionate share of those gains have gone to the top ten percent and even the top one percent. So this is an extremely difficult and, to my mind, very worrisome problem.”

Including off-budget expenses, the intelligence networks and military consumed more than 60 percent of federal discretionary spending last year. This misallocation of government resources is one part of what’s gone wrong for ordinary citizens.

The wars continue as presidents pass through the White House while the real powers remain in place behind the scenes. It’s why even supposedly peace-loving presidents like Clinton and Obama order as many strikes as the supposedly hawkish presidents like Bush I and Bush II. Presidents come and go, but the military rolls on. A friend of mine who is a retired professor and expert on the JFK assassination and its aftermath told me that Americans are “just not the type of people to revolt, and so those who carried out the assassination(s), those who covered them up, and those who benefit today — even after all the principals in those murders have passed on — continue to exist with impunity.”

When you vote for a president, you’re not voting for much. This became as clear as a frontal shot to the head 50 years ago today, and understanding it is why the assassination of JFK still matters. The official explanation for who killed him is absurd, as well it should be given the officials truly in charge.

Jason Kelly

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28 Comments

  1. SL
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Jason – not sure if you’ll read this since this is an old discussion but I was wondering if you will give your thoughts about the big banks pleading guilty on rigging the currency market that was in the news a couple of weeks ago. I was kind of surprised you didn’t mention it in any of your recent letters.

    When I read about it, I was furious to find out that no one was going to jail for the crime. All they had to do was pay a fine which amounts to chump change to them. These were the same banks that were bailed out by us not too long ago, were they not?

    As a person who likes to dig a little deeper, I read about the bailouts of 2008 again. Then, something led me to read about the Federal Reserve. I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t know it’s a private institution. There’s nothing “federal” about it. But the surprising thing was that the big banks are the ones in charge of that entity. And as I learned more about them, I felt a sense of hopelessness.

    The reason why I wrote my comment here is because I found out JFK actually tried to transfer the power of issuing money from the Fed back to the US government with his executive order 11110. I haven’t read much about that but the point is he is the one and only president who tried. I’m not sure if this was another reason for his assassination but he was definitely a president with radical ideas. I mean, the presidents we have these days are just puppets. I feel like whoever I vote for doesn’t really matter.

    Will we ever see a day where we the people control our own destiny or will our futures be forever controlled by these criminals?

    • Posted July 10, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      At last, I saw your comment.

      I think it’s a travesty that no American bankers are doing jailtime for their repeated offenses at the expense of the American economy and taxpayers, and in some ways the world economy.

      To your final question, I’m afraid I have a cynical response: No, we will not see a day when ordinary people are in control. We never have in history and we won’t in modern times or in the future. People with money will always have greater influence no government. Period. Money speaks louder than picket signs.

      I just assume that attempts to change the nature of big banking will eventually fail, that any new regulations will be undone with time and money, and that crises will continue forever.

      The way the banks have chewed through reforms since 2009 has been sobering. It was recently revealed that they offer special bonuses to officers willing to serve a stint in government to angle for the bank’s interests, bonuses to the tune of $1.4M and up. This is what ragtag groups of “concerned citizens” are up against? Good luck.

  2. William
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Jason needs to watch the terrific episode of the PBS program NOVA entitled “Cold Case JFK” that was broadcast in November of 2013. It is an excellent defense of the Warren Commission. I can’t believe that Jason could be a conspiracy theorist. The evidence supports the conclusion of the Warren Commission that found that Oswald acted alone. The evidence DOES NOT support the conspiracy that Jason proposes. Everyone should watch the NOVA episode. It is currently available to watch at pbs.org . Please watch it Jason !!! You should also read Gerald Posner’s excellent book “Case Closed” which was published in 1993. Oswald acted alone. CASE CLOSED

    • Eric W.
      Posted December 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I have seen “Cold Case JFK” program that William refers to, and I agree that it is an important work. If you have trouble viewing it on PBS, it is also available on YouTube with no signing up required.

    • Posted January 17, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Here’s “Cold Case JFK,” which you can expand to watch full screen:

      I watched the entire program, and find that it does not establish that Oswald acted alone. Detailed books are more informative than are short TV programs of this variety. The book I recommend in the article, Best Evidence, will enable you to see through seemingly convincing re-creations such as this one by Nova when you notice that the photo presented of the president’s head is not the actual autopsy photo, among other issues. This matters because the actual photos show much less of the back of the head being intact. More below.

      Other easily-spotted problems with this program include:

      <> There are too many bullet fragments on display to have originated from the few the show claims to have been fired by Oswald.

      <> If the president’s head moving backward was caused by the jet pressure of a shot from behind exiting the front of the skull, why did so much brain tissue splash backward onto police motorcycles? The car wasn’t moving quickly enough for wind to explain this. It was backspray from a front-originated shot, as police testimony corroborates.

      <> If so few bullets were involved, how do we account for marks on the sidewalk and the fragment that hit James Tague? The Zapruder film makes it plain that the president and governor were not hit by the same bullet, and the governor’s testimony backs this up. Besides, the mark on the curb by Tague was not made by a copper-jacketed bullet like the Carcano rounds allegedly fired by Oswald. There were multiple shooters involved, and Oswald probably wasn’t even one of them.

      <> One of the program’s main points is that a full-metal-jacketed bullet such as the round fired from the Carcano rifle could enter and exit the president’s body cleanly and then injure the governor with a wobble in its trajectory. This is to establish that a single bullet could have caused several of the wounds between the two bodies, thereby explaining away the need for additional shots. However, damage to the president’s skull indicates that he was killed by an exploding round, not an intact, barely marred one of the type conveniently found on the stretcher.

      <> Every doctor said the right rear of the president’s head was blown out, which is inconsistent with the smooth Carcano round entry from the rear. The blowout at the rear explains the material that the first lady was attempting to collect off the back of the car, and the material that spewed backward onto police motorcycles.

      Anybody wanting to study the assassination further should read Best Evidence, Not in Your Lifetime, and other in-depth books. They teach much more than TV programs teach.

    • Posted January 19, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      From the professor:

      Anyone can do the math: At minimum, the president was hit three times, by three rounds — back, head, and throat. Then you have Gov. Connally hit at least once (some say a separate round to the wrist; I am unconvinced, but admit the possibility).

      Next there is the Tague fragment, from a round that went over and past the limousine. That makes no fewer than five shots. Add in the strike to the rear center of the limo windshield frame and you have six.

      Then there were ear and eye witnesses who claim there was at least one other miss (one I say was intentional, to draw attention to the southeast window of the TSBD). So now we’re up to seven. I don’t care how many shells Oswald supposedly brought in (it was three, if he brought them), and I don’t care if he had twelve seconds (nine maximum, according to a frame count of the Z-film and allowing for a brief time when Zapruder stopped filming).

      This dog won’t hunt, and it never has.

  3. Nolan
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    I have always wondered, not being an American, whether the assassination and the period following, and the results of the investigation, contributed to or was the foundation of, the average American citizen’s beginning mistrust of his government.

    Did many citizens still speak about the trust being intact at that time, while having serious inner conflict, and if the doubt became strong, did their continuing support of the government become hollow ?

    My only take on the Warren investigation was this, take a single shot bolt action rifle, dry fire once, pull the bolt back, raise it to shoulder, dry fire again, pull the bolt back and fire again, all in 5.6 seconds and do it without aiming, especially at a moving target over 150 feet away, and then reconsider the Warren findings. Anyone can do this.

    • Eric W.
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      The 5.6 seconds is in great dispute. By some accounts, it was over 7 seconds, but let’s say it was 5.6. The clock starts AFTER the first shot is fired, so you actually have 5.6 seconds to get off the next TWO shots. Not too difficult. As for the marksmanship, all that was needed was someone who was an above average shot. You by no means had to be a great shot to hit 2 out of 3 within 88 yards. I served in the Army, and the qualification range had pop-up targets out to 300 meters. The majority of us in my platoon including myself, were nailing those targets and having more difficuly with the targets closer than 100 meters. Why? Because the targets were arranged with one to your left and right. For the close up targets, you had to actually re-set your elbows and shoulders in order to swivel around or else you would get terribly twisted up. The reason I mention this is to point out that lateral movement is much more difficult to deal with than target distance….until you exceed the maximum effective range for that rifle. There is so much breathless emphasis by conspiracy theorists on the distance or range of the shots fired, but distance would not have been a problem until at least 300 meters. The last shot that hit Kennedy in the head was at 88 yards or 80.4 meters. Where Oswald was perched afforded almost no lateral adjustment of the muzzle, and very little up/down adjustment because Elm street had a nice gradual downhill angle which had the effect of counteracting the tendency of the car to “climb up to the horizon” as it is heading away from the shooter.

      The point is, the marksmanship skill needed to do what Oswald did, falls well within the standards needed to qualify for the U.S. Army. Very few recruits actually fail the weapons qual. part of Basic Training. In 1991 it was greater than 90% passing on the first try. Add a 4 power scope to the rifle and it gets easier yet. We are not talking about special forces here.

      It is just silly to continue making claims that “it was impossible” to do what Oswald did with his rifle. I have often heard it said that the feat was “one in a million”. How about just above average?

      Another way of thinking about this is to imagine you are trying to escape a deranged killer who has a rifle with a 4 power scope. You are in a convertable that can only go 15 mph on a straight path. The muzzle of the barrel is no further than 88 yards from your scalp. Another guy in the car with you says “don’t worry, I know that guy and he only qualified as a sharpshooter in the Marines – didn’t qualify as expert.” Would you feel safe??

  4. Don
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Jason,
    The morning this article arrived, I had been discussing the assassination with my wife. We were both adults at the time he was killed, we both intensely watched the events unfold after the fact. A very sad time, not only for the loss of a person of such magnitude, but for the loss of confidence in our government. I’ve always taken note of the accuracy of your perception, and as usual, find it on target again.

    In the months after the assassination we watched what amounted to a nationwide “gaslighting”, where authorities and investigators just pretended that certain obvious and critical facts were irrelevant or didn’t exist, and other irrelevant facts and fabrications not only existed, but were definitive. The Warren Commission should have been dressed in painter’s coveralls, as they did one of the biggest whitewash jobs in American history. It was a political exercise required by the situation, but it’s real purpose and conclusion were predetermined. Literally, they just acted like the people would buy whatever they put out, regardless of it’s ludicrous logic and lack of foundation. They put on a show and relied on the suspension of disbelief such as science fiction movies use to sell it. At least to the extent of successfully burying the truth, it worked.

    Most of all, I was dumbstruck by the same fundamental conflict that you were- If a man was shot from behind, you see him pushed forward, not backward. The entrance hole is in back, the large exit is in front. And brain tissue is NOT splattered all over the trunk of the car as happened then; it would be on the rear of the front seat. Millions of people saw the impact and reaction to the fatal bullet in the Zapruder film. You don’t have to be a ballistics expert to understand what you saw. If you understand that one piece of incontrovertible evidence, then you know that the Warren report and the single shooter concept are fundamentally flawed conclusions- and you know that no legitimate investigation could have arrived at them.

    As we watched this, there is another question that we asked ourselves many times. WHO would have the power to stifle undesirable evidence, silence a large number of honorable people and orchestrate such a huge cover-up? Ask yourself that, and every answer you can think of is frightening.

    I have always hoped that before I died some person involved in the shooting would come forward and reveal the truth, with sufficient evidence that it could not be denied. The nation deserves it.

  5. Rick
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post Jason. I like the fact that you didn’t have to give the people of the opposite point of view a negative title or name. You summed up pretty much everything I ever believed and I have never researched it deeply or read any books about it. I remember very well the day I walked home from school thinking about it. I was amazed because I just couldn’t understand why someone would kill a good person, our president.
    When I was young I always thought of our leaders as very good people that could only be there to do good for us the people. Over the years this silly kid came to realize its not like that at all. The “leaders” are just people, plain and simple. They can be good like Kennedy and have a true interest in helping “us” or be in it only for them selves and the ones who truly run the world. I’m amazed by those who don’t realize that there is someone other then our president running things.
    I’m amazed at how few realize that our currency is controlled by a central bank, not “us” the people. I have had people laugh and even mad at me for even talking about it. As they laugh and ridicule they only reinforce how little they know. If you and I were to talk of the “New World Order” we would instantly be placed in the conspiracy theory camp. If Bush says it over and over in his speeches or Obama speaks of a “New Order” that’s OK, they don’t mean anything by it. Its just some neat, catchy new phrase their speech writers threw in there.
    No, Kennedy wasn’t killed by some random nut, neither was King. They were a danger and had to be eliminated. Its all about money and power and you couldn’t have said it better.

  6. Alex N
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories. They are usually propagated by people who are both ill-informed and confused. And so I am very surprised to find one here. I, of course, appreciate your occasional boldness, Jason, but the message in this note is a quite bizarre. A hidden cabal of arms producers and the military who control the government, assassinate presidents, and start wars at will? I do hope I misunderstood you.

    I am also pretty sure that all misdeeds you are attributing to this mystical group have actually been committed by the occupants of Capitol Hill of their own volition. Yes, generations of politicians though that fighting the Soviets was a big deal, so they spent generously on defense. If you recall, prior to the Cold War we fought an equally demented power in WW2 and used the hardware plenty, so their reasoning wasn’t baseless. And yes, Bush believed he can actually pacify the Middle East by introducing democracy there. It worked out fine in places like South Korea and Japan, why not the Middle East? It’s a shame it didn’t work out. But things don’t always go as planned, and mistakes are made. There is nothing else to it.

  7. John S. Long Jr.
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I would only add that those interested in pursuing the truth consider reading “Who Really Killed Kennedy” by Jerome Corsi, and “The Man Who Killed Kennedy” by Roger Stone. Both of these outstanding authors cite credible sources and present their material factually leaving little doubt that the mainstream media’s account of a fanatical lone gunman is absurd. In addition, much has been uncovered which reveals that various people in high places had much to gain by the death of JFK. As a result, both America and the world were changed forever.

  8. Ron Onufer
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Jason, I doubt your chain of logic and conclusion. Then again, I asked myself a different question in the years since the assassination. Not who had the most to gain, but who had the most to lose if JFK lived. As a result, I lean toward the CIA/Mafia partnership to eliminate the guy who double-crossed them. But just like with Nixon (who was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963!) and the Watergate cover-up, LBJ and the Warren Commission wanted America to believe that a wacko pro-Castro Marxist carried out the killing of JFK all by himself. If Oswald had the skill to blow Kennedy’s head open, why couldn’t he drill retired Major General Edwin Walker, who was sitting and reading, from a closer distance? I believe Oswald delivered the rifle to the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository on Nov. 22, then made himself scarce downstairs. That’s why first responders found him sitting at a table, drinking a Coke in the first floor break room. All in all, I believe there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, and a cover-up conspiracy by members and staff of the Warren Commission. As to who really did the shooting, I’ve lived this long without knowing. Finding out the true story would probably just piss me off.

  9. Eric W.
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    What always amazes me is the power of bias to overcome rational thinking in people of all intelligence levels. This is the main cause for all conspiracy theory followers. The official report does not fully explain, or cannot be fully convincing of all of the details surrounding a major event. So what? There is not one conspiracy theory that is MORE comprehensive or complete than the official version. You even admit that the alternate theory, or combination of theories you believe does not even settle on a name of the prime suspect! Your bias has resulted in you choosing to go with a more incomplete, more speculative, more fantastic version of events, and you rationalize this to yourself because the official version doesn’t explain EVERYTHING or completely disprove conflicting witness testimony. Why do you not hold the same standard for the alternate theories as you do for the accepted explanation? If you held all theories to the same standard, one will stand above the rest – Oswald – case closed.

    Mr. Kelly, the main point of evidence that you discuss about the movement of the head from a shot from behind has been extensively researched. The results of this scientific research is that the head will move toward the direction the shot was fired due to the force of the exit wound exceeding the force of the entry wound. For a brief and easy to follow discussion on this, check out the Penn & Teller Youtube video: Penn & Teller on The Conspiracy™ at around the 26 minute mark.

    It simply comes down to this. When an event happens, the rational person will choose to accept the most likely and comprehensive explanation, knowing that there may be some minor inconsistencies that do not affect the overall situation. The irrational “conspiracy theorist” will wait for the investigation to be completed, then try to dismantle or cast doubt over every possible detail, endlessly nitpicking and offering fragmented non-connected narritives, always pointing at the ubiquitous “THEM, THEY, etc…”

    In my opinion, on this sad anniversary, the conspiracy theorist movement has grown to rival the legacy of the JFK presidency. When I read Jason’s letter, it was like a slap in the face, to find that someone who I respect as an intelligent, thoughtful person has fallen in with the irrational. I also feel it is not wise to give credence to some of the rampant conspiracy groups such as the 9/11 truthers, Obama birthers, holocaust deniers, Infowars, etc… There is bound to be some unstable individuals in those groups who could resort to violence in the belief that they are “enlightened” and working to wake up the rest of society. Scary. Don’t forget that John Wilkes Booth, and Lee Harvey Oswald both were ardent conspiracy theorists that believed that the general public was clueless but they were the enlightened ones.

    • Don
      Posted November 24, 2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      You are obviously intelligent, however that does not make us flawless; indeed sometimes it makes us more gullible. I must assume that you are not a hunter or familiar with firearms. Get yourself a center-fire rifle and a set a small watermelon on a post- then see how the impact works for yourself. See how much of that watermelon winds up going in the direction of the bullet travel, and how much goes toward the gun. If you think the first result is a fluke, keep trying. When you run out of ammo or watermelons and find yourself still believing what you have read instead of what you have seen for yourself, you will have demonstrated exactly how the single-shooter explanation was sold. Penn & Teller- after all they are magicians; their business is creating illusions, and to do that you use credible surroundings and language to wrap the illusions to make them seem credible. Seems I once saw Penn shoot a revolver at teller, and Teller catch the bullet in his teeth- and many people think that what they saw was what actually happened. I strongly advise you not to try that one.

    • Posted November 24, 2013 at 3:00 am | Permalink

      The following is an edited reply from the professor friend of mine mentioned in the article:

      They key is understanding gunshot physics. Remember m1v1 = m2v2, and consider the kinetics. A bullet, especially one fragmenting against or within a basically solid-and-gelatinous body weighing about the same as 20 ounces of water in a bottle, is still a small mass. Its velocity is so large relative to the target, that the motion tends always to continue with the path of the projectile. That is, a large head doesn’t ordinarily move much when struck. The “exit,” if there is one, is never as large in terms of (conserved) momentum as was the original shock. To say that the emanation is sufficiently strong in terms of velocity or momentum to have sufficient force to again move the originally “immovable” object has never been noted, proven, or accepted.

      A bullet passing through a body tends to push matter ahead of it as it heads for “the exit(s).” Now you have more mass on the move, and less velocity attributable to the internatl mass, to conserve momentum (m2v2). The product must remain the same as m1v1 for the (real) physics to work.

      PBS, National Geographic, even the History Channel — it’s monkey see to me. The magazine (print) media started all this when Life published a few Z-film photos, with frames 313 and 314 reversed. Wow. Accident? Claire Booth Luce was part of the ownership structure (or her husband Henry) of that magazine at the time, and she was well known for her unwavering support of ultraconservative causes.

      Then we had the broadcasters. They want to be certain they can still count on advertising dollars, and — oh, yes, by the way — renewal by the FCC of their operating license(s). Hence, they perpetuate the drivel we’ve been seeing and hearing. Poor Clint Hill has been paraded on at least two networks this week, though I notice he’s been careful in his (well edited) comments. Preserve and lament the Secret Service’s reputation while acknowledging their “mistakes.”

      This “jet effect” comedy only has meaning for those want it to. You’ve seen the motion more than eight times now. It is possible that a second bullet struck the head from the rear (certainly not from the SE 6th-floor window of the TSBD), only 24 ms prior to the strike from the knoll. This presents a profile where a bullet flying a mere 106 feet encounters an already exploding mass. That makes turning the head ninety degrees even more challenging, but there it was.

      More people need to try shooting. I’ve fired very high-powered weapons including a really fine Anschuss that sent a 160-grain bullet (the XP-100, with all its propellant sends only 50). Make no mistake, the kinetic energy along the path of the bullet cannot be overcome by what is essentially a bottle of water (the bottle I used for such a demonstration in a 50-year anniversary talk I gave yesterday was empty, thankfully).

    • Posted November 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Just watch the film. How anybody can say the fatal shot came from behind is beyond me.

      • Eric W.
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Think this over carefully and leave your preconceptions aside for a second. At frame 313 you see a massive EXIT wound from Kennedy’s front right temple area. This rules out the grassy knoll which is to the right of the President. No trauma was found in the autopsy in his left temporal brain and no entry or exit wound on the left side of his head, which would have been the path the bullet from the grassy knoll would have continued on, probably right into the First Lady. Therefore, the head shot coming from the grassy knoll is ELIMINATED. With the same info. we must also eliminate any bullet coming from the Left of the President, which again, would have either passed through Jackie, inflicted an entry wound to the left side of the head, or both.

        Remember that the exit wound is always much larger than the entry wound. According to official version, the entry wound was to the back left of the skull and there is no doubt that the head wound was caused by a high powered rifle. Therefore, the Zapruder film evidence also eliminates all theories that involve a handgun causing the kill shot. No handgun would have caused such catastrophic damage.

        There are only two directions remaining. A high powered rifle shot from the front or the back.

        Do we have a single witness of any sightings of a person with a rifle on the overpass? Anyone?? One of the other problems with a shot from the front is they would have to miss Gov. Connally, who is still upright, but hit JFK. Still possible, but getting extremely unlikely. Remember, the conspirators in the planning stages would have to assume that Connally, the agent in the front seat, and the car’s windshield would all be partially eclipsing the target. The convoy passengers would also have a clear sight of the attacker in front of them. Nobody in the convoy saw anything in front, including the Connallys and Jackie, who we have to assume are innocent witnesses. Finally, even though the car was travelling between 11 and 15 mph and there was a breeze in their face, the vast majority of spatter and tissue landed forward of the position the President was in where he was shot. So we have tissue and blood leaving an entry wound, no less, from the front of the head, fighting an approx. 25 mph. breeze, and most of the stuff ends up in the forward two seats. The film footage even gives a pretty clear picture of this in frame 313 thru 315. What force caused the blood and tissue to move mostly forward?

      • Eric W.
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        As for the movement of the head at the time of the bullet impacting, the head first moves forward about 2 1/2 inches from frame 311 to 314 which was 1/6 of a second at the frame rate of 18.3 frames per second on the Z film. So the first reaction of the head is a rapid forward lurch, even after being struck by the bullet. By frame 315 (2 to 3 frames after impact) the backward movement begins due to the jet propulsion effect of the exit wound on the front right area. Due to the exit wound being off center the head twists to the left and back.

        Besides the hotly disputed theory as to how a human head reacts to a bullet wound, there are two other factors that could have influenced the movement that you see. One is that traumatic brain injury can cause intense muscle contractions in unpredictable ways at the instant of injury. The second factor is that the driver began to accellerate at or about the same time frame of the fatal shot, which could have influenced the body of Kennedy moving backward, albiet after the initial flinch.

        To sum it up, people can pick and nitpic at certain elements of the Oswald single – shooter theory, but it remains by far the most likely, and most complete theory except for those with strong emotional bias, or those prone to see a conspiracy every where they look. No alternate theory stands a chance against it because, they always have to include Oswald’s actions or lie, or find some fantastic alien involvement or massive conspiracy involving thousands of soul-less government robot-like humans who never have a desire to double-cross each other. In the case of the JFK assasination, many people just can’t accept that it was a left-wing nutjob who killed a great liberal leader. As Jackie later stated: “He didn’t even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. it had to be some silly little Communist.”

        • Posted November 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          From the professor:

          “If a ‘jet effect’ were real and could happen and did occur 11-22-63 at Dealey Plaza at 12:31 pm CST (that’s a lot of ifs), then how did blood and brain tissue eject to the LEFT REAR, striking the motorcycle and helmet visor of motorcycle officer Billy Hargis? He thought HE had been hit, the force of the ‘rain’ was so palpable. Wait: the limo was going SO FAST the slipstream curled that rightward, frontward, imaginary jet around to the rear, then to the left. Fancy achievement for a car traveling 9.5 miles per hour. At most.”

          • Eric W.
            Posted November 30, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            I will truncate all those “if’s” for your professor friend. If the jet effect was real, it stands to reason that not only could it happen, it would happen anytime a person is shot in the head, regardless of the date on which it happened. So by my count, that is only a singular if…that being the question if the effect is real.

            The prof. has also forgot to factor in an important variable in his equations. He leaves out, probably intentionally in an effort to deceive himself and others, the additional force caused by blood under pressure exiting the wound. We all know that blood pressure is significantly higher than the surrounding atmosphere. A punctured artery in the neck can spray up to 20 feet. It seems to me that NASA has accomplished quite a bit with Newton’s law. Every rocket launch is the same concept…when stuff fires out of one end of an object, it pushes the object in the opposite direction.

            I assume the prof. has no comment on the point that traumatic brain injury may have caused muscle contractions? I suppose if I can find one scientist to say something is “impossible” then it must be impossible.

            All of this is academic though. These points and counter-points made here by me and by the professor have very little importance, because the question of what direction a head would or could move as a result of a bullet wound has already been answered by laboratory re-creations. As part of the origional investigation, actual human cadaver skulls, hair, etc… were used with the exact type of rifle and ammo. Penn & Teller’s video mentioned earlier using a honeydew mellon and saran wrap was a clear demonstration of the concept. The information is out there for those who have an open mind and no agenda to push.

            One last point to make here. Your prof. friend argues against any significant head movement in EITHER direction, yet you are citing his comments as evidence supporting a violent motion of JFK’s head. He states:

            “That is, a large head doesn’t ordinarily move much when struck. The “exit,” if there is one, is never as large in terms of (conserved) momentum as was the original shock.”

            In a later section he refers to the head as a sort of “immovable object” suggesting both the bullet entry and exit do very little in terms of influencing head position. He claims the entry to a weak, but somewhat stronger force than the exit, but he admits the exit will counter-act part of that force.

            Makes me wonder how you took that as supporting of the theory of a shot from the front or the side (or any direction) causing the head to snap back.

  10. Posted November 23, 2013 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,
    Good comment as usual, and certainly about the 9/11 commision white wash. All possibly tied to the MIC or other complexs that seem to run the country instead of the people. If we could only get people to participate in their own government.
    Best,
    Bob E.

  11. Al TORCINI
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Jason,
    There is a great documentary (on PBS) that recreates the shooting with lasers, etc and explains how the head could react violently backwards from a shot behind. Whats more surprising to me, is after reading your commentary for almost two years, how out of left field your opinion is on this. You are always so level headed in your approach to issues, and life. Your opinion while provocative is a major stretch to say the least. Although, looking at history, especially the Roman Empire, with the dynamic between the emperor’s and the Roman army’s, you may have something after all. Thanks for making us think outside the box.
    Best,
    Al

  12. Wes
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Very nice article , and appreciate this type of work and reasoning . In regards to ” The American People are not the kind to revolt” sad to say but true, unless our backs are against the wall , we are so busy and complacent that we dont have time and yet someday we will have to make time whether we like it or not, most people dont like whats going on but see no immediate threat and nothing willing to give their life for. We are the country of frogs in boiling water.

  13. Richard Knight
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    The laws of physics support the premise that the fatal headshot came from behind. Other than that, I don’t really have a problem with what you wrote. I have read that all the conspiracy theories bar one have been discounted. The one theory that hasn’t been discounted is that the CIA was behind it. Jack Ruby said he wanted to “spare Mrs. Kennedy the discomfort of a trail” but he may also have spared others a lot of discomfort too.

    I believe that if you want to reform the American political process you can start by instituting limits on how long officials can serve, shorten the Presidential election cycle and limit the campaign money. Elected representatives should be beholden to nobody except those that voted them into office and should not be in office long enough to become corrupt.

    Rich

  14. E A Sutherland
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Jason, for speaking out about the travesty that was the Warren Commission report. “Murder in Dealy Plaza” goes into the forensic evidence in detail. It’s clear Oswald was just a fall guy.

    The same can be said for the 9/11 Commission Report. The pancake theory defies the laws of physics. David Ray Griffin, a theology professor from Claremont Men’s College, and Steven Jones, a physics professor at BYU, have been outspoken about the ridiculous official story, but have been largely ignored. Nobody ever talks about Building 7, which also collapsed in it own footprint that day, when there was only a small fire burning on the top floor. But the Bush Administration got its war, and he made his friends even richer. Blowing up taxpayer money has never made sense to me, but then I do not make bombs for a living.

  15. Earl F.
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    The assassination was tragic in so many ways. We’ll never know what this country would have become if he were to remain in power and not gunned down. I heard a recorded speech of his yesterday from December 14th, 1962, basically 11 months before he died. He wasn’t speaking about the military or Cuba but of tax cuts, a strong dollar and economic growth. He was speaking at the New York Economic Club. These things are nothing you would ever hear from the political left today but considering the nature of this site it seems appropriate to remember JFK also for his economic vision for this great country.

    KENNEDY: “This administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board top to bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes to be enacted and become effective in 1963. I am not talking about a quickie or a temporary tax cut, which would be more appropriate if a recession were imminent. Nor am I talking about giving the economy a mere shot in the arm to ease some temporary complaint. The federal government’s most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities for private expenditures.”

    KENNEDY: “When consumers purchase more goods, plants use more of their capacity, men are hired instead of laid off, investment increases, and profits are high. Corporate tax rates must also be cut to increase incentives and the availability of investment capital. The government has already taken major steps this year to reduce business tax liability and to stimulate the modernization, replacement, and expansion of our productive plant and equipment.”

    KENNEDY: “Our true choice is not between tax reduction on the one hand and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget, just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. Surely the lesson of the last decade is that budget deficits are not caused by wild-eyed spenders, but by slow economic growth and periodic recessions. And any new recession would break all deficit records. In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low, and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.”

    It’s clear, this great President understood economics as well.

  16. Rick
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I feel a bit like I’ve been “trolled”… no matter.

    Here’s the bait that I rose to, and hope to see some further discussion here or by Jason:

    “Not a single president has dared resist it since, and probably none ever will. The perpetrators of the Dallas murder saw to it that all concerned knew the locations of uncrossable lines. They killed Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968 and produced an Oswald equivalent patsy named James Earl Ray. King opposed the Vietnam War and had called the U.S. government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” They killed Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968. RFK carried the flag of liberalism and looked likely to win the Democratic nomination for president that year. While serving as a U.S. Senator from New York, he championed minorities and wanted to stop the escalation of the Vietnam War.”

    I’m vaguely familiar with arguments that MLK’s murder was an assassination, but RFK’s deranged murderer (Sirhan B Sirhan) is not (in my awareness) popularly linked with a conspiracy… or is it?

    As for the “frontal/side” headshot to JFK, I very recently reviewed some of the arguments for the shooter on the grassy knoll, and as evidenced by the House Committee on Assassination, can accept that there were multiple shots (beyond the ‘3’ from the rear). One contrary piece of evidence is the review by Richard Feynman (the physicist) who in examining the location of the head at the time of frame 313 of the Z film, and it’s immediate subsequent position (prior to being thrown backward), concludes that the initial impact could have been from behind, (an entrance wound), with the propulsion backward being the result of the much larger exit wound (front quarter or skull) releasing enormous pressure. (The exit would would be larger if the bullet was “frangible”, meaning it broke into many parts upon initial contact.)

    I don’t disagree with the importance of reviewing and considering the weaknesses of the Warren Commission report. After the review I’ve made, I agree that the number of unresolved questions far exceeds the agreed facts. Especially in the context of the post-mortem evaluation, and when considering the very many suspicious facts surrounding Oswald and his possible role as a “patsy”.

    But, it’s a bigger leap to infer a coordinated controlling group of elites that are somehow pulling the strings. While I agree that reasonable suspicion is warranted, the urge to find ‘conclusions’ in light of conflicting and contradictory evidence reveals more about human nature than it does about the ‘illuminati’ (by whatever name).

    Rick

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