In late October President Trump ordered that “the veil be lifted” from the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. More than 3,000 new, previously classified FBI, CIA, and Congressional documents were released to the public. A quick overview of the material shows that the bulk of it pertains either to the CIA’s covert operations against Cuba (one of the most popular theories about JFK’s assassination focuses on the ties between Lee Harvey Oswald and anti-Castro paramilitary groups that were upset about Kennedy’s “soft” policy toward the island) or the CIA’s search for a “Soviet fingerprint” in the crime – as can be seen in Langley’s fruitless but determined attempts to turn the defector Yuri Nosenko into a key source of information (although truth be told, he adamantly refused to give the required “testimony” and was for this reason long suspected of being a KGB double agent). We cannot avoid the impression that these huge document dumps – along with the scores of “investigations” conducted over the last 54 years, in addition to the books and movies about this cryptic murder – have one goal: to keep whoever really ordered the JFK assassination from being brought to justice.
All of these materials focus in one way or another on the figure of the unhappy “psychopath,” known as Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone gunman who shot the 35th US president on Nov. 22, 1963, from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, using a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano Italian rifle with telescopic sight. Each new batch of released documents (and there have been three just this year: on July 24, Oct. 26, and Nov. 3) triggers another round of furious debate, all over the world, about his motives, connections, and the facts of the crime.
Oswald being led from the Texas Theatre following his arrest, Nov 22 1963
The narrative of the murder would seem quite straightforward. Just a few minutes after the fatal shots were fired, the security services were already combing through the depository building. On the 6th floor, they discovered an open window, three shell casings, and a rifle bearing Oswald’s fingerprints. Forty minutes after Kennedy’s death, the cops already had a name, physical description, and address for his alleged killer. The crime of the century was easily solved. The police surrounded the Texas Theatre building where Mr. Oswald was hiding, and he was arrested barely an hour after the president was assassinated.
But not everything was quite so simple. A 26-second movie, made that day by Abraham Zapruder, shows the exact moment of the murder, which has made it possible to dissect the instant of Kennedy’s death, frame by frame.
According to the official story, three shots were fired (the first missed, the second passed through the president’s neck and ricocheted into the chest, wrist, and thigh of Texas Governor John Connally, and the third bullet struck Kennedy in the head). But the film clearly shows that the second bullet (frame 225) and third bullet (frame 313) are of completely different types: the second passed through the president’s neck without serious tissue damage, while the third was obviously an expanding bullet, the impact of which shattered the American leader’s skull! A mix of different types of bullets within a single clip of a semi-automatic gun would be a game-changer for shooters. But the most likely explanation is that there were at least two snipers involved.
A number of recognized probe inconsistencies (missing bullets, improper autopsy procedure, faked autopsy photos & notes, to point out a few) that led to repeated official and unofficial attempts to reconsider the case for the past decades, eventually resulted in the fact that today only 24% of Americans believe that LHO had acted alone.
An analysis of the Zapruder film prompts even more awkward questions. It turns out that the killer took about five seconds to fire all the shots. That seems quite unlikely for this model of the rifle with a telescopic sight because the bolt has to be cycled with each firing. If you look at the video below, a professional is taking a few shots using the same type of rifle, but without the telescopic sight.
If you time the video carefully, you can see that this expert rifleman takes just about five seconds to get off three shots, but you’ll notice that he’s making no attempt to aim! Is it possible to believe that a second-rate marksman like Lee Harvey Oswald could have performed with robot-like precision in such an extreme situation?
And so Oswald was arrested. “I did not kill President Kennedy … I didn’t kill anybody … I don’t know anything about what you are accusing me,” he said. Nor for that matter was he allowed to call a lawyer. He never admitted to murdering Kennedy. And two days after the president’s death, while Oswald was being transferred between jails, he was shot at close range by a Texas underworld figure named Jack Ruby (Jacob Rubenstein), who was also, according to the Warren Commission, “a lone gunman.” You don’t have to dig too deeply into the man’s background to realize that he had very deep ties to the police and American security agencies.
And then within the next two years, an astonishing number of people (more than 50!) who possessed some kind of information about the Kennedy assassination died under mysterious circumstances. The Navy officer Lt. William Pitzer, who managed the closed-circuit camera in the autopsy room at the at Bethesda Naval Hospital and filmed the proceeding, was later discovered to have “shot himself”, and the tape of the film had vanished. A week later, the taxi driver who drove Oswald home from the book depository on the day of the president’s assassination, William Whaley, was killed in a car crash. The same fate befell one of the witnesses to the Kennedy assassination, Lee Bowers, who saw “two men shooting from behind the fence.” Three of the five people who were present in Jack Ruby’s house on the evening of Nov. 24, 1963 were shot to death (the lawyer Tom Howard and reporters Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe) … And on Nov. 8, 1965, Dorothy Kilgallen, who was the only journalist granted a private interview with Jack Ruby after Oswald’s assassination, died of a “drug overdose,” although she had never taken drugs. There are dozens of such examples, and the names involved have never been a secret, but is it even worth pointing out once again that these people are never mentioned in the declassified files from the US National Archives?
On Nov. 29, 1963, Lyndon Johnson, the former vice president who had automatically risen to head of state upon JFK’s death, ordered a special commission to be established to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. The chief justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, was asked to head the seven-man panel, which also included two senators, two members of the House of Representatives, the former director of the CIA Allen Dulles, and the banker John McCloy. The commission listened to testimony from 552 witnesses and obtained more than 3,000 reports from courts and law-enforcement agencies, which, in turn, had conducted approximately 26,000 interviews, collected in 26 volumes of documentation.
However, the final report, which was intended to shed light on the mysterious details of the “crime of the century,” merely offered withering criticism of the CIA, the FBI, and the Dallas police for not being able to prevent the death of the president, who had been shot by a deranged lone gunman…
Hale Boggs, a Democratic Representative from Louisiana, was the only member of the Warren Commission who did not buckle to Earl Warren and his disciples and disagreed with the conclusion. In October 1972 he was killed in a plane crash over frozen Alaska…
One of the last photos of Rep. Hale Boggs
The findings of the investigation, which ignored a whole slew of facts and the death of almost all the witnesses, were so obviously bizarre that in 1976 the US Congress created a new special commission on the Kennedy case. In 1979 it issued its verdict: “Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” The HSCA determined, based on available evidence, that the probable conspiracy did not involve the governments of the Soviet Union or Cuba. The committee also added that no organized crime group, anti-Castro group, or the FBI, CIA, or Secret Service was mixed up in that conspiracy. Is it any wonder that following this report, the FBI and the US Department of Justice “raised numerous concerns regarding perceived inadequacies in the Committee’s experts’ methodology, which led to the conclusion of a conspiracy”?
So, who ordered the murder of President Kennedy and then covered up the tracks? Obviously, the masterminds were not merely some group of conspirators or Mafiosi, but rather individuals who wield immense and very real power in the American government. So immense that they could force the entire US law-enforcement system to do everything necessary to keep this crime from being solved and to compel the Kennedy family to obediently close their eyes to it!
Who would have been capable of doing this? The Mafia? Cuban emigrants? Anyone could pull the trigger, but not just anyone could force the investigation to overlook obvious facts and turn a blind eye to what any of us can see in the films and photos. Nor did the CIA or FBI command such power. If it were simply a matter of liquidating an undesirable foreign political figure or an out-of-control drug baron, then either of these agencies could contain the scandal on its own. But even they would be in over their heads in an attempt to assassinate a US president in his own country.
In order to get closer to unraveling one of the most mysterious political murders of the 20th century, we should turn our attention to an obscure document signed by that resident of the Oval Office less than six months before his death.
On June 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 11110, authorizing the US Treasury to issue paper currency that could be redeemed for silver held by the treasury.
As a result, this US currency was printed in denominations of $2 and $5 and inscribed with the words “United States Note” instead of “Federal Reserve Note.”
Kennedy’s order was intended to wean the Federal Reserve System away from printing money, beginning a smooth transition toward returning the printing press to the hands of the American government.
He was correcting a clear violation of the US Constitution and an absurd situation in which the US government could not print its own money. It was a quiet and inconspicuous coup d’état. For the bankers who had founded the Federal Reserve, their greatest fear was about to come true. Now with one stroke of the pen, their plans to establish complete control over the US government and American society were faced with a clear and present danger. Because the fact was that the issuance of these small banknotes was to be followed by the complete suspension of the Fed’s right to print money. So what was that agency to do then? Regulate the financial market, monitoring it so as to forestall any crises? Fine, regulating and monitoring is all well and good. Just stop printing money …
The Federal Reserve’s monopoly on the issuance of its own dollar, which is for some reason considered to be the “US dollar,” hinges on a single act of legislation that was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in December of 1913. Consequently, a single, different act of legislation would be enough to destroy this monopoly. But John F. Kennedy failed to realize his agenda. Executive Order 11110 was not revoked but was never actually implemented. For the owners of the Fed, however, the threat remained that the order could be revived by a new US president, potentially JFK’s brother Robert, who in his position as US Attorney General fully grasped the implications of what was happening. And the equally enigmatic murder of Robert Kennedy, who was a leading candidate headed into the Democratic primary for the 1968 presidential election, occurred exactly five years after the signing of the very executive order that killed his brother. It looks like the very influential bankers from the Federal Reserve sent a clear signal: the clan whose representatives tried to betray the System will no longer be allowed to play a significant role in US politics. And they haven’t.
We still can’t reliably assess President Trump’s motivation in releasing the JFK files. The plenitude, relevance, and authenticity of this archive are highly questionable. Nevertheless, he might have intuitively felt that the draining of Washington’s swamp should eventually be completed at the Constitution Avenue…
Commentary by Jon Masters,