After reading excerpts of Ron Rosenblaum’s “Why’d Oswald Do It?” –(included below) I first question whether or not Oswald actually did “It,” as the evidence indicates to me that he was set up for the crime and was framed as a patsy, just as he claimed, so all of the theorizing and psychoanalysis of his motives are minimalized by his actual role of patsy.
For starters, I too focus on Desmond Fitz, but not handing a rifle to AMLASH, or giving him the poison pen to kill Castro, but for his September 25 1963 briefing of the Joint Chiefs on the covert Cuban ops – in which he mentioned their adaption of the Valkyrie Plot to kill Hitler against Castro.
That the idea to kill JFK was planted in Oswald’s mind at a Twist Party in Mexico City is certainly intriguing, as it appears that a similar power of suggestion mental technique was used on Oswald by Volkmar Schmidt – in February 1963 in which Schmidt suggested that Gen. Walker should be assassinated to keep him from becoming another Hitler, and Schmidt made references to the Valkyrie Plot to Oswald and actually knew one of the participants. Whether true or not, Schmidt believed that he planted the seed in Oswald’s mind that led him to buy the rifle and shoot at Walker and JFK.
I find it quite Ironic that the Yale educated Rosenbaum is persuaded by Shenon about the possible significance of the Mexico City Twist Party – and while he is writing about it I am on the internet tracking down two Americans who were allegedly twisting with Oswald – Richard Beymere and Father Pierce, both of whom confirmed their presence in Mexico City and attempts to get visas to Cuba, but place their time there as late November, two months after Oswald had left. This jives with Tony Summers’ inquiry that also concluded that the Twist Party in question was held at a time when the historic Oswald was not in Mexico.
As for Rosenbloom’s sentimental conclusion – wondering “what might have been?” had the Kennedys not been assassinated, I refer to my own Nov. 2013 article in the Boardwalk Journal – JFK at Atlantic City – What Might Have Been – an issue that also contains an article on JFK and the issue of mental health, by a new Atlantic City area resident – Patrick Kennedy, son of former Senator Ted Kennedy.
A few days before the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy Patrick’s wife Amy gave birth to a baby girl – Nora Kara Kennedy, which required him to appear before TV cameras and the media when he said: “I think this is so symbolic of the circle of life and how life keeps moving forward. We can look back in time and think about what would have been had my uncles lived but we have to live for today and we have to live for the future and they would want us to do that and that’s why this marks such a special occasion.”
Why’d Oswald Do It?
It may all come down to a party in Mexico City.
By Ron Rosenbaum
Nov. 21 2013
The order to assassinate the president came from on high. We know this beyond a doubt now, from multiple sources.
There had been plans, before Nov. 22, plans hatched by the Central Intelligence Agency, but they failed. This time, on Nov. 22, 1963, the murder weapon was placed into the assassin’s hands by a CIA operative whose name we also know: Desmond FitzGerald.
I’m speaking, of course, of the Kennedy administration plans to murder a president. The president named Fidel Castro. El Presidente. Somehow this crucial, perhaps determinative, aspect of the whole story is often left out of the JFK assassination narrative. We haven’t adjusted our perspectives, historically and morally, on how we look at the Kennedy brothers and the murder plots they instigated, despite the fact that plots like this came to light as early as 1976 with the Church Committee on Intelligence. And when we do consider these activities, we may have to adjust our perspective on the cause of the assassination itself…..
Most of the JFK conspiracy theorists, among them my brilliant but addled Yale classmate Oliver Stone, would have you believe that the saintly JFK was just about to begin a reconciliatory bromance with fellow peacenik Fidel, just about to get the U.S. out of Vietnam, just about to take down the military industrial complex, end the Cold War and subsidize healthy vegan meals for all schoolchildren, when he was killed in Dallas.
But the truth about JFK is much more complex. That’s why it helps to look at what happened on Nov. 22 not in Dallas, but in Paris. ...
Now I’m not so sure about being not so sure. Now I think, with the Shenon book, we may have a plausible answer.
Yes, that’s right, I’ve become convinced that, 50 years after the act, a real reporter—not some chat-room know-it-all—has through actual, on the ground, person-to-person investigation, through nonstop digging, tugging at the tangled heart of the mystery, brought us to the brink of answer. An achievement that, I believe, merits the Pulitzer Prize and the thanks of a grateful nation. ...
I’d always believed there was so much wrong with the Warren Report that its “lone gunman” conclusion could not possibly be valid. And rarely admitted to myself that even the worst investigation might, by some twist, come to the right conclusion. And what a twist it is. I’m not giving too much away when I say that it all comes down to a “twist party” in Mexico City, and what you believe happened there....
I would raise this question: What is the moral difference between JFK trying repeatedly to murder Castro and Castro trying to murder him? One difference is that we don’t have any solid evidence that Castro tried to murder JFK.
And yet we are supposed to revere JFK and revile Fidel? Now there are many reasons to revile Fidel, for instance his repression of his people, of free speech, and of political prisoners. All deplorable. But JFK and RFK were accessories to multiple attempted murder plots. What's the moral equivalence algorithm here? The sentimental Camelot tributes don't want to touch it ...
But Shenon’s reporting convincingly argues that it isn’t even necessary to posit that Oswald read the story of that Castro speech because of what Oswald could have learned about the assassination attempts the month before. In Mexico City ...
But then there is one story that has not been disproven: The twist party story ...
According to one source, his troubles attempting to get visas put him in such a state of rage against American travel restrictions to Communist countries that he actually declared, in the presence of witnesses at the Cuban consulate, that he wanted to kill JFK.
That source: Fidel Castro himself. You didn’t know about this? Neither did the Warren Commission. ...
Hoover’s letter about Oswald’s Cuban Consulate threat, according to Shenon’s reporting, never seems to have reached the Warren Commission. It was lost for years until a copy of it finally turned up in the declassified CIA files on the JFK case. Maybe it was lost on purpose.
[PLH note: Shenon did not know that this letter is CD 1359 and was given to Slawson, as detailed in the Group thread “Shenon: The SOLO-Castro story,” starting with my messages of 29 Oct 13.]..
Conspiracy theorists believe that Silvia Duran was working for the CIA, despite her leftist public persona, and that’s why she won’t talk. Which could be true. But the real question is whether she served as Oswald’s guide into the world of Cuban operatives and leftist Fidelistas in Mexico City, during the course of which Oswald was inculcated with the prevailing scuttlebutt that the Kennedy administration was fomenting assassination plots against Castro. Which might well have implanted in him the idea of a mission, a purpose in history. Even if only by implication. That Oswald heard others advocate the assassination of JFK—as Shenon’s reporting concludes—is the first evidence I’m aware of that the matter was put in his mind by others ...
So from an investigation of the “twist party” a whole new picture emerges of Oswald in Mexico City. He’s not some bus-riding nutso bum, holing up in a cheap hotel while badgering the Cuban (and Russian) consulates for transit visas. He’s practically the toast of the town among Cuban and Mexican Fidelistas. Well, not exactly, but he gets around—he’s at a university gathering, a diplomatic reception and of course, the twist party. He’s taken in by prominent Fidelistas connected to the Cuban Embassy. He’s among people who know about and—like Azque—talk about the Kennedy attempt to assassinate Castro and are outraged by it....
Of course, being exposed to the idea doesn’t necessarily mean he would follow through. Who could have known then that JFK’s motorcade would pass beneath Oswald’s window. Oswald didn’t yet have the job at the Texas School Book Depository, and JFK’s Dallas trip wasn’t even planned when Oswald was in Mexico City. And so it may have just been malignant fate that an already unstable Oswald used anger over a domestic dispute to take his revenge on the world that had defeated his hopes.
But it looks as if the idea was already in his mind when fate placed JFK in his hands.
I don’t know about you, but I’d like someone to blame. Someone more than Oswald. Which is why conspiracy theories thrive. And in fact, if you look at it in a larger sense, remove the aspect of chance that put JFK in Oswald’s sights, you can find those to blame.
You could, if you want, blame the Fidelistas in Mexico City. But then if you looked deeper into it you would find that the CIA, with its bungling murder plots and compromised double agents, put the idea in their mind.
And who put the idea in the CIA’s mind? Well you could stop there and tie the whole long chain of causality to the CIA, whose Bay of Pigs was such a bloody fiasco, probably led to the Cuban Missile Crisis and could have led to nuclear war. Perhaps we got off lucky that they only led to an assassination rather than a species-extinction event.
But to stop with the CIA is to fail to cross the final bridge. To assign blame to the usual suspects, the conventional villains, as brutally vicious and incompetent they were. The final bridge: to the Kennedys themselves. It’s been widely reported that Bobby Kennedy shied away from a thorough investigation of the assassination, perhaps because he feared what it might turn up. Recently I came across an interview with RFK biographer Evan Thomas in which he verifies the basis for this supposition...
Nor can we stop at Bobby. In a terrible tragic way, by authorizing everything from the Bay of Pigs to the murder plots against Fidel, JFK may well have set in motion his own death. In effect: killed himself. Or, signed his own death warrant.
I take no satisfaction in saying this. In fact, I find it unbearable. It’s all an unbelievable tragedy and most tragic of all is that John F. Kennedy may not have died for the good he did, and tried to do, much of which was noble, however incomplete. He may have died because he tried to kill another president. I think it’s time for us as a nation to admit this.
I will probably never overcome some genetic-level affection for the Kennedys, no matter what I’ve learned. Especially for the figure RFK became in the wake of his brother’s death. What he stood for. What could have been...
I don’t know exactly what that wisdom is. But there’s another line that I came upon recently that applies to Warren Commission. It’s attributed to Winston Churchill: “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”