Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Response to Newsweek Nov. 22 2014

In response to Max Holland’s Newsweek Article  -  By Bill Kelly

The article in Newsweek (November 2014) “The Truth About the Kennedy Assassination” requires a reasoned response, as the article seems to confuse the major issues, the most basic being that we still don’t know the total truth.

For beginners, the continued references to Lee Harvey Oswald being the Sixth Floor Sniper is a big and unfounded assumption, as there is strong evidence to support the majority of people who don’t believe Oswald was the assassin at all.

The reliance on the testimony of Amos Eunis, James Tague and Oswald’s Marine Corps training deserve specific elaboration.

The late James Tague was a victim of the same forces that killed President Kennedy, an innocent bystander who was nicked in the cheek and drew blood by a ricochet bullet fragment or piece of concrete curb nicked by a stray bullet or fragment. His testimony and book on the subject (“Truth Withheld” 2003) clearly reflect his belief that the assassination was more than the work of any one person and that the conspiracy to kill the president was and is being concealed by the government, a belief shared by a majority of people.

"It was a government take over, a coup," Tague said. "You have to understand one basic fact and it all becomes clear. The public loved Kennedy. The Washington insiders hated his guts. The exact people who killed him, I don't know. But I know they wanted someone in there they could control -- named [Lyndon] Johnson. Johnson was too busy being vice president to do it himself. But he knew it was coming down and he knew it was going to be done for him."

The idea that Oswald was not the Sixth Floor Sniper and was framed for the crime as Oswald himself claimed, is a strong possibility as most witnesses put Oswald on the lower floors of the building at the time of the assassination, and others who saw the man shooting a rifle wore white shirt (Oswald wore brown) and the gunman had a distinguishing bald spot, not Oswald.

The article refers to eyewitness Amos Eunis, who testified before the Warren Commission that he saw the man in the window firing the rifle and the sniper had a very distinguishing feature – a bald spot on the top of his head.

Mr. SPECTER. All right. Now, when the third shot occurred, Amos, let me ask you again, where were you looking then?
Mr. EUINS. I was still down here, looking up at the building.
Mr. SPECTER. What did you see in the building?
Mr. EUINS. I seen a bald spot on this man's head, trying to look out the window. He had a bald spot on his head. I was looking at the bald spot.
Mr. SPECTER. Now, what kind of a look, if any, did you have at the man who was there?
Mr. EUINS. All I got to see was the man with a spot in his head, because he had his head something like this.
Mr. SPECTER. Indicating his face down, looking down the rifle?

Mr. EUINS. Yes, sir: and I could see the spot on his head.
Mr. SPECTER. How would you describe that man for us?
Mr. EUINS. I wouldn't know how to describe him, because all I could see was the spot and his hand.
Mr. SPECTER. Could you tell whether he was a Negro gentleman or a white man?
Mr. EUINS. No, sir.
Mr. SPECTER. Couldn't even tell that? But you have described that he had a bald--
Mr. EUINS. Spot in his head. Yes, sir; I could see the bald spot in his head
Mr. SPECTER. How far back did the bald spot on his head go?
Mr. EUINS. I would say about right along in here.
Mr. SPECTER. Indicating about 2 1/2 inches above where you hairline is
. Is that about what you are saying?
Mr. SPECTER. All right. Let me ask you about a couple of specific things here, Amos. In the statement you say here that he was a white man. By reading the statement, does that refresh your memory as to whether he was a white man or not?
Mr. EUINS. No, sir; I told the man that I could see a white spot on his head, but I didn't actually say it was a white man. I said I couldn't tell. But I saw a white spot in his head.
Mr. SPECTER. Your best recollection at this moment is you still don't know whether he was a white man or a Negro? All you can say is that you saw a white spot on his head?
Mr. EUINS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPECTER. Then, did you tell the people at the police station that he was a white man, or did they make a mistake when they wrote that down here?
Mr. EUINS. They must have made a mistake, because I told them I could see a white spot on his head.

I count a dozen times Eunis mentions the Sixth Floor Sniper’s “bald spot” in those few minutes of testimony, but Max Holland and the Newsweek article doesn’t mention it at all, and neither does the Warren Report.

Not a trivial item, such a bald spot as seen by a witness would be an identifying feature as strong in court as a tattoo or handwriting signature.

As G. Kinston Clark wrote in The Critical Historian, “The distortion produced by bias are potentially present in any attempt to write history. Sometimes the danger is obvious and menacing, sometimes it is covert, coming from unexpected angles and in not easily detected forms. ….Any interpretation which makes use of facts which can be shown to be false, or accepts as certainty true facts which are dubious, or does not take into account facts which are known, are at best, potentially misleading, and possibly grossly, and dangerously deceptive…It is the first task of the historian to review any narrative to find what links are missing altogether…where what is defective cannot be supplied by further research, it is an historian’s duty to draw attention to the fact so that men can know where they stand.…Any historical conception which has not been adjusted to the most recent results will cease to be satisfactory.”

Not to argue with the idea that the first shot and the assassination event began before the Zapruder film began rolling, expanding the time of the assassination from the fist to the last shot from six to eleven seconds, it is hard to believe that the first and easiest shot was the one that missed. This is the one that the Sixth Floor Sniper had all the time in the world to line up and take his time, while the second and third shots had to be taken after reloading the rifle and lining up the shot.

Assuming for a moment that Oswald was the Sixth Floor Sniper, did his Marine Corps training, as the article attests, give him the ability to make the shot that killed JFK?

Max Holland says that Oswald, as a Marine, was trained to take the best, first shot, and if he did then he would have taken the best shot as the target came towards him down Houston Street, rather than wait for a moving target obstructed by a sign and tree. But the Sixth Floor Sniper, whoever he was, didn’t take that best shot.

The three shots believed to have been taken by the Sixth Floor Sniper were those of a Third Level Sniper – one with minimal training and a standard issue rifle – but the shot that hit JFK in the head was probably taken by a Level One Sniper with the best weapon, from a concealed position in front or behind the target moving towards or away from him, one shot – one kill.

Even with Oswald’s USMC training, as his brother Robert, a former USMC sharpshooter himself said,- if Lee didn’t practice extensively with that rifle and scope, as the Warren Commission contends, then he didn’t take the shot that killed the president.

Robert Oswald wrote: “If Lee did not spend a considerable amount of time practicing with that rifle in the weeks and months before the assassination, then I would say that Lee did not fire the shots that killed the President and wounded Governor Connally.”

So the idea the first shot missed and the assassination time expands from six to eleven seconds still does not account for the fact that Oswald probably wasn’t the Sixth Floor Sniper and the fatal head shot was not taken by the Sixth Floor Sniper, whoever he was, but by a first class Level One snipe with the best weapon.
And the truth about the assassination is that we don’t know the total truth, yet.

And Another Thing

In Max Holland's  Newsweek article - The Truth About the JFK Assassination,  Sheriff Deputy Luke Mooney's discovery of the Snipers Nest and the dispersion of the shells is cited as evidence - with the crime scene photo used - But - and its a Big But - that's not where they were originally located.

According to Dallas TV cameraman x Alaya - one of the first reporters to get inside the building before it was sealed told the Sixth Floor Oral History project that he asked Capt. Fritz if he could film the shells and Fritz said yes - and Fritz then picked them up and held them in his hand and before he threw them back on the floor where they assumed the position they were in when photographed by the crime scene photographer.
Roger Collins:
I've been watching a C-Span video of the "Journalists remember JFK assassination" conference in November 1993.

One of the speakers was cameraman Tom Alyea who was one of the first newsmen in the TSBD. He was there with Kent Biffle before the building was sealed off and followed law enforcement officers as they searched the building floor by floor. Tom had some interesting things to say.

For instance, he said that he was just behind a plain clothes policeman who found a lunch bag with chicken bones and an empty Dr. Pepper bottle on the 5th floor. He repeated it several times so that there was no misunderstanding. He said the 5th floor. This of course justifies a whole bunch of questions by itself but that's for another day.

Alyea also said he filmed the "snipers nest" before it was taken apart and put back together again for the photographers who were later allowed in the building. If this is true it would basically mean that all the photos we have seen are not of the original configuration of the "snipers nest". I have since tried unsuccessfully to locate a video of what Alyea filmed on the 6th floor. What I did find in Robin's photo galary is a frame of what I believe to be Alyea's film.

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I'm I seeing things or are there boxes stacked up in the corner between the two windows and next to the pipes on the spot where the paper bag was allegedly found.....

If this is indeed a frame from Alyea's film and shows (part of) the original configuration of the "snipers nest" doesn't this image destroy the paper bag story?
Unfortunately, Alyea's current account differs from the one he gave in a statement on December 19, 1963:

    They were conducting a systematic search. It boiled down to the sixth floor. After awhile it was obvious that the assassin was not in the building. They looked for the gun. I filmed 400 ft. of film of the Secret Service men looking for the assassin, climbing over boxes, over the rafters, and the actual finding of the gun. At the time it was suspected that the assassin had stayed quite a time there. There was a stack [sic] with a stack of chicken bones on it. There was a Dr. Pepper bottle which they dusted for fingerprints. The fingerprints were not Oswald's. (John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, Papers of C. Douglas Dillon, The President's Committee on the Warren Report to Columbia University Bureau of Applied Social Research, Box 3, National Archives, College Park, MD) 

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