Assassination Psychology and the COP - Covert Operational Personality Profile
– By William Kelly
There was a lot of psycho-analysis going on over the course of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, most coming from those who believe JFK was killed by a deranged lone nut, but instead of trying to figure out how and why Oswald did what they suggest he did – kill JFK without any assistance, they reflect on the mindset of conspiracy theorists and why they think Oswald didn’t kill Kennedy alone.
Rather than review the evidence that convinces nearly 80% of the people that Oswald didn’t act alone in killing JFK, they prefer to psychoanalyze the logic and reasoning of most people everywhere, in every time and generation, to believe conspiratorial forces killed JFK.
But those who believe Oswald killed Kennedy for his own psychological reasons fail to connect to the real motives behind the assassination.
Richard Sprague, a former prosecutor and first chief counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, tasked with investigating the assassination of President Kennedy, and said to be the son of two psychologists, when asked about Oswald’s mental state said, “I am not about to find out if Oswald was nurtured at his mother’s breasts, my approach to evidence is more direct.”
Instead of considering the facts that support the belief of most people hold that Oswald wasn’t on the Sixth Floor at the time of the assassination, wasn’t the sniper in the window who didn’t shoot the fatal shot that came from the front of the president, those radical extremists who stick to the implausible belief that Oswald killed JFK alone want to psychoanalyze the rest of us who don’t see things quite as qurkey as they do.
One of the first books to attack the critics of the official version of events – “The Scavanagers and Critics of the Warren Report” – was co-authored by Lawrence Schiller, who also co-authored Norman Mailer’s book about Oswald, and who has refused to share the KGB files that were provided to them. Why are official records in the hands of private individuals who refuse to disclose their contents or turn them over to the NARA JFK Collection so they can be open to the public?
Schiller was not the first to withhold important and historical official records from the public but he was one of the first to brand critics of the Warren Report irrational “scavangers.”
Marquette University professor John McAdams wrote a book about how conspiracy theorists think and imply their thought processes are illogical. Those who promote the idea that a deranged Oswald killed Kennedy also like to psychoanalyze the logic of so-called conspiracy theorists, like Professor Michael J. Wood, lecturer at the University of Winchester in Hampshire, England, who claims that conspiracy theorists operate under a different set of assumptions than other, more rational people. When it comes to the assassination of President Kennedy Wood parrots Priscilla Johnson McMillen, who has often said, “It was a pretty shocking event on a national scale, and to think it could be the product of just one person is very unsettling.” They say how difficult it is for conspiracy theorists to accept the fact that one lowly little man had the ability to commit such a tremendous act and change the course of history, and how reassuring it is to think that there was something more sinister behind it.
But Professor Wood has it backwards – if Oswald was a deranged psycho-madman, that would be readily apparent and could be understood. What is unsettling is the idea that a crazy Oswald didn’t kill JFK alone and it was a successful conspiracy and coup d’état and our democracy has been robbed of us. And that is the reason why the government today keeps secret records hidden under the guise of “national security.”
Now that’s unsettling. It’s not unsettling that JFK was killed by a deranged lone nut - it’s unsettling that it was a conspiracy that’s still affecting us today.
It’s not the mind-set of the conspiracy theorists that should be studied, it is the mind of the assassin – the man who pulled the trigger – or to flip the coin – the mind set of lone nutters who want us to believe that snipe was a crazy psycho-assassin rather than a political animal who despised and eliminated Kennedy as a threat to national security.
Was Oswald set up as a patsy and fall guy or was he the assassin, and if he was the assassin was he crazy or a professional sniper and assassin politically and professionally motivated?
Before looking more closely at Oswald’s mind set, I think we should look further into the thinking of those who claim Oswald was crazy.
If we must examine what motivates people to believe silly theories, let’s look more closely at the mind-set of the minority - 20% who hold the radical extremist view that one deranged loner killed the Kennedy, a smaller, more easily isolated and studied minority group.
At the 2013 Wecht conference in Pittsburgh Lisa Pease mentioned a formal study of those who espouse such extremist beliefs as Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 Truthers, Obama Birthers and she added Lone Nutters in the JFK case, pointing out that while they all represent a small, similar less than 20% of the population minority viewpoint, only the Lone Nutters occupy important and significant positions in government, academia and the media.
This despite the facts and evidence of the case and that Lone Nutters are totally illogical, as they claim that the alleged assassin sought fame and a place in history, yet this belies the fact that he denied the deed and claimed he was set up as a patsy.
Also illogical is the attempt to portray Oswald as a lonesome loser who couldn’t hold a job and failed at everything he tried to do, yet claim he had the wherewithal to successfully kill Kennedy all by himself. If he did kill Kennedy wouldn’t that make him the world’s best and greatest assassin in history?
And wouldn’t his mind and motives be studied forever by psychologists and psychiatrists as a standard case study of such deranged assassins and included in the same category as other nut case killers?
If Oswald killed Kennedy all by himself, wouldn’t it be of interest to determine exactly how he did it? Where’d he get the bullets? How’d he get the gun in the building? How’d he get down the stairs without anyone on the steps seeing him?
In July 1964, as the Warren Commission was wrapping up its report, Lee Harvey Oswald’s older brother Robert received a telephone call from Warren Commission attorney Wesley J. Liebeler, who was holed up in a remote cabin writing the part of the Warren Report about Oswald’s motive for shooting the President.
According to Robert Oswald, Liebeler, “...had now reached the point in the chapter where he wanted to reveal Lee’s motive for shooting the President, he said, and that was why he was calling me.”
“When you want to know something,” Liebeler said, “you go directly to the man who should know the answer.”
“I was astonished by his question,” Robert wrote. “The Commission had spent months in ‘exhaustive examination of every particle of evidence it could discover,’ as Harrison E. Salisbury wrote. Yet, here suddenly, after taking the testimony of hundreds of witnesses, a member of the Commission staff was asking me to answer during a brief telephone conversation, one of the most important questions about the entire case.”
“I had withheld judgment partly because I expected the vast authority and resources of the Commission to help me and others understand just what led to that moment of violence in Dealey Plaza. The casual call from Liebeler made me wonder whether I had placed too much faith in the Commission. When the report appeared in September, I realized that the Commission had failed completely in its search for the answer to that question.”
“Why? The few paragraphs in the summary report devoted to the subject of motive seemed to reflect the surprising uncertainty I had detected in Liebeler’s voice during our telephone conversation. After offering a few generalizations that could apply to many people who have never committed any serious crime, the Commission confessed: ‘…the Commission does not believe that it can ascribe to him any one motive or group of motives.’”
Why would Oswald kill the President if he sincerely liked him? Why did Oswald deny the deed if he did it to achieve fame and place in history? Why’d he do it? What was his motive?
Robert Oswald was flabbergasted. Here the US government undertook this giant investigation and concluded Oswald did it alone for his own psychological motives, and they would have us believe they are reasons that we will never know because they were his own personal demons – like Ted Bundy, or John Hinckley, - just plain crazy.
But what if Oswald wasn’t the Sixth Floor Sniper assassin, and was set up to be the Patsy as he claimed – is the mind and psychology of the Patsy worth studying or knowing?
It’s like what Vincent Bugliosi said to John Judge – “I heard you don’t believe Oswald acted alone,” to which Judge replied, “Oh, I think Oswald acted alone all right, I just don’t believe he killed anyone.”
Whether Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, one of the multiple shooters or a just a mere Patsy, his motivations are worth reviewing, especially if what happened at Dealey Plaza was not the random act of a madman but a well planned and successfully executed covert intelligence operation.
Those who claim a deranged Oswald acted alone can say “case closed” and go home, leaving the psychoanalysis to the psychiatrists and psychologists, but if Oswald didn’t act alone, then there is a big hole in our “national security” shield, a hole that has allowed the intelligence network responsible for killing Kennedy to go on and continue unheeded, and permitted to function within the government from then until now.
There are two types of investigations – criminal and intelligence – with a the purpose of a criminal investigation being the accumulation of evidence that can be presented in a court of law to convict those responsible, while an intelligence investigation tries to determine exactly what happened, how and why it occurred, more so it won’t happen again and not to prosecute those responsible.
When the Secret Service commissioned psychologists to study the history of political assassinations in the United States and profile those who have attacked the president, both recent and historically, they failed to include one profile that I think is particularly important when it comes to political assassinations – that of what I call the covert operational profile.
Since the Secret Service report didn’t mention it – and being from New Jersey where we have a reputation for developing criminal profiles – I have outlined what I call the COP – the Covert Operative Personality.
And regardless as to whether you believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the Sixth Floor Sniper or was set up as the Patsy, Oswald pretty much sets the proto-type of the COP profile as a former USMC who used aliases, post office boxes and kept safe-house apartment separate from family.
COP – COVERT OPERATIONAL PERSONALITY – Profile
Modus Operandi – Covert operative, trained in intelligence tradecrafts, maintains Post Office box, valid passport, uses aliases, maintains confidential and clandestine communications, uses codes and ciphers, operates on a need-to-know basis under the command of a case officer or military superior.
Knowledge – Of military and government procedures, lines of authority, command and communications.
Specialty – Expert marksman, rifleman and sniper, working closely with spotter in special detachment, primarily overseas duty.
Status – Active duty or active reservists, US military, primarily US Marine Corps, US Navy SEAL or Special Ops detachment.
Type – Fits serial killer profile as a repeat offender, “passive-aggressive” - organized personality, involved in three or more separate events, premeditated, select type of victim, in control. Examples: John W. Booth, Byron Dela Beckwith, Lee Harvey Oswald, Frank Sturgis, Felix Rodriguez, Gerry Patrick Hemming, Charles Whitman, Michael Townbly, Timothy McVeigh, James Earl Ray, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.