The Debunker Among the Buffs

Fifty years after John F. Kennedy's assassination, another wave of conspiracy theories has arrived. One little-known professor has spent his last 20 years fighting the skeptics.

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Armando Sanchez for TIME

"I’m in the business of knowing how so much of what is said here is nonsense,” said John McAdams, a professor of political science at Marquette and student of the JFK assassination.

The air in Pittsburgh was wet, thick, and cold, nothing like the warm, clear conditions on that day in Dallas, the day that changed history, the day that nearly 50 years later had brought all these people here to solve the murder of the President.

“Tonight they can get us all in one drone strike,” Oliver Stone, who directed JFK, told a gathering of Kennedy assassination buffs one evening last month. “This is like going to a meeting of abolitionists in the 1850s. We know we’re all right. But our passion scares them.”

Everyone here at Duquesne University’s International Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy agreed that Kennedy had been murdered, brazenly, brutally. But the old men on the dais and in the audience, with their tweedy getups and rapidly spreading bald spots, could not concur on who had done it and how and why. Maybe Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy. Maybe a second gunman had done it. Maybe he (or they) were acting on Castro’s orders, maybe on Hoover’s, maybe on Johnson’s. A lot of support coalesced around the CIA’s complicity. But who at the CIA would have had the President killed? And how?

Bobbing along like any other tern in this sea of skepticism and paranoia was John McAdams, a 68-year-old associate professor of political science at Marquette. McAdams looked like every anonymous student of the assassination: He, too, had tan pants, a briefcase, and silver hair atop a big head with prominent features. On the last day, before a full house, one speaker praised McAdams for having the guts to turn up. The speaker called for a sarcastic round of applause and then went on with his speech.

“That’s because I’m a debunker,” McAdams said afterward. “I debunk things. I’m in the business of knowing how so much of what is said here is nonsense.”

What an odd business that is for a 1964 graduate of Kennedy High School in Kennedy, Ala., who every so often finds himself attending conventions on Kennedy’s assassination. Though he’s no academic star, McAdams has secured his own kind of prominence by devoting much of his adult life to calling nonsense on the most persistent strain of doubt in U.S. history.

***

A few hundred of McAdams’s usual antagonists had traveled to Pittsburgh to hear the likes of Oliver Stone and Cyril Wecht assail the Warren Commission, the blue-ribbon panel Lyndon Johnson charged immediately after the assassination with uncovering the truth. In September 1964, the panel fingered Oswald as the gunman whose bullets, fired from a 6.5mm Carcano rifle perched on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, had wounded Texas Gov. John Connally and killed Kennedy. No outsider had influenced him; he acted alone. Case closed, as one well-known book would put it later.

But the intervening 49 years had done little to dull skepticism of the report among the broader public: A 2009 CBS News poll said that only 10 percent of Americans believe Oswald acted alone. By the assassination buffs’ accounting, the commission’s research was slipshod or, worse, a deliberate fiction, a murderous and omnipotent cabal’s hoodwinking of the American public by way of incompetent investigators with establishment credentials. They want the case reopened.

At the conference, this battle often played out in third-person plural pronouns. They don’t want the truth to come out. We do. They killed Kennedy. We will solve the crime. “We represent the majority, and we are a hell of a strong majority,” the conference’s founder, Dr. Cyril Wecht, told the audience. “We need to get this case reopened.”

It was easy to get swept up in the spirit of the thing. The assassination seemed sufficiently distant to allow big historical thinking yet recent enough that its shockwaves lingered, and not just among those who remember Camelot fondly. Files Edward Snowden gave to the Washington Post revealed that the CIA requested $14.7 billion in spending for 2013, far more than outside analysts had speculated. Kennedy was famously quoted as telling an official of his administration in 1961 that he wanted “to splinter the CIA into a million pieces and scatter it to the winds.” He feared the ascendant crypto-governmental national-security interests that thrive to this day. And then he was dead. So all of us had to get to the bottom of this.

***

As with Kennedy’s war against his own military leaders, McAdams has, since entering this world more than 20 years ago, quarreled with the vast majority of his fellow buffs. He runs one of the most thorough and popular websites on the assassination and manages a busy forum for buffs, the alt.assassination.jfk newsgroup. He matches or exceeds his opponents in intensity. But why? To the Warren Commission doubters, there’s a murder — of the leader of the free world — in need of solving. To McAdams? That’s a little trickier.

He grew up in rural Kennedy — which went for the same-named Democrat in 1960 — and afterward headed to the University of Alabama, during Joe Namath’s heyday. McAdams studied sociology and made “fairly mediocre grades” outside his major. After graduating, he taught high school, and even got a master’s, but he really wanted to teach college students and work with data. So off he went to graduate school for political science (“I applied to Harvard, because that had a nice sound to it”), and then to Marquette, where he’s been since 1981. He published for a while on voter behavior and death-penalty policy, but the journal articles stopped about 15 years ago. He moved on to the JFK assassination, a fringe topic in scholarship but one on which he published a book and still teaches a course. “That’s the nice thing about academia,” he said. “We get to ride our hobbyhorses a bit.”

He’s married with three children. But all have grown and long since left home — he’s a grandfather of three, too — which leaves him with lots of vacant hours. He spends some of them reading about military history and contemporary politics.

But mostly McAdams likes to read and write about the Kennedy assassination, which is to say he likes to brawl. He fights with his fellow buffs on the newsgroups, over email (both in personal conversations and on a private 50-person listserv; the founder, Paul Hoch, says McAdams loves to badger his opponents), in print (JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy came out in 2011), in his classroom, and, should the right moment arise at one of these every-so-often confabs, in person. “He’s got that Irish combativeness,” said Max Holland, a contributing editor to The Nation and a fellow Warren Commission defender. And McAdams is indefatigable.

Holland had invited McAdams to come with him to Pittsburgh so that neither lone-gunman man would find himself alone. When McAdams went to his first JFK conference held in Washington in 1995, he went under the assumed identity of Paul Nolan, “manager of a computer store in Sherwood, Wis.,” because he thought he would face too much heat under his own name. He outed himself to the buffs at a luncheon on the last day, and said his disclosure was warmly received.

Yet McAdams’s antagonists have forever seen the story from the D.C. conference as just one sign of the disingenuousness and subterfuge they find in his work. He’s “a self-contained ambulatory propaganda model,” said Jim DiEugenio, the researcher who asked for applause for McAdams at the conference.

“I really don’t trust anything he says,” said Gary Aguilar, a San Francisco ophthalmologist and assassination researcher. (He and McAdams had a nasty battle on the CompuServe message boards in 1995.)

Lisa Pease, a researcher based in Los Angeles, said that McAdams struck her as so tireless, and so illogical, that someone must be paying him to make his case. Naturally, she looks at his by-the-book conservative views, proclaimed disinterest, and his ties to government-funded research organizations, and thinks, well, CIA. For the record, McAdams says he has never been in the CIA — “Those people think the CIA cares a lot about them. It does not!” — and that he’s just an even-keeled hobbyist who processes the facts and reaches the most natural conclusion, which, at this point, is that Oswald killed the President.

John F. Kennedy's flag-draped casket lies in state in Washington, D.C., November 1963.

Stan Wayman / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

John F. Kennedy’s flag-draped casket lies in state in Washington, D.C., November 1963. More LIFE photos from the funeral

***

Every momentous event in American history comes with its own corresponding conspiracy theory. They faked the moon landing. Edwin M. Stanton, Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war, put John Wilkes Booth up to it. Barack Obama was cloned from the DNA of an Egyptian pharaoh, or born in Kenya. Or both!

As rich as the American tradition of conspiracy theories is the sociological tradition of trying to understand why people believe them. Richard Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics is the genre’s ne plus ultra. Hofstadter, writing in 1964, identifies right-wingers driven by rage as responsible for most of the era’s otherwise inexplicable political movements (McCarthyism and the John Birch Society). Any observer of American culture can follow this thread through to the present-day acolytes of conspiracy-geysers Glenn Beck and Alex Jones.

But the Warren Report skeptics fit another mold. They’re sorrowful, not angry. “If only Kennedy had lived,” begin so many of their idle thoughts. Kennedy would never have escalated the war in Vietnam; he would never have let 60,000 American soldiers and countless civilians die in Southeast Asia. They believe he would have defused Cold War tensions and shrunken the American nuclear arsenal. They believe he really would have scattered the CIA to the winds.

You will find precisely none of that in the Warren Report, which builds its case instead with an inquiry into forensics and Oswald’s background, like any other criminal investigation. It’s horribly unthinkable, what the commission contends — that a confused, strange man with a mail-order rifle could, acting on his own, reorient American history. Surely the universe contains more order and meaning.

The whole business of doubting the Warren Commission began before there even was a Warren Commission, with one memorandum passed between White House staffers on the day of Kennedy’s interment at Arlington. Nicholas Katzenbach, who was functioning as Johnson’s attorney general, wrote White House special assistant Bill Moyers, “The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he had no confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.” Johnson empaneled the Warren Commission four days later.

The memo did not surface until 1978, but perhaps the delay suited the skeptics even better: Those who already believed that someone had covered up a conspiracy now had evidence that the highest powers in government had considered the benefits of something that looked a great deal like a cover-up. And they had done so less than 24 hours after the blast from Jack Ruby’s .38 Colt Cobra had killed Oswald. Oswald had told police he was “just a patsy.”

Add a House committee report, which concluded Kennedy had “probably been assassinated as result of a conspiracy,” and the Zapruder film — which was in 1975 broadcast on national television for the first time, showing Kennedy’s head exploding and lurching backward, thanks to a bullet presumably not fired from behind him  — and the skeptics had the meat for all kinds of compelling conspiracy theories.

The spice, though, took a decade longer to arrive. Jim Garrison, the New Orleans district attorney who attempted to bring charges against figures he believed to be involved in the assassination, published his third book, On the Trail of the Assassins, in 1988. Three years later, Stone turned Garrison’s book into a movie that grossed over $200 million and was nominated for eight Oscars.

He wanted only to make a political thriller. Instead he started a movement. Stone’s detractors claimed the movie handled the evidence unfairly and exhumed a moment in American history that ought to have remained buried. But Kevin Costner’s vivid portrayal of a dogged Garrison resonated with so many that Congress passed the JFK Records Act in 1992. The JFK Records Act spawned the Assassination Records Review Board, which released over three million once-classified pages to the National Archives within the next six years.

And the silver-screen drama mobilized the rank-and-file, too. Dozens of all-the-way grown men — the type who would groan having to take their granddaughters to see the newest boy band — huddled around Stone after his talk at the conference to pose for cellphone selfies. More than half of the attendees I talked to credited Stone’s movie with sparking their freelance quests for the truth about the events of Nov. 22, 1963. Even John McAdams did.

Jacques Lowe captured this portrait of the Kennedys with their daughter, Caroline, during his first session with the family in the summer of 1958.

Estate of Jacques Lowe

Jacques Lowe captured this portrait of the Kennedys with their daughter, Caroline, during his first session with the family in the summer of 1958. Read more about Jacques Lowe’s Rare (And Recently Restored) Photos at JFK on LightBox.

***

Let’s put aside for now the people who believe he’s Langley’s stooge. McAdams’s critics still have a point, at least on one count: What could this man possibly want with JFK? He’s not a historian; he’s a political scientist. He had no particular admiration for Kennedy, or really any president, during his formative years: “I wasn’t a huge admirer of anybody, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon. I sort of liked Ford.”

So, looking for answers, I decided to take the debunker for a spin. You know, I’ve been won over by a lot of what I’ve heard this weekend. Oswald had so many connections to this world.

“What kind of connections?” he asks.

Well, the CIA was watching him—

“Careful, careful!” he says. “I see it this way: Oswald did some things that created bureaucratic documents. He goes to Moscow and defects. So that creates some documents. The documents end up in the CIA’s files. Then he re-defects, and that creates some more documents. FBI interviews him, that creates some documents. He has a run-in with anti-Castro Cubans in New Orleans, that creates some documents. He has a file, there’s no doubt about it.” But the buffs want people to believe the CIA had agents who were obsessed with Oswald, and that, he said, is bunkum.

I tried him on a handful of other topics; each time, he laughed me off and said his opinion on what happened at Dealey Plaza had not shifted one bit.

McAdams doesn’t see any great stakes here. To him, it’s all sport. “It’s a hobby. Shouldn’t it be fun?”

But fun was not the conference’s dominant mode. Darkness — think of this great dead man, his fatherless children, the nation’s shattered hopes, and the sinister conspirators who got away with it — hung over it all. The Warren doubters want to slice through that pall by bringing the coup d’état’s perpetrators to justice.

The commission’s defenders want — well, what do they want? Some, like Max Holland, consider the further perpetuation of conspiracy theories a nuisance to the republic. McAdams doesn’t think that way. Instead he finds his thrills and his power in his ability to disillusion a new generation, to pass the torch, as it were. There was no conspiracy. This young president had promise (although not as much as you think!), and one reckless man killed him. Sometimes that’s what happens. His vision was even darker than the presenters’.

On the last day of the conference, Lisa Pease, the researcher from Los Angeles, came up to McAdams, the man she called a CIA plant, to give him a hug. He was taken aback by her friendliness.

“John,” she told him. “I’m here because of what you did. Everything you did and said to me on those message boards was so mean and nasty. I probably would have moved on otherwise, but I just couldn’t let you win.”

McAdams smiled and said, “I think we’ve all ruined each other’s lives.”

55 comments
BobFranklin2001
BobFranklin2001

John McAdams is a purveyor of equine leavings out of his little road-apple stand; his only customers those who are either too foolish or else too new to the case & the specifics of it. The more he kicks against a researcher or an idea, the more likely there's some veracity involved there. He makes an outstanding reverse-barometer. Simply take any statement coming out of his mouth & run it in reverse bias for the truth, or something extremely close to it.

rayglo
rayglo

Right on!  Obviously, Oswald was the lone gunman.  Classic case of Occam's Razor.

RamonFHerrera
RamonFHerrera

[John McAdams:]  "I’m in the business of knowing how so much of what is said here is nonsense.”

You've got that right, professor McAdams. You may claim to be in different businesses, a wide variety of them, but the one thing we can assure is that you are not interested in the truth. You are not in that crucial business.


Note: The above comment got me banned from the JFK Usenet Forum by the professor. The man clearly lacks the character to moderate a forum of that nature.


chrism_68
chrism_68

It really seems like even 50 years out most "journalists" would rather side with the Warren Commission.  That is interesting to me.  I have two words for anyone who supports the Warren Commission.  Two words they have to explain:  Jack Ruby.  If you honestly can look at Jack Ruby and say there was no one else involved, no mafia and CIA, well hats off to you.  I think that alone is the most glaring, smoking gun.  But once you start digging deeper, it gets darker and darker indeed.

MichaelCohen1
MichaelCohen1

I see that the mass media is determined to shove that Warren Commission Report down our throats.  All the cable shows are pro commission or 'one nut' theory. I have not seen one program this time attacking the Report.  All we hear about is about is Oswald, Oswald, Oswald.  Yet up to 70% of the public does not believe in this report. We are supposed to live in  Democracy where majority rules, but not in the case of the assassination. The Warren Commission is complete fiction, from end to end of its 26 books.

I believe Kennedy was our last real president.  After him we are ruled by the military industrial complex who choose the president.

SusanNunes
SusanNunes

The best book out there debunking the flat-earthers, as I call the conspiracy crackpots and con artists, is Conspiracy of One by Jim Moore.  He demolishes those conspiracy theories with the greatest of ease.

Shame on anybody believing conspiracy nonsense.

chrisdorhn
chrisdorhn

Please explain how hundreds of people can conspire to murder JFK.  How thousands can conspire to cause 9/11.  Yet, yet the most powerful man in America, the most ruthless President in history, can't coverup a simple break-in?

janewtodd
janewtodd

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WalterAdams
WalterAdams

All of you Rubes have it dead wrong.
You keep going back to 1963; this happened and that happened and he did this and they did that in 1963.
You've got the wrong year.
If you want to know the truth about Kennedy you have to go back to 1939.
When Kennedy was shot they took him to Parkland Hospital on Harry Hines Blvd.
Harry Hines runs west to State Hwy. 114.
114 runs west by north up ro Bridgeport and DECATUR.
When I was a kid people used to call Harry Hines - the Decatur Road.
In 1939, in "Gone With the Wind" Rhett Butler saves Ashley and friends from a Yankee ambush and brings them back to Melanies house by way of Belle Watlins. Ashley is wounded and laid on the bed.
While everyone is busy gathering bandages and such, Scarlett is sitting on the bed making moon eyes at Ashley. Rhett is watching her.
Rhett; "Aren't you concerned about your own husband, Mrs. Kennedy?"
Scarlett; "I suppose he's down at Belle Watlins, drunk."
Rhett; "No, he's lying out on Decatur road, shot through the head."

oldblue125
oldblue125

shame on you time magazine. shame on you. you could have given all that space to someone who actually knows what they are talking about re: jfk's assassination – someone like john armstrong, douglas horne, vince palamara, john newman, etc. in fact, i am hereby challenging you to do so. until then shame on you for betraying the public trust.

ericsaunders
ericsaunders

John McAdams was once written up in local paper for slandering a respected radiologist as a drug addict and a pedophile.  He also went to a conference under an assumed identity where he talked to a reporter and the reporter used this sock puppet identity to trash the conference goers.  He has been caught red-handed spreading disinformation that he knew to be disinformation.  In sum, he is a loathsome Establishment propagandist.  Come to think of it, I am surprised TIME hasn't offered the guy a job.

ShawnDisney
ShawnDisney

All this energy would be more useful if directed to the much more obvious  WTC affair.  No amount of burning jet fuel, drapery , office supplioes etc, could possibly melt steel.  But the implications are really important, today.  

WalterAdams
WalterAdams

“It’s a hobby. Shouldn’t it be fun?”
Delightful read. It's nice to know that ever once in a while a sane man wanders through the crowd.
The odd thing is this; conspiracy buffs can't accept that One inconsequential nothing of a man can have such a monstrous impact, and yet, that is precisely the hope that drives them; the belief that all the experts and officials can be wrong, and they, mostly folks of no great accomplishment, can uncover the one anomoly, the missed connection, the overlooked piece of evidence that will reveal the hidden truth to all the world.
Who knows?
Stranger things have happened.

I was raised in Irving, just across the river from Dallas.
Nov. 22, 1963, I was in the eighth grade, in the lunchroom, when a kid said the janitor had heard the president has been shot.
I've driven through the intersection at Dealy Plaza hundreds of times over the years. Walked all over the place.
I'm always fascinated by the people you see there almost any time of the day now, any day of the week.
There's a gun shop I know of that sells reloading equipment and supplies. Out of curiosity, I looked up the ammunition Oswald used and checked the shop to see if they carried that particular slug, it's an unusualy long, destinctive bullit..
They did carry it.
I had the fleeting urge to buy a box of them and scatter them around the grass for people to find, and just watch their reactions.
Can't decide if that would be funny or cruel.

ArxFerrum1
ArxFerrum1

I'll never buy that Oswald got off 3 shots, 2 hits and one bullseye in just under 6 seconds with an old bolt action rifle that was widely known for sticking and jamming. The new book written by that Aussie detective seems to have the best approach yet. 

WalterHelicopter
WalterHelicopter

There was definitely some synergy going on during the assassination...  completely different groups working together for completely different reasons.  The common thread to all of it is the Jews, just like it's the common thread to everything today.

Chosun1
Chosun1

If one is going to believe in a conspiracy, I always look for the smallest and most logical group.  I start by asking this question:  Who has the most to gain?  The answer is simple:  LBJ.  Given that the whole thing happened on LBJ's home turf in Texas, well, that just makes the conspiracy come together pretty nicely.  Doesn't it?  If it wasn't Oswald acting alone, then I'd be shocked if LBJ wasn't smack dab in the middle of the whole thing.  No, I don't think Kennedy was God's gift to America.  But I'm pretty certain that LBJ was Satan's spawn.

JagPop
JagPop

Nothing to see here in this article, folks. Move along. Move along.

Article should have opened with this:

"Every momentous event in American history comes with its own corresponding conspiracy theory. They faked the moon landing. Edwin M. Stanton, Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war, put John Wilkes Booth up to it. Barack Obama was cloned from the DNA of an Egyptian pharaoh, or born in Kenya. Or both!"

Then everyone could have saved themselves some time and not read any further.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

ShellyBuchanan
ShellyBuchanan

I don't have time to read all the comments right now, but Oswald said he was a patsy? Good lord, no wonder people assume there was a cover-up. What else did he say about that? That seems like an unusual time to use that as a presumable excuse. Oh crud, I don't have time. Oh well.

contactjohn
contactjohn

Lets see Kennedy was going to 1. End the Federal Reserve Bank, 2. Break up the CIA, 3. Pull out of Vietnam, 4. Get rid of the Nukes starting with no nukes for Israel, 5. Make peace with the Russians, 6. Propose joint space exploration with the Russians, 7. End all wars as a way of settling differences... Sure Professor McAdams there was no conspiracy to kill John F Kennedy or Martin Luther King or Bobby Kennedy or Malcolm X and I guess we have to wait until you and your kind die off before we can finally hear the truth! But on a more mundane level; "Why was the Secret Service ordered off of the back of the limo as it entered Dealy Square or the head of Military Escorts for the President sent to New Zealand" or all those other questions that cannot be covered up any longer... how does a man like you sleep at night knowing that soon, you will have to face your own demons?

roknsteve
roknsteve

Let's hear Prof. McAdams explain the Marine Oswald being 6' 1" tall and the Dallas Oswald being 5'9" tall.  And no the Marines didn't make a mistake because Oswald's family didn't even recognize him.    

ClarenceLeDearn
ClarenceLeDearn

I was a newsman covering Garrison.   Search the name,   Jim was stark raving nuts,  he never had anything.  Find the reports that women in the know stayed clear of Jim.   And he moved at warp-speed.   There are things you can take that make you do that.   Find the key witness,   even more nuts,   he fingerprinted everybody he saw so the CIA couldn't slip an imposter in.  The only possible theory I heard from Garrison was that a group of gay men in New Orleans felt threatened by JFK's masculinity.   I'm not kidding.   No,  I wasn't paid by the CIA (or anybody) to form that opinion.


I moved to Dallas in '73,  met some of the Deputies who had guarded Jack Ruby in the county jail.   They described him in words that were about the same,   childish,  not the kind of man you'd want involved in any conspiracy.


I've lived in Dallas since '73,   I've seen countless theories.   Not one is as credible as a loser who had screwed up everything up till then got lucky.

Maybe the best evidence was from one of the old Deputies.   "We can't keep quiet that the Chief Deputy is banging the new Clerk down on 2.   How the hell we gonna keep secret who murdered JFK?"


DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Here's a little microcosm of politics today: People believe what they want to believe and find "facts" to support their beliefs while rejecting facts from outside sources.

Now, think about that for a minute.

If all a person ever "believes" are "facts" that have been debunked, proven to be partially inaccurate or twisted to a certain bias or are simply not relevant but are made to SEEM so AND reject all other information (for whatever reason) regardless of it's validity, provability, repeatability or obvious standing, then that person has what is clinically known as a delusional worldview.

For example, one could say "the moon is made from green cheese", cite hundreds of films and cartoons that "prove" it is, cite all the nonsense that "proves" man never stepped foot on it (all of which has been debunked, by the way), and reject all arguments and evidence to the contrary.  To that person, reality says the moon is made from green cheese.  It's pure fiction, delusional, provable it isn't, but because all outside facts are rejected, the delusion persists.

Just keep this tendency on the part of your fellow man in mind as you argue politics - or half century old assassinations.  But remember, it's not necessarily your fellow man who's deluded.  It could be you're deluded by your own beliefs and belief reinforcement filters, too.  We all want to think we're the normal ones.  It ain't necessarily so.  In arguments like this, and politics, we either admit we're closed minded, plug our ears and say "la, la, la, la" or listen respectfully to the other side, and give it some thought.  

Because one thing is certain: Unless the other side is willing to listen to you in the first place, and think rationally and logically about what you said, there's no point to talking to them at all.

dlfrink
dlfrink

You don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to have serious doubts about the Warren Commission's conclusions. I was nine years old at the time, and even my nine year old brain knew something was pretty fishy when Jack Ruby shot Oswald.

Kaiser
Kaiser

Yes, adjacent comment has it right regarding Oswald impersonator... one of several facts that should silence "debunkers' like MacAdams... but they just keep repeating the same weak arguments and insults.  Read:

Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies

--From the Warren Commission to Bill O’Reilly,

A History of Deceit in the Kennedy Assassination

   by Dr. Lance Moore

For more info go to: www.JFK50Lies.com or www.sky-fy.com or

    www.amazon.com/Killing-JFK-Commission-OReilly-Assassination/dp/1492248177


FrankieVegas
FrankieVegas

How disrespectful to call these distinguished people 'buffs'. Just goes to show why you wrote this piece, not to be informative but to denigrate people.

RobertCarlMiller
RobertCarlMiller

MacAdams is intellectually dishonest. Over and over. Of course, the media reports on him instead of the rest of the conference. 

If you google "Fake Oswald Mexico City" you can see photos of someone who impersonated Oswald in Mexico City six weeks before the assassination. The pictures were taken by secret CIA surveillance cameras outside the Soviet embassy and the Cuban consulate.  Six weeks weeks before the assassination Oswald was a nobody. 

Why would anyone impersonate a nobody in another country a month and a half before anyone ever heard of him unless they knew what he was about to be accused of? Who would benefit by connecting him to America's Cold War enemies? Who even knew about the surveillance cameras? 

The last paragraph is a test of logic and a test of honesty. If you can't honestly answer the above questions then you shouldn't be thinking about JFK and his assassination. If you can answer them honestly then the last fifty years of American history will begin to make sense.

JTFloore
JTFloore

@chrism_68 in one of the current documentaries, someone said: "if jack ruby was sent to shut up Oswald, then why wasn't anyone sent to shut up ruby?"


rayglo
rayglo

@chrism_68 LOL. Ruby wasn't connected with the mob, the CIA, Martians, or anything else. He was simply angry that Oswald had killed Kennedy.  Simple isn't it when you just look at issues logically?

JTFloore
JTFloore

@MichaelCohen1 the reason so many americans do not believe the warren commission report is because they are aware of only snippets of facts and actually know very little about the report and the related details. in one of dan rather's comments on one of the current documentaries, he remarks, in effect, "every time cbs looked at the kennedy assassination, we tried to find someone else who did it, but the facts kept pointing back to Oswald." this notion that everyone -- literally thousands of people -- in the "news media" is part of some grand conspiracy to cover up the facts of the assassination is utterly ludicrous. it's absurd. it's preposterous.

the current cnn documentary on the assassination makes it very clear that Oswald was nuts. he was recommended for psychiatric counseling when he was around 12 but apparently did not get it. he tried to kill himself in Russia. and more than one of the people who knew him well said he very much wanted to do something -- anything -- for which he would be remembered in history for 1,000 years. by assassinating jfk, he may well have accomplished that.


rayglo
rayglo

@SusanNunes Totally agree. The conspiracy theories have been totally disproved.  Anyone who believes this trash probably also believes that 9/11 was a conspiracy.  There are always going to paranoiacs out there.

RamonFHerrera
RamonFHerrera

Mr. Dorhn:

How many hundreds of thousands of similar contradictions do you want?

You see the events of the world in a very long line, from "easy to hide" all the way to "impossible to cover up". Nicely aligned.

I hate to be the one to tell you that the real world has more than one dimension.


WalterAdams
WalterAdams

@ShawnDisney 
"And it goes like it goes,
LIke a river it flows
And time keep rolling on
And sometimes whats good
Gets a little bit better
And sometimes whats bad
Gets gone."

ClarenceLeDearn
ClarenceLeDearn

@WalterAdams a senior policeman did that for a couple years in the early 80's.  He'd pick up shells at the firing range,  weather them.  Early on November 22nd he'd drive through Dealy Plaza,  scattering a couple on the right,   up by the grassy knoll,   drive through again and throw some on the left.   We'd congregate in the Records Building when the Court Clerk opened at 8 to have coffee and watch touristers on their hands and knees,  "Look,  Eloise,  I found ANOTHER one!"

 AP ran a mention of it,  figured we'd better cut it out.

JTFloore
JTFloore

@Chosun1 it is utterly preposterous, just totally ludicrous to believe that LBJ had ANYTHING to do with JFK's assassination. people who actually believe that will fall for anything. literally anything.

JagPop
JagPop

@contactjohn 

You left off: Stop WWIII

The Joint Chiefs Of Staff wanted it. Study The Cuban Missile Crisis and that will be clear to you. The assassination was just the next chapter in that Crisis - a crisis that was aimed at precipitating war with the USSR.

Oh yeah, planes launched towards Cuba on the day of the assassination but they were recalled.

ericsaunders
ericsaunders

@ClarenceLeDearn So why did Guy Bannister pistol whip Jack Martin on the night of the assassination?  What was Lee Oswald doing at 544 Camp Street?  Why did Clay Shaw perjure himself about his relationship to the CIA?  The House Select Committee found that there was some kind of relationship between Oswald, Ferrie, and Shaw, but they couldn't get to the bottom of it.  Do you have a benign theory for this that you would like to share?

JagPop
JagPop

@dlfrink

You were a pretty darn smart little squirt.

Me, minutes after I heard about the assassination, walking home from school with my little pals (I was eleven years old), I exclaimed, "There is going to be a war! This is going to start a war with Russia!"

Well, for decades afterwards I never believed war with Russia had anything to do with it. Funny how things go full circle, though. That intuition of that eleven year old (me) was straight on. The whole thing WAS about starting a war with the USSR. The assassination was just a continuation of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Joint Chiefs Of Staff were determined to have their war!

To make a very long story short, VP Johnson was brought into the plot, but late in the game. He double-crossed his fellow conspirators and stalemated the entire thing. Johnson was riding high in the saddle as President, he didn't want to be President of a country in the aftermath of WWIII. He had the goods on his fellow conspirators and they on him. Bobby Kennedy wanted the lone gunman theory because it would not play into the hands of the warmongers (and he was going to get his revenge once he, Bobby, was President). Also (here is the big one, and the lengthy part I am not going into) They had the goods on Bobby and JFK  (and it is NOT what you think, sorry, too long to explain right now) (Ok, during the Cuban Missile Crisis Khrushchev thought he could bluff us and send his ships across the line we had drawn in the sand. Khrushchev bragged about all those ICBM the USSR was turning out "like sausages". But we had a well placed spy and knew Khrushchev was playing poker with an empty hand. Kennedy let Khrushchev know about the spy (who was arrested on the seventh day of the Cuban Missile Crisis) and thus Khrushchev backed off. The Joint Chiefs WANTED Khrushchev to follow through on his bluff, the
USSR didn't YET have the fire power to match us. Kennedy outed one of our spies and this is what the Joint Chiefs had on the Kennedys).

Stalemate all around. In a sense, treacherous Johnson was also a hero, he blocked WWIII.

ClarenceLeDearn
ClarenceLeDearn

@RobertCarlMiller How many people would have had to be in on the Conspiracy?   Five,  ten,  fifty?   How much would confirmation of it be worth?   $100 million easy,   maybe $500million.  Maybe more.

Will you agree that somewhere,  some place,  one of them would have left a writing,  a confirmation,  a death-bed confession?   Not all of them were 'offed' by the CIA.   And,  assuming there were CIA killers,   multiply those 'in the know' by that number.  And their wives and/or other relatives.   We've seen recently the deepest secrets of the NSA have been exposed.  The murder of JFK is far bigger.

We've had a couple,  a retired Dallas PD officer left his son a stack of paper that detailed everything.   Forgery,   it turned out.   Of course,   that's expected,   the CIA must have broken in the house and replaced the originals.

At the end of 50 years nobody has come up with a better explanation than a misfit got up in a building with a rifle and scope,  fired three shots,  one of which completely missed,   and got lucky with the other two.   Flights of fancy and endless debate notwithstanding,   until somebody produces probative evidence,   and increasing age makes it highly improbable there will ever be a better answer.

WalterAdams
WalterAdams

@ClarenceLeDearn @WalterAdams I wondered if it had been done.
Mine wouldn't have had rifling marks, but how many would notice that?
Could lead to a Branch theory about Sabot rounds.
There is surely money to be made here, but I haven't got the ambition or a big enough hole in my principles to make a buck off deception.
It's a nice place to take an afternoons outing, stroll around the Plaza, then wander over to the West End and have dinner.
Never could get all that excited about the whole thing. The man is in the ground, everyone involved is either dead or soon will be.
Turn the page.

ClarenceLeDearn
ClarenceLeDearn

@ericsaunders @ClarenceLeDearn   This is from almost 50 years ago,  what I remember is Guy beat Martin up over running up the phone bill and not paying it,  or stealing case files, I heard both stories.   Oswald was a nut in a town full of 'em.  No idea what he was doing on Camp Street,  and Garrison never proved anything.  Perjury?   Shaw never testified,  the home-town Judge flatly said the NOPD who claimed he took Shaw's fingerprints,  Shaw said he was Clay Bertrand,  was flat-out lying.  Lying.   RE:  relationship.  Every nut in 64 Parishes was coming out of the woodwork.  My favorite was the Poor Man's Candidate for Governor,  who called me a day or two after Garrison started ... to confess that LBJ,  LHO,  Jack Ruby and Clay Shaw met him at a Baton Rouge hotel and paid him $1,000 to say nasty things about JFK.   He called back the next morning to confess he'd been arrested at 15 for breaking into penny gumball machines and did four years at Parchman Pen in Mississippi,  wanting to get that on the record before his political enemies smeared him with it.  (Alas,  Bro Clyde was shortly thereafter dispatched by a dairy farmer who came home early and caught him in the bed with his wife.)


I thought of the name of the sheer utter fruitcake who was Jim's big,  secret witness. 
There were others,  Russo,  who nobody believed,  including Judge Haggarty,   Vernon Bundy, a heroin addict, and Charles Spiesel.   For fun,  look up Spiesel.   Shaw was broke (he never recovered financially or physically),   a newsman friend told him he'd better scrape enough together to hire a detective on Spiesel.   The story got more hilarious by the minute,  Spiesel finger-printed his own daughter when she went to and came home from LSU to make sure an imposter hadn't been sent.  

One witness,  wonderfully named Sergio Archara Smith,  went to Texas to get out of Garrison's reach.  Or so he thought.   Garrison had his grand jury indict him for Possession of Heroin.  Gov. John Connally refused to extradite,   obviously he was part of the conspiracy also.

One memorable afternoon Jim was flying high,   stopped to announce that he'd solved it,  the shooters hid in the storm drains in Dealy Plaza.   A Dallas newsman shook his head,  Jim,  those drains are only ... I forget,  28,  24,  36 inches deep.   Garrison looked at him with a look that could kill,  "There are many many small people in this world who are very angry!"


Look,  solving the JFK assassination is lots of fun,   it's mental masturbation.   I covered Garrison,  I know many of the Dallas newsfolks who covered the story.   We've talked about it for decades.  Not a single one of them believes it was anything other than Oswald getting off two lucky shots.   



Yuuup
Yuuup

@ClarenceLeDearn hahahah "deepest secrets of the NSA exposed."  Oh yeah, that's right, I forgot that we just exposed all the secrets left in the world. Yup, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. You are deep in a disinfo delusion my friend.  And by your logic, how many people and how much money would need to be involved to keep a top secret military project secret?  Or do those "not exist" too? How on earth do they ever keep those things secret if keeping things secret is impossible? 

contactjohn
contactjohn

@ClarenceLeDearn you are ignorant of the Cabal and how the world really works, they know who "They" are, and you do not, of course they do not break ranks. it is a worn argument of of a sheeple that harps on this line because those that know are way freaking deeper than you will ever be able to grasp, just google Bohemian Grove and watch the "Killing of Care Ceremony" performed before the babylonian god Moloch who is the god of infant sacrifice and "They" are all there. Ignorance means you ignore what is right before your very eyes...

Yuuup
Yuuup

@WalterAdams @ClarenceLeDearn Yup, that's right "move along, nothing to see here." "Everyone is either dead or soon will be"- that's a great reason.  Ahhh, yeah, it's all old news, who cares.  Not like Kennedy was doing or about to do anything of any importance.  Nope, just some example of miracle marksmanship from some ol' crazy loon! LOL

Dack2001
Dack2001

@ClarenceLeDearn I don't understand this line of thinking.  The CIA used numerous cut outs, disparate groups of interested peoples, and their own agents to accomplish the overthrow of foreign governments from the 1950s until at least the 70s.  These "jobs" rarely had a single person who testified about how they were accomplished but we learned of them as part of revelations from government committee investigations.  Yet you take something like the Kennedy assassination and dismiss the possibility of conspiracy without a thought.  Why?  Clearly governments were overthrown through American conspiracy.  It's logically inconsistent to dismiss the possibility of an intelligence operation with the phrase that too many people would have to be involved when we know for a fact that such operations have been carried out by an arm of our own government with general secrecy.


ClarenceLeDearn
ClarenceLeDearn

@contactjohn @ClarenceLeDearn you left out the Freemasons and Knights of Columbus,  plus the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  Common knowledge,  they have elaborate plans for world domination.   (Especially the IOOF)

I have a couple drinking friends who are members of the Grove.  They go out there to drink,  tell war stories,  run around naked,   generally do things they'd get arrested for doing in Dallas making perfect fools of themselves.  The idea that 'they' are "Them" is absurd 


You give the appearance of someone who is extremely paranoid.  And very reluctant to say who you think "They" are.  You tell me I'm ignorant for not knowing who 'they' are.  OK.  Name some.


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