Dog Day Afternoon

There have been about one thousand books written about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I have read a bunch of them, at least fifteen and maybe twenty. Most of them are very good. Great men have devoted their lives to finding out the “truth” and putting it out there for the public. I am in awe of their hard work and tenacious courage. That being said, after fifty three years, the case is not solved. It can never be solved. If it had ever been solved this country would have been turned inside out. The bloody Russian Revolution would have looked like a Sunday School picnic compared to what would have happened here in the U.S.A. if the Kennedy case had ever been solved. Who was going to arrest the main perpetrators, they being President Lyndon Baines Johnson and his BFF “Edgar”, know to the rest of us as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover! Who was going to do that after the truth was discovered. I can only picture tanks blasting out the windows of the Whitehouse. America was not ready for that in 1964 and still is not ready to deal with that type of horrifying specter. It’s as simple as that. Johnson had himself sworn in that afternoon in Dallas and at that moment on that airplane, he came the head cop in the United States. He spilled blood to reach that position and he would surely have spilled more blood if anybody had the nerve to challenge his legitimacy. Hoover knew Johnson was guilty and so did Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, John Connolly and Richard Nixon. It just didn’t matter. There was nothing anybody could do about it.

The King is dead long live the King. That’s what the British say. There is no gap in sovereignty and no question of authority. LBJ was King and he ruled by terror. Fifty three years have passed and now all of that coup d’etat stuff is ancient history. There is nobody left to prosecute. Johnson actually went clinically insane and died in 1973, very soon after he left the Presidency. Hoover was already ancient when the whole thing started. Both scoundrels are long gone and forgotten.

My own stubborn interest in the case is one of curiosity and amazement. The scope of the plan and the plot were so so grandiose and expansive in the context of a clandestine “Black Operation” that the case seems more like a movie script that a piece of history. An up close examination of the JFK assassination plot provides us with astounding insight into the ruthlessness and immorality manifested by these so called statesmen when they decide to make a move on the chessboard. If you think the Warren Commission Report was a credible explanation for what happened On 11–22–63, you should probably stop reading now. I am not offering proofs or making debate points here. I already know what happened and why it happened. It is the “how” in the equation which I think bears further examination.

I know Jack Ruby was the most guilty man in Dallas in November 1963. He played the role of a producer. Positioning the personnel and resources need to effectuate the killing Only he seemed to know all the factions; the Texas Oilmen, the mafia “mechanics,” the hot headed Cubans and the blood revenge CIA operatives. He moved among any and all of them with ease. Everybody liked Jack. He also used his plentiful account of influence with the Dallas Police to execute key elements of the plan. Although he was personally responsible for making sure everything got done that had to be done, Jack did not mastermind anything. He was a doer not a planner. The man he did things for was local Mafia King Carlos Marcello who in turn did things (in the form of delivering suitcases full of cash) for Lyndon Johnson. I know Ruby ran the ground operation because he confessed to it to Earl Warren on the record of the Warren Commission investigation. You have to parse his words to understand his confession, but it is right there. Like a lot of wise guys, Ruby was circumspect about everything. He wanted you to know the score but he didn’t want the words to actually leave his lips. People in Ruby’s criminal world know that it never pays to say too much about anything. He never finished a sentence. He talked in riddles to Earl Warren and he tried to lead him to the obvious fact that Johnson had “put him in a position” where he had to do this most “dastardly crime” and that Johnson would surely have him killed very soon if Earl Warren didn’t rescue him from the Dallas City Jail. Earl Warren was used to erudite lawyers. He wanted a clear unambiguous statement of what Ruby thought he knew. That was impossible as long as Ruby was in the custody of LBJ’s henchmen in Dallas.

Richard M. Nixon knew that Ruby was a Johnson man because Johnson had ordered then Senator Nixon to put Jack Ruby on the payroll of his investigating committee when Johnson was running the Senate. Nixon asked no questions and did in fact put Mr. Ruby on that Senate Committee payroll. See Nixon’s Secrets by Roger Stone. Nixon was not a friend of LBJ and not really a fan of his, he just knew what violence and treachery Johnson was capable off and he gave Lyndon a wide berth. I don’t know how Johnson communicated with Mafia Chief Carlos Marcello but it seemed to be an established line of access. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell you might remember Carlos Marcello as the guy who in the spring of 1963 was kidnapped by Bobby Kennedy and dropped in the jungle of Guatemala with no food or survival equipment. LBJ must have went ballistic! As luck would have it Carlos hiked out of that jungle and called Lee Oswald’s New Orleans friend, Captain David Ferrie, to fly down to Central America and bring Carlos back home to the Big Easy. The Marcello “deportation” is an inscrutable act. It was a clear attack on LBJ by the Kennedy brothers and It was blatantly illegal kidnapping. It also foreshadowed the notorious C.I.A. rendition flights of the forthcoming century.

After that gruesome ordeal in the jungle, Carlos was certainly delighted to help his boss to do whatever could be done get rid of those goddam Kennedys. All LBJ had to do was get some plans drawn up and get Kennedy to Dallas, then Carlos’ local boy scout Jack Ruby would conduct the operation like a maestro. The Plan was so brilliant that it defies imitation. The President would be cut-down by long range rifle fire and the evidence would be pre-positioned to implicate a certain known communist. Oh and don’t worry about finding a Communist who can take the fall, the CIA is sending a notorious young communist over to Dallas. The agency had been using young pseudo-communist Lee Oswald since 1959 as a double agent inside of Russia and they were using him all during the summer of 1963 on a stupid kill-Castro plot that seemed to be put on the back burner in the fall. All that needed to be done for this new job was to re-position the young Commie agitator back in Dallas Texas and to set up the city so that everything pointed at this one guy. Ruby would help with some of that work while the agency quietly placed their communist play-actor in a tall building on the JFK parade route. Lee Oswald was hired to work in Texas School Book Depository on October 15, 1063. It was already known in Washington that President Kennedy’s limousine would very likely pass under the windows of that very same building in an open car on November 22nd.

This is where the story gets crazy. The best evidence suggests that Oswald knew he was involved in a plan to kill Kennedy and it would seem that Oswald knew, when he left for work that day, that he would be meeting Johnson’s personal hit man Mac Wallace and Wallace’s hired gun Loy Factor on the 6th floor that day. For details on the makeup of the shooting team see the excellent book, The Men on the Sixth Floor by Glen Sample. What is strange however, is that Oswald didn’t really have to do anything for the shooters. They had their own weapons and they didn’t need an amateur marksman like Oswald shooting off a war surplus rifle in such a precision operation. The killing would have to be handled by pros. Oswald had done everything he was hired for. His role was complete by 12 Noon. At the moment the first shot was fired he became a problem rather than an asset.

At this point I have to address the deniers. For Oswald to have been the actual shooter, everything that had happened that day to put him in that very special building would have to have been a fantastic coincidence. Why did he buy his rifle in April if he would never even hear of the Texas School Book Depository until October. Even if all that just happened to have happened, he still would have had to rely on the President passing by the Texas School Book Depository Building precisely during his brief lunch period when the work floors were empty and when no one was expecting he himself to be busy working. What were the chances of that timing being perfect for him. Finally we would have to accept that Oswald sat secluded in the warehouse corner hugging his twelve dollar Italian war surplus rifle with the wrong side miss-mounted scope, while the motorcade approached from in back of the building totally out of his view. Nobody had TV or radio to monitor the motorcade. We also have to believe that the young book stacker who had not fired a gun of any description in years not only got lucky enough to squeeze of one bulls-eye, we are asked to consider that he had some kind of adrenaline boost that enabled him at that moment to became an Olympic Champion Rifleman and score a perfect three for three, in six seconds (!) on a moving living target while performing that feat with a strange cheap junk rifle that he had never fired. I mean that is what the Warren Report says actually happened.

Although its easy to see how Oswald was pre-positioned to take all the blame on the 22nd of November nobody looking at the case since then has really deciphered the purported getaway plan for Oswald that day The most plausible suggestion is that Lee Oswald was promised a substantial sum of money and that he knew in advance that he would be sought as a suspect. He certainly knew that Jack Ruby and Lyndon Johnson weren’t going to be taking any rap. So Oswald must have been assured that he would be spirited away from Dallas probably by air and that he would cool off in Cuba or Mexico while the FBI pretended to look for him. Remember that his long time friend David Ferrie, the pilot with all those strange connections had headed for Texas immediately after the shots rang out. Maybe he planned to re-unite with his Russian wife somewhere. Maybe he thought that reunion would happen in back in Russia where he had spent those two years as a defector. Nobody seems to know this part of the plot. There is just nothing I have read that betrays his expectation of surviving or his plan for at least avoiding jail following the Kennedy killing.

The one thing that is made fairly clear by Oswald’s fairly well documented actions that afternoon is that he immediately realized that Jack Ruby, was going to kill him or have him killed. The double cross was on. Jack Ruby, himself, was a busy bee in the hours after Kennedy was murdered. Some witnesses say he handed Oswald a (defective) revolver as Oswald fled the TSBD building. Whether he did that or not, Ruby had to get right over to the Parkland Hospital to make sure JFK was dead and make sure that a certain bullet would be discovered on Kennedy’s death stretcher. While he was occupied over at Parkland, however, Ruby had Oswald tracked by a very reliable man. Officer J.D. Tippit was the man with the means and opportunity to find Oswald and to kill him or bring him to whatever resolution Ruby had waiting. While all of Dallas was going nuts with a Presidential massacre in the heart of downtown, our good Officer Tippit sat patiently at a gas station along Oswald’s escape route that led from the TSBD building downtown to his Oak Cliff boarding hose. Tippit couldn’t be bothered joining the excitement in Dealy Plaza he was focused on assignment Oswald. See The Grassy Knoll Report by Joe Williams.

Lee Oswald seemed immediately to be done with the whole bunch of Treasonous Texans and he did what you and I would do if we wanted to shake a cop. He changed his route. He got on and off a bus. In and out of a taxi-cab. He was seen getting in Ruth Paine s station wagon but he apparently begged off an offer to drive him somewhere. Oswald hop-scotched his way home avoiding his usual routine. Tippit, though knew where to wait for him and he quietly rolled his black Ford police cruiser around to the boarding house where he waited outside in the car for a minute, summoning Oswald out with a friendly honk of the car horn. Oswald wasn’t home yet. Using his cop training, Tippit soon figured out where Oswald was and rolled up along side the now armed Oswald walking along a residential street in broad daylight. By now all police radios were screaming bulletins to be on the lookout for a white male, slight build, 5 feet 9 inches tall who just blew the Presidents head off with a high powered rifle. Tippit though was not impressed. Instead of calling for back-up, drawing a gun on Oswald and taking him down or even checking his ID, Officer Jefferson Davis Tippit drove alongside the curb gently speaking to the strolling Oswald through the rolled down passenger side window of his police car while Oswald continued to walk. Everyone has seen that act before. Its usually an apologetic boyfriend trying to sweet talk his gal back into the car after he said something so stupid and insensitive that she jumped out and started to walk home. That’s all Tippit did. He rolled along side the most dangerous man in the world and chatted through a rolled down window at four miles per hour. It would be Tippit’s last curbside chat. Somebody killed Tippit right there on that street. Many said it was Oswald who gunned him down. After all, Oswald later admitted that he went back to his room to change his clothes and pick up his revolver after the catastrophe in Dealy Plaza. Some witnesses said it looked as though Oswald had heard enough of what Tippit had to say and he calmly walked around to the drivers side of the fully marked Police car and killed Tippit in cold blood. Others on the scene that day say they saw two men involved in shooting Officer Tippit. The Dallas police did not investigate the case. Their one and only suspect was Lee Harvey Oswald.

The next scene of confusion and mayhem happened no more than thirty minutes later that afternoon on the main floor of the Texas Theater which was showing a World War II double feature that day. Lee Oswald ran in to the Theater, either to hide in the darkness or to meet someone. President Kennedy was dead, Police Officer Tippit was dead and our man from Minsk (Oswald) said he just felt like catching a movie that afternoon. The Dallas cops, though were soon tipped off about the Theater and within about three minutes they arrived in a multi-car convoy but not in a swat team operation. It being 1963 they just combed through the movie theater quietly seeking their guy. When they found Oswald sitting alone near the back of the auditorium, something very momentous happened. Oswald punched the first cop who challenged him and he tried to pull a gun on the others. Many say they heard Oswald’s gun click and misfire. Again this was 1963 and the cops were super-heroes. Even though he tried to get a shot off at them, they never drew a weapon on Oswald! They just wrestled him into handcuffs and yanked him out of the theater while Lee, ever the Communist, cried out “I protest this act of police brutality.” The guy was relentless in his role-playing but the revolver in his waistband was real and he was apparently ready to kill whoever was attempting to take him into custody.

I guess by this hour of this particular early afternoon Lee Oswald had seen Ruby’s shooters murder the President in a crossfire, shooting from the President rear by firing rifles from the sixth floor of the School Book Building, and from the front by firing some un-described weaponry from behind the picket fence. Lee Oswald had also dealt with at least one City cop that afternoon who was openly doing mobster Jack Ruby’s street work. It apparently seemed clear to Oswald that he was going to be the next one killed that afternoon if the cops found him. In his mind he knew of no legitimate cops and he wasn’t about to give any of them the benefit of the doubt. They were all on the Ruby’s team as far as he knew. So Oswald was dragged with a black eye into Dallas P.D. headquarters and into the whirlwind of events that would involve a lot of moving him around inside the station, from this room to that room and which peripatetic antics would lead him through various poorly staged police line-ups and a even a late night lunchroom “arraignment.” The Dallas Police Headquarters was suddenly a circus of cops, FBI agents, Secret Service agents and TV reporters with flood lights. The hallways were impassable, Dan Rather was in the way with a giant TV camera. Lee, however, in spite of everything that had happened that day, stayed fairly contained and calmly denied the accuracy of most of the pre-packaged story especially any part that involved him actually owning, transporting or shooting a rifle that day.

There was certainly no confession exacted from Lee Harvey Oswald, just a series of well reasoned pleas to grant him his basic constitutional rights and to allow him to contact a certain New York Lawyer. As long as Dallas P.D. was in control, however, he was not going to be allowed to talk to any New York Lawyer. Meanwhile in the hands of the Police, there were a series of secret interviews, hallway photo-ops and even jail visitors. The one single constant was the man in the gray fedora. Every location in the building that Oswald was brought to, that 40s style gangster in the gray fedora, Jack Ruby,” was there in the crowd of reporters with a loaded gun in his pocket. Ruby had done 100 things to make the the murder happen for his bosses Carlos Marcello and Lyndon Johnson and now he would stalk Oswald until the moment was right for task number 101. Then the curtain could be drawn back in Washington and the crime of the century would ever so slowly fade into history.

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