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Post JFK Assassination; Adlai Stevenson in Dallas 1963
Created by John Eipper on 11/25/10 4:23 AM

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JFK Assassination; Adlai Stevenson in Dallas 1963 (Randy Black, USA, 11/25/10 4:23 am)

Answering Joe Listo’s question (24 November) as to why Adlai Stevenson was in Dallas one month before the JFK assassination, Stevenson gave a United Nations Day speech at Dallas's Memorial Auditorium to a large, generally supportive crowd. He was JFK’s ambassador to the UN at the time.

He was actually clunked on the head by a woman carrying an anti-UN sign. Stevenson asked the police to allow him to speak with the woman immediately. The woman, according to Time Magazine’s article on the incident, was incoherent.

From Time: Dallas was shocked. Wrote the Dallas Times Herald in a Page One editorial: "Dallas has been disgraced. There is no other way to view the storm-trooper actions of last night's frightening attack on Adlai Stevenson." Texas Governor John Connally called the affair "an affront to common courtesy and decency." And Mayor Earle Cabell pointed out that the demonstrators were "not our kind of folks." Amid the furor, Adlai Stevenson seemed the least perturbed of all, calmly turned the other cheek and said of his assailants: "I don't want to send them to jail. I want to send them to school."

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,875296,00.html#ixzz16F0zeE18

Now, to answer Cameron Sawyer's post of 24 November.  Off and on over the years, I've shared Cameron's thoughts and impressions that perhaps Lee Harvey Oswald might not have been the only person taking shots at JFK 47 years ago in Dallas. More than a few wanted JFK dead and probably had the ability to make it happen. And believe me, you cannot live in Dallas all of these years without knowing of the dozens of hypotheses about conspirators that ranged from J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Castro, the Chicago Mob, a shadowy group of men in New Orleans, LBJ, Jimmy Hoffa, the CIA, the Soviets, the Dixie Mafia and all the rest.

Normally, after someone writes of a new theory, I simply reread the columns, documents and books written and published by Dallas journalist Hugh Aynesworth, whom I've known since my teenage years. As I've said, Hugh knows more about the assassination than any living person. He lived those events, saw the blood, knows the players, and so on.

As I wrote on WAIS, I spent part of the afternoon at his home on the assassination anniversary three days ago. I also spent part of yesterday morning at his home, visiting with him and his wife and watching my daughter play with their cats.

Back to 1964: A few months after the assassination, a French publisher offered Hugh $75,000 to write "a conspiracy best seller" in which the perps would be exposed. Although earning less than $10,000 a year at the time in Dallas, Hugh declined, stating that he did not believe a conspiracy took place. The Frenchman was astounded. "But everyone in Europe knows it was a conspiracy." To this day, Hugh holds the position that "I don't know whether there was, or was not a conspiracy. All I know is, there is no evidence of it." (from JFK: Breaking the News, 2003).

On the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, Hugh was having his morning coffee in the cafeteria of the Dallas Morning News. He spotted Jack Ruby paying for his own breakfast nearby. Ruby often showed up at the News to schmooze with the paper's entertainment columnist regarding publicity for his night clubs. Read: sleazy strip joints. No one really liked Ruby, but nevertheless, the fellow was persistent.

Later that morning, when Oswald's shots rang out, Aynesworth was standing on a street corner 150 feet from the Texas School Book Depository (the assassin's nest). I think that I may have previously stated that Hugh was in the press car. I "misremembered." Ironically, Hugh was one of the few Dallas Morning News reporters not assigned to that coverage on that day. Nevertheless, he'd wandered over three blocks from the newspaper to Dealey Plaza to watch the entourage pass.

As shots and pandemonium broke out, Hugh's reporter instinct took over. But to read the rest of the story, I suppose you'll have to buy the book. Among other interesting materials he includes Oswald's handwritten diary that includes his writings from the time he defected to the USSR right up to his return to the USA with his new Russian wife. There are also photocopies of some of Oswald's forged photo-ID cards that enabled him, using an alias, to buy the mail-order rifle used to murder JFK and to rent the post office box where the rifle was shipped.

Just so you will know, Oswald tried to assassinate a retired US Army General in the general's home in Dallas prior to the JFK murder. We also know these facts: Oswald was at the school book depository. He had a rifle. Witnesses testified that Oswald arrived for work with a long, paper-wrapped package that he stated was curtain rods. He was capable of hitting his target that was nearby. The shot was fairly simple. The target was for all practical purposes, stationary. JFK's car was moving away from Oswald, in a fairly straight line, down the inclining street, traveling neither right or left. Oswald had an unhindered site of his target. He had practiced at a gun range prior to the shooting on several occasions. His Marine Corps background and his skills with a rifle were verifiable. While Oswald was "an ordinary soldier," his gun range scores had been 48 and 49 out of 50 at 200 yards. Oswald's shot at JFK was about 100 yards.

The rifle, when later tested, was properly sited for such a shot. The timing of the shots on Nov. 22 worked flawlessly. There was more than enough time to fire off three rounds, two of which hit home. Witnesses, including Dallas Times Herald photographer Bob Jackson, saw the gun poking out of the window and saw the shots being fired. Alas, Bob was out of film, the ultimate sin for a news photographer. He redeemed himself a couple of days later when he took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of Ruby shooting Oswald. The rifle was found where it should have been and ownership was traced to Oswald, aka Alek Hidell the purchaser. The spent bullets were present where they were supposed to be. The President died.

Oswald also owned a pistol that he used to murder Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit. The gun was found with Oswald after a brief fight in a theater a few miles from the assassination scene. Dozens of witnesses placed Oswald at his job in the school book depository, in buses and taxis during the escape, at the Tippit murder scene and walking up West Jefferson where he ducked into the Texas Theater and where he was captured but not before he attempted to murder the arresting officers. The double feature that day was "War in Hell" and "Cry of Battle" (Van Heflin).

Paraphrased from Hugh's book (in the theater): "Get on your feet," demanded the officer. "Well, it's all over now," Oswald replied as he stood up. Oswald raised his hands in an apparent gesture of surrender, then socked the officer in the face with his left hand. With his right hand, he pulled a .38 Smith & Wesson from his belt. Two cops jumped Oswald from behind, one jamming his hand on the pistol's firing mechanism to prevent it from being fired and saving the other cop's life. 

Interesting trivia from Nov. 22, 1963:  Richard Nixon was in town for a shareholders meeting of Pepsi and his suite in the Baker Hotel was just down the hall from actress Joan Crawford. The day before JFK's arrival in Dallas, United States Attorney Barefoot Sanders and U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes stated to Kennedy that his trip to Dallas "was inadvisable."

I wish that Kennedy had taken Sarah Hughes's advice. She was the judge who swore in LBJ later that afternoon on Air Force One at Love Field.

JE comments:  WAISer Robert Whealey always scolds me when I pose counterfactual historical questions, but it's hard not to ask how history would have played out had JFK not visited Dallas.  Imagine a full Kennedy presidential term, or even a second term through January 1969.  Would anything different have happened with Vietnam?  (Probably not.)  How about Civil Rights?  LBJ was able to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) by using the "our martyred President wanted this" argument.  Kennedy may have faced greater opposition--especially from southern Democrats (yes, there used to be such a thing).

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  • JFK Assassination (Cameron Sawyer, Russia 11/25/10 9:42 AM)

    This is a really excellent post by Randy Black (25 November), rich with first or at least second-hand data*, which really gives a feel for the events and what we know and don't know about them and the essential mystery of the event.

    I do think that the evidence points to Oswald having been the only shooter and I don't think there is much mystery about the shooting itself. I think also that we can well imagine that Oswald was crazy enough to have thought up the assassination himself. But why the connections with the USSR and Cuba? Coincidence? And why did Ruby kill Oswald, if Oswald was acting entirely alone? An opportunistic provocation, perhaps? Or something more like Delillo's version? And how can it be, that all these years later, there is still no evidence of any kind? It's really a mystery.

    * "Observations are gold, hypothesis, silver, and conclusions, bronze."

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    • JFK Assassination; Mordechai Vanunu (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, USA 11/26/10 4:53 AM)
      Cameron Sawyer wrote on 25 November: "I think also that we can well imagine that Oswald was crazy enough to have thought up the assassination himself. But why the connections with the USSR and Cuba? Coincidence?"


      Other connections regarding the JFK assassination have been made. Not only is there connection made with the mafia, but other motives have been pointed to such as Kennedy's presidential order (Executive Order 11110), which ordered the Treasury (not the Federal Reserve Bank) to issue $4 billion "United States Notes" to replace Federal Reserve Notes (to avoid paying a 6% free risk interest to the Fed...). Wilson Woodrow who had signed the Federal Reserve ACT in 1913 said before dying, "I unwittingly ruined my country."


      The latest "motivation" to be talked about publicly is stated by Israeli whistle blower, Mordechai Vanunu. He claims Israel assassinated JFK: 



      One should perhaps see who gained the most from JFK's assassination.

      JE comments:  According to the link above, Vanunu says that Israel killed Kennedy because of the President's pressure on Israel to discontinue its nuclear program.  When it comes to JFK any theory will do, I suppose, but has a connection between Oswald and Israel ever been established?  It is no surprise that Ariel Sharon's office robustly denies Vanunu's accusation.
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      • JFK Assassination; Conspiracy Theories (Cameron Sawyer, Russia 11/26/10 9:28 AM)
        Entire encyclopedias could be filled with wacky theories about who killed JFK.

        The one concerning the Federal Reserve Bank (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, 26 November) definitely belongs among the choicest of wacky theories. The Fed is structured like a corporation, but it is really more like a coop of the member banks. It is not run for profit and does not earn any profits. Any surplus income the Fed receives every year is handed over to the US government. It was structured in the way that it is in order to try to give it some independence from the state. Or perhaps just a mere appearance of independence.  Second only to slavery, central banking was the most divisive political issue in the early history of the US. It is interesting that the US was the last major country to adopt central banking; this occurred with the creation of the Fed in 1913.




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      • JFK Assassination; Executive Order 11110 (Randy Black, USA 11/27/10 5:09 AM)
        The matter of JFK's Executive Order 11110 has been popular among JFK conspiracy theorists for decades. However, that particular order never had its intended effect. That such an executive order might have caused a murder, however, is not plausible.

        The indisputable facts remain: Oswald fired a rifle from his assassin's nest. Two of the three bullets hit their target and did the damage. If anyone else was present and shooting, they have never been identified or caught. The events of Nov. 22, 1963 were tragic. By now, nearly half a century later, any such secrets would by now surely have been uncovered.

        Moreover, there is no evidence that President Wilson ever uttered the words, "I unwittingly ruined my country," as it relates to the Federal Reserve Act (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, 27 November). See: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Woodrow_Wilson

        While JFK's executive order technically remained "on the books" until the Reagan years, it never had its intended effect. As early as 1964, the Secretary of the Treasury halted redemption of silver certificates for actual silver.

        From Wikipedia: Edward Flaherty, a professor of economics at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, wrote an essay entitled "Debunking the Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theories," in which he argues that Executive Order 11110 is quite infamous among conspiracy theorists, such as Jim Marrs, who believe President Kennedy was killed by the men who have control over the Federal Reserve Board, based on arguments that can be debunked using the Congressional Research Service's report for Congress, Money and the Federal Reserve System: Myth and Reality.



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      • JFK Assassination; Mordechai Vanunu and Conspiracy Theories (Michael Delong, Qatar 11/27/10 8:04 AM)
        In response to Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich's post of 26 November, I would like to offer that this not-so-subtle WAISer is not just one of leaders in conspiracy theory, but an "in-your-face" leader.

        Speak about Iran or the countries that impact Iran, and Soraya always responds with a pre-understood answer.

        This is one theory that keeps on giving...

        JE comments: Polemics, as long as they remain civil, are the lifeblood of WAIS, though if we're talking blood, they always raise mine (as in blood pressure). As Editor, I'm constantly reminded that I'd have an easy go of it if we were a univocal, one-cause-fits-all organization. But we're not, and the mantle I inherited from Prof. Hilton never promised to be a comfy one.

        Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich clearly takes a pro-Iran, anti-Israel stance on the widest variety of topics. Do most WAISers agree with her? No; but I think Prof. H. would point out that many in the world share Soraya's views. What about me? If I had to take up residence in one of the two nations, I'd chose Israel over Iran...but not if I were Palestinian and Muslim, which is the whole point of Soraya's frequent condemnations of Israel.

        Now, did the Israelis kill JFK? Soraya was simply reporting the claim of Israeli dissident/whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu in her posting of 26 November.  I don't know if she subscribes to the theory; I'll let Soraya answer for herself. But to me, the Vanunu claim is extremely far-fetched, and takes a lot away from him in the credibility department.

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        • JFK Assassination; Mordechai Vanunu and Conspiracy Theories (Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, USA 11/27/10 2:42 PM)
          My initial reaction to Michael Delong's post of 27 November was that his outburst against me was highly out of order and although JE commented gallantly, I felt Mr. Delong's post should have been rejected outright. However, a few minutes of reflection, I realized I should thank Mr. Delong for providing me with an opportunity to voice what weighs on my mind when I read certain responses to my postings.


          As with many previous occasions, a WAISer has indulged in attacking a person instead of addressing an issue. This is unworthy of a Forum that seeks to discuss international issues. I suggest we check our dislikes and prejudices towards a single member before airing them for the world to read.

          I found Mr. Delong's answer to my post to be totally irrelevant.  Perhaps Mr. Delong should overlook my name and re-examine my post which was in response to the JFK assassination and Cameron Sawyer's query about the Oswald "connection to USSR and Cuba."  In response I offered other theories "out there" surrounding JFK's assassination, such as his Presidential Order 11110, the mafia, and Jerusalem's role as the latest to be aired. Why is it that Mr. Delong has chosen to ignore the whole post and make this about me being pro-Iran and anti-Israel?


          I am not sure what kind of a person would turn their back on their native country, but I am not one of them. Governments, systems, dynasties, regimes, are all subject to change. A country is not. In my opinion, as a native Iranian, being pro-Iran is a virtue and reflects loyalty, it is not a vice. However, if I argue in favor of Iran, then my arguments should be fact-based. This I try to do, while I also point to injustice, double standards, and the lack of respect for international law. I have no doubt that at times my posts may reflect some error as contrary to most WAISers, I am not an expert. I have a curious mind and the courage to speak up even when it is not popular to do so. As such, it is possible that my posts may at times be inaccurate, in which case, it would be far more constructive if Mr. Delong (and like-minded others) refutes my arguments by offering an alternative and more credible response rather than attacking me. I am sure it would benefit WAIS if those who disagree with me would redirect my statements based on facts, even opinions related to the issues in question. In my opinion, personal attacks area poor substitute for debate.


          In response to JE's comments: I have no idea who was behind the assassination of JFK. I would have to study each theory in depth to see who would profit the most from his death--and even then, this does not necessarily point to the truth, but a stronger case for speculation. I have not done this and don't foresee myself taking on this task.

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    • JFK Assassination (Tor Guimaraes, USA 11/26/10 5:19 AM)
      Since observations are "gold" (Cameron Sawyer, 25 November), I would like to pose a few in the form of questions:

      Why were the forensics of President Kennedy's assassination so messy and controversial?

      Why was the Oliver Stone movie able to cite so many confirmable/deniable specific names, places, times, a law suit, etc.?

      JE comments:  Has any single historical event spawned more theories than the JFK assassination?  11 September 2001 might be in second place, but JFK has benefited from  38 more years.  WAIS has always been fond of theories, conspiracy and otherwise, and we devote a great deal of e-ink discussing them.  A question for the Floor:  what is the most outrageous conspiracy theory that later turned out to be true?  My vote goes to the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop pact, although "conspiracy theory" may not be the most accurate way to characterize it.


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  • JFK Assassination; Jack Ruby (John Heelan, UK 11/26/10 4:26 AM)
    Randy Black mentioned (25 November) that Jack Ruby often "schmooze(d) with the paper's entertainment columnist regarding publicity for his night clubs. Read: sleazy strip joints."

    I can attest to the sleaziness of one of them. From memories of my first-ever business trip to the US in winter 1968--to the snows of New England and the sunshine of Dallas.

    My Dallas hosts took me on a car tour of the fateful route that JFK took,

    including the Texas School Book Depository, Dealey Plaza and the "grassy

    knoll." I was surprised that the whole area was so small that I had to look

    around quickly to recognise sites seen frequently on TV and newsreels.

    Later that evening, they took me to a somewhat sleazy nightclub that apparently had been owned by Jack Ruby. I was the kind of place that one could imagine would be owned and frequented by gangsters!  However, my abiding memory is of an extremely well-endowed stripper (well before the days of silicone implants!) who, unfortunately, also suffered from strabismus. However, I am sure that I am the only person in our party that noticed her crossed-eyes!

    JE comments:  When in Rome...


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