The Kennedy Assassination - Will We Ever Know What Happen?

The Kennedy Assassination - Will We Ever Know What Happen?

The question above contains hidden assumptions, among them the idea that there is a single “we” who know things collectively. But the Kennedy assassination lies on faulty line of belief, separating a public largely convinced of a conspiracy and cover-up and the elite group who regard such notions as unfounded and baseless. So the rhetoric surrounding the Kennedy assassination offers a unique testing ground for theories about the construction of knowledge in society. As we concluded in our last analysis, we have a momentous historical event-the murder of a U.S. president-which after decades continues to inspire debate and controversy. With pages of Warren commission findings, hundreds of books and articles on the subject, and dozens of films and documentaries, and scholars like Dr. Rahn, Mr. Beck and Mr. Litwin, we have every little detail about the case. Yet the one conclusion that stands universally accepted as the obvious is: we have a shooting and a dead president. Beyond this basic conclusion, many theories about the assassination flourish but no single acceptable version of what” really” happen.

What about the societal or historical view of the assassination…..

In this analysis, we will try to examine the issue knowledge and belief, argument and narrative and how these issues connect with the current realities of 21st-centure America. History has shown us that the academic scholars have been nearly silence on he Kennedy assassination. The assassination has been left almost exclusively in hands of non- historians, politicians, columnist reporters, film makers and “assassination researchers” who are not well-versed on the particulars of the assassination. Their continuing struggle to reach consensus about the assassination offers an opportunity for the academia to weigh with rhetoric base on the issue of knowledge and belief, argument and narrative…..the examination of these rhetoric is the focus of our analysis as we lead the audience into…..THESIS STATEMENT.

In the Primary Source Analysis, we ended with this question when we visited Dr. Kenneth Rahn’s article ‘the introduction. ’The focus of his argument was the Z-film of Kennedy’s violent head lurch to the back and the different theories of conspiracy that emanate from it. He chronologically list to the reader the weakness on evidence in support of these theories as he identified his position on the issue. In this analysis, we put his argument into context with articles by two distinct scholars, “Michael Beck / January 17 1998 and Fred Litwin 1994-95 who seem to shared similar sentiments. In his writing ‘the intellectual dishonesty in JFK Assassination,’ Fred Litwin declared his position with the reader as an opponent to what he called the critics construction of a massive conspiracy. Michael Beck on his article ‘why I’m no longer a conspiracy buff’ shares his transition from a firm believer of conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination to now a believer in Oswald being the lone gunman. Together they helped give new insight to the assassination and stirred us closer to finding the answer to our question whether or not the JKF assassination was a conspiracy.

We start with the Z-film which shows Kennedy’s violent head lurch to the back after being shot in the head. Proponents of conspiracy considered this the single most compelling evidence of conspiracy because it implies the presence of multiple shooters and confirmed their belief that Kennedy was in fact hit by a frontal bullet. Dr. Rahn challenged this assumption by recounting his own initial mistake of analyzing the film without the proper background, meaning prematurely jumping to conclusion. He described the video footage as somewhat deceiving and termed the researchers who based their argument solely on this footage as wrong and “rushing to judgment.” He argues that all of Kennedy’s motions were consistent with a shot from the back but understanding this requires basic knowledge of the physics of head shot and relevant ballistics which he doesn’t have. And because researchers drawn to this film failed to acquire the same relevant knowledge, they were compelled to draw judgments which were both inconclusive and inconsistent. Mr. Michael beck seems to agree with this point of view in his article when he described as “stunning” the sight of Kennedy slamming backward as shown in the film. He too drew similar conclusion upon seen the video that JFK died of a frontal head shot and no doubt a conspiracy since Oswald’s shot was fired from the back. It took careful analysis of the scene and even having to watch it on a big screen repeatedly to enable him realized that all that seem obvious about this footage is in fact not so obvious. Fred Litwin joined the argument by zooming on the film and its effect. He ascertained that the investigation into the assassination of Kennedy was left exclusively to people who has no background knowledge in crime analysis and the so-called “assassination researchers” lack the relevant knowledge to do an independent investigation. These men shared the notion that no evidence in the assassination should be view with any degree of certainty. That the advocates for conspiracy theories will take any subset of evidence and interpret it in a way that validates their claim. At a minimum, the crime scene analysis should have been conducted more professionally, the writers assert.

Witnesses contradict each other on most basic points, witness testimony contradicts physical evidence in key areas, and even the physical evidence by itself simply doesn’t “add up”.
Next, we address the single-bullet theory or lone gun versus multiple shooters. Advocates for conspiracy alleged that because the single-bullet theory cannot be supported, there must have been multiple shooters and therefore, a conspiracy. They drew arguments on the witness testimonies claiming to here multiple gun shots, the different gun shots wounds on Kennedy’s body and Z-film and accused the Warren commission for cover up. Dr. Rahn’s position on this is not all that clear-cut. He undoubtedly support the Warren commission’s findings of a lone gun man, but seems to point fingers at the government’s leading role pushing for this theory implying a cover up. Nonetheless, he addresses evidence against the lone gunman theory as weak and inconclusive. “To me, there objection to the single-bullet theory have always been much weaker” (Dr. Rahn). This refers to the assertion by the proponents of conspiracy that one gun man could not possibly have fired both shots to Kennedy and Connally in the allotted time. He dismissed the critics as lacking the relevant knowledge of the subject matter and therefore prone to draw careless and unsubstantiated claims. Mr. Michael Beck (am no longer a conspiracy buff) continue this assault on the proponents of conspiracy. He identified with Dr. Rahn in supporting the single-bullet theory and described critics as being so hung up with trying to “prove” that a certain section of the “official” report was wrong but failed to test their own theories. This confirms his support of the Warren Commission findings. He provide readers evidence from firearm experts who prove beyond doubt that all projectiles tumble and a few break into different pieces when comes in contact with human tissue. This is what explains the different wounds on the neck, front and back of Kennedy’s head and if the critics applied logical thinking it would have allow them to make sense of what happen. Mr. Fred Litwin co-signed the two scholars and went further to shed lights on another angle of the critic’s argument that the single-bullet theory is impossible because the Kennedy and Conally are not properly aligned. He shared with the reader the finding of the NASA and HSCA which both proved the men were in fact aligned and that timing and proper analysis of the Z-film would prove this to the critics.

Then there was the Watergate, a presidential resignation, public recognition of CIA assassination plotting against Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders, revelation about the CIA and FBI mail-opening operations, surveillance, harassment of domestic dissident and so on…
The writers drew our attention to another controversial issue which is the CIA or the government involvement in the assassination and this was shared by Dr. Rahn in our previous analysis. The scholars here systematically made indirect reference to the difference issues happening within the Kennedy administration. The division among prominent members of his government, the possible “mafia” or organized crime connection, the possible Cuban connection, and the various alleged CIA involvement in orchestrating assassinations, coups and counter coups around the world. The writers uses phrase like ‘complex plots’, ‘the right wing’, ‘the oil men’ ‘the CIA’ etc to helped revealed this to the reader. Critics argue at length about the possible CIA involvement in the JFK assassination. Dr. Rahn seems to be swayed by some of these allegations when he alluded to a possible government “cover-up” in our previous analysis. What Dr. Rahn failed to acknowledge is the complexities that would be involve to have a government agency orchestrate the murder of a president in broad day light. His colleagues Mr. Michael Beck and Fred Litwin helped give an insight to this which validates to reader its near impossibility. The two men shared the view that it is highly implausible for the different branches of government to conspired and carry out such an act. “There is tremendous rivalry; both for dollars and prestige and ultimate power among gov’t agencies” (Mr. Beck). Therefore, addressing critics who support this claim they dismissed them as ludicrous and lacking insight. If this agencies indeed conspired, after forty so years, a leakage would been made somewhere. To the critics claim of evidence tampering by the government and the disappearance of key witnesses, Fred Litwin referred to this as a way of manipulating the masses into believing their claimed for a conspiracy. It is highly improbable for the elements government, to act in concert, or in complete coordination and be able to manipulate evidence without any mistake that give away their plot. When you consider the number of people and groups that would have been ‘in on’ the plot, it would not have made sense even to the advocates. They dismissed it as a weak argument.

-It is so easy to pick and choose what one wishes to hear and ignore the rest.
-the testing such claims against the evidence does not really add up…..
The final point of our analysis is the autopsy photo and the x-ray and the controversy surrounding them. The three writers maintain consensus when it comes to the autopsy photos; that the issue is not with the photo but the different interpretation and conclusions given to it. Dr. Rahn’s argued against the Dallass doctors and nurses’ ‘recollection’ which confirmed a ‘gaping exit wound’ on the back of Kennedy’s head and the critics taken of this to mean the shot that killed him was from the front. He questioned the credibility of the Doctors and point out their failure to follow reliable scientific process in validating their claim but instead based it solely on what they recalled. Mr. Michael Beck and Fred Litwin seemed to align their view with him in this argument. They too assert that the testimony of the Dallas doctors was not done with any ‘reasonable medical certainty’ and that multiples x-rays that emerged that all went to confirmed one thing only; that it was one shot fired from the rear and hit Kennedy in the head. Independent forensic scientist, pathologist and radiologist all conclude with similar certainty the nature of the presidents wounds indicates he couldn’t have been shot from anywhere else but from the back. With these and many other evidences pilling against them, the writers cautioned us of the persistent of the proponents of conspiracy theories and their willingness to revert to any means to support their claims accepting one data and discounting many along the way.