Meltzer argues in his book thatthere’s a pattern. He believes that no matter how much proof a person has,there is always going to be some other argument being made. Throughout thissemester, I have learned a great deal of conspiracy theories, as well as how toapply them in the assassination of JFK.
By using many sources in hand, I cancome to a conclusion that the conspiracy theory of the assassination of John F.Kennedy is simply just a theory. Regardless to what Meltzer, Ferrell, andSteiger have to say, all their “evidence” are not evidence and are justassumptions without facts. Lastly, we have denialism andgoalpost moving. When conspiracy theorists try to build their case, they oftenpick their preferred “evidence” and favor the less credible information.
Theywill accept expectations that are impossible to reach. Conspiracy theorists aredefined as individuals who do not like to hear the truth because they havealready made up their mind and therefore, they know what they want to hear.They justify themselves by saying that they are simply only asking questions. A few anomalies that are mentionedin a book by Brad and Sherry Steiger are as follows.
1. The parade route waschanged at the last minute where Oswald was waiting. 2. There wasn’t enoughprotection. 3. Zapruder film shows how Kennedy’s head was lunged with forcebackward and to the left, which was abnormal since he was shot from the back.4.
After the assassination of the President, many people made statements sayingthat they had seen individuals who claimed to be part of the Secret Service.The Secret Service claim to have not been in Dealey Plaza at all. Thelack of narrative hypothesis is also another way of spotting a conspiracytheory. Conspiracy theories are usually created from rumors, disbelief,abnormalities, and questions that can be reversed-engineered in order toestablish an impression of a bad or corrupt plan in progress.
In science, whenwe are trying to prove something we do it over tests and tests include having ahypothesis. We propose a hypothesis and it is later on followed by doingresearch. In conspiracy theories, the theorists have trouble trying to create ahypothesis. They focus on other details and anomalies and acting as if each oneis an independent hypothesis. Therefore, this is why the John F. Kennedyassassination has so many conspiracies. This conspiracy has so many anomaliesbut cannot be merged into one suspect.
For instance, the change or route,Oswald being killed before a trial, and secret service protocols. Brad Meltzer, a well-knownconspiracists mentioned in one of his books that the magazine Life had issued and article along with aphoto of him holding a rifle, and holding a Marxists newspapers. Meltzer saysthe newspapers were proof that Oswald could have been working with someone elseand also mentions that it is also proof of a conspiracy. Meltzer also mentionsthat others say that the photo was altered. And in his own words, Meltzer says,”c’mon .
. . that proves a conspiracy evenmore.”9 The author also impliesthat the government is hiding something from the public when it comes to thephoto that was published in Life.
Wasit altered or not? Meltzer says, “But c’mon- this is JFK- why trust thegovernment?”10 Afew of the “evidence” that conspiracy theorists believe support their theoryare, about 120 of individuals who witnessed the assassination have mysteriouslydied, the doctors in Dallas should have formed an autopsy of Kennedy’s body butthe body was flown back to Washington, and after the assassination, manyindividuals mentioned that they came across people who identified themselves asSecret Service agents, to which the Secret Service claimed that no one was on theground in Dealey Plaza. “Conspiracyis always exactly as competent and powerful as the conspiracy theorist needs itto be. If there’s no good evidence, that’s all part of the conspiracy’s plan.And if there’s evidence that even an amateur wouldn’t have allowed through,then that’s also part of their plan.
“8 Competence of the conspiracy. As Isaid in the last paragraph, by the ability to enforce silence, conspiracytheories assume that those who are involved are good at what they do. Such ascleaning up, hiding evidence, covering their tracks, etc. In debating conspiracytheorist, one of the problems is that the lack of evidence that can support aconspiracy theory is also treated as “evidence” that supports a conspiracytheory. Motive of the conspirators. Aconspiracy has to be arranged by people.
These individuals who help with theconspiracy do it because they hope to get something out of it. Yes, itaccomplishes the main goal but they also have something to gain from it forthemselves, maybe money, power, etc. A conspiracy theory requires the mainindividual who will arrange the conspiracy and others as well who are willingto comply. Depending on how large the conspiracy is, it may also cause someproblems such as the more people who are involved, the more exposure there is. “Andtying both conspiracies together rogue CIA agents, and the mafia. . .
thesecret government, always working in the shadows behind the scenes to bringabout the ultimate goal, a One World Government.”7 Purpose of the conspiracy is also away to spot a conspiracy. Individuals who also support event-conspiracytheories have a difficult time describing what the conspiracy theory was tryingto accomplish. Theorists search for and individual who could have benefitedfrom the event and conspirators point their fingers at them.
Who would havebenefited from the death of the President of the United States? Let’s say that itwas the Vice President. Then we would all seek for anomalies in Johnson’sbehavior in order to support the theory. “Motivations end up being reverse engineered. . .”6 Cui Bono? In other words, “To who’s benefit?” In whichever eventfrom history, conspiracy theorists will look at it from the perspective of thefuture to where someone would have benefited from the event. Another way to spot a conspiracy isthe size of a conspiracy.
Conspiracy theories need arrangements to be made,which lead to big operations. Many conspiracy theorists ignore the amount ofindividuals who would be involved, including money, time, and effort. We aretalking about many people having to keep this secret for the rest of theirlives and hoping no one talks about it. For Oswald to have been involved withany individual, the Warren Commission and whomever else was involved, likeother investigators.
“. . . killed by asmall group or rogue CIA agents in retaliantion for passing National SecutiryAction Memos 55, 56, and 57. . . These rogue agents also enlisted the aid ofdissatisfied member of military intelligence and angry Mafia mobsters who feltbetrayed by Kennedy when he failed to acknowledge their role in swinging theChicago vote during the 1960 presidential election.
“5 Logical fallacies are the source ofincorrect conclusions as well as the foundation of conspiracist thinking. “Whenan event happens, there’s an impulse to conclude that there was intent behindit.”3 If an identification can be made, it can beconnected to that intent. For instance, untrustworthy individuals. John F.Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald from a library building. Manypeople refused to accept what had happened.
Conspiracy theorists began tospeculate who might have a reason to kill him. Many began to seek for anomaliesin order to justify their own doubts. If President John F.
Kennedy isassassinated, it’s because an all mighty all-powerful decided that his time wasending. Because conspiracy theorist believe that there is a greater cause towhy someone like President Kennedy died, and it is being hidden from thepublic, they then search for evidence to support their theories. Conspiracytheorist retract on anomalies regarding if the anomalies fit together or not.They are more interested in having proof of the existence of a conspiracy thandistinguish the conspirators. “By ignoring the context in which information isreceived, a possible future even can be made to look like an eventuality.
“4 Individuals who deny that Oswaldshot John F. Kennedy are described as conspiracists and denialist because theytend to deny the established explanation for what happened. They begin toconstrue their thoughts and ideas for what actuallyhappened.
Because conspiracy theorists are so well rooted in their denial ofthe truth, event conspiracy theories are often never accordant with an entireevent. “. .
. event conspiracies tend to tear down an accepted belief based onanomalies and then try to build an alternate theory around their interpretationof those anomalies.”2 Many conspiracy theorists have agreed thatOswald was not responsible for the death of JFK, and if that’s the case thenwho was? That is something that they cannot agree upon. The thought that it wasa one man only operation has been refused.
Something I’ll get back to in a bit.In order to discredit a few JFK theories, we must learn how to spot aconspiracy. Event conspiracies makes theproposition that certain, bizarre events didn’t happen as others believed butwas rather the creation of a conspiracy act. “When a wrong is committed, thereis an emotional demand for a culprit, and sometimes the true villain is notemotionally satisfying or does not feel equal to the crime.
“1 For instance, PresidentJohn F. Kennedy was a father, a husband, and also a powerful man who wasassassinated by a 24 year old man with a rifle. It is events like this that webelieve are historically significant and will affect the continuity of history.We like to think that the world has an order and want for courses, actions, andthings to happen for a reason and therefore, we as human beings have an impulseof believing that the assassination of the President United States must havebeen the works of the CIA, or the Russians. While the conspiracy theorist of theJohn F. Kennedy assassination run wild, it was the assassination of PresidentLincoln that was a definite criminal conspiracy as there was more than oneperson involved. The irony behind both assassinations is that John F.
Kennedy’sassassination was by one individual (Oswald) which has brought forth countlesstheories about a secret or “classified” conspiracies. Lincoln’s assassinationon the other hand, was actually the result of conspiracy but it is rememberedas being the operation of a single gunman. Recognizing conspiracism can be veryhelpful. No matter who they are, they are all attracted to conspiracies.Although conspiracy theorists may range from young and old, there is onespecific trait, if they believe in one conspiracy they tend to believe in otherconspiracy theorists. Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers interviewed 9/11 conspiracy theorist and foundout that they also believe that the assassination of President Kennedy wasconspired. Conspiracism and denialism are quietsimilar. Denialism concerns itself with disproving an accepted truth whileconspiracism introduces different theories of the truth.
Another way ofdefining conspiracy is, what is being developed when two or more individualsarrange and unlawful activity or action. Conspiracies can be held responsiblefor world changing events (such as the 9/11 attack or the assassination of JFK)that captivate conspiracy theorists. JohnF.
Kennedy was our 35th President of the United States as well asthe youngest President to ever be elected into office. Little did he know thatthe end of his presidency would come sooner rather than later. John F. Kennedyserved as President from 1961 to 1963. He was then assassinated in Dallas, Texas in 1963. Many believe that hisassassination was conspired by many groups or individuals that worked togetherwith the president’s killer, such as rogue CIA agents, Mafia mobsters, and eventhe FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
Conspiracy Theorist such as Brad Meltzer,believe that they have “solved the case”. However, I believe otherwise. In thispaper, I will discuss the element of conspiracy theories and apply them to JFKconspiracy theories. Before getting into some conspiracies, we need tounderstand what conspiracies are and how to detect one.