The spotlight is again on Lee Harvey Oswald and the FBI’s desire to make sure the American public believed he was the assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
Materials released by the government that have been held in darkness for more than a half-century enhance this view of the assassination.
What we know for certain about the assassination is this: whomever was kneeling in the Texas Book Depository Building in Dallas on that fateful day in November 1963 was the shooter who nailed the president, killing him with his shots from the rifle that was recovered.
We have been led to believe that shooter was Oswald, although we’ve never been certain exactly why he killed the president.
The deadly rifle shots from that vantage point and position in the building were a remarkable achievement given the trajectory and the movement of the president’s limousine.
The fact of the matter, exquisitely almost, is that the first shot went into his throat and the second shot tore off the back of his head.
The president was dead in a matter of six seconds.
The new information released seems to suggest that Oswald may have been a good guy and was not the shooter — that the Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit might have been the shooter, that a chase could have followed and that Oswald, working for the government, shot Tippit when he cornered him outside a movie Theater in Dallas 45 minutes after the president was shot.
First hand reports and eyewitnesses, more than four or five people testified they saw Oswald shoot Tippit four times with a revolver — but none of those witnesses knew why, although one said Oswald was mumbling when he walked by him after shooting Tippit saying: “Dumb cop.”
In other words, new information not withstanding, we know for a fact that Tippit was shot four times and died, that Oswald is the likely shooter with the weapon he was carrying, that Tippit responded to reports of a suspicious guy matching the description of Oswald broadcast on Dallas police radio.
Eye witnesses who saw Oswald shoot Tippit after Tippit was called to the location where he died all agreed — he killed Tippit.
But no eyewitnesses could agree on who shot the president except for agreement about where the shooter was poised for action when the president’s caravan passed by.
New information released by the government indicates Oswald’s movements with his visit to Cuba and his alleged work for the Defense Department muddles the Warren Commission’s Report of the facts leading to the assassination.
When Oswald was killed on national television by Jack Ruby, a riddle for the ages was created.
Oswald never admitted to shooting the president or Tippit.
He maintained his innocence until his untimely death.
Nor was Ruby interviewed for the record before he died as to why he shot Oswald or how Ruby got into the police station that morning in 1963 and was allowed free access and movement inside the station with a hidden revolver.
Was Ruby part of the plot and the alleged cover-up?
Did Oswald kill the president?
Was Tippit a CIA guy who killed the president, and Oswald an FBI/CIA guy who then killed Tippit in order to protect himself?
All of this is the stuff of history and conspiracy — with the new information giving more shape and form to the government, the FBI and the CIA knowing more about Oswald than ever before made public with the added possibility that Tippit was a government guy as well as a Dallas Police Officer and maybe a double agent for conspirators who wanted get rid of the president.
If the new information was a baseball game, we could say this about it: no hits, no runs, no errors — just more ambiguity about a fateful days whose true origins and final outcomes are now the stuff of stale and fading history — and still covered up by the FBI and the CIA who both claim there are issues of national security importance involved in revealing all of the evidence being held more than a half century after the fact.
If you can believe this, you can believe anything.