Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review - "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly




Shamefully Missed Opportunity to Stir Up a Real Investigation

 

Would you be amazed if your hamster suddenly sprouted wings and flew?  Would you be surprised if your Mom suddenly burst into an operatic aria?  Then imagine my surprise when Bill O’Reilly, who I think is a straight-up guy, missed a golden opportunity to use his influence to ask for an honest look at the overwhelming evidence of multiple-party involvement in the shameful murder of JFK.

 

Granted, this is a popular-audience book.  It’s a drama, it’s a mystery, it’s history -- DraMysTory (patent pending)!  But if O’Reilly could distill Killing Lincoln into a kid’s book, he could turn his research into an ADULT call for a look into JFK’s murder.

 

Instead, he and co-author Martin Dugard swallow the Warren Commission viewpoint (Oswald only did it) and ignore the evidence that damns that position (that also damns members of government agencies).

 

This book wasn’t intended as a deep investigative work, but a laudable attempt to get people involved into the “world” of the 1960s.  Overall it’s more like a “popular history” than a true treatment of JFK’s death, and the authors do a good job painting the broad picture.  But Mr O could have done so much more!  I wish he would have.

 

And it’s too bad that, besides a missed chance to sound a loud call of attention to the things that don’t add up surrounding JFK’s death, there are some outright overlooking of facts and ignoring of witness testimony.

 

It is a honest thing that they extensively describe JFK’s shameful, adulterous behavior.  My personal belief is that a person who will cheat on one thing may prove untrustworthy elsewhere.  (Compare the honorable resignation of General Petraus after HIS affair with the dishonorable behavior of President  "I did not have sex with That Woman" Clinton.)  But even more shameful is that JFK and 1960s society allowed such behavior by winking at it.  Is that any different today?  If folks kept promises, including wedding vows, how different would the world be!  But back to the omissions and missed chances in this book . . .

 

Specifically, on PAGE TWO the author undercuts his whole viewpoint when he says that at first thought, "JFK is the President who had his brains splattered on the trunk of his car."  Think about that.  Grade-school spitballs don’t go backwards when flicked forwards, and neither does brain matter.  JFK’s skull and brain pieces went backwards because at least one shot came from the front!  Which is not where the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) was in relation to him.

 

On page 14, we are told that Oswald “barely understands” Marina’s Russian.  However, the US Government had previously trained him in Russian!  Oswald studied & was tested for the Russian language at the Military school of languages in Monterey CA.

 

On page 15, we are told that Oswald (LHO) was “a crack shot.”  No, he was not.  See my later comment about page 159.

 

On page 113, in the discussion of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we are told that Gromyko “lied to the President’s face.”  No.  As documented in One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964: The Secret History of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, Gromyko DID NOT KNOW that the missiles were in Cuba when he met with JFK, and went to his grave mourning the deplorable fact that circumstances made him look like a deceiver when in fact he had been left in ignorance by his government at the time of the meeting.

 

Page 143 gives a good summation of JFK’s enemies. These are in fact probably the factions whose individual members got together on the murder and cover-up plot (along with Secret Service members).

 

Pages 153 and 159 narrate tales of LHO practicing with the mail-order Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.  If it was practiced with so much, why was it found in the TSBD in such bad shape that it could not be sighted for firing without the addition of metal shims?

 

Also on page 159 O’Reilly acts as if LHO’s “sharpshooter” ranking by the Marines was a mark of a really good shot.  Umm, no!  The title of “sharpshooter” was the middle ranking group of three.  According to a Warren Commission document from Lt-Colonel AG Folson, Jr,  “a sharpshooter qualification indicates a fairly good ‘shot’.”  In other words, LHO was average, not great.

 

Page 212 mentions the infamous “JFK Wanted for Treason” pamphlet as being distributed in Dallas on September 25.  No, copies of this pathetic bit of Free Speech came out a month later, on OCTOBER 25.  See http://thepeoplehistory.blogspot.com/2007/10/president-john-f-kennedy-assassinated.html  or http://manwiththemuckrake.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/october-25-1963-anti-kennedy-wanted-for-treason-pamphlets-in-dallas/ .

 

Also, while LHO may have gone to Mexico City, there is no actual proof that he went to the Cuban Embassy.  The only phone records supposedly of his voice were destroyed after a listener said that they did not sound like Oswald’s voice, and even the Warren Commission agreed that the photo supplied of “Oswald at the Embassy” was of somebody else, somebody a lot huskier and maybe older.

 

Earlier in the book, on page 160, after the attempt on General Walker’s life (which LHO may or may not have attempted), supposedly LHO told Marina that he had buried the rifle he had used to shoot at Walker.  We are told that this is the same Mannlicher-Carcano used (allegedly) to shoot JFK.  If he buried the rifle, how is it in Ruth Paine’s garage, as narrated on page 220?  Marina didn’t know he lied about disposing of it?

 

In the narration on page 250 of LHO’s appearance at a target range, to an observer it looks as if the end of the Mannlicher-Carcano’s barrel has been sawn off, causing it to shoot out fire and heat.  If this is true, then why was the rifle barrel complete and unmarred when found in the TSBD?

 

Pages 250 and 253 mention the Warren Commission trope that LHO carried the rifle into the TSBD wrapped in brown paper as “curtain rods.”  O’Reilly skips over the extensively documented fact that Oswald’s ride, Wes Frazier, said that LHO carried the package between his cupped hand and the inside of his armpit -- and the rifle was too long, even if broken down, to fit there!

 

Page 264 tells us that Oswald was shooting standing up.  Come on -- haven’t you seen photos of the sixth-floor “sniper’s nest”?  The bottom window sill is about a foot off the ground, and the bottom of the raised window was about a foot about that.  So, if firing while standing, LHO would have had to shoot downward as if trying to pick off a bug at his feet!  No, the only way to shoot would be in the kneeling position with one elbow braced on a raised knee.

 

O’Reilly does not mention the fact that, even in November, the trees between that sixth-floor window and JFK’s limousine would have made drawing a bead nearly impracticable.

 

On page 265 the author says that after shooting JFK, Oswald “drops” the rifle.  No, it was deliberately hidden.  Read the testimony of the men who found it.

 

Also on page 265, O’Reilly talks about how Dallas Patrolman Marrion Baker found LHO on the second floor.  But the “expanded” truth is that Oswald was discovered inside the lunch room getting a Coke from a machine, calm and not out of breath.  Testimony has shown that the elevator in the building could not have been used by LHO, since it was under observation by witnesses.  So, LHO ran down four floors to calmly drink a Coke?  Hard to believe, since Baker was there in less than two minutes after the first shot was fired and LHO wasn’t even sweating or breathing hard.

 

Page 266 tells us that Texas Governor John Connally, at the time that the first “Magic Bullet” struck him AFTER going through JFK, was turning to talk to JFK behind him -- and that this is how Connally came to be in a certain position to be wounded in a certain way.  But according to Connally’s own testimony to the Warren Commission, he was turning around because he heard a shot and was trying to see where it had come from.  In other words, the shot that hit Connally (while he was trying to find the source of a previous shot) could not have been the first shot (that supposedly hit both him and JFK).

 

The biggest shame about this entire book is that O’Reilly refuses to acknowledge the extensive documentation of funny business surrounding JFK’s death and its investigation.  “Insider” action and tampered-with information bleed from every aspect of JFK’s death, from the Secret Service’s drunken party the night of November 21 to the fake Secret Service agents who steered people away from the Grassy Knoll on November 22.  From the layout of the motorcade route to the Secret Service’s destruction of evidence regarding the limousine.  From the evidence of an LHO impersonator running around the Dallas area to incriminate him, to the fact that witnesses to the Tippit murder didn’t describe a guy that looked like LHO.  From evidence of a planted rifle in the TSBD to evidence of governmental tampering with JFK’s autopsy.  From the fact that the “official” government photos of JFK’s autopsy show pieces of his head unmarred when the “official” government X-rays show chunks of the skull MISSING in the same places.

 

So much evidence shows that the events before and after the shooting of JFK are stinky, and could not have been influenced by LHO, even if he were the Lone Nut beloved by the Warren Commission and brought back in O’Reilly’s book.

 

Why doesn’t O’Reilly mention the Chicago JFK assassination plot which involved nearly identical parameters to the Oswald-as-Patsy-Assassin, in October 1963?  Here’s an ABC news article about it, involving imported snipers, a mentally disturbed veteran to serve as a fall guy, and more:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3902495&page=1 .  The exact same crime pattern only three weeks apart surely is not a coincidence.

 

While hundreds of JFK Assassination books dig much deeper than Mr O’Reilly, many are extreme and about as flaky as some of the works defending the Warren Commission.  One of the most exhaustive works is the five-volume set Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK by records custodian Douglas Horne, available at Amazon and elsewhere.  Using the government’s own findings, Horne repeatedly documents how things could not have happened according to the script parroted by the Warren Commission and -- sadly -- my friend Bill O’Reilly.

 

Bottom line is, the documented evidence shows too many things happened that could not have been under Oswald’s control, and many of them could have ONLY happened at the direction of somebody in governmental power.

 

If only O’Reilly would use his bully pulpit to demand investigations into them!

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