Rant of the Week

The Theory of Conspiracies


There are about 20 or so good reasons to believe that John F. Kennedy was killed as the result of a conspiracy, and about a thousand reasons to believe that the conspirators should be comforted by the plethora of crack pot conspiracy theories out there dedicated to discrediting the whole idea of a conspiracy.  These are straw men just waiting for reasonable, logical men like Dale Myers to come along and demolish them.  Here he demolishes a theory he attributes to conspiracy buffs, but which, in fact, was actually the result of the government's own errors in it's initial investigation.  (The government initially said that the first shot hit Kennedy in the neck, the second Connelly, the third Kennedy in the head.  Then it tried to explain the entrance wound in the neck by a claim that Kennedy had turned around to see where the shots were coming from.... )


Why or why oh why are people like Dale Myers not content to do their good work and then leave it alone.  Oh no-- Myers tackles one particular detail of the conspiracy theory, solves it to his own personal satisfaction, and then concludes that there must not have been a conspiracy.   He attacks one small aspect of the many conspiracy theories and then concludes that all aspects of all theories are, therefore, false.  He doesn't even address the issue of the "pristine" (stretcher) bullet that allegedly did all the damage he describes.  In fact, that bullet had to have done all that damage or his theory collapses.

What he has demonstrated with some weight is that Kennedy and Connelly were probably hit about the same time by a bullet or bullets fired by somebody.  Well, no, he actually can't really demonstrate that either because Kennedy is already reacting to a shot by the time he emerges from behind the Stemmons Freeway sign.  We don't know when he began to react, so we don't know when exactly he was shot.  It's quite possible, given the evidence Myers shows us, that Kennedy and Connelly were hit by two different shots fired at about the same time by two different gunman.  He succeeds in making the theory of multiple gunmen less plausible, but it doesn't rule it out.

Myers doesn't explain here the Teague fragment-- the shot that missed the car and hit the over-pass, sending a fragment of concrete into the face of  Mr. James Teague-- a shot ridiculously wide of the car.  A shot ridiculously inaccurate for a shooter who was able to hit Kennedy in the head on his third try.

Myers doesn't prove that Oswald fired any shots at all.  Only that a shot came from behind and above.  Myers claims that his reconstruction shows that the shots had to come from the sixth floor window-- that's an amazing conclusion given the variables involved.  It is impossible to believe that Myers arrived at that conclusion from the objective evidence he puts before you.  It is impossible to believe that he is justified in asserting anything more than that the shots came from that approximate location.   It is impossible to believe that he has not already assumed the shots came from exactly that windows because he already knows that that is where Oswald was supposed to be.  Then he acts as if he has uncovered an amazing fact in support of the lone gunman theory. 

A little less smugness is called for.  He has helped disprove the theory that there had to be two gunman.   But he hasn't solved the murder.  He hasn't proven that the shots came from Oswald.  He hasn't even proven that Oswald at the window at the moment the motorcade drove by.

What Myers does not prove: 

The state of conspiracy theory about Kennedy's assassination is in a hopeless mess. That doesn't mean all the conspiracy theories are wrong, and it certainly doesn't mean that the Warren Commission was right, or even that the Warren Commission was not ridiculous. (Just look at who was on the Warren  Commission: a bunch of fat old white politicians and judges who represented, exquisitely, the class of politician the Kennedys had just elbowed aside in John's drive to the presidency.)

Copyright 2008  Bill Van Dyk  All rights reserved.