JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories: John F. Kennedy Facts – JFK – JFK Assassination

There has long been suspicion of a government cover-up of information about the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Numerous conspiracy theories regarding the assassination arose soon after Kennedy’s death and continue to this day. Most put forth a criminal conspiracy involving parties as varied as the CIA, the KGB, the American Mafia, the Israeli government, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, sitting Vice President Lyndon Johnson, Cuban president Fidel Castro, anti-Castro Cuban exile groups, the Federal Reserve, or some combination of those entities. In 1979, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Kennedy’s assassination was likely the result of a conspiracy.

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he traveled in an open-top car in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas at 12:30 PM,CST (1:30 PM EST) November 22, 1963; Texas Governor John Connally was also injured. Within two hours, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the murder of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit and arraigned that evening. At 1:35 AM Saturday, Oswald was arraigned for murdering the President. At 11:21 AM, Sunday, November 24, 1963, nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald as he was being transferred to the county jail.

Immediately after the shooting, little information was available and many people suspected that the assassination was part of a larger plot. Ruby’s shooting of Oswald compounded initial suspicions. Mark Lane has been described as writing “the first literary shot” among conspiracy theorists with his article in the December 19, 1963 edition of the National Guardian, “Defense Brief for Oswald”. Published in May 1964, Thomas Buchanan’s Who Killed Kennedy? has been credited as the first book alleging a conspiracy.

In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone and that no credible evidence supported the contention that he was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the president. The Commission also indicated that Dean Rusk, the Secretary of State; Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defense; C. Douglas Dillon, the Secretary of the Treasury; Robert F. Kennedy, the Attorney General; J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI; John A. McCone, the Director of the CIA; and James J. Rowley, the Chief of the Secret Service, each independently reached the same conclusion on the basis of information available to them.

In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) agreed with the Warren Commission that Oswald assassinated Kennedy, but concluded that the Commission’s report and the original FBI investigation were both seriously flawed. The HSCA also concluded that at least four shots were fired with a “high probability” that two gunmen fired at the President, and that a conspiracy was probable. The HSCA also stated that “the Warren Commission failed to investigate adequately the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the president.”

The Ramsey Clark Panel and the Rockefeller Commission both supported the Warren Commission’s conclusions, while New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison unsuccessfully prosecuted Clay Shaw for conspiring to assassinate Kennedy.

According to John McAdams: “The greatest and grandest of all conspiracy theories is the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory.” Others have frequently referred to it as “the mother of all conspiracies”. The number of books written about the assassination of Kennedy has been estimated to be in the range of one thousand to two thousand. According to Vincent Bugliosi, 95% of those books are “pro-conspiracy and anti-Warren Commission”.

Kennedy assassination enthusiasts have been described as belonging to “conspiracy theorists” on one side and “debunkers” on the other. The great amount of controversy surrounding the event has led to bitter disputes between those who support the conclusion of the Warren Commission and those who reject it or are critical of the official explanation, with each side leveling accusations of “naivete, cynicism, and selective interpretation of the evidence” toward the other.

Public opinion polls taken after the assassination have indicated that a large number of Americans believe there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. These same polls also show that there is no agreement on who else may have been involved. A 2003 Gallup poll reported that 75% of Americans do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. That same year an ABC News poll found that 70% of respondents suspected that the assassination involved more than one person. A 2004 Fox News poll found that 66% of Americans thought there had been a conspiracy while 74% thought there had been a cover-up.

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