Monday, September 28, 2009

Forty-five Years Since the Warren Commission

Here in Dallas, the Kennedy assassination remains a sore topic nearly half a century later.

The Sixth Floor Museum, which occupies the sixth floor of the old Texas School Book Depository (the same floor from which the shots allegedly were fired at President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963), has attracted more than 6 million visitors since it opened 20 years ago. While some of those visitors certainly were Dallas residents, the vast majority were folks from out of town looking for answers to a mystery they can't solve.

I suppose the Warren Commission Report is a sore topic for people here, too, but it has been hard to tell. I don't recall any articles or conversations on that subject.

There probably were articles about the report that were published locally back in 1964, but it is something that never seems to be brought up now.

Yesterday would have been a good time to reflect on the findings of the Warren Commission. It was the 45th anniversary of the public release of that report, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. But the only recent article concerning the assassination I have seen in the Dallas Morning News appeared three weeks ago and said nothing about the Warren Commission. The article was about the sale of the home where Oswald's wife was living at the time of the assassination.

When Oliver Stone's film about the assassination, "JFK," came out in 1991, I had many misgivings about the official conclusions about the shooting. The film didn't address them all, but it came close. Certainly, there were things in the film that were fictionalized, but at least it made a serious effort to explain things that no one — least of all the members of the Warren Commission — had explained satisfactorily up to that time.

I still have considerable doubts about
  • The "single bullet theory,"

  • as well as the notion that one gunman fired three shots and caused all the wounds to Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally with only two bullets (it was established that one of the shots missed completely),

  • and I still believe the notorious "grassy knoll" played a role in the assassination.

  • I don't believe the Warren Commission adequately investigated several suspicious people who were seen in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination,

  • and the so–called "three tramps" in a boxcar in a rail yard west of Dealey Plaza are right up there at the top of that list.

  • And why wasn't Jack Ruby brought to Washington, as he requested, for an interview with Chief Justice Earl Warren? Ruby claimed to know things that hadn't been brought out, but he said he didn't feel safe in Dallas. In Stone's film, it was suggested, by Warren, that the federal government could not guarantee his safety in Washington. Why not? No one has ever explained that to me.

  • Over the years, there have been various theories that have pointed the finger at the CIA, organized crime, the Secret Service, Cuban exiles, Soviet agents, even Lyndon Johnson. If there is evidence that proves that any of these had nothing to do with the assassination, why hasn't it been produced?

  • Why wasn't an autopsy performed in Dallas, as Texas law required?
Well, I could go on and on.

But, after 45 years, it seems unlikely to me that we will ever learn the truth about what happened that day.

No comments: