Some advocates of conspiracy regarding the assassination of President Kennedy are quick to determine the unreliability of most past evidence. Yet discarded as well are occasions of substantial contending official documents and instances of monumental deficiency are verifiable only after review of the official evidence and original statements. If they are not consulted any chance of determining the sufficiency and deficiency of the official case is lost. Those who cast aside the facts when they are not conducive to their ideas are not engaging in reliable inquiry.
The evidence in the President's (Warren) Commission relies on significant examples of contending evidence. This evidentiary threshold used only requires most evidence reviewed supported Oswald's guilt according to the Commission. However, large amounts of relevant evidence were not considered or suppressed, the witness pool itself was a fraction of those present, and Commission officials did not question hundreds of witnesses that were present in Dealey Plaza. Significant amounts of testimony were lost affecting the potential witness pool and reducing the chance of observing important views. Of the estimated four to six hundred possible witnesses in Dealey Plaza, one hundred and seventy-eight were interviewed according to the House Select Committee on Assassinations.i This infers over two-thirds of the possible witness pool went unquestioned.
During the President's Commission, every witness citing the Grassy Knoll as being a source of gunfire was largely unconsidered. Dozens of witnesses are discarded because of the "echo chamber" of Dealey Plaza purportedly confused these witnesses. However, they cite no such confusion of other witnesses in the same "echo chamber" indicating the Texas School Book Depository. Some mistakenly place singular importance on just one large group of witnesses. The House Select Committee found 21 witnesses for the Knoll, 49 witnesses indicate the Texas School Book Depository, and "30 believed the shots emerged from elsewhere." Depository witnesses were nearly a third, ("27.5%"), Grassy Knoll Witnesses were just over a tenth ("11.8"), and those indicating elsewhere nearly two tenths ("16.9%") of the witness pool. While I do not wholly agree with all the statistics of the Select Committee, even this lower Knoll area witness count is still over ten percent of all witnesses.
Thus, over one in ten witnesses agree the Grassy Knoll area was a location of gunfire and even greater amounts do not identify the Depository. Some critics often add the majority of witnesses who did not identify the Knoll and attempt to equate that as over ninety percent to support their views. Yet the reverse is also true, if we add the all the witnesses not identifying the Depository it equals nearly three-fourths (72.5%) of the witness pool. The largest amount of witnesses, seventy-eight of them (43.8%) could not tell and thus more witnesses could not determine a source of gunfire than could. This does not infer however, that one group would have superior hearing or be able to deal with environmental factors better than another can. A dramatically reduced group of witnesses cannot offer a full view of events but the Commission disagreed.
Over two dozen witnesses, among them were a handful not called to testify noted the Grassy Knoll area being a source of gunfire. This group includes Secret Service members, Dallas Police, and an official who observed an unknown man claiming to be Secret Service on the Knoll.ii iii iv v vi vii Over twenty additional witnesses feasibly support these officials and to discount any gunfire from locations other than the Depository a majority of witnesses must be ignored. Some critics rely on the fact that some eyewitness testimony is unreliable, and this is sometimes true. However, in the vast majority of instances inaccuracies were contained to a witness or a few witnesses, not dozens. Excluding improbable mass hysteria, we have dozens of witnesses with corroborating testimony for both locations of cited gunfire and this infers that the Grassy Knoll area and Depository are both feasible sources of gunfire.
If we do not consider the President's (Warren) Commission worthy of regard there are no Grassy Knoll witnesses but it is not speculation to offer a large number of witnesses' dispute important Commission findings. Without the Commission, there is no rampant series of notable mistakes and suppression and lacking this evidence there is no substantial case for conspiracy. Without consulting and accepting that a majority of official evidence is not altered, these facts are lost to speculations and biased determinations against the prior findings. Indeed evidence was destroyed, in some cases testimony was altered, and notably we cannot even rely on Commissioner Dulles to reveal his knowledge of the Castro assassination plots that occurred prior, simultaneously, and after the Kennedy assassination.viii The serious problems of evidence deserve consideration and reasonable doubts are justified by repeated official evidentiary suppression.ix
Yet this does not infer all of it was changed, nor that most is altered because the chain of custody was repeatedly broken, official incompetence was rampant, and this feasibly accounts for many of the staggering mistakes. The majority of concealment was largely to hide illegal official programs and people associated with them. Yet plots inspired by these programs and a handful of related people may have constructed and executed the Kennedy assassination under the cover of other unrelated plots. The distinction between nefarious and incompetent actions can be difficult to distinguish without substantial evidence but this does not justify nor excuse proven instances of nefarious activities. Official collaboration with the Mafia and anti-Communist militants during the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties offer similar plots were undertaken.
How can some claim it is unreasonable to doubt illegal official agendas and repeated concealment? If we do not consider suppressed evidence and regard proven official obstruction, these once hidden insights are lost. Additionally, critics of conspiracy interested in a complete view of the official evidence should consider the later official investigations and declassified evidence as well. Substantial amounts of this evidence contend some of the original findings of the President's (Warren) Commission.
How can the Commission be conclusive when its own officials deceived its members and how can something be definitive and not completely accurate? All evidence deserves consideration including official mistakes and the refinement of our ideas can ultimately provide conclusions that are more reliable. No one has read the millions of public or classified related files and this would infer that no person has yet seen all the evidence. It would support those who have a conclusive view are incorrect and they may have a feasible view, even one supported by substantial compelling evidence, yet it is not conclusive. A conclusive determination would require a new, transparent, and unbiased investigation without preconditions and full evidentiary access.
i. Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Section I., Witness Testimony of the Shots p. 87
ii. President's Commission Document Number 3, Vol. 1, Report of the United States Secret Service on the Assassination of President Kennedy, P. 33
iii. Hearings of the President's Commission, Volume XIX, Decker Exhibit 5323, Dallas County Sheriff's Department supplementary report of Harry Weatherford, p. 502
iv. Hearings of the Pres. Com., Vol. XIX, Sheriff's Department Statement of Harold Elkins, p. 540
v. Hearings of the Pres. Com., Vol. III, Testimony of Sheriff Eugene Boone, p. 292
vi. Hearings of the Pres. Com., Vol. III, Testimony of Sheriff Luke Mooney, p. 283
vii. Hearings of the Pres. Com., Vol. XXII, Com. Ex. No. 1358, Statement of J.M. Smith, July 14, 1964, p. 600
viii. House Select Comm. on Assassinations, Segregated Central Intelligence Agency file, Roselli/Maheu Matter, Box 1, May 23, 1975, National Archives and Records Administration Identification Number: 1993.07.01.10:09:37:460800
ix. Assassination Records Review Board, Testimony of James Sibert, September 11, 1997, p. 137
Edited: January 2019