Often regarding the assassination of President Kennedy, some advocates of conspiracy are quick to determine the unreliability of most past evidence. Yet discarded as well are occasions of substantial contending official documents. 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.
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.
Officials did not question hundreds of witnesses 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 six to seven 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 Commission, every witness citing the Grassy Knoll as being a source of gunfire was largely unconsidered. Dozens of witnesses are discarded and some declare the "echo chamber" of Dealey Plaza 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 witness count is still over ten percent of all witnesses.
Thus, over one in ten witnesses agree the Grassy Knoll 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. Thus, more witnesses could not determine a source of gunfire than could.
According to the official evidence, nearly half of the witnesses were unable to determine the position. This does not infer however, that one group would have superior hearing or be able to deal with environmental factors better than another is. This dramatically reduced group of witnesses cannot offer a full view of events. However, the Commission disagreed.
In my view, over two dozen witnesses, a handful not called to testify for the Commission, note 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 in my estimation. To discount any gunfire from locations other than the Depository a majority of witnesses must be ignored.
Certain 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. This infers that the Grassy Knoll and Depository are feasible sources of gunfire.
If we do not consider the President's (Warren) Commission worthy of regard there are no Grassy Knoll witnesses. Conversely, it is not the speculation to offer a large number of witnesses' dispute important Commission findings. However, without the Commission there is no rampant series of notable mistakes and suppression. Without consideration of this evidence, there is no substantial case for conspiracy in my view. Without consulting and accepting 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 and in some cases, testimony was altered.viii 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. The serious problems of evidence deserve consideration. Reasonable doubts are justified by repeated official evidentiary suppression.ix
Yet this does not infer all of it was, nor that most is. The chain of custody was repeatedly broken, official incompetence was rampant, and this feasibly accounts for many of the staggering mistakes. The concealment of facts in my view were largely to hide illegal official programs and people associated with them. Plots inspired by these programs and a handful of related people may have constructed and executed the Kennedy assassination.
The distinction between nefarious and incompetent actions can be difficult to distinguish without substantial evidence for all of us. Yet this does not justify, nor excuse proven instances of nefarious activities. Official collaboration with the Mafia and anti-Communist militants during the 1950s and 1960s offer similar plots were undertaken. How can some claim it is unreasonable to doubt illegal official agendas? Concealed agendas bear review and recognition. Yet if we do not consider and regard proven official evidence these insights are lost.
While I support a majority of the evidence is not altered, to ignore the significant deficiencies in official evidence is not reasonable inquiry. 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? How can something be definitive and not completely accurate? All the evidence deserves consideration, especially the evidence that contends your views. Only by admitting mistakes and the refinement of our ideas can we ultimately arrive at the feasible conclusions.
No one has read the millions of public or classified related files. This would infer that no person has yet seen all the evidence. It would support those who have a conclusive view are incorrect. They may have a feasible view, even one supported by substantial compelling evidence, yet 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. VI, Vol. XIX, Sheriff's Report 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. Assassination Records Review Board, Testimony of James Siebert, September 11, 1997, p. 137
ix. House Select Comm. on Assassinations, Segregated Central Intelligence Agency Files, Roselli/Maheu Matter, Box 1, May 23, 1975