Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ruby and Oswald

Just in time for President's Day, the Dallas Morning News reported this morning that a manuscript was discovered in the old office of the Dallas district attorney that outlines the relationship and previous meeting of Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Gary Mack, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, doubts the authenticity of the document--some are speculating that the materials found were prepared as a movie proposal. Regardless, this recent discovery is only more evidence that the hype surrounding the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is still alive and well.

With each passing year, the key witnesses are passing away, the primary sources are becoming obsolete, and those "in the know" are losing their prominence. However, for the new generation of Kennedy assassination historians and researchers, news like todays only reaffirms the necessity for further investigation in the battle between historians and conspiracy theorists.

I received a half dozen emails from friends in the Dallas area this morning asking for my opinion on what this means to assassination research. My personal view is that all of this should be treated as highly suspect and we should not jump to any conclusions. Whether or not these materials were available to the Warren Commission concerns me most. Without having access to the twenty-six volumes of evidence accompanying the 888-page Warren Commission Report, I am relying on the report and the information readily available from the National Archives to conclude that this evidence was not available to the Commission.

I tend to believe that nothing would have altered the decision of the Warren Commission, minus of course some revelation that all the facts were wrong. And the fundamental difference between me and conspiracy theorists is that conspiracy theorists know that their version of the event is right. My version of the Kennedy assassination is word for word as the Warren Commission describes it and after much study I still don't know if what was presented to the public by President Johnson's commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy is 100% truth. However, I, and many Americans, have my qualms with what Gerald Posner addressed in his tome Case Closed: "It is hard for many to swallow the notion that a misguided loser with a $12 rifle could end Camelot."

Every day is President's Day at my house, but this particular President's Day weekend I welcome the speculation regarding an event that nearly forty-five years ago greatly changed the direction of a nation.