Conspiracy Buffs: Why Kill JFK?

My question is, why go to all the trouble of assassinating JFK? Pulling off a presidential assassination would be incredibly risky and the odds of the guilty parties getting found out would be huge. Plus, to even successfully kill the president there would have to be a large amount of luck involved. And then even if it gets done, just one single person has to let the secret slip for all hell to break loose.

If a large organization wanted JFK gone (be it the CIA, elements in the government that wanted a war in Vietnam, organized crime, or a foreign government),why not just release information about Kennedy’s health and his private behavior? If the public would have found out all of JFK’s secrets, his presidency would have been crippled and he would not have been re-elected in 1964.

By the way, I’m a strong believer that Oswald acted alone, but that’s another story.

Every CT group begins with a strong theory as to why their suspect wanted/needed/had to kill JFK. It’s one of the least muddy and distorted parts of each theory. JFK did make a lot of enemies, as would any President, especially one serving in a turbulent time and with reform on his mind.

However, yes, the theories that spin out, besides being absurd in almost every respect, fail to take into account that killing any powerful, well-protected person is going to involve massive risk of exposure and counter efforts right from the first whisper of “Let’s kill _______.”

Off the top of my head, these are the answers to that question I’ve heard, arranged loosely in order of plausibility;

  • He was about to end military involvement in Vietnam

  • He was about to abolish the Federal Reserve / fiat currency in general

  • He’d been messing around with the wrong guy’s wife

  • The mob wanted him dead as retaliation for a federal crackdown and/or getting jobbed out in Cuba

  • A southern Democrat like LBJ would be less likely to sign civil rights legislation

  • His death would whip up anti-Communist fervor and allow an invasion of Cuba

  • He was going to reveal the truth about UFOs

  • He had a terminal illness and arranged the killing himself so he could end it without it technically being suicide

  • Lee Harvey Oswald wanted to steal the Jack Ruby

There’s a lot of smoke blowing around the last one, and where there’s smoke…Quick! Call Clouseau!

Not just that, but they also fail to take into account (or go to great ways to dismiss) the fact that the President’s own brother was the Attorney General, a man who had the capacity and desire to throw all available US Government resources at his disposal to find the assassin and his/her/their henchmen.

To send a message to every successive president that, when we demand it, it shall be done.

Yeah, but that’s just more proof for a CT-er. “Aha! They had to kill his brother too! He was on to them.”

Ultimately that’s the problem in trying to reason out any part of a conspiracy theory. They’re just not that reasonable to begin with and they have no problem escalating the conspiracy to be as big as necessary. I once listened to a CT nut go on for an hour about a conspiracy that would have required the illegal complicity of every hospital, doctor, nurse and lab tech in the entire country. They’re all in on it!

Anyway, to revisit one of Winkler’s points: As much as there was damaging evidence about Kennedy, I think the history of politics should make it clear that voters can be remarkably fickle in choosing what to get outraged over and what to ignore when they vote. I don’t think revealing JFK’s secrets would have been as sure as a bullet if you really wanted him out of office.

Many conspiracy theories are built around why ousting him isn’t enough. For example, a disgraced Kennedy could still change the course of events in Vietnam, put the mob in jail and/or reveal secrets about UFOs. A disgraced Kennedy would not be a sufficiently strong excuse to invade Cuba or nuke the commies.

I heard one theory that LHO’s real target was Tx Gov. John Connolly, and his scope was off a MOA or two.

Whatever his intentions at the last moment, a stronger case can be made that LHO intended to target Connally than JFK. One of the things CTers point to is the almost total lack of evidence that Oswald had any real animosity towards Kennedy, in particular or as President. That could well be true. He did have very specific reasons for hating Connally.

That’s James Reston, Jr’s theory…that Oswald was upset about Connolly ignoring his attempts to reverse his dishonorable discharge. But, Oswald had reason to hate Kennedy too. Oswald was a big supporter of Cuba and Castro, and there were a lot of things about Kennedy that Oswald would dislike…his ties to McCarthy, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy’s expanding the army, etc.

And who’s “we”?

I’ve always heard Oswald was a Comsymp and didn’t like JFK messing with Cuba. What was his grievance against Connally?

Good guide to JFK CTs.

Still and all . . . the one piece that doesn’t fit is Jack Ruby. Wanting to “spare Jackie a trial” is not a plausible motive. If he was not trying to shut Oswald up, why did he do it?

What authority would the Governor of Texas have over that?

Because he was an idiot with delusions of grandeur. Ruby thought that he’d be admired as a hero for having killed that SOB who shot the President.

Or maybe Oswald was trying to commit suicide and his scope was way off.

Not really any, but Connolly was Secretary of the Navy for JFK’s first year. He resigned in December of 1961 to run for Governor of Texas, which was around the same time Oswald wrote to him asking if Connolly could help change his discharge class.

Chances are there were millions of Americans who would’ve loved to shoot Oswald. He just happened to be the one in the right place in the right time and carrying a weapon.

Oswald was a full-blown communist who had defected to the Soviet Union and written letters to his brother back home stating that he would do anything - including harming others - to further communism in the world. He also returned to the U.S. and became fixated with Cuba and Fidel Castro. He formed a chapter of the Fair Play For Cuba Committee (nobody joined), got arrested and interviewed on the radio for speaking out for communist ideals on the street, and attempted to enter Cuba, brandishing a handgun at the Cuban embassy in Mexico City (the same gun used to kill a Dallas police officer on November 22). When Oswald’s wife was pregnant with their second child, he wanted to name it Fidel if it was a boy.

And of course he tried to kill General Walker.

I think the motive was that killing JFK was somehow good for communism. He also may have seen it as making him a hero to the communist world. There’s some evidence that he may have thought that killing Kennedy would cause Castro to welcome him into Cuba with open arms.

Understanding Oswald is the key, in my opinion, to the assassination. He was a delusional nut who got the chance he was waiting for when the motorcade route was chosen.

Getting back to my original question, though. If the public found out just how serious JFK’s health problems were and the extent of his sexual behavior, is there really chance he would still be elected in 1964?