This I Believe

Stan - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on August 20, 2008

OSWALD ACTED ALONE

I BELIEVE LEE HARVEY OSWALD ACTED ALONE.

I ALSO BELIEVE MUCH OF WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY IS REFLECTED IN THE FACT THAT A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS BELIEVE LEE HARVEY OSWALD WAS PART OF A CONSPIRACY.

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, I WAS A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR IN JOHN F. KENNEDY’S HOMETOWN BIRTHPLACE, BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS. IN MY HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK I LISTED MY LIFE’S GOAL: TO BE THE FIRST LAWYER TO SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND JACK RUBY.

I’VE CHANGED MY BELIEFS SOME SINCE THEN. I NOW REALIZE THAT SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDING JACK RUBY WOULD RESULT IN ALLOWING A MURDERER TO WALK FREE. I NO LONGER BELIEVE THAT IS APPROPRIATE.

BUT THE COUNTRY HAS CHANGED, TOO. IN 1964, MARK LANE PUBLISHED A BOOK, RUSH TO JUDGMENT, WHICH ARGUED THAT WE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE THAT OSWALD ACTED ALONE. AT THE TIME, THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC CORRECTLY AGREED WITH THE WARREN COMMISSION THAT OSWALD WAS NOT PART OF A CONSPIRACY.

SINCE THEN THE SKEPTICS OF THE WARREN COMMISSION HAVE STEADILY GROWN. TODAY MOST POLLS SHOW THAT AROUND 75 % OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC BELIEVES LEE HARVEY OSWALD DID NOT ACT ALONE.

WHY THE CHANGE? HAS SOMEONE ELSE CONFESSED TO THE CRIME? HAVE NEW FACTS BEEN REVEALED? AN UNKNOWN FINGERPRINT DISCOVERED ON THE BARREL OF THE RIFLE? SOMEONE ELSE’S DNA ON THE TRIGGER?

AU CONTRAIRE. IN THE LAST 45 YEARS, NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE HAS EMERGED TO DISPUTE THE FINDING OF THE WARREN COMMISSION.

PERHAPS IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE. VIETNAM, AND WATERGATE, AND EVEN IRAQ HAVE TAUGHT US NOT TO ACCEPT WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS AT FACE VALUE. FOR MANY, IF THE GOVERNMENT TELLS US ONE THING, THAT ALONE IS PROOF OF ITS FALSITY.

BUT JUST BECAUSE SOME IN AUTHORITY ARE FLAWED DOESN’T MEAN EVERYONE IS. AND JUST BECAUSE IT DOESN’T SEEM RIGHT THAT A DISGRUNTLED MALCONTENT COULD SINGLEHANDEDLY TAKE DOWN THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD, DOESN’T MEAN HE DIDN’T.

UNFORTUNATELY, AS A COUNTRY, WE HAVE BECOME INFLICTED WITH A DEGREE OF SKEPTICISM THAT CANNOT BE CONSIDERED HEALTHY.

NEIL ARMSTRONG LANDED ON THE MOON IN JULY, 1969, BUT

MANY AMERICANS BELIEVE THE MOON LANDING WAS A HOAX. AND REVEREND WRIGHT IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO BELIEVES THE GOVERNMENT DELIBERATELY INJECTED AIDS IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

FROM EXPERIENCE, WE PROSECUTORS KNOW THAT VIRTUALLY EVERY CASE HAS UNEXPLAINED INCONSISTENCIES THAT DON’T CHANGE THE BOTTOM LINE. ACCORDINGLY, I USED TO BELIEVE THAT PROSECUTORS, PRESUMABLY BEING OF SUPERIOR INTELLECT, WOULD AGREE WITH ME IN OVERWHELMING NUMBERS THAT OSWALD ACTED ALONE.

SO I BEGAN INCORPORATING THIS QUESTION INTO MY TALKS TO PROSECUTORS. I WAS CONVINCED MY FELLOW PROSECUTORS WOULD REJECT THE CONSPIRACY THEORY IN OVERWHELMING NUMBERS.

I WAS WRONG.

A MAJORITY OF PROSECUTORS, ALTHOUGH THANKFULLY LESS THAN 75% FROM MY UNSCIENTIFIC POLLING, BELIEVE OSWALD WAS PART OF A CONSPIRACY.

ALTHOUGH I’M RIGHT ABOUT OSWALD ACTING ALONE, I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE MAJORITY OF PROSECUTORS AGREEING WITH ME.

I GUESS I CAN’T ALWAYS BE RIGHT. THIS I ALSO BELIEVE.