Well, it’s November, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. But, for many of us, old enough to remember, so is the anniversary of one of the darkest days in our history. It has now been 52 years since the assassination of JFK and there is more that we don’t know about the killing than that we do.
The film linked below, from 1966, is by Mark Lane, a defense attorney from New York who had been asked by Marguerite Oswald to represent her son’s interests at the Warren Commission Hearings. As Oswald was already dead, the Commission refused to allow Lane to participate as Oswald’s counsel, thereby removing any voice on Oswald’s behalf from the proceedings.
In September, 1964, the Warren Commission released an 889 page report at the end of its investigation, which named Lee Harvey Oswald as the sole assassin in the death of JFK and promoted Arlen Spector’s “single bullet theory.” Many people read the report and found it difficult to believe. So, once again, Mark Lane was engaged, this time by the members of a “Who Killed Kennedy” committee who supplied him with the resources to look deeper into the report. In November, 1964, the Warren Commission published 26 volumes of evidence which they claimed supported the findings of the report. After reading through all of the evidence, Lane and his assistants were able to demonstrate that in many cases, the evidence was in fact, contradictory to the findings.
Out of this came Lane’s first book on the subject, “Rush To Judgement,” an essential read for anyone interested in the assassination and its aftermath. The film serves to point up a number of notable examples of eye witnesses whose testimony was either suppressed, altered or rejected by the Commission, and which would have pointed the investigation of the crime in an entirely different direction, possibly exonerating Oswald.
For my younger (than compulsory retirement!) readers, one of the real points of all this is that by December of 1963, less than a month after the assassination, the majority of Americans believed that their government, through its institutions like the FBI, was not telling us the truth about the assassination of the president. The Commission’s findings only cemented that feeling and the faith (blind, perhaps) that the average American had in his or her government has never been the same.