On this 54th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, history once again confirms the truth of the uncertainty principle. That is, the study of history is like the study of quantum mechanics in which there are limits to precision. There is only so much we can know—there is only so much we will ever know—about some things that are more a matter of reluctant acceptance than rigid belief.
There comes a time when physics yields to metaphysics. Now is the time to answer those who deny the explicable, because of their insistence on the inexplicable.
Here is my response: Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed JFK. He also murdered Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit.
Some may not like that fact—and it is a fact—because of mankind’s preference for order. We hold certain truths to be self-evident, provided they conform to our worldview. When the truth is simple yet unsatisfactory, when it is revelatory yet insufficiently revolutionary, when it is conclusive yet anticlimactic, we feel obliged to invent new truths. Coincidences then become circumstantial proof, where there is no room for chance and no chance, in this instance, that Oswald acted alone.
Every photo, phone call, and letter, therefore, is part of a puzzle where all the pieces must (and, of course, do) fit together. Thus do otherwise irrelevant degrees of separation become ominous points of connection. Thus do the conspiracy theorists, in the ultimate act of suspension of disbelief, make Oswald both a patsy and a plotter. Thus does disagreement about almost every aspect of the assassination nonetheless result in agreement that Oswald was, in his own way, essential to the killing. Thus do the Cubans, the communists, and the CIA, as well as the mafia and the military-industrial complex—no matter the cause—find common cause in the same individual.
Of all the dupes, hobos, and drifters, of all the players on the world stage, with their exits and entrances, with their many parts and acts of seven ages—only this man, Lee Harvey Oswald, was right for this role.
He was chosen to commit this crime, which means he never chose to do this deed. That story has no holes, no history of contradiction, no harmless matters of happenstance.
Such is history with no inconvenient truths. Such is the collision of Hollywood and history, where a filmmaker’s fiction continues to distort the facts. It is how Oliver Stone’s “JFK” came to malign how we memorialize this day.
The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, or the JFK Records Act, is the fruit of Stone’s poisonous tree. The final report of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) cites his film with the passage of the law.
And so President George H.W. Bush signed a good law for a bad reason. He was the final accomplice in this bipartisan sacrifice of standards, where propaganda triumphed over principle. Stone was an agent who used lies, not creative license, to all but indict one president in the murder of another, whose movie has scenes about forgeries that never happened and meetings that never occurred.
Stone says things he cannot substantiate. He ascribes motives to many without regard to means or opportunity. He uses this opportunity to libel those he dislikes by trying to discredit events he would rather dismiss. He wastes our time with innuendo in lieu of intelligence, with speculation in lieu of solid evidence.
President Kennedy was not the victim of a conspiracy.
His death was the product of a lone gunman, not hired guns. His murder was a crime of treachery, not treason, despite the desire to make him a man for all seasons and a martyr for peace.
His killer was a Communist.
A loser on behalf of a lost cause, Lee Harvey Oswald was a man without a country. He had nothing to lose when he shot JFK and wounded the nation’s heart. In so doing, his infamy made him famous.
He assassinated the 35th president of the United States.