SB_November_22_2023

Page 7 The Sun Bay Paper November 22, 2023 Yet, the Mafi a’s sentiment toward the Kennedys soured. RFK’s relentless pursuit to cleanse the Teamsters Union of mob infl uence turned them from potential allies to embittered enemies. Frank Ragano, attorney to Teamsters chief Jimmy Hoffa, penned in his 1994 book that Hoff a conspired with mob bosses Santos Traffi cante and Carlos Marcello to orchestrate JFK’s assassination. Hoff a vanished in ‘75 and was declared dead seven years later. In a deathbed confession, Traffi cante reportedly lamented his role in the assassination, regretting that it was John, not Bobby, who fell to their plot. The mob’s involvement is a hauntingly plausible narrative among the myriad conspiracy theories. Even G. Robert Blakey, counsel to the House Select Committee, conceded in ‘79, “I think the mob did it.” Oswald was a Soviet Agent ? In ‘59, after leaving the Marine Corps, Oswald ventured into the Soviet Union. For 32 months, he called it home until disillusionment crept in, and he returned to American soil with Marina, his Russian bride. Back in the States, Oswald’s leanings towards communism didn’t waver. In September ‘63, he journeyed to Mexico City to seek Soviet and Cuban visas. Was Oswald’s defection a mere facade? Some theorize he was a Soviet pawn recruited to assassinate Kennedy. Oswald’s fi nal phone call in Mexico City was to a KGB offi cial skilled in espionage and assassination. KGB fi les on Oswald, handed to President Clinton by Boris Yeltsin, painted a diff erent picture. The Soviets, far from enlisting him, deemed Oswald unstable and unreliable, even suspecting him as a CIA plant. Oswald was working for the CIA ? According to veteran investigator Dr. Cyril Wecht, Oswald was a pawn in a larger game. Wecht, a forensic pathologist, posits that Oswald was acting on the orders of Allen Dulles, the former CIA director whose career was tarnished by the Bay of Pigs fi asco. According to Wecht, Dulles harbored a deep-seated resentment towards Kennedy, leading him to manipulate Oswald—a former Marine— into executing his vengeance. Wecht points to unpublished interviews with Oswald’s widow and with George de Mohrenschildt, a CIA affi liate who was close to Oswald and later committed suicide. Both support the theory of Oswald being a mere “patsy” in a grander, more sinister plot. Oswald was likely a CIA operative, Wecht asserts. He notes the ease with which Oswald returned from Russia during the Cold War, accompanied by his wife Marina, daughter of a KGB agent. Only a network of infl uential connections could have allowed that to happen. Dulles’ appointment to the Warren Commission, tasked with investigating Kennedy’s death, raises suspicions, according to Wecht. Fidel Castro Payback ? The CIA’s covert endeavors against Fidel Castro during Kennedy’s term are well-known. Poisoned meals, exploding cigars, and other secret plots wove a tapestry of espionage, as uncovered by a congressional inquiry in ‘75. The question arose - did Castro, cornered and provoked, strike back in kind? LBJ aired his suspicions in a secretly recorded conversation with Ramsey Clark in ‘67. He spoke a tale of Castro’s retribution. The Cuban leader, having uncovered CIA schemes through torture, decided to reciprocate. Oswald, known for his pro-Castro leanings and failed attempts to enter Cuba, was implicated in Johnson’s theory. Yet, no defi nitive evidence of Cuba’s hand in the aff air has surfaced. Castro himself, in a ‘77 interview, dismissed the notion of assassinating Kennedy as madness, knowing well it could draw the ire of a superpower upon his island. LBJ Orchestrated It ? The alliance between JFK and his vice president, the roughhewn Texan LBJ, was a political union forged for convenience. After JFK’s death, Jacqueline Kennedy revealed her husband’s deep concerns about Johnson’s ambitions. Some say that Johnson, eager to usurp, orchestrated the assassination during the president’s visit to Texas, fl oating the idea that Johnson, possibly in league with Texas oil magnates, sought to protect their lucrative tax breaks threatened by Kennedy. Another author suggested that Johnson, seeking to protect his friend, then-Texas Governor John Connally, attempted to rearrange the seating in the Dallas motorcade. Multiple Gunmen ? Dr. Wecht is one of many experts who challenges the lone gunman theory in Kennedy’s assassination. In ‘78, he testifi ed before the House Select Committee and said it was improbable Oswald, fi ring from the sixthfl oor window of the Texas School Book Depository, acted alone. Wecht said there was a second gunman, hidden behind the grassy knoll’s picket fence, presenting a compelling case against the bullet’s implausible upward trajectory and supported by eyewitness testimonies of echoing gunshots. He also alleges that Secret Service agents forcibly barred Dallas coroner Dr. Earl Rose from examining Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The body was swiftly removed to Washington, D.C., with no proper examination. James Files Was the Shooter ? In a 2003 interview, James Files claimed he was the triggerman in President Kennedy’s assassination. Files implicates Sam Giancana, Chuck Nicoletti, and Johnny Roselli, as straddling the line between organized crime and undercover operations. Files said David Atlee Phillips, a CIA Special Operations Offi cer, pulled the strings in Dallas, orchestrating the events that unfolded in Dealey Plaza. Files honed his skills as a marksman doing counterintelligence in Laos in ‘59. He says he previously met Oswald during a CIA gun-running operation in Louisiana. Roselli was a bridge between the CIA and the criminal underworld, aided by CIA agent Frank Sturgis. Files recalled driving Roselli to meet Jack Ruby in Fort Worth, where Ruby handed over a folder detailing Kennedy’s parade route and counterfeit ID cards. Giancana stood at the heart of the conspiracy, orchestrating the assassination on behalf of the mob. Files claimed the weapon was a prototype .222 Remington Fireball rifl e equipped with a 3-power scope. From behind the grassy knoll fence, he said he fi red the fatal shot at Kennedy while Nicoletti fi red from the Dal-Tex building. The ammunition was bullets tipped with mercury. While Files claims appear believable, the FBI says it investigated them in 1994 and found them “not credible.” Still Questions ! Sixty years have passed since November 22, 1963. And yet, the offi cial account of JFK’s assassination fails to satisfy many. The National Archives have said 99% of the Kennedy fi les have been made public. For the skeptics, as time passes, evidence deteriorates, and witnesses die, the probability that the offi cial narrative will be toppled becomes more and more remote. As the events of that fateful day fade further into history, we will probably never know the whole story of what happened on that fateful day in Dallas. Richard Luthmann Unanswered Questions Cont. from pg. 1 Moments before the shooting(s)

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