The assassination of John F. Kennedy: Conspiracy theories

Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the warren commission was setup to investigate the case. The team came to a conclusion that the assassination was carried out by a lone gunman. However, the house select committee on assassinations carried out fresh investigations in the period between 1976 and 1979 concluding that the assassination was a conspiracy, essentially denouncing the earlier findings that suggested a one man effort.

The conspiracy theories developed in the latter years implicated a number of public figures including former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the mafia, the FBI, Lyndon Johnson, the CIA amongst many others. These groups and individuals were named in several conspiracy theories namely, the organized crime theory, the secret service, the federal reserve conspiracy and the new Orleans conspiracy among others.

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From personal opinion, the theory that seems to hold most water in this particular case is the organized crime conspiracy which basically implicates the mafia, Cuban exiles and Fidel Castro’s supporters. Mob involvement has been well presented in David Kaiser’s book, The road to Dallas.

When President John F. Kennedy took over office from Dwight Eisenhower, he made it a point to ensure that criminals were incarcerated in numbers that were unprecedented (Kaiser, 11). Under his watch the number of persecutions increased by upto 12 times the number recorded during his predecessor’s tenure. Members of mafia formed a big number of the criminals he had sent to jail and this gave them a reason to retaliate.

The Mafioso considered Fidel Castro their biggest enemy and most of them built strong relationships with anti-Castro Cubans. Some of the documents that were allegedly not consulted by the Warren commission indicate that some of the Mafiosi had been involved in plotting conspiracies directed at assassinating Fidel Castro.

The Mafia felt short changed when President Kennedy failed to support their efforts in the invasion. The mafia in this cause was under the support of Cuban exiles in the USA who wanted to go back to Cuba and carry out an invasion Castro’s communist government (Kaiser, 123). It has also been suggested that anti-Castro Cubans were angered by Kennedy’s failure to destroy Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis.

Giving the mafia and the Cuban exiles even more reason to hate him, President Kennedy had been at the forefront of leading charges against organized crime as a young and idealistic lawyer. Further, the president’s younger brother Bobby also followed in his footsteps leading the administration in protests against the mafia.

The mafia had helped John F. Kennedy win the elections and therefore they felt betrayed when he started prosecuting them when he got the office. The polls ended in dispute with allegations of the elections being marred with irregularities.

Investigations that were carried out by to the CIA revealed that Carlos Marcello, a suspected member of the mafia could have organized and implemented the conspiracy. The investigations also realized that Marcello had the motive, the opportunity and the resources necessary to carry out the assassination.

The most popular organized crime conspiracy involving the Cubans suggests that Kennedy could have been assassinated by Fidel Castro. According to this theory, Castro was fully aware that the mafia aided by some Cubans was baying for his blood. These two groups were purported to be under CIA’s command (Kaiser, 53). As a result, the only two choices available to Castro were to kill or be killed.

Aside from the Mafia and the Cubans, other organized groups that could have committed the crime include the KGB. This argument suggests that Oswald was possibly a member of the KGB and his work was to handle such “dirty” missions. Individuals who are pro this line of thought such as Professor Revilo Oliver believe that JFK was assassinated because he did not serve the soviet and related communist groups as effectively as he had promised prior to the election.

Kennedy had been seen as the one who could turn America to communism but once he got into office he appeared to soften his stand and in a move described as ‘turning American’ (Kaiser, 293). From readings, it has been discovered that this conspiracy could have been covered up to avoid the eruption of the third world war; a war which was imminent were it to be revealed that the KGB controlled Oswald.

Of all the conspiracy theories that have been fronted to explain the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the theory suggesting that organized crime could have been the major involvement appears to be more credible.

In the book The Road to Dallas, David Kaiser has clearly provided in-depth explanations supporting the argument that organized crime groups were the major plotters and developers of the plot to kill JFK.

As much various discussions have arisen in regards to who could have been involved and the particular reasons for their involvement, it is definitely clear from Kaiser’s book that Oswald could not have been the sole mastermind of the attack. The Mafioso, the Cuban exiles, the KGB and probably even Fidel Castro’s henchmen could have contributed to the development of the plot.

It is however clear as has been presented earlier in this essay that whichever group was involved had to have some agreeable amount of inside help. It is definitely ridiculous to try and purport that a single individual in the name of Oswald could have bypassed all the security systems around the president of a super power without either outside or inside help, or both.

By the standards of those days JFK must have been the most well protected individual on earth yet he went down by a bullet from a sniper’s gun; a sniper who was not immediately traced. His evasion from security forces around the president and all over the country could be telling of the fact that he had enlisted a definite level of inside support.

This is the kind of support that could only be negotiated for by a well connected group of individuals. The level of organization in the execution of the assassination was clearly a team effort, and though Oswald came to take most of the credit, it is evident that there were many people counting on his success.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the assassination of JFK is a mystery that has puzzled many. The way it happened and the subsequent events have been some of the discussions that have generated heated debates especially among analysts and historians. Unfortunately, with every re-analysis of the story come new findings serving to thicken the plot.

However, readers of the theories fronted by scholars are free to choose the one that makes most sense and in the above discussion it has been argued that the conspiracy theory involving organized crime groups is the most credible.

Works Cited

Kaiser, David. The Road to Dallas. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. Print.


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