Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 1 Num. 22

("Quid coniuratio est?")

RESOLVED: President Kennedy was killed as the result of a conspiracy.

[Final portion of my transcription of a radio debate which took place in the Fall of 1993 between Peter Dale Scott and Gerald Posner. Today, Mr. Posner gives his closing statement.]

MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr. Scott. Mr. Posner, you have 6 minutes.

GERALD POSNER: The last statement Mr. Scott makes is one that, uh, one of the few things tonight that we can agree on and agree on wholeheartedly, which is, getting the files.

I happen to think that one of the things that's happened in this case is the government is its own worst enemy. They're holding onto material for 30 years, in instances, because there is a cover-up in the Kennedy assassination. I say this in so many words in my book. There's a cover-up of the government incompetence that took place in both the FBI and the CIA. There's a covering of behinds, in essence, of these bureaucrats who are running for cover. And the FBI, because they were so petrified that J. Edgar Hoover would be coming down to Dallas and saying, "What? You had an open file on Lee Harvey Oswald? You were interrogating his wife and you didn't know he was a 'lone nut' capable of killing the President?" And of course, Hoover did censure 17 agents and discipline them for that very thing that the agents feared. They destroyed evidence. They lied about what happened. And that's what, largely, those files are gonna show. They will show the extent of that cover-up. The difference is in the interpretation that we have as to whether, in fact, it was the cover-up of a murder (which I don't view it as that), or what I typically view in this case, from the... my alma mater where you are now a professor, at Berkeley, from my work in the early '70s as a political scientist, that, in fact, government is primarily inefficient and bungling. And this is exactly what you expect in a case of this magnitude, where people do run.

The... some of the things that are mentioned... I think it comes down again to this very, very fundamental look at "What is the evidence?" And I think that Mr. Scott says 2 things in his last 6 minutes segment that really shows you the basis of what happens in conspiracy theory. If there isn't an answer for it, what you do is you speculate and say, "Here's what might have happened." And this is what Oliver Stone does very effectively in his film, "JFK."

On the Walker shooting, Mr. Scott says, "Well I think that the bullet was swapped. It's not the same bullet that existed in '63." The problem is that there's no evidence that it was swapped. So his point is, what might have been swapped. We can't prove that it wasn't. And of course, you can never prove that... the negative, that the bullet wasn't swapped. But what I ask for always, as an investigator, as an attorney, is -- just show me a piece of credible evidence to indicate that that happened. And that's what, what he can't produce.

He talks about the Tippit shooting. And he says that he thinks that the police actually botched the planting of the bullets at the scene. But again: it's strictly speculation. There isn't any evidence. There's no testimony. There's nothing to indicate that in fact the police had planted the bullets at the scene. And this is where we go from hard evidence off to what I call speculation. The Tippit case is a perfect example.

And I must tell you that, as an attorney, it's one of the most "open and shut" cases I've ever seen. Thirteen eyewitnesses -- not just the two that he wants to talk about with Helen Markum(?) and Warren Reynolds (and each of those I could respond to) -- thirteen eyewitnesses see Oswald either do the shooting [of Tippit] or escaping from the scene. Six people pick him out of a lineup that night. He's discovered a few blocks away, with the pistol. It is tied ballistically into the murder of Tippit, to the exclusion of any other gun in the world. How he ends up in that theater, with the pistol that just killed Tippit, where 13 people just saw him running away, is hard for me to imagine. Is it an imposter Oswald? Has somebody coerced all 13 people? Did they put the pistol on him and he didn't know it? You know, the answer is, in fact (although I see Mr. Scott nodding "yes"), it's too much to imagine. He, in fact, did kill J.D. Tippit. He, in fact, did shoot at General Walker. And he was the only person in Dallas, November 22nd, 1963, on the 6th floor, in the southeast corner of the Texas school book depository -- not only with the motive to kill Jack Kennedy (to place himself in the history books; to throw this "monkey wrench" into the system) but with the capability of doing it. With his own rifle which was found up there. That he used to sit on a porch, according to Marina, and for hours at a time practice "dry runs," what experts call "dry runs." Operating the bolt action so that he was proficient with it. And with the capability. In the marines, having been both a sharpshooter and a marksman. Meaning that he was capable of hitting a 10-inch target at a distance of 200 yards, 8 times out of 10, without the benefit of a telescopic sight.

And in Dallas, the assassination targets are less than half of that distance. His longest shot is some 90 yards, and he has the benefit of a 4-power scope. It becomes for Oswald an easy sequence of shots. And even then, only one of them actually does the trick and ends up killing Kennedy.

The... One of the very important points, I think, in this, is when we come down to the question of association with these individuals, uh, I believe that as the American people have a right to demand, after 30 years of looking at this case, we have a right to demand of anybody, "What's your evidence to support your conclusions?" I lay out a scenario of what I think happened in the assassination. I presented the evidence: some 80 pages of source notes, the evidence that I rely on. What I think we have to ask conspiracy theorists in this case -- whether they have Mr. Scott's view or whether they have a different view of what happened -- is, "What do you rely on?" "What's your proof?" "What's your documentation?" This case has been examined more extensively, by more researchers, than any other case I know of. And after 30 years of thousands of people looking at the evidence and talking to witnesses, we still don't have an iota of credible evidence to show us, in fact, there was a conspiracy to kill Jack Kennedy. I say that it's time to "close the book" on this case in the sense that we still have more historical work to do, but we can come to the overall conclusion that, in Dallas, as we approach the 30th anniversary of this death, the man responsible for it was one man, alone: Lee Harvey Oswald.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr. Posner.

Mr. Scott, Mr. Posner, on behalf of our listeners across the country, thank you very much.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

CN Editor -- At various times in this transcription of the Scott/Posner debate, I was tempted to interject my own comments. However, I tried to avoid doing this as much as possible.

At this point, I am tempted to write my own commentary on this debate and post it in a future issue. I may or may not do so. If I do, I may include any comments, info, etc. that I receive from readers regarding the Scott/Posner debate. If you have any material, pro or con, that you wish to send regarding this debate, now is the time to send it.

I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."

If you would like "Conspiracy Nation" sent to your e-mail address, send a message in the form "subscribe my-email@address" to -- To cancel, send a message in the form "cancel my-email@address." && Articles sent in are considered.
Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9