Questions, I had questions

November 22, 2013
I was in my third week of basic training at Ft Polk, Louisiana and at post clothing supply with the rest of my company, being fitted for winter clothing, when the announcement came over the radio that President Kennedy had been shot. There was the break in the announcer’s voice. Everything got silent for a moment, and then one of our grizzled platoon sergeants, a tough old Korean War vet (in his early thirties but showing a lot of wear) announced, “well men, we’re going to war!” That was a sobering statement, but it certainly seemed credible, coming from old warrior who spoke of the bleakness of war in the bitter cold of Korea, and of setting up a .30 cal machine gun on a mountain side and firing until the barrel grew red, and changing barrels again and again, while in front of his position, the Red Chinese dead continued to pile up, but still they kept on a coming. He would know if WW III was coming. It did not. In September of 1964 the Warren Commission’s finding was that there was one shooter, one bullet, no conspiracy. I came out of the Army in 1963, and joined the Austin Police Department. A couple of years later I remember stopping at a Seven-Eleven store and seeing copies of a book written by a Captain of Police Detectives, Dallas PD, just put on the rack, about the assassination. I looked it over briefly. The Captain questioned the Commission’s findings. I didn’t have the money at the moment, but the next day when I came back for it, all the copies were gone. That struck me as odd. The store was out of the way, and not in the type of neighborhood inhabited by book readers. “Where did all the books go?” I asked the attendant. He didn’t know. “They were here yesterday.” I was a street cop, and good enough that when the head of homicide in our department, Lieutenant “Tate” Jordan, (the best APD ever had) wanted to know what was going on in East Austin, he was very likely to call on me because I knew, and he knew I knew. So here was Captain Will Fritz, a legend at Dallas PD in solving homicides, and he had begun interrogating Lee Harvey Oswald when the next day, on the 22nd, he received a call from the new President of the United States, “You’ve got your man, now we’ll take it from here.” The FBI took full control of the investigation. Please. There is not any way that the FBI or anyone else from out of town can do what a local bureau such as that one headed by Will Fritz can do. Surely Fritz had at his beck and call street cops much like myself who knew their beat, and the folks on it, and could dig up information such as no federal agent from out of town could. Questions. I had questions. Why take it out of Will Fritz’s hands? Why take the corpse out of the hands of the Dallas County Coroner and remove it to Washington DC? Later the Commission members were denied viewing the autopsy photos on the grounds “they might be too disturbing.” Yes, extremely disturbing, but such would have dispelled the one shot story. Indeed,there were reports of more than one shooter, of several shots fired, but the Warren Commission clung to one shot. (A later viewing of a film shows one shot causing the president’s head to move forward, but a second shot from the opposite direction throws his head back.) Remove Will Fritz from the investigation and the investigative process was weakened. What does a Commission made up of a bunch of men in high positions of government know about investigations? Oswald had been to Russia. He had been to Cuba. We were on the verge of war with both. What a coincidence! A man who has visited our sworn enemies assassinates the President of the United States! One of the Commission lawyers allegedly interviewed Fidel Castro, who repeatedly denied having anything to do with the assassination. Again please. Castro was a murderer. Few have mastered the art of lying as efficiently as a cold blooded murder. if indeed such interview took place, that lawyer was the proverbial babe in the presence of a wolf. The Commission was denied access to some of the witnesses. The Commission was not privy to the CIA’s covert operations in Cuba, or that they had attempted to recruit mobster Sam Giancana to carry out a hit on Castro. That knowledge would have attuned them to the possibility of a counter strike by Castro. How foolish of the CIA! Why would Giancana take action which would endanger his lucrative business interests in Havana? And then there was the hatred the mob had for Attorney General Robert Kennedy because of his on going vendetta against them. Nor was the Commission informed by the CIA of Oswald’s visits, the month prior to the assassination, to both the Soviet and Cuban Embassies in Mexico. And then, on the 24th, Jack Ruby assassinated the assassin. Some have come forth to say that Ruby had no ties with organized crime, but as the operator of a night club, he would have had contacts with all manner of people at their worst. For any investigator, to have his principle witness killed before the really important questions are asked, is at the very least an inconvenience. Please! Do conspiracies exist? Yes! Was there a conspiracy to kill the President of the United States? I am disturbed by so much evidence pointing in that direction. We are living in perilous times. There are secret combinations in our midst, and they were there in 1963. More than ever, we ought be wary. In 1941, the leadership of my church said the following in a letter to U S leaders: “Unless the people of America forsake the sins and the errors, political and otherwise, of which they are now guilty and return to the practice of the great fundamental principles of Christianity, and of Constitutional government…spiritually, and politically we shall lose our liberty and free institutions…our real threat comes from within and not from without.” I can in no way fault that pronouncement, for more than ever, it is relevant today.