RESOLVED: President Kennedy was killed as the result of a
[Continuation 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 rebuttal to Mr. Scott's
MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr. Scott. Mr. Posner, you have 6 minutes
GERALD POSNER: The... Some of the points that Mr. Scott mentions
I think are absolutely critical because it's [a] fundamental
difference between the two of us. And it deals, again, with the
evidence and an analysis of what is the credible evidence.
In the instance of the Walker shooting: Did Lee Harvey Oswald in
fact shoot Edwin Walker? Which to me is a key point because
nobody has ever satisfactorily explained to me why the CIA or the
mafia or the KGB or the anti-Castro Cubans wanted Walker dead.
But here's Oswald shooting at Walker in April of '63.
Mr. Scott says a moment ago (It's in April), the bullet is
described as fully copper-jacketed. That's correct. That's the
ammunition that Oswald used, is copper-jacketed bullets. Matter
of fact, we have something better than just what was described by
the Dallas police: there's the bullet. You can go to the National
Archives. You can examine it. I've been down to the National
Archives. It *is* a copper-jacketed bullet.
But more importantly, I'm willing, with Mr. Scott, to throw out
all the testimony from 1963. That bullet is too mangled to
determine ballistically if it matches Oswald's rifle. But
*science* intervened. In 1978, Dr. Vincent Guinn, the nation's
leading expert in neutron activation, a scientific test which
compares the base element of metals, came in for the House Select
Committee on Assassinations, took the mangled bullet and did
neutron activation tests. Now he could have proven that that
bullet had nothing to do with the ammunition that Oswald used
later in the Kennedy assassination. But guess what? Lo and
behold, it turns out that that bullet comes from the same batch
of Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5 mm shells, made by the Western
Cartridge Company, used in the Kennedy assassination. So there's
no question anymore where the bullet comes from. It's very
interesting. The questions could have existed in '63, but they've
been solved by science since.
One thing that we do agree on. Mr. Scott says, "Look at Oswald's
links." I think that's key. I don't just give a biography of Lee
Harvey Oswald. What am I doing through the entire time? I'm
looking to see if, in fact, there's a trail of money, if there
are telephone calls, if there are acquaintances. And what's the
key period? The key period is October and November of 1963.
Oswald has just returned from being rejected by the Cubans. His
life is literally spinning out of control. His wife is separated
from him. He can't hold a job. Um, he's been turned down by the
Cubans. He's been turned down by the Soviet Union. And the FBI's
harassing him. He's a time bomb ready to explode. On September
26, when he was on the bus on the way down to Mexico, the White
House announced that Jack Kennedy was visiting Dallas. Everything
that happened in Lee Harvey Oswald's life before September 26th
took place *before* anybody knew that Kennedy was coming to
Dallas in November.
So the key period is what happens in October and November of '63.
Where's the conspiratorial contact between Oswald and the
plotters at that point? And this is key: He's not living on his
own. We know what he's doing. He's staying in a rooming house at
1026 North Beckley and he has a whole host of rooming house
members and partners there with him; other people in the house,
including a housekeeper. And what do they say he did? Every night
he's home by 5 or 6 o'clock and he never left a single night --
except on Fridays when he would disappear for the weekend. Sounds
interesting, until you find out he was in Irving, Texas, visiting
his wife, Marina.
He never received a single telephone call, except for one, the
weekend before the assassination. Check the telephone records. It
comes from... it comes from his wife's house. He *made* a
telephone call, one a day, in a foreign language. That turns out
to be to his wife, Marina. He never received a single visitor.
Where's the opportunity for the conspiratorial contact at a time
that the plotters supposedly know that Kennedy's coming to
Dallas. It doesn't exist.
What happens is, what Mr. Scott does (and other conspiracy
theorists) is they have very good evidence to show you that
people hated Jack Kennedy. I agree with that and that there may
even have been a plot brewing. I wouldn't be surprised if
Marcello and Trafficante sat around the table and said, "Let's
kill that no-good President." What I'm saying in my book, the
challenge that I'm essentially making to conspiracy theorists, is
to show me the credible evidence that brings Lee Harvey Oswald
into the plotters. That's what doesn't exist. If there was a plot
to kill Jack Kennedy and it was afoot in '62, it didn't involve
Oswald. And that's the key point. At the critical junction when
Oswald would have had to be part of it, he's just not.
And when you look at Jack Ruby (and I think this is very
important), Mr. Scott talks about the fact that Jack Ruby knew a
lot of police, and he knew a whole host of gangsters, and he was
"dirty" "up to his eyeballs." Guess what? I agree with most of
that. There's no doubt about that. It just has nothing to do with
why he killed [...tape runs out...]
[...tape continues...] Oswald. And that's the point. People take
one existence of facts about Ruby's connections and they say,
"Therefore, he killed Oswald and they must be related." And
that's where the story falls down.
Two final points: In terms of Mr. Scott's view of this case, he
also says in his book something I fundamentally have to disagree
with: that McCarthyism and the assassination in Dallas and
Watergate and Contra-gate are all connected, with some of the
same people involved. He says he doesn't have a conspiratorial
view of the world, but I have to disagree.
And I think that what's important in this: he has a very unusual
way of proving some of the elements that he makes in his case --
sort of linking people up by who knew who, by who knew who -- but
also something he calls the "negative template," which is, if you
look at a piece of paper that has lists of names, and one of the
names you think should be there is *not* actually there, that
indicates maybe it had been removed as part of a cover-up or
conspiracy. The "negative template" means, in *my* view, that you
can prove anything you wanted to. If I was looking for a piece of
paper that said Oswald had been employed by the CIA and I took a
CIA document and Oswald's name wasn't there, it must mean that
they had *removed* his name because, in fact, he'd been an agent.
The "negative template" does not, in fact, prove what he says.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Mr. Posner.
ANNOUNCER: You're listening to "The Assassination of John F.
Kennedy, A Formal Debate," from the Virtual Radio Network. The
proposal is that President Kennedy was killed as the result of a
conspiracy. Taking the "pro" position is Peter Dale Scott, author
of *Deep Politics and the Death of JFK*. Taking the "con"
position is Gerald Posner, author of *Case Closed: Lee Harvey
Oswald and the Assassination of JFK*. Your moderator is David
MODERATOR: You are listening to "The Assassination of John F.
Kennedy, A Formal Debate," with Gerald Posner and Peter Dale
Each of you will now ask alternating questions of the other
participant. Mr. Scott, you have one minute to ask a question.
(to be continued)