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An 'impossible' case? Not even difficult for Wade & Alexander
on 24 May 2013
In this volume, chapter one deals with the author's, `Proposition One, Element Three: Oswald The Only Person On the Sixth Floor'.
This `proposition' did not form any part of the charge against Oswald and is, therefore, irrelevant. The charge against Oswald makes no mention of him being `the only person on the sixth-floor'.
The postulated presence of others on the sixth-floor at the time of the shooting would have a bearing on the conspiracy supposition but it does nothing to remove Oswald from the location. This argument does not make the case against Oswald `impossible'.
All other discussion in chapter one is rendered redundant because of this.
In Chapter Two, the author offers `Proposition One, Element Four: All shots were fired from Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano.'
Commission exhibit 399 (found at Parkland) was fired from Oswald's rifle to the exclusion of all other weapons in the world. Two large bullet fragments - CE 569 and CE 567 were recovered from the front seating area of the limousine. These both came from Oswald's rifle to the exclusion of all other weapons in the world.
The assumed `first bullet miss' left no physical trace of itself and it could be argued that no definitive statement can be made about its origin. However, the discovery of three spent shell cases at the 6th floor window and the ear-witness testimony of Norman, Jarman and Williams is persuasive evidence that the shot did come from Oswald's rifle at that location.
There is not now - and never has been - any bullet fragment or shell case which can be shown to have originated from any other weapon apart from Oswald's.
The content and discussion in chapter two does nothing to render the case against Oswald `impossible'.
In chapter three the reader finds, `Proposition One, Element Five: Plausibility Of Timing'.
Whilst this matter goes to the heart of the question of whether Oswald could have fired all of the shots in the assumed time-span, it does nothing to preclude him from having fired any, some or most of the shots at Kennedy.
The postulated existence of other riflemen does not help Oswald's defence.
The content and discussion in chapter three does nothing to render the case against Oswald `impossible'.
Chapter Four deals with the perennial `Single Bullet Theory'.
This is a necessary part of the `lone-assassin' scenario, of course, but Oswald was not charged with being a lone assassin. Wade did not have to prove that Oswald acted alone.
The content and discussion in chapter four does nothing to render the case against Oswald, `impossible'.
In chapter five Barry K revisits his earlier points of contention and invites the reader to assign numerical values to their `confidence levels' for the previous propositions and elements.
Given that these issues would have had little or no importance to `the case against Oswald at trial', this chapter held little interest for this reader.
Chapter six brings the reader ever closer to `The JFK Challenge'.
The author states, "..if they [dissenting readers] believe that there is a significant divergence between what I wrote and what I should have written they can bring me before an arbitrator'.
Well, this reader wouldn't presume to suggest what a defence advocate should have written.
My list of counter evidence against Oswald is rather long and I wouldn't expect any `arbitrator' to tell `the defence' that it should also argue the prosecution case!
Chapter six concludes with a bit of gratuitous name-calling from Barry K in which he characterises `lone assassin' advocates as `trolls'. This is a pity and it does rather devalue his best efforts to present an argument.
In chapter seven, Barry K includes the responses of a few `virtual jurors'. The responses are to specific elements and propositions of the author's choosing.
The results are a fairly mixed-bag with `confidence levels' ranging from very high (95%) to no confidence at all (0%). This may seem to suggest a fair and balanced sampling; but the sampling isn't the problem here; the question is.
In the main, the respondents are considering the presence of others on the sixth-floor and the apparent movement of boxes. Neither of these issues have any bearing on Oswald's presence at the window before, during and immediately after the shooting.
What struck me most about those whose confidence levels were low, was how little they seemed to know about the investigations conducted by the DPD and FBI. Those respondents who had low confidence levels also seemed to be exclusively reliant on Barry K's presentation for `all the facts'. The three volumes under discussion here do not offer `all the facts'; they offer highly selective defence arguments.
Chapter eight sets out the `rules' which will govern the JFK challenge.
Barry spends a little while setting out how the challenge will work and he suggests a couple of hypothetical challenges to illustrate just how easy it should be for a challenger to win the money.
The examples of `Elvis Is Still Alive' and `Man Never Walked On The Moon', deal with real world events that are amenable to discovery, analysis and conclusion. These two examples seem simple enough; because they are.
Proponents and opponents of the two propositions can produce evidence to support the claims that they make. The `Elvis is dead' case can be supported by post-mortem records, death certificates, paid insurance/assurance claims and settled wills of bequest (among many other things). His continued and present existence can be argued by witnesses who claim to have seen and spoken to him but not much else, I wouldn't think.
These claims and counter claims can be tested and adjudicated on.
The same is true of the moon-landing' analogy that Barry K offers. All claims can be tested.
However, the author's JFK challenge which awaits the unconvinced reader is an entirely different matter. The challenge states that:
`The claim of this book is that that conclusion [Oswald fired the shot that killed President John F. Kennedy] would be impossible to support in a court of law'.
This is not something that is amenable to discovery, analysis or conclusion. This is a matter of conjecture and nothing more. Nobody can ever know or guess what `would' or `would not' have happened had Oswald lived to face a trial. What a panel of arbitrators think, feel, imagine, suspect, hypothesize, assume or theorise counts for nothing. They would merely be expressing an opinion.
Barry K notes that juries render opinions every day of the week; they do, of course, but they are passing verdicts on things that have happened, or are alleged to have happened at a past time. Juries are not empanelled for the purpose of predicting the outcome of events that have never happened at all.
The question being posed as the JFK challenge amounts to no more than asking, `Would the boxer have won on points had he not been stopped in the 5th with a cut eye?'
We cannot know how the fight `might have' played-out in the rounds that were never fought and nor can we know how the judges `might have' scored the fight at the end. The `stoppage' forever precludes us from knowing all of these things.
The adjudicators here will be guessing what `might have happened' at trial as a consequence of something else `not happening' - which actually did happen - namely, Oswald's death.
The `had Oswald lived' component (which is implicit in the challenge) is a conditional clause that can never be met. The claim that the case against him `..would be impossible to support in a court of law', cannot, therefore, ever be guessed at, much less proved.
Naturally I don't accept `the JFK challenge'. My `dodge' is spelled-out above and is not one of Barry K's forty-two anticipated evasions. I'd like to suggest that he adds it to his list: `I do not accept the challenge because it is predicated on the spurious notion that an adjudicator can know `what verdict a jury - which never sat - might have returned in a case that it never heard'.
In this trilogy, Barry K has made the claim that the prosecution case against Oswald at trial would have been `impossible'. This reader disagrees. The veritable hornet's nest of evidence against Oswald that has not been presented here would have - in my opinion - offered a very good prospect of conviction.
All three volumes of this series are attacks on selected findings of the Warren Commission.
The WC did not assemble `the case against Oswald' - the DPD, FBI and Secret Service did. The WC was a fact-finding exercise and not a prosecution case. There's a big difference.
Barry's criticisms of the WC and its findings, as expressed in these volumes, aren't new and, they are almost totally irrelevant to `the case against Oswald'. The author is arguing for `a conspiracy'. Whether he has `proved' one or not will be up to the reader to decide. What the author has failed to show is that `the case against Oswald would have been impossible'.
Far too many people seem to think that `proof of a conspiracy' would exonerate Oswald. It wouldn't and doesn't.
`The case against Oswald' was well-developed and robust long before he was murdered. Fritz had described it as "..cinched.." and Wade had repeatedly expressed his confidence that he had enough evidence to convict.
The key evidence against Oswald had been discovered whilst he was alive and he was even confronted with some of it. Wade was working to put him before a grand jury within a week.
This series of books does nothing to undermine the prosecution case that the Dallas DA - Henry Wade - was preparing at the time of Oswald's murder.
There are a great many things that Barry K has not discussed because he is arguing a defence. If there are any readers who would be happy to render a verdict having heard only one side of the argument, well, so be it. But, fortunately for all of us, the courts permit both sides of the case to be heard, in full, with cross-examination being a key component of the adversarial process.
Unfortunately for all of us, Jack Ruby had also decided that only his side of the argument needed to be heard.