The dreaded "C" word.
Almost everybody familiar with the internet has visited conspiracy sites, dealing with every topic in the world, from the 9/11 incidents, World War 2 and many, many others.
The president Kennedy assassination stands as the most celebrated case for conspiracy theorists (well, before 9/11 happened). The facts of the case, the obvious cover up of the Warren Commission diligently destroying evidence (see here), simply cannot but help encourage the various conspiracy theories.
A trained analyst in any intelligence service looks for two things - causality and patterns.
Causality basically means - who benefits from this, and what caused this to happen?
Patterns are defined as what other events, persons, things, etc. were tied to this event?
Note that a trained intelligence analyst is not wasting time looking for proof - that is not his function.
I will leave off the analysis of Causality here - this is simply too big of a topic, and the beneficiaries of the JFK assassination are too many to mention. They start with Lyndon B, Johnson at the top, and go all the way to the murky world of CIA middle tier agents, whom Kennedy ticked off for various reasons ("commie lover", etc). Simply put, Causality is a professional's way of saying "Follow the money!".
Lets concentrate on Patterns.
And here something immediately jumps at an observer - the fact that both the president, JFK and his brother, Robert (Bobby) Kennedy, died from assassin's bullets.
Now, in any normal country, the fact that two high profile members of a political family were assassinated would leave everybody to conclude that some kind of a conspiracy has just played out. It would be obvious to everyone and sundry.
Not so in the Yoo Ess of Ey.
The public in the USA was regaled with tales of the magic bullet, the drama (and the news soap opera) of the Warren Commission, many movies and books that tried to find PROOF.
Well, I am saying fuck proof.
All this searching for the proof obscured the two pillars of analyzing intelligence work - Causality and Patterns. Proof can be always manufactured to suit the occasion - causality and patterns, not so much. Heck, if you want, you on your computer can use Word and PDF programs to write a very official looking document, with various government seals and signatures. It's easy, even more so for a professional forger.
So lets home in on the second, less important assassination in the Kennedy clan, that of Bobby Kennedy.
An old, November 2006 article in the BBC:
New video and photographic evidence that puts three senior CIA operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination has been brought to light.
The evidence was shown in a report by Shane O'Sullivan, broadcast on BBC Newsnight.
It reveals that the operatives and four unidentified associates were at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles in the moments before and after the shooting on 5 June, 1968.
The CIA had no domestic jurisdiction and some of the officers were based in South-East Asia at the time, with no reason to be in Los Angeles.
Three senior CIA operatives at the Ambassador Hotel, LA, during the shooting of Bobby Kennedy. Pattern.
Kennedy had just won the California Democratic primary on an anti-War ticket and was set to challenge Nixon for the White House when he was shot in a kitchen pantry.
A 24-year-old Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, was arrested as the lone assassin and notebooks at his house seemed to incriminate him.
However, even under hypnosis, he has never been able to remember the shooting and defence psychiatrists concluded he was in a trance at the time.
Witnesses placed Sirhan's gun several feet in front of Kennedy but the autopsy showed the fatal shot came from one inch behind.
Dr Herbert Spiegel, a world authority on hypnosis at Columbia University, believes Sirhan may have been hypnotically programmed to act as a decoy for the real assassin.
Method - not important, but still nice to have for an intelligence officer.
The report is the result of a three-year investigation by filmmaker Shane O'Sullivan. He reveals new video and photographs showing three senior CIA operatives at the hotel.
Three of these men have been positively identified as senior officers who worked together in 1963 at JMWAVE, the CIA's Miami base for its Secret War on Castro.
David Morales was Chief of Operations and once told friends:
"I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard."
Gordon Campbell was Chief of Maritime Operations and George Joannides was Chief of Psychological Warfare Operations.
Joannides was called out of retirement in 1978 to act as the CIA liaison to the Congressional investigation into the JFK assassination. Now, we see him at the Ambassador Hotel the night a second Kennedy is assassinated.
Proof. Again, not as important but still nice to have. More important is the pattern of "Joannides was called out of retirement in 1978 to act as the CIA liaison to the Congressional investigation into the JFK assassination. Now, we see him at the Ambassador Hotel the night a second Kennedy is assassinated."
The most important thing to take out of this is that using the methodology of Causality and Patterns, we have happened upon a very interesting, for lack of a better word, conspiracy. I did it in a (on purpose) very amateurish, sloppy way, but even that poses multiple other avenues of investigation.
Now, let me tell you about a specific piece of methodology that has been in use since at least the early 1930's, and perhaps even earlier. Computers have really helped out this method of analysis in modern times... Well, let me explain what I am talking about first.
Let me give you an example - that would be easiest.
Think of a person, somebody that irks you. Perhaps you wonder how things at your workplace really work - what are the cliques, who is sleeping with whom, who hates whom?
Grab a piece of paper. Draw a circle in the middle, a balloon if you will. Put the name of your target - perhaps an employee at work whom you don't like.
Next, take a red pencil and draw a line, connecting another balloon, and write your name in it. Red color of the connecting line means HATE/ENEMY.
Draw multiple lines connecting balloons to the central one containing your target's name; use red for hate and blue for FRIENDS to differentiate people's attitudes towards the target.
To each of the new balloons, connect other balloons with other people's names.
Make sure that if people have no contact with each other, or sparse contact, to NOT connect them together on the graph.
Connect all the balloons together that DO deal with each other at work.
It is a fascinating process, and has been in use by intelligence services from the modern spy era, the emergence of the Soviet Union in the world, the 1930's. Take a look at your work.
Now you see multiple patterns emerge, swirling, connecting (or not) to your target.
You see a person who is friends to all.
You see that your target, a middle manager male, NEVER talks to a woman in his department, while she is not in any kind of trouble in the company and talks to everybody else. These two are sleeping together.
Even more fascinating are the cliques that emerge, showing which group is supporting their members, who is ostracized, who plays both sides, who reports on everybody to the boss, which managers confide in one another, which manager is ignored by his superiors - on his way out...
This is a very, very simple technique, and the example above is skeletal - extremely small. Today, powerful computers run these programs, and they churn data for thousands, hundreds of thousands of people looking for patterns. One of the funniest passages in "By Way of Deception" is about a dumb agent in training who run an analysis on Arafat, which the computer system dutifully did, churning the data for the whole Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and everybody involved with it (at that time Arafat was its head), and the Mossad computer was brought to a standstill for hours.
What needs still to be done in the case of the JFK and Bobby Kennedy assassinations conspiracy is to let loose this computer software program, with its names in balloons and its connecting lines.
Multiple targets of this analysis come to mind - Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan (the two innocent patsies), David Morales, Gordon Campbell, Joannides...
To sum up - 2 Kennedy brothers dead, shot by 2 assassins, one of whom was shot himself (Oswald), the other might as well be dead - in jail for life (Sirhan Sirhan), being denied bail from 1960's to... 2011. No interviews permitted with Sirhan Sirhan, either... and 3 CIA officers at the place and time of the Bobby Kennedy assassination, the Ambassador hotel, at the exact time of the murder.
Nope, nothing suspicious here, conspiracy theories are for crazies and nutters. The thing to do in America, obviously, is to wait for the government version that will be revealed on TV and other mass media, and then not question it. Ever.
Oh - and don't draw balloons and connect them with colorful lines on that piece of paper. That way you might start thinking critically about everything - that way is dangerous. It is better not to know.
Watch the excellent BBC Documentary: