( ASCII text )
This and a subsequent exchange between one GSG and JJ appears in the November 2001 location of the Web Reference Links High-Lighted by John Judge file.
Understand the Difference Between Wild Speculations and Documented Plots
John Judge letter to Jaquielynn Floyd at Dallas Morning News
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 03:33:45 -0500
To: Jaquielynn Floyd
Subject: The Dallas Morning News: Eyewitness's reasoned view: No conspiracy
From: John Judge
Dear Jaquielynn Floyd,
I read your recent piece in the Dallas Morning News about Mr. Brandt, and I know a bit about his story and his recollections. I am writing to dispell your notion that there is nothing more to learn about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and that the proliferation of theories as well as research into a conspiracy in the case makes all of them wrong.
I have taken part in or led a moment of silence at Dealey Plaza for the last 30 years, along with the serious researchers into the case, including local newspaper editor Penn Jones of the Midlothian Texas Mirror until he died a few years back.
I am also the director of the national Coalition on Political Assassinations in Washington, DC, a network of ballistic and medical experts, academicians, authors and serious researchers into the case. Founded in 1994, our members were responsible for initiating and overseeing the release of some 6 million pages to date under the JFK Records Act, and they have revealed whole new histories of the JFK era, including the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam war policies of President Kennedy.
In addition, they have thrown light on Oswald's relationship with the CIA, including an elaborate operation in Mexico City to link an Oswald "double" with Castro and the USSR just two weeks before the assassination. They have also verified many of the charges made by District Attorney Jim Garrison in New Orleans, including an active CIA role by Clay Shaw, the man he attempted to prosecute, and many other aspects of a conspiracy in the case.
I have no trouble with the "idea" of a lone gunman, in fact it would give me more comfort than what the facts do. But the hard ballistic and medical evidence, much of it newly discovered in the files and subpoenaed testimony of the Records Review Board releases, has always discounted the possibility of a single gunman, as well as cast doubt on Oswald's role as a gunman that day.
No amount of "luck" can explain the wounds suffered and the damage done by the bullets that struck JFK, Governor Connally, at least one bystander, the limousine and the surrounding areas, nor can the "official" bullets and fragments pointed to by the Warren Commission.
Brandt bemoans those who have not read the evidence, but almost all of us have, and quite thoroughly. There were some 75 of us there this year at the annual regional meeting of COPA, as there have been (or more) since 1994, and we were quite visible on the knoll. In the 30 years I have stood there at 12:30, I have had only one interview by the Dallas Morning News, and the UPI wire story that went out from that article cropped my comments even more than the writer did.
If you want to rely on eyewitnesses, then the number who heard and saw evidence of shots from other locations than the TSBD, and more numerous than the official version, far outnumber those who did not. Eyewitnesses are not ever as conclusive as film, acoustical, ballistic and autopsy evidence is, and all of that, to the extent we have ever been allowed to see it, points to at least two gunmen. That is a conspiracy.
Knowing that Oswald was the "patsy" for the real killers can lead you back to them better than the gunmen ever will. And knowing the complete historical framework that surrounds this event can help you understand the difference between wild speculations and documented plots. The serious researchers are not so widespread in their conclusions about the events and who or what was behind them, despite books now that blame anyone from the aliens to the specific "confessing" authors. Anyone can write a book or a newspaper column for that matter.
From your comments, I doubt you have looked at the evidence either, which is of course your prerogative. But as a journalist, isn't it your duty to cover more than one side of an issue, or seek a professional opinion beyond that of a single eyewitness? I, for one, suspect that his opinion rather than his vast knowledge of the case is what qualifies Brandt to be both a docent at the Sixth Floor Museum and to teach a course on the case in Dallas. You could visit the Grassy Knoll yourself almost any day of the year and find a much more qualified teacher in Robert Groden, author of several good books on the case, and a former staff member of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
I write to suggest you get a second opinion on a topic you clearly don't like. Is it because the facts might disturb your point of view?
Eyewitness's reasoned view: No conspiracy
by Jacquielynn Floyd, The Dallas Morning News, 20 Nov 2001
Mail followup from David Cogswell (reprinted with permission)
From: David Cogswell
To: John Judge
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 20:29:29 EST
Subject: Re: [Fwd: The Dallas Morning News: Eyewitness's reasoned view: No conspiracy]
> Dear Jaquielynn Floyd,
> I read your recent piece in the Dallas Morning News about Mr. Brandt, . . .
Great letter John [see JJ mail to JF], horrible article. You got me inspired and I fired off a letter to her myself. Here it is:
Dear Ms Floyd,
Your profile of Mr. Brandt has some interest as a personality sketch. If he were a butterfly collector, it would matter less that you stayed entirely on the surface and never delved into the substance of the huge subject you opened up. You pass on his conclusions about a matter that is still controversial with far-reaching implications, with nothing more to back them up than a character study of the man who holds the conclusions.
He seems like a nice enough man and probably sincere in his beliefs, though it takes a little more than that for me to adopt his beliefs wholesale, and I think it should for you too. Your attitude of blasé indifference toward the subject of the assassination would seem to disqualify you from drawing conclusions and passing them on in a context that some may assume is authoritative. It reminds me of reviewers who pan a work of art without taking the trouble to learn about what is behind it.
It is certainly more comforting to pass off the assassination as the work of one whacko who just got so lucky his shots performed murderous miracles. And it's fine for you to hold on to the more comforting thought. It really doesn't fit with the facts, however. I have no idea how Mr. Brandt came to his conclusions and your article made no effort to answer that question. It only said he had studied the subject at length and that was his conclusion. I'm always curious how a person could reason from the facts to that conclusion.
Some day you might want to delve into the subject yourself. It certainly does hold some fascination. A vast majority have always rejected the official conclusion because it was so riddled with flaws. Even the House of Representatives concluded it was a conspiracy in the Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s, but the establishment media tend to embrace the Warren Report's elaborately constructed lone assassin theory, apparently because of the disturbing political implications of a conspiracy that involved highly placed officials.
Did you ever see the Zapruder film? It was hidden away in a vault for the first several years after the assassination so the population didn't have the benefit of seeing with their own eyes how Kennedy was thrown backwards like a rag doll hit with a cannonball when he was shot. How anyone can see that and conclude he was shot from the rear is a testament to how a belief can overrule what is plain as day to the senses.
If you ever get curious, take a look at Crossfire by Jim Marrs, another Texan who teaches a university course about the assassination. It's quite fascinating and full of facts that will show you what all the fuss is about. It's at least worth the trouble to take a look at the arguments. It may enhance your perspective and help you to be a more canny observer of current affairs.