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Another photographic claim that Fails to prove its assertions Empty Another photographic claim that Fails to prove its assertions

Sat 15 Feb 2014, 5:45 am
(A rebuttal of "An End to Conspiracy? Rare Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald Suggests Why he's guilty" by Gary Mack, Time Magazine)
   As the curator of the Sixth Floor Museum, Gary Mack holds a role in overseeing exhibits offered for the public. However, Mack's feasible desire to use a photograph to assert improbable associations render his opinions untenable. Mack attributes in my view more importance to this photograph than reasonable. Some who advocate conspiracy have their favorite self-determined important picture. Each hypothesis is championed by unverified claims. 

"But there’s another photograph that remains relevant and gripping five decades later, in a different way, and relatively few have seen it." (Gary Mack- "An End to Conspiracy?) [i]

All the evidence is important, yet we must be critical in our value of any single item. A photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald firing a weapon could support the article's ideas. Yet officials do not possess one. Nor do they possess a single witness who conclusively identified Lee Harvey Oswald in the Sniper's Nest. [ii] Despite speculation of the photograph's importance, it remains one of many used to support a hypothesis.
Among them is the Altgens 6, favored by those who view Oswald despite the evidence. Others speculate the Moorman photograph contains a hidden assassin. However, all the photographs mentioned are similar. Each cannot alone prove or dispute Oswald's guilt. Without verified evidentiary support each photograph is not currently vital.  

"MacCammon, who died in 2005, captured a moment that says so much about the soon-to-be- accused assassin..." (Gary Mack)

Mack again speculates deep inferences without offering sufficient additional proof. The photo offers Oswald's belligerence and his feasible attempts to resist arrest. Yet many innocent people also have done so, it is not a sign of guilt unless one speculates. It proves he was a disruptive and resisted. It fails to substantiate Oswald alone murdered President Kennedy.

"Do innocent people take guns to movies, assault a police officer and try to shoot him?" (Gary Mack)

Additional compounding theories offer Mack long ago decided his version of events. The questions presented are seemingly rhetorical to those who disagree. Do innocent people take guns to theaters? If they have the proper license, some do. However, I would not call Oswald innocent. I would say he was guilty of repeated legal offenses and possibly the murder of J.D. Tippit.
Yet add Mack's photograph to the evidence, and it consistently fails to prove the article's claim. Innocence and guilt cannot reasonably depend on a subjective judgment of a single picture. Oswald dies before receiving any legal process or representation. Seeking to prove his preconceptions Mack overlooks the repeated legal inconsistencies.

"Does an innocent person start a fight with an armed policeman, then act surprised and angry when the policemen and others defend one of their own?" (Gary Mack)

Upon the basis of Mack's previous claims, I would guess the answer he seeks is no. Yet without proof, the answer is premature. Many lesser offenders have fought with police officers and often act surprised when overwhelming force is used. To observe this, view publicly available police arrest videos for lesser crimes.[iii] Resisting arrest does not conclusively prove guilt of high crimes.
Mack cites the photograph occurred shortly after a brutal encounter with Oswald. Yet the cigar-chomping official has a smile. Some may speculate any sign of fighting previously could be exaggerated based upon this demeanor. However, I would not state photographic inferences might reveal the deeper complexities of this case.   

"Such is the enigma of Lee Harvey Oswald, who spent the last 48 hours of his life denying he had shot anyone rather than taking credit for removing a president and a cop - two fathers cut down in their prime." (Gary Mack )

Again, Mack offers bias in favor of Lee Harvey Oswald's sole guilt despite the contending primary evidence. Perhaps the greater enigma is no consideration regarding Oswald's lack of practice [iv] [v] and possibly defective rifle. [vi] All the contended medical evidence and the exhibits are forgotten. Mack chides Oswald for cutting down two men without conclusive proof.
This brings us to the article's title "The End of Conspiracy", which is a hopeful if unrealistic statement. Mack seems to ignore any feasible evidence of conspiracy in the case, much like the FBI under Hoover. [vii] [vii] [ix] [x] [xi] [xii]  Mack only considers the possible implications this specific photograph can glean about the nefarious intentions of Lee Harvey Oswald. Ultimately, this was a quixotic endeavor. No one can solve the case or make conclusive grand hypothesis based on a single photograph. Yet this does not dissuade some from attempting to do so.


C. A. A. Savastano


[i] Gary Mack (November 22, 2013), An End to Conspiracy? Rare Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald's Arrest Suggests Why He's Guilty, Time Magazine,

[ii]  Report of the President's Commission, Chapter 4, Oswald at the Window, Eyewitness Identification of the Assassin, pp. 143-47.

[iii] Simon Shaykhet, (January 21, 2014),Wild arrest in Detroit caught on video,  the Detroit News,

[iv] Report of the Pres. Comm., Chapter 4, the Assassin, Oswald's rifle practice outside the Marines, p. 192.

[v] Report of the Pres. Com., Chapter 4 the Assassin, Ownership and Possession of Assassination Weapon, p. 125.

[vi] Hearings of the President's Commission, Volume XXVI, Commission Exhibit 2974, p. 455.

[vii] Letter from J. Edgar Hoover to the Department of State, Subject: Lee Harvey Oswald/Internal Security, June 3, 1960, p. 2, 3. National Archives and Records Administration Identification: 124-100010-10011.

[viii]  Hearings of the Pres. Com., Vol. XVII, Ex. 833, United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation Memo from Hoover to Rankin, April 6, 1964.

[ix] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities Report, Book 5, appendix a, pp. 90, 91.

[x] Federal Bureau of Investigation-Warren Commission Liaison File 62-109090, Section 7 "Letter from J. Lee Rankin to J. Edgar Hoover", March 16, 1964, p. 1.

[xi] Senate Select Comm. on Intelligence Activities Report, Bk. 5, Intelligence Agencies, Part III Summary and Findings, p. 32.

[xii] Senate Select Comm. on Intelligence Activities Report, Bk. 5, Part I, p. 5.

If you wish to view more of Mr. Mack's ideas see:
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