What do and don't we know about the JFK assassination?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Wednesday, November 22nd

Tommy talks with Steven Gillon, Resident Historian for The History Channel and Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma, about the JFK assassination.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Stephen Gillen joins us right now he is resident historian for the History Channel and professor of history. At the University of Oklahoma well good morning sir I'm I'm honored to talk to you. Are we thank you sir happy Thanksgiving before we forget. And tell me about I guess the things that we learned from the release of the JFK documents and would any of it. Be indicative of anything that actually have tender can be proved there is most of it just hearsay. I think most of us found the documents disappointing. At this stage. There's only one question that remains. And that is why did Lee Harvey Oswald shoot JFK I think the evidence is overwhelming. That all three bullets that last network fired that day in dealey plaza. What fired this explore the school book depository building their fire apparently are out well. So the question is why it would for the war commission I think. I got it all is that they paint this portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald that your social practice I want to. Because there's there is background on this relationship with a mother that he's simply was Mal adjusted and it he's assassinated Kennedy. Because you're looking for attention. The fact is one of the things that we've learned from this trove of information is that that marriage is wrong so. You know going back in it periodically absolutely. That on JFK they got a lot of attention. Paul for opening all files congress passed an act. That that bled for the expedited release of these documents. So we've seen I think 99% of all which it paid off at least what they had indicated at least from my point of view is that Oswald. Was. Driven more by ideology that he went by personal demons that he believes. That he would be embraced as a hero in Cuba. By the Soviet Union if he saw the shot JFK. So don't question what we're all looking at is because there's. I was what was in Mexico City. Three weeks before the assassination. Bouncing around between the Soviet embassy in the Cuban consulate trying to get a visa go to Cuba and on to the Soviet Union. And we that we go that the CIA was monitoring him during that time. It's also we also know that at some point. He said he was going to assassinate JFK. So the question was what the CIA now when did Alec why did not pass that information on to the FBI. But I also was there some involvement that some Cuban intelligence. Would be the most likely group. Who ate all log on to. Perhaps told him that he would be it would be rewarded if you shot JFK so. That's really what we were looking for him that was not revealed these documents and which I suspect. Has since the CIA was the one that protested wildest about releasing the documents. That there brigades in at 1%. A document. A lot of information about Mexico City and a lot of patient about what the CIA was doing. And how failed to pass that information on to the appropriate parties. One thing I did see they came out was. Guy of the reporter in. For a newspaper in the UK receiving. Call. Hours before the assassination. Of how do you explain net. I don't I can't gather a lot of things and explain and that's the frustrating thing about the Kennedy assassinations it's are so many. Twist in terms of how likely is it that a guy. Who defected to the Soviet Union came back to the United States. Would go on to assassinate the president and the person and he leak itself would be shot. Two days later by someone who according to Warren commission had no connection onslaught. And and installed call and it I. It's it's analyzing and it's it's interesting I just don't know what to make up. So I guess he did to me you would I would make three things haven't won is that the reporters lying. B is that whoever this source was that had reportedly touted him to big stories before. Knew what was going on in Dallas in terms of the people not liking him and the protests are guests and it happened with analyze Stephenson etc. and which is kind of taken a shot added. War. Somebody would have had to know something but if that's the case why call an obscure relatively obscure paper. Any UK I don't get that professor I'm getting like eighteen texts. About it JFK's brain and is it miss seeing or was it removed area is any of that true any significance at Saturn. I don't think there's any significance I think my understanding is that the Robert Kennedy. Took possession of as Brothers. Brain when and disclosed that it. Until. You know the the the only significance of that would be if someone wanted to go back and read them in the wounds. And besides. Where the bullet came from the Warren commission's it is pretty thorough. I relations. The forensics which I think a compelling. And and and how the wounds. Kennedy's neck. His back is neck and if it were consistent with the belief that Lee Harvey Oswald fired at all shot one of the most interesting things for me I wish I had a I think if you eat that site web site that ABC news that a documentary. And had years ago and they hired. Someone from Hollywood who took his supporters of film and turn it and digitize it. And would advocate for the exact replica of the the the the film and what it child is that of the what the big issues about the the fascination is the so called magic bullet you know this. The first shot that Oswald. Fires misses the second one as the ones and attendees back. It is his throat was in the government probably chatters has since spread. Goes to Princeton and upn has tied the argument is that. That it would be possible for this blitzes to do all that damage in the trajectory of the ball. Would have it make it right turn left turns. In fact but he showed that the work that they that the well is it the way Hannity and Connolly were sitting in the partner what an angle. Connolly was sitting much slower than JFK because you're sitting in the jumps. Andy pick the halt the bullet wounds. Beginning with. Probably. Chance. Thread. And you can do a straight line right activists explores the school book depository so. There's a lot of you know questions about. How the people were fired that shot and that from me the most compelling piece of evidence is differences from the forensics prove. Without any doubt that the the bullets were coming from the explores the fiscal booked a story. Did a some find a bullet as the second when they hit the JFK it was that ever found there was an in his I don't be indelicate here but it does is say day ever find it. Well it shattered. Wanted when it is called the bullet shattered the glass and fragments. There were lots of fragmenting caddies. From the apple. But what was destroyed the is their second bowl is the one to survive and that's the bold has been dubbed the magic. And when he talked about the pristine condition evidence setter did do way has anything ever been proven about battered disproven. Yes so that so part of the the. Magic bullet theory whenever. Magical and the magic bullet there's two issues people raise the magic bullets what is that it could not have done all the damage that it was claimed to have gotten. And that it would at its its trajectory. Would've had a moving in different directions that's a pretty bad I think that's been largely. People. And then the second question is. About your basic condition of that bullet. That is where you have people from. I don't I don't know anything about guns and I've ever fired guns but I know lots of serve but lots of people who. Expert on both sides of this and say yes you can shoot a bullet. And how it goes from soft tissue which for the most part did. And so I'm out there in in pristine condition. So. So and I'll let people who know more about gun debate that night I can decide what. The experts who do. Argue that the ball could've. Common come out commission don't think there's you know the other thing about this is little doubt it was the bullets fired him. It's. That the eleven point five seconds from the time onslaught fires the first shot so hurtful third shot. I didn't show one time and Chico. On the JFK assassination. All the anniversary this probably five or six years ago. We looked at dealey plaza. You know the one most dangerous places in the world is dealey plaza with a television crew cut. Everybody comes up cumulative tally your. Let me just interrupt for a second professor at it for awhile was filled with crack addicts because you could see the pipes in their pocket. And they would tell you stories and once only a story of they're used to be a drain here and that's where they washed down the evidence or something in the in the drain was sealed up right I mean never has got their own story about oh. They're solid and I thought by Gator and people act aggressively if you like if your chances tell me where you'd think the bullet came from. What you leave me alone makes it yes that's OK. I want you appoint. To where the bullet came from. And if you would think Kennedy were gunned down by machine. Going up to the well of course progressing all always a favorite. So I think you always have to go down to the forensics and the forensics. I think they're inclusive. You we're not laughing at the president's assassination certainly but if you if you go to dealey plaza that it's a circus man on and it's exactly what you gonna seek. In a few minutes we have left professor umbrella man. Values the thoughts that the the Secret Service agent accidentally fired a bullet until the president. Tom some other Texan I'm didn't hear about the man with the umbrella and then. Somebody said the History Channel at one point aired something that proved Carlos Marcelo local mob figure was involved in it. 08. I wish we did honestly I had like coach somebody who you would like to have Thanksgiving dinner I'd love to have you over just to talk to you about issued. Probably you probably ask me question in adjusting you know to me ten seconds I'd leave you alone like you did in dealey plaza. But really to wrap all this up how would you say. Well personal. I understand it the like former Yale students analysts say guys would assailant and then with some good. About it. That's a look at your umbrella man which I think is emblematic of how we've been viewed the conspiracy theories have been viewed me. In case something it's fairly innocuous so all of that today clear up by it I'm Kennedy was in dealey plaza which is why it's the bubble popped out on. Most people you would see them depressed and so it's spring clothes in one guy wearing heavy Oprah code. Black hat and umbrella. And the concern he believes that he's somehow signal that he puts his umbrella topic to signal that. Just spiraling and if there's an argument that you've brought with actually weapons that China poison public indication is that. After the that they feel probably it was a guy who went to dealey plaza at the protest not against JFK. But it bothers appeasement of Hitler dynamite buried he dressed up like Neville Chamberlain. So that was the political statement that you need. That's the first I've heard that professor and I'm glad you cleared it up. They're so there's all these differences is that there's a lot of things about it fascination it don't make sense at all things we don't know. One night every time look at it'll unconvinced by the the weight of the evidence. I still left scratching my head sometimes but how could that possibly help and it will be in there and shoot this guy. How could that possibly happened when you look at that pioneer buried in. It's I'm convinced that it was it was the oil pollution act which was a spontaneous acts so. So different components that will probably never know. And we need to stop him hugely imposing big east on the assassination instead. Follow the evidence and more than anything else follow the forensics and I think that's lead. Overwhelmingly to the conclusion. That Lee Harvey Oswald if you are also long shot JFK. Professor Steven guilin resident historian for the History Channel and professor of history. At the University of Oklahoma some being so generous with your time and thank you sir appreciate your time had a happy Thanksgiving.