Philip Shenon on a Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, and questions have haunted our nation since: Was there a single gunman? Was Lee Harvey Oswald part of a conspiracy? Did the Warren Commission discover the whole truth of what happened? Investigative journalist Philip Shenon looks into these questions and provides many of the answers. His book A Cruel and Shocking Act: A Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination discloses information that was withheld from the Warren Commission by the CIA, FBI and others in power in Washington. Shenon also argues that Chief Justice Earl Warren was more committed to protecting the Kennedy family than getting to the full truth about what happened on that tragic day.


Philip Shenon

Comments [7]

@Edward Brown...

Ruby's supposed motives make all the sense in the world. Criminals are not the sharpest knife in the drawer and often see things as a matter of moral black and white - no grays at all. I can imagine Ruby hatching a plot and acting alone. It is also reasonable to believe that Ruby was part of a bigger conspiracy.

What shocks me is that Oswald was transported in public and that the Dallas police didn't at least have a bullet-proof vest on him. 20-20, I know...but dumb...just dumb.

Nov. 21 2013 12:41 PM
Katherine from Brooklyn, NY

The disbelief that continues to swirl around the subject of the assassination of JFK and the findings of the Warren Commission is not because "most Americans" believe in conspiracies but because there was so much controversy surrounding JFK himself and his brother Bobby. In spite of their immense popularity, they had many enemies (e.g., Hoover and the FBI; Lyndon Johnson), and they were involved with more than a few unsavory characters in organized crime. It is not unreasonable to believe that JFK's death may have been the result of a conspiracy but we will probably never know because so many facts have been covered up.

As Philip Shenon proves in this interview--and I can't wait to read his book--both the FBI and the CIA had Oswald in their sights months in advance of the assassination, and could have prevented it. Whether they bungled it or allowed Oswald's plan to move forward will probably never be known. Add to this the bungled autopsy, the overbearing insistence of Earl Warren, a close friend of the Kennedys, and the Kennedy clan itself, to gloss over or hide evidence, and we would be fools to believe in the Warren Commission's final report.

Nov. 20 2013 02:04 PM
Jillian from Brooklyn

Didn't Oliver Stone tell us this in 1991?

Nov. 20 2013 12:40 PM
Tony from Canarsie

I'm not surprised that most Americans think there was a conspiracy. Most Americans also believe in the existence of angels and UFO's.

In my opinion, it's about people's inability to comprehend that a eminent leader could be murdered by a total nobody.

Nov. 20 2013 12:31 PM
Ana from Bergen county

What does your guest think of the pbs special from NOVA that scientifically proves it was not a conspiracy?

Nov. 20 2013 12:29 PM

Use of the historical present tense by second- and third-rate historians is confusing and pretentious.

Nov. 20 2013 12:27 PM
Edward Brown from Manhattan

The single thing that convinces me that there was more to the JFK assassination is that Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby--a minor hood. It makes no sense to me that he did it out of anger.

Nov. 20 2013 12:24 PM

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