An unusual assortment of national political figures were in or around Dallas on the day of the assassination or the day prior to it, including J. Edgar Hoover, according to William Penn Jones, an Army Brigadier General and owner of the Midlothian Mirror, Richard Nixon, according to a Pepsi Cola executive whose convention Nixon spoke at the night before, and George HW Bush, at that time a CIA operative. Nixon's recollections of the day have been inconsistent, and HW Bush initially said that he did not recall where he was on that day, although Russ Baker shows that he was in Dallas but concocting elaborate "alibis."
Other pieces of film evidence have emerged since the famous "Zapruder film", taken by bystander Abraham Zapruder. The Zapruder film was shown to the public on network television for the first time in 1975, generating public outrage, 12 years after the assassination, which led to the formation of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Another film sequence shows the Secret Service being ordered away from the limousine as it enters a hairpin turn just before the shooting began. Disputing a flurry of reports that the president was difficult to protect because he enjoyed being near the public and enjoyed campaigning, ten Secret Service agents who were in Kennedy's security detail went on-record in 1998 saying the opposite, that Kennedy never interfered with the details.
One agent who was in the detail, Clint Hill, has attempted to explain a key agent's removal from the limousine as it entered the turn by saying it was that agent's time to "go to lunch." The hairpin turn onto Elm Street which slowed the limousine to a near stop was the most vulnerable portion of the parade route. Moreover, Secret Service details are run as paramilitary operations in which the needs of the mission always take precedence over all other considerations, such as "lunch" breaks.
Secret Service called off limousine before shooting
Dallas Mayor May Close Off Dealey Plaza to Unapproved Speakers
According to the Dallas Morning News, this November 22nd the city of Dallas may close off Dealey Plaza, the site of the JFK assassination and now a National Park, to the general public, and reserve the plaza for a ticketed event. The Dallas News reports that Nicola Longford, the executive director of the Sixth Floor Museum at the Texas Book Depository has said:
"We have reserved Dealey Plaza for that date...I think, for the 50th anniversary, we have an opportunity to offer a dignified, appropriate event for the city of Dallas."
The newspaper says:
"On Nov. 22, 2013, Dealey Plaza is expected to swarm with television cameras. For the past few months, officials at the adjacent Sixth Floor Museum have been quietly at work, trying to ensure that what those cameras capture won't embarrass the city."
The Sixth Floor Museum is run by a private, non-profit organization, but the property itself is owned by the County of Dallas.
John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame
(image by SchuminWeb)
OccupyGrassyKnoll.org, an organization of advocates for freedom of speech at Dealey Plaza, has reported that unticketed visitors "will be turned away at barricades and asked to watch the event at other parks." However, a columnist for the Dallas News says that the city is showing signs of bending from its plan to:
"shut down Dealey Plaza with paramilitary force on November 22, specifically banishing anyone who would dare inform visiting media that some people still aren't sure who killed Kennedy."
The Dallas News writer says:
"This may be the last group in the world that would ever agree to trudge off meekly to some state-sanctioned dissent venue distant from Dealey Plaza on the 22nd. They are going to Dealey Plaza. They have to go to Dealey Plaza. There may be a chance this could all get worked out between now and November in some way that would avoid a showdown. But if it isn't worked out, there will be a big messy showdown."
Ironically, the Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, was in the audience when RFK Jr. made his pronouncement that his father, Bobby, did not in fact believe there was only one gunman. When asked by activists if JFK's nephew would be allowed to speak at the ticketed event given his point of view, the mayor answered that he would, "but he would have to stay on point."
The Question of Why