Small Changes can make Ironic Changes in History

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AM64 (9:49 AM 1/19/2014) Small changes can like the 'butterfly effect' change history and the interaction between JFK and Oswald appears to be the most unknown case of irony in history.

An interesting case in how small changes can make a difference is the irony of JFK being killed by the one man in the world that was probably responsible for his election to president. Let me attempt to prove the case. With the recent 50 year anniversary of JFK's assassination coming up I have been studying the internet info on the issue and watching many TV specials and documentaries. I have been to the Sixth Floor Museum and read Gary Francis Power's book about his U2 flight. When I was reading about Oswald's history in the marine corps in the appendixes of the Warren Report I came across some little details like the name of an LST that Oswald was on several times during his time in Asia. Typing the name of the LST (Terrell County, LST 1157) into google search brought me to some more detailed information on what he actually did while in the marine corps and the details and timing are fantastic -- you can't make this stuff up.
Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth about the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK by John Newman (Google eBook)

cdm--around page 49 or so Newman has a lot about the U2 missions in Japan and the probable info given by Oswald to the soviets that brought down Gary Francis Powers in May 1960. A case can be made here that is almost science fiction -- that JFK was killed by the one man in the world most responsible for his election. Since it was a close election in 1960 small changes could have been the result of one man. Oswald when he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 took with him all of the information he had collected on U2 operations in Atsugi Japan. He was apparently trained on the newest radar and specifically probably knew the height the U2 flew at and the radar frequencies. The 1960 election was close enough to be the result of nuclear fears stoked by the Democrats and the downing of the U2 made the Republican administration look weak and tipped the balance in favor of JFK.
A few years ago I read Powers book on his U2 mission :
Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident by Francis Gary Powers (Author) , Curt Gentry (Author)

Powers book on the U2 flight that was shot down indicated that the U2 was able to fly high enought to be invisible and that they even flew it on missions spying on our allies in the Suez crisis since no one could see it or track it with radar. Powers was unequivical in claiming the Oswald provided the information resulting in the Soviets ability to shoot him down. He realized that fact as soon as he read the Warren Report. There was a lot of misinformation about the U2 computer glitching and an original set of misinformation by the US that he blacked out due to an oxygen system failure and lost altitude. Powers corrects all of these errors -- twelve years or so later. Newman's book written after much information was now available after the freedom of information act allowed more access -- claimed that there were 28 U2 flights over soviet territory up until Oswald's defection and that immediately after his defection - one more flight was sucessful in April and the next one on May 1st was Powers flight. The timing is correct to say that Oswald gave them the information needed to shoot down Powers. I have to wonder about radar frequencies and if they were able to use some signal used by the U2 to aim the missles that hit him or possibly the Soviet radar was capable but they just needed to know the exact altitude to target. For a flavor on what is available scientifically in radar and radio intelligence type 'Battle of the Beams' into the YouTube search box.
In any case the Powers capture embarassed Eisenhower and a case can be made that to avoid more attention to the lie he was caught up in -- Ike did not use his real knowledge from the U2 flights about the russians missle program failure. Eisenhower did reveal the U2 program on May 11th but I suspect he said as little as possible since he was closely involved in the flights -- personally approving each one -- and had already put in progress the SR-71 programs and satellite systems he did not want revealed. JFK went on his campaign talking up a missle gap when there was really none -- something the U2 reconnaisance proved but was kept secret. That additional information used by Nixon (if he knew of them) could have tipped the balance and we never would have had a president JFK. There will be more on the U2 downing later but for now let us first look at the 1960 election.

cdm--for more detail copy and paste the web addresses into your web browser (of if there is a link -- click on it) to see these articles and graphics on how close the election in 1960 was:

The fact that the 1960 election was close enough for a small change to affect the entire election is show in the election results:
from: 1960 Election Results

"1960 Presidential Election
1960 Election Results
Candidate Party Electoral Votes Popular Votes
John F. Kennedy Democratic 303 34,227,096
Richard M. Nixon Republican 219 34,107,646
Harry F. Byrd Democratic 15 116,248

The United States presidential election of 1960 marked the end of Dwight D. Eisenhower's two terms as President. Eisenhower's Vice President, Richard Nixon, who had transformed his office into a national political base, was the Republican candidate, whereas the Democrats nominated Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy.

The electoral vote was the closest in any presidential election since 1916. In the popular vote, Kennedy's margin of victory was among the closest ever in American history. The 1960 election also remains a source of debate among some historians as to whether vote theft in selected states aided Kennedy's victory. Virginian Senator Harry F. Byrd received 15 electoral votes from 14 Southern and one Oklahoma unpledged and faithless electors, respectively.

This was the first presidential election in which Alaska and Hawaii participated, having been granted statehood, respectively, on January 3 and August 21 of the previous year. It was also the first election in which both candidates for president were born in the 20th century."

cdm--The votes received by Byrd appear to have had no effect on the election:

"Although Byrd was never a candidate in a presidential election, he nevertheless received 116,248 votes in the 1956 election. In the 1960 election, he received 15 electoral votes from unpledged electors: all eight from Mississippi, six of Alabama's 11 (the rest going to John F. Kennedy), and 1 from Oklahoma (the rest going to Richard Nixon).

Byrd retired from the Senate for health reasons in November 1965. His son, Harry F. Byrd, Jr., was appointed his successor."

cdm--the electoral votes that went to Byrd (except for 1 from Oklahoma) would have gone to JFK and in any case Mississippi and Alabama went to JFK anyway and Oklahoma still went for Nixon. If Nixon could have taken Illinois and Texas he would have won making these two states the tipping point. Byrd was an unusual Democrat in that he was fiscally conservative and advocated a balanced budget and pay-as-you-go policies which had been important in the south.
In the article it states:

"The race between Kennedy and Nixon had been close all fall. The candidates were tied in a late August Gallup poll, and Kennedy took a three-point lead after his historic TV debate performances. But Nixon gained momentum heading into Election Day, and he cut Kennedy's lead to one percentage point in a poll taken four days before the election.

Kennedy defeated Nixon when votes were finally counted in the Electoral College, by a margin of 303 to 219. But in the popular vote, Kennedy won by just 112,000 votes out of 68 million cast, or a margin on 0.2 percent.

So arguments persist to this day about vote-counting in two states, specifically Illinois (where Kennedy won by 9,000 votes) and Texas (where Kennedy won by 46,000 votes). If Nixon had won those two states, he would have defeated Kennedy by two votes in the Electoral College.

That fact wasn't lost on Nixon's supporters, who urged the candidate to contest the results. At the time, Kennedy was also leading in the critical state of California, which was Nixon's home state. But a count of absentee ballots gave Nixon the state several weeks later, after he conceded it to Kennedy.

In Illinois, there were rampant rumors that Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley used his political machine to stuff the ballot box in Cook County. Democrats charged the GOP with similar tactics in southern Illinois. Down in Texas, there were similar claims about the influence of Kennedy's running mate, Lyndon B. Johnson, over that state's election.

On Wednesday afternoon, November 9, 1960, Nixon officially conceded the election to Kennedy. He told his friend, journalist Earl Mazo, that 'our country cannot afford the agony of a constitutional crisis.' (Mazo had written a series of articles about voter fraud after the 1960 election, which he stopped at Nixon's request.)

In later years, Nixon also claimed in an autobiography that widespread fraud happened in Illinois and Texas during the 1960 election."

Another web page referred to by the one above :

"The GOP obtained court orders for recounts in five counties, but by Dec. 1 the state Republican committee conceded that the recounts had failed to uncover any significant discrepancies, and they halted the process. Kennedy was certified the state's official winner by 22,091 votes. Other states' recount bids and investigations similarly petered out.

Texas and Illinois, the two largest states under dispute, witnessed the nastiest fights. In Texas, where Kennedy won the 24 electoral votes by a margin of 46,000 ballots, the GOP took to the courts. But its suits were thrown out by a federal judge who claimed he had no jurisdiction. In Illinois, the appeal was pursued more vigorously, maybe because the electoral take was higher (27) and Kennedy's margin slimmer (9,000 votes). Charges focused on Cook County (specifically Chicago) where Kennedy had won by a suspiciously overwhelming 450,000 votes.

A recount did wind up changing the winner in one state: Hawaii. On Dec. 28, a circuit court judge ruled that the state originally called Kennedy's but awarded to Nixon after auditing errors emerged belonged to Kennedy after all. Nixon's net gain: -3 electoral votes.

On the other hand, some fraud clearly occurred in Cook County. At least three people were sent to jail for election-related crimes, and 677 others were indicted before being acquitted by Judge John M. Karns, a Daley crony. Many of the allegations involved practices that wouldn't be detected by a recount, leading the conservative Chicago Tribune, among others, to conclude that "once an election has been stolen in Cook County, it stays stolen." What's more, according to journalist Seymour Hersh, a former Justice Department prosecutor who heard tapes of FBI wiretaps from the period believed that Illinois was rightfully Nixon's. Hersh also has written that J. Edgar Hoover believed Nixon actually won the presidency but in deciding to follow normal procedures and refer the FBI's findings to the attorney general as of Jan. 20, 1961, Robert F. Kennedy he effectively buried the case.

Another man, too, believed Nixon was robbed: Nixon. At a 1960 Christmas party, he was heard greeting guests, "We won but they stole it from us." Nixon nursed the grudge for years, and when he was criticized for his Watergate crimes he would cite the Kennedys' misdeeds as precedent. He may have felt JFK's supposed theft entitled him to cheat in 1972. It's an interesting hypothetical: If no pall had been cast over the 1960 election, would Watergate have happened?"
cdm--oddly enough the constutuioncenter blog that referred to this article implied that the recounts proved there was no significant fraud to swing the election -- but that is not how I read this article. Also California went to Kennedy on election night but was later given to Nixon based upon the absentee ballot count -- but after he conceeded of course."

In my opinion the content of these articles on the close election of 1960 give enough support to prove that issues such as the supposed 'missle gap' and the other U2 related issues such as the cancelled summit because of the U2 downing could well have made the difference to 'swing' the election.

Next we have to convince you with facts that there is proof that Oswald killed JFK (not a given for a lot of people). If you got this far into my article and can accept that it was a very close election possibly swayed by the U2 downing (also probably hard to believe by some people) then the final piece to complete the irony is whether or not Oswald provided the info to have the U2 shot down (covered after a short detailing on some assassination facts).

First of all -- if you want to believe in conspiracies I would guess a case could also be made that an angered CIA (seeking vengance over losing a cherished program like the U2 and probably not entirely happy with JFK's handling of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missle Crisis) could have set Oswald up. They could have made him look like the assassin while other hit men did the finishing shot(s). This would really make Oswald the 'patsy' he claimed and the CIA took out two enemies at the same time in the most satisfying case of irony in history. But the irony would still be there whether or not Oswald did it on his own or was a 'patsy' for others.

In the flurry of 50 year aniversary specials was one by Nova on the JFK assassination. This one had very specific data and tests performed by experts on firearms. The new data there was overwhelming (if one is able to objectively look at facts and reconstruction experiments) as to eliminating the major issues of the conspiracy theories for me:

Nova: Cold Case JFK

"Cold Case JFK

Can modern forensic science uncover fresh clues about the assassination of JFK? Aired November 13, 2013 on PBS
Program Description

Fifty years later, what can science tell us about the Kennedy assassination and the investigations that followed? The 1963 murder, in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses, might seem to be a homicide investigator's best-case scenario. Yet somehow the JFK assassination became a forensic nightmare, plagued by a controversial autopsy and, incredibly, a prime suspect murdered on live television while in police custody, before he could be tried. As a result, today millions of Americans suspect a conspiracy. Now, NOVA launches a fresh investigation into the physical evidence, using state-of-the-art forensics, including laser scanning, new ballistics tests, and a 3D digital reconstruction of the president's skull, all to try to solve the murder of the century. 'Cold Case JFK is part of series of specials airing on PBS in November to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death."

cdm--watch the video on the above site. It is available probably due to the importance of getting the truth out. The capabilities of that supposedly cheap rifle make me want one -- and that odd shape for the bullet was effective. Note that the 'magic bullet' was not pristine but actually showed the lead partially squeezed out of the metal jacket.

Zapruder Film Slow Motion (HIGHER QUALITY)
Zapruder Film Slow Motion (HIGHER QUALITY)

cdm--watch the video and note that the blood goes forward toward the front of the car -- and the grassy knoll. A shot from the front would not produce that effect. No one seriously claims there was another gunman to the rear of JFK.

If those two videos don't disabuse you of the 'magic bullet' theory and get you accepting the probability that Oswald was the assassin then I cannot help you -- but if you can accept my suggested proof -- here is the last puzzle piece:

The last set of data needs to establish something just touched on above -- Oswald's probable responsibility in providing the information to the Soviets to enable the U2 downing.
I don't know of any books specifically detailing Oswald's part in the U2 downing -- most of the books detail aspects of Oswald's life and the assassination -- the U2 stuff is only hinted at in the Warren Report and the only definite statement was the one by Gary Francis Powers detailed above. But if you can assemble facts from several sources -- the case can be made that Oswald's defection was responsible for Power's getting shot down.

In a book on Oswald :
Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth about the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK (Google eBook)
cdm--the entire book is not available for free but search the available preview pages.

Newman claims that the Atsugi U2 missions were shut down immediately after the U2 downing and he claims this as proof that the CIA was aware of the fact that Oswald probably gave the soviets the information they needed. It could be coincidental that Oswald three years later ended up positioned to take the shots. A lot of the writings about Oswald would indicate that it was just pure luck that he got the job in the book repository and that the motorcade just happened to go by the building. The same stories indicate that Oswald got his rifle earlier in the year when he decided to assassinate General Walker and just barely missed by inches in April. At the time of JFK's visit to Dallas -- Oswald was self-trained as an assassin (already taken a shot at a General Walker) and with his Cuban sympathies it could have been an idea all of his own. These small coincidences and strokes of luck are part of the importance of small changes -- as long as they were not part of a conspiracy.

Another web page with some insight into Oswald :
The Oswald Agenda By Jerry Organ

Another web page with more detail on Oswald in Russia :

cdm--at one point Oswald went to the US embassy in Moscow and was reported to have said:

"Oswald offered the information that he had been a radar operator in the Marine Corps and that he had voluntarily stated to unnamed Soviet officials that as a Soviet citizen he would make known to them such information concerning the Marine Corps and his specialty as he possessed. He intimated that he might know something of special interest." [FSD-234]

cdm--further pages detail how he was placed in Minsk working in an electronics production shop. Jerry Organ's site indicated that Oswald made several new Cuban friends there. Other reports indicate that as many as 200 Americans defected around the time Oswald did and significantly very few were allowed to stay. No real data seems available on KGB interrogation as the available testimony was from official Russian tour guides and people like that -- you would expect any KGB involvement would have been covert and not available to these tourist journalists seeking info for writing books. Oswald appears to have kept a diary during his time there but you have to consider that with all of the planning and effort he made to become a communist that what went into his diary was probably designed for show.
cdm--I did a search on the radar equipment Oswald was probably working with in the Marine Corps. He had deployed on several ships that apparently set up this equipment to track the U2 flights over China (site about ancient radars).

A site with info on the AN/MPS-16 radar

"Antenna of the AN/MPS-16 (click to enlarge: 480·640px = 114 kByte)
Figure 1: Antenna of the AN/MPS-16

Antenna of the AN/MPS-16 (click to enlarge: 480·640px = 114 kByte)
Figure 2: Antenna of the AN/MPS-16

Built by Avco.

The radar set AN/MPS-16 is a high-power, long-range, mobile height finder. It is capable of accepting azimuth control from, and furnishing height data to, search radar sets equipeed with either Indicator Group OA-175/FPS-3 or AN/UPA-35. Radar information displayed by the AN/UPA-35 permits control and direction of military aircraft from a ground station. The transmitter uses a Magnetron type QK 632. The waveguide-system depends on inputs of dry air for proper operation. The electronics dry-air branch is fed from the compressor air main through desiccant dehydrator. The receiver is a superheterodyne using an IF-frequency of 30 MHz. The receiver has got a noise figure of 10 dB at a bandwidth of 500 kHz.

The antenna is a paraboloidal reflector with a 21' height and 5'5' width. The antenna forms a Fan-Beam pattern with a gain of 43 dB. The antenna can rotate continuously in the horizontal plane, and nod in the vertical plane through two arcs of different magnitude. The side-lobe attenuation is 26 dB minimally.

The power consumption is fed by aa autarc 20kW Generator, or by a motor-generator set with an input of 25 kw, 60 cps, 3 ph, 4-wire, 120/208v ac and an output of 20 kw, 400 cps, 3 ph, 4-wire, 120/208v ac. The components are mounted on pallets which are, in turn, mounted on 1 each M-35 trucks (Including the Indicator Group 4 each trucks). An antenna of the AN/MPS-16 is exhibited into the Bayerwald' barracks in Regen (Bavaria - Germany).
frequency: 5.2 ' 5.3 GHz
pulse repetition time (PRT):
pulse repetition frequency (PRF): 300 ' 364 hertzes, nominally: 360 hertzes
pulsewidth (τ): 2.5 microseconds
receive time:
dead time:
peak power: 1 megawatt
average power: 900 watts
displayed range: 200 nautical miles (370 km)
range resolution:
beamwidth: β:2,4° ε:0,6°
hits per scan:
antenna rotation: 0 ' 8 rpm "

cdm--that is probably more technical info than most people want but if you noticed the relatively small size of the radar system you should realize that in that production facility in Minsk -- Oswald could have been helping to validate his story by working with Russian technicians to build a copy. If it worked it would have enabled the Russians to determine the height and directional data to enable the SAMs to effectively target the U2 on May 1st 1960. He would have known the frequencies required for best use also. These time-in-russia webpages also indicate that the Soviets paid him a salary and spent a lot of money on him. The US state department paid for his return flight to the US presumably to be able to interrogate him about his activities in Russia.

I did a search on the google ebook above for the word 'irony' and it came up with four instances in Newman's book but none specific to the irony I am talking about here -- that is the irony of JFK being shot by the man who got him elected.

Google search 'Lee Harvey Oswald JFK irony' -- no mentions of the irony I am speaking of appear.

A fairly long account of Oswald's life -- especially his childhood and possible causes for his problems.

check out --
A fairly long account of Oswald's life -- especially his childhood and possible causes for his problems.

So in conclusion I believe the facts support the killing by Oswald of JFK, the close election could have went the other way without the U2 downing, and finally that the U2 downing was due to information supplied by Oswald -- completing the irony.

One last note here is that as I was completing this article I decided to write an article on book reviews. In that article I have to state that for most books no reviews are available. But in the case of JFK and the Kennedys in general -- this is not the case. For example -- a book that came out in the summer preceeding the 50th aniversary of the assassination a scholar named Thurston Clarke wrote a book :
JFK S LAST HUNDRED DAYS The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President
Illustrated. 432 pages. The Penguin Press. $29.95.

There may be hundreds of reviews of this one book alone and in an article by Clarke on his writing of the book he mentions that he ended up with bookcases containing over 300 books on the Kennedys and JFK. One reviewer noted that there were over 40,000 books on the Kennedys and the JFK assassination. Clarke's book says almost nothing about the assassination but attempts to prove the 'what ifs' based on his belief that JFK had made a transformation in the last 100 days --( to the image that most liberals have of him -- my take).

cdm--I have a couple of hundred books on the Kennedys and JFK topics and a VHS retail version of the Zapruder film. I have a really well done VHS video of an alien autopsy. I also have hundreds of books on UFOs -- I must have an interest in the mysteries.

The Kennedy vs Nixon controversy in politics is an open sore for a lot of people -- mostly on the liberal side and many of the books are hagiographies (as the Thurston Clarke book above) that attempt to prove a positive side to the Kennedys and JFK in particular. As in all of the general liberal vs conservative controversies the liberals tend to focus on the intent of the liberal or conservative and conversely the conservatives focus on the results. In the case of JFK you don't have to do much searching to find positive accounts focusing on his 'intentions' -- it is in the media atmosphere and you would have to be in your individual environmental suit to not 'breathe in' the general media take on JFK. Note that I attempt here to give information -- not on JFK's intent to lie to win the election or Oswald's intentions in killing JFK -- I am just putting out some information on the facts and links for readers to research themselves the 'results' of the election, Oswald's defection, and JFK's assassination. This probably puts me clearly in the conservative 'camp' but hopefully not in any extreme wing of that grouping.

I want to leave you with a mention of a book that is the opposite of Clarke's hagiography :
JFK, Conservative by Ira Stoll 'A startling reconsideration of John F. Kennedy s record and achievements' - October 15, 2013 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $27.00

A reviewer of the book states :
"John F. Kennedy is lionized by liberals. He inspired LBJ to push for landmark civil rights laws. His New Frontier promised new spending on education and medical care for the elderly. His champions insist he would have done great liberal things had he not been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

But what if we judge him by the lengthy record of his actual political career, in historical perspective?
What if this hero of liberals was, in fact, the opposite of a liberal?

As Ira Stoll convincingly argues, by the standards of both his time and our own, John F. Kennedy was a conservative. His two great causes were anticommunism and economic growth. His tax cuts, which spurred one of the greatest economic booms in our history, were fiercely opposed by his more liberal advisers. He fought against unions. He pushed for free trade and a strong dollar. And above all, he pushed for a military buildup and an aggressive anticommunism around the world. Indeed, JFK had more in common with Ronald Reagan than with LBJ."

cdm--The Ira Stoll book had very few reviews and short ones at that -- the reviews of Clarke's book were long and numerous. And consider the fact that JFK was different from most Democrats -- he was in the Navy during WW2 (PT-109) but most of the liberal icons like Wilson, FDR, Clinton, and Obama were not veterans of any war. Carter was a Navy chaplain and Kerry threw away his medals.

cdm--I have not read the Ira Stoll book but you have to wonder if the 'what if scenario' of the liberal books about JFK have got it all wrong and a transformed Kennedy (dropping the anti-war rhetoric after re-election) in his second term could have become a 'conservative Democrat' and much of the political divisions of the last fifty years may never have materialized. But as Asimov famously wrote 'all of history is written by Liberals because Conservatives can't write' -- perhaps conservatives can only write about results rather than intentions and of course that 'what if scenario' did not occur and generate results a conservative would write about. In my reading hobby I have read and collected many fiction books and one category is the 'Alternate History' novel. Perhaps books like Clarke's that speculate on 'intentions' should be reclassified as 'Alternate History Fiction' rather than non-fiction and similarly the extreme conservative books with the 'conspiracy view of history' that appear to be a collection of 'scientific facts' reclassified as theoretical books on 'the mysteries' in the same non-fiction section as books on Atlantis and Planet X.

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