Don Reddick
The Travelogues

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Dallas, Texas

Nothing has changed here. I stand on the cupola where Abraham Zapruder had once stood, and look up to my left at the Texas Book Depository building, eyeing the infamous sixth floor window. To my right is the triple underpass. In front of me is Elm Street and the scene of what may be the single greatest tragedy in American history. Behind me and to my right is the long, low, grey picket fence atop the grassy knoll, where once a man stood who murdered a president.

This place appears so small, as if for some reason, perhaps a longing for fairness, it should be larger, that the fatal shot should have travelled a greater distance. But it is not so. The distance from the picket fence to the center of Elm Street is very, very short. The place now is a tourist attraction, and at all times of day and night people can be found gathered here, pointing first to the Book Depository window, and then at the grassy knoll.

As I wander back and duck under the fence to stand in the approximate spot of the murderer, I think of the books, and The Movie. The evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was not the shooter, and that there were indeed more than one shooter, is largely circumstantial. A battle was fought here, although no monument shall ever grace this spot for the victorious generals. In fact, nowhere in the anals of war is there another instance where the victorious generals tried so hard to conceal their identity. And if it is uncertain who actually won this war, remember that Arlen Spector, the man who helped concoct and perpetrate the single most absurd conning of the American public, the man who first articulated the Magic Bullet Theory, is still in power in Washington, D.C.

His theory, in brief, concluded that three bullets caused all the wounds in the presidential motorcade that day. His theory is important, because it "explains" how only one shooter could have caused all these wounds, which is necessary to pin the tail on the donkey, one Lee Harvey Oswald. To acknowledge that more than three bullets were fired that day would acknowledge more than one shooter, and therefore a conspiracy to assassinate a president. What none of the victorious generals counted on was the assassination being filmed by Mr. Zapruder, and the eventual witnessing of the act by the entire American public. A public not as naive as the Warren Commission believed; they knew when a bullet fired from a high-powered rifle hit something, that something moved in the same direction as the bullet was travelling.

Despite being the greatest crime in American history, despite being caught on film, and despite the entire resources of the United States government, the truth remains unknown, the crime unsolved. There is a name, a face, a family out there behind a trigger finger. Perhaps there are two or three. Perhaps there are a thousand. But this much is known: two days after becoming President of the United States, Lydon Johnson signed papers reversing the stated aims of the Kennedy administration regarding the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. Since that long-off time we lost a war and, at last count, 58,167 American lives in the process.

Richard Nixon would later pardon, against all advice, Jimmy Hoffa, the Mafia enemy of Jack and Bobby Kennedy. Nixon fought a secret war in Cambodia and Laos, then hired several Cubans, some of whom were present in Dealey Plaza on that afternoon in 1963, to break into the Watergate Hotel. Nixon was impeached, and replaced by his Vice President, Gerald Ford. Ford, also a member of the Warren Commission and alleged to have been the FBI's "spy" on that committee, then pardoned Nixon. Ronald Reagan, an actor, became President, and conducted a secret war in Central America, circumventing laws which specifically forbade it. He also exchanged arms for hostages with Iran, was caught at both misdeeds, pled ignorance, and yet is considered one of our finest presidents. When Reagan retired, his Vice-President George Bush, a former head of the CIA, succeeded him. It can be argued that for almost thirty years this country was ruled by a series of men - with the exception of Jimmy Carter - who considered foreign policy to be none of the American public's business.

What does it all mean? No one will tell us. The fact that the government holds records it will not release for another twenty years accentuates the obvious, that if agents of the United States government were not responsible for the assassination itself, they are at least complicit in it by their obstruction of justice. And all of it started when our government concocted a ridiculous theory about a ridiculous bullet path, and expected the American public to be dumb enough to swallow it whole. But as I stand broken hearted here today in Dallas, Texas and stare at the center of Elm Street, so close in front of me, I cannot help but wonder if good ol' Arlen Specter and his fellow members of that atrocity called the Warren Commission appreciate the irony of his famous theory. Lee Harvey Oswald never killed a soul in his life, but there certainly was a Magic Bullet fired just after noontime on November 22, 1963.

Including John Fitzgerald Kennedy, it killed 58,168 people.