That’s not all, says Kuntzler.
• Dallas mayor Earle Cabell, whose Brother, Charles, was forced by Kenned to resign as deputy CIA director after the Bay of Pigs, signed off on the last-minute change in the parade route that would bring Kennedy directly into the line of fire.
• The upper echelon of the Secret Service was aware of what was going down, and some rank-and-file agents were told to stand down just before the motorcade entered Dealey Plaza.
• The Ford Motor Company secretly patched up the limousine, so as to erase evidence of bullets fired from the front.
• And Air Force chief of staff Curtis LeMay, who clashed with Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was reportedly seen smiling and smoking a cigar at the slain president’s hasty autopsy — held at Maryland’s Bethesda Naval Hospital, where documents suggest two different brains may have been examined.
Hovering over it all, the theory goes, was the specter of war in Southeast Asia. “Eisenhower warned against the dangers of the military-industrial complex,” Kuntzler says. “War means money. Then and now. The whole military complex was involved. They wanted the war in Vietnam. Kennedy had signed the document, in October of 1963; he was going to pull about 14,000 advisors out.”Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed a patsy, Kuntzler alleges, drawn into the plot as a fall guy. What’s more, he was an FBI and CIA employee ($200 a month) who tried to warn bureau superior James Hosty of the plot 10 days before the assassination. Kuntzler also swears by Dr. Charles Crenshaw’s assertion that newly sworn-in president Lyndon B. Johnson called the operating room of Parkland Hospital after Oswald was mortally wounded, demanding a deathbed confession be extracted from him.
Kuntzler says he was also surprised to learn of the purported roles of gays in the Kennedy assassination. “In the summer of ’63,” he says, “the people who were involved in setting up Oswald — Clay Shaw, David Ferrie — were homosexuals.” The two of them, some have alleged, were CIA-connected anti-Communists who knew Oswald through the agency and set him up as the perfect dupe.
Years ago, it never would have occurred to Kuntzler that the Kennedy assassination could have taken shape, in part, in the low light of French Quarter gay bars. In the 1960s, he says, it would have been “inconceivable that a group of homosexuals would be involved in the murder of a president of the United States.” Yet these two worlds intersected in a number of ways. “After the assassination, naval intelligence was always picking up gay people, looking for people who might be working in government,” he explains. “In July of ’65, they picked up Stephen [Miller, who worked as a stenographer on Capitol Hill]. But I later came to realize that what they were really doing was looking for people who might have an insight into the Kennedy assassination. They were afraid.”
As Kuntzler finishes laying out the particulars of this many-faceted plot, my head is spinning. I’ve never believed Oswald acted alone, but this is rather astounding. Maybe Lyndon Johnson was ruthless, corrupt, and power mad, I suggest. But there’s a world of difference between stuffing a few ballot boxes and helming such a complex and far-reaching coup d’état. Never mind that, as Kuntzler alleges, “there are still people in government today who were involved in the murder — and lots of people who were involved in the cover-up.” It’s a lot to swallow.