Lee Harvey Oswald and the ACLU
Although conspiracy theories abound as to who orchestrated President John F. Kennedy’s murder 50 years ago, there is little doubt regarding who actually pulled the trigger and shot the 35th president: left-wing radical Lee Harvey Oswald.
This fact escapes most of the liberal media members who often attribute Kennedy’s death to conservatives or “right-wing hate.”
For instance, the New York Times recently published an article called, “The City With a Death Wish in its Eye,” in which the author, James McAuley, called Dallas the “city of hate,” a city that “willed the death of a president.”
This bizarre and un-factual conclusion has been peddled for many years, especially by left-wing politicos that attempt to paint every conservative political movement as a diabolical conspiracy to kill liberal politicians.
The Warren Commission, the official government investigation into the JFK assassination, claimed that Oswald acted alone, but did little to explain his motivations other than describing him as essentially a sociopath with an overbearing mother and a history of anti-social behavior.
But much work has been done to uncover Oswald’s strange life, and it is clear that he was not just a twisted psychopath or a deranged madman, but a true believer in left-wing doctrine with a deep hatred for the United States. He was involved with a number of liberal causes and had been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union; he had officially joined just weeks before he took Kennedy’s life, and when questioned after murdering Kennedy, Oswald specifically asked for an ACLU attorney.
I want that attorney in New York, Mr. Abt. I don't know him personally but I know about a case that he handled some years ago, where he represented the people who had violated the Smith Act, [which made it illegal to teach or advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government]... I don't know him personally, but that is the attorney I want. …If I can't get him, then I may get the American Civil Liberties Union to send me an attorney.
The man whom Oswald requested, John Abt, was a member of the Progressive Party and spent most of his career as the chief legal counsel of the Communist Party.
Oswald had been a radar operator for the United States Marine Corps but was court martialed after accidentally shooting himself in the arm. It was during his time in the Marines that Oswald, according to a Washington Post review of Peter Savodink’s The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union, “developed an interest in communism and the Soviet Union, read Pravda in his bunk and talked about communism with his squad mates.”
Savodink said that Oswald’s fellow marines called him “Oswaldskovich” because of his fascination with communism and the U.S.S.R.
Oswald moved to the Soviet Union after he was discharged and spent just over two years there, meeting and marrying his wife, Marina Prusakova, and living as a small-time celebrity. However, many details about Oswald’s life behind the Iron Curtain are shrouded in mystery, and he undoubtedly had extensive contact with the Soviet KGB.
University of Oklahoma Professor Steven M. Gillon, who wrote Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live, recently wrote an article for the History News Network discussing the Warren Commission’s failure to explain “why” Oswald assassinated JFK. Gillion said the Commission failed to describe a “single motive” for why Oswald pulled the trigger.
He then explained how Oswald was deeply motivated by left-wing ideological convictions and was not merely a psychopath. JFK’s killer desperately wanted to impress Cuban Communists, especially after he failed to receive a Cuban visa just months before the assassination.
“Oswald was driven by a desire to prove his fidelity to the Cuban Revolution, gain Castro's respect, and possibly travel to Cuba as a conquering hero,” Gillion said.
Most communist leaders were afraid to make such an aggressive move as killing the president, which is why, Gillion surmised, it is unlikely that Soviet and Cuban regimes had any direct part to play in Kennedy’s murder.
But the Commission was wary of the heated Cold War politics of the time and buried Oswald’s true motivations.
The Commission knew a great deal about Oswald's politics: his early embrace of Marxism, his defection to the Soviet Union, his involvement in pro-Castro groups in New Orleans, and his attempted assassination of right-wing retired general Edwin Walker a few months before he killed JFK.
Where the Commission failed, however, was in understanding the depth of the CIA’s attempts to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro and that it monitored Oswald in the months before the murder.
Though the final Commission report stated that Oswald killed Kennedy because he was disgruntled with Cuba, Gillion claims that the opposite is true. Gillion said that, “it is more likely that Oswald killed Kennedy in order to convince Cuban authorities to accept his petition for a visa.”
This leads to the obvious conclusion. Whatever theories exist about connections to the Soviet Union, Cuba, the mob, the CIA, or anything else, Lee Harvey Oswald was a leftist true believer that wanted to take out the President of the United States and leader of the free world.
Ultimately, Oswald was militantly anti-American, desperately tried to join the country’s enemies, and would have willingly betrayed the United States. That he killed a president many liberals adore was incidental to his Communist cause that was most threatened by the democratically-elected leader of the United States and the American people.