In his book “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination,” former New York Times investigative reporter Philip Shenon raises interesting questions about the trip to Mexico City Lee Harvey Oswald made mere weeks before — according to the official version of the events of Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas — Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy and seriously wounded Texas Gov. John Connolly. The CIA, Shenon writes, knew Oswald was in Mexico City and was associating with Soviet spies, Cuban spies and diplomats and Mexican admirers of Fidel Castro.
Why the CIA and FBI didn’t make more of the possible threat Oswald, a former Marine who defected to the Soviet Union and later returned to the United States, posed to Kennedy is one of the many questions that still surround the JFK assassination, the 50th anniversary of which is Friday.
A newly published Gallup poll found that 61 percent of Americans believe the Kennedy assassination was the result of a conspiracy. That is lower than the all-time high of belief in an anti-Kennedy plot, 81 percent.
Shenon’s book outlines many inconsistencies between the Warren Commission’s version of the assassination and things we now know. Shenon has said, however, it is more likely this was a result of investigative incompetence and too much concern for the feelings of the Kennedy family, not sinister machinations. Shenon wonders, however, what might have happened if Oswald’s trip to Mexico had received more scrutiny than it did because we know now — but didn’t in 1963 — the Kennedy administration had been trying to kill Castro.
So do we.