Op-Ed: 50 years, on, who killed JFK and why?

Posted Nov 22, 2013 by Eileen Kersey
At the 50-year anniversary of the assassination of JFK few people question his "greatness" but would his legacy have stood the test of time had he served one or two full terms in office? That question plus who killed him and why remain elusive.
Dealey Plaza is pictured during  The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy   a cere...
Dealey Plaza is pictured during "The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy", a ceremony marking the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas November 22, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Mike Stone
Conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of JFK abound. Thursday Scottsdale, Ariz., attorney Craig Zirbel maintains there was a "Texas connection" in the Kennedy assassination and it leads right to the Vice President of the day, Lyndon B Johnson.
USA Today reported: "He [LBJ] didn't pull the trigger, but he was in the thick of the conspiracy, according to a Scottsdale attorney who has written two books on the subject."
It is easy to look back through rose-colored glasses and view history sentimentally. Harsh as it sounds, it is also easier to be remembered as one of America's great Presidents if you died young. With age human frailties, bad judgments and personal failings may damage your reputation.
It is also easy to deride conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of JFK but the notion that he was killed by a lone gunman is not proved.
When JFK was brutally assassinated in 1963, who could watch and not be moved? Here in the UK the event was viewed through tears and anger. Who would assassinate such a fine man and why? Fifty years on the world waits for answers to those questions.
This week, in the UK, JFK's nephew Robert told the media that he does not believe the assassination was by a lone gunman, but possibly included a rogue CIA agent. He also claims that his father Robert, also assassinated, was of the same mind.
A series of docu-dramas shown on British TV have included claims that a special agent in a car following the President's limo accidentally fired the fatal shot.
From day one the man accused of killing JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, claimed he was just a "patsy." A fall guy for a cover-up, but by whom and why?
The murder is a sad indictment of the US and shows that its recent gun problems and allegations of runaway secret agencies, such as the NSA, are nothing new.
Although President Kennedy was viewed in life as a hero by many ordinary people in the west he had enemies. Let's face it to be a President and not have enemies would mean you were ineffective or useless.
Did JFK though have more enemies than other US Presidents?
We now know that he had a long-standing affair with US movie star Marilyn Monroe. These days that probably would not matter. Look at Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky for confirmation of changing times. However in the early sixties such behavior was never public unless a political career was over.
If President Kennedy had completed two Presidential terms, lasting until 1969, he would have faced a series of tough challenges.
However even during his brief time in office, 22 months, he faced the Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuban missile crisis, start of the Vietnam war, the civil rights fight and the suspicious death of Marilyn Monroe.
All events were capable of toppling POTUS35 but he was made of sterner stuff than that.
In the end it took a coward, or two, with a gun, or two, to end the presidency.
We will never know if JFK would have fulfilled his promise had he lived and it seems we will never know who killed him or why.