Brad Meltzer decodes some of the most ubiquitous conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of JFK

Brad Meltzer’s new book, History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, provides fascinating insight into 10 of the greatest conspiracies of all time. From D.B. Cooper to the fate of John Wilkes Booth to Area 51, Brad investigates the claims behind some of the most notorious conspiracies in American history.

After running through many of the conspiracies in the book – D.B. Cooper, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the conspiracy behind the Confederate gold, the White House Cornerstone, the Spear of Destiny, Leonardo da Vinci, and Area 51 – over the last few weeks, on radio this morning, Brad joined Glenn to talk about the ultimate conspiracy theory: The assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

On Wednesday’s Glenn Beck Program, Glenn spoke with Roger Stone, author of The Man who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, about his theory that then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson played a very big role in the killing of President Kennedy. A portion of Stone’s research revolves around Jack Ruby – the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald – and Glenn asked Brad to explain who Ruby is and what role he played in incident.

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“It’s one of the great myths. The great myth of Jack Ruby is that he’s a nightclub owner with mob connections that you’d think would come from central casting in a Martin Scorsese movie. And the truth is he definitely owns the local nightclub… but the amazing part is… Jack Ruby has no proven mob involvement,” Brad explained. “But Jack Ruby actually, against his lawyer’s advice, took a lie-detector test to prove that he wasn’t involved with the mob. And you know what? He passed… He says the reason that he gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald is because he loved the Kennedys so much. He didn’t want to have to see Jackie Kennedy go on the witness stand and, in front of the country, testify to what happened when her husband’s head exploded and splattered his brains all across her pink dress.”

As Brad sees it, the real question Americans should be asking about Ruby is: How did he get past every police officer who as supposedly guarding the most wanted man in America?

“So much of these stories become distraction and they take us away from the questions we should be asking about this… which is… why is [Ruby] in there two times,” Brad asked. “And one of the details that I love most is… he almost misses him. And the only reason why Jack Ruby is there and the timing is perfect is because Lee Harvey Oswald, as he’s leaving the interrogation and about to be leaving the jail, says he’s cold and he asks for a sweater. And they have to look around for a sweater… If Lee Harvey Oswald doesn’t [ask for a sweater], these two guys are never in the same place at the same time. It is a moment in history that would have been entirely different.”

Glenn then asked Brad to explain why there is so much controversy surrounding the Warren Commission and its findings. As Brad explains, it’s not what the Warren Commission released to the public that is in question so much as what they chose to keep classified. Had the American people been allowed to see all the evidence, there is a very good chance no one would still be questioning its findings.

“First of all, when we have a disaster today, good, bad, or otherwise, whenever it happens, one of the things that the country is great at is we tend to have open hearings, right… When the Warren Commission first took over this investigation, it was completely behind closed doors,” Brad said. “And in a sense, that’s the disaster of it. Because the moment you do things behind closed doors, people rightfully say, ‘What are you hiding?’ As a result of that, the American people never got to see the testimony that the Warren Commission people saw.”

From eyewitness accounts that confirmed Lee Harvey Oswald was in fact leaning out of the window of the Texas Book Depository to photographs of the autopsy, the American people were not able to see what the Warren Commission saw that lead to its conclusion.

“The Warren commission never let them out. And why? Because the Kennedy family themselves said don’t release them. Why? In my mind, and I don’t blame them for it, they don’t want the last image of John F. Kennedy to be a shot with his head blown off,” Brad said. “But as a result… 87% of Americans thought right after the Warren Commission that there were multiple shooters involved and the Warren Commission was a sham. All that secrecy and complexity was hidden from everyone, and it just made that kind of echo chamber of conspiracy even louder.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FvmesaxXg Sam Fisher

    To bad the Dems don’t take JFK example.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Exactly, if they did the Progressives would have been defeated long ago.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    The simple fact with JFK assassination is this:

    Oswald was a communist, he shot Kennedy, and paid the price with his own life in recompense. End of conspiracies.

  • Big Jim
  • Big Jim

    “First of all, when we have a disaster today, good, bad, or otherwise, whenever it happens, one of the things that the country is great at is we tend to have open hearings, right…” ~ Brad Meltzer

    Ya, right, Brad. Everything is out in the open in America. Hey, by the way, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you real cheap, buddy.

  • Anonymous

    Why are you so mad at Brad Meltzer? You literally left out the rest of that paragraph. Let’s start where you left off…

    “, right… When the Warren Commission first took over this investigation, it was completely behind closed doors,” Brad said. “And in a sense, that’s the disaster of it. Because the moment you do things behind closed doors, people RIGHTFULLY say, ‘What are you hiding?’ As a result of that, the American people never got to see the testimony that the Warren Commission people saw.”

    I don’t see the reason why you would find that disagreeable.
    You had taken Mr. Meltzer’s words a little out of context.

  • Big Jim

    Listen to the interview. Listen to what Glenn Beck says in response to Brad’s assertion that “first of all, when we have a disaster today, good, bad, or otherwise, whenever it happens, one of the things that the country is great at is we tend to have open hearings, right…”

    The written text omits the exchange between Glenn and Brad.

    Was/is Bengazi an open matter? Is/was Fast and Furious? Is Syria? As Glenn pointed out, 911 was not an open matter, and the cover up was handled by a Warren commission. Even the attack on Pearl Harbor was more open, and high level people were held accountable.

    Who was fired or held accountable for 911? How open was the investigation when building number seven was never even discussed?

    I only need one word to describe the Warren commission and the so called “open hearing”: factitious.
    Remember that word, because it describes much in America. From the fiat dollar to Wall Street’s derivatives to the Social Security system to WWF to Obamacare; It’s all factitious.

  • jen

    Too bad Republicans don’t take JFK example. Wouldn’t Bush family have not governed so atrociously (like Obama) with JFK example?

  • jen

    Simple according to conservatives: follow rnc/dnc government story in media and beyond that – shut up and don’t think.
    How could secret service provide Oswald such a great opportunity at a shot?
    In Bush/Clinton/Obama years are many communists worldwide, yet they have had no assassination attempts.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you are implying that Bush and Obama are both bad presidents. I certainly hope you are not implying that Obama and JFK are alike, believe me they are in no way similar. Can you clarify your statement?

  • Matt Dobbins

    I have often thought that there was a second shooter. I don’t subscribe to the theory that Oswald was a Patsy. I think he shot the President. But I don’t think he shot the fatal head shot. He was using full metal jacket rounds that would not have caused the President he to have the head wound that he had.

  • Anonymous

    If I in fact believe what snowleopard does, that a Communist shot JFK for reasons of his own, I would not have come to that assertion because I was a Conservative. I would have come up with my own beliefs based on the evidence shown to me and how I would personally understand and interpret it. In other words, I believe something based on the merits of the evidence, NOT because I label myself as a Conservative. Your beef isn’t with snowleopard because she disagrees with you, your beef is with Conservative people and Conservative thought in general. If you aren’t a bigot towards Conservatives, can you please show some evidence of it? How do you act towards people face to face when they disagree with you? The “shut up and don’t think” mantra applies to the over 100 million murders directly linked to Communist dictators. If you didn’t shut up and stop thinking, you got shot. Why is it so hard for you to believe that a Communist would murder someone based on the actions of Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Che, etc.,etc.? The secret service tightened its reigns and upped the ante on security since the JFK assassination. The reason no Communist has shot a President since is because of the bravery of the Secret Service, NOT because of your precious conspiracy theory.

  • jen

    I am implying Bush and Obama are both bad presidents. JFK is the flip opposite.

  • jen

    My beef isn’t specifically with snowleopard or conservatives, but with those that take cnn/fox/rnc/dnc version of the story.
    Many commies worldwide, yet only JFK was only president that was assassinated with secret service around him. Loony to think it was 1 man that found a way to go beyond secret service, especially in those moments of secret service.
    Secret service was same prior and after jfk assassination – just in those precious moments it was not strong as it was for presidents prior to and after JFK.
    How interesting of a conspiracy theory that secret service was brave prior to jfk assassination and after his assassination, but not during JFK’s presidency? lone man is your conspiracy theory.
    JFK profile is so unlike Bush/Obama and other presidents – his policies go against rnc/dnc legislation – go figure that only he was assassinated.
    No change in secret service – the only difference is in what JFK believed and how he governed versus those of presidents like bush/Obama.

  • jen

    I would recommend reading or watching ‘End of Ameirca’ by Naomi Wolf. She doesn’t take cnn/fox story and looks for blueprints in all tyrant governments like Obama/Bush/Hitler/Mussolini.

    Watch:

    http://blip.tv/the-alcove-with-mark-molaro/naomi-wolf-celebrated-author-of-the-end-of-america-the-beauty-myth-444834

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard that the shell casings for the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle regularly dent when ejected from the clip. I’ve also heard that the single bullet analysis holds up completely when actual ballistics experts are consulted. The bullet found at the site of the motorcade on the Plaza was so badly mangled that it fully supports what’s been tastelessly named the “magic bullet.” The shot was from just shy of 90 yards and a KGB trained sniper would have easily been able to make the mark.

  • Anonymous

    How is there no difference? The president doesn’t ride around with the top down anymore! The round from the Mannlicher-Carcano is the evidence I go by! Not the circumstancial. I didn’t even remotely imply that the SS was less brave in Dallas that one day than they are at any other time. I implied that they remain just as brave today, with the added benefit of hindsight bias. Oswald got his pot shot. There are many more Oswalds out there. They can’t get at the President because of the SS. That’s my tribute to THEIR bravery! To them goes the credit (for the safety of successive presidents) I say! Wake up Jen! A bad thing happened and the nation responded accordingly.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Naomi Wolf hates me without qualification. Do you know why? It’s because I am a man. I actually agree with her 10 steps, I remember hearing about it back when Bush was still in power and could actually be blamed for things. I just don’t see how it applies to the JFK assassination, since that’s the topic we were on.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FvmesaxXg Sam Fisher

    JFK would never do half the stuff the last three presidents did. To bad JFK’s message is lost in time because people refuse to wake up.

  • jen

    Naomi Wolf does not hate men – she is in a romantic relationship with a man. She is a feminist, but not man hating. She wants liberties for men and women equally.
    10 steps is relevant as these are ways a democracy ‘shuts down’ – by taking out those who criticize and against it and have power to change things.

  • jen

    Naomi Wolf does not hate men – she is in a romantic relationship with a man. She is a feminist, but not man hating. She wants liberties for men and women equally.
    10 steps is relevant as these are ways a democracy ‘shuts down’ – by taking out those who criticize and against it and have power to change things.

  • jen

    Presidents do walk around, go out to restaurants, etc..
    How convenient that just when the car turned and secret service were moved away that Oswald just happened to there? Such precision from a psycho? I don’t think so.

  • jen

    Presidents do walk around, go out to restaurants, etc..
    How convenient that just when the car turned and secret service were moved away that Oswald just happened to there? Such precision from a psycho? I don’t think so.

  • Jeremy Chavis

    US govt killed JFK plain and simple

  • Jeremy Chavis

    US govt killed JFK plain and simple

  • Anonymous

    What excludes a psycho from having precision. Psycho though he was, it had no effect on his marksmanship. He was a KGB trained sniper and a spy. A person’s state of mind has nothing to do with their capacity to carry out a murder. In fact, it takes a little craziness TO murder.
    No motorcade rides with the top down anymore. That’s such an obvious example I don’t even know how you can’t accept it. Yes, Presidents go places. Do you have any idea how many people want Obama dead? I’d say it’s in the millions. What would you say to a SS agent these days? They don’t deserve the credit? Go try and take the President out, I dare you. You’ll be famous and you’ll be dead. How’s that lady that drove the car all over Capitol Hill doing these days? Oh yeah, she’s doing nothing. Wake up. I want you to for your own good.

  • Anonymous

    If you had concrete evidence of this, then I’m sure you would have shared it by now.

  • Anonymous

    Back in the sixties, there were many members of the conservative party who thought JFK was a traitor, calls for treason were increasingly working their way to the forefront. Comparing that day to this, these same calls can be heard loud and clear from a growing number of conservative groups throughout our land. Average citizens have increasingly become angry against the Obama administration and the tactical act of liberal fundamentalist change of our national constitution – and that, against the will of the majority.

    JFK was a visionary – although, he failed to consider the deadly results of his political actions. Some believe, if he were to have retained his seat in office, world war would have been the inevitable undesired results, but none the less, in the eyes of many, it might have spelt doom for our nation. Like Obama, Kennedy had to have it his way or no way, there was scant room for compromise. America was a much different place then, back in the sixties from what we see today, even our current republican party would have been considered far left leaning and very liberal, compared to those same political parties just 50 years short years ago.

    Presidents are simply mascots for any particular party, the real power lies deep within the CIA – FBI – NSA -etc. Political figureheads come and go like raindrops, but top officials hidden within the dark reassesses of government retain their power from administration to administration.

    The CIA in the Kennedy years was no different, although I think the makeup was much more conservative than it is today.

    Kennedy was taken out by the CIA…LBJ was the perfect fit, fact’s be told, he had to go along with the overthrow-idea due to his growing criminal background. If LBJ didn’t get the presidency, the overwhelming odds are, he would have served time in prison. It was a political overthrow in the highest order…nothing more. Kennedy had become a high risk self-driven ambitious individual who had forgotten his own words – those being, “you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you’ll never fool all of the people all of the time” – at that time, the great majority of the American electorate was convincingly sold on the idea of “Camelot, but behind the scene, those conversing the halls of power, much as in Cesar ‘s day, had become disillusioned.

    From the Secret Service car, directly following behind Kennedy’s, was were the assassins fateful bullet found its mark. Oswald too, was firing from the book depository’s window on the sixth floor and when his first two shots missed the kill-zone, the CIA had no option – they finished the job. The smoking gun has been there in plain sight for all these years, but due to a vast CIA coverup, this information is only recently coming to the light.

    What Kennedy started, Obama is finishing…and that – in overdrive…will we witness yet another assassination(?) – Has America today entered the slippery slope of no return. The near future will provide the answer. I’ll say this though….Americas current conservative party is no match for days gone by.

  • Anonymous

    well let’s be sure they are crushed beyond crushed this time around

    booooooyaaaaaaaaaah

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEKnCZqDA54&list=PLD7956E97EF067188&index=1

  • http://www.edomsthorn.wordpress.com/ WORLD WIDE PANTS

    …”What does it matter? It was 50 years ago! What difference does it make now?”…
    To understand why the ‘Subversives that control media refuses to address the abundant evidence of a conspiracy and insists on pushing the blatant lie that Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin, the following logic about the assassination needs to be grasped:

    Why does the murder of President John F. Kennedy still matter?

    It matters because the murder of President Kennedy was not only a conspiracy but a coup d’etat. The powers behind the assassination took control over the government and orchestrated the cover-up.

    It matters because a coup d’etat that is successfully kept secret in a democratic country means, by default, that the succeeding government is illegitimate.

    It matters because the American government continues to lie about the Kennedy assassination.

    It matters because if the government is still lying about the Kennedy assassination, it essentially means that the powers that killed John F. Kennedy are still in charge to this very day.

    It matters because the mainstream media continues to support, and even endorse, the official version of the Kennedy assassination.

    JFK Speech With Alex Jones haveing a ‘GO’ at David Gergen. LOL…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VB16Yf2Qn1M

  • Anonymous

    Another question that one might consider asking is – “When does it matter”

    When our lights are turned off

    When our cites lie in ruin

    Out right martial law might get our attention

    When does it matter might be a more appropriate question indeed.

  • Anonymous

    John Kerry’s recent comment about JFK assassination was “(insert image below here) don’t want to get into that”