Twenty simple truths about the JFK assassination
(Draft, 16 December 2000)

1.      The JFK assassination is only as hard as you make it (by choosing bad evidence and methods). It is easy to make easy. Proof: consistent answers from physical evidence vs. scattered answers from testimony.

2.      You can’t prove conclusively that Oswald did it, but you can get close enough to convict him in a two-day trial—Earl Warren.

3.      The case against Oswald looks far better when you realize there is no case against anyone else. Proof: a case against anyone else would have been shouted from the rooftops.

4.      The Warren Commission did a great job, even though it wasn’t perfect. Proof: no one has materially changed the WC’s answer in 39 years.

5.      Not every little thing can be settled, especially in such a huge investigation that took so much testimony. Proof: even much smaller cases have loose ends as a natural result of testimony.

6.      No proof of conspiracy has emerged, even after 39 years of trying. Proof: continued annual meetings; never-ending confusion and controversy.

7.      The right answer is several times redundant. Proof: wounds, Z-film, rifle, bullets and fragments, NAA.

8.      The real story of the assassination is why so many people cling to flawed methodology and its wrong answers. Proof: the Warren Commission got the right answer 38 years ago.

9.      Physical evidence holds the key—all else is worthless, even harmful. Proof: the inherent nature of physical vs. witness evidence.

10.  Focus on the physical and all becomes clear. Admit the testimonial and you fall into a morass from which you can never escape. Proof: methods correlate with scatter of answers.

11.  Working hypotheses and the tentative, stepwise approach are the keys to getting it right.

12.  Working hypotheses are crucial because they let you go with the best available explanation, even if it’s not perfect. This is the way we live life outside JFK.

13.  The conspiratorial explanation is slowly fading away. Proof: fewer major books and conferences; newsgroups straining for something new but having to focus on ever-smaller details.

14.  Conspiracists use evidence sloppily because they can’t or won’t think straight. Proof: these are the only possible reasons for such failures with evidence.

15.  Conspiracy theories represent predisposition rather than serious rational thinking. Proof: they arose immediately after the assassination and have remained similar ever since, while all else around them has changed.

16.  The conspiracy beat goes on because conspiracists can’t face their failed methods and, by inference, their failed world views.

17.  JFK “research” shows the same two cultures that the rest of American society does.

18.  JFK “research” doesn’t progress because it’s too closed a society. Proof: the narrow annual meetings and publications; denunciation of anyone who believes the SBT; inbred citations.

19.  Leftists were by far the most vociferous group of voices raised. Proof: count articles in my first two sections.

20.  The ARRB changed little. Proof: no smoking gun found; nothing major emerged, or we would have long since heard of it.