JFK was an “accidental victim” claims new book

HIS shocking death horrified millions of people all over the world and made an instant villain of his killer Lee Harvey Oswald. But a fascinating new book claims that America’s first Irish Catholic President John F Kennedy was actually shot by mistake.

Timed to coincide with this year’s 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, The Accidental Victim, by James Reston Jr., suggests that Oswald’s intended target was Texas Governor John Connally, who rode alongside Kennedy in the Dallas motorcade.

Connally, who was hit in the back by a bullet in the 1963 attack but did not die, was apparently hated by Oswald with a passion because the assassin blamed the governor for his dishonorable discharge from the Marine Corps.

Some conspiracy theorists have long put forward the theory that Oswald did not even pull the trigger, and espoused elaborate conspiracy theories involving the CIA, Fidel Castro and the Mafia. Others have alleged Oswald was on the payroll of the Mob.

However, author Reston rejects these claims and insists that  it was Oswald, acting alone, who pulled the trigger, even though he was actually aiming at someone else.

“This was a wretched, little, insignificant man,” Reston said. “No foreign government, no criminal organisation would hire someone as unreliable and irresponsible as Lee Harvey Oswald. It’s absolutely impossible.”

Reston added: “You have to set aside all the conspiracy theories, which I think are rubbish, and bring it down to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man. What is his emotional makeup? What is driving him? What is his psychological makeup?

“The Warren Commission posits that Oswald was a Marxist. Well, there are millions of Marxists who are not pathological killers. They said he had grandiose notions. You and I have grandiose notions. That doesn’t make us pathological killers.”

According to Reston, Governor Connally, when he was secretary of the Navy, rejected a petition from Oswald to reverse his dishonorable discharge from the Marine Corps. Oswald hated Connally after that.
“This is a guy who had a very limited education,” Reston said. “The only thing he had ever done in his life was be in the Marine Corps. Ask any marine about how important three years of service is, and how important is that military discharge.”
What, then, was Oswald’s attitude toward Kennedy? “Oswald admired Kennedy,” Reston said. “There was no psychological driving force for him to kill Kennedy.

“I could never accept the explanation of the august Warren Commission: that this insignificant, little man was possessed and obsessed with grandiose notions, and, as a convinced Marxist, he hoped to bring down the U.S. government by decapitating its head.

“Men with Oswald’s hard-scrabble background and education are rarely driven to terrible acts by such vaulted notions. But even if they were, intellectual ideas like that do not motivate one to kill, unless they are professionals. (This was not the case with Oswald.)

“There had to be something deeply emotional in his makeup and visceral in his instincts that engaged his rage, a rage so great that it became a murderous rage.

“I believe that John Connally, not John F. Kennedy, was Oswald’s primary target in Dallas. The President of the United States was an accidental victim.”

* “The Accidental Victim: JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald and the Real Target in Dallas” by James Reston Jr. is published by Zola Books.


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