M D Nalapat
That several conspiracy theories are simply theories unsupported by evidence does not detract from
the fact that conspiracies do exist. The assassination of President John F Kennedy remains a mystery, despite the voluminous report submitted by the politician-turned-jurist Chief Justice Earl Warren. The Warren Commission claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone, and was motivated by hatred for the political ideology represented by Kennedy. Also, that Oswald was not “normal”, whatever that phrase means in a world where there are such divergences between persons.
A surmise that remains in currency is that the killer was acting on behalf of the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba, which was angered by the effort (during the initial days of the Kennedy Administration) to overthrow Castro through an invasion by emigres from Cuba. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a disaster, and was among the reasons why President Kennedy developed a distrust of the military as well as the intelligence agencies. Both had been pressing Kennedy to substantially raise troop levels in Vietnam, a policy option that the US President was resisting. Once Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson took charge on the death of Kennedy, the way was cleared for the disaster that Vietnam represented for the US. Returning to Cuba, had it been a fact that Castro had ordered the killing of Kennedy, his Island would have been overrun within months by the military under instructions from the Pentagon. Among the ( it must be admitted, many) admirable traits of the US is that the other cheek is never turned when a hard slap gets administered by a rival. Instead, a much more violent blow gets landed, as took place in Afghanistan after 9/11. Indeed, the 2003 Iraq war of George W Bush has been seen as motivated by reports accepted by the then President that Saddam Hussein had tried to kill George H W Bush, the father of the then President, as revenge for operation Desert Storm. There is no way that any US Administration would have permitted Castro to continue to rule Cuba, had Oswald genuinely have been sent by the Cuban authorities to kill Kennedy in Dallas, a city that will always be known as the location where John F Kennedy was shot to death.
How did Oswald escape the security sweep that precedes any presidential visit? Why was the Book Depository building not sanitized, nor Oswald stopped on the way to an empty room carrying a high-powered rifle? Why did Jack Ruby, with no previous history of violence, kill Oswald, that too in the midst of a scrimmage of police officers? The death of Kennedy changed US foreign policy for the worse, and removed the threat to the Military Industrial Complex ( General Eisenhower’s description) and the intelligence agencies pressing for a substantial expansion of US military involvement in Vietnam. It must be noted, however, that while President Johnson followed the path prescribed by the Military Industrial Complex on Vietnam, in the matter of racial justice, he implemented the measures that had been initiated by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, finally doing justice to African-Americans a century after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation
And now comes another death, this time of millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who seemed to have a fascination for girls who were young enough to be his grandchildren. Not merely that,Epstein introduced such girls to those who were his friends, including the brother of the Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, as well as Bill Clinton. The latter is known to be unable to resist even the skirt of a woman fluttering on a clothesline, and records show that he was a frequent visitor to the Epstein abode. Money makes a man popular, and several VIPs frequented the home of an individual who apparently committed grave crimes by exploiting girls who were below the age of consent. Had he been produced in court, several of the VIPs who shared his tastes may have become known. There would therefore have been a strong motivation to ensure that Epstein remained silent, and there is no more effective way of ensuring this than to take away the life of the possible whistle blower. Neither has Epstein’s body been produced nor has any believable explanation been given as to how a man subjected to 24/7 surveillance in a prison cell could have hanged himself to death.
Why have images of the dead man not been released? Who brought the rope to Epstein? In the case of Hermann Goering, who killed himself before being hanged as a war criminal in 1946. The cyanide capsule was hidden inside a fountain pen, which Goering asked a guard to retrieve for him, offering him his wrist watch in exchange. Goering swallowed the cyanide and cheated the hangman. In the case of Epstein, there was no record of depression or any suicidal tendencies in the sexual predator, and the world may have to wait several decades before the circumstances behind the death become known. What is clear is that several VIPs, including Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, will now be able to sleep comfortably without taking a sleeping pill, aware that Epstein has been silenced. The present highly regarded Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, Ranjan Gogoi, once told a bail petitioner that prison was a “very safe place”. Such a view is debatable in any circumstance, as has most recently been proved by the “suicide” of Jeffrey Epstein.
Those seeking to forget the matter and move on are calling those who doubt the police version of unassisted suicide as “conspiracy theorists”. Unfortunately, there are many situations when “ conspiracy theories” later get revealed to be true. In the Epstein case, such a development seems unlikely. It has been too convenient a death for any overturning of the cover story to be allowed to take place. The exposure of the activities of Jeffrey Epstein revealed yet again that those with an excess of money and power ( or usually both) often come with a deficit of conscience and good conduct.
—The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.