Bush in Britain, Part One -- As if forcing the largest call-up of policemen in London since World War II wasn't bad enough, President Bush's trip to England was inconvenient in another way. London's Mirror reported on Sunday that the Queen was reputedly miffed over the treatment her gardens received during the visit. After inviting Bush to stay over at Buckingham Palace, she apparently had regrets after he left. The president's three helicopters reportedly left big marks on the lawn, and several rare species of plants may have been killed by, as the Mirror so delicately put it, "Bush's army of clod-hopping security service men." Even worse, the Queen's personal flock of flamingoes is reported to have been so traumatized by the episode that they are feared to have been forced into hiding -- perhaps forever. Oh well, maybe the White House can send over a case of the plastic kind and call it good.
Bush in Britain, Part Two -- Did you notice that during his trip Bush arranged to meet with the families of 53 of the British soldiers killed in Iraq? Nice gesture. So why hasn't he met with any of the families of American soldiers killed in Iraq? There are more than 400 of them to choose from, although their passing has been muffled by the administration's policy of not allowing their returning caskets to be photographed. Bush has, however, made time for other matters. Since the war started, he has taken more than 75 fundraising trips.
Solving JFK -- Along with most Americans skeptical of the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of John Kennedy, we watched Peter Jennings take apart conspiracy theorists for ABC News last Thursday night. One theory they didn't debunk, however, is the one offered by G. Robert Blakey, the chief counsel on the House Select Committee on Assassinations -- the panel convened under Jimmy Carter to revisit the Warren Report. Blakey, interviewed briefly by Jennings, was an expert in organized crime, and his theory was that Kennedy's zealous pursuit of Mafia bosses triggered his murder.
Blakey's view of the 40-year-old mystery is that Lee Harvey Oswald was the Mafia's dupe -- particularly the Louisiana operation run by Carlos Marcello. Oswald knew Mafia man David Ferrie, and Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald before he could talk, was also "mobbed up," Blakey says. Marcello, Blakey found, made threats about Kennedy in 1962, and one of Marcello's confidantes, on his death bed, told his attorney that Marcello had Kennedy killed.
Blakey has taught law at Notre Dame since 1980, and his book Fatal Hour: The Assassination of President Kennedy by Organized Crime details his case -- a case debunkers of JFK conspiracy theories have ignored.
Publication date: 11/27/03