The track record of Breivik, a genuine ‘lone madman’, puts the record of Lee Harvey Oswald, supposedly another one, in an interesting light.
Breivik brought all the weapons with him, Oswald after the assassination went home for his pistol. Breivik took every opportunity to declare his ideology — talking, for instance, for two hours in the dock — and Oswald did not. Breivik had no children (like every other US presidential assassin, and would-be assassin), Oswald had two daughters. Breivik immediately admitted his crime, Oswald looked genuinely puzzled when asked if he had killed the President.’No, sir, I did not,’ he said.
Breivik had a motive to do what he did, for him it was the first battle in the war against the foul tide of Muslim immigration, Oswald had none. Kennedy had been the Soviets’ best friend, averting nuclear war with them a year before, and lately proposing to get out of Vietnam after engineering the killing there of his fellow-Catholics the Diem brothers, and Oswald had spoken admiringly of both him and Castro, something many of us did in those days. He knew, he surely knew that Johnson, a man of Texas, would go harder on the Communists than Kennedy, a man of Massachussetts, and New York, and Harvard, who had diplomatic training and a good relationship with Khruschev.
Nothing that Oswald did after his arrest gave any indication that he was insane. He tried to get a top lawyer, one who worked for the ACLU. Visited in gaol by his wife and mother, he expressed concern for his daughters. Interrogated for seven hours, he testified so convincingly that all records of what he said were quickly destroyed. The presidential car, moreover, though a crime scene, was washed of its blood and its bits of brain (and evidence, perhaps, of a bullet from a different gun and another direction), the film of the President’s autopsy destroyed, the Zapruder film locked up for five years, the Warren Commission instructed to consider only Oswald as a suspect, and so on.
And evidence that Oswald was a madman, acting alone.
It was as plausible an idea as me saying a lone madman took out Osama Bin Laden.
Or Julius Caesar.
Or Philip of Macedon. Or King Saul of Israel. Or Benito Mussolini. Or Adolf Hitler. Or Olaf Palme. Or Salvador Allende. Or Mrs Ghandi. Or Rajiv Ghandi. Or Mahatma Ghandi. Or Benigno Aquino. Or Abraham Lincoln.
Or Bobby Kennedy, whose killer was waiting for him in a place he was not bound for but was abruptly led to by an authoritative white young man man who was never seen or heard of again.
There are not many lone madmen who successfully kill world leaders. Breivik, for instance, hoped to behead a former female Prime Minister but failed to. Usually, not always, the security is very good and it takes a conspiracy to get the assailant close enough to aim and fire, as in the case of Bin Laden. The twenty-six assassination attempts on Castro showed how hard it is. After twenty-six attempts, and six hundred CIA and Miami Cuban masterplans to kill him, he is living still.
And yet we are still told Oswald did it. And he didn’t bring his pistol with him. Had to go home for it. And another lone madman just happened to be walking his dogs near the front of the Dallas police station when Oswald, in mid perp walk, came into the vicinity of his pistol, which he just happened to be carrying, a lone madman with inoperable cancer who died in gaol two years later. What a coincidence. Two lone mad killers in the same town within three days, each of them successful, one of them with cancer. Wow. What a happy coincidence.
Give me a break.
The Lone Madman theory suits American arrogance — only a madman would want to kill our President — and closely resembles the Former Soviet Union’s longtime habit of putting in lunatic asylums those dissidents who disagreed with its policies and loudly said so.
It could be easily sorted by asking Sirhan Sirhan, under waterboarding perhaps, who the authoritative young man was, and who he was working for. It was the Mafia, probably, or the CIA or both. The ones who also, probably, took Jack out.
Oswald had no motive, but Lyndon Johnson, who suceeded Jack as President and was Dallas’s most powerful citizen, did. So did the CIA, which Jack had already fired the head of, Allen Dulles, and was planning to dismantle in 1965. So did J. Edgar Hoover, whom Jack planned to fire until he saw the many FBI photos of him, Jack, fucking, and was planning to fire in 1965 when he turned seventy.
It is usually the case that if someone without motive is found guilty of murder, the verdict is wrong. It was wrong in the case of Lindy Chamberlain, who loved her baby and threatened none of her other children. It was wrong in the case of OJ Simpson, who was wrongly said to have nearly hacked the head off the mother of his children while the children slept upstairs, and left her where they would find her in the morning.
Oswald had no motive. And he had two daughters to raise.
It is time this burden was lifted from him.
Breivik has shown what he should have been like.
And he wasn’t.