The death of a Head of State is usually a matter of grave national interest. The details of the cause of death after the demise of the president always raise a lot of public interest and become a subject of a lot of speculation. Questions usually arise on how the president succumbed to death as well as what factors caused the death. The prevailing factors surrounding such demise also become a subject of close public scrutiny.

 

This essay states in general terms the nature and impact of the death of the president. It also seeks to identify why speculation develops when the president is deceased. The essay shall also identify and analyze the development of conspiracy theories as well as the effects such speculative information to the political, social and economic spheres. The paper will also discuss the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States of America.

If there is a lot of mystery surrounding the death of the president, then the likelihood that several conspiracy theories will develop surrounding it would be extraordinarily high. This is especially if the president died of unnatural causes such as assassination. The reason behind this is because aside from being an individual, the president is a symbol of authority and democracy for many individuals in different jurisdictions. He is perceived to be close to deity hence the idea of death of the president is farfetched in many peoples minds. The first question to come to mind upon hearing that a sitting president is deceased is usually, What caused her/death? The next questions would go around whether there were any reasonable actions that could have been done to prevent the death and what exactly the surrounding circumstances were.

After the untimely death by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, there had been growing interest and thirst for information surrounding the crime. He got assassinated on 22nd November 1963 while he rode in a convertible limousine. Many sought to know what had happened and whether reasonable measures were put into place to protect him. This was mostly because the president had been shot by a sniper assassin in broad daylight. The public interest was also increasingly because this was not the only president of the United States of America to be assassinated. Abraham Lincoln who had served before him had also been assassinated. There were glaring similarities and coincidences between the two assassinations. The state had been considered slow in investigations and bringing the perpetrator to book. Lee Oswald was charged for the crime eventually, and a commission headed by the then Chief Justice Earl Warren made a ruling that Oswald had been the sole perpetrator (Bugliosi 16).

According to a 2003 American Broadcasting Corporation television poll, 70% of Americans believed that the president's death was just a small fraction of a wider conspiracy and plot for political power and sectarian interests. There was a belief that the assassination was at the behest of the sitting Vice President Lyndon Johnson who thereafter succeeded John F. Kennedy. Taking into consideration the turn of events and an unsatisfied public when it came to the explanation given by the commission, opportunities were aplenty for propagandists to use Kennedys death to satisfy their own interests. There were wide allegations of suppression and tampering of evidence as well as fabrication. Many researchers on the case have argued that many witnesses were excluded from testifying before the commission.

A lot of theories develop as a result of misinformation as well as delayed information once a president dies. This is especially due to the fact that reports have to be issued by the state on the subject matter. The state has this primary responsibility in relation to the demise of a president in order to ward off any unnecessary tension that may be caused by speculation or propaganda.

The state officers charged with this responsibility usually have to undertake due diligence to ensure the information relayed to the public about that particular subject matter is credible, factual and timely. Failure to observe this leaves gaping holes in information which every person may try to fill. These may include politicians, journalists, conspiracy theorists as well as players in the entertainment industry. The number of books written and audio-visual material released after John Kennedys death is insurmountable (Broderick and Darren 203).

According to findings of the Warren Commission, Oswalds other actions supported the conclusion that he was the gunman being President Kennedy's assassination. The investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigations had concluded that Oswald was a lone gunman.Scientific evidence established and presented to the Warren Commission indicated a high possibility that two gunmen fired at John Kennedy. Other scientific evidence did not exclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. There were also contradicting reports by ballistics where the bullet wounds did not seem to match the weapon produced during Oswalds trial. This was just but one of the inconsistencies surrounding the assassination. There were already two contradicting statements, one emanating from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The Warren commission did not concede to the possibility of a conspiracy. The House Select Committee on Assassinations of the United States had dissenting conclusions regarding the case in 1978.They were of the opinion that Oswalds action were part of a larger conspiracy and that he did not act alone. They went on ahead to absolve the Criminal Intelligence Agency, The then Soviet Union and Organized Crime from the assassination (Broderick and Darren 203).

The committee established on the basis of the evidence on record President Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a wider conspiracy. Oswald became considered only to be a tip of the iceberg. The committee through its investigations was still not able to identify the extent of the conspiracy and the details of the other gunman. The committee also declared that president Kennedy had not been afforded sufficient protection by the Secret Service. Its findings were that the secret service had performed below par and did not have mechanisms to protect the president from a sniper. The decision to have the president ride in a convertible vehicle was also castigated. Since then, The United States Secret Service has not used convertible vehicles for any president. The inferences and deductions of the hearings were reached at in good faith, and due diligence was exercised; the findings were presented in a fashion that many considered a bit too definitive.

A kin to a former White House Press Secretary had actually claimed in his book, "Blood, Money & Power," that the then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was the shadowy figure behind the assassination of President Kennedy. Coming from within such ranks the conspiracy has become the most considered account by the public to be a true reflection of what actually happened. Creations such as this and many more fed the reasoning behind a records collection accessible to the public (Bugliosi 19).

It is essential to note other people took advantage of misinformation and multiplicity of information sources to settle political scores, sell books and movies as well as create cultish following. This created unnecessary tension and necessitated Congressional intervention. The Congress passed an Act that directed the National Archives to establish a President Kennedy Assassination Records Collection.

Many questions have arisen in Kennedys case. Why was there a perceived cover up? Why are there so many gaping holes in the investigations done by the Federal Bureau of Investigations? Could they have done a much more comprehensive job? Why did Lyndon Johnson upon the assumption of the Office of the President never utilize Executive Order No. 11110 signed by John Kennedy? The order returned to the United States government the power to issue legal tender without having to go through a Federal Reserve System. Why has the Federal Bureau of Investigations never concluded its investigations on the assassination even with the glaring evidence that Oswald was not working alone? The contradictions in the case have baffled many minds and have become the subject of numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the socio-political spheres of the United States of America. There has also been a connection to the power of commercial banks as well as financial institutions regulators such as the Federal Reserve Bank (AARC).

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Justice needs to be done. Whilst it is, justice also needs to be perceived to be done. These two fundamental elements cannot be ignored in as far as maintaining public calm and patience in any society. If the state purports to lean towards justice, but contradictions and grey areas exist then indeed it becomes an act in futility. Upon the demise of a president, it is vital for those responsible, to exercise consistent due diligence in order to avoid public misinformation, especially if the misinformation may affect the political situation of a country. If the cause of death is a private matter such as a medical condition that may cause embarrassment to parties involved, then it becomes indispensable to give reasonable facts to an extent that no suspicion may arise.

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