Wednesday, February 22, 2017

First to Second Evolution – Part 9

So in the first week following the assassination, we now have Oswald smack dab in the middle of the second floor lunchroom (aka "snack bar") sitting at one of the tables. And recall that even the Secret Service reenactment of Oswald's supposed movements made shortly after the assassination shows Oswald walking over and sitting down at a table in the lunchroom. That was the prevailing thinking.

But evolution is a process and more evolution was needed to try to work out a large number of kinks. One such kink, a big one, was this: if the translation of the front-stairway-to-lunchroom story to the rear-stairway-to-lunchroom story was to be completed successfully, the officer needed a good reason for interrupting his flight upstairs, going all the way over to the passageway to the door to the lunchroom and checking out what's in the lunchroom.

The Evening Star, 11.29.1963

As Sean Murphy pointed out, one gets the impression given that the lunchroom was simply a room—one of several here—passed by the officer on his way to the rear stairway. But what Sean wanted to focus on here is the "counter" detail. Note that Truly is the obvious and sole source of this information. How does the reporter know there is indeed a counter in the lunchroom? Because Truly has told him. He has given the reporter a clear picture of Oswald leaning against the counter just inside the door.

Truly cannot possibly be inferring this image from having himself come on the scene just seconds after this, when Oswald is (as per his and Baker's Warren Commission testimony) at the door with Baker holding his revolver up to him. Nor can he have learned it from the officer, whom he "has not seen [him] since."

No, just like the now discarded "sitting at one of the tables" image, this is an invention that Truly is giving—or has been directed to give.

But why has Oswald been brought to his feet? The answer comes in two parts:

1) Timeline. It has become increasingly evident that Oswald, "The Sixth Floor Assassin," needs to be made appear as though he has only just arrived in the lunchroom. Sitting down at a table doesn't cut it.

2) Motivation. Baker needs a reason to check out the lunchroom in the first place. By early December, this becomes that much clearer as Oswald is moved from the "counter" over to the coke machine. (Evolution, baby!)

Again, bear in mind that Truly—as he will later tell the Warren Commission—is not supposed to have had any contact with Baker since they parted ways on November 22. Yet he is "guessing" with uncanny accuracy what Baker will months later testify to as to the location of Oswald in the lunchroom when he caught his first sighting of him in there.

Sunday Bulletin of Philadelphia, 12.1.1963

Washington Post, 12.1.1963

End of installment quiz:

Q: Why do you think Oswald is now being put over by the Coke machine?

A: In order to push the explanation that Baker took his significant detour over to the lunchroom because of a noise he heard: the noise of a coke machine in operation, that's why.

For those who passed, give yourself a pat on the back. For those who failed, reread and try again.

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