Something Serious Has Happened on Air Force One (a Tl/story by Geon)

Chapter Twelve (contd.) Meanwhile at the Pentagon New

Geon

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(Thank you Calbear for some of the information you gave here!)

Elsewhere, in a map room at the Pentagon, a group of admirals were examining a map of Haiphong harbor.

The operation dubbed Hangman’s Noose was in its final planning phase. Now the admirals were looking at the order of battle that phase would take.

The President had ordered a complete blockade of Haiphong harbor which included mining the entrance points. The operation was slated to begin on January 25th of next year once the details were worked out.

The objective would be to starve Viet Cong forces in the south of needed supplies. The President would announce on January 23rd a total naval blockade of North Vietnam. After January 25th as in Cuba any ship approaching the blockade line had to stop and submit itself to search. Any contraband discovered and the ship would be seized or ordered to turn around and return to its point of origin. Any ships that tried to run the blockade would be given one warning shot. Any who refused to heed this would be fired upon.

There was a risk, to be sure. There was always the chance the Soviets or the Red Chinese would retaliate. But the gamble was that neither the Soviet Union nor China was willing to risk starting World War III over Vietnam.

The list of ships that would participate in the blockade was impressive to say the least. They included Kitty Hawk and Oriskany which were already on duty in that area. To them would be added Constellation, Hancock, Kearsarge, Ranger, and Ticonderoga.

Of course, there was still the possibility of supplying the Viet Cong via China. If that were tried then Operation Hangman’s Noose called for phase II, namely bombing convoys entering North Vietnam from China after they had crossed the Sino-Vietnamese border. Phase two also called for bombing supply routes on the Ho Chi Minh trail to ensure as few supplies as possible reached the Viet Cong.

If the plan worked, then the North Vietnamese would be forced to come to the negotiating table and accept the present status quo and the Viet Cong would be starved out of existence. And best of all no further U.S, troops beyond the number presently stationed in Vietnam would need to be deployed there.

At least that was the hope.
 
I'm curious as to how the butterflies will affect the Republicans, will Barry Goldwater still snag the nomination or will someone else like Rockerfeller be the nominee?
 
Chapter Thirteen: Requests New

Geon

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Chapter 13: Requests​

Washington, D.C.; Attorney General’s Office; December 10, 1963; 9:30 a.m.

Edwin Guthman entered Robert’s office in time to hear Robert on the phone. And from the tone of Kennedy’s voice, he was less than happy with the conversation.

Robert Kennedy waved his aide toward a seat in the office. Then after a moment he said, “This goes against my better judgement Jackie, but if this is what you want, I’ll see what I can do to arrange things.”

After a moment Kennedy simply said goodbye and hung up the phone. Shaking his head, he looked up at Edwin and said simply, “Jackie wants me to arrange for her to meet with Oswald.”

A look of surprise came over Edwin and he blurted the most obvious response, “Why?”

“She wants to look the man in the face who murdered her husband. She wants to hear from him why he did what he did.” Kennedy sighed, “I gave her over a dozen reasons why I didn’t think that was practical or wise, but you know Jackie. In the end I realized it is her right to face the man who murdered her husband and the father of their children.”

Guthman shook his head, “So when are you arranging this meeting?” Bobby smiled, “Not for a few months at least. I think Jackie needs time to heal. I think if she accepts the offer of becoming the White House Social Director, it will give her something to do and take her mind off Dallas.”

Edwin nodded in agreement then said, “I’ve got some news about Oswald and his trial. First, Mr. Bailey has yet to enter a plea for Oswald. He says he wants to wait for the results from the physical and psychological evaluations to come back before he decides. In the meantime, the judge has set February 15th as the tentative trial date for Oswald. Bailey has agreed to that date. He’s also asked that Oswald be given the right of visitation with his wife, Marina.”

Kennedy thought for a moment and then said, “No, they can exchange letters if they want, but no visitation rights yet. Not until we’re certain that Marina is not an agent of some type. Interviews with her by the F.B.I. have so far produced nothing but I don’t want to give an opening for Oswald passing information to whoever was his control if the Soviets are involved here.”

Guthman nodded then said, “I took the liberty of taking some of the taped conversations we’ve made of Oswald’s talk with the guards and other prison personnel and had a psychologist evaluate them for some sign of what the doctors who are examining Oswald might be looking for. In a word he thinks Oswald is a – in his words - psychopathic narcissist.”

“That’s a new one,” commented Kennedy.

“As he explained it to me Oswald has sought attention all his life, he didn’t get it from his mother, he didn’t get it when he joined the Marines, he didn’t get it when he defected, and finally he didn’t get it when he tried to start that one-man Fair Play for Cuba Committee. His life has been centered around seeking approval and attention for himself. The assassination may have been a means by which Oswald was saying loudly to the world, here I am notice me. But while that might be considered abnormal it wouldn’t be considered insanity according to the legal definition of the word.”

“Let’s hope the judge see it that way,” Kennedy replied. “The insanity defense rarely pans out, but it is so broadly defined that one judge might have a different view of things over another regarding it. I don’t want to see Oswald spending time in a mental institution and then getting out after a few years because the doctors there give him a clean bill of health.”

“And one other thing Edwin, I’ve decided we are not going to ask for the death penalty here. Killing Oswald won’t bring back Jack. And it would make Oswald into a martyr that other would-be assassins might look at. No, I want him to get life in prison with absolutely no possibility of parole. I want him to have to face what he’s done for the rest of his life. That I think is a far worse punishment then death for him. He wants attention, well he’s gotten it, but when this trial is over, I want him to languish until his name is forgotten by everyone and is remembered only as a brief name in the history books at best!”
 
Just curious, wouldn’t it be illegal for the DPD to discharge their weapons on AF1, as that would be considered Federal property, and they had no jurisdiction to do so? So even if the Secret Service fire did kill someone, wouldn’t that be considered a “justified” shooting?

Oh, sorry if this has been brought up before, but in this TL, did Oswald try to kill Edwin Walker?

ric350
 
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"when this trial is over, I want him to languish until his name is forgotten by everyone and is remembered only as a brief name in the history books at best!” - fair response.

Lets hope that in 20-30 years Oswald is not selling his story to the papers from his cell.
 
"when this trial is over, I want him to languish until his name is forgotten by everyone and is remembered only as a brief name in the history books at best!” - fair response.

Lets hope that in 20-30 years Oswald is not selling his story to the papers from his cell.
I could see the 'Son of Sam Laws' that were passed in RL happening a couple decades early because of Oswald.
 
Further thoughts on the Dallas (or Fort Worth) Cowboys in TTL:

Assuming the Cowboys move to Fort Worth, they would likely play in Amon G. Carter Stadium, the home of the TCU Horned Frogs, which seated around 46,000 people in 1963, half of the Cotton Bowl's capacity--unless, of course, they decided to play at the Cotton Bowl until a new stadium could be built in the Fort Worth/Arlington area, which seems likely, IMO. It would likely look like Texas Stadium in OTL, but maybe butterflies would ensure that it is the first retractable roof stadium in the NFL (in OTL, it was supposed to be, but it was discovered that the structure couldn't support the additional weight, hence the look of the stadium); it's likely built near Arlington Stadium, the eventual home of the Texas Rangers in OTL (AT & T Stadium, the current home of the Cowboys, was opened in Arlington in OTL in 2009)...

Just my .02...
 
Chapter 13: Requests​

Washington, D.C.; Attorney General’s Office; December 10, 1963; 9:30 a.m.

Edwin Guthman entered Robert’s office in time to hear Robert on the phone. And from the tone of Kennedy’s voice, he was less than happy with the conversation.

Robert Kennedy waved his aide toward a seat in the office. Then after a moment he said, “This goes against my better judgement Jackie, but if this is what you want, I’ll see what I can do to arrange things.”

After a moment Kennedy simply said goodbye and hung up the phone. Shaking his head, he looked up at Edwin and said simply, “Jackie wants me to arrange for her to meet with Oswald.”

A look of surprise came over Edwin and he blurted the most obvious response, “Why?”

“She wants to look the man in the face who murdered her husband. She wants to hear from him why he did what he did.” Kennedy sighed, “I gave her over a dozen reasons why I didn’t think that was practical or wise, but you know Jackie. In the end I realized it is her right to face the man who murdered her husband and the father of their children.”

Guthman shook his head, “So when are you arranging this meeting?” Bobby smiled, “Not for a few months at least. I think Jackie needs time to heal. I think if she accepts the offer of becoming the White House Social Director, it will give her something to do and take her mind off Dallas.”

Edwin nodded in agreement then said, “I’ve got some news about Oswald and his trial. First, Mr. Bailey has yet to enter a plea for Oswald. He says he wants to wait for the results from the physical and psychological evaluations to come back before he decides. In the meantime, the judge has set February 15th as the tentative trial date for Oswald. Bailey has agreed to that date. He’s also asked that Oswald be given the right of visitation with his wife, Marina.”

Kennedy thought for a moment and then said, “No, they can exchange letters if they want, but no visitation rights yet. Not until we’re certain that Marina is not an agent of some type. Interviews with her by the F.B.I. have so far produced nothing but I don’t want to give an opening for Oswald passing information to whoever was his control if the Soviets are involved here.”

Guthman nodded then said, “I took the liberty of taking some of the taped conversations we’ve made of Oswald’s talk with the guards and other prison personnel and had a psychologist evaluate them for some sign of what the doctors who are examining Oswald might be looking for. In a word he thinks Oswald is a – in his words - psychopathic narcissist.”

“That’s a new one,” commented Kennedy.

“As he explained it to me Oswald has sought attention all his life, he didn’t get it from his mother, he didn’t get it when he joined the Marines, he didn’t get it when he defected, and finally he didn’t get it when he tried to start that one-man Fair Play for Cuba Committee. His life has been centered around seeking approval and attention for himself. The assassination may have been a means by which Oswald was saying loudly to the world, here I am notice me. But while that might be considered abnormal it wouldn’t be considered insanity according to the legal definition of the word.”

“Let’s hope the judge see it that way,” Kennedy replied. “The insanity defense rarely pans out, but it is so broadly defined that one judge might have a different view of things over another regarding it. I don’t want to see Oswald spending time in a mental institution and then getting out after a few years because the doctors there give him a clean bill of health.”

“And one other thing Edwin, I’ve decided we are not going to ask for the death penalty here. Killing Oswald won’t bring back Jack. And it would make Oswald into a martyr that other would-be assassins might look at. No, I want him to get life in prison with absolutely no possibility of parole. I want him to have to face what he’s done for the rest of his life. That I think is a far worse punishment then death for him. He wants attention, well he’s gotten it, but when this trial is over, I want him to languish until his name is forgotten by everyone and is remembered only as a brief name in the history books at best!”
I support the death penalty in extreme cases but not life without possibility of parole. Was that even legal then? I believe that anyone who's served thirty years should be released- one of the things I have against Bobby is his refusal to release Robert Stroud.
 
Chapter Thirteen (contd.) Requests New

Geon

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A short time later Robert Kennedy and his aide were looking over the reports from the ballistics experts and the coroner. Ironically the coroner who did the autopsies on Johnson and O’Donnell was the same man whose insisted that J.F.K.’s autopsy be performed in Dallas before his body was moved to Washington, namely Dr. Earl Rose.

“The evidence is pretty clear,” said Guthman. First, the three shots came from the same service revolvers used by the Secret Service. Each bullet was from a different weapon. Second, based on the trajectory of the bullets came from behind O’Donnell and Johnson. So, it looks like the timeline for this is first there was a scuffle between an angry O’Donnell and Dr. Rose. Then one of the DPD officers probably Bradley panicked and drew his weapon. The gun fires by accident. The agents immediately draw their guns and fire. One or more of the other police officers fire their weapons. Beyond that we don’t know who managed to get things under control but after one round of shots were fired both sides came to their senses thankfully.”

“Thankfully,” Kennedy said and shook his head. “Edwin we’ve got the DPD threatening to strike and a political maelstrom brewing unlike anything I’ve seen before. There’s very little to be thankful for after what happened here!”

“We need to get James Rowley in here to see this. Did any of the agents who were debriefed when they got back to Washington even mention any of this,” R.F.K. asked?

Guthman shook his head. “I read and re-read the transcripts. The one thing all the agents agree on is that things happened fast. None of them thinks a shot was fired from their direction but their answers leave a lot of room for doubt.”

“Get James Rowley in here as soon as possible, and I want the three agents whose guns discharged to be interrogated again today. We need answers now Edwin, I feel like we’re trying to keep the dike from breaking and the cracks are spreading!”
 
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If J. Edger has been pushing the DPD as the ones at the expense of the Secret Service, especially if he had a hint of them being the ones, could we see the end of J. Edna Hoover here?
 
Guthman shook his head. “I read and re-read the transcripts. The one thing all the agents agree on is that things happened fast. None of them thinks a shot was fired from their direction but their answers leave a lot of room for doubt.”
There are only a few options here:
1) The agents are completely incompetent
2) There is a coverup

That's the only possibilities if they don't think that any shots were fired by them. Unlike semi-automatic pistols, revolvers keep the empty casings until they are unloaded. I could possibly believe them not realizing it in the moment but as soon as they unload their revolvers (for cleaning or any other reason) three of them will find an empty casing.... The only explanation for them honestly still not knowing that they fired a shot is that they are still carrying a empty casing in their revolver 2 1/2 weeks later despite being in a position that requires meticulous attention to detail and firearms proficiency.

EDIT: The implication that neither the FBI nor the Secret Service themselves did even a cursory examination of the agents' service revolvers as part of the preliminary investigation also does not speak well of either group. That's a rookie-level investigatory mistake that the FBI should definitely not be making accidentally. The DPD Union could justifiably accuse them of covering for each other from the outset.
 
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