"That's the real question isn't it? Why? The how and the who is just scenery for the public. Oswald, Ruby, Cuba, the Mafia. Keeps 'em guessing like some kind of parlor game. Prevents 'em from asking the most important question: Why? Why was Kennedy killed? Who benefited? Who has the power to cover it up? Who?"
Jacob Hornberger considers various theories of why Lee Harvey Oswald might have killed John F Kennedy.
One is that Oswald was just a crazy loner who assassinated a popular, powerful man in order to achieve fame. The problem with this thesis is that Oswald denied doing so. He did not remain at the scene and boast that he did it. Instead, he left the site and, when apprehended, Oswald denied any role in the assassination.
A variation of this theme is that Oswald not only sought the notoriety of killing Kennedy but also the satisfaction of getting away with it. However, Oswald left a clear trail of guilt. For example, he purchased a rifle by mail when at the time he could have walked into any Texas gun store and bought a gun without any restriction or background check. His mail order gun was a cheap Italian rifle that was ostensibly inferior to many locally available models. Oswald left the gun in his sixth floor sniper's nest after the shooting. None of these actions would have been likely if Oswald sought to kill Kennedy and get away with it.
Perhaps the motivation was ideological. Maybe Oswald was a devout communist who hated Kennedy and what he stood for. After all, Oswald was a purported defector to the Soviet Union, he pamphleteered on behalf of Cuba, and espoused Marxist sentiments.
The problem here is that Kennedy was acting favorably toward communist regimes. Kennedy had assured Castro that the US would not invade Cuba following the Cuban Missile Crisis, he ordered the CIA to shutdown training camps for Cuban exiles, he entered into the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviets, he proposed joint Soviet/American space programs, he was pulling the US out of Vietnam.
In his efforts to foster a more peaceful co-existence, Kennedy seemed to have a bigger bone to pick with the national security state than with communist regimes. Moreover, killing Kennedy meant putting Johnson in office. LBJ's proclivities toward the national security state clearly opposed JFK's.
Perhaps, then, Oswald was part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy and Oswald was the trigger man. But if this were true, it is hard to explain Oswald's statements after his arrest. A central rule of large scale conspiracies is this: if caught, say nothing and wait until we send an attorney to represent you.
Oswald didn't do this. Instead, he began talking and even fielded press questions. He claimed that he didn't shoot Kennedy and that he was being framed. Why would Oswald talk and raise the specter of conspiracy to the authorities and to the media?
Absent a motive that garners clear support, perhaps Oswald was who he claimed to be: a "patsy"--someone who was set up. As JH observes, it is only under this scenario that evidence falls into place with few anomalies. Oswald was an intelligence operative recruited by the Marines to infiltrate the USSR, Cuban, and other communist institutions during the height of the Cold War. Oswald becomes the perfect set-up guy. It explains his association with a host of intelligence figures. It explains the easy mail order rifle trace. It explains why Oswald claimed that he was being set up. It explains keeping Kennedy's autopsy in military hands. It explains why Oswald needed to be killed right away. It explains why records of JFK's assassination are being kept out of the US public's hands for 75 years.
It also explains the media's ambivalence toward this story over the years.
As diligent investigators, who by and large are not mainstream media or government officials, continue to uncover findings, the "patsy" thesis seems positioned to gain further traction.