Imagine we're talking about any other country in world besides the U.S. Imagine the leader of the country is assassinated in the home province of the man who will directly succeed this leader on his untimely death, and that this man was himself a very powerful force in the government only a few years earlier until the late leader supplanted him as head of his party. Imagine further that the assassin is rapidly apprehended and in short order is himself dispatched. Now wouldn't everyone just assume that the new leader was responsible for the deed, or at least at the top of the list of likely suspects?
So how is it that so many believe the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy, but almost no one assumes Johnson was behind it? I feel close to 100% confident that Oswald acted alone, but whatever little doubt I have points in LBJ's direction. It would have been trivially easy for him to have arranged such a crude but effective hit. Certainly, compared with the other much discussed conspiracies, this would require the involvement of the least number of people. But it's never mentioned, except in fringe circles (google "Kennedy Assassination Johnson
" for a flavor). Why is that?
Addendum: Imagine further that the murdered leader's brother and right-hand man, out of power after the new man takes over, 4 years later seeks the top office himself and during his campaign is himself gunned down. How could any conspiracist not zero in on LBJ. The answer, as Glaivester noted in the comments, is that the conspiracists are ideologically driven - they want to believe in the inherent evil of the U.S., and so must cast the assassination of JFK as the treacherous act of reactionary (i.e., American
) interests to subvert the glorious march of progressivism. Although I also have a friend who believes in a similar conspiracy, but believes it was a necessary and proper
conspiracy, as Kennedy posed too great a danger to the nation.