If you like to bat around conspiracy theories on JFK's assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing and the "illegal" United Nations, then Craig Roberts is your man.
Roberts -- a retired Oklahoma cop-turned-writer -- airs regularly on Ken Bagwell's local talk show, "Heads Up, America" (on radio station WTZY), serving up his conservative-edged thoughts on a number of simmering topics. Last week, local listeners got a chance to see him in person at a Weaverville appearance arranged by the radio station.
Wearing a golf shirt, khakis, and a clip-on mic, Roberts suggested an off-duty cop, motivational speaker and wise-cracking football coach all rolled into one.
The Vietnam veteran (a former Marine) said his analysis of JFK's assassination -- from his perspective as a trained sniper -- had led him to conclude that the shooting couldn't have happened the way it was reported.
"This made me angry, because I don't like lies," Craig told an appreciative crowd, adding, "Satan is the father of all lies."
"Amen," murmured some of the roughly 100 people crowding the foyer of the Woodland Hills Baptist Church, which was rented for the occasion.
The crowd, many of whom looked to be around retirement age, included regular listeners and even a couple of Republican political candidates: Senate hopeful R.L. Clark and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners candidate Mike Keleher. A young man with a name tag that read "Waco Joe" sported a modified buzz cut and wore a bumper sticker on his back proclaiming, "The U.N. is not your friend."
Roberts dangled tantalizing snippets of information, questions and conjecture before his audience -- but almost always referred listeners to one of the handful of books he's written, to get the full story. He also lobbed a few volleys at President Clinton, non-Christians, gay relationships, the public-school system and the NEA.
Roberts' JFK theories formed the basis of his 1994 book, Kill Zone: A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza -- self-published under Consolidated Press International -- which received glowing reviews on both Amazon.com and a Web site called Sniper Country (dedicated to all things sniper-related).
If Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy and Jack Ruby killed Oswald -- and it's as simple as that -- Roberts asked: "Why are there over 6 million documents in the [federal government's] archives sealed until 2020?"
And why, Roberts continued, was then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson writing a presidential memo two days before Kennedy was shot?
"Ohhh ..." murmured the crowd.
Roberts also regaled the audience with a near-death experience he had a couple of years ago, while undergoing treatment for colon cancer. Instead of a blinding white light, however, he described a sensation of being in a comfortable room, with a guardian angel nearby. That experience, he said, solidified his conviction that he has "things to do" in his life -- such as speaking before audiences.
Roberts also said the FBI has tapped his phone, prompting him to call his own number and play recorded sermons, to confound listening FBI agents.
"They're so much fun; they're fun guys," he observed.
Roberts also alluded to CIA agents in the publishing world, declaring that -- even though he'd previously been published commercially -- his agent couldn't find a buyer for his 1997 book, The Medusa File: Secret Crimes and Coverups of the U.S. Government. So he wound up publishing it himself.
The former Tulsa police officer told the crowd about being called in to help with the Oklahoma City bombing case, an investigation he said was fraught with errors. He quit the case, he said, when an FBI agent lied to him.
He went on to posit an as-yet-unanswered question about the bombing: What did the files rescued from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building contain? These files, he explained, filled two trucks and were later guarded by 50 men.
During a question-and-answer session, Roberts noted that -- under a 1994 federal law -- it's considered a capital offense to shoot or kill a foreign national who's in this country on official business. Who could that mean? he asked rhetorically. How about United Nations troops? he queried, answering his own question.
After the program, radio host Bagwell explained his understanding of anti-U.N. sentiments: Some people feel the United Nations usurps the United States' sovereignty, he said. "Are we paranoid?" Bagwell asked. "I don't know. I don't think so. What are the U.N.'s plans for the United States?"
(Roberts, meanwhile, claims the United Nations is an illegal organization that was created by politicians.)
In questions that often veered into electoral politics, Roberts was asked whether voters might be getting the lesser of two evils with George W. Bush. "That's basically right," Roberts replied.
One man asked Roberts how he could say so many controversial things and still manage to stay alive.
In answer, Roberts referred to his research on JFK's assassination, in which he learned that many witnesses to the shooting had died prematurely. "They died before they were to testify," Roberts said. "In other words, loudmouths live!"
During a break while Roberts autographed his books, audience members -- including a guy who only gave his name as Bob -- applauded his ideas.
"He's a professional," Bob asserted. "I think he's honest and very knowledgeable."
Bob -- who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words Proud American That Rejects Injustice, Oppression and Tyranny -- explained that he most identified with Roberts' comments about hating lies. "I feel the same way," he said.
Jack Hensley was likewise impressed. "I like what he's doing, in general -- digging and bringing things out that people need to know."
After the program, several folks clustered around Roberts to pepper him with more questions, including some about JFK.
"Do they actually have his brain?" asked one man.
"No, it's gone," Roberts replied, referring the questioner to Kill Zone.
Asked by Xpress what message he might have for the newspaper's readers, Roberts offered some friendly advice: "The young liberals that we have today are very conscientious people who need to do their homework before they jump on a cause, because they're being used by global socialists."
College classrooms, in particular, are influenced by globalists and socialists, he cautioned.
"They're only getting half the picture," Roberts concluded.