9 - 1 1 R e s e a r c h essays
essays by Michael Green

Besmirching History:
Vincent Bugliosi Assassinates Kennedy Again
The Military and Warren Commission Cover-up


by Michael Green,
Sep. 19, 2007

Copyright 2007 Michael Green


originally published in MaryFerrell.org

The purpose of Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History is to defend the integrity of the USG National Security State by grossly distorting its nature and function, by disguising that it is the servant of factions of the ruling classes within the United States, and by pretending that the people who control it did not and could not contemplate the assassination of a democratically elected President whose recalcitrant politics fell outside their parameters. According to Bugliosi, only the lunatic can seriously entertain that Kennedy was murdered because he pursued détente with the USSR, championed nuclear disarmament, decided not to back the invasion of the Bay of Pigs with US military might, made a peaceful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis when the Joint Chiefs wanted invasion and war, and decided to withdraw US troops from Vietnam rather than pursue by brute force an imperial venture in Southeast Asia. According to Bugliosi, Oswald is not just the murderer of Kennedy, he is the only one involved, and he is nothing but “a first class ‘nut.’” (945) Thus, Kennedy’s murder is deprived of any political significance whatsoever, assassinating him yet again.

Bugliosi considers himself at liberty to mock those who appreciate the truth of the opposing world view, inter alia, “conspiracy icon Vincent Salandria [for claiming that] ‘the killing of Kennedy represented a coup d’état. ’…I suppose that since a coup d’état is defined as a sudden, unconstitutional change of state policy and leadership ‘by a group of persons in authority,’… you couldn’t even have a coup without the involvement, cooperation, and complicity of groups like the FBI, CIA, and military-industrial complex.” Individuals who entertain such notions are so wrapped up in “their fertile delusions” that they substitute finding a motive for finding evidence, make no connections between, e.g., the CIA and Oswald, and thus sadly show nothing but “this crazy, incredibly childlike reasoning and mentality that has driven and informed virtually all of the pro-conspiracy sentiment in the Kennedy assassination from the beginning.” (985-987)

This essay answers Bugliosi by showing direct involvement of the Warren Commission and the US military in the cover-up, and by demonstrating that the assassination was a state murder, without attempting at this point the far more difficult and far less important task of saying which individuals did precisely what. All of the organs of state power participated in the cover-up; indeed none could do so without confidence in the cooperation of all the others. Some did so as part of their role in the murder, some like the FBI did so reluctantly, but there were no institutional whistleblowers because the consensus of persons with political power was firmly opposed to Kennedy’s foreign policy and they used their control of the organs of state power to kill him, and then replaced his foreign policy with theirs.

Bugliosi pejoratively refers to Salandria and friends as “the Philadelphia school” of conspiracy buffs, but never comes to grips with Salandria’s basic position and the facts that support it. Salandria has argued that the assassination of Kennedy was a state murder and state cover-up; that both the assassination and the cover-up were transparently obvious upon careful inspection of the evidence, but that the staggered dissemination of fragmented pieces of evidence caused different individuals to understand the assassination at different rates with different degrees of clarity, thereby isolating them from each other and underscoring their political helplessness. Salandria realized that because the position of the Warren Commission was so preposterous, debating its findings as though one were dealing with an honest interlocutor, or exploring some scholarly research matter, only served to give it dignity and credibility when it deserved only to be mocked and exposed as a fraud. Eventually, Salandria confessed “guilt” for having spent so much time in the trenches slugging it out with the details. [ 1 ]

In committing the assassination, the perpetrators also committed themselves to the cover-up in perpetuity, an ambitious task even with their control of the organs of state power, including the media. Thus, not only the Warren Commission, but all subsequent major official investigations would be committed to the cover-up, i.e., the Justice Department, the Ramsey Clark Medical Panel, the Rockefeller Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), and any and all “private individuals” with a thorough knowledge of the facts who supported the official cover story, most especially Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi. Furthermore, since the goal of the cover-up was to shape public opinion, the critical community of JFK researchers was infiltrated by moles who helped “guide” it by asking all the wrong questions in just the right way at just the right times, augmenting the natural resistance to facing the fact of a state crime. Though I will examine Bugliosi’s book, I do so as I would any other piece of USG-sponsored propaganda, and mention in passing that after 21 years in the making Bugliosi’s magnum opus was released to counter David Talbot’s Brothers, which let the cat a little too far out of the bag. Reclaiming History is as much a piece of propaganda as the Warren Commission findings that it supports.

Bugliosi tells the story of charming his audience of six hundred lawyers – mostly skeptics of the Warren Commission – by asking for a show of hands from those who doubt the official story. Many hands go up. He then commands assent to the truth that a rational person must hear both sides of a dispute to have an informed opinion, then he asks for another show of hands from those who have read the Warren Report and “just a few” go up, and Bugliosi hadn’t even asked how many had read both the Report and the accompanying volumes. This audience of potent opinion makers has been converted; they must defer to one who knows both sides of the argument. (xxiv-xxv) Having thus cloaked himself in authority, Vince “Mr. JFK History” is going to tell us the truth, and he even thumps his chest to that effect, “My only master and my only mistress are the facts and objectivity. I have no others.” (xxxix)

But of course he is going to lie to us, and in a big way. His only master and mistress is the propaganda value of his work, his target audience are the professionals who serve as opinion-makers, and judging by the rave reviews on Amazon of all the doctors, lawyers, and Indian Chiefs who can -- THANK HEAVENS! WHAT A RELIEF! – once again believe in America, he has succeeded. Bugliosi is here to show that the US is not a “fascist banana republic” and that not only is the Report true, but also “the Commission’s conduct throughout the investigation clearly shows that its members only had one objective, to discover the truth of what happened.” (xxxi, original italics) I will briefly show that the Warren Commission is a hoax and a farce, that the military was complicit in protecting the conspirators, that the Commissioners and its counsel participated actively in the farce, that witnesses were suborned into perjury, and that Bugliosi has to lie with a straight face to maintain his position.

Contents

So Little Time, So Few Bullets

Three Mannlicher-Carcano shell casings were found in the SE corner of the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). The obstruction of the line of sight from the TSBD to the motorcade by a large oak tree, and the home movie of the assassination taken by Abraham Zapruder, imposed certain constraints on the official cover-up. One bullet hit Kennedy in the back; the final bullet hit Kennedy in the head. In between, Connally responded to being shot well after Kennedy did, but too soon for Oswald to have reloaded the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, which facts required that all of the damage that the two men suffered – aside from the fatal headshot – be due to a single bullet. Once this single-bullet was introduced, the superficial wound suffered by bystander James Tague from a missed shot that sprayed concrete after striking a curb, could be officially acknowledged. [ 2 ] The “single-bullet” theory is essential to the Warren Commission’s indictment of Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman, and Bugliosi is committed to it in full. “…in this case, the physical evidence isn’t just persuasive or even overwhelming, it’s absolutely conclusive that only three shot were fired, and that one of the two shots that hit Kennedy [CE 399] also went on to hit Connally. Hence, Connally was not hit by a separate bullet, which would have established a second gunman and a conspiracy.” (451)

The official story has that bullet, CE 399, enter President Kennedy from behind through the base of his neck to the right of his spine at a downward angle, pass through him without hitting bone, exit at the very base of his anterior neck, and then strike, as Bugliosi tells us, “the upper right area of Connally’s back, exit the right side of the chest (just below the right nipple), reenter the back of his right wrist, exit the opposite side, and finally come to rest after causing a superficial entrance wound in the left thigh.” [ 3 ] This gentle description omits that 399 shattered about five inches of Connally’s fifth rib in many places. Additionally, according to Joseph Dolce, M.D., who was then the US Army’s premier ballistics wound expert, a consultant to the Biophysics Division at Edgewood Arsenal, CE 399 not only broke the radius bone in his wrist, one of the densest and “the most difficult bone to break with a bullet,” it “shattered it in pieces… and [yet supposedly] came out as a perfectly normal, pristine bullet with just a slight, slight flattening on one side.”

 

Real bullets don’t behave this way: when they break bone they are smashed, dented or mangled, whereas this slightly flattened bullet looks much like the sample Mannlicher-Carcano bullets fired by the FBI in its tests into cotton wadding or by Henry Hurt (Reasonable Doubt, 1985, photo section) into a bucket of water.

How did the Warren Commission conduct its unflinching search for truth? Dr. Dolce stated that “it was in the Army rules that in the case of an injury, a serious injury to any VIP in Congress [or] in the administration, that I was to be called in to go over the case. I was not called. The Army and Navy took over.”

Because it was impossible to avoid consulting him on the matter of CE 399 after the autopsy report had been completed, Joseph Dolce, M.D., was part of a staff conference April 21, 1964 chaired by WC counsel Melvin Eisenberg and attended by Dr. Alfred Olivier, chief of the Wound Ballistics Branch of the Biophysics Division at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland; Dr. F. L. Light of the Wound Assessment Branch at Edgewood Arsenal; Drs. Charles Gregory and Robert Shaw from Parkland Hospital; and later in the conference, Governor John Connally and his wife, J. Lee Rankin, and Warren Commission member John J. McCloy. Dr. Dolce told the Commission personnel emphatically that it was impossible for CE 399 to have made those wounds. The Commission lawyers and staff tried to muscle him into changing his professional opinion, but he refused, so he was never called as a witness and the test findings were distorted and suppressed.

Dolce advised Chip Selby in 1986, “The disturbing feature at this conference was that the lawyer [Specter] says, ‘Now Doctor, we want you to tell us exactly how this bullet traveled, the velocity traveled, the velocity lost during the period of travel. And why it came out as a pristine bullet, unmarked bullet.’ I said, ‘Sorry, it doesn’t happen that way. This bullet should have been deformed.’ … they wanted this [399] to be the bullet that caused all of the damage and I did not go along with that.” [ 4 ]

Bugliosi handles this problem by lying:

Drs. Light and Dolce expressed themselves as being very strongly of the opinion that Connolly had been hit by two different bullets, principally on the belief that the bullet recovered from Connolly’s stretcher could not have broken the radius without having suffered more distortion.” But again, this was before the tests at Edgewood Arsenal proved that it could. (Endnotes p.305) [ 5 ]

In fact, after Dr. Dolce told the Commission principals that “This is impossible. It doesn’t work that way,” his group was told to conduct tests at the Edgewood Arsenal using Oswald’s alleged rifle. Dr. Dolce told Selby “that our experiments have shown beyond any doubt, that merely shooting the wrist deformed the bullet drastically [even without it also smashing a rib]. …in every instance [of 10 bullets] the front, or the tip of the bullet was smashed. This was not so with [with CE 399]. …They did not accept this.” (NA! pp.298-299)

If it weren’t a cover-up from the getgo, the Commission would have been off and running, the first time Dr. Dolce gave his opinion, trying to find all those grassy knoll witnesses the FBI had scared off, dismissed, intimidated or misquoted in their part of the cover-up. But suppressing all those facts and the bullets they imply is part of why CE 399 had to be planted. Bugliosi is fully aware of such facts since his endnotes mention Chip Selby by name from the relevant section of Harold Weisberg’s, Never Again! That Bugliosi can say with a straight face that the Warren Commission’s one objective was to discover the truth reveals his book as pure propaganda, not scholarship of any sort.

Anyone who reads the Hearings and Report with a sober mind cannot fail to see the farce, but most readers do not, and for a simple yet profound reason: instinctive obedience to authority, the tribal elders, the wise men who must be trusted on such fundamental matters if the substance of one’s world, and one’s place in it, is to survive. The commanding voice of authority is so much taken for granted that in one fell swoop first the Commission, and now Bugliosi, change the issue from this question “Dr., what is your best professional opinion about whether this bullet, 399, did all the damage attributed to it?” to this question, “Dr., is there some conceivable manner by which this bullet, 399, could have caused all the damage (that must be attributed to it by our pre-ordained conclusions)?” The parenthetical qualifier goes unstated. Bugliosi and the Commission might add in the director’s notes for the theatrical production, “in order to be persuasive to the lay audience, professionals must show proper respect if not awe for the gravity and dignity with which the second question is posed, however absurd its content. The performers must never convey any doubt about the integrity of the posers of that second question.”

Instead of Dr. Dolce, Arlen Specter called as his expert witness Alfred G. Olivier, D.V.M, and a supervisory research veterinarian at Edgewood Arsenal. Specter had Dr. Olivier compare CE 399 with a test bullet, CE 853, which was fired through a goat, x-rays of which showed a broken rib. I note that Specter fails to establish that CE 853 broke the rib shown in the x-ray of the goat only because he immediately engages in two other forensic frauds. The first fraud is to have Olivier compare a bullet that testimony implies broke a goat rib with a bullet that allegedly broke both a rib and a radius as though that were a relevant comparison. Even so, Olivier testified that CE 853 was much more badly damaged than CE 399, and was “quite flattened throughout [its entire length, with] lead core extruding somewhat from the rear.” The extruded core looked like a nipple at the base of the bullet. By contrast, Dr. Olivier noted that CE 399 showed only “a suggestion of flattening” and only at its base. The FBI concealed how much more badly damaged CE 853 was by photographing it only along its side, with the flattening symmetrically distributed along its axis so that no damage can be observed. Dr. Olivier testified of CE 399 “Also, the lead core has extruded from the rear in the same fashion, and it appears that some of it has even broken from the rear.” (5H80)

Arlen Specter’s second fraud, with Dr. Olivier’s complicity, is to pretend that the base of CE 399 has been damaged. The “extrusion” and the part “broken from the rear” is merely the divot that the FBI cut out to perform its analysis of the bullet core. No forensic expert could testify about a bullet that is the basis for comparison for all its tests and not know that the FBI cut a tiny nick from the tip and a substantial divot from the base for its tests. The divot is visible in the National Archives photo of CE 399 above, and a very clear photo of the divot will be given later in this essay. FBI agent Robert Frazier testified that visual inspection of CE 399 did not demonstrate loss of material from the base. [ 6 ] Henry Hurt’s Reasonable Doubt, 1985, provides a pre-divot photograph of CE 399 without extrusion or loss of material, which is one of many reasons why the honest Dr. Dolce stated that the Edgewood Arsenal tests proved it could not have smashed both rib and wrist bones:

[ 7 ]

Specter and Dr. Olivier address the capacity of a single bullet to cause all the damage done to Kennedy and Connally, and they address a possible bullet flight pattern. In between we see a bullet that shattered a radius bone, and it is “very severely flattened on the end,” looking like a cigarette stubbed out hard in a glass ashtray. (5H82, see also CE 856) Specter leads Olivier to testify that CE 399 was “capable” of producing all the wounds – but in that context they ignore whether breaking the bones would leave CE 399 so little blemished. (5H90) Specter never asks the obvious: “Dr. Olivier, is CE 853 the bullet that broke the goat’s rib shown in this x-ray?” “How many times did you have to fire bullets through goats’ ribs to obtain a bullet so little damaged as CE 853?” “Did you ever break a goat’s rib with a bullet that was as little damaged from the impact as CE 399?” “Dr. Olivier, let us put aside the pretense that the FBI divot was actual damage to CE 399. Even assuming it were possible that CE 399 had been so considerably less damaged after breaking Governor Connally’s rib than CE 853 was after breaking the goat’s rib, would you expect its going on to shatter a radius bone to leave it no more deformed?” Neither Specter nor Olivier ever alluded to the other nine bullets from the Edgewood Arsenal tests that were grossly deformed from smashing only a radius bone. My point is that Specter, the Commission, and the compliant “expert” worked very hard to preserve the integrity of the planted bullet, CE 399. We shall see why later.

Bugliosi uses a similar tactic. Like Specter, he pretends that the FBI divot is extruded bullet material. He then paraphrases HSCA wound ballistics expert Larry Sturdivan to the effect that “when a bullet begins to deform…the metal jacket begins to peel off and ‘the softer lead core is extruded through the only opening, that is, the opening in the base.’” (p.808) Here is another example of the authoritative lie: there is no extrusion from CE 399 and its metal jacket had not begun to peel off.

Almost every physician who testified before the Warren Commission stated on the record that CE 399 could not have caused all those wounds, leaving so many fragments behind, and emerging so little changed; or expressed other kinds of grave doubts, such as Dr. Gregory’s opinion that only a ragged bullet could have pulled so much fabric into Connally’s wrist wound as it did, or at best gave equivocal assent to the mere possibility. [ 8 ] Commander James Humes, who headed the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital where JFK’s body was flown, testified, “I can’t conceive of where they [fragments found in Connally] came from this missile [399].” (2H376). Yet, as Salandria noted, the Report concluded “All the evidence indicated that the bullet found on the Governor’s stretcher could have caused all his wounds. (WR95)” and then asked rhetorically “In light of the above testimony, how could the Commission have fairly concluded ‘all the evidence’ supported the idea that 399 had struck Governor Connolly and caused all his wounds?” [ 9 ] The plain answer is that this is what a cover-up does and looks like, but a cover-up that proceeds by the theatrical legerdemain outlined above, an artful dodge of applied epistemology in the argument from authority, and does so throughout its 26 volumes.

Let us illustrate the general method with a few more concrete particulars, first by squeezing the remaining juice from this particular piece of deception. The Report does not in fact say that CE 399 caused all the wounds, only that it “could have,” in the same lawyerly way that Bugliosi claims that Edgewood Arsenal tests “proved that it could,” i.e., that 399 is a bullet, and that bullets are the kinds of things that cause such wounds, hence that in other circumstances, and had it emerged differently, 399 could have caused those wounds. Again, the farce, the mystification, is transparent to all those who are not in the thrall of blind obedience to the master’s voice. Instead of asking whether the 399 fable is at all feasible or fits the facts, the question of whether it is possible in some (other) imaginable scenario is substituted for evidence here and in every other crucial area. Would that I were kidding, but here is Arlen Specter, currently elevated to Senator, taking Dr. Shaw through the traces.

Mr. Specter: Now, without respect to whether or not the bullet identified as Commission Exhibit 399 is or is not the one which inflicted the wound on the Governor, is it possible that a missile similar to the one which I have just described in the hypothetical question [i.e., that the bullet took the course through JFK attributed to 399] could have inflicted all of the Governor's wounds in accordance with the theory which you have outlined on Commission Exhibit No. 689?

Dr. SHAW: Assuming that it also had passed through the President's neck you mean?

Mr. Specter: No; I had not added that factor in. I will in the next question.

Dr. SHAW. All right. As far as the wounds of the chest are concerned, I feel that this bullet could have inflicted those wounds. But the examination of the wrist both by X-ray and at the time of surgery showed some fragments of metal that make it difficult to believe that the same missile could have caused these two wounds. There seems to be more than three grains of metal missing as far as the -- I mean in the wrist.

Mr. Specter: Your answer there, though, depends upon the assumption that the bullet which we have identified as Exhibit 399 is the bullet which did the damage to the Governor. Aside from whether or not that is the bullet which inflicted the Governor's wounds.

Dr. SHAW: I see. [Shaw understands Specter’s reminder of his role in this piece of theater.]

Mr. Specter: Could a bullet traveling in the path which I have described in the prior hypothetical question, have inflicted all of the wounds on the Governor?

Dr. SHAW: Yes. [10]

To make the methodology very plain, note that Dr. Shaw says that 399 could not be the relevant bullet because “There seems to be more than three grains of metal missing as far as the – I mean in the wrist.” Dr. Shaw refers to the fact that the FBI weighing of 399 suggested that it might have been 3 grains lighter, but more than 3 grains had been washed from or remained in Governor Connally, who had residual particles in his chest, wrist, and left thigh and others that had been removed, put in an evidence envelope, and then made to disappear, and the nurse who could testify that they far exceeded 3 grains was not called as a witness. [11] Neither Spector nor the Commission asks, “Dr., from your treatment of Governor Connally, how many grains do you think were shed?” “How did you reach your conclusion (that destroys everything we are doing here)?” Not asking the question does not leave things a mystery. It means that the Commission was deliberately covering up that more than three grains were shed. The Commission ignored its own experts in order to conceal the existence of extra bullets and multiple shooters. That’s a cover-up, full stop.

The highest art form of Applied Epistemology that the Commission indulged is the Self-Answering Hypothetical, by means of which a physician or expert is apparently led to testify that a particular point of evidence is to be interpreted precisely opposite than the manner in which it should be, and precisely opposite to how the expert wants to interpret it. The general form of the question, which is always disguised, is this, “Upon the assumption of the pre-ordained conclusions of the Warren Commission, Mr. Expert, would you agree that…” Indeed, this is the Ur-Question of the entire Warren Commssion, its modus operandi throughout, the answer to Bugliosi’s challenge to hear both sides of the argument in order to have a well-informed opinion. It is the original sleight-of-hand which makes the elephant invisible while it continues to occupy most of the living room.

For example, after Parkland Hospital’s Dr. Charles Baxter has given excellent and detailed reasons to conclude that Kennedy’s throat wound was an entrance wound, the “truth-seeking” Specter poses the self-answering hypothetical and receives his answer:

Mr. Specter: Assuming some factors in addition to those which you personally observed, Dr. Baxter, what would your opinion be if these additional facts were present: First, the President had a bullet wound of entry on the right posterior thorax just above the upper border of the scapula with the wound measuring 7 by 4 mm. in oval shape, being 14 cm. from the tip of the right acromion process and 14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process--assume this is the set of facts, that the wound just described was caused by a 6.5 mm bullet shot from approximately 160 to 250 feet away from the President, from a weapon having a muzzle velocity of approximately 2,000 feet per second, assuming as a third factor that the bullet passed through the President's body, going in between the strap muscles of the shoulder without violating the pleura space and exited at a point in the midline of the neck, would the hole which you saw on the President's throat be consistent with an exit point, assuming the factors which I have just given to you?

Dr. BAXTER: Although it would be unusual for a high velocity missile of this type to cause a wound as you have described, the passage through tissue planes of this density could have well resulted in the sequence which you outline; namely, that the anterior wound does represent a wound of exit. (6H42)

That exchange was March 24, 1964. In less than a week, on March 30, 1964 Specter has fully perfected his technique. [12] Specter poses the same long hypothetical fact situation to Dr. Charles Carrico and their exchange proceeds as follows:

Mr. Specter: ...Now based on those facts was the appearance of the wound in consistent with being an exit wound?

Dr. CARRICO. It certainly was. It could have been under the circumstances.

Mr. Specter: And assuming that all the facts which I have given you to be true, do you have an opinion with a reasonable degree of medical certainty as to whether, in fact, the wound was an entrance wound or an exit wound?

Dr. CARRICO: With those facts and the fact as I understand it, no other bullet was found this would be, this was, I believe, was an exit wound.

There is no business like show business. In the more accurate People’s version of this theatrical production, a young Frank Langella plays Specter as a thuggish Mafioso with a distinct hint of garlic on his breath. One by one he takes the Parkland physicians by the collar, pulls them close to him and asks, “Dr., If I tell you the bullet went in his back and came out his throat, den whadda you gonna say about da hole in his throat?” The People’s production is still seeking a satisfactory venue.

The Ur-Question animates the entire Warren Report. Kennedy is shot before the limousine emerges from behind the Stemmons Freeway sign on the Z-film, but Connally is unharmed, turns around still holding his Stetson hat in that shattered but un-bloodied wrist, and recalls feeling being hit when he is hit later – but too soon for Oswald to have fired again; so a delayed reaction is invoked as “conceivable” despite the shattered rib and radius bone. Numerous witnesses heard shots from the grassy knoll, including bullets whistling by them from that direction, saw smoke, saw men behind the fence, were stopped from chasing them by a “Secret Service” agent who was not Secret Service; no matter, there were conceivably echoes and eyewitness testimony is fallible. Gerald Posner (Case Closed) has a “conceivable” solution that hypothecates a bullet hitting the oak tree and splitting in order to strike bystander James Tague. All that is missing is the conceivably unnoticed “little birdie” that flew between JFK & Connally at the correct moment to deflect the bullet into the much steeper path taken into the governor’s body.

Senator Russell was so disgusted with the cover story of the single bullet that he convened a special executive session with all Commission members present to put on the record, for history, his and Senator Cooper’s dissent from the nonsense. A court stenographer was present for the purpose of leading Senator Russell to believe that his words were recorded for posterity, but no record was actually kept. At the signing, Warren refused to let Russell register his dissent by means of a footnote in the Report, assuring Russell that he had already made his historical statement. When Russell discovered how he had been deceived, he publicly broke with President Johnson and resigned his position as Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee with its “oversight” of the CIA, which had just humiliated him (read: Dulles, McCloy). [13]

If the “Warren Commission” were a computer game it would be played this way: The Ruling Class assassins adopt a bizarre alibi contrary to the natural interpretation of the evidence, but Detective Vox Populi must disprove every conceivable interpretation of the evidence consistent with the Rulers’ alibi in order to “win.” Many actual people are easily drawn into the real life version of this game. Win or lose, an arrest is out of the question.

This hoax of a Warren Commission conducted its Hearings in total secrecy, not witnessed by the press or the public, without cross-examination, published its findings with vast fanfare and support from the media, and only let the 26 volumes of evidence that contradicted the findings be released two months later. That should have been enough of a clue that this was nothing but a propaganda campaign, not to mention classifying both the raw witness transcripts and the Parkland Hospital personnel first-person narratives requested by Administrator C. J. Price as “top secret” until they could be vetted, and altered as required. [14]

Whence came the fundamentally respectful “Rush to Judgment” or “Accessories After-the-fact” perspective? Once the fact that Oswald was a CIA agent is coupled with the incriminating impersonations of him in Mexico City a month before the assassination, and elsewhere, to set him up as a patsy – facts with which the JFK research community is well acquainted – and are integrated we have a seamless conspiracy in which the “honorable” men who covered it up are the same “honorable” men who committed the crime, even if in another branch of the National Security State. The “seamless” conspiracy is consistent with the factional infighting over just how the coup should be implemented and to what particular ends, but the “seamless” quality is the unity of purpose and action in its successful orchestration and cover-up. The National Security State, its enduring interests, and its means of control need to be more fully described at a later time. But for now, with respect to the topic of CE 399, we know that it was planted as part of this seamless process. Additional evidence that CE 399 was planted will be addressed later.

Planting the “Magic Bullet,” Silencing Dr. Perry, Suborning the Perjury of Cmdr. James R. Humes

Oswald cannot be framed adequately without planting a bullet to match the alleged murder weapon, the Mannlicher-Carcano, because the Mannlicher-Carcano was not amongst the murder weapons, hence the apparance of CE 399. Had that rifle been the murder weapon, there would be no need to plant CE 399 to match it, a simple fact that fits the initial identification of the rifle found in the Depository as a Mauser. [15] Pity the poor Bethesda autopsy physicians with a dead president, an entrance wound in his back near the third thoracic vertebrae with a downward trajectory and no broken bones to deflect its path, another wound in his throat, and, horribile dictu and mirabile dictu, no bullet in the corpse. What is the one and only thing to do in such a circumstance where, after all, the results are absolutely crucial to determine how many shooters there were and from what direction, and, crucially, to do a top notch autopsy in order to bring to justice the murderer(s) of the president? The wounds are dissected, full stop. Now, in this case, the autopsy of a murdered president, the wounds are not dissected.

Bugliosi offers numerous self-congratulatory quotes from autopsy physicians Cmdr. Humes and Lt. Finck that Humes was fully in charge and there was no military interference, but this is sheer propaganda. Long ago Dr. Finck testified at the 1969 Garrison prosecution in New Orleans and was forced to admit, and I mean forced, that there were orders not to dissect the throat wound. After refusing to answer the question seven times why he did not dissect the throat wound, and only after the Court has twice intervened to make him do so, Dr. Finck states, “As I recall I was told not to, but I don't remember by whom.” [16] Bugliosi quotes a largely irrelevant part of that testimony to argue that Humes was in full command of the autopsy, but conceals this well-known indigestible fact. Only on the eighth attempt to elicit the answer to why the throat wound was not dissected, Finck is forced to admit it was under orders, then offers the blatant lie that he cannot remember who gave the order that destroyed the entire purpose of a forensic autopsy. The reasonable conclusion is that the military brass was part of the conspiracy in real time to conceal multiple shooters, but many blinkered JFK researchers instead find a false “mystery” to solve and keep themselves busy. Just who gave that order? One such researcher, in a magnum opus of misinformation, attributes the entire decision to his own invention that the general he presumes – contrary to Finck’s testimony – to have given the order was “nervous.” [17]

Bugliosi follows official lore by foisting the decision not to dissect the back or throat wounds upon the Kennedy family, Jacqueline Kennedy in particular, thus selling the fanciful idea that her personal hysterical wishes of the moment – if they were in fact as described – had trumped a matter of State security even after Robert F. Kennedy has signed an autopsy release on her behalf without restrictions. [18] This scenario is absurd on its face. It is especially absurd given that the body was cut open armpits to groin in the traditional Y cut to remove internal organs. Rather, the decision not to dissect the wounds in order to trace the bullets’ paths – and I say bullets – is part of the seamless murder and cover-up.

Confronted with a presidential corpse with a back entry wound, no bullet, and no exit wound -- and perhaps by then even an order from the military brass to the prosectors not to dissect the wounds -- FBI agent Frank Sibert took what action he could. According to Bugliosi,

FBI agent Jim Sibert decided to call the FBI laboratory and find out if anyone there knew of a bullet that would almost completely fragmentize. He managed to reach Special Agent Charles L. Killion of the Firearms Section of the lab, who said he’d never heard of such a thing. After Sibert explained the problem, Killion asked if he was aware that a bullet had been found on a stretcher at Parkland Hospital. (171, italics added)

The official story is that Sibert informs the autopsy physicians about the Parkland stretcher bullet, and Humes opines that the bullet had worked its way out of Kennedy’s back during cardiac massage. The official story has Humes awakening the following day to learn from a phone call that the throat contains an exit wound, but let us first linger on the above italicized text, since it illustrates just how Bugliosi reclaims history – by inventing it -- and because it is a silent obeisance to one of the early Warren Commission critics, Harold Weisberg.

Bugliosi thoroughly documents Killion’s response that he’d never heard of such a thing as a fragmenting bullet, “ARRB MD 44, FBI Report of O’Neill and Sibert, November 26, 1963, p.4; ARRB MD 46, Affidavit. of James W. Sibert, October 24, 1978, p.3.” The only difficulty with the documentation is that it is fictional. Killion never answered Sibert’s question; instead of answering it, Killion informed Sibert of the (planted) bullet in Parkland. Harold Weisberg correctly interpreted Sibert’s affidavit, “Killion was warning Sibert to drop the whole thing because of the bullet found at the hospital!” (NA!, p.488) Of special note is that the HSCA, fully engaged in cover-up, sent Sibert the affidavit they wanted him to sign. Instead, he wrote and returned his own, so Sibert was trying to get this particular truth out in the hopes that someone would do something with it. So too was FBI agent Francis X. O’Neill, Jr., who was sent an affidavit to sign by the HSCA which he declined, submitting his own November 8, 1978, that stated in pertinent part:

I do not see how the bullet that entered below the shoulder [heading downward] in the back could have come out the front of the throat. During the interview on January 10, 1975, I disagreed with Dr. Boswell’s depiction of the location of the back (thorax) wound which Dr. Boswell had drawn on a diagram during an interview with this Committee in the Fall of 1977. … It was and is my opinion that the bullet which entered the back came out the back.

Some discussion did occur concerning the disintegration of the bullet. A general feeling existed during the autopsy that a soft-nosed bullet struck JFK. There was discussion concerning the back wound that the bullet could have been a “plastic” type or an “Ice” bullet, one which dissolves after contact. There was also no real sense either way that the wounds were caused by the same kind of bullet.

The FBI agents, unlike the military pathologists who conducted the autopsy, did not have to follow military directions as to what to do and what do say. [19] The FBI’s formal report on the assassination, CD1 (Commission Document 1), maintains that the bullet that entered Kennedy’s back worked its way out Kennedy’s back, which entails that the bullet wound in the throat was an entrance wound. Dissecting the wounds would have resolved any doubt about the particulars of their paths, and revealed the entry wound in the throat, but the fact that the wounds were not dissected does not leave doubt. It reveals a transparent conspiracy, a state crime, and a national security state cover-up.

If someone wants to argue that the bullets could or must have been removed before the corpse arrived at the Bethesda morgue, or that the autopsy physicians might have removed one or more whole bullets themselves that did not match the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and sequestered them, he is welcome to do so, and may be right. Such distracting details do not affect the overall understanding of the assassination.

A book could be written about just Humes’ perjury at the Warren Commission, and its facilitation by all those present, especially Specter and Commissioner John McCloy, along with Allen Dulles, the rudders of this privatized ship of state, both masters of the intelligence trade and both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations, but here we simply cut to the chase. Bugliosi, putting the keystone of the arch of deception in place, describes a telephone conversation Saturday morning between Humes and Dr. Dr. William Perry of Parkland Hospital who tried to resuscitate Kennedy. Humes already knows of 399 (that had been planted at Parkland) but not whence it came:

“We surmised that it [399] worked its way out of the wound during cardiac massage,” Humes says.

“Well, that seems unlikely, in my opinion,” Perry replies. “Are you aware that there was a wound in the throat?”

The light flashes on for Humes when Dr. Perry tells him that he performed his surgery on an existing wound there, a small round perforation with ragged edges.’

“Of course,” Humes realizes, “that explains it.”

Suddenly, everything the pathologists had encountered when they explored the chest cavity made sense—the bruise over the lung, the bruised muscle surrounding the trachea. It was obvious. The bullet had exited the throat. Dr. Humes felt a great weight lift from his shoulders. He thanked Dr. Perry and hung up. (207)

Like Killion’s imaginary remark to Sibert, and the imaginary Edgewood Arsenal test results, this conversation and Humes’s epiphany is sheer fiction, though Humes swears to it with perjured testimony, supplemented by later interviews and testimony. Humes’s sworn testimony requires the full support and cooperation of Arlen Specter and all the Commissioners present because each and every one of them, before, during and after hearing Humes’s testimony to this bit of nonsense, has to refrain from asking the obvious questions that would reveal the transparent conspiracy: “Why didn’t you learn something, anything, about the president’s wounds prior to beginning the autopsy as standard procedure requires? Why didn’t you simply call Parkland during the autopsy? Hadn’t any one of the two dozen of so people present heard that Dr. Perry had announced at a 2:16 CT press conference that he thought the throat wound was an entrance wound? Did any of them tell you? Did you think to ask? If you had an entrance wound in the back but no exit wound, why didn’t you immediately dissect the wound for the path trajectory, especially since you had already done the Y cut to remove all the organs?”

The deliberate decision not to ask any relevant questions is part of the political theater, the pure propaganda that began long before the murder to frame Oswald, which was engaged at the autopsy by the orders not to dissect the wounds, and was ceremoniously launched with the Warren Report, and that continues to this day. Even to entertain seriously such silly tales told to obedient children to make them behave, or to probe the answers to such questions, betokens the pervasive want of capacity for independent thought that allows the rulers to rule as they do.

Others have collected the hard facts and I provide them here, despite needing to emphasize that this “progress” means that the political fight was lost long ago when the obvious lies were accepted. The third of the prosectors, James Boswell, M.D., gave an interview to the Baltimore Sun, November 25, 1966, stating that before Kennedy’s body had arrived “The pathologists [Boswell and Humes, Finck arrived later] had already been told of the probable extent of the injuries and what had been done by physicians in Dallas.” Boswell also confided the certainty of the pathologists “that there was a bullet wound in the President’s neck at the point of the tracheotomy incision.” [20] Boswell has subsequently testified during ARRB that the throat was deemed an exit wound by autopsy’s end. [21] Dr. Robert B. Livingston, who was Scientific Director for two of the National Institutes of Health in 1963, and who would subsequently win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, wrote in 1992 that he had telephoned Bethesda before the autopsy began and was put through to Dr. Humes. Dr. Livingston advised Dr. Humes that the throat wound was almost certainly an entry wound and discussed the optimal techniques for exploring it until Humes ended the call by saying, “the FBI will not let me talk any further," an interruption that surprised and disturbed Livingston. [22] The autopsy radiologist, Dr. John Ebersole, testified at HSCA that he was present when Dr. Humes made telephone contact with Dallas about the nature of the throat wound. “I believe by ten or ten thirty approximately a communication had been established with Dallas and it was learned that there had been a wound of exit in the lower neck that had been surgically repaired. I don't know if this was premortem or postmortem but at that point the confusion as far as we were concerned stopped. [23]

Bugliosi does not address Dr. Livingston, whose testimony dovetails with Boswell’s reported in the November 25, 1966 Baltimore Sun, and the pathologists were probably informed by others as well. Bugliosi mentions the Sun, but with a November 25, 1996 [sic] date where decaying memory might be slightly more plausible, but the correct date is 1966, so this “typo” is especially convenient for Bugliosi’s explanation. As for the HSCA and ARRB testimony, Bugliosi’s response is simply that “The evidence is very clear that it was this early-morning call that led to the conclusion that the bullet that entered the back had exited from the throat, and Boswell’s and Ebersole’s memories had simply failed them.” [24]

The evidence is very clear, but clear that the Commission suborns and that Humes perjures himself, and that Dr. Perry has to be coerced to play along. Dr. Perry had given a press conference within two hours of Kennedy’s death at which he stated that the throat wound was an entrance wound and that it looked like an entrance wound. [25] If Perry told Humes his opinion about the throat wound Friday night when Kennedy’s body could still be examined, then the conspiratorial intent behind the order not to dissect the back and throat wounds would be trumpeted. “Well, Dr. Perry told me that the throat wound was an entrance wound, but I was given orders not to dissect the wound, so I didn’t, but I don’t recall by whom and neither does Dr. Finck,” does not play well. How else do we know it’s a fiction? In addition to the above testimony, we know because the call to Dallas should have been made Friday, and the pretext offered by Humes for making it Saturday to have his “epiphany” makes no sense.

Mr. Specter: Did you have occasion to discuss that wound on the front side of the President with Dr. Malcolm Perry of Parkland Hospital in Dallas?

Commander HUMES: Yes, sir; I did. I had the impression from seeing the wound that it represented a surgical tracheotomy wound, a wound frequently made by surgeons when people are in respiratory distress to give them a free airway. To ascertain that point, I called on the telephone Dr. Malcolm Perry and discussed with him the situation of the President's neck when he first examined the President, and asked him had he in fact done a tracheotomy, which was somewhat redundant because I was somewhat certain he had. He said, yes; he had done a tracheotomy and that as the point to perform his tracheotomy he used a wound which he had interpreted as a missile wound in the low neck, as the point through which to make the tracheotomy incision.

Mr. Specter: When did you have that conversation with him, Dr. Humes?

Commander HUMES: I had that conversation early on Saturday morning, sir.

Mr. Specter: On Saturday morning, November 23d?

Commander HUMES: That is correct, sir. [26]

The Big Lie, a preposterous fiction, is thus proffered with quiet dignity and authority, as the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Humes never thought to call Dallas Friday when it could guide the autopsy. Humes never thought to ask any of the three men present at the autopsy who had been present during the President’s treatment at Parkland, Secret Service agents Greer and Kellerman, but especially Admiral Burkley, the president’s personal physician, and none of them ever thought to tell, that there had been a tracheotomy in the throat, especially one that Dr. Ebersole testified at HSCA arrived at Bethesda carefully sutured. Despite the throat wound being in the supposed trajectory of an exit wound – McCloy even guides Humes to testify falsely that he reached his conclusions about the bullet trajectory because the throat wound is lower than the back wound – Humes’s best understanding until Saturday morning is that the bullet had fallen out of Kennedy’s back. You would think that Humes would at least have looked closely at the throat, but then he would have been in a position on the record to see the still-visible bullet hole despite his enlargement of the tracheotomy to obscure it, indeed the bullet hole that Boswell told the Sun that they did know about. The Ramsey Clark medical panel reports that despite alteration of the throat wound, autopsy photos were sufficiently clear to reveal the upper part of the bullet wound. [27] And, of course, from the very same Sibert & O’Neill FBI report of 11/26/63, from which Bugliosi pulled his invented quote from Killion, Bugliosi here neglects to see:

Following the removal of the wrapping [from the President’s body], it was ascertained that the President’s clothing had been removed and it was also apparent that a tracheotomy had been performed, as well as surgery of the head area, namely, in the top of the skull. (italics added)

This is no defect of scholarship; it is propaganda pure and simple from Bugliosi to cover-up the conspiracy and the Commission complicity. Humes & Co., under orders, lied through their teeth to cover up the guilty secret that they were ordered by military brass not to dissect the two entry wounds in order to conceal multiple shooters from multiple directions.

Of course the unfortunate Dr. Perry had to be silenced and was silenced. The Commissioners first pretended that no radio or film of the assassination-day Parkland news conference could be found. They then made Perry testify that the media was generally inaccurate, and as for the wicked thought that the throat wound had been an entrance wound:

Mr. Specter: What responses did you give to questions relating to the source of the bullets, if such questions were asked?

Dr. PERRY: I could not. I pointed out that both Dr. Clark and I had no way of knowing from whence the bullets came.

...

Mr. McCloy: Did you, any other time, or other than the press conference or any other period, say that you thought this was an exit wound?

Dr. PERRY: No, sir; I did not. [28]

There is no doubt that Dr. Perry was coerced. When Harold Weisberg interviewed Dr. Perry December 1, 1971, Perry still described the throat wound as an entrance wound, and said that he had wiped it clean of blood. [29] One has only to listen to Perry’s phrasing to see his arm twisted behind his back to make him say that he and Humes spoke on Saturday morning.

Mr. Specter: When did that conversation occur?

Dr. PERRY: My knowledge as to the exact accuracy of it is obviously in doubt. I was under the initial impression that I talked to him on Friday, but I understand it was on Saturday. [30]

Perry so testifies March 31, 1964 in D.C. after being deposed in Dallas on March 25, 1964 in Dallas in which he twice repeats that he believes that he spoke to Dr. Humes on Friday afternoon. Of course he spoke with Humes both Friday afternoon before the autopsy, and again Saturday mid-morning when Dr. McClelland was present. Despite the pressure applied to him, Dr. Perry again alludes to this initial “secret” call during the August 27, 1998 group interview of five Parkland physicians when ARRB Chief Counsel Gunn again raises the question of when they spoke. Perry replies:

DR. PERRY: I thought we settled that. We talked to Dr. Humes. There was a lot of stuff going on, but I thought he said he’d call me next morning now that I recall. P.60.

Humes told Perry on Friday that he would call him back the next morning after the autopsy. In between, Perry received telephone calls from Bethesda that his Commission testimony, coupled with the testimony of Audrey Bell, indicates are most likely from officials who identified themselves as being from the FBI.

Ms. Bell’s compelling testimony deserves mention not only for its dramatic content, but also for its undoubted accuracy. On March 20, 1997 two of the ARRB (Assassinations Records Review Board) personnel interviewed Ms. Audrey Bell, Parkland Hospital Supervisor of Operating and Recovery Rooms, at her home in Vernon, Texas. Ms. Bell has a strikingly clear, vivid, detailed and concrete memory. The interview was so rigidly structured by topic that at its very end she has to ask permission to address another topic, “Can I just say one thing about the tracheostomy again?” She had been admonished that she was to talk about the nature of the throat wound, but now she is about to introduce another topic not about the throat wound per se. She has not been made to feel at liberty to shed whatever light she could about the assassination.

Given permission, she continues, “Saturday morning when I got over there, Dr. Perry came up to the office. He looked like pure hell. Of course he had been primary until Dr. Clark came … He sat down in a chair. I said, ‘You look awful. Did you get any sleep last night?’ And he said, ‘Well, not too much between the calls from Bethesda that came in during the night.’ I said, ‘What about?’ He said, ‘Oh. Whether that was an entrance wound or an exit wound in the throat.’ He said, ‘They were wanting me to change my mind that it was an entrance wound.’” [31] Nurse Bell clarifies that her exchange with Dr. Perry occurred in the morning, before he decamped just after the Saturday press conference, during which he was silent after telling Dr. Kemp Clark what Humes had told him, and asking Clark to take over for him to avoid having to lie at the Saturday afternoon press conference. Chalk up another perjury for Humes, who testified that he did not discuss the results of the autopsy with Dr. Perry. [32] The frosting on the cover-up cake may now be tasted. Perry talked to Humes on Friday and told him that the throat wound was an entrance wound, as did Dr. Livingston, and almost certainly others. Humes duly recorded this information from Dr. Perry in his final holographic copy of the autopsy report. Humes wrote, “Dr. Perry noted the massive wound of the head and a second, puncture wound, of the low-anterior neck in approximately the midline.” A “puncture” wound is an entrance wound so the final typed version was altered to read a “much smaller wound.” [33] Humes was not in charge of even the content of his own autopsy report.

Bugliosi offers a list of notables who attended the autopsy and then ends with the challenge, “If someone can find a likely conspirator in this group who was covering up the assassination, please let me know.” (386) Ok, Humes, Boswell, and Finck for starters, on orders from Admirals Galloway and Kinney, and possibly Burkley, themselves under the command of members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by whom on more than one occasion Kennedy expressed the fear that he would be overthrown.

As for Humes being in charge and deciding for the best of clinical reasons not to dissect the throat or back wounds, one need not have a well-trained clinical ear to appreciate the defensive bad faith that anoints his February 13, 1996 ARRB testimony:

A. My problem is, very simply stated, we had an entrance wound high in the posterior back above the scapula. We didn't know where the exit wound was at that point. I'd be the first one to admit it. We knew in general in the past that we should have been more prescient than we were, I must confess, because when we removed the breast plate and examined the thoracic cavity, we saw a contusion on the upper lobe of the lung. There was no defect in the pleura anyplace. So it's obvious that the missile had gone over that top of the lung.

Of course, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it had to go out from the neck. It was the only place it could go, after it was not found anywhere in the X-rays. So early the next morning, I called Parkland Hospital and talked with Malcolm Perry, I guess it was. And he said, oh, yeah, there was a wound right in the middle of the neck by the tie, and we used that for the tracheotomy. Well, they obliterated, literally obliterated—when we went back to the photographs, we thought we might have seen some indication of the edge of that wound in the gaping skin where the—but it wouldn't make a great deal of sense to go slashing open the neck. What would we learn? Nothing, you know. So I didn't—I don't know if anybody said don't do this or don't do that. I wouldn't have done it no matter what anybody said. That was not important.

Humes is driven to defend the indefensible medical decision essential to the cover-up, even after he admitted not knowing the course of the bullet(s) during the autopsy, by responding as though the question had been, “So why didn’t you frivolously proceed to slash open the President’s neck?” Note too that Humes does not say, “Dammit, those were our orders. Why don’t you show some courage and ask the admirals who gave them?” something, curiously, that has never been done, let alone the Joint Chiefs whose absence from any account of the assassination is wholly remarkable.

Admiral Burkley knew of the conspiracy at some point yet was silent; he understood the chain of command and he understood to a limited extent the power structure of this country, and he was almost certainly given a “temporary legend,” by the core plotters, i.e., a story that would make his participation in the cover-up appear reasonable and even honorable to him at the time. Burkley wrote the death certificate specifying the location of the back entry wound at about the level of the third thoracic vertebrae; hence he was not called to testify before the Warren Commission and the death certificate was excluded from the exhibits. During an oral interview conducted October 17, 1967, he was asked “Do you agree with the Warren Report on the number of bullets that entered the President’s body?” Admiral Burkley answered, “I would not care to be quoted on that.” There was no follow up question. When the HSCA was convened, Burkley, like so many others, imagined the possibility that at last an official Congressional body was interested in the truth. Admiral Burkley had his attorney, William F. Illig, contact Chief Counsel Richard A. Sprague who memorialized to the file, “Dr. Burkley advised him [Illig] that although he, Burkley, had signed the death certificate of President Kennedy in Dallas, he had never been interviewed and that he has information in the Kennedy assassination indicating that others besides Oswald must have participated.” [34] (Italics added) The HSCA made no further contact with Admiral Burkley to pursue his offer, and Dr. Burkley thereby learned a little bit more about the power structure of this country. Burkley was being told without words that the conspiracy should remain a secret. So too Sibert and O’Neill, whose affidavits sought to throw light on a subject had the HSCA been a means to do so, but it wasn’t, so too the ARRB.

I have not rebutted Bugliosi, but exposed a very large and dishonest piece of propaganda – 1,600 pages of text that would run to 13 volumes were the Endnotes and Source notes on its enclosed CD printed. The point is not that Humes perjured himself, but that he did so under orders, and that he did so about his commanded role in the autopsy designed to hide the conspiracy, and that those orders lead inevitably to members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the spear tip for one faction of the coup d’état. The Joint Chiefs, in turn, could not undertake this action without full confidence that the National Security State, of which they are members, had both the will and the means to accomplish all aspects of the cover-up. There were multiple shooters from multiple locations. Oswald never shot anybody that day. Thus, masses of evidence would have to be ignored, distorted or destroyed. Scores of witnesses would need to be overlooked, dismissed, intimidated, or eliminated, most especially Lee Harvey Oswald. An august committee would have to be formed whose witting members would pressure, seduce, or trick the others into sufficient compliance to fool the people. High-ranking well-respected trusted members of society who control the media would have to be complicit in fronting the salesmanship. Minions of the intelligence community, only relatively few of whom were in on the planning stages of the assassination, had to be counted upon to do their part to conceal the plotters of the assassination from the American public. The media would have to be ready and able, and known in advance to the Joint Chiefs and others to be ready and able to bewilder and confuse the people. In fact, none of the plotters involved in the cover-up would have dared to undertake such a cover-up without the full faith and understanding that the media was under the control of the ruling class and would be used to facilitate, rather than expose, the cover-up. Think! How the hell could any such plotters ever dream of getting away with such a crime but for their control of the fictionally named “free press”? This “national security state” is not jargon, but the ugly reality behind the façade of democracy in American life, a covert “fascist banana republic” the monumental task of concealing which Bugliosi has accepted as his Mission Impossible.

I can’t resist describing one more singular piece of Bugliosi propaganda that goes to his great challenge to the professionals that the well informed person knows both sides of a question, so that we should all trust Mr. Well Informed Truth-Seeking Bugliosi. Bugliosi expresses his “greatest shock” over the fact that the Warren Report has “not…one single word of reference to the president’s head snap to the rear,” but explains away this seeming lapse by quoting Warren Commission assistant counsel Wesley J. Liebeler that “It is only since the critics have raised this point that anybody has ever looked at it closely.” [35] The Bethesda autopsy reports addresses the direction of the head-snap obliquely in its introduction, just so you can’t miss it, and where it certainly does not belong, under “CLINICAL SUMMARY”:

Three shots were heard and the President fell forward bleeding from the head. (Governor Connolly was seriously wounded by the same gunfire.)

So, three shots, JFK falls forward from the shot from behind, and the same bullets that struck Kennedy wounded Connolly. All false, all put there by the Admirals, themselves under orders, all done in anticipation of the finding that the Warren Commission would have to sell, all done after the Zapruder film has been turned over to SAC Forrest Sorrels Friday night so its contents could be analyzed, lied about, reversed, in real time. What can one say of such a resolute and unflinching pursuit of the truth? One cannot begin to understand the Kennedy assassination and cover-up except as an operation of a national security state, transparent for all who are willing to face it, opaque to all others.

The Purposeful Dis-Integration of JFK “Research”

Bugliosi can succeed in large part because he addresses each and every piece of evidence that inculpates a state murder in splendid isolation from every other so that there is neither a cumulative record of compounding probabilities nor a coherent narrative of how a political assassination was accomplished, and by whom. Sadly, Harold Weisberg’s research is the model for such propaganda. Consider the following photographs and Weisberg’s commentary -- which I ask you to read -- from Post Mortem, p.602. The top left photo is the clear picture of the divot cut by the FBI that Arlen Specter and Dr. Olivier pretended to believe was the source of extruded material from damage to CE 399:

Not only is CE 399 only very slightly flattened, but also the delicate intaglio of ridges where the tumbling bullet has been flattened from “hammering” all that bone to bits is entirely unmarred, one of the many miracles especially given the testimony of FBI ballistics expert Robert Frazier that “even a piece of coarse cloth, leather or some other object could have polished the surface of the metal [of CE 399] slightly and left infinitesimal scratches.” [36] As Dr. Joseph Dolce advised both before and after the ballistics tests at Edgewood Arsenal, CE 399 did not do that damage; hence it is a planted bullet.

Weisberg had far more than the condition of CE 399 on which to base his accusation that CE 399 was planted. After noting that no evidence places 399 on Kennedy’s or Connally’s stretcher, Weisberg assumes, arguendo, that 399 came from Connally’s stretcher. He then waxes lyrical, about the amazing intelligence and kinetic energy that CE 399 would have required to transport itself from Connally’s thigh, down the stretcher, under the mattress – not too deep, but just barely hanging or it would not fall out to be discovered by Hospital Engineer Darrell Tomlinson! [37] Weisberg even tells us that Arlen Specter buried the fact that the area in which Tomlinson worked had been secured by the Secret Service so that only “hospital personnel and officers” could have planted the bullet. [38] Weisberg also documents that the FBI, in order to avoid discrediting the planted bullet, deliberately refused to perform the obvious forensic test of a residue found on CE 399 that would have determined whether it had ever gone through human flesh. Frazier instead affected that it was simply his good luck that the residue did not interfere with the tests that he wanted to make. [39] Thus, CE 399 is a propagandist’s “conceivable” solution, one example of the underlying rhythm of imagining false but conceivable facts to fit a pre-determined solution.

What follows from the fact that CE 399 was planted? What does Weisberg make of all his own efforts? Weisberg’s conclusion is that the Report is a deliberate deception and that his photos “destroy the Report and Commission and FBI integrity,” a point that he will make repeatedly until his death, and beyond which he refused to move as though the living embodiment of the rulers’ wishes. Weisberg’s critique falls far short of what his own evidence entitled him to conclude.

Darrell Tomlinson discovered a planted bullet on a stretcher in Parkland Hospital shortly after he began his 1 p.m. shift. Kennedy’s body was still warm. After the autopsy began that evening around 8:00 p.m. EST with a dead president at the morgue with two entry wounds and no bullet, FBI agent Sibert telephoned FBI ballistics expert Charles Killion and inquired whether there were bullets that almost completely fragmented. Recall that instead of answering, Killion warned him off the topic by advising that a bullet had been found at Parkland, a bullet which Sibert and O’Neill make clear in their 11/26/63 memorandum was described during the course of the autopsy as the bullet destined to be the infamous CE 399:

KILLION further described this bullet as pertaining to a 6.5 millimeter rifle which would be approximately a 25 caliber rifle and that this bullet consisted of a copper alloy full jacket.

What’s my point? Well, in a crime scene rife with too many actual bullets and too few officially admissible ones, some thoughtful person, anticipating and sympathizing with the upcoming plight of the Bethesda autopsy physicians, had one planted that would help relieve their distress. That person knew of the upcoming plight because he knew that Kennedy had not been shot with the Mannlicher-Carcano, that there would be no bullets in the body because others would remove them. That person was lending a helping hand, and was part of the conspiracy that murdered Kennedy. Since, as we know, the Bethesda physicians could find no whole bullet, and since they were ordered not to dissect the entry wounds, CE 399 provided great relief for all concerned, and may even have made the order not to dissect the wounds acquire superficial plausibility for all those present who were not part of the plot. The Dallas Police had just barely discovered the Mannlicher-Carcano at the TSBD when a bullet was found at Parkland, and the rifle would not be turned over to the FBI until just before midnight on Friday after the autopsy had been completed, and would not be examined by the FBI until Saturday, 11/23/63. Thus, the thoughtful person or his associates had access to CE 399 even before the FBI would be able to match it to the Mannlicher-Carcano, which requires that they, not Oswald, controlled the rifle prior to the assassination. To know that the bullets would be removed is to know that the parties in control of the dead president’s body would do so, and to know that the parties “running the show” of the assassination would arrange for an order from a commanding officer at autopsy that the throat and back wounds not be dissected, and is to be working in coordination with them. That’s what murder by a National Security State looks like. [40] That is the major import of CE 399 being planted.

Contrary to the lone assassin scenario, Lee Harvey Oswald did not plant that bullet in Parkland in order to incriminate himself for a Warholian moment of fame, soon declaring, “Now everyone will know who I am!” Yet, that is how Commission Counsel Joseph A. Ball misquoted him, and falsely described him dramatically slamming his hand onto a table in triumph. Ball pretended to be quoting Dallas Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig, who was present when Oswald made the statement. But here is what Craig actually said. “Sitting back in his chair, Oswald said very disgustedly and very low, ‘Everybody will know who I am now [that I will have to blow my CIA cover to avoid taking the fall].’” [41] As Oswald honestly told the media, still keeping his CIA cover so long as he could, “I’m just a patsy.” As the whistle-blowing USG intelligence officer Richard Case Nagell confided to Jim Garrison, the assassination of President Kennedy really was a “large” operation. [42]

The transparent fraud of recovering a nearly perfect bullet that would soon be tasked with damage far beyond its means would involve delivering it to Special Agent Richard Johnsen of the Secret Service, who stood guard in Parkland. It is difficult to conceive of a more efficient means of wordlessly conveying to the Secret Service and FBI agents who were not originally active participants in the assassination what their subsequent role should be. It may have also served for the cognoscenti, along with so many other signs, as a means of conveying to those not directly involved in the plot, that a coup d’état had indeed taken place.

The Bethesda autopsy physicians were ordered not to dissect the wounds that would reveal the bullet trajectories and their removal by those who had custody of the corpse, and Cmdr. Humes would go on to perjure himself apace with the complicity of the Warren Commission. In this essay we have examined only one of many more evidentiary threads that individually and collectively weave the same pattern. This is a state murder and cover-up, full stop, seamless not so much in its flawless execution, but seamless in bringing to bear the full power and authority of the National Security State, and its various members, to play their respective parts, as needed. This is the “fascist banana republic” that Bugliosi seeks to hide, though of course it operates very differently than its Central American counterparts. In the United State of American, things look and feel very free until one happens to make the right kind of wave.

Jim Garrison made the right kind of wave. During his investigation of Clay Shaw for conspiracy to kill Kennedy, Garrison was approached by a benefactor from the ruling class named “John Miller” who wrote an offer of help on pale blue stationary embossed only with “Oil and Gas.” When Miller appeared in Garrison’s office, bold as the devil even with a witness present, he offered Garrison an expeditious appointment to the federal bench provided he drop the investigation. The mere proffer asks, and answers, the question of who is in a position to make it. Garrison refused the carrot and was given the stick. After Shaw’s acquittal, the Department of Justice built a case against Garrison’s long-time friend and former investigator, Pershing Gervais, and coerced him to wear a wire during meetings with Garrison in which Gervais made cash repayments of a personal loan. The DOJ cut and spliced the tape recordings in order to make the loan repayments look like bribes and payoffs, and prosecuted Garrison, then New Orleans District Attorney, for corruption. Garrison proved his innocence by exposing the “cut and paste” manufacturing of evidence, and by playing a Canadian radio interview of Gervais in which he admitted that Garrison’s prosecution was a fraud. The DOJ responded by prosecuting Garrison for income tax evasion for failing to pay taxes on the bribe money he had just proven he had never received. The ruling class was sending a message to Garrison though its organs of state power, and through him, to the rest of us. [43]

Remarkably, over a lifetime of pondering the case, Weisberg never once makes and maintains even the kind of obvious and coherent integration of the facts just made. For the fundamentally obedient Weisberg there shall be no state crime until we get from the State itself a signed and notarized admission of guilt, yet as all his FOIA efforts have shown, an exhaustive search of the records reveals no such document. Bugliosi, a fully witting participant, plays the other side of Weisberg’s coin: when cornered, he simply quotes authority to the effect that the State did not do it. Furthermore, he does so with an especially aggressive “take-no-prisoners” buzz saw aggression that masks the fact that he is holding no cards, that his position is sheer bluff, a mere argument from authority underwritten by lies.

This is how they get away with it. That they get away with it so readily and consistently is, by their lights, enough to demonstrate that they deserve to do so. One need not glorify or idealize the limited wits of the common man, or ignore the vast gullibility of his better-educated contemporary, to appreciate that something is very very wrong in this country, and that the discussion of Kennedy’s assassination is not an academic matter.

Rex Bradford currently plays a role similar to a young Weisberg, mysteriously unable to solve the crime even while holding so many of the pieces in his hands. In an influential speech delivered to COPA in 2004, Bradford begins, “I don’t believe the government knows who killed JFK. I doubt anybody on the Warren Commission did.” He then offers up enough facts to solve the case but concludes, “I could go on with tidbits of things we’ve learned, but the problem is that it’s hard to fit them together into a coherent whole.” Let us offer help to Mr. Bradford as we did to Weisberg. Bradford, commenting on Audrey Bell’s recounting Dr. Perry’s nerve-wracked sleepless night, writes that it “would if true cast grave doubt on the honesty of the reporting about the autopsy findings, and make all the more suspicious the fact that the neck was not dissected to track the bullet path.” [44]

Let us, for a change, ask the right question in the right way at the right time. What is so troubling to Dr. Perry? Why should he care so much about changing his opinion given the autopsy results from Bethesda? After all, what’s it to Oswald, he’s dead, isn’t he? Well, not quite. It’s still Saturday, and Ruby won’t murder Oswald until Sunday. This is why we can hear the unstated stubborn refusal of a decent man in his words to Audrey Bell, “They were wanting me to change my mind that it was an entrance wound [but my conscience won’t let me do that].” Dr. Perry would not do that because he believed it was an entrance wound, because he had said so publicly, and because he believed that Lee Harvey Oswald would be tried for murder and that he would be a witness. He was, however, silent at the Parkland press conference on Saturday.

The night telephone calls to Dr. Perry by unknown parties entail a remarkable fact. A defense attorney for Oswald would have torn the autopsy to shreds. Nonetheless, the individuals making the calls or directing them to be made Friday night or in the wee hours of Saturday morning were not concerned that when Dr. Perry took the witness stand in the trial of Lee Harvey Oswald his revelation of such pressure would further compromise the chances of conviction. They knew there would be no trial and that pressuring Perry to change his mind would do no harm to their plans. These individuals were, of necessity, not only in the intelligence community or the ruling class itself, but part of the core JFK assassination team that had already ordered Jack Ruby to kill Oswald. That’s part of why Bell’s testimony matters. Not coincidentally, this same lack of concern for a criminal trial that would never take place is reflected in earlier orders to the Secret Service to bring back to Washington D.C. post haste, not only the President’s corpse, but also the presidential limousine with all its forensic evidence; and to do so in flagrant violation of the laws of Texas, which had the only legal jurisdiction over the crime. Secret Serviceman Roy Kellerman used his drawn gun to intimidate the coroner, Dr. Earl Rose, who protested in vain, “You can’t lose the chain of evidence.” [45] Preserving the chain of evidence, let alone evidence itself, was the least concern of those running the show.

Ruby tried to worm out of the assignment by telephoning the Dallas Police Saturday night and warning “If you move Oswald the way you are planning, we are going to kill him.” Ruby asked for Officer Billy Grammer, whom he knew, by name and Grammer recognized Ruby’s voice. [46] As soon as Ruby killed Oswald, Dr. Humes was ordered to rewrite the autopsy report that need no longer be burdened with the scrutiny of a criminal trial, and to burn his first draft. [47] Nonetheless, Perry’s refusal to change his opinion the night of the assassination is the reason that Humes included Perry’s description of the “puncture” wound in the throat in both the first draft of the autopsy that he burned, and in his final holographic draft. Others more experienced in these matters made a “correction” so that the typed version read “a much smaller wound” before the signing. These persons knew that because Oswald was dead, Perry could be made to change what he would say about that “much smaller wound” and that his testimony to the media of an “entrance wound” could be made to disappear. We have a complex state murder controlled by a ruling class, a political assassination and cover-up, full stop. [48]

Bugliosi mistakenly identifies Salandria with the “Philadelphia School” of conspiracy theorists, but that is merely Salandria’s cover, his legend. Salandria is a member in good standing in the Eternal Order of Unruly Serfs, Italian division. I say this as a fellow member of the Order, Russian-Polish division. We are the people through the ages who by some complicated quirk of genetic anomaly coupled with an upbringing that teaches a healthy respect for legitimate authority, are immune to the Big Lie, who see the deceit of authority, and who do what we can to combat it.

De-Mystifying one part of the National Security State

Let me speak summarily and without citation. The CIA, in cooperation with military intelligence backed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, implemented the Kennedy assassination for the political reasons sketched at the beginning of this essay. Both the mob, and the anti-Castro Cubans whom the CIA had organized and funded, participated in the mechanics of the kill and would have taken the fall in the vastly unlikely event of a disastrous failure. The mob-connected Jack Ruby helped run guns to Cuba for the anti-Castro resistance and was directly involved in setting up the assassination with the cooperation of key members of the Dallas Police Department. The mysterious “CIA” is merely a civilian agency that collects intelligence, conducts and funds political sabotage abroad, and can organize at will mercenary armies in the service of U.S. hegemony. In 1947, through the National Security Act, the Council on Foreign Relations created the CIA, which has been the tool of the Eastern Establishment, the prepotent power bloc in the United between 1900 and 1980. The CIA effects a modernized upscale version of traditional gunboat diplomacy, but hidden from the American public, so that the CFR could “depoliticize” its implementation of U.S. foreign policy.

Woodrow Wilson showed his fitness for the job of President in 1907 with the CFR’s predecessor organization in mind -- the National Civil Federation – when he wrote:

Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.

Today, presidential hopefuls often make a formal audition for the role with an essay in the Council’s journal, Foreign Affairs. Kennedy’s foreign policy and domestic economic policy were opposed to their ends. McCloy and Dulles represented the CFR on the Warren Commission and wittingly controlled the cover-up. Bugliosi sought to conceal this larger picture, pregnant within every move of the cover-up, by smearing those who present it. For example, contrary to all fact, Bugliosi wrongly dismissed Gaeton Fonzi’s contribution as a fiction unsupported by evidence precisely because Fonzi goes to the heart of the matter by linking Oswald to his CIA controller, David Atlee Phillips, and linking covert operations and the CIA directly to the ruling class, in particular Claire Boothe Luce, wife of Henry Luce, owner and founder of Life, Time, and Fortune, which lead the media in concealing their political conspiracy from the American public. Fonzi’s research supports New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison, who said, “In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society.” [49] Fonzi makes plain what Senator Russell learned the hard way – that Congress had little or no power to constrain the CIA. Before the HSCA investigation began, Fonzi, then one of its investigators, spoke with a former high-ranking CIA officer who told him exactly how the CIA would baffle, befuddle, and frustrate their efforts. “You represent the United States Congress, but what the hell is that to the CIA?” [50]

The most grotesque element of JFK “research” sites is the profound disconnection they typically make between the killers, the cover-up, and the beloved government to which they turn for aid and assistance in solving the assassination. The best answers to Bugliosi remain Weisberg’s Whitewash and Post-Mortem, and Salandria’s False Mystery. A great deal of energy would be saved if people mastered them before making their own “contribution.” For example, Gary Aguilar can opine at the end of an influential 140-page essay about the Warren Commission and its spawn that “It is a regrettable reality that none of these groups lived up to their promise.” Either Aguilar has not read and understood the Report or he has some other agenda: it was a foul cover-up, not a failure to live up to its promise. So were all its successors.

To understand the mechanics of a state murder, to be taken by the hand and have explained to you frankly just how such things are done, I recommend Lawrence Teeter’s short, concrete very detailed account of the CIA’s role in the murder of John F. Kennedy’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy, for the same political reasons. Teeter provides the names and faces of many of the CIA operatives. Teeter was Sirhan Sirhan’s attorney for a decade until his death in October 2005. [51]

The very same National Security State and its unforgivable sins of domestic covert operations, remains, both then but especially now, with 911, transparently before us. The very same techniques of propaganda, mutatis mutandis, conceal the elephant that is taking up most of our living room, although this time the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is still working hard trying to find even a conceivable explanation for the collapse at virtually free-fall speed of World Trade Center 7. I am certain that they will, even if this shocking and awesome event turns out to be an act of God. Divine intervention would not be too surprising a solution to the collapse of WTC 7, given the claims of the current administration, and the faction of the ruling class it represents, that He also underwrites the foreign policy “mission” that 911 is said to justify. [52]

Michael B. Green, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Qualified Medical Examiner (1992-2006, retired) Former Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin

Copyright 08/26/07. Permission is granted to reproduce this article for non-commercial purposes.




[ 1 ] Vincent Salandria, False Mystery, Square Deal Press, 2004. See especially, “A Model of Explanation.” One need not subscribe to Salandria’s grand position that the assassination was staged so violently in order to achieve their end.

[ 2 ] My thanks to Rex Bradford for this account of the motive for inventing the “single bullet.” Like so many others I had believed that the “single bullet” was finally embraced in July 1964 in response to mounting pressure from both local and federal officials that made it impossible to ignore the fact that bystander James Tague’s injury marked a missed shot. (Jim Marrs, Crossfire, 1989, p.62; David R. Wrone, The Zapruder Film, 2003, p.153) Bradford’s explanation implies that the Commission would probably have ignored Tague had not the Z-film given him standing. Nothing in this article depends upon which account is correct.

[ 3 ] Reclaiming History, p. 447, with grammatical tense changed to fit this essay’s text.

[ 4 ] Harold Weisberg, Never Again!, Carroll & Graf, Chpt. 27 “The Army Protected the Conspiracy, Why!” pp. 291-306; densest bone pp.295-296; Army & Navy takeover, p. 294; should have been deformed, p.296.

[ 5 ] On p. 810, Bugliosi offers sophistry from Larry Sturdivan. Sturdivan’s stunning insight was that 399 must not have been traveling very fast when it shattered all that bone or else it would have been more deformed. The HSCA declined to conduct further tests because the “number of shots required to produce the chance result of Commission Exhibit 399 could range from one up to infinity.” But of course, if the outcome were not fantastically unlikely if not impossible, the number of shots required to produce a similar result would not be so very large. During a 1986 London mock trial of Oswald, Bugliosi found an expert who testified that he had seen bullets less mutilated than CE 399 that did as much damage. I am not surprised.

[ 6 ] 3H430. “Mr. FRAZIER. There did not necessarily have to be any weight loss to the bullet. There may be a slight amount of lead missing from the base of the bullet, since it is exposed at the base, and the bullet is slightly flattened.” Frazier’s testimony means that visual inspection of 399 does not necessarily reveal any loss of material, so the damage to CE 399 that Dr. Olivier “saw” was the result of Specter’s deception, i.e., only what FBI agent Frazier had removed from it.

[ 7 ] Dr. Olivier testifies that the damage to the fractured goat rib is similar to that shown on the x-rays of Connally’s ribs, but the Connally x-rays of record show little or nothing but a bright white haze that prevents any comparison (CE681, CE 682). The test bullet that smashed the radius of a cadaver was grossly blunted at its tip.

[ 8 ] False Mystery, pp.74-81.

[ 9 ] False Mystery, pp.79-81.

[10] WC Hearings, 4H113-114. I suggest reading the exchange in the original to appreciate the self-answering hypothetical by which Specter leads Dr. Shaw into false and misleading testimony.

[11] Dr. GREGORY. Only to indicate that there were two fragments of metal retrieved in the course of dealing with this wound surgically. For the subsequent X-rays of the same area, after the initial surgery indicate that those fragments are no longer there. And as I stated, I thought I had retrieved two of them. The major one or ones now being missing.” 4H122-123. Audrey Bell, the nurse who put multiple bullet fragments from Connally – larger than the fragments in Commission evidence – into an evidence envelope was not called as a witness. (ARRB, MD 184) When Bell drew pictures of the size of the missing fragments for the HSCA, her testimony and the drawings were suppressed and “lost.” (ARRB interview cited below) Malcolm Perry, M.D. makes clear that the thigh wound could not have been caused by a bullet that partially entered, shed a fragment, and then fell out. (Post Mortem, p.378)

[12] For illustrative purposes, I take the quite possibly false liberty of assuming that Specter developed his technique between Baxter and Carrico; Dr. Carrico may simply have been a more compliant witness. I have no scholarly interest in determining the underlying facts of this trivial point.

[13] Never Again!, pp.221-224.

[14] My principal point is about the intent to sequester, in order to doctor as needed. This intent is patent from comparing the treatment of Julia Ann Mercer described in Jim Garrison’s On the Trail of the Assassins, 1988, Chpt. “The Reluctant Investigators,” with Bugliosi’s gross distortion of what she told the FBI, cross-checked against Bugliosi’s actual HSCA citations. The FBI concealed that Ms. Mercer told them on 11/22/63 that she had witnessed a man dropping off the apparent shooters to the base of the grassy knoll that morning, a man whom she identified in photos to the FBI the next day, and learned at that time from the FBI was Jack Ruby. The Commission knew better than to call her as a witness. Here is a single example of alteration of testimony. Harold Weisberg noted the consistent reliability across many police and FBI interviews of Arnold Rowland’s crucial testimony that he saw two men, one white and one black, on the 6th floor of the TSBD shortly before the shooting. Weisberg notes that it is confirmed in many details by the Commission testimony of Dallas Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig, to whom Rowland immediately made a report – but differs in that Craig’s published testimony states that Rowland told him of seeing two white men, destroying Rowland’s credibility since he cannot tell (or remember) black from white. But among the many alterations of his testimony that Roger Craig iterated was that he had sworn that Rowland told him of seeing one white and one black man, the black man in the southwest corner, the white man in the southeastern (sniper’s nest) corner. (Whitewash II, 1966, Dell, p.136; Roger Craig, When They Kill a President, 1971, p.12). I recommend Craig’s entire book and Weisberg’s full account of the abuse of Rowland to understand the mechanics of federal witness intimidation.

[15] DPD officer Seymour Weitzman, who was very knowledgeable about rifles, made the identification at the TSBD. The next day, Weitzman swore an unequivocal affidavit identifying a “7.65 Mauser bolt action equipped with a 4/18 scope, a thick leather brownish-black sling on it.” In a police report Weitzman had described a “gun metal blue” scope, a “rough dark oak brown” stock, and “visibly worn” rear portion of the bolt, but he had been lead to distance himself from these descriptions with the unlikely testimony that he had taken only a “glance” at the rifle. (7H105) Although other Commission witnesses were given the Mannlicher-Carcano to examine during their testimony, in order to make certain that Weitzman did not frankly repudiate the Mannlicher-Carcano as the rifle he had examined at the TSBD, the Commission did not permit Weitzman to inspect it before or during his testimony.

[16] Monday afternoon, February 24, 1969, pp.27-29/145. Vincent Salandria told me that he sat with Assistant District Attorney Oser during the Shaw trial and urged Oser to ask Finck, “Why didn’t you dissect the neck wound?”

[17] “HOW FIVE INVESTIGATIONS INTO JFK’S MEDICAL/AUTOPSY EVIDENCE GOT IT WRONG,” 2003, Gary L. Aguilar, MD and Kathy Cunningham. Aguilar misquotes Finck’s testimony out of context. Finck had tried to evade D.A. Oser’s question as to who was in charge of the autopsy by saying that when Humes asked the question regarding managing some unclearly specified part of the autopsy organization, a general had said “I am.” Finck elsewhere denies that the non-physician general directed the autopsy procedure itself. Fink denies that he took orders about how to conduct the autopsy from the general by saying that there were also three Admirals present, clearly implying, as one might expect in a Navy hospital, that the admirals gave those orders. But Aguilar’s singular comment on the motivation for the general’s imagined order not to dissect the wound remains his own invention, “This course might have seemed reasonable to a nervous general.” This popular essay does everything possible to confuse and obscure the hard facts of the Kennedy assassination and their clear implications. http://tinyurl.com/2yqbwm

[18] Post Mortem, p. 507.

[19] They followed a different and competing set of directives to dissemble. In particular, their “truths” in general had to conform to CD1 (Commission Document 1), the FBI’s alternative fictional account of how Oswald was the lone gunman. In the FBI novel, Oswald, the man who can’t shoot well with the gun that has ancient bullets, lacks a functional scope and has a bolt action that sticks, and who lacks time to aim, takes three shots at a target moving down a serpentine course and hits every time. The stray bullet that strikes bystander Jim Tague is simply ignored, as must be the throat wound for the FBI version of the “lone nut” solution to work. In the actual world, CD1 entails a minimum of five bullets.

[20] Harold Weisberg, Post Mortem, © 1969-1975, p.37.

[21] Deposition of DR. J. THORNTON BOSWELL, College Park, Maryland, February 26, 1996, p.34:

A. I'm not sure what our first impression—oh, we thought that they had done a tracheostomy, and whether or not that was a bullet wound, we weren't sure, initially. It was after we found an entrance wound and then the blood external to the pleura that we had a track, and that proved to be the exit wound; but it was so distorted by the incision, initially we just assumed it to be a tracheostomy.

Q. Did you reach the conclusion that there had been a transit wound through the neck during the course of the autopsy itself?

A. Oh, yes.

[22] http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKlivingston.htm

[23] March 11, 1978, pp.4-5, HSCA deposition.

[24] Endnote 401 of Chapter “Kennedy’s Autopsy and the Gunshot Wounds to Kennedy and Connally”, 244n.

[25] The Parkland Doctors press conference may be found at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/press.htm.

[26] 2H361-362.

[27] Post Mortem, p.588. Dr. John Ebersole testified at the HSCA that the neck wound was neatly sutured when Kennedy arrived. Since the gaping neck wound of the autopsy photos in Groden’s Killing of a President, 1993, p.76 is quite different than the neat cosmetic transverse slits that Dr. Perry describes making (Never Again! p.174) the reasonable inference is that Humes enlarged the throat wound to disguise the bullet hole, making everyone’s “honest” testimony at least part concealment.

[28] 3H375-377. McCloy’s question literally makes no sense because there has been no prior mention that Perry stated at the initial press conference that the throat wound was an entrance wound. Thus, there is a qualifier than is unintelligible, but the purpose of the question is clearly to convey that Perry never said what he in fact said.

[29] Post Mortem, p. 377-378.

[30] 3H380. During the collective sworn testimony of five of the Parkland medical staff, Dr. Perry states that Dr. Humes telephoned him Saturday mid-morning and is backed up by Dr. Robert McClelland, who claims to have been present during the telephone call [now singular, reduced from the two distinct calls Perry testified to the Commission that he received from Humes]. Perry has clearly made a decision to go along in order to get along. Whether he did so consciously or by means of denial is unclear, perhaps some of both. When Weisberg interviewed Perry on December 1, 1970, Perry flushed with embarrassment when he let slip his continued, but officially forbidden, opinion that the throat wound was an entrance wound. Perry is not a boat-rocker, but if his decision to go along were fully conscious, then he deliberately tipped us that he was lying during the ARRB by consciously over-playing his assigned role of swearing to the results of the Warren Report, beginning with the enhanced absurdity that Humes had no idea there was a tracheotomy until Perry told him so Saturday mid-morning.

but as I recall, he called me the next morning and, of course, he did not know about the trach that I’d done, and he did not know about the anterior wound in the neck since I’d disfigured it somewhat with the incision. And when he inquired about that, things really fell into place then because he had a wound in the posterior to account for that one. (August 27, 1998 ARRB, p.61)

After Chief Counsel Gunn asks whether anyone was pressured in any way, Dr. Jones volunteers a story of Specter’s impropriety of taking him aside and pressuring him not take the path of some witnesses who would testify that the throat wound was an entrance wound. Humorously, gallows humor, in light of Audrey Bell’s account, Perry states:

I had exactly the opposite experience. I was advised by almost everyone I talked to, Secret Service, FBI, and the Warren Commission counsel to tell the truth as best I knew it in its entirety and to hold nothing back on every occasion, and that occurred on a number of occasions that they asked me to be sure that it was everything as best I knew it no matter what. (p.69)

Weisberg provides the correct understanding of Perry’s ARRB behavior:

From my interviews with him [Perry], I am without doubt that, had he not been subjected to powerful and improper pressures, there would have been no word he would have said that would not have been completely dependable. …After the interview I discussed the “new evidence” with Perry, inviting him to come and see it for himself. I described the reporting of medical fact by the Clark panel, then quoted the death certificate. He said that if the government could do such things he would be terrified. I told him, “Then you should be terrified.” (original emphasis, Post Mortem, pp. 377-379).

[31] During Perry’s 3/26/63 deposition in Dallas Specter asks the circumstances under which Dr. Perry spoke with any “federal agents,” which turn out to be at least three occasions with Secret Service and on two occasions with FBI. Perry describes the visits from the Secret Service but never describes the circumstances of his talks with the FBI. The same question occurs during Perry’s 3/31/63 deposition in D.C., but here the federal agents who said that they were from the FBI have disappeared completely. A reasonable conclusion is that they were the nighttime callers, despite the benign description of the content of the conversation that Perry offers.

[32] Bell’s remarkable interview is archived at http://www.history-matters.com:80/archive/jfk/arrb/medical_interviews/audio/ARRB_Bell.htm. Post Mortem, p.251. Dr. Kemp Clark’s Commission testimony, backed by two other witnesses, reveals Humes’ forced perjury. Bell was excluded from Warren Commission testimony; unless my one-time page thumbing missed a tick, no first-person account by her can be found amongst the “top secret” Price exhibits – a collection of first hand reports of medical staff and what they saw and did in the Kennedy assassination that administrator C. J. Price collected. The sequential numbering of the Price exhibits has gaps. Audrey Bell drew pictures of the fragments for the HSCA, but these drawings were suppressed and never incorporated into its findings or made available. Jeremy Gunn refused to enter drawings Bell made in 1997 of the bullet fragments into evidence for the ARRB.

[33] Harold Weisberg, Post Mortem, ©1969-1975, p.510.

[34] Both Burkley quotes come from Rex Bradford’s 2004 COPA address, “Lessons Learned from 40 years of Cover-up.” ARRB Master set of Medical Exhibits, http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/arrb/master_med_set/md67/html/md67_0001a.htm; also HSCA Memo to File by Richard Sprague, March 18, 1977, Record Number 180-10086-10295.

[35] Reclaiming History, p. 483.

[36] 3H431. The point belongs to Weisberg.

[37] Post Mortem, p.98. There are similar passages in Never Again! but because that book has no index it is not worth the time to retrieve them.

[38] Post Mortem, p.128. Weisberg probably has in mind Juan Martin, representative of an anti-Castro Cuban group. Martin was well known to Sylvia Odio, and was employed at Parkland. (Whitewash II, 1966, Dell edition, pp.114-115). Weisberg ignores other obvious possible possibilities, such as Jack Ruby planting the bullet.

[39] Never Again, p. 259. 3H437.

[40] Ice bullets or bullets that fragmentize completely do not change the relevant narrative, nor does a flechette through the throat instead of a bullet. Nor do removal of bullets during the autopsy, nor does concealment of any additional exit wounds on the corpse.

[41] 4H245; Roger Craig, When They Kill a President, 1971, p.10, 13.

[42] Jim Garrison, On The Trail of the Assassins, 1988, p.214.

[43] On The Trail, pp.150-158; Chpt., “The Majesty of the Law.”

[44] Bradford’s essay is at http://tinyurl.com/ytrffn (editor's note: it is available at http://www.history-matters.com/essays/jfkgen/LessonsLearned/LessonsLearned.htm). His assessment of Bell’s testimony is at the link to Bell’s audio. Near his essay’s end, Bradford makes an important statement that is unfortunately overshadowed by all that precedes it, and from which he fails to draw the obvious consequences, “The assassination itself was a class operation on the ground, and it was run by people in the government who knew a great deal about intelligence and with enough clout to have their fingers on the system in the lead-up to the assassination.” All that is missing is that these individuals knew that their act expressed the political will of the factions of the ruling class because they had conferred with them, and that they knew that they could count on the support of all concerned for the cover-up.

[45] Charles Crenshaw, M.D., Trauma Room One, 2001, pp.76 & 89, 80.

[46] Robert J. Groden and Harrison Edward Livingstone, High Treason, 1989, pp.461-462. A Google video of Grammer is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCb6zfvNsh8.

[47] Post Mortem, p.524.2 2H373. Humes’s bloodstained autopsy notes or “copies” thereof were given to an unnamed “higher authority.” Rex Bradford’s happy thought in “Lessons Learned” that Humes’ ARRB testimony shows that he burned his autopsy notes is a mistaken reading of the facts and of Humes’ ARRB testimony. A careful study shows a perfectly ambiguous record throughout the cover-up, except where a clear perjury peeks through. When Humes testifies that the ARRB, now possessor of “all” the records, has copies of his autopsy notes, ARRB Chief Counsel Jeremy Gunn expertly muddies the record and shuts Humes up. (p.128) If these notes exist, they are in the possession of the “higher authority” to whom Humes certified 11/24/63 he gave them. Almost nothing can be concluded from Humes’ ARRB testimony, the spirit and substance of which is best captured by this exchange about what he burned:

A: It was handwritten notes and the first draft that was burned.

Q: Do you mean to use the expression “handwritten notes” as being the equivalent of draft of the report?

A: I don't know. Again, it's a hair-splitting affair that I can't understand. (p.134)

During the Warren Commission, Humes testified that he then held in his hands copies of the autopsy notes that he had prepared, from which he wrote the first draft that he burned and the final autopsy report drafted Sunday (after Ruby killed Oswald). 2H372. That is what he testifies at ARRB until Gunn shuts his mouth and leads him to testify that he burned all original and copies of his autopsy notes. The only clear conclusion is that Humes et. al. still must lie apace even under oath to cover up what they did. My best understanding is that Humes perjured himself during his ARRB testimony to conceal the fact that the autopsy notes he delivered on 11/24/63 to the “higher authority” are not accessible to the ARRB, so Humes fell on his sword by lying that he burned them long ago.

[48] I have stated that ARRB is one more stage of the cover-up. Chief Counsel Jeremy Gunn was one of two staffers who interviewed Audrey Bell, and according to Doug Horne refused to accept her sketches of the bullet fragments taken from Connally into evidence. Instead of deposing Malcolm Perry, M.D. privately and asking about Ms. Bell’s recollection, he staged a group interview with five Parkland physicians, during which Perry managed a rousing endorsement of the Warren Commission and the integrity of all involved. Doug Horne’s official 4/14/97 ARRB summary of the interview with Bell entirely omits her testimony about the pressure to shut up Perry. (MD184) When Humes testified that Gunn (via ARRB) already had a copy of his autopsy notes, all Gunn needed to ask was, “You are referring to the copies you held during your Commission testimony?” or, if he did not know that, ask without the threatening warning he in fact gave, “What was your final disposition of your exact copy of your bloody autopsy notes that you burned?”

[49] Jim Garrison, Playboy, December 1967.

[50] Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation, 1993, p. 302.

[51] http://www.justicevision.org (Democracy Digest, Volume 75, especially track #2)

[52] I strongly advise mastering all the non-forensic evidence proving 911 as a state crime before embracing the almost certainly true but very unhappy role of the “tin-foil hat” fanatic who claims that the Twin Towers and WTC 7 were taken down by internal demolition. If you start with controlled demolition, you may never move much beyond it, and will then have little but a very powerful intuition with which to support your position – by design – and one that on many scores outrages common sense. NIST was given the task of finding a “conceivable” solution for B7’s collapse just like the one that Dr. Dolce refused for CE 399. See my essay, “’SCIENCE, HANDMAIDEN OF INSPIRED TRUTH,’ Or, PUTTING NIST IN PERSPECTIVE” at http://www.911research.wtc7.net/essays/green/hamburger.html. Jim Hoffman’s essays on the topic at the main site are an extended account of why those “conceivable” explanations fail.