Good morning. This is the Lew Rockwell Show. And how great to have
as our guest this morning Dr. Don Miller. Don’s a cardiac surgeon.
He’s professor of surgery at the University of Washington School
of Medicine in Seattle. He’s a member of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.
And he writes about a number of subjects for LewRockwell.com. I
urge you to take a look at his archive.
But I especially
today want to talk to him about his most recent article, called
Truth on the Kennedy Assassinations. And that’s plural —
“assassinations.” Don has been studying these issues for decades.
And as you will see when you take a look at this article, he has
such an extraordinary ability to combine scholarship with fascinating
writing and all the facts that you want to know. It’s very compelling,
Don, is a tremendous contribution. And, of course, there’s been
a vast amount of revisionist scholarship since the assassinations
of John and Robert Kennedy and maybe others. But first of all, tell
us, why is it Americans, by and large, don’t believe the official
story? I mean, they’ve never believed the official story. And despite
all the propaganda to this day, they don’t. Why do you think that
Well, Lew, I think it’s due to the fact that people talk about a
conspiracy, and the Warren Commission loyalists say there was no
conspiracy, that a deranged Marxist ex-Marine, Lee Harvey Oswald,
took it on his own to shoot and kill the president. But in actual
fact, there was a criminal conspiracy to kill the president. And
there’s actually three parts to the conspiracy. Oswald didn’t do
it. A cabal of military intelligence officials in the highest echelons
carried out the assassinations. But there are two other aspects
of the cover-up. The second is that government officials across
the political spectrum and the corporate media all covered up for
the assassins, led by the Warren Commission, which had an agenda
to show that it could all be blamed on this one person, and molded
the facts, discarded evidence that went against it to show that.
But there’s a third aspect to the conspiracy which involves the
American entire public. And that is an element of ignorance and
denial and confusion and silence, that Americans just don’t want
to know what really happened and they kind of look the other way.
Do you think that LBJ was at the center of it? I know Murray Rothbard
always held that at least you had to look at him first as the person
who benefited the most.
Yes, well, he certainly did benefit by becoming president. But I
think the evidence is weak that he was one of the powers-that-be
that ordered this assassination. And there are books out that say
he did but my reading of it and other researchers and critics, Johnson
was not — he may have known that something was going down but he
didn’t orchestrate it. He did help in the cover-up in appointing
the Warren Commission but it went far beyond that. And I think that
he was not one of the main ones that put together this pact.
If it was a cabal of military and intelligence officials — you’re
exactly right, of course — why did they want to get rid of Kennedy?
Well, Kennedy changed his views on foreign policy when he was president
and adopted and espoused policy that was going to put them out of
business because he wanted to seek peace with the Russians. He wanted
to get along with the Cubans. He wanted to pull the troops out of
Vietnam. And he was going to dismantle the war machine. He didn’t
go into the presidency with that agenda but I think, and as Jim
Douglas in his book, JFK and the Unspeakable, shows so clearly,
that the pivotal event was the Cuban Missile Crisis. And with that,
that’s the closest the world’s ever come to nuclear war. And many
other presidents, had they been in that office when that happened,
we would have gone to nuclear war. But Kennedy stood up against
the chiefs of staff and the intelligence community and refused to
invade or bomb Cuba and had the thing escalate into nuclear war.
And after that event, he realized that we need to take a course
towards world peace and he became a strong advocate for that. And
his pivotal revelation was when he gave the commencement address
at the American University in June of 1963. And it was like waving
a big, red flag for the powers-that-be.
And I’ll just
quote a little bit about of what he said in that speech. He said,
“Let us reexamine our attitude towards the Soviet Union. If we cannot
end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe
for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common
link is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the
same air, and we are all mortal.”
And then he
let it be known that he was going to pull the troops out of Vietnam.
And when he was — shortly before he was killed, he put out a national
security memorandum — I think it was 263 — saying he was going to
start withdrawing troops. And he planned, once he was reelected,
to take them all out. And at the time, there were 17,000 troops.
There had been 90 deaths. After he was killed, within a week, Johnson
put out a new memorandum that escalated the war and we wound up
with 58,000 deaths, 200,000 suicides as a result of soldiers doing
tours there, and 3.8 million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians,
all of which, had Kennedy lived — it wasn’t just Kennedy, this one
president being killed, but it was all this huge number of humanity
that went down with him as a result.
So, Don, the killing was really a coup d’etat when really America
was changed. I mean, and wasn’t part of the problem for Kennedy,
although a great comment, of course, he felt he’d been tricked by
the CIA during the Bay of Pigs? He’d been lied to? And he was quoted
as saying that he was going to take the CIA and tear it up like
a piece of paper and scatter the pieces to the wind.
In a thousand pieces.
A thousand pieces.
As he said, scattered to the wind, yes.
So they scattered him to the wind instead.
Right. And after the Bay of Pigs, which they had him set up — the
Nixon and the CIA knew that these 2,000 people going there and that
a few little dilapidated planes where not going to overthrow Castro.
And they had the expectation that once they were stuck there that
Kennedy would bring the American military in. And he absolutely
confounded them when he refused to do it. And so that put him on
the outs with the military-industrial/arms-making community right
there. And as a result of that, he fired the chief of the CIA, Allen
Dulles, and two of his closest associates. And it’s interesting
that when Johnson appointed the members of the Warren Commission,
he appointed Allen Dulles, who Kennedy had fired. And not only that,
but Chief Justice Earl Warren didn’t have his heart in it. And Dulles
is the one who really ran the Warren Commission and was in charge
of it. And so here’s the person that Kennedy fired who is taking
control of the whole cover-up.
Don, as a doctor, you bring a special insight into what happened
to Kennedy’s body after — you know, exactly how he was killed, different
from the standard version, and what happened to his body, how the
autopsies were phonied up. And give us some insight into that, if
Well, right. As you said, I began studying this, the assassination,
about 45 years ago after reading Josiah Thompson’s Six Seconds
in Dallas. And, you know, everyone over the age of 60 and many
over age 55 who were at grade school at the time remember where
they were and what they were doing when they heard what happened
to President Kennedy. And I was a third-year medical student at
the time, finishing lunch in the school’s main dining room and a
student ran and yelled, “The president has been shot.”
But my interest
in it was heightened because I knew — personally knew two physicians
who were involved in Kennedy’s care. One was Admiral George G. Burkley,
who was Kennedy’s personal physician. And he was the only doctor
who was with Kennedy in Dallas and also at the autopsy done at a
naval hospital at Bethesda. And the other doctor was Dr. Malcolm
Perry. He’s a surgeon. He’s the surgeon that did the tracheotomy
on Kennedy shortly before he died. And he was the first physician,
an hour after the president died, who gave a press conference describing
Kennedy’s wounds. And at that conference, he said that a bullet
entered his neck from the front, and it’s that bullet hole through
which he did the tracheotomy. And he was asked a couple of times
more and he made it very clear that there was a wound of entrance
in Kennedy’s neck, which means someone fired a bullet at him from
the front of the limousine. Whereas, the Warren Commission — this
didn’t sit very well with the Warren Commission’s view of the matter
because their view was that Oswald shot him from above and behind
the limousine as it went past the School Book Depository.
And so what
happened there was — and I knew Dr. Perry because he came up in
1974 at the University of Washington and we worked together on the
surgical faculty and we would do surgery together on the complex
aortic cases. And he was a very savvy surgeon; a lot of trauma experience.
He knew what a wound of entrance was in a bullet wound compared
to a wound of exit. And so this is not what the government wanted
to hear in the cover-up because it didn’t jive with the “Oswald
did it alone” scenario, which was basically a transparently phony
So what they
did to Malcolm Perry was they sent a Secret Service agent over more
and basically he was told, you need to change your testimony when
you appear before the Warren Commission or else. And this bold surgeon,
fearing, I’m sure, for his family and his life, when he went before
the Warren Commission and they said, we have determined that a single
bullet went through Kennedy and then did all the injuries to Governor
Connelly sitting in front of him, and was that bullet wound to the
neck that you saw, could that have been a wound of exit (laughing),
and Dr. Perry very obligingly said, yes, sir, that’s what happened;
that was a wound of exit.
But I remember
vividly 15 years later, in 1979, Malcolm and I had just finished
doing surgery on a thoracoabdominal aneurysm where you resect the
thoracic aorta, which is my purview, and the abdominal aorta, which
is his, and we were sitting in a lounge, waiting for the residents
to close the patient. And he knew my interest in the Kennedy assassination
and, although he always kept a closed mouth about it, he told me
that despite what he was coerced to tell the Warren Commission,
the fact of the matter was there was no question that it was a wound
of entrance. So you have right there — the Oswald scenario can’t
And then Admiral
Burkley, he filled out the death certificate. And on the death certificate,
he described a wound in the back that was five and a half inches
below the neck. And there’s no way, with a sniper on the sixth floor
of a building behind the limousine, could have fired a bullet that
far down the back and have it come up and out the neck and then
turn around and go down 27 degrees through Connelly. So the death
certificate alone that Dr. Burkley filled out disproves the lone-assassin
theory. So how did the Warren Commission handle that? They never
interviewed Dr. Burkley, his personal physician, the president’s
physician. And in the 17,000 pages and 26 volumes of hearings and
exhibits, nowhere will one find the death certificate. And then
to further clinch it, one of the three doctors doing the autopsy
made a diagram that showed the scars and bullet holes in the body,
and it showed the bullet hole in the back exactly where Dr. Burkley
had described it in the death certificate, next to T-3, five and
a half inches below the neck.
this is a very good example of what we were dealing with the government’s
cover-up and the Warren Commission and their chicanery because most
of the autopsy notes and the first draft that the chief autopsy
pathologist, Dr. Humes, had, he burned them all. But this one diagram
that Dr. Boswell made survived. And on it is Dr. Burkley’s signature
with the word “verified.” But it’s very interested, when you go
through the volumes of the Warren Commission, that diagram is a
Commission Exhibit 397, but you take a look at it and Dr. Burkley’s
signature and verification has been erased. And they did to Dr.
Boswell what they did to Dr. Perry when he testified before the
Warren Commission. He obligingly told them that he misplaced the
bullet wound in the back; it was actually much higher, consistent
with one that would go through the neck and to do all the other
things. And with Dr. Burkley’s signature erased, no need to question
him about it.
Where would the bullet or bullets have come from? I mean, the front,
Yes, there are several different possible scenarios, but the one
that killed Kennedy came from in front, behind a fence on what’s
been called the grassy knoll. And we know that from the medical
and autopsy evidence because the medical personnel in Dallas, 26
of them actually, have testified that they saw a big hole in the
back of Kennedy’s head about the size of a baseball. And that could
only be an exit wound, meaning that the bullet came from the — was
shot from the front, through the temple and out the back. And this
is corroborated by the fact that Jacqueline Kennedy is filmed climbing
on the trunk of the limousine after he’s shot, trying to retrieve
pieces of bone. And two Secret Service agents riding motorcycles
behind the limousine on the left get splattered with brain and blood.
And so it’s pretty clear that the shooter in the grassy knoll is
the one that shot — that had the fatal shot. But the way the commission
and government authorities dealt with that — and these are all things
that President Johnson could not have been orchestrating as he flew
up on Air Force One and started to be president. It was a much more
widely organized thing.
What they did
at the autopsy was they had a drawing of a photograph that showed
the back of Kennedy’s head was entirely intact. The skin and hair
was all there and nothing was blown away. But it turns out, with
the JFK Records Act in 1992, and they got all these records that
had been locked up and suppressed, that all the autopsy personnel
saw the same thing, a big hole in the back of the head. And the
mortician, a fellow named, I think, James Robinson or Roberson,
he described a three-inch hole in the back of the head. And so when
you go through the evidence and particularly documents released
after Oliver Stone’s movie, JFK, which created such a furor
that the government was coerced to release about two million documents
from the FBI, the CIA, the Secret Service and other agencies related
to the assassination, that the evidence is overwhelming that there
was a shooter in front of them on the grassy knoll. There may have
been other shooters in other buildings around but the most important
thing is that this was a criminal conspiracy, that it was a state
execution, a political murder to achieve political ends. It wasn’t
this lone Marist ex-Marine who had it in for Kennedy.
And when you
look at Oswald, this is the fellow who checked out JFK’s Profiles
in Courage from the New Orleans Public Library. And this is
supposed to be the fellow that’s got it in for Kennedy. And he buys
a $12 rifle, which is one of the worst ones you could get, the Mannlicher-Carcano.
And so, the more you look into this, the more it becomes evident
that it’s a whole complete charade with the “Oswald did it alone”
By the way, Profiles in Courage is a great book. And I’ve
often wondered why it’s sort of been suppressed. It’s a series of
essays about Kennedy’s political heroes, one of whom was Robert
Taft for having opposed the Nuremberg Trails as ex post facto victor’s
justice. So it’s full of things today that would be extremely politically
incorrect. It’s a good book. If people are interested in American
history, I recommend it.
Yes. And the president’s assassin checked it out to read it. (laughing)
So poor Oswald was the patsy that he said he was, just produced
before he was —
Yes, he was telling the truth.
— before he was murdered.
Yes, he was telling the truth when he said, “I’m the patsy.”
So why was Robert Kennedy assassinated? How and why did they go
after him, and these same types, the high-ranking intelligence and
The same thing happened to Robert Kennedy that happened to JFK.
Robert Kennedy was running in the Democratic primaries for the 1968
presidency. And 15 minutes after he won the California Democratic
primary, which assured that he would be the Democratic nominee and
virtually assured that he would win the presidency, he was shot
and killed. And the lone assassin in his case was said to be Sirhan
Sirhan, who did fire bullets at Kennedy but he fired them in front
of him several feet away. And the autopsy — and in this case, it
was a more professionally done autopsy than what Kennedy had in
the naval hospital. The autopsy showed that what killed Kennedy
was a bullet fired from behind from a pistol one to two inches away
from the head. So he was taken out because the powers-that-be did
not want a Kennedy dynasty to go on. And not only would Robert Kennedy
most likely have followed JFK’s peace agenda but he also let it
be known that once he was president he was going to reopen the Warren
And they definitely did not want that.
But as you pointed out, actually Teddy Kennedy had no fear. I think
he was — how shall I say it — a much more lower I.Q. than Bobby
or John Kennedy. But he didn’t actually have to fear assassination?
No. His Chappaquiddick accident shielded him from assassination
because when he didn’t report his companion, Mary Jo — I forget
how you pronounce her last name — Kopechne?
When he didn’t report her death right away, that finished him. No
way he’d ever be elected president. So there was no need to take
him out. And he died at the age of 77 from a brain tumor.
Now what about JFK, Jr.?
Well, he died in a plane crash in 1999 a week after he let it be
known privately that he was going to run for the presidency, the
2000. And a lot of people think that, had he lived and run, he would
have been elected president in 2000.
And he died
in a plane crash. And the story there, which the compliant media
has obligingly told, is that he was a reckless pilot and he wanted
to do it all alone in his new plane and he crashed and died, and
his wife and her sister died with him. But when you look more carefully
into his death, turns out this new plane, this Piper Saratoga that
he had, he had flown it eight times before, and every time he had
a licensed instrument-rated pilot instructor with him. And there’s
evidence that he had an instructor with him this time, too, particularly
since he had just broken his ankle a week or two before and was
And what happened
there was that he was making an approach to land on Martha’s Vineyard
and had communicated with the control tower and, shortly after that,
the plane just plummeted straight down into the ocean from 2,500
feet. And either a bomb, a small bomb went off or something happened
to sabotage the plane so it just crashed. And what’s really bothersome
is that it took authorities 15 hours to publicly find the plane
when they had a radar track of the flight and the communication
with the control tower at Martha’s Vineyard. And when they finally
said that they’d found the flight, the co-pilot’s seat was missing
where the flight instructor would be. There was no flight instructor’s
body. And the flight log, which JFK, Jr., always very carefully
entered that would contain who the passengers were, was missing.
And of all the different flight instructors that he had, there was
one who just seemed to have disappeared. And so there is very good
evidence that he was also assassinated. But you read the press reports
and he was just a playboy who didn’t have enough sense to be careful.
But that wasn’t really the case.
And, you know,
he ran this George magazine and he interviewed Oliver Stone,
and he’s JFK’s son, and I think the powers-that-be realized that
when they heard he was going to be running for president, he needed
to be taken out as well.
You know, Don, I suppose there are many things we could say that
show us the real nature of the American regime, so different from
what we’re taught in school or what the media portray. But doesn’t
this tell us that there’s something wrong with the official story,
that if you actually pulled back the curtain on the American government
and the various powerful groups associated with us, this is not
much different than Montenegro or Libya?
Oh, you’re absolutely right, Lew. And basically, what it tells us
is that we’re living in an Orwellian society and, you know, where
war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. And with
regard to the Kennedy assassinations, they turn knowledge into belief
and proof into theory. So satiation critics that say that — to pull
the veil and pursue the truth on it, they’re called conspiracy theorists
or even worse, conspiracy nuts. And then attorneys like Posner and
Vincent Bugliosi, representing the government as clients, will attack
and make it look like that anybody that questions anything is off
you know, loyal Americans have developed a phenomena to what you
might just say is protective stupidity; what Orwell called “crime
stop,” a newspeak term where you rid yourself of unwanted thoughts,
particularly those that interfere with the ideology of the party,
and thus avoid committing a thought crime. And to look at the assassination
with an open mind and look at the evidence, it’s become a thought
crime to do that.
And one of
the reasons why, after spending all these years off and on reading
about this that I decided to write this article for you, is that
the 50th anniversary is coming up of the Kennedy assassination.
And we’re going to have to brace ourselves because Warren Commission
loyalists and the national TV and print media are going to be out
in force trumpeting the imperial state’s “Oswald did it alone” narrative.
And, you know, there are people at Dealey Plaza now wearing T-shirts
that say, “Oswald acted alone.”
And, you know,
let me just real quickly — one more quote from H.L. Mencken, who
wrote early in this American century of big government and the warfare
state. He wrote, quote, “The aim of public information is not to
spread enlightenment at all. It is simply to reduce as many individuals
as possible to the same level, to a breed of standard citizenry,
to put down dissent and originality.”
And, you know,
when I read that and I hear about this T-shirt they’re wearing,
I thought, well, really, what they ought to put on the T-shirt is,
“The state reigns and tells us what is true.”
Well, Dr. Don Miller, thank you for actually telling us what is
true. And, of course, we’ll link to your archive and especially
to this latest magnificent Kennedy article, which I can’t recommend
highly enough to everybody listening to me.
And, Don, thanks
for all the work you do. It’s an honor to have you on LRC, and keep
Thank you, Lew.
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October 2, 2012
(send him mail)
is a cardiac surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University
of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He is a member of Doctors
for Disaster Preparedness and writes articles on a variety
of subjects for LewRockwell.com. His web site is www.donaldmiller.com