The Kennedy Casket Conspiracy

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Last November
a new book entitled The
Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence,

by Gerald Blaine and Lisa McCubbin, promised to “reveal the
inside story of the assassination, the weeks and days that led to
it and its heartrending aftermath.”

Unfortunately,
however, while providing details of the events leading up to the
assassination, the assassination itself, and President Kennedy’s
funeral, the book provided hardly any information on one of the
most mysterious aspects of the assassination: what happened when
Kennedy’s body was delivered to the morgue at Bethesda Naval
Hospital on the evening of the assassination.

For almost
50 years, people have debated the Kennedy assassination. Some claim
that the Warren Commission got it right – that Kennedy was
assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a lone-nut assassin. Others contend
that Kennedy was killed as part of a conspiracy.

It is not
the purpose of this article to engage in that debate. The purpose
of this article is simply to focus on what happened at Bethesda
Naval Hospital on the evening of November 22, 1963, and, specifically,
the events that took place prior to Kennedy’s autopsy. What
happened that night is so unusual that it cries out for truthful
explanation even after 47 years.

U.S. officials
have long maintained that Kennedy’s body was delivered to the
Bethesda morgue in the heavy, ornamental, bronze casket in which
the body had been placed at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

The problem,
however, is that the evidence establishes that Kennedy’s body
was actually delivered to the Bethesda morgue twice, at separate
times and in separate caskets.

How does one
resolve this problem? One option, obviously, is just to forget about
it, given that the assassination took place almost a half-century
ago. But it seems to me that since the matter is so unusual and
since it involves a president of the United States, the American
people – regardless of which side of the divide they fall on
– lone-nut assassin or conspiracy – are entitled to a
truthful explanation of what happened that night at Bethesda. And
the only ones who can provide it are U.S. officials, especially
those in the Secret Service, the FBI, and the U.S. military, the
agencies that were in control of events at Bethesda that night.

The facts of
the casket controversy are set forth in detail in a five-volume
work that was published in 2009 entitled Inside
the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s
Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the
Assassination of JFK.
The author is Douglas P. Horne, who
served as chief analyst for military records for the Assassination
Records Review Board. The ARRB was the official board established
to administer the JFK Records Act, which required federal departments
and agencies to divulge to the public their files and records relating
to the Kennedy assassination. The act was enacted after Oliver Stone’s
1991 movie,

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