Reflections on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 50 Years Later

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Friday, November 22, 2013, is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He is the youngest person, at age 43, ever to be elected president and the only Catholic.

JFK became president at the height of the Cold War. It began in 1947 with the Truman Doctrine containing the spread of communism and passage of the National Security Act, establishing the CIA, Department of Defense, the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council. The following year National Security Directive 10-2 created the doctrine of Plausible Deniability, which enabled the CIA to disclaim responsibility for committing crimes of state.

Shortly after taking office, Kennedy was confronted with the Nixon-CIA-planned Bay of Pigs invasion. Its planners knew this Cuban-1exile-led invasion would fail but did not tell JFK in order to get his approval for it. When it did begin to fail they banked on the new, young president agreeing to provide the necessary air support and U.S. troops required for the invasion to succeed. Kennedy refused to do this, fired CIA director Allen Dulles and his two chief deputies, and vowed “to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

The Joint Chiefs of Staff then sought JFK’s approval to mount its Operation Northwoods, a U.S. military invasion of Cuba justified by acts of terrorism performed by U.S. military personnel. They would be disguised as Cuban terrorists killing Americans to make it look good. Kennedy angrily rejected this.

Then came the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The Joint Chiefs insisted that Kennedy let them bomb and invade Cuba. Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis Lemay even wanted to carpet-bomb the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons. JFK enraged the military chiefs by promising Khrushchev that the U.S. would never invade Cuba and would secretly remove its nuclear weapons in Turkey along the Russian border if he, in turn, would remove his nuclear weapons from Cuba, which Khrushchev did, ending the crisis.

The red flag of Kennedy’s peaceful foreign policy intentions flew high in June 1963 in his signal American University Commencement Address promoting nuclear disarmament and peaceful coexistence with communists. On the topic of world peace he said, “What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women—not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.” With regard to the Cold War he said, “Let us reexamine our attitude toward 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.”

In September 1963, JFK overcame Senate opposition and got a nuclear test ban treaty with the Russians passed. And then what the powers brokers in the National Security establishment considered to be the last straw was when Kennedy announced his intention to pull all U.S. troops out of Vietnam by 1965, beginning with 1,000 coming home in December as stipulated in his National Security Action Memorandum 263. At the time there were 16,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam and 95 deaths. President Kennedy issued this memorandum on October 11. Six weeks later he was killed.

Everyone over the age of 60 remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard what happened to President John Kennedy on that Friday, November 22, 1963.  I was a third-year medical student at the time eating lunch in the school’s main dining hall when a student ran in and yelled, “President Kennedy has been shot.”

2The FBI immediately determined and announced that an assassin named Oswald killed President Kennedy, firing three bullets from a window in the Texas School Book Depository.

First it was said that three bullets hit the president. But the next day, when it was learned that one had missed and grazed a bystander, the official story was changed to two bullets hitting the prresident.

A week later President Lyndon Johnson formed the seven-member Warren Commission, which endorsed the FBI’s conclusion that Lee Oswald did it alone and that no one else planned or participated in the attack. The Commission, however, had to explain how only two bullets could cause all the damage done to JFK and Governor Connally sitting in front of him in the limo. One bullet went through Kennedy’s head, killing him. The other one, according to the Commission’s “single bullet theory,” inflicted all the other wounds they sustained. It went in Kennedy’s back and out his neck, in and out of Connally’s chest, then in and out of his wrist, finally entering and coming to rest in his thigh.

I began my study of the Kennedy assassination in 1967, 46 years ago, after reading Six Seconds in Dallas: a micro-study of the 3Kennedy assassination by Josiah Thompson. I also have had the unique experience of personally knowing the two doctors who figure most importantly in the case. They are President Kennedy’s physician, Admiral George Burkley, and the Texas surgeon who performed a tracheotomy on Kennedy after he was shot, Dr. Malcolm Perry.

When I was a teenager my family lived next door to Dr. Burkley and his family.  We shared a duplex on the grounds of the Newport Naval Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island, which housed its Chief of Medicine, Dr. Burkley, and Chief of Surgery, my dad, a career navy surgeon. It is still there, as a Google Earth view of that duplex on the hospital compound shows.

Dr. Burkley’s son, George W., was my age and we became friends.  (Once we sailed up Narragansett Bay in his small Snipe sailboat and camped out on an uninhabited island.  But this adventure was cut short the next morning when a Navy launch arrived to tow us back home, sent by our fathers after a hurricane warning was issued.)  Dr. Perry moved from Texas to the University of Washington in 1974, and we worked together there for several years.  The arrow in the accompanying figure points to where our offices were located in the medical center, next to each other.

4When Kennedy was shot he was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital. Dr. Tom Shires was the Chief of Surgery there, but he was 300 miles away in Galveston at a surgery meeting. He immediately flew back to Dallas and operated on Governor Connally. Two days later he and Dr. Perry operated on Oswald after he was shot, but they were unable to save him because the bullet Jack Ruby shot into Oswald’s abdomen tore his aorta and vena cava, and he bled to death on the operating table.

Dr. Shires moved to Seattle in 1974 to be the Chair of Surgery at the University of Washington, and he brought several Parkland surgeons with him, which included Dr. Perry and Dr. Jim Carrico. Dr. Carrico was the first doctor to see Kennedy when he was brought to the hospital.  He inserted a tube through Kennedy’s mouth into his trachea to supply oxygen to his lungs. When that didn’t work very well Dr. Perry performed a tracheotomy.

I was the last UW faculty surgeon that Dr. Shires hired before he moved on to Cornell in 1975.  Dr. Perry joined Dr. Shires at Cornell in 1978.  Dr. Carrico stayed on and became Chair of the UW’s Department of Surgery in 1983, holding that position until 1990.

5Dr. Perry was the first physician to speak publicly about the President’s injuries in a televised news conference an hour after his death. A newsman asked him, “Where was the entrance wound?”  Dr. Perry informed the American public and the world that “There was an entrance wound in the neck…It [the bullet] appeared to be coming at him…,” which he repeated two more times at the news conference.

This did not sit well with the Warren Commission. The bullet hole in Kennedy’s neck had to be an exit wound for Oswald to be the assassin. Presented with its single bullet theory when testifying before the Commission several months later, Dr. Perry obligingly changed his view of the matter and said that the bullet wound he observed in the neck “certainly would be consistent with an exit wound.”

Dr. Burkley filled out Kennedy’s Death Certificate. In the “Summary of Facts Relating to Death,” he states, “A second wound occurred in the posterior back at about the level of the third thoracic vertebra.” The 3rd thoracic vertebra is 5 ½ inches below the neck.

This also did not sit well with the Warren Commission. The bullet wound in JFK’s back had to be at a much higher location in order for it to exit through his neck, particularly when shot from the sixth floor of a building behind him.  The Warren Commission handled this by completely ignoring Kennedy’s Death Certificate and not having Dr. Burkley testify. The Death Certificate is not in the Warren Report or its 26 volumes of Hearings and Exhibits. In those 17,816-pages of Hearings and Exhibits, however, you will instead find things like a certificate of smallpox vaccination for Oswald’s daughter, June (Commission Exhibit 73A); Jack Ruby’s income tax returns (CE 713-719)—but not Oswald’s tax returns, said to be withheld for “national security;” and the condition of Marina Oswald’s teeth (CE 1403). One exhibit that I particularly like is a fragment of an aria from Tchaikovsky’s opera The Queen of Spades, which is Commission Exhibit 53.

6Right after the assassination, Malcolm Kilduff, Acting White House Press Secretary, said  to reporters,  “Dr. Burkley told me, it is a simple matter… of a bullet right through the head.”  Asked, “Can you say where the bullet entered his head?” he replied, It is my understanding [from Dr. Burkley] that it entered in the temple, the right temple.”

The Warren Report was published on September 27, 1964 saying Oswald was the lone assassin. Books critiquing the Warren Report soon followed.

The first five, published in 1965-1967, were Whitewash by Harold Weisberg, Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane, The Second Oswald by Richard Popkin;, Accessories After the Fact by Sylvia Meagher, and my introduction to the subject, Six Seconds in Dallas.

Dr. Perry publicly changed his view of the neck wound for the Warren Commission after a Secret Service Agent came to Dallas, threatened him, and coerced him to testify that it was an exit wound.  In 1970, that Agent, Elmer Moore, confessed to a friend that he had acted “on orders from Washington.” He regretted that he had “badgered Dr. Perry into making a flat statement that there was no entry wound in the neck.” As ordered, he said, “I did everything I was told, we all did everything we were told, or we’d get our heads cut off.” The friend he admitted this to was (appropriately enough) a University of Washington graduate student named Jim Gochenaur.

Thirteen years later, Dr. Perry and I performed surgery on a patient with a thoracoabdominal aneurysm.  I removed the thoracic, or chest part of the aneurysm, and Dr. Perry, the abdominal part. When the residents were closing the incisions Malcolm and I sat together alone in the surgeons’ lounge drinking coffee.  Dr. Perry had always refused to discuss the Kennedy assassination, but that night, after we had been operating together for many hours on a complex case, I once again asked him about it. This time, however, Dr. Perry told me that the bullet wound in Kennedy’s neck was, in fact, unquestionably a wound of entrance.

A year later, when called to testify to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) Dr. Perry once again publicly supported the government’s single-bullet-theory official truth and agreed with the committee that the bullet wound in the neck must be an exit wound, explaining that the wound was so small that he had initially mistaken it for an entrance wound. But in 1986, Dr. Perry told another physician, Dr. Robert Artwohl, that it was in fact an entrance wound.

Then Oliver Stone’s movie JFK came out in December 1991 making a mockery of the so-called “magic bullet theory.” Next, in April 1992, the book JFK: Conspiracy of Silence by Dr. Charles Crenshaw is published. Dr. Crenshaw criticizes his colleagues at Parkland Hospital for not speaking out about true facts of Kennedy’s bullet wounds. Countering this, the editor of the Journal of the American

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Medical Association had a journalist write an article vindicating the autopsy report and the single bullet theory. It was published in JAMA in May 1992.  Drs. Perry and Carrico and two other doctors involved in Kennedy’s care at Parkland, shown in the photo above, were interviewed, along with two of the three pathologists who performed the autopsy. Drs. Perry and Carrico gave their unqualified endorsement to the autopsy findings and said that Dr. Crenshaw didn’t know what he was talking about, although he was one of the doctors in the emergency room attending Kennedy at Parkland. Dr. Crenshaw sued and won a substantial settlement from JAMA. The journalist who wrote the article was sacked, and not long thereafter the editor of the journal, Dr. George Lundberg, resigned. Sadly, both Dr. Perry and Dr. Carrico, two leading American surgeons and former colleagues of mine at the University of Washington, disavowed their initial testimony on the bullet wounds and perjured themselves. (Dr. Carrico died in 2002, at age 67, from colon cancer. Dr. Perry died in 2009, at age 80, from lung cancer.)

Dr. Burkley also struggled with the truth on the JFK assassination. He knew what happened.  Indeed, he was the only physician in the president’s Dallas motorcade, with Kennedy at Parkland Hospital, with the body on the flight back on Air Force 1 (with Jacqueline Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson), and at the autopsy, done (by military pathologists) at the National Naval Medical Center in

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Bethesda, Maryland. And after the autopsy Dr. Burkley took possession of JFK’s brain. To ensure his silence President Johnson made Dr. Burkley his personal physician and promoted him from the rank of Rear Admiral to Vice Admiral.

In 1967, when asked if he agreed with the Warren Commission on how many bullets struck Kennedy, Dr. Burkley replied, “I would not care to be quoted on that.” But in 1977 he told his lawyer, William Illig, to contact Richard Sprague, Chief Counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations and said that he would explain to him why there must have been more than one shooter. When Sprague was ousted and the HSCA reverted to a cover-up mode, however, Dr. Burkley laid low. In 1978 he signed an incorrect and untruthful Affidavit for the HSCA, which states that on Air Force One to Bethesda the Dallas casket was constantly observed and not opened or disturbed. But in 1982 he told researcher Henry Hurt that JFK was the target of a conspiracy, although he refused to elaborate. In 1983 he admitted to another researcher that JFK had a large wound in the back of the head that had “all the appearance of an exit wound.”

After Dr. Burkley died (in 1991, at age 88), his daughter, Nancy Denlea, the executor of his estate, at first agreed to release her father’s attorney-client file on JFK’s death to the newly formed Assassination Records Review Board. But then she suddenly reneged and refused to sign a waiver of confidentiality that the ARRB needed to review the files.

I contacted Dr. Burkley’s son George W., my old teenage buddy, not long ago.  He is a retired Marine Corps pilot living in Hawaii.  All he would say was: “Dad never voiced much of an opinion about a conspiracy but frequently questioned why the Warren Commission never asked him to testify. Dad was [a] very close hold when it came to his professional life.” Dr. Burkley was an honorable man who fell prey to the cover-up.

The 17th Century British philosopher Francis Bacon, whose writings were instrumental in the development of the scientific method, said “Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.” This certainly pertains to the Kennedy Assassination.

A timeline for the first 35 years following Kennedy’s death is summarized here. Over the first 12 years the mainstream media and the

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government’s Warren Commission, Clark Panel, and Rockefeller Commission hold fast to the Oswald was the sole assassin scenario, despite withering critiques by assassination researchers and Jim Garrison’s thwarted effort to bring the truth to light with the Clay Shaw trial in New Orleans in 1969. Then in 1975 ABC showed the Zapruder film to the public for the first time, challenging the Oswald acted alone scenario. As a result, the House Select Committee on Assassinations is formed and holds hearings. It still blames Oswald, but concludes there was a second shooter, who missed, indicating a conspiracy, which it nevertheless chose not to investigate. Next is Oliver Stone’s film JFK. This is a major turning point in the pursuit of truth in the case. It produces a firestorm of public outcry, prodding Congress to pass the JFK Records Act, releasing several million sealed records, and creating the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) to review them.

After 40 years of investigation by assassination researchers, five books published in the last ten years have together uncovered the truth of the Kennedy assassination. They are Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission failed the nation and why, by Gerald McKnight (2005). He shows that the Commission’s predetermined conclusion and unspoken mandate was to quell rumors of conspiracy and convince the public that the FBI was right with regard to Oswald. Next is Inside the Assassination Records Review Board [ARRB]: The U.S. government’s final attempt to reconcile the conflicting medical evidence in the assassination of JFK, by Douglas Horne (2009).

The 3rd one is Harvey and Lee: How the CIA framed Oswald, by John Armstrong (2003). Armstrong’s ground-breaking research shows that the CIA created two lookalike Oswalds to spy on the Russians during the Cold War. Using doubles in intelligence work is a centuries-old practice. A classic example is Mata Hari using a double to impersonate her on dancing tours throughout Europe while she spied for the Germans. The CIA sent the fluent Russian-speaking Harvey to Russia posing as a disaffected southern-borne American. When it was later decided to use them in the Kennedy assassination the American-born Oswald helped the agency set up his Russian-speaking double as the patsy for it. The only problem with this was that Oswald kept being seen in two places at once—like when he (Lee) was in the Marines in Japan, from October 1957 to May 1958, while he (Harvey) was working at the Pfisterer Dental Lab in New Orleans. Right after the shooting eyewitnesses saw Oswald (Harvey) on a bus, while Dallas Deputy Sheriff observed him (Lee) getting into a Dodge Rambler on Elm Street in Dealey Plaza.

(People who saw the wrong Oswald at the wrong time or had the wrong kind of dealings with him put their lives in jeopardy. Sheriff Roger Craig was unwavering in his testimony that he saw Oswald get in a Rambler on Elm Street after the shooting. He died the victim of a gunshot wound. Albert Bogard was a car salesman who accompanied [Lee] Oswald on a test drive of a new Mercury Comet, but [Harvey] Oswald’s wife Marina and her house host Ruth Paine testified that Oswald could not drive and was somewhere else that day. Bogard was found dead in his car from carbon monoxide delivered from a hose attached to his exhaust pipe. When asked about all the deaths occurring in witnesses to the assassination, Jim Garrison replied, “All I know is that witnesses with vital information in the case are bad insurance risks.”)

The 4th book is A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s assassination, and the case that should have changed history, by Joan Mellen, a Temple University professor (2005). You realize after reading this book that Jim Garrison is a modern-day Paul Revere. He presciently warned us that one disaster we face is, “Fascism will come to America in the name of national security.”

And then there is JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters, by James Douglass (2010). If you read one book on the JFK assassination, I recommend that you get and read this one.

In Inside the ARRB Doug Horne uses the term “evidentiary landscape” for the various lines of evidence in the case. The medical evidence consists of 1) witnesses—in the motorcade, at Parkland Hospital, and at the autopsy; 2) the Death Certificate; 3) Kennedy’s 10clothes; 4) the autopsy; and 5) movies and photos of the act. Rather than a landscape, however, these lines of evidence make up a factual matrix; and in this matrix, like in a court of law, conflicting evidence is weighed and cross examined for its probative value.

Witnesses in the Kennedy motorcade provide strong evidence that a bullet shot from the front blew out a hole in the back of his head. Clint Hill wrote in his report, “I noticed a portion of the President’s head was missing… part of his brain was gone.” The two motorcycle policemen riding behind Kennedy were splattered with his blood and brain. Jacqueline Kennedy told the Warren  Commission and biographer Theodore White that she could see a piece of his skull coming off the back of his head. White House photographer Joe O’Donnell showed Jackie the Zapruder film privately a few weeks after the assassination. When he asked her why she tried to “escape” from the limo, she said she was not trying to escape but rather was trying to pick up the pieces of the President’s head from the top of the car’s trunk lid.

These are the medical personnel involved in Kennedy’s care at Parkland Hospital.  Of interest, Nurse Audrey Bell, who worked closely with Dr. Perry told the ARRB that he complained to her Saturday morning Nov 23 that “people from Bethesda” had been bothering him on the phone all night long trying to get him to change his opinion about having seen an entry wound, to having it instead be an exit wound in Kennedy’s neck.

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James Fetzer shows in his book Murder in Dealey Plaza, that 21 doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital confirmed that the back of Kennedy’s head was blown out.

Parkland medical personnel demonstrated the large exit wound they observed in the back of the President’s head (below). Dr. Carrico said, “There was a large, quite a large, defect about here [pointing] on his skull.” There is no photograph of Dr. Perry showing this, but he wrote in  his treatment report, on Nov 22, “A large wound of the right posterior cranium was noted, exposing severely lacerated brain. Brain tissue was noted in the blood at the head of the carriage.” Dr. Carrico, in his treatment report, noted that in addition to the head wound with shredded brain oozing out, that there was a small penetrating wound of the neck. He writes, “Two external wounds were noted. One small penetrating wound of the neck in the lower one  third. The other wound had avulsed the calvarium and shredded brain tissue [was] present and profuse oozing…attempt[ed] to control slow oozing from cerebral and cerebellar tissue via packs instituted.”

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Bethesda autopsy witnesses who also demonstrated the large exit wound they saw in the back of the President’s head, as shown below here.

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The FBI released a list of 18 Bethesda Morgue/Autopsy Witnesses in 1966, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations listed 36 autopsy witnesses in its 1999 report. But the HSCA sequestered and sealed the testimony of the witnesses with an (red) asterisk next to their name for 50 years—until 2026—for the simple reason that their testimony contradicted the shot-from-behind scenario. The movie JFK and subsequent JFK Records Act, however, got their testimony released early.

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Then Doug Horne, in Inside the ARRB (published in 2009) came up with three more important witnesses They are General Curtis LeMay, USAF Chief of Staff; photographer Robert Knudsen; and Sgt. Roger Boyajian, the NCO-in-charge of the Bethesda Morgue Security Detail. The testimony of the three witnesses highlighted in this list is telling. Lt. Richard Lipsey said that the autopsy pathologists dutifully concluded and wrote that JFK was shot three times from behind, but a draft showing this had to be trashed and burned when it was learned a day later that one of the shots had missed.

Capt. Robert Canada, the Commanding Officer of Bethesda Naval Hospital confirmed that JFK had a large, avulsed (i.e., blown out) wound in the back of his head. More importantly, Capt. Canada told a researcher that his cohort, the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Medical School at Bethesda, Capt. John Stover, ordered one of the autopsy pathologists to rewrite the autopsy report so it would fit the two-bullet scenario. He made the researcher promise not to disclose this until 25 years after his death. Captain Canada died in 1981. The researcher, Michael Kurtz, waited, as promised, and did not report Captain Canada’s testimony until 2006, in his book The JFK Assassination Debates published that year.

And then there’s Sgt. Roger Boyajian. His report is the “smoking gun” of the medical evidence. Sgt. Boyajian wrote in his report that the President’s body arrived at the morgue loading dock at 6:35 PM, encased in a body bag in a cheap aluminum shipping casket transported in a black hearse with  officials in blue suits—before the ornamental bronze casket into which the body had been placed in Dallas arrived (empty) with Jackie and Robert Kennedy in an Andrews Air Force motorcade.

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This early arrival of the body is corroborated by a half-dozen other military and funeral home witnesses. Most importantly, this testimony establishes the fact that the chain of custody of the body was broken when it left Dallas, which invalidates the autopsy as a medico-legal document.

16Dr. Perry testified that the incision he made in Kennedy’s neck for the tracheotomy was 2-3 cm—about an inch wide. Other medical personnel at Parkland Hospital, like Dr. Charles Crenshaw and Nurse Audrey Bell have testified that Dr. Perry made a small incision, one not much wider than the tube that the surgeon inserts into the trachea through the incision. The autopsy photograph shows, instead, a 3-inch-wide gash. Nurse Audrey Bell, upon seeing this photograph said, “Looks like  somebody has enlarged it… You don’t make traches that big. Not if you’ve got as much experience as Perry has.” I operated with Dr. Perry. We performed surgery together. He was a meticulous, careful surgeon. I can testify to the fact that he never would have made an incision for a tracheotomy like the one seen in this autopsy photograph, be it on the President of the United States or a Dallas drug addict. Along with the interrupted chain of custody of his body, this photograph proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Kennedy’s corpse has been tampered with.

One of the autopsy pathologists, Lt. Cdr. Thornton Boswell, made a diagram of the wounds and scars he observed on the body.17 It places the bullet wound in the back at the same level, T-3, as in the death certificate. Dr. Burkley signed it and wrote “Verified” above his signature.

The way the Warren Commission dealt with this surviving piece of evidence demonstrates the chicanery it practiced in its investigation of the assassination. The Commission published Boswell’s diagram as Commission Exhibit 397, but Admiral Burkley’s signature validating it has been erased! It’s gone. And like with Dr. Perry, when Dr. Boswell came before the Commission he also had an accomodating change of mind and testified that he had drawn the bullet hole in the back too low, saying now that it was actually considerably higher than that, high enough to lend credence to the single bullet theory. And since Dr. Burkley’s signature is not there, the Commission didn’t have to question him about it. Even if the bullet had entered Kennedy’s body higher up at neck level, however, it still could not have exited through the front of his neck unscathed, as Dr. David Mantik, a radiologist, has proved. A cross-sectional CT scan shows that the bullet would have hit the hard transverse process of a cervical vertebra and been deflected and deformed, unlike the one found on a stretcher in the hospital, which was pristine and virtually intact. This evidence alone invalidates the single bullet theory.

18All the evidence in the factual matrix of this case, including the Death Certificate, the Autopsy Descriptive Sheet, and the bullet holes in Kennedy’s clothes, weighed and cross-examined for its probative value, boils down to the clear and inescapable verdict that Oswald is innocent.

President Kennedy was killed in a bloody palace coup. Like with Caesar and his Senators, it was a regime change. In this case, it was one engineered by officials in the U.S. National-Security State. JFK threatened its interests by committing the cardinal sin of not trying to win the Cold War and, instead, sought peace with Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, the state’s top enemies. It is still not known for sure who decided that Kennedy was a threat to national security and had to go and be replaced with a president who would do their bidding, escalate the war in Vietnam and stop talking to Khrushchev and Castro. The CIA most likely planned the assassination, with help from the FBI and the Secret Service. And the fact that they got away with it has given us an NSA (National Security Agency) that now watches and listens to everything that all of us do.

Other suspects—the Mafia, KGB, Cuban exiles, and Castro—can be dismissed because there is no way any of them could have controlled and falsified the autopsy that was done by military pathologists, taking orders, in a U.S. military hospital.

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Unfortunately, we now live in a country where to say that Oswald is innocent is tantamount to committing a “thoughtcrime”. Americans increasingly practice what Orwell terms “crimestop,” the faculty of stopping short at the threshold of any dangerous thought. But given the facts of the matter, believing the Oswald-did-it-alone official truth is like saying 2 + 2 = 5.

We who are alive today may not live to see the truth on the Kennedy assassination finally win out. But it will, sooner or later. For truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. It has taken more than 500 years for the truth to be realized that Richard III did not kill his nephews. One hopes that it doesn’t take that long with the JFK assassination.

Presented to The Diet in Seattle, November 12, 2013

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