ROCKWELL: 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 Pursuing 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, very clear.
This article, 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 is?
MILLER: 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.
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ROCKWELL: 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.
MILLER: 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.
ROCKWELL: 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?
MILLER: 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.”
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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.
ROCKWELL: 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.
MILLER: In a thousand pieces.
ROCKWELL: A thousand pieces.
MILLER: As he said, scattered to the wind, yes.
ROCKWELL: So they scattered him to the wind instead.
MILLER: 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.
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ROCKWELL: 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 you would.
MILLER: 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 scenario.
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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 be true.
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.
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And interesting, 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.
ROCKWELL: Where would the bullet or bullets have come from? I mean, the front, but —
MILLER: 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.
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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” scenario.
ROCKWELL: 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.
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MILLER: Yes. And the president’s assassin checked it out to read it. (laughing) So —
ROCKWELL: So poor Oswald was the patsy that he said he was, just produced before he was —
MILLER: Yes, he was telling the truth.
ROCKWELL: — before he was murdered.
MILLER: Yes, he was telling the truth when he said, “I’m the patsy.”
ROCKWELL: So why was Robert Kennedy assassinated? How and why did they go after him, and these same types, the high-ranking intelligence and military people?
MILLER: 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 Commission investigation.
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ROCKWELL: And they definitely did not want that.
ROCKWELL: 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?
MILLER: 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?
MILLER: 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.
ROCKWELL: Now what about JFK, Jr.?
MILLER: 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 on crutches.
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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.
ROCKWELL: 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?
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MILLER: 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 the page.
And basically, 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.”
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ROCKWELL: 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 writing.
MILLER: Thank you, Lew.
ROCKWELL: Bye-bye, sir.
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October 2, 2012