In a recent talk about the assassination of President Kennedy to West Virginia high school students, former Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine said: “This story needs to be told and the only answers [about that day] that are reliable are from the agents who were there.”
“We wrote the book,” he said, “to make sure the conspiracy theorists didn’t kidnap history.”
Yet Blaine’s book provides persuasive evidence of conspiracy — he just doesn’t know it.
In “The Kennedy Detail,” Blaine quotes a number Secret Service agents who witnessed JFK’s assassination from the follow-up car. All said that the president and Texas Governor John Connally were hit in the back by two different gun shots. This testimony buttresses the recollections of Connally and his wife who said the same thing.
Their eyewitness testimony was discounted by the Warren Commission, which concluded that the two men had been wounded by the same shot, as explained by the famous “single bullet theory.”
The Warren Commission recognized the problem that Blaine seems unaware of. If Kennedy and Connally were hit by two different bullets, then there had to have been two gunmen firing at the presidential motorcade. The two shots occurred so close in time (less than a second apart) that a single gunman could not have fired both.
If the movie version of “The Kennedy Detail” adheres to the book, it will lend credence to the conspiracy theorists whom Blaine hopes to refute.
Blaine says part of his message is that he wants young people will be more trusting of the government.
“There were a number of things that happened that just added divisiveness in the country,” he said. “I like to talk to young people who don’t know, who may have heard it from their parents, so that they might trust the government.”
That’s a worthy goal, but trust, by its nature, has to be earned. The public’s confidence in the federal government, as measured in polls, has been decreasing steadily since the Warren Report of 1964 proclaimed Oswald the lone assassin. Today the same percentage of people distrust the government — 80 percent — as disbelieve the Warren Report.
Is there a connection?
Excerpts from “The Kennedy Detail”:
(p. 213) “… Clint Hill heard a sudden explosion sound from the right of him to the rear … he saw President Kennedy lurch forward, grab at his neck in a sudden strange motion, and then slump to his left …. He leapt off the running board of Halfback …. As his feet propelled him toward the moving car, Clint Hill was so focused on reaching his target that he didn’t even hear the second shot.”
(p. 213) “Follow-up car driver Sam Kinney’s responsibility was to maintain his focus on the president’s car. He saw Kennedy’s reaction to the first shot and then saw Clint leap onto the pavement a split second later …. His eyes were still focused on President Kennedy when he heard the second shot and saw Governor Connally slump toward his wife.”
“When the first shot was fired, Connally immediately recognized it as a rifle shot; the sound came from behind. He looked back in a reflexive motion over his right shoulder to where the sound had originated but saw only a few men, women, and children standing on the grassy knoll alongside the street. There was nobody holding a gun, and the sound seemed to have come from further away. He turned forward again and was just about to look over his left shoulder to make eye contact with President Kennedy when he felt a crippling blow to his back. Like Clint, the adrenaline coursing through his veins threw his system into such shock that he never heard the second shot, the very shot that hit him.”
“The instant Nellie Connally heard the first shot, she turned her head to look over her right shoulder — the sound had come from the right rear of the car — and she saw President Kennedy draw his hand to his throat. She turned to her husband just as the sound of the second shot permeated the car. Immediately the governor doubled over, blood spilling from his chest. ‘Oh no, no, no, no!’ he yelled as he slumped toward Nellie. ‘They’re going to kill us all!’”
“ASAIC Roy Kellerman was sitting in the front passenger seat of the presidential limo, directly in front of Governor Connally. He heard the first loud pop over his right shoulder and as he turned his gaze back and to the right, he thought he heard the president say, ‘My God, I’m hit.’ He swung around to his left to look into the back of the car and saw President Kennedy grasping at his neck.”
“Kellerman grabbed the radio, turned to Bill Greer, and said, ‘Let’s get out of here! We’re hit!” He pushed the transmission button and there was no mistaking the urgency in his voice. ‘Lawson, this is Kellerman. We’re hit. Get us to the nearest hospital. Quick!’”
“As he was relaying the message, he heard one bang, and then another, and as Greer tramped down on the accelerator, Kellerman felt the car burst forward with such thrust he felt like it was jumping off the goddamned road.”