Picking up on a story first reported in JFK Facts, CNN reporter Jake Tapper aired dramatic conversations from the reconstituted Air Force Once tapes from November 22, 1963, capturing the real-time reaction of U.S. government officials as the news spreads that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.
Tapper says d the Air Force One tape is “an unflinching look at history unfolding.” He highlights the role of audio expert Ed Primeau in making the recording audible. And he let Primeau explain one of the most important facts about the Air Force One tape: It has been edited out of a longer tape that has never been heard.
“Whoever created the tapes had certain parts of the conversation they didn’t want anyone to hear,” Primeau says.
The location of the complete Air Force One tape is one of those unsolved mysteries that haunt the JFK story 50 years later.
Unfortunately, Tapper avoided mentioning the central role of JFK researcher Bill Kelly in finding the story. It was Kelly, a dogged JFK researcher, who peddles no conspiracy theory, who gave Primeau a new version of the Air Force One that surfaced in 2011. Kelly was the first to write about the historical importance of the Air Force One tapes on his blog JFK Countercoup. He obtained a copy of the new recording and persuaded Primeau, a nationally known audio expert who analyzed recording in the Trayvon Martin murder trial, to apply his technical skills to enhance it.
I wrote about Kelly’s presentation on JFK Facts in October 2013, and then published an interview with Primeau. The story was picked up by Julie Hinds of the Detroit Free Press whose article was republished in USA Today. That’s where Tapper got the story.