(This article, titled “Under CIA Eyes,” first appeared in Counterpunch, Vol. 25 published in January 2020.).
“I was struck by the intimacy and the smallness of the whole surroundings,” said retired CIA officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen after his first visit to Dealey Plaza in November 2019. Dealey Plaza, a grassy Art Deco entry point to downtown Dallas, is where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963. Hundreds of thousands of people still come from around the world every year to see the spot where the popular liberal president was ambushed. Many of them have the same reaction to the crime scene: the intimacy, the smallness.
Honest recollections from Vince Palamara, the Secret Service researcher extraordinaire. He bought the official JFK story for a while. Nothing wrong with that. Millions did. Then he took a closer look and changed his mind. I like his candor about how it happened. He writes:
Dr. Robert McClelland, the surgeon who oversaw the effort to save President Kennedy’s life in 1963, died earlier this month at age 89. In his interviews, you sense a man of considerable dignity, humility, and integrity. It comes as no surprise that he self-published an anthology of writings on surgery to which thousands of doctors subscribed. He was both a teacher and doctor, an instructor and a healer. And it is those qualities that make McClelland one of the most important witnesses to JFK’s assassination.
In 1963, McClelland was 34 years old. He had just become the chief of surgery at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital. When the mortally wounded JFK was brought to Trauma Room One, McClelland stood over the dying president and participated in the efforts to save him. He observed the president’s fatal head wound for about 10 minutes from a distance of less than two feet.
“My God,” he recalled saying to his colleagues. “Have you seen the back of his head. There’s a wound in the back of his head that’s about five inches in diameter.”
The most complete version of the Air Force One radio transmissions made on the day President John F. Kennedy was killed 50 years ago were aired publicly for the first time today [at a JFK assassination conference at Duquesne University.
Now available on You Tube retired Major General Fabian Escalante, former head and current historian of Cuba’s State Security Department,i gives a sneak preview of his upcoming book Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Aggression Against Cuba.Read more
Doug Horne, former analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board has posted a thoughtful response to his former boss Jeremy Gunn’s speech about the state of the JFK case.
For the most part, his speech was a cautionary tale about not jumping to conclusions without first considering ALL of the evidence about any facet of the assassination, pro or con. Jeremy is saying here that one must approach all evidence (film evidence such as the Z film or many of the autopsy photos; eyewitness testimony; and so-called forensics evidence) with extreme caution, and take nothing for granted about its accuracy or provenance. Yet—and I find this unfortunate—Jeremy continues to use all of the uncertainties about the evidence as a “mask” to hide behind in a sense, which allows him to continue to say that he personally has no idea who killed President Kennedy, in an attempt to avoid controversy.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled JFK programming for this special message. David Kaiser, a prolific and subtle diplomatic historian, has a piece on his blog,History Unfolding, that is well worth reading. Kaiser’s long historical perspective frames our political realities without pity.
This paper, published in the scientific journal Heliyon, represents an attempt to salvage Professor Luis Alvarez’s model of the gunshot that killed President Kennedy. Alvarez tried to explain the rearward recoil motion of Kennedy’s head, seen in Abraham Zapruder’s film, by what he called a “jetting effect.” Read more