One problem with the Warren Commission’s report surfaced in the October 14 issue of Vanity Fair: First Lady Jackie Kennedy didn’t believe the single bullet theory on which the Commission’s findings depend.
“… the Warren Commission’s findings were expected to show that, contrary to much previous opinion, the first bullet had struck both the president and the governor and that the last of the three shots had gone wild. That certainly was not how Jackie remembered it. She had been there. The mental pictures with which she continued to be inundated were so sharp and detailed.”
John and Nellie Connally, seated next to the president and First Lady, also disputed the Warren Commisson’s account. Yes, eyewitness testimony can be unreliable but it is a fact that none of the three closest witnesses to the gunfire believed the Commission’s description of the gunfire.
via Jacqueline Kennedy’s Struggle After J.F.K.’s Assassination: The Nightmares, Drinking, and Suicidal Thoughts | Vanity Fair.
362 thoughts on “Jackie Kennedy didn’t believe the single bullet theory”
Jean Davison said:
“Imo you’re also misreading Hoover’s response to the spectrographic tests. Using another method the HSCA found borderline traces of copper on the shirt front(259 & 260 here):”
Is that like the rifle that had no fingerprints on it, and then later had Oswald’s prints on it?
It has prints on it from the time Oswald touched it.
I think you are quoting some factoid.
The only factoids we see around here are generated by a McAdamsoid.
If it’s not a factoid, post your evidence.
Precisely, Jeff, and this is why I referred to a “projectile” instead of a bullet. It is also why I did not refer to this as an exit or entrance wound, as, like you, I do not think it has been proven which of the two it really is.
There has been quite a lengthy discussion about the “slits” in the shirt collar over at the Education Forum. What I did not realize, until someone posted a closeup photo of the “slits”, is that they really do not look like scalpel slits at all but, rather, more like holes that happened to tear slightly more longitudinally; likely due to the weave of the fabric.
Also very interesting is a closeup photo of JFK’s tie showing what appears to be a small bloodstain right at the spot corresponding to the nick in the tie. Unfortunately, the damage to the tie does not show a through and through hole, and the only scenario that can be matched to the tie damage is a projectile that nicked the outside of the tie knot on its way by.
It’s a rather fascinating discussion at the Ed Forum but, because it was a while back, I can’t quite recall the title of the thread. You should check it out and, perhaps, even consider joining the Ed Forum. Things have gotten a bit stale there as of late and a fresh infusion of passionate and inquisitive members, such as yourself, is just what the place needs.
BTW, when you think of a projectile exiting the throat, don’t limit your imagination to a piece of lead that originated from a bullet.
“when you think of a projectile exiting the throat, don’t limit your imagination to a piece of lead that originated from a bullet.”
Pat Speer has long argued that the throat wound was caused by a projectile from one of the head shots. His devotion to working through the actual evidence, and keeping an open mind, is admirable. The chapter on the SBT appearing on his website convinced me that whatever the wound in the throat is, it most decisively is not a wound caused by a bullet linked to the SBT.
If he wasn’t shot from the front in the throat, and the SBT theory is bogus, how to explain Kennedy’s reactions as he appears from behind the sign in Zapruder? I endorse a back shot at frame 190. Can it alone explain JFK’s reaction? I also observe that Mrs Kennedy does not react as if she realizes her husband has been shot. She did explain she knew something had happened and that she turned to him, but if there was a realization that bullet(s) were being fired into the limo I think the immediate instinct would be to duck down behind the seat.
Well, if the bullet entered his back, and did not exit his throat, nor did it exit his chest, and they found no bullet in his chest or abdomen at the autopsy, we’re left with a bit of a mystery, aren’t we?
It’s easy to subscribe to the “short shot/ shallow back wound” theory, but I think anyone with any ballistic knowledge knows the impossibility of this occurring.
The only possibility left is that the bullet entered JFK’s right upper lung at just below muzzle velocity and simply vanished.
I’m writing a new thread that I will be posting at the Education Forum that explains the many signs and symptoms observed by Dr. Malcolm Perry and offered up in his Warren Commission testimony that are related to just such an injury.
BTW, the type of bullet that can enter soft tissue, leaving a small entrance wound, and simply vanish a couple of inches into soft tissue were not available to a minimum wage earner at the TSBD.
Bob, for the record, from my side the argument has been about the sophistry behind the claim that the observed slits in the front of the shirt represented the solid incontrovertible “fact” of a bullet passing through the president’s throat and thus onward to Connally. My points have obviously been influenced by McKnight, whose work is largely concerned with understanding the Warren Commission as a political undertaking concerned with arriving at a political (i.e. a lone gunman in 6th floor SE corner) interpretation of the evidence. The sophistry of the Commission, and its latter day defenders, works largely by inference. That an intact bullet passed from back to front through the President’s throat at 1800/ft per second (or whatever speed is argued) cannot be factually certified and so other details must isolated in favour of an inference or theory which through repeated re-stating becomes “fact”.
The slits in the shirt do not “prove” a bullet passed through because 1) there is no other supporting evidence such as residue around the slits 2) there is an alternate explanation 3) there is no corresponding damage to the tie which was in place directly atop the position of the slits. Based on settled physical laws of this planet I think point 3 settles the issue.
If there is a “fact” attached to the observed throat wound, it is that what it represents has not yet been determined. The observations by the Parkland doctors do not conform to what would be expected if this was a wound of exit from the rifle and bullet in evidence. I believe the original thinking was that the wound represented the passing of a smaller bullet fragment. If the wound can be situated below the collar then, due to lack of damage in the clothing, this seems to rule out that it was a wound of entrance and supports the original notion of a fragment.
Dr. PERRY – Dr. Carrico had very judicially placed an endotracheal but unfortunately due to the injury to the trachea, the cuff which is an inflatable balloon on the endotracheal tube was not below the tracheal injury and thus he could not secure the adequate airway that you would require to maintain respiration.
(At this point, Mr. McCloy entered the hearing room.)
Mr. SPECTER – Dr. Perry, you mentioned an injury to the trachea.
Will you describe that as precisely as you can, please?
Dr. PERRY – Yes. Once the transverse incision through the skin and subcutaneous tissues was made, it was necessary to separate the strap muscles covering the anterior muscles of the windpipe and thyroid. At that point the trachea was noted to be deviated slightly to the left and I found it necessary to sever the exterior strap muscles on the other side to reach the trachea.
I noticed a small ragged laceration of the trachea on the anterior lateral right side. I could see the endotracheal tube which had been placed by Dr. Carrico in the wound, but there was evidence of air and blood around the tube because I noted the cuff was just above the injury to the trachea.”
Below is a diagram of an endotracheal tube inserted into the trachea of a patient:
In this diagram, it is possible to see the inserted tip of the endotracheal tube well below the vocal cords AND well below the thyroid cartilage in the lower part of the Adam’s Apple. Just above the inserted tip can be seen the inflatable “cuff” of the endotracheal tube that, once inflated, makes an airtight seal against the inner wall of the trachea. It too is well below the thyroid cartilage.
Dr. Perry testified that he could see the cuff of the endotracheal tube through the trachea, also indicating Dr. Carrico had properly placed the tip and cuff of the endotracheal tube below the thyroid cartilege.
If Dr. Perry testified the inserted cuff was above the wound in the trachea, the wound had to be located somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd tracheal rings. Unfortunately for the proponents of the above the collar wound, this places the wound WELL below the top of the collar.
I have watched the argument rage over whether the wound in JFK’s throat was above or below the shirt collar, and whether the entering or exiting projectile went above the collar or through it.
As much as it pains me to do so, I’m afraid I must agree with Jean Davison and state that, in my mind, the medical testimony clearly indicates the wound was well below the top of JFK’s collar.
From the WC testimony of Dr. Malcolm Perry, who performed the racheotomy on JFK:
“Mr. SPECTER – Why did you elect to make the tracheotomy incision through the wound in the neck, Dr. Perry?
Dr. PERRY – The area of the wound, as pointed out to you in the lower third of the neck anteriorly is customarily the spot one would electively perform the tracheotomy.
This is one of the safest and easiest spots to reach the trachea. In addition the presence of the wound indicated to me there was possibly an underlaying wound to the neck muscles in the neck, the carotid artery or the jugular vein. If you are going to control these it is necessary that the incision be as low, that is toward the heart or lungs as the wound if you are going to obtain adequate control.
Therefore, for expediency’s sake I went directly to that level to obtain control of the airway.
Mr. SPECTER – Would you describe, in a general way and in lay terms, the purpose for the tracheotomy at that time?
Continued next post……
There is an important concept that I have tried to explain to folks, sometimes without much success. Let’s take another crack at it.
The recipients of this sanctimony are serious researchers and aficionados, looking for the pot of gold at the end of the SBT rainbow.
The advice that comes to mind, the morale of this story is
“Always Pick Your Battles Carefully”
Many articles, authors, etc. steadfastly assure us that the solution of the case is the impossibility of the SBT. (See e.g. Lou Ivon in the movie “JFK”: “The whole solution to the case is this, boss”).
I am not so sure that I agree. I have simplified the 2 problems to the minimum, while leaving their essence intact, here:
Suppose you are asked to solve one of two problems, the one on the left OR the one on the right: In both cases, the question is the same:
Which one is it? It it “A” or is it “B”?
In life, sometimes you luck out and are afforded the luxury of choosing your challenge (“pick your poison!”).
Remember that in both problems, you are looking from far away, with old-fashioned, imperfect telescopes, like those made by Galileo Galilei in his first batches.
On the left side, we have the SBT Problem where:
A : The SBT was actually possible, because at some point the bodies aligned.
B : The SBT was impossible. The bodies never aligned.
Note: “A” has a caveat: It is SUBJECT to the accuracy of the measurements! There is the distinct possibility that there is a range of angles and obviously …
Dale Myers (doing a job bought and paid for ABC News) and the Haags (under the orders of our formerly admired PBS) picked one extreme while equally dishonest CTs would pick the other. The result is that the game will be tied FOREVER.
Or, would it?
The last solution (or lack thereof) would be several top universities -staking their most valuable asset- stating:
“This problem is undecidable. We cannot make a definite determination”.
This could happen for example if one bullet was shot from the sniper’s nest and another from the next window or from a window in the building behind it, in short enough succession. In that case, it would be physically impossible to determine whether reality was “A” or “B”.
In a nutshell, the angle between trajectory “A” and trajectory “B” is zero, or very close to it. With our imperfect, Galileo-provided binoculars, we cannot see the truth.
Can you imagine the frustration of those who chose “SBT” as their problem? Years and years, resources, ink, countless websites, brainpower wasted in something with no solution?
Don’t get me wrong! I am more than willing to work with anybody in this direction. In fact, I am already.
I just want to warn everybody out there that there is a real possibility of “A” or “B” being impossible to detect. We can wait decades, hoping for science and technology to advance, to no avail.
Let’s then knock on wood and cross our fingers (some would pray to their deity of choice), hoping that the real difference between “A” and “B” is actually clearly detectable, in an incontrovertible way.
Overlooked fact: Governor Connolly’s right wrist was extended upward, almost to the level of his shoulder and, as he fell/was pulled over by Nellie, his wrist was in the perfect spot to receive fragments, very small fragments, like those that stream through JFK’s skull x-ray AND which would have continued forward to strike the Governor’s wrist and embed small fragments just below his skin.
Over the years there has been a lot of discussion about the material lost from 399 being too little to make assume it’s the same bullet. HOWEVER…the Limo was found to have fragments right up under the front seat. Brain matter flooded the car…it was propelled outward by a bullet that was fragmented as it left JFK’s skull. Given the angle of declination on Elm Street…the alignment of the Presidents Head and Connolly’s rising wrist…ejecta blowing forward one could easily understand that smaller fragments exiting JFK’s head would enter the skin on Connolly’s wrist.
Bottom Line: The fragments in Connolly’s wrist did not have to come from CE 399 at all. Discussion of the fragments at all, without even allowing for the possibility of this to have happened, is once again just inadequate and obfuscating. Peace.
How very interesting that these fragments from JFK’s head wound would only strike Connally in precisely the same location that CE 399 was supposed to have gone through his wrist.
This chain has gotten a life of its own. I would like to comment on the Gov. Connolly wound to the wrist in light of the fragments that were embedded in the skin.
My view is that Gov. Connolly’s wrist was exposed to the point that it was almost above shoulder high (even as Nellie was pulling him over toward her). In fact, his wrist was totally exposed at the moment of impact and explosion of material from JFK’s skull. Fragments in Connolly’s wrist: Could have easily been imparted there after the bullet exploded out of the front of JFK’s skull and continued on forward striking Connolly’s wrist in the process. Bullet’s and fragments from/thereof can go off in any direction.
In fact….with the angle of the street (declining away front he 6th Floor Assassin’s Window) and the alignment of JFK’s head and Connolly’s wrist at the moment of z-313 one could easily understand that there is the probability that there was ejected materials, INCLUDING fragments of bullets exiting JFK’s skull, to strike the very exposed right wrist of Connolly at that moment. This is further explained in the finding of the fragments barely under the skin (due to the lack of density and loss of velocity of such tiny particles as they blasted forward).
This program from the Bio Channel is remarkably similar in content and style to the above mentioned Vanity Fair article:
It contains a lot of footage that I had never seen before.
They mention her deposition before the Warren Commission, which -predictably- lasted all of 15 minutes. They forgot to ask her about the location of the gaping hole.
Before Jackie traveled to Greece, as a host of Aristotle Onassis, Lancer ordered Clint Hill:
“Make sure that Onassis does not get too close to her”.
Apparently, Jack was convinced that Jackie was as adulterous and promiscuous as him (they show a great scene about this). I find that hard to accept: this is the most informed man on the planet, for crying out loud!
Here’s what I find somewhat laughable about the Single(Magic)Bullet theory: Had James Tague not been given the opportunity to testify to the WC about being hit in the face by debris from a shot, the WC was going to write that it was just 3 shots, and pack up and go home. Thanks to Tague’s testimony, the WC now had to write that one of the bullets made various movements between Kennedy and Connally that even the WC didn’t think it(the bullet) could do. They had to show that something foolish could actually have happened, and it made THEM look foolish.
“A bullet entering the back 1.5-2 inches to the right of the spinal midline cannot get to the right side of the trachea (windpipe) WITHOUT passing through the vertebrae.” – Bob Prudhomme.
Please can someone refute this, if it is refutable. It is such a straightforward ascertion. I have seen a diagram and it beats me how to explain it. Without that is, someone using a standard diversionary tactic (used above). Tactics to watch for are : – Bob Prudhomme is not an expert (in the obvious?) , multiple experts (in the obvious?) have already dealt with this. Please can we have a clear, simple rebuttal of this?
Why don’t you simply go on line and look at CT scans showing cross sections of the human neck at the level of the C7/T1 vertebrae. There are also many technical drawings (Grey’s Anatomy etc.) that will show the location of vertebrae and trachea.
Once you find something like this, it’s a simple matter of measuring 1.5-2 inches to the right of the spinal midline and connecting this point on the back to the right side of the trachea.
Two things will quickly become apparent.
1. The bullet cannot go from entrance to exit without going through the vertebrae.
2. If the bullet could go through without hitting the vertebrae, it would be travelling at a right to left angle that would give it a better chance of hitting Nellie Connally than John Connally.
BTW, that right to left angle through JFK’s neck in order for the bullet to miss the outside right tip of JFK’s C7 vertebra, had to be a minimum of 26° removed laterally from a centre line drawn through the length of the limo.
It was determined that the Sniper’s Nest from which Oswald allegedly shot JFK was only 9° removed laterally from a centre line drawn through the length of the limo, thus showing the Silly Bullet Theory for the lawyer’s fantasy it really is.
But those aren’t diversionary tactics. Those are valid arguments.
Prudhomme, as usual, makes unsupported claims. He pretends that his mere assertion makes something true.
No, John, as usual, I know what I’m talking about for the simple fact I’ve actually done these things. I don’t have to pretend to have experience like some people around here.
Everybody here attempting to prove a negative: that the “Crypto” security clearance level doesn’t exist, is on a fools errand. You cannot prove a negative.
Arguing about what you think you know about what is meant to be kept SECRET is really silly in my view.
That is why Open Source intelligence research is much more productive; study the actions and activities of your target, what is the modus operani, the motives, where does the benefit lie to all concerned in a process.
The main article is that “Jacqueline Kennedy didn’t believe the single bullet theory on which the Commission’s findings depend. Neither did John and Nellie Connally. In other words, the Commission ignored the testimony of the three witnesses closest to the gunfire.”
So everyone involved in the “debate” over “Crypto” has been suckered out into the weeds, not considering the import of the key issue put forth. The witnesses closest to the event did not believe the bogus Magic Bullet nonsense invented by the Warren Commission.
As this was about Jackie disbelieving the SBT, I’d have to say she was a pretty good witness to seeing shots that hit JFK AND those that hit Connally. The Governor himself said that they were not hit by the same bullet.
“But working in the radar bubble did not require a higher level of clearance. … Further, if he had ever gotten a higher level of clearance, his records would show it. … His higher classification could have been issued by another branch or service. … He was a Marine, working in a Marine radar bubble. Who besides the Marines was going to give him a higher level of clearance? Especially when he didn’t need it.”
Americans interested in reclaiming democracy will not be bullied by a pseudo patriotism that seems to insist your government would never deceive you. Your assertion that if Oswald ever held a higher level of clearance his records would reflect it must surely be playing to a naive audience; all the bravado you muster does not change the possibility and likelihood that portions of Oswald’s military record were expunged. How difficult a concept is that?
leslie sharp November 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm
I’m certainly not over confident in my government. Haven’t been since 1970 and it seems to be getting worse these days. Don’t trust them as far as I can throw them.
Yes, they could have played with Oswald’s records but it would probably have been more difficult than you think. But even so, what difference does it make? We’ve discussed it before. Why does anyone care if Oswald had a “crypto” (he didn’t)or a confidential (he did)? What is the point?
I don’t know how familiar you or Jeff are on the investigation the FBI does on you before they grant the security classification but they are rather stringent. I’m of the opinion that if Oswald was re-investigated (and he would have been)for a higher security clearance he would have been in serious trouble. Oswald being a regular reader of “The Daily Worker” and his Marxist leaning exposed in these interviews he’d be lucky to keep his confidential clearance.
What is being missed here is profound. Angleton was a key player in Kennedy’s assassination and he was key in getting many key or potential witnesses killed afterwards in order to ensure the trail back to the top was not uncovered. Angleton was in-bed with Israel. He was the CIA desk to the Mossad. Clay Shaw was a key player as was David Ferrie. Shaw had ties to Permindex. Permindex was implicated in the attempted assassination of Charles De Gaulle in 1962. De Gaulle’s French intelligence discovered that Permindex funneled the money that paid the would-be assassins. He also learned that somehow the Division Five of the FBI was involved. William Sullivan who headed the Division Five was in-bed with Angleton. Angleton was in-bed with Israel’s Mossad. The CEO of Permindex was Louis Bloomfield. Somehow Permindex was also tied to BCI in Switzerland and a key player with them was Tibor Rosenbaum. The Kennedy assassination was a tremendous coup de tat by US Government officials (Angleton / Sullivan / and others) AND Isaeli government officials including international zionists like Bloomfield. If you study the cover-up and false flags AFTER the assassination, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that international zionists are part of the plot and cover-up through disinformation. It is ongoing and seems to be working for them. However, the internet is changing that. People not only in the USA but in Canada, France, and elsewhere have collaborated and are piecing it toghether. Kennedy was killed because 1) he had locked horns with Ben Gurion over the A-bomb 2) he wanted to dismantle the CIA and 3) his brother came down hard on the Mafia. I might add that Carlos Marcello in New Orleans actually was subordinate to Meyer Lansky. One more thing. If Clay Shaw had been indicted and had not gotten away with lying, the assassination plot would have been unraveled decades ago. One more thing – Israel has its hands bloodied in the attempted assassination of De Gaulle (who pulled back French support to Israel over their A-bomb desires and who angered both French nationals and Israel over his actions in Algeria) and the assassination of JFK. In other words with approximately 15 years after the formation of a new country, its involvement in what it did to two Western leaders is unforgivable. There must be consequences. There must be.
This comment is in relation to the NSAM 263 discussion.
I think one of the fundamental value’s underlining JFK’s foreign policy was ‘we can’t fight their wars for them – that’s not a quote just a paraphrase. And if that’s the case then NSAM 263 is not as significant in determining what JFK’s Vietnam policy would have been if he had lived than it otherwise might seem.
I think this was JFK’s policy as outlined in “JFK and the Unspeakable” and as demonstrated by his actual policies on Laos, Bay of Pigs and Vietnam.
JFK favoured a negotiated settlement in Laos with a national coalition including communists. There was no question of getting militarily involved in Laos’s domestic political scene to alter that outcome.
If JFK had wanted US troops in Cuba he could have sent in the airforce to help the Cuban exiles in the Bay of Pigs but once the Cubans’ assault had failed and there was no popular local uprising then the ‘we can’t fight their wars for them’ policy applied.
JFK could have also gone to war in Vietnam – the military wanted it and the public could have probably been brought along (as they were initially under LBJ). He could have acquiesced to any of the numerous requests the military put to him for troops instead he said no troops but you can have as many advisers as you want. NSAM 263 indicates JFK was planning to pull some advisers out. All his other actions indicate he was never going to put troops in.
JFK clearly escalated US involvement in Vietnam. There is no question of it but he seemed prepared to do everything but send in combat troops (even though there was mission creep on the part of the advisers).
All of JFK’s foreign policy actions are consistent with the view that he was prepared to assist local people to overthrow their despotic regimes with resources and materiel but he was not prepared to send in US troops to fight their wars for them.
Vanessa Loney October 24, 2014 at 8:46 am
While this might be true it doesn’t give reason or excuse for people to claim that NSAM 263 orders “ALL” American personnel home in “1965”. I wish we could get this one straight about NSAM 263. I think at the time of his death JFK believed in NSAM 263 and it was his plan for SVN at the time. I think the reason JFK approved the removal of Diem was to allow NSAM 263 to work. It was a great plan.
But wars are fluid and the plan we hope will work in 1963 we begin to doubt when intact NVA units came south in 1964 and we have to lose hope in early 1965 when Saigon is threatened.
So yes, I agree. JFK would have had to drop NSAM 263 by spring of 1965. What he would have done then can be argued from now on with no solid answer. My own opinion is that JFK had not decided how far to go in Vietnam at the time of his death. I believe in Bobby’s oral history where he states we’d cross that bridge when we got there.
Thanks Bill, I appreciate your views about Bobby’s comments. Maybe they hadn’t made up their minds. But the thing is they had the opportunity to go to war in Vietnam for at least 3 years and didn’t take it – why not?
As I say I look at JFK’s foreign policy and see a man who has at least 2 main opportunities to go to war (Cuba and Vietnam) and doesn’t. Bay of Pigs is the classic example. Let’s face it he could have probably justified it by saying the US was saving the Cuban exiles from being massacred. He probably would have been hugely popular for removing Communist Cuba from the political landscape. The USSR did nothing about the exiles invasion and I doubt would have done anything about US involvement. I doubt they were in position to do anything at that stage.
And given the political fall-out he suffered over the Bay of Pigs disaster he could have justified it from that angle too. But he didn’t.
So personally I don’t think we even need NSAM 263 to show his intention to withdraw from Vietnam. I think he’s policies up to that time show he wasn’t going to commit combat troops ever. Otherwise why didn’t he?
Vanessa Loney October 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm
“Thanks Bill, I appreciate your views about Bobby’s comments. Maybe they hadn’t made up their minds. But the thing is they had the opportunity to go to war in Vietnam for at least 3 years and didn’t take it – why not?”
I think mostly because it wasn’t necessary to go to war at that time. We didn’t have to go to war then. Although on a downhill slide ARVN was at least holding on to the cities and some areas. Add to that the fact that JFK didn’t want to send combat units, especially if it wasn’t absolutely required. So JFK didn’t have to go to war in Vietnam and he didn’t want to so I believe this is my best answer to your question.
The communist, not having the logistical ability we have, required a long time to move troops and resupply. So it wasn’t until early spring of 1965 that they were able to bring pressure to bear, nearing a complete victory in the south. So Johnson had to go to war or he had to run back to Pearl Harbor. LBJ chose to go to war, against his will because he knew what the war would do to his Great Society.
I agree with you that Russia probably wouldn’t have done anything in Cuba if JFK had invaded. But JFK had other worries and Berlin topped the list. Russia would have had to do something to avenge their client in Cuba and JFK thought Berlin would be the spot. I think so too.
As for the missile crisis JFK prepared for the worse. We had Divisions headed to Florida, Sac on DEFCON 2 and the “quarantine” (a barricade) was an act of war. Kennedy knew those communist missiles had to come out of Cuba and he was going to do, one way or another. Thank god the communist blinked. Russia never much gave a damn about Vietnam itself. They supported them to compete with China and they enjoyed poking a stick in our eye.
(from the opening report-before the comments) “That was certainly not how Jackie remembered it-she had been there”. That is so vital, because of course Jackie was right there…where were the WC members? Point being that the WC was ordered to prove LHO was the lone killer, just because JEdgar Hoover told them to say that. Hoover wasn’t there either.
John, in an earlier post(one I could not directly reply to), you mention a lack of error-correction by conspiracy buffs. I believe that in the effort of the WC to show that Oswald was the lone killer, there are PLENTY of errors-or “omissions”, which led to the name of the Warren Omission.
John McAdams October 7, 2014 at 11:40 am
To claim McKnight is in error one would have to examine specifically the crypto van assignment – which McKnight did –
No, neither his footnotes nor his e-mail to me indicate any source that showed you had to have “crypto” clearance to guard the crypto van. McKnight said he thought that was the case.
Think about it: how hard would it be, if you needed a detail to guard the van, to find several Marines who all had this supposed “crypto” clearance?
Well gee John, it would be impossible to find these Marines with a “crypto” clearance. Because there is simply no such a thing!
There is no such thing as a “crypto” clearance. Plain and simple, no ifs or and, it exist only in the minds that want Oswald to have one.
This magical crypto clearance didn’t exist when Oswald was in the military, it didn’t exist when I was in the military and it doesn’t exist today.
How it keeps going when only the slightest research would point this out is beyond my understanding.
The so-called “crypto” clearance was officially called a “TS/SCI” (i.e., Top Secret/ Special Compartmented Intelligence) clearance, a clearance I happen to have had throughout my military career in signals intelligence. I don’t know for a fact that the guards who checked our bags as I left work to make sure we were not taking anything classified out of the building had this clearance, but I would have thought that they did, in view of the theoretical possibility that they might have occasion to look at a document classified that high.
lysias October 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm
I understand the “TS/SCI” (i.e., Top Secret/ Special Compartmented Intelligence) clearance but I am confused as to why it won the right to be nicknamed “Crypto”. I only had a Secret Classification, my sergeant a Confidential Classification and we worked with the codes and encoding devices every day we were in the bush.
Why aren’t our clearances aren’t also called Crypto? Top Secret is the only one authorized to use the SCI.
I still have seen no evidence that Oswald ever had anything other than a Confidential Classification.
leslie sharp October 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm
“Why not simply concede that there is a likelihood that he was at Monterrey”
Why would you concede something when there is absolutely no credible evidence to support it? This puzzles me.
Bill, whether or not Oswald was at Monterey or an affiliate US intelligence institution is not the issue; the question I pose to Ms. Davison, Mr. McAdams, et al is why would that probability be so controversial? Why not accept that Oswald was trained in the languages while in the military and still assert that he was a disenfranchised American citizen (discharged from the military) in Dallas on November 22, 1963? Why is Oswald’s proficiency in the Russian language an issue in the investigation of the assassination? So what he knew Russian?
leslie sharp October 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm
Oh I agree 100%. What difference does it make on the assassination if Oswald spoke Russian or not? None I think. What difference does his security clearance make on the assassination? None I think.
But here is the rub. We shouldn’t claim or agree with something that we have no credible evidence of. If we all did that we would have no idea what was fact and what was not. And it is a big enough mess as it is.
On these two subjects another rub is I think they are intended to connect Oswald, in some sinister way, to our government or our military or the CIA or whatever combination. “They” sent him to language school before “they” sent him to Russia. Spooky! They gave him a “Crypto” clearance because he was in the loop. This “crypto” clearance was even rare, not usually given.
Kris Kristofferson said he and Bill Clinton took the shine off being a Rhodes Scholar. I took the shine off being crypto qualified with my Secret Clearance. As we used to say in the Army, it don’t mean nuthin’.
Bill, do you think it is logical to unequivocally discount new information that poses the possibility that Oswald was far more proficient in Russian than previously argued, or that he might have held a ‘crypto’ clearance – a clearance John McAdams presents as a possibility via his recent ‘wikileaks’ reference?
Your proposition that the reference to ‘crypto’ might have been written by a ‘green 2nd Lt. is a bit weak and resembles a myriad of similar defenses of the Warren Commission, i.e. they simply erred. Can you clarify what makes you so certain there was no crypto clearance; were you involved at a high level of administration to know these things? The argument all along has been that Oswald could not have held a ‘crypto’ clearance because it did not exist. I’m curious now what might be the argument if indeed someone more knowledge than a green 2nd Lt. wrote this? https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977HAVANA00183_c.html
If you are knowledgeable, can you walk us through how to identify the author of this Crypto Clearance Request, and if it was sent to the Secretary of State as indicated, did Secretary Vance know that there was no ‘crypto’ clearance and understood it to be a miscommunication by a green 2nd. Lt.?
I continue to ask what threat do these questions pose to those positing Oswald as a lone assassin? Oswald learning Russian at a US military institution, Oswald holding a higher level clearance than once was believed proves absolutely nothing. So why not consider the new information – unless some participating on this site are not arguing in good faith?
House of cards or building blocks, either way are we not all in pursuit of the facts?
Unfortunately, there is actually no “new information.”
Just old factoids.
leslie sharp October 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm
1. The language thing. As we have discussed I never felt it connected to the subject so I’ve never paid a lot of attention to it. For the record, I don’t think the military sent him to their language school. Why? Because it isn’t on his DD Form 214. Everything you do, everywhere you go, and every school you attend is on this form. I know this from experience in the U.S. Army.
2. The security clearance thing. This is a slam dunk. He didn’t have a “crypto” security clearance because there is no such thing in the military. Now you don’t seem to think much of this argument but it seems rather final to me. You can’t have something that doesn’t exist. Period! No BS! I’ve posted the three security clearances of the U. S. military several times and that is about the best I can do. The House Select Committee on Assassinations confirmed that Oswald had a confidential clearance. That works for me, realizing that that is enough to handle rather low level codes and encryption devices. Just like my Sargent did with his Confidential clearance
3. Be advised, you don’t have to be of flag rank to know the basics of military security. I had a two week block of instruction in it and RTO at Armor Officer Basic School at Fort Knox in 1969. That is where I learned the three classifications of military security and they didn’t include “crypto”. And you? So, do you have any evidence that this “crypto” clearance existed?
4. I was a cavalry officer in the bush so the paperwork isn’t my forte. But I’ll try. Someone named “Lane” signed off on it under the comment section. No first name or initials, no rank or unit; highly irregular in the military. And when you mentioned the Secretary of State it hit me like a ton of brinks. This isn’t a military document; they would go to the Department of Defense. This is a State Department document. Check out the “Browse By Classification” on the left edge of the reference. Nothing at all like the military classifications. And it came from the Public Library of Diplomacy, not the Marine Corps. My apologizes, I’m getting old and slow and I should have caught that when John posted it.
5. New information? Gee, I’ve watched both of these subjects being kicked around forever. I don’t see any new information to amount to anything. And we both agree neither subject really has to do with the assassination so why bother? I didn’t start it.
6. I’m in pursuit of facts. That is why I go to the trouble posting. I’m now debating a man claiming the old “ice bullet” story. The sad thing is I bet he is sincere about it too.
“Unfortunately, there is actually no “new information.”
Just old factoids.”
John: Why not release all of the hidden “factoids” still squirreled away at CIA/Archives? Isn’t that “new information” that could help to illuminate more on Oswald’s file? I tend to think so.
Bill Clarke, now this is what I think “good faith” participation in the debate looks like.
I am still confused by the wikileaks entry that suggests there was a ‘crypto’ clearance at least in the mid-1970’s. Is it possible it was a new clearance classification? I still question your proposal that the author of the request was completely uninformed. The detail of his or her (Lane) communication suggests to me that they knew what they were talking about. And I agree, why would the State Department and in fact the Secretary of State be the primary recipient of this document? I assume that many diplomats and staff receive security clearances but this begs the question; has anyone searched the State Department for records on Lee Harvey Oswald? I am not that familiar with this area of research either.
Relating to the language issue, I consider the information that Jim DiEugenio presents in his recent review of Jean Davison’s “Oswald’s Game” and the update to be credible. As he states, he has gone into the field and investigated; he has not relied on ‘official’ documents nor has he cherry-picked facts that now are rather outdated. He has brought the research further along than certainly Ms. Davison or Mr. McAdams have been willing to do. For instance, he has interviewed people that attest to Oswald’s proficiency; can you or anyone explain why they would make false claims? As non-experts, their ability to measure proficiency is of course subjective, but if they had any doubts why make the claims at all or at least why not qualify their statements?
We come full circle back to the premise that neither Oswald’s Russian skills nor his security clearance in and of themselves prove that Oswald did not act alone; however, if outspoken researchers and authors and above all the Warren Commission had been willing to pursue the possibility in good faith and exhaust it either way, our country would have been better served.
leslie sharp October 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm
That entry is confusing but now not so much since my old mind realized it wasn’t a military document. But I am still confused by the informality of the document. I don’t know much about State but this document doesn’t even have a complete signature. Are they that chummy in the State Department?
I checked the State Department and they use the same Confidential, Secret and Top Secret that the DOD uses. I found no mention of “crypto”. I think that if does in fact exist it exist as one of these “codewords” that Ken S mentioned. He seems to remember even the codewords were classified so that could be why we find nothing on crypto. Have you found any mention of it besides what John posted?
I will withdraw my comment on the green Lt. It was a poor joke it seems.
And now we come to the end of the trail. I’ve been reading the material of John McAdams and Jean Davison for a long time now. They have never attempted to steer me wrong. I have complete confidence that they sincerely seek the truth.
Mr. DiEugenio, not so much. He told me NSAM 263 ordered ALL U.S. troops out of Vietnam. It does not and I pointed this out to Mr. DiEugenio with references and got….no response. That isn’t the way to attain the facts or to correct some of this BS that has been floating around since 1963.
Bill Clarke, How do we determine whether or not the “crypto” document is legitimate? And in spite of your assessment that it is informal, do you not agree that the text seems to be quite specific and official?
Maybe KenS can elaborate? Was “crypto” an ephemeral and meaningless designation except when it applied to a certain status? Was ‘crypto’ a generic term?
I do agree with you, the incomplete signature is not only odd, but disturbing. Might this entire document be bogus?
I respect that you respect McAdams and Davison, but I don’t know how you can be certain that they have never attempted to steer you wrong. Seekers of the truth do not parrot the official story, nor do they shrink from considering new information. In fairness to John McAdams, he did have the courage to post the wikileaks reference to “crypto” clearance, and he didn’t have to do that. Where he stands on the issue is another matter entirely and I for one look forward to his follow up comments.
There are major discrepancies related to Kennedy and Vietnam. Unless we view them in the full context, Kennedy’s bid for reelection vs. his evolving sense of responsibility, his grasp of the destructive power of the military industrial complex, and his understanding of global dynamics, we will be forever mired in the argument over NSAM 263.
leslie sharp October 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm
I really don’t know what to make of the document but I can tell you something doesn’t look right to me. This could be because it is a Department of State document and I wouldn’t be familiar with that. I am familiar with military documents and I’d bet the farm this document is not DOD. I’m certainly not claiming it is bogus and don’t believe it is.
We don’t even have a credible reference that Oswald had this “crypto” clearance to begin with. Someone claimed it and the mob took it to their breast since it sounded good to them. Something spooky about “crypto” it seems. I can’t find where we have ever had a “crypto clearance” classification. I assume you can’t find it either and I assume many before us have failed to find it. So I think I’m about done with it until I see something new.
As you point out John didn’t hesitate to post this document that has caused us concern. So it appears he isn’t afraid to address new information at all. But one has to distinguish between new information and new BS. I think John and Jean do this very well. Mr DiEugenio…not so well as demonstrated with his enthusiasm for John Newman’s book, “JFK and Vietnam”. Newman’s book was new BS at the time.
You can debate all this about JFK until hell freezes over but what you can’t debate is the written word and NSAM 263 is written in black and white. No room to debate what it says, it was written by brilliant men that wrote clearly. The only debate comes from the Kennedy crowd that doesn’t like what it says so they “edit” the order to suit their agenda. Some do this out of lack of knowledge, simply repeating what they have heard, and some just flat lie about it. To claim NSAM 263 orders “ALL” American troops home is simply not true. A fellow over in John’s group lately told me NSAM 263 ordered 1,000 men home each month. That isn’t true either. No debate. It simply is not true.
Leslie, you criticize Davison’s 31 year old book because it dealt with published records and not interviews. Does this mean you’d disapprove of such published record/non-interview books by Sylvia Meagher and Peter Dale Scott, or by others from the past?
Bill Clarke, to clarify, you are saying that because the document appears to be a Department of State communication, and because you are not familiar with their procedures, you cannot say it is bogus but you are saying that something doesn’t look right. I can live with that ambiguity, and hopefully someone will step up and clear the debris from this particular reference because it certainly places the cat amongst the pigeons if it is a legitimate DOS communication. You haven’t answered my question relating to whether or not State Department records have been searched to determine if Oswald had a clearance within that branch of the Executive. I certainly don’t challenge you to go on that chase, but I do wonder if you have a similar curiosity?
Your finer point relating to NSAM 263 is well taken, and Chomsky has made the same argument for decades. Those convinced that a planned, full blown war in Vietnam was the impetus for the conspiracy to murder Kennedy naturally revert to these directives. Personally I think they do the investigation a disservice similar to any that espouse the Cuba question was the single cause for Kennedy’s removal from office. I view the decision to assassinate Kennedy in Dallas as a culmination of a number of critical concerns that threatened a very wide agenda devised by a very small nexus. The movie “Executive Action” portrays the theory better than I can define here. In my research NSAM 263 is a side note – albeit a critical one – to the plan to remove Kennedy from office. The nuance of the document and Kennedy’s behavior around that time indicate to me that he wanted to scale down a war in the region and was making a concerted attempt to do so.
re: Bill Clarke, October 17, 2014 @ 2:16pm
I didn’t comment on John McAdams wikileaks document as it is supposedly a diplomatic communication, and I have no experience with this type of message. Since you ask, when I first saw the document, I was highly suspicious for a number of reasons. My gut feeling is that it is a hoax, but I have no explanation for what it’s purpose would be. I can’t seem to find its link now, or I would be more specific about my reservations concerning this document.
I was looking up some information about Oswald’s security clearance in response to a post by Ronnie Wayne, which I also cannot locate (how does anyone juggle all these threads?), and I ran across the following: John E. Donovan, who was the officer in command of Oswald’s radar crew at Marine Air Control Squadron 9 in Santa Ana, California, under the command of El Toro, states that Oswald must have had a “secret” clearance to work in the radar center as that was a “minimum requirement for all of us.” See here:
Donovan also states that codes, call signs, frequencies, etc., were changed once it was known Oswald had defected; he does not use the term “crypto” in his testimony.
Ken S or Bill Clarke or anyone with military experience: can you explain the internal protocol when speaking about “clearances?” Are there strict guidelines or might an officer (Donovan) use the term “secret” loosely or generically? Or was Donovan specifically defining Oswald’s clearance status? Further, can the term ‘crypto’ be applied generically?
Why didn’t Ely pursue the line of questioning that seems obvious following Donovan’s statement: “Oswald must have had a “secret” clearance to work in the radar center as that was a “minimum requirement for all of us.” A quick read of the document suggests that he did not. Would that not have been a logical area to pursue?
The HSCA debunked this. They got the records of some other Marines working in the radar bubble, and they had only “confidential” clearance.
KenS October 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm
I appreciate the comment Ken. Thanks. I simply couldn’t fathom the document being an official document so I did a bit more searching and found the following. The reason for the Havana address, which confused me, is that in 1977 we set up a new USINT (United States Interest Section of the Embassy of Switzerland) using American personnel. Before this the Swiss handled it for us after Ike broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. You will also find this (USINT) printed on the document in question. “Lyle Franklin Lane was the first Chief of the Interests Section in Havana.” No doubt this is the Lane that signed off on the document and I think we can be pretty sure this is an official diplomatic document. Even though it looks suspect to both of us. I could find no “crypto” when I searched the State Departments security classification but even if they have one it is immaterial to us. Oswald wasn’t a diplomat, he was a Marine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Interests_Section_in_Havana
I think Donovan was simply confused about everyone requiring a Secret clearance. Perhaps his job required one but that doesn’t mean the men under him required one. This link in John McAdams site, http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/oswald5.txt, has a link to the House Select Committee on Assassinations which shows that Oswald’s fellow enlisted men at the radar site did in fact have a Confidential clearance. Just as Oswald had.
leslie sharp October 17, 2014 at 9:46 p
Leslie, I’ve posted some comments about the document on a post that KenS made yesterday that might interest you. I now have no reason to doubt that the document is a diplomatic form and belongs to the State Department. I couldn’t find a “crypto” classification when I searched the DOS classifications but even if they have one it matters not to our subject. Oswald was a Marine, not a diplomat.
No, I have never seen Oswald connected to the DOS. I’ve seen him connected to the CIA, the FBI and 14 goat roping’s but never the State Department. And no, I’m not up for the chase. Old age will do that to you.
re: Bill Clarke, October 18, 2014 @ 3:04pm
Bill, thanks for the information. I couldn’t imagine how we had diplomats in Havana in 1977. Now I know. Good show. Also thanks to Dr. McAdams for the clarification of Donovan’s testimony on Oswald’s security clearance status.
Bill Clarke, I commiserate with you relating to old age and its affects on our choices of how to spend our time left on the planet.
Having said that, I have to ask … we know Oswald was not a diplomat, how? Because a record does not exist? I was fascinated with Donovan’s further testimony when he mentioned that Oswald was somewhat au fait or at least interested in the section of the GA (something) document relating to tariffs and trade restrictions. Why would an avowed Marxist engage even casually on the topic, especially with a fellow Marine? Were these not questions one who is interested in diplomatic relations would ask?
I think the argument related to the wikileaks document that references “crypto clearance,” the state department and Lane is descending into the usual confusion and (dare I challenge) obfuscation that is familiar to many.
you state: “I think Donovan was simply confused about everyone requiring a Secret clearance. Perhaps his job required one but that doesn’t mean the men under him required one.
But that is not what Donovan indicated in his response to Ely’s question; he stated that he held a Secret clearance as did all those in his unit. Yours is a similar leap that Jean Davison resorts to frequently: ” . . . Donovan was SIMPLY CONFUSED . . . ”
There are no facts to support your speculation. There are however facts, in fact documented testimony that indicate that Donovan knew that Oswald held a ‘Secret’ security clearance.
Do we know if anyone has submitted a FOIA to the Department of State relating to Lee Harvey Oswald? Bill Simkin might be the perfect researcher to answer this question.
KenS, sorry but are you suggesting that anyone should accept “Dr.” McAdams explanation that: “The HSCA debunked this. They got the records of some other Marines working in the radar bubble, and they had only “confidential” clearance” without asking, who are the ‘some other marines?’
Why has McAdams avoided or worse discounted the testimony of military officer Donavan who specifically testified that he and Oswald held “secret” clearance?
This reeks of blind loyalty on your part KenS. Where is your usual discernment and objective approach to the investigation?
Wow. Just because there is no evidence that Oswald was a diplomat we can’t conclude that he wasn’t one? Just because we can’t find evidence that Oswald was a member of the John Birch Society we can’t conclude that he wasn’t? Just because we can’t find evidence that Oswald was an Alien from Alpha Centauri doesn’t mean he wasn’t one?
Leslie, we have seen this type of reasoning from you and other conspiracy believers over and over. It is simply not logical but seems to underpin much of conspiracy theory- not “show me the evidence” but instead ” prove my unsubstantiated claims wrong, otherwise they must be correct”. I think this same approach is evident in your constant attempts to show connections between anybody even remotely associated with any aspect of JFK, Dallas, Government agencies .etc. and some undefined Grand Unified Theory of how everybody BUT Oswald was out to kill JFK. ” But that is not what Donovan indicated in his response to Ely’s question; he stated that he held a Secret clearance as did all of those in his unit.” There are posted facts above documenting that Donovan’s “assumption” was clearly in error, yet you continue to give it credence as if it was an “ex cathedra” declaration. Now I can see why you give weight to DiEugenio’s claims- it matters not a whit whether the source of a claim is lying, a fabulist or simply mistaken. If a statement is made confirming your perception it MUST be correct until someone can prove it wrong-and even then it doesn’t matter.
re: Leslie Sharp, October 18, 2014 @ 9:11pm
Leslie, thanks for the compliment regarding my “usual discernment and objective approach.” I try to adhere to this standard but of course falter from time to time. My thanks to Dr. McAdams was not intended as an endorsement of his position on this issue, but I was unaware that the HSCA had investigated the claim and was pleased to have the information. Perhaps I should have been more explanatory in my previous post. Make no mistake, I do not believe Lee Harvey Oswald fired the weapon that killed John Kennedy or J.D. Tippit.
Photon, that’s quite a lecture. Setting it aside as so much bluster, I challenge you to answer truthfully: have you filed a FOIA with the State Department to determine if Oswald had a history buried deep within the DOS? How much time have you spent researching the numerous leads suggesting that Oswald at the very least encountered a number of JBS members? As a matter of interest, and this is intended to drive you a bit crazy, but did you know that Birch D. O’Neal was named after his relative from Georgia, John Birch?
And while I’m at it, I might as well ask: have you filed a freedom of information with Alpha Centuari?
Regarding Donovan, I’m referring to his official response to Ely that he held ‘secret’ clearance as did all those in his unit, not to someone else’s analysis of his statement.
“It matters not a whit whether the source of a claim is lying, a fabulist or simply mistaken. If a statement is made confirming your perception it MUST be correct until someone can prove it wrong-and even then it doesn’t matter.” This same argument can be reversed to challenge you and others that obfuscate some facts and ignore others to align with your allegation that Oswald was a lone assassin. I trust that I don’t need to spell it out for you.
“This sort of thing would never pass muster among academic historians . . . ”
Are you serious, Professor McAdams? Can you share with us the official standards imposed on your department at Marquette and explain how you have been able to manage a web site apparently with the blessing of the university that encourages shall we say less than qualified participants let alone historians to engage in crude discourse?
Jim DiEugenio appears to have followed leads, and I doubt seriously he or any high profile researcher would put his reputation on the line by accepting anyone’s claim blindly and without substantiation. Can you explain why any of these new witnesses would choose to inflate or confabulate a history with Oswald? To what end unless you argue that Fox News is poised to provide them their fifteen minutes in the sun. Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me.
leslie sharp October 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm
“Jim DiEugenio appears to have followed leads, and I doubt seriously he or any high profile researcher would put his reputation on the line by accepting anyone’s claim blindly and without substantiation.”
Mr DiEugenio does exactly that when he plugs John Newman’s book,”JFK and Vietnam”. Page 322 will do for a starting place.
Bill Clarke: This 1992 NYTimes review of Newman’s book suggests he was in good company with his assessment of Kennedy and Vietnam. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., former special assistant to JFK, does not dismiss the complexities involved, but clearly (as an insider) he respected Newman’s work at the time of this review. He writes:
“His [Newman] book’s thesis is that Kennedy “would never have placed American combat troops in Vietnam” and that he was preparing for the withdrawal of the military advisers by the end of 1965. The Joint Chiefs of Staff began urging the commitment of combat units, Mr. Newman shows, as early as three months after Kennedy’s inauguration. The Chiefs’ wretched performance in endorsing the Bay of Pigs invasion and in proposing military intervention in Laos had fortunately disillusioned the President, and he rejected this advice then and thereafter. In the autumn of 1961, when Gen. Maxwell Taylor, a White House military adviser, and Walt Rostow returned from Vietnam recommending a commitment of 8,000 combat troops, [note these are Schlessinger’s words] Kennedy again rejected the proposal. As Mr. Newman writes: “There Kennedy drew the line. He would not go beyond it at any time during the rest of his Presidency . . .
. . . I [Schlessinger] must declare an interest in this argument. I well remember the President’s reaction to the Taylor-Rostow report. “They want a force of American troops,” he told me. “The troops will march in; the bands will play; the crowds will cheer; and in four days everyone will have forgotten. Then we will be told we have to send in more troops. It’s like taking a drink. The effect wears off and you have to take another.”
Schlessinger continues the review:
“Kennedy told Kenneth O’Donnell, “If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam, we would have another Joe McCarthy scare on our hands, but I can do it after I’m re-elected.”
and with this, Schlessinger elaborates on Newman’s own concerns related to Kennedy’s contradictory tactics, hardly flattering observations of someone you allege has attempted to obscure Kennedy’s intentions in Vietnam:
This course, Mr. Newman properly observes, raises basic questions about American democracy. “When is it permissible for the President to mislead the public about his intentions with respect to war? With respect to anything? Is there a higher end that justifies these means? If one President may deceive to stay out of a war, cannot another do likewise to go into one?” Kennedy, he argues, would have done better to take his case forthrightly to the people. That is an understandable retrospective judgment, perhaps a correct one. Still, Mr. Newman’s course might have resulted in the election in 1964 of a Presidential candidate who agreed with Gen. Curtis LeMay of the Air Force that North Vietnam should be bombed back to the Stone Age. Unfortunately, Kennedy’s contradictory legacy on Vietnam permitted Lyndon Johnson to plunge into the escalation and Americanization of the war honestly believing that he was doing what Kennedy would have done.
leslie sharp October 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm
A favorable book review and even high sales numbers do not necessarily relate to the scholarship of a book. Newman’s “JFK and Vietnam” is a good example. He says what many people want to hear so they disregard his speculation and factual mistakes in the book.
A truer test of the value of the book would be the response of the historians attending the LBJ Library seminar in 1990 when Newman was peddling his book and presented his work. It was roundly booed. My source for this is rather lengthy but I’ll post it in another reply if you wish.
As for Arthur Schlesinger, he was a respected historian until he sold his soul to Camelot. After that he wasn’t so respected. I am not alone in this evaluation and I believe nothing Schlesinger has to say about a Kennedy without confirming it. See below.
He justifiably excoriates the sycophantic courtier Schlesinger, whose histories “repeatedly manipulated and obscured the facts” and whose accounts—“profoundly misleading if not out-and-out deceptive”—were written to serve not scholarship but the Kennedys.
By Benjamin Schwarz
Schlesinger even starts out here being dishonest because as an “insider” he knew Newman was wrong but he obscured these facts. Schlesinger says; “His [Newman] book’s thesis is that Kennedy “would never have placed American combat troops in Vietnam” and that he was preparing for the withdrawal of the military advisers by the end of 1965”. This is BS.
From 1962 on JFK had troops engaged in combat in Vietnam. Now you can call a barricade a “quarantine” in Cuba and you can call a combat troop an “advisor” in Vietnam. It is what it is. Had they said “combat units” they would have been correct but they didn’t.
In the tapes of the meeting where NSAM 263 was drafted you hear JFK say that if 1965 doesn’t work out we’ll get a new date. That takes the shine off this 1965 deadline. You hear McNamara tell how important our advisors are down at the battalion level of ARVN. You also hear him state we will be leaving 3,500 men after we withdraw the “bulk” of our men. That takes the shine off “Jack was making a total withdrawal by 1965.”
NSAM 263 – Newman is not alone in his analysis; Peter Dale Scott. James Gailbraith, the Virtual JFK work. Fletcher Prouty talked about this stuff long before the Newman book and he had a front row seat to the deliberations. I don’t think a 1990 event at the LBJ Library is an indication of anything.
jeffc October 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm
I don’t suppose you dismiss the LBJ seminar due to its age since Newman’s book is equally aged and you seem to appreciate that. So is it the participants at the seminar? I hope not since Lloyd Gardner, William Duiker, John Prados, George Herring, William Gibbons, and Larry Berman are all heavyweight historians of our involvement in Vietnam. The group you mentioned…….not so much. Your boys should stick to the assassination. They might know something about that.
This group you mentioned speculates much. That would be acceptable if they left it there but they have to push the envelope and claim “Jack had ordered (pick one) a completed withdrawal, a total withdrawal or all the troops out of Vietnam”. To this BS I sincerely ask….show me the order. It certainly isn’t NSAM 263 even though they like to claim it is the order. Since I suppose they can read I don’t understand how they could misstate the order like they do. Really I understand but I try to be as kind as I can here.
I’ll give you an example from Newman’s book, page322. This is the basis of the book.
“Kennedy decided to use Taylor’s and Harkin’ reports of battlefield success to justify the beginning of the withdrawal he was planning.” Italics by Newman.
“Kennedy kept his plan a closely guarded secret, but by March he was determined not only to withdraw—come what may—after 1964, but, if possible, to take a clear step in that direction….”
“Withdraw come what may”. How grand! Total BS. You wonder why there isn’t supporting evidence for this blooper? There is none and none is listed in the book. No Kenny O’Donnell said Jack told him this, No senator saying Jack told him this. Nothing. Newman pulled it straight out of the air. Pure junk.
PS. Fletcher Prouty is a blooming fool. He wasn’t “there” when they drafted NSAM 263 nor when it was approved. This “he was there” defense of Prouty is a bit worn.
Bill: you reference: “He justifiably excoriates the sycophantic courtier Schlesinger, whose histories “repeatedly manipulated and obscured the facts” and whose accounts—“profoundly misleading if not out-and-out deceptive”—were written to serve not scholarship but the Kennedys.”
I’m looking for the original source of the Sheldon Stern quotes that Benjamin Schwarz has apparently woven in with his own opinion – specifically how he [Schwarz] views Schlesinger. If you can clarify the paragraph I would appreciate it. I see the article is referenced frequently on various sites so it clearly had an impact.
However, read in its entirety this paragraph sounds out of step with Stern’s style of writing from what I’ve been reading of his work. Since he was on the payroll of the Kennedy Library for two plus decades, I question whether or not he would be so caustic. And I might add, Schwarz barely references Vietnam so you must intend it more to discredit Arthur Schlesinger as historian than to argue the issue of the NSAM 263 and Kennedy’s intentions in Vietnam.
I listened to two of the three tapes (the second could not be downloaded). Have you ever sat in on business meetings focused on preparation of a document for presentation or publication? I have, and I listened to these tapes through that experience; what I hear when Kennedy says “’we’ll get a new date” is his directive as to how they would deal with the final draft of the paper … that if information surfaced to affect the goal of withdrawal in ‘65, then Kennedy was saying that a new date would be applied to the final draft. You can argue I am an apologist for John Kennedy when in fact I am not. But as Stern admonished in a presentation several years ago, (paraphrasing) to listen to these tapes as evidence, to think that you walk away knowing exactly what was meant let alone what was said (frequently distorted by a myriad of circumstances) let alone the context within which it was said, or to take them literally, is folly.
What I hear from you is a strong disdain for President Kennedy; if you served in the military, if you were in fact in Vietnam then I will refrain from arguing with you on this topic because you may have lost far more than I can speculate, and you may well hold Kennedy responsible. That would be a separate discussion entirely, and one I would enter into respectfully. I watched Vietnam unfold from a small apt on the campus of A&M so I have no right to do anything but grieve.
Newman’s appearance at the 1990 LBJ Library would have seemed, to use an LBJ colloquialism, as “pissing on their carpet”, in that his presentation was a direct challenge to the attendees longstanding assumptions and published scholarship.
Fletcher Prouty served almost 25 years in the US military and held senior positions in the Pentagon with frequent high-level contact and responsibilities. There has been, since at least the Oliver Stone film, a directed campaign to discredit him, generally along dismissive lines such as your description.
Prouty maintained that NSAM 263 was in effect the Taylor/McNamara Trip Report of October 1963, a report which was written in the office of his boss General Krulak, with Prouty’s assistance. Prouty maintained that Kennedy told Krulak personally that a scaling back and eventual withdrawal of all US personnel from Vietnam was the policy. An October 1963 issue of Stars And Stripes featured the headline “One thousand troops being withdrawn from Vietnam by Christmas; remainder by ’65”.
An observation: you ask to see “the order”, whereas a researcher such as PD Scott frames his discussion as working through and with nuance (i.e. chapter 2 of “Deep Politics”). A nuanced discussion is lost when the demand is for the literal.
leslie sharp October 22, 2014 at 6:18 pm
Leslie, the quote I posted is the only thing I have on that. If I get time tomorrow I’ll try to do a quick search.
And yes, I took a swipe at Schlesinger because I too think the man is dishonest when it comes to the Kennedy family. As a historian he has an obligation to be factual on all corners. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to discuss NSAM 263 and any other Kennedy policies with anyone.
And don’t think the Camelot crowd can’t get a bit caustic. I never thought I’d see this quote from a man that adored JFK. “Ted Sorensen remembered him (Bobby) as “militant, aggressive, intolerant, opinionated, and somewhat shallow in his convictions…..more like his father than his brother.” Camelot’s Court; Inside the Kennedy White House”, page 44. Old man Joe was rotten to the core.
Sorry one of the tape didn’t work. I tried all three and I had a little trouble with #2 but got it to load. Another thing for tomorrow. I’ll have to disagree about the value of the tapes because I think much of them can be taken literally. When McNamara says 3,500 men will be left that is a hard number.
I’ve even been called a “Kennedy hater” but that certainly isn’t true. What I hate is people being dishonest about the history to up hold the Camelot image. I admire the facts, not some BS. Actually I’d rather have JFK for a president than any that has come after him. Of course that isn’t setting the bar very high I fear. I’d really liked to have had JFK’s foreign policy and LBJ’s domestic policy all rolled into one president. I have no problem with anything JFK did in Vietnam; in fact I wish he had done more. Removing Diem was a bad mistake but JFK was doing what he could to boost our effort in Vietnam. I appreciate your concern; I really do but don’t worry about debating anything with me. I don’t blame the war on JFK; I blame it on the communist. I blame LBJ, McNamara and Westmoreland for making such a disaster out of our efforts.
I received my degree and commission from Texas A&M, class of 1967. I went to Vietnam as an Armored Cavalry platoon leader in 1970. Came home a year later with both arms and legs. What time frame were you there? I was back at A&M going to graduate school in 1975.
jeffc October 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm
Perhaps. But then again perhaps these historians simply recognized BS when they saw it. That would be my opinion. I notice you didn’t comment on my example from Newman’s book. So I ask, do you consider that example factual history or wild speculation on Newman’s part? It cracked me up; being one of the wilder things I’ve heard about this subject.
Prouty could have served 30 years and he would still be nut case. And if he hadn’t told such wild stories it wouldn’t be so easy to discredit him. Here comes another discredit, reference his claim that the McNamara Taylor Report was written in Kulaks office and he (Prouty) had a hand in it. This claim is false. Mac Bundy wrote the report on the plane back to D.C… Now people like to chant that “Prouty was there” but he wasn’t on that plane.
I know you can find websites making the same claim as Prouty but most of these are by Prouty or his diehard fans. This is the price you pay for believing Fletcher Prouty. He makes one look uninformed.
After a one-day stopover in Honolulu to prepare their report, McNamara and Taylor arrived back in Washington on October 2. The report was written hurriedly on the plane trip back to Washington. Forrestal described the report as a “mishmash of everything.” During the 27 hour flight, Bundy managed only to get two hours of sleep between his writing and later opined that “neither their draftsmanship nor judgment is likely to be at its best under such working conditions. They promptly met with the President and the National Security Council.
The Fog of War: Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
The drafter of the McNamara-Taylor Report was William Bundy, then an Assistant Secretary of Defense.
He (Bundy) attributed it to exhaustion, having drafted the report on the long flight back to Washington from Saigon. You can read the complete remarks of Bundy in Gibbons, The U.S. Government and the Vietnam War, part II, page 186.
Have you ever seen a copy of Stars and Stripes? It isn’t where you want to get your history.
JEFFC; “An observation: you ask to see “the order”, whereas a researcher such as PD Scott frames his discussion as working through and with nuance (i.e. chapter 2 of “Deep Politics”). A nuanced discussion is lost when the demand is for the literal.”
So…..they don’t have the order. Okay. Thank you.
He was also a complete crackpot:
Translation: Scott spins the documentary record to mean what he wants it to mean.
That was the hope, based on the idea that the South Vietnamese could, with American aid and training, defend themselves by that point.
Have you considered that it would have been grossly immoral for Kennedy, if he had decided to pull out and let the Communists take over, to extend American involvement until the end of 1965?
Here is the best source on Kennedy’s intentions:
Bill, I hear your arguments and concur that dishonest historians are not historians at all; but there are those that are able to set aside bias’ and read and write objectively. If Schlesinger genuinely believed what he was saying and if he was there, I tend to trust his version of history over a fellow born in 1963 – in spite of Schwarz’ respected career … which by the way has been with what many would consider fairly conservative publications.
I also concur that Kennedy and Johnson were heading in a better direction for the greater good than any since. We’ll have to disagree on Johnson’s Vietnam policy. I think he caved to those that put him in office in the first place.
I had forgotten and reviewed last night the work done by Greg Burnham on NSAM 263; it may not sway you but I’m guessing that it will impress. http://assassinationofjfk.net/national-security-action-memorandum-263/
We might have crossed paths in 1967. I arrived as a bride of a vet school student in ’66 and spent the next 4 years in the Hensel Apts and the FNB of Bryan.
In the new film “Kill The Messenger”, the character Gary Webb, after stepping on powerful toes, is explicitly warned that the substance of the information he uncovered will not be the focus of discussion, rather he will become the object of personal attacks and efforts to wreck his credibility. Contemplating this, Webb and his editors acknowledge that just about anyone, facing enough scrutiny, could be smeared and discredited and it is in fact a hallmark tactic of the powerful and their witting collaborators.
Exhibit A – John McAdams’ Fletcher Prouty page. Anyone familiar with Prouty’s work such as “The Secret Team” or “Understanding Special Operations” realizes that McAdams presents a series of cherry-picked factoids, presented out of context and summarized (actual quotes from Prouty are minimal), refutations of Prouty’s personal experiences based largely on Establishment histories or simply calling him a liar, and spiced up with alleged associations with Scientology and the Liberty Lobby. It’s a hit piece, not a serious critique, and it is designed precisely for people who are largely unfamiliar with Fletcher Prouty, to get out in front and wave the crackpot banner, and it’s successful to some degree.
Interestingly, Wikipedia has blacklisted Prouty’s own official website in favour of the McAdams page, and has been utterly resistant to attempts to correct this unfair and intellectually dishonest practice.
John McAdams October 23, 2014 at 10:29 am
An observation: you ask to see “the order”, whereas a researcher such as PD Scott frames his discussion as working through and with nuance (i.e. chapter 2 of “Deep Politics”).
Translation: Scott spins the documentary record to mean what he wants it to mean.
Excellent translation. Scotts work on NSAM 273 is junk.
leslie sharp October 23, 2014 at 12:42
I listened to Burnham until he got to NSAM 273 and I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve waded through this Prouty and Scott BS for so long I know what is coming next before they say it.
I’ll hit just a few of the demons in Burnham’s story.
He claims NSAM 263 proves JFK didn’t escalate the war. NSAM 263 does no such thing and makes me wonder if Burnham is familiar with the history. When you increase force level from less than one thousand to over 16,500 that is escalation by definition. When you introduce helicopter units, jet fighters and bombers and M-113s you have escalated by definition. When you change from a pure advisor role and put Americans in this equipment engaged in combat you have escalated by definition. I have stated I have no problem with JFK doing this but let us call it what it was; escalation!
Burnham uses the old “1965 deadline”. That isn’t what it says. It says “it should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time. It doesn’t say “we will withdraw by that time”.
Then he covers the junk that Prouty had a hand in drafting NSAM 263.
And basically it was just the same old stuff. I am neither swayed nor impressed with Mr. Burnham.
I had a lot of friends in Vet School, most of them entering in 1965.
jeffc October 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm
You can make all the excuses for Prouty being labeled a nut case and a liar but the fact remains the man was out in lala land and was fond of exaggerating his own importance. I’m glad to know that at least Wikipedia has the ability to spot a bunch of BS.
You posted this yesterday so I’m assured Prouty made the statement. “Prouty maintained that NSAM 263 was in effect the Taylor/McNamara Trip Report of October 1963, a report which was written in the office of his boss General Krulak, with Prouty’s assistance.”
That NSAM 263 was written in Krulak’s office with assistance by Pouty is not true. I say this not because I think Prouty is a joke but because it is simply not true. A lie told by Prouty. This isn’t an attempt to smear him or attack him or anything else. It is my attempt to call attention to a falsehood. If Prouty hadn’t told the lie there wouldn’t have been a problem.
I think falsehoods should be pointed out. Don’t you?
B Clarke – earlier in this thread Gerald McKnight was called a liar (then it was shown to not be the case), Harold Weisberg was called a liar (also shown to not be the case), and now Fletcher Prouty is labelled a liar. “That NSAM 263 was written in Krulak’s office with assistance by Pouty is not true…A lie told by Prouty.”
Again, my observation: you don’t do subtlety or nuance very well at all. Prouty, as does Newman, contextualizes a complex matter, whereas your approach is flatly reductive. Prouty says the Taylor-McNamara Trip Report and NSAM 263 should be understood as a wider effort which included Taylor-McNamara-Bundy, but also included fact-finding and report-writing by General Krulak and his office. You call this a “lie”, based, apparently, on a more literal standard – something like NSAM 263 is simply a terse memorandum consisting of several paragraphs written by Bundy. If you have information that Krulak’s office was not engaged in a report on Vietnam in September 1963 then you might have some support for your charges (Prouty is a “liar”, a “nut-case”, a “joke”), but short of that you simply don’t know and your slander is baseless.
Here is a document prepared by Krulak on October 5, 1963 –
“All planning will be directed towards preparing RVN forces for the withdrawal of all US special assistance units and personnel by the end of calendar year 1965. Any exceptions must be specifically justified. The US Comprehensive Plan, Vietnam will be revised to bring it into consonance with these objectives…Executive the plan to withdraw 1,000 US military personnel by end of 1963…”
More documents from 1963, including from April / May , which supports John Newman’s analysis that clear steps towards a policy of withdrawal were underway that spring:
Bill Clarke, I’m wrestling with how the NSAM 263 controversy relates to the assassination; retracing our steps, a debate revolving around Jim DiEugenio’s credibility introduced the issue of John Newman’s book that argued Kennedy was intending to pull out of Vietnam, and the question arose “can any of DiEugenio’s research and or arguments be considered valid if he espouses the information presented in Newman’s book?”
Those who argue that Kennedy’s Vietnam policy was the single impetus for a conspiracy to assassinate him have focused on NSAM 263 for years. I believe Vietnam was “situation normal” for a presidency. Wars come and go and how they are propagated or avoided is the measure of any administration within any given climate. Wars are not why Commanders in Chief are murdered in broad daylight except in Third World countries, so I reject that Vietnam (or Cuba for that matter) was exclusively reason enough to assassinate a democratically elected president.
Most of our friends in Vet School were married and or mature students changing careers or garnering military deferrals. Mandatory ROTC was winding down. Women on campus were still an anomaly, difficult for anyone that didn’t experience it to process. But mostly I remember the images on the tiny Zenith TV screen assaulting our young hearts with the televised war in Vietnam. We have not seen the likes of it since.
jeffc October 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm
Sorry for the late reply, I missed reading several post here for some reason.
I’d like to point out that I wasn’t the one that called McKnight and Weisberg liars. Liar is a word used too often in dealing with the assassination and I’d really rather not use it but there are times when it seems like the only word usable. Now when Prouty said the McNamara Taylor report was written in Krulak’s office with his assistance that is flat wrong. Since Prouty knew it was wrong the only way I can describe his words is that it was a lie. You can be subtle and you can nuance all day long but in the end a lie is a lie. Prouty told a lie. Had he claimed the Krulak Report was written in his office with his help Prouty would have been on much safer ground. But he didn’t.
Yes, I am familiar with the Krulak Report. I am familiar with Mendenhall from State going to Vietnam with Krulak and I am familiar with McNamara attempting to prevent Mendenhall from going on the trip. I am familiar with JFK asking them if they both went to the same country when they submitted their reports.
Now I’ll be subtle and nuanced enough to know that most things don’t just jump up one day. They have a thread and I’m not saying the Krulak Report didn’t have some influence on the McNamara Taylor Report. That said, they remain two different and separate reports. One report led to NSAM 263 and one report didn’t. Do you really think Mac Bundy would put his signature on a document written without his input and approval?
NSAM 263 is a withdrawal order. I saw nothing earth shaking in the Mary Ferrell reference. I see nothing in NSAM 263 that suggest a bug out from SVN by JFK. Do you?
leslie sharp October 24, 2014 at 11:00 pm
Sorry for the late reply. I missed this one.
Oh I agree 100%. I don’t think Vietnam or Cuba had anything to do with the assassination.
I was a freshman (fish) walking back from lunch at the mess hall when I heard JFK had been shot. At the time A&M was all male and the corps was mandatory. My junior year (fall 65) it went non-compulsory corps and women were admitted (less than 50 I think). So I can relate to the times.
I don’t want to pry but do you still live in Texas? I do.
Oh, my! You are ignoring copious quotes on my page direct from Prouty.
1. Prouty’s bogus account of where Nixon was during the assassination.
2. Prouty nonsense on how presidential protection was unusually weak in Dallas.
3. Prouty’s bogus claim about an Army Intelligence unit told to “stand down.”
4. Prouty on how oil isn’t a fossil fuel.
5. Prouty on how Churchill had Roosevelt poisoned.
6. Prouty on how the U-2 spy plane was not shot down, but rather landed.
7. Prouty on how he would “not be surprised” if the Secret Team killed Princess Diana.
8. Prouty on how the Federal Reserve was responsible for the assassination.
9. Prouty on how The Umbrella Man shot a poison dart at JFK.
10. Prouty on an assassin shooting blanks in Dealey Plaza.
11. Prouty on how George Bush named the three ships for the Bay of Pigs.
Prouty’s connections with the Liberty Lobby are real, and he told a Scientology publication that the U.S. government arranged the Jonestown massacre.
And yes, he has endorsed Scientology.
“when Prouty said the McNamara Taylor report was written in Krulak’s office with his assistance that is flat wrong.Since Prouty knew it was wrong the only way I can describe his words is that it was a lie”
You have your interpretation of the process that led to NSAM 263, and others have differing opinions. You certainly do not know that “Prouty knew it was wrong” because you never met the man or apparently have any direct information which contradicts him. If you want to assert that Prouty was mistaken in his assessment, that is your prerogative but it falls short of his being a “liar”. Fact remains, Prouty was working directly for Krulak in the Pentagon in September 1963 and you weren’t.
Prouty’s work positioned him to have direct observation of both U.S. policy and ground level activity in Vietnam since 1945, which few others can claim.
“most things don’t just jump up one day. They have a thread…I see nothing in NSAM 263 that suggest a bug out from SVN by JFK…”
Krulak’s October 5, 1963 memorandum, quoted above, is a fairly direct acknowledgment that official policy was all U.S. personnel were to be gone by 1965. That is the thread. You have a different understanding and, again, that is your prerogative. But you also see fit to heap scorn on researchers who have opinions different from yourself.
McAdams – your Prouty hit piece has been thoroughly critiqued elsewhere as has your methodology in general.
So you haven’t bothered to respond to my quotes from Prouty, you just link to livid conspiracists who hate me.
jeffc October 28, 2014 at 4:33 pm
Bill. “when Prouty said the McNamara Taylor report was written in Krulak’s office with his assistance that is flat wrong. Since Prouty knew it was wrong the only way I can describe his words is that it was a lie”
Jeff. You have your interpretation of the process that led to NSAM 263, and others have differing opinions.
Bill. You wander off here. The subject was Prouty claiming the McNamara Taylor report was written in Krulak’s office and Prouty helped write it. I’m well aware of the process that led to NSAM 263 but that isn’t the issue. Prouty telling a lie is the issue.
Jeff. You certainly do not know that “Prouty knew it was wrong” because you never met the man or apparently have any direct information which contradicts him.
Bill. Well, yes I do. In fact a while back I posted two references in which Mac Bundy described the hardship of writing the report on the plane flying back to DC. You like to tell me how Prouty was “there” but he wasn’t on that plane and he wasn’t at the meeting when they drafted NSAM 263. I ask again; do you think a man like Mac Bundy would put his signature on a document in which he had no input or approved?
Jeff. If you want to assert that Prouty was mistaken in his assessment, that is your prerogative but it falls short of his being a “liar”.
Bill. When Prouty said the McNamara Taylor Report was written in Krulak’s office and Prouty had a hand in it he told a lie. I find no kinder word to use that lie because that is what he told.
Bill. “most things don’t just jump up one day. They have a thread…I see nothing in NSAM 263 that suggest a bug out from SVN by JFK…”
Jeff. Krulak’s October 5, 1963 memorandum, quoted above, is a fairly direct acknowledgment that official policy was all U.S. personnel were to be gone by 1965. That is the thread. You have a different understanding and, again, that is your prerogative. But you also see fit to heap scorn on researchers who have opinions different from yourself.
Bill. So you can show me where the Krulak Report was approved by JFK and adapted as the official policy. I don’t believe you can and please spare me the subtle and nuance stuff. I can, on the other hand, show you where parts of the McNamara Taylor report became official policy as NSAM 263.
Bill, while I have deep roots in Texas, I am now a neighbor of yours in the Land of Enchantment.
A&M was a unique culture at the time. It’s strange that ROTC became non-compulsory just as full scale war in Vietnam loomed on the horizon. I’ve never studied the why of that so any insight would be appreciated.
I did a bit of a refresher and read Joan Mellen’s work concerning Otto Otepka at the State Department. Have you followed that episode relating to Oswald? I was looking for any evidence that he had a file with the DOS that has been buried in the rubble of this debate. Someone (and apologies to them because I don’t recall who it was) recently opined that Oswald might have had sporadic security clearances that lasted for specific but limited periods of time and would not necessarily have been recorded on his DD214.
Since it is in line with earlier misrepresentations directed at other authors, a brief rebuttal to McAdams’ tendentious and distorted list presuming to establish Fletcher Prouty as some kind of “crackpot”:
1. Prouty’s bogus account of where Nixon was during the assassination.
Nixon’s whereabouts were long controversial because he publicly maintained he could not remember where he was. It was later established, long after Prouty was here quoted, that Nixon had flown out of Dallas before JFK’s arrival. The “bogus account” McAdams refers to is actually attributed to a Pepsi executive and Prouty is simply repeating (and attributing) it.
2. Prouty nonsense on how presidential protection was unusually weak in Dallas.
Presidential protection was unusually weak in Dallas, as many authors and researchers have long established. See, for example, Vince Palamara’s “Survivor’s Guilt” (2013), the result of years of research and interviews. Palamara has said that, if anything, Prouty’s intuitions on the lack of protection have been shown to be completely valid.
3. Prouty’s bogus claim about an Army Intelligence unit told to “stand down.”
Again, this is not a bogus claim, as many authors and researchers have long established.
4. Prouty on how oil isn’t a fossil fuel.
This is a “conventional wisdom” attack. Theories of abiogenic oil have been around for a long time, with some scientific validity. Five hundred years ago, McAdams would have smeared Galileo as a crackpot.
5. Prouty on how Churchill had Roosevelt poisoned.
This is the most dishonest of McAdams’ attacks. Prouty cites a magazine article written by Elliot Roosevelt, whereby Roosevelt describes a discussion he had with Stalin, during which Stalin expressed his opinion on his father’s death. Stalin’s opinion, written up by Roosevelt in Parade Magazine, and quoted by Prouty to demonstrate Stalin’s thinking at the start of the Cold War, becomes, in McAdams’ hands, Prouty’s expressed opinion.
6. Prouty on how the U-2 spy plane was not shot down, but rather landed.
Both Eisenhower and Allen Dulles publicly expressed that the U2 was not shot down. If the U2 had actually been fired upon, it would have been severely compromised and Powers would not have survived the incident. Another “conventional wisdom” attack.
7. Prouty on how he would “not be surprised” if the Secret Team killed Princess Diana.
Prouty adds a mild rejoinder to a speculation proposed by an interviewer.
8. Prouty on how the Federal Reserve was responsible for the assassination.
An extreme interpretation of what was said.
9. Prouty on how The Umbrella Man shot a poison dart at JFK.
Speculation during a long interview. The Umbrella Man was the subject of much speculation in the 1970s, a reflection of the huge gap in understanding Dealey Plaza due to the fact that the government had locked away most of its information.
10. Prouty on an assassin shooting blanks in Dealey Plaza.
Again, speculation during a long interview. In comparison, John McAdams believes the Single Bullet Theory to be true and that any inconsistencies in the Official Story are solely the result of human error.
11. Prouty on how George Bush named the three ships for the Bay of Pigs.
“he told a Scientology publication that the U.S. government arranged the Jonestown massacre.”
Again, a severe misinterpretation coupled with “conventional wisdom”. Serious journalists, such as Jim Hougan, have been exposing the official account of Jonestown as patently untrue.
I suppose there actually are some “livid conspiracists” who “hate” John McAdams (on the basis of you reap what you sow), and there are also exasperated knowledgeable persons who are forced to deal with him because he is unrelenting in his bs and determined to muddy every stream he crosses.
jeffc October 29, 2014 at 4:59 pm
Jeff. I suppose there actually are some “livid conspiracists” who “hate” John McAdams (on the basis of you reap what you sow),
Bill. This “reap what you sow” thing; who do you think cast the first seed? I say again, for example, if Prouty had not lied about assisting in writing the McNamara Taylor Report in Krulak’s office I would never have said a word. No problem. Are we supposed to allow these lies, and they are many, to stand without comment? I think not.
Jeff. and there are also exasperated knowledgeable persons who are forced to deal with him because he is unrelenting in his bs and determined to muddy every stream he crosses.
Bill. Now you know how I feel dealing with the BS of unknowledgeable people determined to rewrite history to their likings.
leslie sharp October 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm
I believe it had more to do with a few wise men being more concerned for the future of the school than they were for the future of the Vietnam War. They knew A&M would always be an unranked school academically as long as it was structured as it was. So one day when Sterling Evans, president of the Board, knew that some of the opposition would be absent he voted in the changes. Many were not happy to say the least but it allowed the school to become what it is today.
In the fall of 65 with the war heating up and the two years of being hazed in the Corps behind us most of us signed a contract with the military. We knew Vietnam was going to get us unless you were a “Fortunate Son” and we thought being an officer would beat being an enlisted man. Today I’m not so sure of that. I believe A&M lost 139 sons in Vietnam. Some were my friends.
Leslie. Who it was) recently opined that Oswald might have had sporadic security clearances that lasted for specific but limited periods of time and would not necessarily have been recorded on his DD214.
More unfounded speculation I believe. Once you receive a clearance it remains in effect until you leave the military unless they revoke it for reason. They don’t start-stop your clearance. A Confidential Clearance can last 15 years without a re-investigation. A Secret Classification can go 10 years without a re-investigation. If they did in fact bump Oswald up to a Secret Classification it would have remained in effect until he left the military.
Jeff speculated that perhaps another branch or service gave Oswald a higher classification without the Marines putting it on his record. This one is a no go also. The Department of Defense awards the security clearance, not the Army or the Marines. If DOD did it I’d bet the farm it would be on his records.
Something we haven’t discussed is the investigation Oswald would have gone through to get a higher classification. What with Oswald reading the “Daily Worker” and rapping his Marx leaning to his buddies he might not have received a higher clearance. In fact, he might have lost the one he had. Just a thought.
I’ve never seen any credible evidence that Oswald ever had anything but a Confidential Clearance. Until I do I don’t think I’ll worry much more about it.
You haven’t seriously dealt with anything on my Prouty page, but rather mostly just doubled down on what Prouty said, mostly citing conspiracy sources that are as wild as he is.
But just a few examples:
That’s a conspiracy book factoid. If you disagree, post some evidence of his “not remembering.”
I’m not sure where he got that, since I doubt a Pepsi executive would say something so silly, but Prouty is responsible for using some silly, bogus story.
No, as many conspiracy books have asserted. It’s another factoid. The HSCA found this simply was not true. I cite them on my page on Prouty.
But he cites it with approval, and uses it as an example of how the media are suppressing stuff.
So you are saying the Soviets did not fire upon the U-2, and that the SAMs did not bring it down?
OK, I’ll quote him:
People can read what he said:
I won’t go further, since this post is getting too long.
Stephen, your reaction seems unrelated to my comments.
This was what I said: “[DiEugenio] has gone into the field and investigated; he has not relied on ‘official’ documents nor has he cherry-picked facts that now are rather outdated. He has brought the research further along than certainly Ms. Davison or Mr. McAdams have been willing to do,” and “Seekers of the truth do not parrot the official story, nor do they shrink from considering new information.”
For what it’s worth, from my perspective Peter Dale Scott has never stopped investigating while others spend valuable space doing little more than defend the official story that was written 50 years ago. How can any in good faith disregard the discrepancies and weaknesses in that story?
DiEugenio has gone out and found witnesses who will tell him wild stories, and he has accepted their accounts absolutely at face value (if they support some conspiracy theory of his).
This sort of thing would never pass muster among academic historians, nor among responsible journalists.
You seem to be saying that the only valid research is that which leads in only one direction. How can it be a search for truth when contradictory information is excluded? Is the 1963-4 documentary record completely wrong about everything?
Some researchers write books based on the documentary record, while others add new interviews. Both are valid. Davison examined the documentary record (as have many writers) and published 31 years ago, and she has continued to update her view of the case as that record expands, notably including hyperlinks to the Ferrell Foundation documents. It seems that your main objection is that she doesn’t share your view of the case. I don’t know that I agree with every one of her conclusions, but I sure do appreciate her tenacity in finding material which contributes to the discussion, as I did with Meagher and Scott. And I think that some of the criticisms of her efforts are bush league.
Stephen, I don’t seem to be saying that at all. I do not argue that Davison’s research is invalid but rather how she chose what to include in OG and how she strings the research together is of concern. Ironically, I can pose the same question you have asked: How can it be a search for truth when contradictory information is excluded?
You also ask, ‘Is the 1963-4 documentary record completely wrong about everything?’ No, but it is wrong on the only issue that matters, the conclusion.
It is counterproductive to hold fast to the original ‘official’ story or align with its conclusion in lieu of considering updated information. The WC effort was flawed from the outset to the degree that the conclusion cannot be trusted, nor is it by millions of Americans and persons living abroad considering the threat to democracy it posed.
“It seems that your main objection is that she doesn’t share your view of the case.” If I’ve read this once on this site, I’ve read it a dozen times from various people including Ms. Davison. You are clearly misreading my comments; whether or not that is deliberate only you know. My main objection is far more serious than whether or not she shares my view of the case. Yours is a form of baiting unworthy of your apparent intellect.
I’m glad we agree that considering contrary information contributes to the search for historical truth.
I can assure you that my observation that “your main objection is that [Davison] doesn’t share your view of the case” was not intended as baiting and certainly not deliberate. You’ve criticized Davison quite a few times on this blog. Indeed, in this very post, you said that “how she strings the research together is of concern” to you, that it’s “counterproductive” and that she’s wrong to have found any support for her beliefs in the “updated information.”
There are certain people who support suspicion of fellow researchers. They’re wrong and they do more harm than good. Discuss the ideas, not the motivations.
Stephen, we will have to agree to disagree that motivations are inconsequential. In fact, I argue the question has always been an undertow of the debate and more significant, the investigation. I know this is a delicate area but to suggest that anyone on this site is participating without a degree of motivation is naïve. For some the intent is to encourage fresh exchange or to inform, for others it is to stifle any exchange at all, and then there is everything in between but motivation is what we humans are about. It’s the good faith of our intentions that is under consideration.
If you were genuinely concerned about the issue, you would challenge Prof. McAdams, Ms. Davison and photon and others to cease using the term “conspiracy theorist” and similar expressions intended to deride. In essence they are claiming that any challenge (even the most legitimate and difficult to rebut challenge) to the allegation of Oswald’s guilt is motivated by a desire to promote a theory of conspiracy behind the assassination. I have yet to understand how their concern cannot be logically reversed. Might a challenge to the theory of conspiracy have sinister motives – cover up perhaps?
As an exercise, review the dozens and dozens of remarks in particular by Prof. McAdams, Ms. Davison and photon and count the times they reference CT’ers rather than speak to the ‘idea’ at hand; remove the term or similar accusations and see how their arguments are deflated. The ‘idea’ at hand is buried in their derision. Require Mr. McAdams, Ms. Davison, photon and others to desist from using the term or similar, and you might level the playing field.
Until that dynamic is addressed, I will challenge their intentions for as long as the moderators of this site will allow.
I guess you’re right that we disagree about questioning the motivations of other researchers. I knew a decent researcher who followed that path and lost a lot of gravitas.
“… the question [of motivation] has always been an undertow of the debate… to suggest that anyone on this site is participating without a degree of motivation is naïve…For some the intent is…to stifle any exchange at all…Might a challenge to the theory of conspiracy have sinister motives – cover up perhaps…I will challenge their intentions for as long as the moderators of this site will allow.”
Posters to this group might have sinister motives, to cover-up a conspiracy? Are they paid by anybody?
No, no, thanks, you can have THAT belief system all to yourself.
That’s extremely revealing.
If somebody contests conspiracy factoids, or conspiracy logic, they are trying to “stifle any exchange.”
Real truth seekers welcome engagement with people who may be critical of their viewpoint.
Real truth seekers welcome being corrected if somebody on the other side has better logic or better evidence.
Some conspiracy theorists here seem to know that.
But not all.
John McAdams, what is revealing is your hyper sensitivity to my comment, and your failure to recognize that I said there are arguments in between the two extremes.
“Real truth seekers welcome engagement with people who may be critical of their viewpoint.”
Pls Identify one single exchange during which either you or Ms. Davison or photon have welcomed engagement critical of your viewpoint. You all consistently strike either an offensive or defensive posture as if you are vying for votes rather than moving toward resolution of the investigation. I suspect that is because you believe the crime has been solved. If so, I wonder why engage on this site at all? Do you have a motive to do so?
“Real truth seekers welcome being corrected if somebody on the other side has better logic or better evidence. ”
Pls identify one single exchange during which either you or Ms. Davison or photon have acknowledged better logic; for example, the WC logically was obliged to interview and record for history the testimony of ALL within the proximity of the TSBD 6th floor. Re. better evidence: Identify one exchange that indicates you are open to more up to date information to suggest the controversy over Oswald’s facility with the Russian language has yet to be resolved – the issue continues to be one of interpretation of evidence and testimony, but the solid facts simply are not there.
No, they got the records of other Marines who worked in the radar bubble. They had “confidential” clearance, which debunks Donovan’s claim that you had to have “secret” clearance to work in the bubble.
John McAdams, To whom did these “other Marines who worked inside the radar bubble” report? According to Donovan they reported to him and any on his team had ‘secret’ clearance. Or am I misreading?
Perusing the possibility of records of high level security clearance for Oswald within the Department of State, I reviewed Joan Mellen’s in depth story on Otto Otepka. Any comments? Have you delved into the possibility that at some point Oswald had security clearance related to industrial espionage?
The House Select Committee got the actual service records of some of the Marines who served with Oswald in the radar bubble.
They had “confidential” clearance. Donovan was wrong.
I haven’t read Mellen on this. And “industrial espionage?”
If Mellen had any relevant evidence, you need to post what it was.
That’s a curious mistake for Donovan to have made, don’t you think? Does it suggest that security clearances were in the minds of some in the military rather ambiguous?
“Industrial Espionage” is my question, not Joan Mellen’s at least not that I’ve come across.
This is from her record on Otepka: http://joanmellen.com/wordpress/kennedy-assassination/otto-otepka-robert-kennedy-walter-sheridan-and-lee-oswald/
“Otepka began the work of determining whether “Lee Oswald” had bearing on any existing security case, either of an applicant for a position with the State Department, or of an existing employee. As he would any file, Otepka distributed the one bearing the name “Oswald” to his subordinates, eight or ten people, he told me, whose work he would then review. He sent Oswald’s name over to the Bureau of Soviet Affairs. It seemed to be all a matter of routine.
Oswald’s file was marked #39-61981. Sitting as it did in the Central File Room of the Office of Security, the “39” denoting an “Intelligence File,” the Oswald material raised questions. As the months passed, more questions surfaced. Otepka examined Oswald’s return from the Soviet Union with the unlikely assistance of a State Department loan. Otepka also pondered the speed with which Oswald’s wife, Marina, was cleared for entrance into the United States. By 1963, Otepka would be wondering why Oswald was issued a passport for travel to Cuba and, seemingly, the Soviet Union, despite a possible “criminal” flag in Oswald’s ONI [Office of Naval Intelligence] file. It was at this time that Otepka’s security safe was burgled and his Oswald file disappeared for good.
Recently I’ve had occasion to interact with those charged with vetting individuals for government security clearance. Procedures may have changed over the decades, but my understanding is that essentially the file on someone seeking clearance always includes interviews with anyone familiar with the personality and history of the applicant.
Related to Otepka, was the DOS looking into someone asking for clearance and they simply interviewed Oswald on their behalf, or was the DOS/Otto Otepka investigating Oswald? All indications are that Otto was investigating Oswald as a defector, and he was wondering why the State Department had been casual about Oswald’s defection let alone helping fund his return to the US.
Remember Oswald’s return involved Spas Raikin of the Traveler’s Aid Society.
The fact that Raikin was involved with the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and served as secretary of the Central Executive Board of the Bulgarian National Council from 1960-1963 and that council was affiliated with the Committee for a Free Europe founded by Allen Dulles of the CIA who along with his brother John Foster Dulles and James Forrestal founded the CIA Office of Policy Coordination whose executive director was Frank Wisner should pique anyone’s interest. Why would they help integrate a defector back into American society?
We know that Wisner was Thomas Karamessines’ boss, that Karammesines was Greek, that George Joannides was Greek and that Oswald ended up in some capacity involved with Joannides.
While these dots do not prove unequivocally that Spas Raikin was a trained intelligence agent or that he might have been recruited by Karamessines in Athens (a series of dots too extensive to address here), and assigned the task of reintegrating Lee Harvey Oswald into the US, the fact is that the Committee for a Free Europe included Ret. Gen. Lucius D. Clay (then head of Lehman Brothers and of financial sister American Express) and NYTimes’ Henry Luce (whose wife Claire’s political history relating to Cuba need not be noted here) was directly aligned with members of the American Security Council and founding member Sears CEO Ret. Gen. Robert Wood.
Did a deep state apparatus – driven by Woods’ ASC whose members were ideologically driven to advance US private enterprises – usurp our elected government under a cloak of the drive for global democracy? A study of the roster of ASC in the early 1960’s reveals that other retired military secured lucrative positions on the boards of America’s most vaunted conglomerates under what can only be characterized as allegiance to capitalism full stop. Might industrial espionage have been central to their agenda?
Dick Russell’s amazing study of Richard Case Nagell that revealed Nagell’s utter bewilderment as to who or what was controlling him combined with Bill Simpich’s study of the alleged defectors during the time of Oswald’s trip to the Soviet Union are reason enough to question whether or not every stone has been turned – particularly the stones lying in the vaults of the State Department – in search of those behind the conspiracy to assassinate the president.
His own insane fantasies were controlling Nagell.
Wow. 146 comments and none relate to the Vanity Fair article.
Loosing a loved one to a violent act can be life altering.
Good topic Jeff.
I personally still don’t believe she believed the single bullet theory.
Hey Prof. McAdams, didn’t you discredit Rose Cheramie by explaining that her drug use made her imagine things, even though her prediction of Kennedy’s assassination specified that it would happen Friday in Dallas? That was a good one.
Dave Reitzes has done the best essays on Cherami:
In relation to the original thread topic…
Jackie did climb on the trunk, remember it or not.
She probably heard the flurry of shots Kellerman described. Then saw her Husband’s brains blown out from a foot away. A blackout of a memory even close to this is not uncommon, my wife experienced this.
Mrs. Kennedy did hand some skull and brain tissue to a doctor at Parkland after cradling JFK’s head on the ride there.
“She probably heard the flurry of shots Kellerman described”. I’ll play along as you did. FACTUALLY…there is no evidence that Jackie Kennedy heard an flurry of shots. For you to insert that is TOTAL NONSENSE.
Also, there here is no FACTUAL evidence that Mrs. Kennedy gave anything OTHER than brain tissue, NOT SKULL. This from Dr. Jenkins himself who stated: ‘I noticed that her hands were cupped in front of her, as if she were cradling something. As she passed by, she nudged me with an elbow and handed me what she had been nursing in her hands – a large chunk of her husband’s brain tissues.’
So, she must have been busy in that ride right Ronnie?? Gee, probably collected what she could in and, in her state of shock tried as best she could to provide aid to JFK.(cuz she did).
Held Hill’s jacket over his face to prevent others from seeing the gore (cuz she did) after they stopped at Parkland.
Admitted to holding his hair and skull on (cuz she did).
Here’s what she said only one week after the shooting: You figure out her intent IN LIGHT OF MY COMMENTS:
From Theodore White (Nov 29, 1963):
“I kept saying: `Jack, Jack, Jack’ and someone was yelling:
`He’s dead, he’s dead.’ All the ride to the hospital I kept bending
over him saying: `Jack, Jack, can you hear me, I love you Jack.’ I
kept holding the top of his head down, trying to keep the brains
in,” she said on Nov. 29, 1963, a week after the president’s
Probably…PROBABLY doesn’t belong here!
Ps…Ronaldo…I won’t be reading any response (cuz I stated that FACTUALLY).
No it’s nor total nonsense. That’s what Kellerman said he heard. Seems reasonable she may have heard the same. What did she hear? So the piece of skull she gave the ER doctor was not one of those given to the non forensic pathologists at Bethesda? Yeah she was busy in that short ride to the Hospital, in shock, trying to figure out what hell had happened, trying to hold his skull on with the brains blown out.
Probably and Factually are the big question in the big picture.
Pepper Jenkins said brain tissue, not skull.
So where did the piece of skull given to the autopsy pathologists during the autopsy come from? Surprised you didn’t note the non forensic aspect as Humes and Boswell were such and Finick didn’t arrive until after the brain was removed (then again Finnick’s credentials are questionable regarding bullet wounds in particular and as a primarily of reviewer of pathologically diseased dissections .
Perhaps from the limo, or perhaps from Dealey Plaza.
Riding in the same car she would have heard exactly what Kellerman heard, even if he didn’t react to it, as she did.
The problem with all of this is the WC thought the second shot missed but it was the first shot.
This not only disrupts the testimony of those in the car but makes the timing of the shots much longer than the 5.6 seconds so many believe.
I need some help here from McAdams, Photon at al. Did Gerald Ford change by writing the entry wound of the magic bullet? The holes in the back of JFK´s cloths are pretty well aligned with the entry wound shown in the photos of the autopsy, but not with the entry wound written by Ford in the WC report. He did so for aligning it with the exit wound in the throat, didn´t he?
Apparently, he did it to make the text coherent, since it originally said:
But above the shoulder is the neck.
Then there is the fact that he would have seen the Rydberg drawing:
. . . and probably would not have known where “14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process” (the location on the autopsy face sheet) was.
There was nothing sinister about what he did:
But this was another example of the WC getting itself in trouble by not insisting on seeing the autopsy photos and x-rays. Specter urged Rankin that they be gotten.
You can read his memo to Rankin here:
At an earlier point in time, this form of pie-in-the-sky rationalization might have been excusable, but now we have Gerald McKnight’s “Breach Of Trust” which works from a vast array of documentation to describe exactly how the Warren Commission went about constructing its Report, McKnight does not need to add words such as “apparently” or “probably”, nor does he accept that the WC “failed” in not insisting on seeing the autopsy photos. Rather, he demonstrates that Warren, Rankin, Specter and probably others had access to at least one or more of these photos.
McKnight also finds that Ford’s revision was of the phrase “a point slightly below the shoulder to the right of the spine”. Below the shoulder, not above as you have it.
How do you know that McKnight is correct? The JFK Lancer site has the original document which shows that McAdams is right — the original draft said “above the shoulder”:
If you take the time to check the original documents and testimony you’ll find many, many errors in JFK books like Breach of Trust. (Yes, I’ve read it.)
Great – I’ll look forward to your review on the many many errors in McKnight’s Breach of Trust.
OK, here is another:
McKnight claims that Oswald had “crypto clearance.” But Oswald military record says that he had only “confidential.”
McKnight’s citation was no good, so I e-mailed him.
So if you even guarded the crypto van, you had to have crypto clearance?
And McKnight assumes that, without evidence?
Like a lot of other JFK books, this one repeats errors from earlier works. The idea that Oswald had a crypto (top secret) clearance originated with an anonymous caller to a radio program Harold Weisberg appeared on in 1967, someone who claimed he’d served with Oswald. But the HSCA checked the records of Oswald and others in his crew and found they had “confidential” clearances.
Garrison soon repeated the “crypto” claim and it has been repeated by other authors for years, most recently by Douglass. They just state it as fact, no supporting evidence.
I could give other examples, if you want them.
Okay, here are a couple of Breach of Trust errors that show up in CT books repeatedly:
1. “By the time Oswald defected to the Soviet Union, he was fluent in Russian… The report left the impression that Oswald, a high-school dropout, had learned the language on his own…” (p. 298)
The report actually says that when he defected Oswald could “barely speak” the language and that he was tutored after he got there:
Also, Marina didn’t think he was a native speaker when she met him in 1961. (p. 130)
2. “The most basic ballistic testing is to run a cotton swab down the barrel of a weapon to determine if it has been recently fired.” p. 121
Gun experts say there is no such test. A swab could only reveal whether a weapon had been fired since the last time it was cleaned.
Years ago I assumed that if a book had lots of footnotes and a respectable publisher, it was probably accurate. Big mistake!
Jean Davison says, “Years ago I assumed that if a book had lots of footnotes and a respectable publisher, it was probably accurate. Big mistake!”
Why would Ms. Davison make this broad, overreaching statement in the midst of a debate over detail?
If detail is important pertaining to footnotes, she fails to mention that W.W. Norton, publisher of her only book on the Kennedy assassination was apparently comfortable with one single footnote for Allen Dulles in “Oswald’s Game.”
A seemingly innocuous fact is that Norton’s offices were in the same NY office building as Littauer & Wilkinson, literary agents for CIA operative E. Howard Hunt. I’m sure that Davison and McAdams and photon will argue, “it (500 5th Ave.) is after all a multistory building.” Nothing here, move along.
However, in addition to their involvement with E. Howard Hunt of the CIA and of Watergate notoriety, L&W has a history with CIA backed Committee for Cultural Freedom (CCF).
If CCF was involved in promotion of propaganda, might not L&W have been as well, and if L&W was a neighbor of WW Norton at 500 5th, might they all have been comrades?
A quick check of the footnotes of “Oswald’s Game” reveals that Davison references Allen Dulles one single time. This is Allen Dulles, former Director of the Central intelligence Agency and titular figure on the Warren Commission who by 1983 when Davison’s singular book on the Kennedy assassination was published had already been targeted as suspect by numerous authors investigating the assassination of President Kennedy.
An amateur researcher in 2014 who has not followed Dulles’ career let alone his influence over the Warren Commission Report, might well measure his significance by the fact that Jean Davison – a seeming authority on Oswald as the lone assassin – had footnoted Dulles one single time.
WW Norton was apparently comfortable with limited focus on Dulles to whom E. Howard Hunt ultimately reported. Should any of us be so comforted?
Jean D’s list of alleged “errors”:
1. Oswald’s Russian language skills
McKnight reports correctly that the Warren Report creates an “impression” Oswald learned the language on his own. His skills on entry to the USSR? John Armstrong’s research demonstrates that the persons who knew Oswald in Russia said their interaction with him was always in English. There is no record of a Minsk “tutor” except in Oswlad’s “historic diary”, and his friends such as the Zigers saw him daily and never mentioned Oswald even attempting to learn the language. Reports on the audio surveillance of his apartment reveal no mention of his speaking Russian. However, Russian doctors, in care of Oswald after his “suicide attempt” early in his stay, said he could understand them. Marina Oswald said that she conversed with LHO in Russian.
This is what the Warren Report says:
“Marina Oswald said that by the time she met him in March 1961 he spoke the language well enough so that at first she thought he was from one of the Baltic areas around her country, because of his accent. She stated that his only defects were that his grammar was sometimes incorrect and that his writing was never good.”
On return to Dallas, Oswald was said to be perfectly fluent. So how did he do it? Self-taught and supplemented by a mysterious “tutor”? McKnight’s statement of pre-existing fluency is supported by evidence and cannot be listed as an “error”.
2. Ballistic testing with cotton swab
Jean, your assertion that “gun experts say there is no test” – absent the word of a “gun expert” – is your opinion. McKnight explains the test could reveal whether a gun had been recently fired, or, as you say – “had been fired since the last time it was cleaned”. Was the rifle in evidence cleaned after it was found? That is why McKnight notes that Commissioner McCloy asks Robert Frazier (FBI’s ballistics man) if there were “metal filings in the barrel” of the Carcano rifle found on the 6th floor. Frazier responds: “I did not examine it for that”. So is the idea that Frazier should have made such an examination an error? You’ll have to produce your “experts” to make that claim.
3. Ford’s edit
As stated on another post – McKnight did correctly quote Ford’s edit of a draft chapter, although it appears elsewhere as “below” (which could be an editor’s mistake or it could mean there are multiple drafts – as there were of some chapters).
4. crypto clearance
McKnight expresses an informed opinion based a several factors. McAdams does not like the opinion and so predictably dismisses it, claiming that the HSCA dealt with the matter. The HSCA’s determination of a “confidential” clearance is actually based on information provided the Warren Commission. Marine records show that Oswald received his “Confidential” clearance in May 1957, well before Oswald’s contact with the “crypto van”.
The military records also say this:
“It was, however, the practice of the Marine Corps, that on occasions where assignments, similar to OSWALD’s, required a higher clearance than confidential in order to perform specific, classified electronic duties, personnel with clearances commensurate with the duties to be performed were assigned thereto.”
To claim McKnight is in error one would have to examine specifically the crypto van assignment – which McKnight did – and not simply claim that in May 1957 Oswald received one routine clearance. Clearly, McAdams dismissal is based solely on his unsupported opinion about the “crypto van” detail. The inclusion in the Marine report of the above qualification suggests that Oswald may indeed have been upgraded to a higher clearance and certainly does not rule it out.
So where are we on the notion that “Breach of Trust” is characterized by “many, many mistakes”? Not very far along at all.
No, neither his footnotes nor his e-mail to me indicate any source that showed you had to have “crypto” clearance to guard the crypto van. McKnight said he thought that was the case.
Think about it: how hard would it be, if you needed a detail to guard the van, to find several Marines who all had this supposed “crypto” clearance?
Provided by the U.S. Military, his actual service records. Want to claim they were faked? Why not? Everything else that’s inconvenient for conspiracists must be faked.
But in fact the HSCA got the records of other Marines who served in the radar bubble with Oswald, and they all had “confidential” clearance.
Then why does he fuss and fume and assign sinister motives to Ford? If the draft said “above the shoulder” (which is did) an honest proofreader might think “neck” was a correction.
As for “multiple drafts:” Ford clearly marked up a draft that said “above the shoulder.”
Jean’s “opinion” matches perfectly with what mainstream ballistics and forensics sources say.
My do buffs just make up stuff like this?
I’ll let Jean correct you on Oswald learning Russian. He went to the USSR having some little bit of knowledge, and learned a lot more there. When he was cooling his heels in a hotel waiting to find out if he could stay, he was being tutored.
“McKnight said he thought that was the case.”
And you think otherwise. That’s a difference of opinion, and remains just that because you don’t really know either. So the accusation of “error” here is somewhat exaggerated.
“…his actual service records. Want to claim they were faked? Why not? Everything else that’s inconvenient for conspiracists must be faked.”
There’s nothing inconvenient in his service records as provided to the WC. It shows, as part of a linear review of Oswald’s military career, that he received the routine security classification of “confidential” in May 1957. But it also says that “on occasions where assignments, similar to OSWALD’s, required a higher clearance…to perform specific, classified electronic duties” then those personnel would have their classifications upgraded. In context of the report, it is a very interesting ass-covering statement. If Oswald received a higher classification it could well have been handled through the CIA or a branch of military intelligence – both agencies have been less than forthright in sharing information regarding Oswald. And because of their secretive attitudes, the picture of Oswald’s military career is less than complete.
“why does he fuss and fume and assign sinister motives to Ford?”
Um, it’s called context. The book has run nearly 200 pages when the Ford edit comes up and, in context, the edit is just one small example of an overwhelming pattern of deceit, particularly as to descriptions of the president’s wounds. But you don’t know that because you refuse to read the book.
“Jean’s “opinion” matches perfectly with what mainstream ballistics and forensics sources say.”
Does it? It seems to me the “experts” are stressing that a swab cannot determine when a gun was fired but that wasn’t the point McKnight was highlighting – that the test would determine if the gun had been fired. There’s a difference. McCloy asked if such a test had been done. You guys aren’t jumping all over him for wasting the FBI’s time with irrelevant questions. The rifle had been found in the TSBD, it was assumed it could be the murder weapon (actually the DPD quickly asserted it was the weapon) – it seems reasonable to do a quick swab test to confirm at least it had been fired and not, say, be an inert rifle which had been stashed in the building to help frame a patsy. The claim of “error” here is another gross exaggeration, as the swab test in mentioned in context of a much larger accounting of various deficiencies in the investigation.
“My do buffs just make up stuff like this?”
Guess you scored another one against the “buffs”. The value of your presence here is that the poor quality of your analysis is exposed daily and the links you provide help demonstrate how deceptive your web site really is.
McKnight asserted it, without any evidence. Do you think authors should be able to assert as true things they “think” are true, even if they have no evidence?
You posit that some hidden records show Oswald had the “crypto” clearance, but not only do you have no evidence of that, none of his duties or assignments would have required it.
Since McKnight was flat wrong about Ford’s edit, and flat wrong about the April conferences, why should I believe anything his claims of a “pattern of deceit?”
The only “pattern of deceit” I see is from McKnight.
Now you are changing your story again. Here is what McKnight said:
But there is no such test.
But every time you post a “deficiency” it turns our to be bogus. If you get all the facts wrong, you’ll get the larger context wrong, too.
And you can’t appeal to the “larger context” to justify screwing up the facts.
But post some more “deficiencies,” if you want. Some are probably real (but not conspiratorial), but given McKnight’s track record, a lot are doubtless entirely bogus.
1. One of Oswald’s Russian tutors was a man named Shushkevich:
Shushkevich was interviewed for Mailer’s Oswald’s Tale (pp. 81-2) and is mentioned in other books, I think.
When I searched for Shushkevich on the Mary Ferrell site I was surprised to find his name in Oswald’s address book along with several other names and the Russian word for “teachers.” His name is at the top right on the flyleaf, scroll down for the translation:
Oswald had been living and working in Russia for almost a year and a half when he met Marina, who told the HSCA: “He spoke with accent so I assumed he was maybe from another state, which is customary in Russia. People from other states do speak with accents **because they do not speak Russian. They speak
different languages.**” [my emphasis]
She was referring to Baltic states like Estonia. She was talking about NON-native speakers, not native speakers.
Living in a foreign country is an ideal way to learn a language, and Oswald lived there for 2 1/2 years. By the time he returned he was “fluent,” but he still made grammatical errors and had a “heavy accent,” according to one witness. (Imo, that may be why the Mexico City translator thought he spoke “broken Russian.”)
Who said that “audio surveillance of his apartment reveal no mention of his speaking Russian”? I think that’s wrong — he and Marina spoke in Russian.
Skipping 2 and 3 ….
4. Quote: “To claim McKnight is in error one would have to examine specifically the crypto van assignment – which McKnight did – and not simply claim that in May 1957 Oswald received one routine clearance.”
My claim is that I’ve never seen any evidence presented by anyone that Oswald had a “crypto” clearance. Is there any?
A John Doe calling in to a talk show hardly qualifies. When you say that McKnight examined the “crypto van assignment,” what are you referring to? Could you quote that “assignment,” please?
Jean and John, If Oswald had been trained in Russian at a US intelligence center before arriving in Russia, would that necessarily undermine your assertion that he acted as a lone nut in Dallas?
Why not simply concede that there is a likelihood that he was at Monterrey, and that he had a level of competence before he arrived in Moscow where he encountered an Intourist guide who took him under her wing and helped him improve his Russian? It’s the best of both worlds, a consensus.
Obviously you are unsettled by information that indicates he was receiving formal training before he left for Moscow. And why is that? Why not let him be fairly fluent in Russian and still have him be the lone assassin of Kennedy in Dallas?
I think James DiEugenio brings that question into focus:
” . . . one thing that Davison attempts throughout Oswald’s Game is to keep Oswald out of the clutches of the intelligence community e.g. CIA, FBI, ONI.”
Jean’s arguments related to Oswald’s competence in the Russian language lack solid footing, in “Oswald’s Game” and in more recent comments she has made on this site.
New students might study DiEugenio’s recent update of “Oswald’s Game” particularly as it relates to the Russian language question.
There is no evidence whatsoever that Oswald was ever in Monterey , let alone that he attended the language school there. Your CTKA reference is full of unsubstantiated Jim DiEugenio nonsense. The Don Campbell story is one example. Mr. Campbell, supposedly a gifted marksman was giving exhibitions around the country and happened to give one in Santa Ana California (site of Marine Air Station El Toro, where Oswald was stationed.He was offered Oswald’s bunk to sleep in., implying that Oswald was was off to nearby Monterey Language School. A few questions: Who exactly was Campbell and who vouches for his story? Where did he do his exhibition? There was no range at El Toro. Jim fails to mention that Monterey was over 300 miles and 5 1/2 hours away from Santa Ana-about a hundred miles further than the distance from NYC to Washington,D.C. Obviously Oswald was not running up to Monterey .
Campbell recognized Oswald’s name because he was in an orphanage with him-yet no documentation of what orphanage, when, where or why he would assume that someone he never saw would be the same “Oswald” that he supposedly met in an orphanage thousands of miles away. It is very easy to pick apart Jim’s conclusions- he never seems to ask any source to prove anything that the source claims, while accepting anything told to him that conforms to his own beliefs, no matter how unreliable and unbelievable the source. When challenged (as on this blog) to put up anything to prove the veracity of his sources he changes the subject, ignores the request or simply avoids further discussion of a topic that he has “proved”-ala the crackpot “source” Gordon Novel.
His total disrespect for Jean on the site you refer to says more about Jim than it does about Miss Davison. She posts facts, not unconfirmed allegations.
Because there is no evidence for it, and indeed, his service record is public and shows no such training at Monterrey.
Indeed, his Marine cohorts testified to his assignments in various posts that cover his time in the Corps — with no time for any extended stint at Monterrey.
But who needs evidence when speculation leads to such nice conclusions.
Just say the records are faked, right?
An honest reading of the historical record shows no evidence that Oswald was ever “in the clutches” of any of those organizations.
DiEugenio has shown, in comments on this board, that he’s very poor at evaluating the historical record.
Because there is no evidence for it, and indeed, his service record is public and shows no such training at Monterrey.
Indeed, his Marine cohorts testified to his assignments in various posts that cover his time in the Corps — with no time for any extended stint at Monterrey.
But who needs evidence when speculation leads to such nice conclusions.
Just say the records are faked, right?
An honest reading of the historical record shows no evidence that Oswald was ever “in the clutches” of any of those organizations.
DiEugenio has revealed, in comments on this board, that he’s very poor at evaluating the historical record.
Google the term ‘scrubbed’ in relation to military records and then come back and defend your assertion that Oswald could not possibly have been trained in Russian at a US military installation because his military records do not reflect that training.
Add to your google search the terms “Bush, George W. Bush, Dan Rather or James Hatfield” when searching the word “scrub.” I assert that scrubbing a military record was not only possible but prevalent from the 1950’s on.
And you believed him?
I’ve heard several accounts of that sort, and some of them might be true. But the problem was that this was all “off the record” and the materials were not examined by qualified forensic pathologists.
“the problem was that this was all “off the record” and the materials were not examined by qualified forensic pathologists.”
Not sure that is exactly the “problem”. Off the record or not, qualified forensic pathologist or not, that members of the Commission had access to the photos and could see for themselves the disparity from the Rydberg drawings demonstrates the bad faith by which the Commission worked. The issue is not simply limited to Ford’s editing. His so-called “mistake” fits into a pattern of deliberate misrepresentation of Kennedy’s wounds, particularly the back wound, Ford’s edit, rather than clarifying anything, is actually making a wrong statement (“slightly above the shoulder”) more in error, although it then conforms to Specter’s slippery language about a wound in “the base of the neck”. McKnight’s book allows for each of these “mistakes” to be seen in the context of patterns of “mistakes” which always mysteriously favour the Commission’s conclusions.
Seems you have evaded talking about McKnight’s flat out misrepresentation of the passage Ford rewrote.
And a wound in the back at T1 (which is what the photos show) is perfectly consistent with the SBT.
But you seem to be implying that somebody on the WC examined the photos in some detail. The version I remember showed Warren merely appalled at the carnage, and unable to make any forensic determinations.
If you have any evidence that anybody on the WC examined the materials in detail, post it.
And not a secondary citation from McKnight. He’s been shown to be unreliable.
A “flat-out misrepresentation”? McKnight’s source is Rankin papers, box 26, folder 385 held at NARA, which indeed holds a draft edited by Ford. Did he get a word wrong? Maybe, but one would have to go to the National Archives to confirm. I’m not going to do that because, wrong word “below” or “above” or not, it does not change the substance of the critique. The critique is that the Warren Commission in toto, not just Ford, deliberately misrepresented Kennedy’s back wound so to support the SBT and the finding of a lone assassin. McKnight processed a lot of information for his book and so may have confused Ford’s revision with the Siebert-O’Neill report which describes the wound as “below the shoulder”. Regardless, the substance of the critique remains.
In comparison, above you claim that the Warren Commission may have made mistakes in describing the back wound, but it is understandable in light of the fact they did not have access to the autopsy photos. But crucial members of the Commission, including Rankin and Specter did have access, and therefore the substance of your argument – mistakes were made but they were innocent – is completely undermined. The fact that you will jump on an author over minor largely irrelevant errors, but carry water for huge and hugely relevant errors is notable and a consistent feature of your presentations. Similarly, does anything in this debate really hinge on whether Oswald had “crypto” or “confidential” clearance? Not
really. Recently in another thread you argued that the autopsy was prone to mistakes, but mistakes happen all the time… so really, in context, who is being “unreliable” here?
Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of McKnight’s book are titled The JFK Autopsy, Birth of the “Single Bullet” Fabrication, and Politics of the Single Bullet Fabrication. The three chapters run 83 pages and feature 254 footnotes. If you or Jean Davison have a substantive critique to offer – or an analysis of “many many mistakes” – JFKFacts offers you the forum to really take charge, but for my money any defence of the Warren Commission on substantive grounds ended with this publication (although many will point to “Accessories After The
Fact” as the nail in the coffin 47 years ago).
No, you would not have to go to the Archives, since Debra Conway posted the image on her site.
Changing “below the shoulder” to “neck” would be questionable. Changing “above the shoulder” to “neck” is something somebody might do in good faith.
Changing “above” to “below” to make Ford out to be a liar is at best sloppy research, and at worst an out and out lie.
In fact, this kind of willful sloppiness on the part of McKnight is equivalent to lying.
But they didn’t need to misrepresent the back wound, since it was at T1, perfectly consistent with the Single Bullet Theory.
On this issue, the buffs are the liars.
Of course it does.
If Oswald had some high level clearance, that sounds way more “spooky” than if he was an ordinary Marine with “confidential” clearance.
It implies he was some sort of spook or spy or operative. McKnight should not have asserted this on the basis of no evidence.
“Changing “above the shoulder” to “neck” is something somebody might do in good faith.”
Or not. It wasn’t in the neck. The Commission tried to pretend it was. Ford lied no matter what the wording. You are insinuating McKnight as a liar for not being exact in his description of Ford’s lie.
“But they didn’t need to misrepresent the back wound, since it was at T1”
Saying the back wound was a neck wound is a misrepresentation. Where in the record does anything say T1? “…a second wound occurred in the posterior back at about the level of the third thoracic vertebra.” George Burkley, White House Death Certificate, Nov 23, 1963
“It implies he was some sort of spook or spy or operative. McKnight should not have asserted this on the basis of no evidence.”
Except for all the evidence in the book. Which you haven’t read. Oswald’s security clearance at Atsugi is hardly a decisive or unique piece of evidence. You have seized a perceived inconsistency over a relatively minor detail so to impeach the entire work. While simultaneously claiming that the Commission moving the back wound up to the neck was an act of good faith. Double standards exemplified.
No, Ford read “above the shoulder,” and he had also seen the Rydberg drawing. So he doubtless believed “neck.”
McKnight either lied or (more likely) was so reckless in publishing an untruth that it’s equivalent to a lie.
Changing “above the shoulder” to “below the shoulder” is quite precise, and untrue. And it served McKnight’s purpose of calling Ford a liar.
That’s where the wound was, according to the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel, which had the autopsy photos and x-rays.
And the autopsy said the wound was 14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process. That’s at T1.
An error on Burkley’s part, since the autopsy (see above) and the photos of the back, and the x-rays (which show a fracture of T1 transverse process) say the wound was at T1.
OK, what evidence?
Post it, and post McKnight’s primary source citations.
I think you’ll find a lot more tendentious and false assertions from him.
There’s a section in the WR entitled “The Bullet Wounds,” and the sentence Ford revised is not in it. The “Bullet Wounds” section specifically locates the back wound where the autopsy report has it: approximately 5 1/2 inches “below the tip of the right mastoid process, the bony point immediately behind the ear”:
That’s in the upper back, where it’s seen in the autopsy photo. Ford’s sentence, reworded by someone else, is in a different, introductory section on p. 3, third paragraph:
The claim that Ford “moved the back wound up” to support the Single Bullet Theory makes no sense at all.
Think about it. The trajectory from the sniper’s nest through the two victims was measured at c. 18 degrees. The bullet exited below the Adam’s apple and nicked the tie knot. Check a profile of JFK and measure an 18-degree angle from the tie knot backwards. Where does it come out? Upper back, right? Moving the entry up to the neck makes the angle to the exit much too steep for the SBT to work.
“Ford read “above the shoulder,” and he had also seen the Rydberg drawing. So he doubtless believed “neck.”
But the Rydberg drawing is part of the lie itself, the deliberate orchestrated effort to portray the wound in Kennedy’s back as actually in the neck. The Rydberg drawing was absurdly based on the autopsists’ “memories”, and served as a fraudulent misrepresentation which could, if one day questioned, be plausibly denied as a “mistake”. It was not a “mistake”.
“McKnight either lied or (more likely) was so reckless in publishing an untruth that it’s equivalent to a lie.”
Shall the FBI duo Sibert- O’Neill also be described as “reckless” liars? Honestly, you are defending a gross deliberate misrepresentation of fact by seizing upon a minor and ultimately inconsequential detail contained within an 84 page section describing the gross deliberate misrepresentation of fact. Does McKnight’s alleged “untruth” even approach the magnitude of the Warren Commission’s back/neck deceit? It’s not even close.
“the autopsy said the wound was 14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process. That’s at T1.”
Is it? “14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process” is not an exact measurement of anything, as it would indicate a different anatomical position according to the individual person. How long was Kennedy’s neck? Don’t know? – then you have no idea what this measurement indicates. That is one of the critiques of the autopsy – that it doesn’t really indicate anything precisely. No autopsy photo or x-ray assists in precisely locating this wound. The only precise measurement in the official record is Burkley’s location of T3. Which, of course, you describe as a “mistake”.
“the x-rays (which show a fracture of T1 transverse process) say the wound was at T1.”
There is no consensus on this determination, and it is contradicted by other evidence. Which all leads back to the fact that the autopsy doctors failed to take proper measurements – otherwise this would not still be a matter of debate.
“what evidence? Post it, and post McKnight’s primary source citations.”
Why? They are available in McKnight’s book. Which you refuse to deal with. Other than seize on two minor inconsistencies and claim they impeach everything. The research community awaits the definitive breakthrough article from yourself and Jean D on McKnight’s “tendentious and false assertions”. Should be a hoot.
Jean D – the photographic analysis you link to is intellectually dishonest as there is no relationship between the two figures of JFK – even as the lines linking the two photos insinuate a relationship. In one view JFK is standing upright, in the other he is laid out on a table – the weight and carriage are utterly different. The insinuation of a relationship is fraudulent – and in fact is the single most fraudulent item introduced in this thread other than the SBT itself.
Ford had no way of knowing that.
You buffs should quit calling things a “lie” when they are actually just a mistake.
As for the entry being at T1: That’s what the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel said. You don’t like the autopsy “14 cm.” figure?
Seems you cite the autopsy when convenient.
But the photo of the back shows the back entry at about that point (actually, 13.5 cm.).
And the autopsy said the bullet bruised, but did not penetrate, the right lung. That’s consistent with T1, and inconsistent with a lower entry. Had it penetrated the lung, which would have collapsed, and been visible on the x-ray, which the HSCA FPP had.
So we can go with the top forensic pathologists in the country, or we can go with what the buff books you’ve been reading say.
That’s absurd. They show exactly where the wound was.
Want to claim they were faked?
Jean and I have dealt with the one claim you have posted (“below the shoulder”) and it proved bogus.
If you really had confidence in McKnight, you would post the key pieces of evidence he supposedly found here.
If you won’t, that speaks volumes.
Five decades later, no one knows precisely where the wounds were located – back or head – because the autopsy pathologists were not precise. “14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process” doesn’t actually mean anything. They needed to locate the wound using the vertebra of the spine in order to be precise (although they may have actually done that according to Burkley’s death certificate which locates the wound at T3). Nothing in the photo allows one to say T1, and the slight fracture in the X-ray has not led to any consensus ever. However,we do know that the Warren Commission was very determined to place the wound where it clearly – via the photo – is not: in the neck.
It means it could not have been as low at T3.
That’s what you say, but the real experts who have looked at it (for the Clark, Rockefeller and HSCA panels) say otherwise.
Go with the reliable evidence (photos and x-rays) and the best experts who have examined them.
You folks always go with the least reliable evidence. The most reliable evidence is so inconvenient.
The autopsy photo shows the wound to be in Kennedy’s back, while the Warren Commission was determined to state the wound was in his neck.
No, that’s untrue.
The Warren Commission Report put the wound “at the base of the neck” and (in another place) 5 1/2 inches below the tip of the right mastoid process.
John McA – you simply don’t apprehend the discussion. Specter and Ford deliberately chose to insert the term “neck” when describing the back wound. And the mastoid process measurement is meaningless.
Also, reviewing McKnight’s book I realized that, describing Ford’s revision, on page 174 (Chapter 7, University Press of Kansas hardcover edition), after describing the Siebert-O’Neill report’s description of the back wound as “below the shoulder”, McKnight includes the same language when describing Ford’s edit. But on page 193 (Chapter 8), Ford’s revision is described correctly. So this was obviously an editor’s oversight. Not to mention it was a minor point that did not substantively change a critique in the first place.
No, Ford saw “above the shoulder,” and he had seen the Rydberg drawing, and he believed he was correcting the draft.
And how did Specter say “neck?”
And as Jean has pointed out, the Warren Commission Report described the wound correctly as “at the base of the neck” and “5 1/2 inches below the tip of the right mastoid process.”
You are too hung up on how everybody who reaches conclusions different from yours is lying scum.
“One of Oswald’s Russian tutors was a man named Shushkevich”
Shushkevich says he was employed at the Radio-Technical factory alongside Oswald and in 1961 “was told, he said, to give Oswald Russian lessons.” This man is not a conventional tutor. When and how often did he give lessons? Oswald’s courtship with Marina began in March 1961. Marina’s impressions from the Warren Report: “he spoke the language well enough so that at first she thought he was from one of the Baltic areas around her country, because of his accent. She stated that his only defects were that his grammar was sometimes incorrect and that his writing was never good.”
“Living in a foreign country is an ideal way to learn a language…”
That’s probably true, but the available evidence suggests Oswald, while in Minsk, sought friendships with English speaking persons with whom he spoke largely in English.
It doesn’t matter how good a tutor Shushkevich was — the point is that someone who was already “fluent” in the language doesn’t need tutors.
Yes, Marina met Oswald in March 1961. He arrived in the USSR in October 1959.
You want to portray Oswald as an eager language student – but there is little to attest to it. His friend in Minsk are mostly English speakers. Shushkevich “tutors” in 1961, but he says he “was told” to give Oswald Russian lessons (i.e. Oswald did not seek him out or ask). Shushkevich can’t really be called a “tutor”, his professional background was sciences. We don’t know exactly when these Russian lessons even occurred. And Marina enters the scene in March and suggests later that Oswald could speak Russian very well at that time. The White Russians in Dallas say he is fluent. So how did he do it? It’s a fair question. A few informal Russian lessons does not tell the story. You say McKnight is “wrong”, but you haven’t sketched out a viable picture of how LHO could become “fluent”, in fact you have only made a few assumptions.
You might want to look at this other thread for more of Jean Davison’s comments on Shushkevich.
There Jean wrote:
I agree that the two photos in my link aren’t comparable, but I didn’t ask you to compare them. I asked about the trajectory in the photo on the left.
Let me say, I’m not attacking McKnight (or you), I’m attacking these ideas that I believe are provably wrong and that have been repeated for years in JFK books. Breach of Trust is no more inaccurate than the average CT book, imo. I’m not going to write an article, but I could give many other examples if anyone is interested (which I doubt). I don’t think he’s lying, I think he’s mistaken.
I know that you and many others here believe that Ford rewrote that sentence in order to support the SBT. But what is that based on other than suspicion? Does it even make sense? I think that CTs have just *assumed* that since Ford changed the wording that must have been his reason.
It’s my contention that the SBT trajectory works ONLY with an entry wound in the upper back. Raising it to the neck would make the SBT impossible.
The 18-degree trajectory is shown by the string on the wall in this photo of Specter:
The Croft photo shows JFK in profile — can anyone here get an 18-degree SBT trajectory to work with a neck entry and an exit at the tie knot? I don’t think so.
” I’m attacking these ideas that I believe are provably wrong and that have been repeated for years in JFK books.”
I’m no longer sure exactly what ideas you are now referring to. That members of the Warren Commission engaged in a pattern of activity designed to move a wound located in Kennedy’s back to his neck (or “base of the neck”)? That the SBT was a constructed fiction developed not from the weight of the evidence but from a predetermined conclusion as to the location and number of shots? That’s McKnight’s position. His position does not hinge in any way on Ford’s editing, which is a minor detail, and “above/below” or not , the substance of the observation that Ford’s editing was part of a distinct and overwhelming pattern of similar activity holds.
At the time the edit was revealed (late ’90s), Ford said something to the effect he was merely trying to clarify the record. But his switch served the opposite purpose – he was obfuscating the record. Breach of Trust is valuable because it digs into the methods of the Commission with detail that had either been unavailable or short of context. I was actually astonished at your claim to have read the book, as in other threads on this forum you had appeared unaware of important topics such as Dolce’s tests at Edgewood Arsenal.
In 1967, Dr Humes felt comfortable appearing on national television to assure the public that the Rydberg drawings were accurate in relation to the autopsy photos. Since then, a truer record has been exposed – and from that truer record a clearer picture of the Warren Commission’s machinations is available. These rear-guard attempts to continue to muddy the water – i.e. the consistent deliberate switch of “back” to “neck” was a good faith mistake which doesn’t matter because the SBT was workable from a back wound all along – is ultimately an expression that we are not talking differences of opinion but rather delineating parallel universes.
No, if there had been a “predetermined” conclusion, it would have been that of the FBI and the Secret Service: three shots and three hits.
A close examination of the Zapruder film, and consideration of other evidence (if a bullet exited Kennedy’s throat, what happened to it?) is how the SBT came about.
The “truer record” shows the back wound at T1, fully consistent with the Single Bullet Theory. And fully consistent with what the Warren Report said. As Jean quoted:
You really need to understand that McKnight is unreliable.
Not only is the SBT “workable from a back wound,” it is ONLY workable from a back wound. Are you saying that the WC was too stupid to see that by “raising” the wound, it was defeating its purpose?
Why is it that CT authors never seem to notice that a neck wound ruins the SBT trajectory?
CT authors also don’t seem to notice that the original sentence Ford edited made no sense. “A bullet had entered his back at a point slightly above the shoulder to the right of the spine.” How can something in the back be above the shoulder? Doesn’t that sentence need revision?
Most JFK books are written by people who, like me, are not firearms or ballistic experts. The HSCA expert panels and wound ballistics professionals like Martin L. Fackler and Duncan MacPherson seem to have no problem at all with the SBT. (This link lists an 1995 article by Fackler called “Tests Prove that the ‘Pristine Bullet’ does not Support a JFK Conspiracy” published in a wound ballistics journal):
None of the writers who praise Dolce have accepted Dolce’s 3-bullet, 3-hit scenario, so far as I know. My impression is that “Dolce’s tests” are actually the same tests Olivier testified about and explained. If there’s some record of separate Dolce tests, let me know.
The Warren Commission’s predetermined conclusion was that a lone gunman fired three shots from a sixth floor window in the southeast corner of the TSBD. While they initially assumed the position of the FBI and Secret Service that two shots struck Kennedy and one struck Connally, the Commission had by April adopted the position that the shot sequence could not yet be determined, but three shots from the sixth floor was a settled issue. The Warren Report never established a shooting sequence and it never accounted for the bullet (or portion) which hit the curb near James Tague.
The Warren Commission was furnished with Tague’s FBI statement on December 23, 1963. Subsequently, a timing issue was uncovered with the rifle: cycling the bolt of the Mannlicher-Carcano required a minimum of 2.2 seconds, but the assassination seemed to have occurred in less than eight seconds. If one of the shots went wild, it had to be accounted for in the context of the timing limitations.
The Commission did examine the Zapruder film to try to determine a shot sequence during two meetings in April with the autopsy pathologists, Dallas doctors, the Connallys, FBI, Secret Service, and ballistics specialists from Edgewood Arsenal.
At these meetings, Commission lawyers presented a Single Bullet scenario including seven wounds and CE399. No one, outside of the Commission lawyers, could agree with the scenario. Most concluded that Connally was hit by two separate shots. The notion that the Single Bullet Theory was arrived through these meetings is incorrect, as the Commission lawyers had already developed the concept and no one agreed with them. The Single Bullet Theory was created by the Commission’s staff lawyers because they had to fit the evidence to a pre-determined conclusion.
Jean D – the back wound is too low to make the SBT viable, that is why so much effort was expended in describing the wound as being in the neck. The idea that a bullet passed through Kennedy from back to front at all is entirely speculative. There is no definitive evidence of it – although the autopsy was required to produce it but inexplicably did not. All of the first day evidence disavows the SBT.
There wasn’t any such effort. That’s a conspiracy factoid.
The Warren Commission Report described the wound correctly. The Rydberg drawing and the description that Ford edited (“above the shoulder”) were glitches along the way to an accurate report.
It’s a shame that conspiracy books never correct errors or get things straight before they are published.
The back wound had an abrasion collar, indicating an entrance.
And Kennedy’s shirt collar has the fibers pushed outward, indicating the exit of a bullet.
The memos that resulted from these two meetings have long been on my website:
They fail to show any Warren Commission staffers presenting the Single Bullet Theory.
In fact, they have Specter saying that Connally could have been hit at late as 242.
And they speculate that Connally could have been hit by two different bullets. Indeed, Light and Dolce believed that.
So what is the evidence that Warren Commission attorneys presented the SBT to the group.
Is this something else you got from McKnight?
The FBI shooting scenario unfortunately relied on the Sibert/O’Neill report written before Humes found out about the wound in JFK’s throat. It stated that the bullet didn’t transit JFK’s neck and suggested that the tears in his shirt collar might have been caused by a fragment from the head shot.
In that faulty scenario, Connally *had* to be hit by a second bullet, because the one that hit JFK’s back didn’t exit.
One reason the WC lawyers came up with the SBT was to explain where that bullet actually went. Moving rapidly, it should’ve caused damage to someone or something in the car. So where did it go? CTs have griped about the SBT for 50 years but still haven’t agreed on a viable alternative. Isn’t that odd?
The lone gunman, 3 shot scenario was “predetermined” by the evidence. There was no physical evidence of a second gun, no one reported seeing a second shooter at the time, no evidence of a shot from the front was in the autopsy (or in any later medical panel’s report). You aren’t likely to get any group of lawyers who’ll say, “Nobody saw him and he left no evidence, but many witnesses thought “the shots” came from the front and JFK fell “back and to the left,” etc., so there must have been a second gunman.”
Quote: “The Warren Report never established a shooting sequence and it never accounted for the bullet (or portion) which hit the curb near James Tague.” It wasn’t necessary to establish an exact shooting sequence, and the Tague/curb hit was explained as possibly being caused by a fragment from either the missed shot or the head-shot bullet:
Quote: “Jean D – the back wound is too low to make the SBT viable, that is why so much effort was expended in describing the wound as being in the neck.” Who says it was too low? And again, why would they describe it as being in the neck when that ruins the SBT trajectory? Why must it be “effort” rather than human error or uncertainty?
Quote: “The idea that a bullet passed through Kennedy from back to front at all is entirely speculative.” No, it’s by far the most logical inference when there’s an entry wound in the back and another wound in the front and no bullets in between.
Honestly, how anyone can rant about “conspiracy books” full of errors while holding up the Warren Report as a model of studious detail and unimpeachable reputation…you are the Duke of Cognitive Dissonance.
Apparently the well-documented effort to transform Kennedy’s back wound to one of the neck is now considered a “conspiracy factoid”, even as the Ford edit and the Rydberg drawing are described as “glitches”. But the wording of the Ford edit is in the Report – the wound is described as being “in the neck” or the “base of the back of the neck”. And the Rydberg drawing was published by the Commission as an exhibit, and was referred to by Humes on national television in 1967 as being an accurate representation of what the autopsy photo depicted. So it’s a funny sort of “glitch” when it should be corrected but is not and which then actually forms part of the official record.
This is the Warren Report’s description which you hold up as accurate:
“… another bullet wound was observed near the base of the back of President Kennedy’s neck slightly to the right of his spine… The hole was located approximately 5 1/2 inches (14 centimeters) from the tip of the right shoulder joint and approximately the same distance below the tip of the right mastoid process, the bony point immediately behind the ear.”
That’s not just one but two uses of the word “approximately” in one sentence! And that follows the ever so accurate description of the wound being “near” the base of the back of the neck. That is completely ridiculous.
Then you introduce a deliberate misrepresentation of the evidence:
“Kennedy’s shirt collar has the fibers pushed outward, indicating the exit of a bullet.”
Or indicating the slice of a scalpel used by the medical team to loosen the clothing. The accompanying evidence photo is commonly presented with great emphasis on “fibers pushed outward”, and pointing triangles helping to focus attention on these fibers with the inference this can only be the result of a passing bullet. But the photo also shows that the location of the “fibers pushed outward” is below the top button of the shirt. How does a bullet exit below the top button of the shirt and not go right through the knot in the tie? The tie in evidence has no such damage. And Parkland doctor Carrico told the Commission the small wound in the throat was above the collar. There are other issues mitigating against these “fibers pushed outwards” representing a bullet in flight, including the absence of fibers expected to be carried by the bullet found in the wounds of Connally, the lack of any copper tracings, and the obvious physical characteristics of being a “slit” rather than a ”hole”. Moreover, the use of a scalpel to loosen the clothing is actually in the official record, whereas the “exiting bullet” is speculation. And it was revealed much later that the FBI’s “fiber expert” Stombaugh had run tests on Kennedy’s collar and tie and presented a report – which the Warren Commission buried. So really…
MacAdams – I encourage you to continue your campaign to disparage Gerald McKnight’s fine book “Breach of Trust” because the more you do so the more interest it will receive.
Jean D – a portrayal of unfortunate and faulty scenarios whereby the assassination’s aftermath is marked by bumbling errors and no corrective follow up strains credibility. The idea that Humes did not know about a wound in the throat until the next day has been long exposed as a cover story – accounts from Dallas have Humes on the phone with Parkland’s Dr Perry through the night. First day news reports – nationally broadcast – told of a wound in the throat. Dr Robert Livingston testified that he spoke with Humes on the afternoon of the assassination, ahead of the autopsy, and stressed that news reports spoke of a frontal shot and that the wound would need to be tracked. (p23-25)
The wound was not tracked and therefore there is no direct evidence of a bullet passing from back to front – all the Warren Report could offer was a speculative inference. “CTs have griped about the SBT for 50 years but still haven’t agreed on a viable alternative.” Why should anyone be required to produce a “viable alternative” to a speculative inference which doesn’t hold up to scrutiny? “The lone gunman, 3 shot scenario was “predetermined” by the evidence.” No it wasn’t. The evidence contradicts itself and is tied together by a theory that was rejected by Commissioners themselves. There is a pattern of deception and omission surrounding the investigation by the official agencies.
“It wasn’t necessary to establish an exact shooting sequence, and the Tague/curb hit was explained as possibly being caused by a fragment from either the missed shot or the head-shot bullet:” The April conferences resulted in a general consensus that Kennedy and Connally were struck by separate shots fired too close together to have both come from the alleged assassination rifle. That was a serious problem directly related to a shooting sequence and the idea of a single shooter. The Commission lawyers devised otherwise, even as their theory was not supported by their witnesses. The Tague shot is explained as “possibly” occurring either via a fragment from a “missed shot” – though the missed shot cannot be explained – or flying from the head wound even as proposed trajectory of such a fragment is rather strained and one must also believe that other discovered fragments from the same alleged bullet simply, in comparison, lost all momentum.
Are you seriously suggesting that the Warren Report- written by sharp lawyers and representing the official word on a matter of greatest national importance – was rife with “human error or uncertainty”? That’s nonsense. “it’s by far the most logical inference when there’s an entry wound in the back and another wound in the front and no bullets in between.” Well, you said it yourself – it is an “inference”. It is not logical if the evidence contradicts or impeaches the inference. Which it does. The back wound is too low, as can be seen in the autopsy photo and as corroborated by the damage to the jacket and shirt. The medical record is incomplete and imprecise, and appears to have been deliberately crafted as such. To even begin to suggest the SBT as a viable explanation, it is necessary to show that a bullet actually passed through from back to front. That was not done, and instead an “inference” was presented through the selective highlighting of circumstantial assumptions coupled with the deliberate omission of information which defeats the theory. This was all exposed many years ago.
That’s a Weisberg thing. And what would the nurses be doing pushing scalpels through his shirt from the inside?
Look at the photo of the shirt. It was clearly removed by long clean scalpel cuts.
And do you think scalpels leave rough holes? They are sharp, you know. They would leave clean slits.
Where is “in the neck?”
And “the base of the back of the neck” is accurate. So is the 5 1/2 inches below the tip of the right mastoid process.
The only way to “correct” the Rydberg drawing would have been to let a medical illustrator have access to the autopsy photos. But that’s wasn’t going to happen.
Of course, the HSCA did have access to them. Do you accept the Dox drawings? Or do you reject them too?
Is it the case that you will reject any drawings that don’t suggest conspiracy?
In fact it has a nick in the knot.
No, that’s another buff book distortion of testimony.
Here is what the buff books don’t tell you:
The other Parkland doctors described the wound the same way, well below where the top of the shirt collar would have been.
And then there are the autopsy photos:
In the first place, the link you posted has Humes telling Livingston that he has had no time to listen to news reports.
In the second place, Livingston told Humes some things that were wrong, and on seeing the body, Humes would have discounted what Livingston said.
See the following:
A quote from Livingston:
In other words, Livingston told Humes to expect both an entrance wound and a tracheostomy. But Humes saw no entrance wound.
An abrasion collar, indicating an entrance wound in the back.
Bruising of the tip of the right lung.
An exit wound in the throat, which tore the fibers of Kennedy’s shirt outward.
No bullet in the body.
And you call this speculation?
Not rife (that’s a buff characterization), but a fair amount, certainly.
Want to substitute “Iraq War,” or “Benghazi,” or “Bay of Pigs?”
You just don’t believe in incompetence, do you? Anything that isn’t perfect must be the tip-off to a conspiracy.
Now you are changing your story.
It was that the Warren Commission lawyers pushed the Single Bullet Theory at the conferences, and nobody else bought it.
And I challenged you to provide evidence that any WC lawyers presented the Single Bullet Theory.
Where is it?
This is a McKnight thing, isn’t it?
“And what would the nurses be doing pushing scalpels through his shirt from the inside?”
The nurse was identified as Nurse Bowron, and she appears to have made a cut downward and a cut upward while hurriedly working to free the tie – as noted in the official record. The two slits are different lengths and they do not align. An alleged exiting bullet would have gone right through the knot in the tie, not a small “nick” on one side. There were no copper traces found around the fabric of the front of the shirt or the tie, although there were such traces in near the holes in the back of the jacket and shirt. The FBI informed the Commission of this.
re: Carrico – “that’s another buff book distortion of testimony”
No it’s not. Even in your own link, Carrico points to where he saw the wound and Dulles describes the location as “above” the tie. No where else is a description of the wound offered in relation to Kennedy’s clothing.
“the base of the back of the neck” is accurate. So is the 5 1/2 inches below the tip of the right mastoid process.”
The base of the back of the neck is not an accurate description, as the autopsy photo clearly shows. “5 1/2 inches below the tip of the right mastoid process” may reflect an actual measurement taken by the pathologists, but it is effectively meaningless because for any accuracy or precision in pinpointing where this actually is anatomically, one would need to have the actual body in front of them as skulls, necks, and shoulders vary in size from person to person. It’s tiresome to have to repeat this.
“The only way to “correct” the Rydberg drawing would have been to let a medical illustrator have access to the autopsy photos.”
The Commission had custody of the autopsy photos and could have corrected the record at any time. Commissioners, including Specter, saw the photos and so knowingly allowed this bad information inform the Report.
That Livingstone spoke with Humes ahead of the autopsy and told Humes of a wound in the throat – whether he was accurate in description or whether Humes had paid attention to the news or not – this completely undermines the cover story that the autopsy pathologists were unaware of any wound in the throat or that they should look for one.
“Now you are changing your story.”
No I’m not.
You have to ask whether it’s McKnight’s book because you refuse to read it, even as you present yourself as some kind of “expert” on this case. Instead of trumpeting phoney stories such as the exiting bullet hole on the front of JFK’s shirt – why don’t you go to the library and catch up a bit?
If you read the Eisenberg memos that you posted you will realize that the guests at the April conferences are reacting to scenarios being presented to them – such as could one bullet account for the wounds and could this bullet be CE399? Dolce spoke in greater detail regarding his experience with the Commission’s “legal minds” to Gaeton Fonzi during the HSCA period, and to filmmaker Chip Selby in the 1980s.
The record shows that the staff lawyers of the Warren Commission were working from a predetermined conclusion that a single gunman fired three shots from the 6th floor of the TSBD. The record also shows that the Commission’s lawyers were faced with physical evidence, photographic evidence, and expert opinion which challenged or impeached their conclusion. The record shows the lawyers devised the SBT as a means of explaining the assassination in accordance with their predetermined conclusion, and the declassified record revealed the memos and internal discussion which confirms this understanding.
There is no reason to expect them to be identical lengths, and they do align.
They are also rough, which is not consistent with their being made by scalpels, and the fibers are pushed outward.
Carrico said “lower third of the neck” and “below the thyroid cartilage.”
And you are ignoring the photos, which show the level of the wound.
Then got with the photos, which show the wound at T1.
But you were using news reports from Dallas to claim that Humes would have known of an “entrance wound” in Kennedy.
And Livingston described to Humes a would of entrance and a tracheotomy incision. Humes would have looked at the body and (if he even remembered what Livingston said) have written it off, since he only saw the incision.
McKnight may read them that way, but that’s a wacky way to read them.
Specter is holding out for Connally to perhaps having been hit as late as Z242, for heaven sakes! That’s after Kennedy is obviously hit, and at odds with the SBT.
In this online article author McKnight acknowledged that the shirt slits do align. Dr. Mantik, who examined the shirt at the Archives, told him they “align perfectly” (scroll down):
Years ago Harold Weisberg misread the photo shown on that page, and other WC critics have repeated his error. The slit on the right isn’t longer — that’s a stray thread extending upward from the actual slit.
This part of Carrico’s testimony is also ignored. After Carrico said that the wound was below the Adam’s apple, Dulles asked, “Will you show us about where it was?” Carrico replied, “Just about where your tie would be.” That’s when he moved his hand to indicate where and Dulles changed what Carrico had just said.
“Just about where your tie would be” is not above the collar, is it?
It’s not enough to simply point out these discrepancies forever. What is all this supposed to *mean*? If WC critics think those shirt slits were caused by a scalpel, where on Earth do they think the bullet wound was — through his Adam’s apple? Because that’s what sits directly above the collar in any photo of JFK wearing a shirt and tie that I’ve ever seen.
Sorry, wrong link to McKnight’s article on shirt slits. I think this is it:
I would echo jeffc’s praise for Gerald McKnight’s Breach of Trust, which is the most comprehensive account so far of the Warren Commission’s failure to investigate the assassination. Anyone with a genuine interest in questioning the official interpretation will benefit from reading the book.
But the claim that John McAdams hasn’t read Breach of Trust – surely that can’t be true? Of course, no-one has time to read more than a fraction of the literature, but for someone who pontificates in public on this subject to have ignored one of the essential books, which just happens to demolish his interpretation of the case, is like a child putting his fingers in his ears and saying “la, la, la, I can’t hear you.”
McKnight’s article on the Mary Ferrell website, to which Jean Davison provided a link, gets to the heart of the matter. The FBI tested the holes (holes, not slits) in the back of JFK’s shirt and jacket, and found traces of copper, which indicated that the holes had been caused by a copper-jacketed bullet. The tests revealed no such traces on the slits (slits, not holes) in the shirt or the nick in the tie, which indicates that this damage had been caused by something other than a bullet. One of the nurses testified that she cut away JFK’s clothes (see http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=13946). The front of JFK’s jacket contained several large cuts which can only have been caused by a sharp blade (see CE 393: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=138849). Dr Carrico told Harold Weisberg that a scalpel was used. Every aspect of the damage to the shirt and tie is consistent with the use of a scalpel. The only reasonable explanation is that the damage to the shirt and tie was caused not by a bullet but by a scalpel.
McKnight points out that the Warren Commission treated the episode with its own fingers-in-the-ears technique. Arlen Specter failed to ask the nurses whether they had used scalpels, and failed to ask Dr Carrico to specify the exact location of the throat wound or to explain the damage to the shirt and tie. The FBI’s expert witness, Paul Stombaugh, was not asked about the damage to the shirt collar. The FBI’s test results were excluded from the Commission’s published evidence. This FBI memo confirms the results: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=756092. Also unpublished was J. Edgar Hoover’s letter to Lee Rankin, in which he states that “no copper was found which could be attributed to projectile fragments” (http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=349937). The Warren Report mentions the traces of copper on the back of the garments, but does not mention the absence of copper on the front (see p.92: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=73516).
But the photos from the autopsy show the slit in the throat well below the Adams Apple.
And the slit was were the wound was.
Want to claim they were faked?
If not, why do you choose to ignore them?
Again, I’m not attacking Breach of Trust per se, I’m attacking what I consider to be misinformation that has been passed down since Weisberg’s time from one book to another to the present day.
JFK’s clothes were certainly cut, but with what? I’ve never seen a direct quote from anyone in the ER saying that a scalpel was used. I know there’s an *indirect* quote in Weisberg’s notes, but what did Carrico actually say, specifically?
There’s a special tool with a sharp blade but blunt tip called “trauma scissors” that is customarily used today:
Here’s what JFK’s shirt looked like:
Here’s what a shirt cut with trauma scissors looks like:
Similar jagged appearance, wouldn’t you agree?
How was it established that a bullet that has passed through a body MUST leave copper on clothing at the exit wound? Can you cite an expert opinion on that, or is it just an assumption? Besides, the HSCA’s forensic panel used a different method and did find “borderline” traces of copper on the front of the shirt (#259 here):
Frazier of the FBI Lab examined and measured the shirt slits. What essential information could Stombaugh have possibly added?
Specter had no reason to ask about a scalpel. He asked Carrico to describe the neck wound “as specifically as you can” (scroll down):
Carrico said it was below the Adam’s apple, and that area is ordinarily covered when a dress shirt is buttoned.
Here’s Hoover to Rankin on March 28, 1964 as quoted in the HSCA Forensic Panel appendix:
“The hole in the front of the shirt was a ragged, slit-like hole and the ends of the torn threads around the hole were bent outward. These characteristics are typical of an exit hole for a projectile. A small elongated nick was present in the left side of the knot of the tie. This nick may have been caused by the projectile after it passed through the front of the shirt.”
Hoover was many things but he was not stupid. He knew full well that the best evidence for a bullet passing through the front of the shirt would have been traces of copper on the fabric and he would have insisted on spectrographic analysis to determine the presence of such tracings (as was done for the wound in the back). FBI memos, in fact, established that these tests were done, as would be expected, but for some reason they do not appear in the official record and Hoover chooses to not mention them to Rankin. Surely the reason wouldn’t be that the tests showed no copper tracings? Hoover instead offers some talking points which speak of “characteristics” that are “typical”, and something that “may have been caused” by something else. He definitely does not mention that the slit – not a hole and in no way comparable to the holes in the back of the jacket and shirt which are allegedly from the same missile – the slit is directly below the top button and therefore a prospective missile would do significantly more damage to the knot of a tie than a “nick” on one side. The cognitive dissonance between the argument and the photograph is massive, such that it is really surprising that the HSCA Forensics Panel even attempted to carry water for this nonsense.
“Carrico said it was below the Adam’s apple, and that area is ordinarily covered when a dress shirt is buttoned.”
I know you are trying really hard here, but you are not able to overcome the fact that the one time the wound location was physically identified by Carrico he pointed to a place above the tie. (and I’ll try not to mention that Carrico describes the head wound as “a 5 by 71 cm defect in the posterior skull, the occipital region.”)
The “fibers pushed outward” argument – which is fully a part of the incredible Single Bullet Theory – is easily one of the lamest of all the official story factoids.
I’ve read enough of it to know that it’s nonsense, mostly following Weisberg.
And it’s odd of you to claim that, when JeffC posts some bogus claim from McKnight, I have no right to debunk it.
You folks quit posting bogus claims, I’ll quit debunking them.
As for the holes in the shirt collar, I find it hard to believe that you guys are doubling down on this.
What would be the point of punching a scalpel through the collar from the inside? And just making a short hole, and not the long tear necessary to remove the shirt?
And do you really believe that a scalpel would leave rough slits like the ones in the shirt?
As for copper, post some source that says there always must be copper if a bullet has passed through.
In other words, that the test had no false negatives.
Do you think buffs just get to make up forensics principles that can’t be found in the forensics literature?
See #260 here, which says, “The [HSCA forensic] panel agrees that slit-like defects in clothing are common and typical at missile exit sites.”
Search the web and you can find other forensic sites saying the same thing: bullets often make holes on entry and slits on exit, when the unshored cloth is ripped instead of punched through. This is another example of why I said that most JFK books are written by people who, like me, aren’t experts in these technical fields. They’re offering amateur opinions on matters that require some expertise, not just “this looks funny to me so it’s suspicious.”
Where’s an expert opinion saying that a lack of copper on the shirt front means the bullet didn’t exit, e.g.?
WC critics love to quote Dulles but ignore what witness Carrico actually said: that the wound was below the Adam’s apple “just about where your tie would be.” That’s supposed to be above the collar? Really? Do you think the trach incision in the autopsy photo was “above the collar”? I don’t understand what the theory is here.
Here’s a revealing comment by John McAdams:
“And it’s odd of you to claim that, when JeffC posts some bogus claim from McKnight, I have no right to debunk it.”
Where exactly did I claim such a thing? I do hope you aren’t making stuff up.
I’ve just looked again at my previous post, and I can’t see anything to justify your allegation. It appears that you are indeed making stuff up.
Jean D – you are really straining credibility here, as does the HSCA Forensics Panel in trying to go along with this. I suppose the appeal is that “fibers pushed outward” establish some kind of physical proof of an exiting missile and therefore completes the SBT circle…but really. One can easily refer to pictures and film from the morning of the 22nd – in Fort Worth and Dallas – and check to see if Kennedy’s shirt buttoned to the tip of his adam apple (it doesn’t). Consulting these photographs, it is also plain to see that any alleged passing missile would by necessity create far more damage to the tie than a passing “nick”. There is simply no way around that fact…oh wait,, I forget – it’s the “magic” bullet isn’t it?
“WC critics love to quote Dulles but ignore what witness Carrico actually said: that the wound was below the Adam’s apple “just about where your tie would be.”
How do the critics “ignore” Carrico? He makes the statement you quote, he is asked to clarify, he does by pointing to a spot, and Dulles says he is pointing to a spot above the tie. You seem to be saying that Carrico’s own clarification of his description shouid be ignored in favor of your interpretation of what he first said.
“That’s supposed to be above the collar? Really? Do you think the trach incision in the autopsy photo was “above the collar”? I don’t understand what the theory is here.”
There isn’t a “:theory” other than the one you are purporting in the face of the evidence. The “fibers pushed outward” argument is again a work of inference – where selected attributes of the evidence are highlighted and a supposed logic suggested, while conflicting information is suppressed. Look at the effort you have to make in trying to establish just this little detail!
If you want to insist that the slits below the top button of the shirt represent a passing bullet, you have to explain the lack of damage to the tie, or – if you want to argue that the “nick” on the left side of the knot represents the damage – you must explain the track of the bullet. There are plenty of photos and video available from that day which show Kennedy’s collar and tie.
So Jean quotes the top forensic pathologists in the nation, and the standard forensics literature. You quote buff books. Who has credibility?
Post photos that show the top of his shirt so far below his Adams Apple that a bullet passing at the level of the throat wound could be above the collar.
Just to remind you at what level that would be:
Oh! Buff books say that. Real forensics experts disagree with the buff books.
McAdams – the “buff book” consulted discussing the alleged bullet “slit” is the Warren Commission testimony of Parkland doctor Carrico and a report by the HSCA Forensics panel.
Dr Carrico was asked to demonstrate where he observed a wound in the throat and he pointed to a spot which was identified as “above the tie” by Mr Dulles. This seems to drive you apoplectic.
The autopsy photos show the results of a tracheotomy and not the wound. You know that, or should know that, but still insist on presuming the photos show something they don’t.
The slit is directly below the top button of the shirt. The top button fastened in the small area between the two lapels. The knot of the tie securely fastened into the area between the two lapels and was therefore sitting directly atop both the button and the area directly below where the slits appeared. Why “real forensics experts” did not consider this I cannot answer. There is no damage to the knot of the tie which can account for a passing bullet. It is an obvious point.
You should send Photon over and he can argue that Dulles did not have the expertise necessary to fully determine where Carrico was pointing.
The HSCA Forensics Panel didn’t agree with your position. They saw no problem with the slits in the shirt, or the nick in the tie.
Why are you ignoring “lower third of the neck,” and “about where the tie would be?”
So you are not quoting Carrico, but rather a remark Dulles made.
Did or did not the tracheotomy obscure the bullet wound? In other words, was it or was it not at the level of the wound?
The knot was nicked. The trajectory of the bullet was right to left, and the knot was fairly narrow, and may not have been precisely centered.
Carrico said “lower third of the neck. Why do you ignore what he said?
Then what was the point of your post? I have no obligation at all to read the whole McKnight book in order to post here and debunk his nonsense. You had no business implying that I did.
I don’t have time to read all of McKnight right now. But I’ll certainly debunk his nonsense when posted here.
jeffc, Oct. 8 2:48p.m.:
The bullet didn’t have to go through the tie knot because the slits aren’t directly below the button, they start just below the cloth band that closes the shirt. Please read Todd Vaughn’s excellent rebuttal to McKnight’s online article here, where there’s a good photo showing the slits:
As Vaughn pointed out, McKnight omitted Carrico’s statement that the wound was “Just about where your tie would be.”
When that context is provided, Dulles’ comment makes no sense. How could Carrico have meant both “above the collar” and “just about where your tie would be”? Anybody want to illustrate that?
Unless Dulles was envisioning Kennedy lying on his back, which is exactly how Carrico would have seen him.
“The HSCA Forensics Panel didn’t agree with your position. They saw no problem with the slits in the shirt, or the nick in the tie.”
The HSCA Forensics Panel report features an evidence photo of the tie with one of those pointy triangles, captioned “showing the bullet defect”. On the previous page it is described as a “linear defect along the left lateral margin”, half the size of the slits on the shirt, and which “involves only the outer facing of the tie. The lining is not altered”. How can the defect possibly be only on the “outer facing” when the path of the supposed bullet through the shirt below the top button leads directly through the centre of knot? On what basis can the tie be said to show a “bullet defect”?
“The knot was nicked. The trajectory of the bullet was right to left, and the knot was fairly narrow, and may not have been precisely centered.”
HSCA Forensics Panel: “This defect…involves only the outer facing of the tie. The lining is not altered.” Video and photographs from the morning of the 22nd are available and the knot’s position and size relative to the left and right lapels can be seen and observed as fitting snugly and properly overtop the position of the top button and the area directly below the button. Any passing bullet would go through the tie. It’s impossible to only “nick” the outside edge.
“Carrico said “lower third of the neck”. Why do you ignore what he said?”
No one to my knowledge is ignoring anything Carrico said. He said exactly what you accurately say he did. He says it and then he is asked to clarify and he does by pointing to a location on his neck, and then Allen Dulles observes he is pointing to a spot above the tie. It seems obvious. So obvious that I had to sit back and ponder why you are being so stubborn. Then I realized you are working from the Warren Commission’s interpretation of “neck” – which, as seen earlier in this thread, extends down into the back. So when Carrico says “lower third” of the neck, you have quite a different picture than most of us.
In his testimony, Carrico presents a fairly detailed recollection of the first minutes in the trauma room but he never describes the neck wound as being uncovered or revealed as Kennedy’s jacket, shirt and tie are removed. He points to a position “above the tie” when identifying the position of the wound. There is no damage to the tie which corresponds to the slits in the shirt. There was no residue from a passing bullet or residue from the alleged track of the bullet which had allegedly just taken place. There was, however, testimony that nurses had acted hurriedly to remove the shirt and tie.
Therefore, the full weight of the evidence supports these “slits” as resulting from the work of the nurses. There is nothing to support this being a result of a passing bullet except the coincidence that a slit from a scalpel has similar “characteristics”.
“Todd Vaughn’s excellent rebuttal to McKnight’s online article…As Vaughn pointed out, McKnight omitted Carrico’s statement that the wound was “Just about where your tie would be.” When that context is provided, Dulles’ comment makes no sense.”
McKnight does not omit Carrico’s statement. He quotes it properly and then goes on to note that the record shows, following that statement, Carrico was asked to clarify and he pointed to a spot on his neck and Allen Dulles identified that spot as above the tie.
Author Vaughn appears unable to accept this. He tries to attribute manipulation of the testimony to McKnight (even though there isn’t), and he suggests that McKnight withholds contextual information (even as it appears in the footnotes of Breach of Trust). Vaughn even suggests that Allen Dulles was complicit in preventing Carrico informing the Commission that the wound was actually below the collar (even as the Warren Report said that the wound was below the collar).
Jean D – “The bullet didn’t have to go through the tie knot because the slits aren’t directly below the button, they start just below the cloth band that closes the shirt.”
That’s nonsense. HSCA Panel: “Examination of the shirt reveals a slit-like defect in the upper left front portion, 1.4 centimetres below the topmost buttonhole.”
Anyone can see for themselves:
Here is Kennedy in Fort Worth the morning of the 22nd
Here is another view
Here’s Kennedy at Love Field
Please explain how the tie is not damaged.
In his online article McKnight wrote: “Allen Dulles, who accompanied Specter to Dallas, asked Carrico twice to show him the location of the hole in Kennedy’s anterior neck. The Parkland doctor responded on both occasions locating a point above the collar line.”
That’s simply not true. When Dulles asked Carrico, “Will you show us about where it was,” Carrico replied, “Just about where your tie would be.” In what world is a man’s tie “above the collar line”? And where did McKnight ever quote Carrico’s answer? Please show me, because I don’t believe he did.
When Dulles said Carrico was placing his hand “right above where your tie is,” Carrico replied, “Yes, sir, just where the tie—“ Unfortunately Dulles interrupted him, but I think Carrico was about to repeat himself: “Just where the tie would be.” What else could he have possibly said that would place the wound above the collar? “Just where the tie isn’t,” as Vaughn suggested?
On the shirt slits, I don’t know what you mean by saying “That’s nonsense.” As the photo shows, the two slits lie directly below the bottom edge of the collar band. (What looks like a longer slit on the right is actually a stray thread. Again, Dr. Mantik confirmed that the two slits “align perfectly.”)
The nick in the tie was near the bottom of the knot, to JFK’s left. The tie didn’t stay centered when JFK was waving to the crowd, as can be seen in Z180:
Carrico testimony (at the bottom):
“When Dulles asked Carrico, “Will you show us about where it was,” Carrico replied, “Just about where your tie would be.” In what world is a man’s tie “above the collar line”?”
In a world where, in addition to saying “just about where your tie would be”, a subject points to an area above his tie and above the collar line – as Dulles describes Carrico doing. A spot on the neck above the tie is “just about” where the tie is. This seems to be the real source of controversy, Carrico’s pointing, and the argument seems to require that this be stricken from the record in favour of a particular interpretation of the location of the wound.
“When Dulles said Carrico was placing his hand “right above where your tie is,” Carrico replied, “Yes, sir, just where the tie—“ Unfortunately Dulles interrupted him…”
What is being implied is that Carrico was going to qualify “just where the tie…” but instead was cut off – but this forgets that Carrico had already just qualified the location by pointing to a spot on his neck which Dulles identified as “right above where your tie is” and Carrico answers “Yes, sir”. This is a faux controversy. Author Vaughn stretches the semantics of the exchange and adamantly refuses to accept that Dulles identified a spot which does not fit with his theory. Instead he accuses McKnight of distorting the testimony, according to Vaughn’s own interpretation of “lower third of the neck”. The Vaughn article appears to enshrine central lone-nut talking points on this issue, but it is flawed by its very premise: that the slits in the front of the shirt represent a passing bullet.
“the two slits lie directly below the bottom edge of the collar band…”
The critical detail, which is neatly avoided by focussing attention solely on the “collar band”, is observable as the top button of the shirt. Previously, you claimed that the slits “aren’t directly below the button”. The HSCA Forensics Panel, which you have trumpeted, located the slits exactly there: “1.4 centimetres below the topmost buttonhole.” That position is also near the bottom edge of the collar band. The position of the top button allows for better than approximate positioning of where the slits – i.e. the presumed passing bullet – are in relation to the tie.
Here is the FBI photo of the shirt – the top button positions between the left and right lapels, a little closer to the right lapel. The slits associate with the third and fourth lateral stripes running along the collar and collar band.
Here is Kennedy at Love Field. The top button sits between the left and right lapels, a little closer to the right lapel. The position of the slits can be gauged by the third and fourth lateral stripes of the collar There is a vertical line featuring six woven oval patterns visible on the knot of the tie. The position of the slits is about equal to the third and fourth oval from the top. A passing bullet, as suggested by the slits on the shirt below the top button, would have had to necessarily go right through knot of the tie.
“The nick in the tie was near the bottom of the knot, to JFK’s left. The tie didn’t stay centered when JFK was waving to the crowd…”
Are you suggesting that the knot of the tie was no longer “centered”? The HSCA Forensics Panel said the “defect…involves only the outer facing of the tie. The lining is not altered.” So a bullet did not pass through the tie. By captioning its evidence photo of the necktie as showing “bullet defects”, the HSCA Forensics Panel is suggesting that the supposed bullet “nicked” the outer facing of the left lateral margin of the knot after exiting Kennedy in a location equivalent to a centimetre and a half below the position of the top button of his shirt. I can visualize how a tie knot could be manipulated to make that happen, but I am not sure it is possible to achieve the same effect by simply raising an arm and waving.
Therefore – short of physically manipulating the knot of the tie at the precise coincidental moment that a bullet slammed through the throat and near the top button of the tailored shirt – the idea that the slits on the front of the shirt represent the path of a bullet is absurd. The absurdity of the position was already in large measure established by other things that are not present, such as spectrographic evidence, and by what is manifest: a reasonable and accurate alternate explanation – nurses cut away the clothing.
In this instance,
McKinght is excoriated for pointing out the obvious: Dulles inadvertently undermined evidence scheduled to be physical “proof” that a bullet had indeed passed through the president. Minute dissection of McKnight’s sentences and quotes is engaged, and gnashing of teeth, even as the position of his interlocutors– that the slits in the shirt represent a passing bullet – as advanced previously by the HSCA Forensics Panel and the Warren Commission, is demonstrably unsound.
I wasn’t going to reply (we don’t seem to be getting anywhere) but I ran across this close-up of the tie knot. Does this look like a nick made by a scalpel to you?
We don’t know where Carrico was pointing, only where Dulles *thought* he was pointing. Carrico could’ve easily responded, “Yes, sir, above the collar,” but instead he mentioned the tie again. Weird, if he meant “above the collar.”
Vaughn accused McKnight of distorting Carrico’s testimony because that’s what he did. He completely left out Carrico’s answer “Just about where your tie would be” and wrongly claimed that Carrico had “twice” answered Dulles by “locating a point above the collar line.”
He also wrote, “As Carrico explained to Specter the use of scalpels was “the usual practice” in a medical emergency of this nature.” Carrico told Specter no such thing.
This is what Vaughn “can’t accept” — distortion of a witness’s testimony. McKnight certainly isn’t the only writer guilty of this, and I’m not saying the distortion was deliberate. (My main point is to suggest that people go to the original testimony/documents instead of relying on inaccurate secondary sources.)
As for the location of the shirt slits, they begin immediately beneath the collar band where the vertical striping begins.
Jean D – “…we don’t seem to be getting anywhere…”
I think it has been clearly demonstrated that a passing bullet – as identified via the slits on the shirt – would have necessarily passed pretty much through the centre of the knot in the tie, and the lack of such damage on the tie can only mean that a passing bullet did not in fact damage the shirt.
“We don’t know where Carrico was pointing, only where Dulles *thought* he was pointing…”
Carrico points, Dulles identifies where Carrico is pointing, Carrico says “yes” – yet this is somehow controversial. A controversy based entirely on a presumption, or interpretation, of the phrase “just about where your tie would be”. To claim McKnight is engaged in “distortion of witness testimony” is drawing a very fine line, particularly as nothing Carrico says is actually contradicted. It is also irrelevant, as clearly a bullet did not pass through the shirt as there is no corresponding damage to the tie (the damage there is on the tie is not in a position to correspond to the slits on the shirt). The true distortion here is that the Warren Commission and the HSCA Forensic Panel falsely claim that the damage to the shirt and the tie is the result of a passing bullet. This is McKnight’s ultimate point, and he is correct.
“As for the location of the shirt slits, they begin immediately beneath the collar band where the vertical striping begins.”
Yes, directly below the top button. The collar band has no relevance to positioning the slits, whereas the top button most decisively does. Vaughn’s description “collar band” is a bit of a semantic trick meant to remove the snake from the oil – sort of like saying “neck” instead of “back”.
Please explain how a bullet could travel through the slits in the shirt without going through the centre of the knot of the tie. Or, explain how the outer facing of the left lateral margin of the tie knot lines up with the slits in the shirt. Short of that you are expending a lot of energy trying to make Carrico say what you want him to say, in full denial that he doesn’t actually say it and that the physical evidence trumps your position anyway.
I’m surprised that you don’t see the irony in accusing me of “trying to make Carrico say what you want him to say,” when the author you’re defending actually *did* make Carrico say things he didn’t say, — e.g., “Carrico explained to Specter the use of scalpels was ‘the usual practice’ in a medical emergency of this nature.” That is fiction. (Readers of conspiracy books are often reading fiction without knowing it.)
Your belief that a passing bullet would’ve necessarily passed through the tie apparently isn’t shared by others who have actually examined the clothing. Respectfully, why should I think you’re right and they’re wrong?
I don’t understand why you disagree that the shirt slits begin under the collar band. Are you misreading the long thread under the buttonhole as part of a slit? Weisberg did, and thought the slits didn’t match up. But they do. See the paragraph under this shirt photo for an explanation:
Here’s the nick in the tie again:
Can you explain how a scalpel would cause vertical slits in the shirt and a wider horizontal hole in the tie knot? The different directions and appearance make sense if the bullet ripped the shirt (typical of exits in clothing) and then took out a piece of the tie as it passed.
I finally realized that I’ve been misspelling Todd Vaughan’s last name. I apologize.
“Carrico explained to Specter the use of scalpels was ‘the usual practice’ in a medical emergency of this nature.” That is fiction.’
This is real mountain/molehill stuff, but to be clear: the dispute is whether Carrico told this to Specter, when actually he told it to Harold Weisberg. There’d be something to be said if Carrico never discussed emergency room procedures related to clothing removal with anyone, but he did. The more relevant and primary dispute, of course, is whether the small “punctuated” wound in Kennedy’s neck relates to the slits in the shirt. Carrico, when asked, pointed to a spot identified as “right above where your tie is”. The only other reference was provided by Parkland nurse Henchcliffe, who said “It was just a little hole in the middle of his neck.” Taken together, these descriptions show the wound was above the collar of the shirt.
“Your belief that a passing bullet would’ve necessarily passed through the tie apparently isn’t shared by others who have actually examined the clothing. Respectfully, why should I think you’re right and they’re wrong?”
Hoover made no correlation between the slits in the shirt and the nick in the tie. The link was inferred by the Warren Commission. The HSCA Forensics Panel makes no correlation in its descriptive text, but a connection is implied by whoever wrote the caption to the photo of the tie included in their report. From there, in the lone-nut literature, that Kennedy’s clothing reveals both the entrance and exit of a bullet becomes an oft-repeated factoid (i.e. McAdams site, Bugliosi, et al). The proof that this factoid is wrong is easily discernible via the photos I provided. Look for yourself.
“I don’t understand why you disagree that the shirt slits begin under the collar band…”
I don’t disagree. What I am observing, as per the HSCA’s own description, is that the slits are below the top button, and therefore their position in relation to Kennedy’s tie can be determined, and it can be seen that there is simply no correlation between the slits in the shirt and the damage to the left side of the tie knot.
It’s very interesting the effort you are expending on this issue, and the semi-hysterical tone evidenced in the Vaughan article is interesting as well. In my opinion, the non-existent correlation first proposed by the Warren Commission is something of a grasp for straws by which to support the SBT – a theory which is also entirely dependent on “logical” inference and also falls apart due to a very inconvenient matter of position (the wound in the back is too low for the SBT’s alleged trajectory).
I would also like to point out that author Vaughan, in his article, rashly impugns the credibility of Harold Weisberg:
“I strongly suspect that first generation conspiracy author Harold Weisberg … grand-fathered all of the “Dr. Carrico testified that the wound was above the collar” crap. And no, if anyone is wondering, I don’t believe for a minute Weisberg’s claim in Post Mortem that Dr. Carrico “confirmed” that the wound was above the collar when Weisberg supposedly asked him about it – Weisberg offers no support for that claim, no citation, no quote, no transcript of an interview, nothing.”
Weisberg interviewed Carrico. His notes are available in his archive:
So Vaughan is way off-base here. His hectoring tone and allegations of fraud can be seen in that light.
Jean D July 16, 2016: “We went over the same ground several times, Jeff. I did “engage the photos,” you just didn’t like my answer.”
The reply dated Oct 11, 2014 1:08AM features several photos which back up a central point: a bullet could not pass through the shirt without damaging the lining of the tie. You did not engage the photos other than to repeat that “the tie didn’t stay centered when JFK was waving to the crowd.” What you propose remains physically impossible, as seen in the photos provided. Please restate your position, referring to the provided photos described Oct 11, 2014.
John McAdams July 16, 2016: “You were puffing the silly notion that the throat wound was above the collar.”
The location of the wound was described by Parkland doctor Carrico, as discussed in detail above.
And as discussed above, buffs lie about Carrico’s testimony.
But why would you be so concerned with Carrico’s testimony, when autopsy photos show exactly where the wound was?
There was a wound to the throat if you believe the most pertinent statement from that day by the most important witness who was an experienced observer of gunshot wounds, Dr. Perry.
You asked me to respond to your photos, Jeff. JFK wasn’t shot while standing in Fort Worth or at Love Field. He was waving and turned slightly to his right when he went behind the Stemmons sign, and that seems to have affected the position of his tie.
JFK’s tie had a pattern of repeated figures. The nick in the tie knot is located at the third figure from the bottom, as seen here:
(BTW, does that hole look like a scalpel cut to you?)
You can see where that nick was in one of your photos:
As I said, the shirt slits align and start just below the collar band. The slit under the buttonhole may look longer but that’s an illusion created by a stray thread that curves upward from the tear. (This was confirmed by Dr. Mantik, who examined the shirt at the Archives):
The shirt was cut off across the chest apparently with scissors, which is the typical tool used from what I’ve read.
It would be silly to make scalpel cuts where those slits were. They accomplished nothing whatsoever and didn’t even remove the button.
Jean D: “He was waving and turned slightly to his right when he went behind the Stemmons sign, and that seems to have affected the position of his tie.”
Jean, the photos provided serve as a means to visualize the position of the top button of JFK’s shirt and thereby situate the position of the “shirt slits” relative to the position of the tie. Clearly, the absence of damage to the lining of the tie and the fact there is only a small “nick” of the left lateral margin of the knot proves that a passing missile was not responsible for the damage. The only way to create a correspondence between the slits in the shirt and the nick in the knot of the tie would be to physically manipulate the tie, lifting the knot and then twisting it almost right around. It is plain to see. It is impossible to achieve this simply by raising one’s arms.
That is what you continue to stubbornly refuse to accept. It doesn’t matter what may or may not have happened in the trauma room because the clothing evidence clearly indicates that a passing bullet did not cause the damage to the front of the shirt. This lone nut factoid – the track of a bullet is visible in the front of JFK’s shirt and tie – is based entirely on an inference made by Hoover when he knew that the spectrographic evidence was negative. The inference soon becomes “factoid” by repetition.
You are trying for the Ralph Cinque award for loudly insisting that a photo shows something that it clearly doesn’t show.
You can’t make your claim true by just insisting on it.
John McAdams: “You can’t make your claim true by just insisting on it.”
I have carefully described the issue, and used a detailed description of the photographs to back up what appears obvious. Neither yourself nor Jean D have engaged at all with the issue other than to deny what is obvious. I believe both of you are demonstrating exactly the behaviour you are quick to criticize, namely: reading something in a book or article and then mindlessly repeating it without working through or consulting the original sources. If you were at all principled, you would immediately remove the sections of your website which promote the false premise.
“I have carefully described the issue, and used a detailed description of the photographs to back up what appears obvious.”
It’s obvious to YOU, Jeff, but your photos don’t prove your point. If JFK had been shot at Love Field, you’d be right — the bullet would’ve likely gone through the tie knot. You seem to think the tie was immovable. It wasn’t:
That photo wasn’t taken at the moment the shot was fired — but neither was yours. The point is there’s no photo showing where the tie knot was when JFK was hit.
Earlier you said, “Parkland doctor Carrico told the Commission the small wound in the throat was above the collar.” That’s one of McKnight’s claims, but Carrico didn’t say that. He said the opposite.
Mr. Carrico. There was a small wound, 5- to 8-mm in size, located in the lower third of the neck, below the thyroid cartilage, the Adam’s apple.
Mr. Dulles. Would you show us about where it was.
Mr. Carrico. JUST ABOUT WHERE YOUR TIE WOULD BE. [my emphasis]
Carrico also said, “We opened his shirt and coat and tie and observed a small wound in the anterior lower third of the neck…”
http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=35&relPageId=13&search=“opened_his shirt” AND carrico
Conspiracy writers don’t like what Carrico said, they’d rather quote Dulles.
Can you show me any photo of JFK in a buttoned dress shirt that shows the area of his lower neck below the Adam’s apple?
McKnight also suggests that the lack of copper on the front of the shirt means that a bullet didn’t cause the slit. I think that’s just an assumption he jumped to, but if you have a source for that claim, let me know. The only info I can find online suggests that metal traces are associated primarily with entrance wounds. For instance, “A common characteristic of bullet entrance holes is the presence of bullet wipe residue…. Lead bullets normally leave the heaviest deposits of bullet wipe residue but it is not unusual for jacketed bullets to also deposit bullet wipe residue.” Regarding exit wounds: “Full-metal-jacketed or round nosed bullets may leave holes that are similar to bullet entrance holes but most will be absent of bullet wipe residue….”
Can you find any source that says a copper-jacketed bullet will always leave metal traces around an exit hole in cloth?
“… If you were at all principled, you would immediately remove the sections of your website which promote the false premise.”
Maybe you should instead suggest this to Mr. McKnight?
Jean D, you remain rigid and imprecise in your arguments. The motorcade photo you provided supports my premise: a bullet exiting below the top button of the shirt would damage the tie in a way not seen on the tie in evidence, and there is no way short of deliberate physical manipulation to match the damage that does appear on the tie with the shirt in evidence. It’s not that the tie was “immovable”, it’s that the tie could not move into the position required. It’s amazing that you do not realize how weak your position is on this.
Your insistence on getting Carrico to say what you want him to say requires a portion of the conversation between Carrico and Dulles to be effectively disappeared. If, during a discussion pinpointing a location, one participant points to an area and the other describes the location of the area and the first participant says “yes”, well that is extremely relevant to the discussion. In this case, not only do you ignore this exchange in favour of a far less precise description, but you excoriate an author for pointing it out the full context of the exchange. Then you say “Conspiracy writers don’t like what Carrico said, they’d rather quote Dulles” i.e. they’d rather share the full context of the testimony.
On what basis do you ignore this important qualification?
“McKnight also suggests that the lack of copper on the front of the shirt means that a bullet didn’t cause the slit. I think that’s just an assumption he jumped to…”
Jean, you’re not getting the drift. What is being pointed out is that the FBI’s Hoover realized there was no spectrographic evidence to support a determination of the slits being a bullet hole, so his contribution to the Commission on this issue had to take the form of an inference i.e. the slits had similar “characteristics”. This is because the notion that this is a bullet hole has no direct support in the evidence, and an alternate explanation – the clothing was cut away in the trauma room resulting in the seen damage – is more viable, not least because the lack of damage to the tie rules out a bullet path below the shirt’s top button.
“Lower third of the neck” and “just about where the tie would be” is pretty precise.
But it’s deeply ironic that you use the word “precise,” when these are the precise evidence of where the wound was.
Why do you ignore them?
Why do you folks puff the Carrico testimony (and indeed a tendentious version of it) and ignore what the other doctors said?
Kemp Clark, for example, said the wound was “at the point of the knot of his necktie” (6H28). Baxter said the tracheotomy incision was “in the second tracheal ring” (6H42), and so on.
Okay. So now witness testimony printed in the Warren Commission volumes is described as a “tendentious version”. We are indeed inhabiting different universes.
Like this: ““Lower third of the neck” and “just about where the tie would be” is pretty precise.”
Is it? “Lower third of neck” seems like something of a ballpark description, while any phrase which begins with “just about” seems automatically disqualified from “precise”, at least compared to the tendentious “you put your hand right above where your tie is? Yes sir…”
The quality of your rebuttal has been established, I think, and I will leave it at that.
The main reason I’m not convinced by your argument, Jeff, is that it’s obvious to me that the bullet had to have exited through the shirt — I think the photo evidence proves that.
In this Love Field photo, notice the two horizontal lines or creases in JFK’s neck, just above the collar line:
Can you see those same lines in the autopsy photos (very graphic, sorry):
Whether the body is upright or lying down, skin creases don’t travel up or down the body. The photos show that an exiting bullet would’ve HAD to go through JFK’s shirt. How could it not?
On another point, it takes chutzpah to claim I insist on “getting Carrico to say what I want him to say” when I quoted him verbatim and you did not.
I strongly disagree that McKnight “pointed out the “full context of the exchange” between Dulles and Carrico. In his online article he wrote, “Allen Dulles … asked Carrico twice to show him the location of the hole in Kennedy’s anterior neck. The Parkland doctor responded on both occasions locating a point above the collar line.”
Here’s the first time:
Mr. DULLES – Will you show us about where it was?
Dr. CARRICO – Just about where your tie would be.
Do you seriously think Carrico would say “just about where your tie would be” while pointing to a point above his collar line?
Carrico placed the wound where the autopsy photos showed it to be, which was definitely not “above the collar.”
Jean D – the quality of your rebuttal has also been established.
The photo evidence does not “prove” anything other than the presence of slits in the shirt below the top button. Presence of copper tracing or body tissue in that area would help establish a passing bullet, but these were not present. That is why Hoover could not say it was a passing bullet. Furthermore, there was no damage to the tie other than a defect in the left front of the knot. The tie sat directly overtop where the slits in the shirt were. Lack of any damage to the lining of the tie overwhelmingly suggests a bullet did not pass through. I used photos to show the relation of the tie and the shirt. To claim “an exiting bullet would’ve HAD to go through JFK’s shirt” you must account for the lack of damage to the tie. All you can come up with is that his arm was raised and he was waving. That is a poor reply, because anyone can put on a shirt and tie, raise their arm and wave, observe and realize for themselves that the front of the knot cannot line up with the shirt’s top button without being deliberately manipulated.
“I quoted him verbatim and you did not…”
I have quoted Carrico verbatim, including the exchange with Dulles.
“Do you seriously think Carrico would say “just about where your tie would be” while pointing to a point above his collar line?
But that is exactly what happened, at least according to Dulles’ observation and Carrico’s affirmative response. If this needed to be further qualified then Specter needed to step in and he didn’t, as McKnight points out in his reply to the author Vaughan – many of whose talking points both you and McAdams repeat tirelessly. (McKnight’s reply is appended to his original article linked above). What we see in the autopsy photos is governed by body position and camera position, and also by the fact that the tracheotomy had obscured the initial wound. You are welcome to imagine that area covered by a shirt, but to fully realize your argument you have to account for that pesky tie. Sorry.
I’ve repeated these points enough.
I think you’re the one being inflexible here, Jeff.
I don’t think it’s possible to explain it as a matter of camera angles and “body position.” The trach wound is where it is, well below the Adam’s apple. The neck creases are where they are. This overlay of shirt and wound is from another forum:
Imo you’re also misreading Hoover’s response to the spectrographic tests. Using another method the HSCA found borderline traces of copper on the shirt front(259 & 260 here):
The HSCA concluded that the bullet exited and struck Connally based on other evidence, not on the copper.
In Best Evidence Lifton explained why the FBI thought a fragment had exited the throat instead of a bullet. The FBI’s early summary reports relied on the observations of Sibert & O’Neill, who left the autopsy believing the back wound didn’t transit. (This was before Humes learned about the throat wound.) But if the back bullet didn’t transit, how to explain the shirt slits? The FBI’s answer was to suggest that a fragment from the head shot may’ve exited there. This is from Best Evidence, I didn’t make it up.
ME: “I quoted him verbatim and you did not…”
YOU: “I have quoted Carrico verbatim, including the exchange with Dulles.”
Your statement “Carrico told the Commission the small wound in the throat was above the collar” is not verbatim. Nowhere did Carrico utter those words.
And you left out part of his reply to Dulles when you wrote, “you put your hand right above where your tie is? Yes sir…”
Before Dulles interrupted him he was apparently about to repeat what he’d said earlier, because it’s very similar to his first answer. Here is the entire exchange, with my emphasis.
SPECTER – Will you describe, as specifically as you can then, the neck wounds which you heretofore mentioned briefly?
CARRICO – There was a small wound, 5- to 8-mm. in size, located in the lower third of the neck, below the thyroid cartilage, the Adams apple.
DULLES – Will you show us about where it was?
CARRICO – **JUST ABOUT WHERE YOUR TIE WOULD BE.**
DULLES – Where did it enter?
CARRICO – It entered?
DULLES – Yes.
CARRICO – At the time we did not know
DULLES – I see.
CARRICO – The entrance. All we knew this was a small wound here.
DULLES – I see. And you put your hand right above where your tie is?
CARRICO – Yes, sir; **JUST WHERE THE TIE —
DULLES – A little bit to the left.
CARRICO – To the right.
DULLES – Yes; to the right.
CARRICO – Yes. And this wound was fairly round, had no jagged edges, no evidence of powder burns, and so forth.
As Todd Vaughan asked, what do you think Carrico was about to say? “Just where the tie wasn’t”?
Jean D: “This overlay of shirt and wound is from another forum…”
This is repeating the fraudulent graphic you introduced earlier. JFK’s suit photographed while he was standing cannot be overlayed across a prone body on an autopsy table and assume any kind of meaning, connection, or correlation.
“Your statement “Carrico told the Commission the small wound in the throat was above the collar” is not verbatim…”
I have not ever said what you place in quotes. What you don’t seem to grasp is the point that Carrico does not either say specifically the wound was below the collar. The claim you are parroting, originally made by author Vaughan, is that the phrase “just about where your tie would be” means below the collar, which is Vaughan’s interpretation. In the record, Dulles qualifies, Carrico agrees and then is cut off as he says “just where the tie…” and both Vaughan, and yourself, interpret that to also mean below the collar, “he was apparently about to repeat what he’s said earlier.” But “apparently” is a subjective take – you don’t actually know what he was about to say, just as you don’t actually know what he meant by saying “just about where your tie would be.”
McKnight, from his response to Vaughan http://www.maryferrell.org/pages/Essay_-_Bugliosi_Fails_to_Resuscitate_the_Single-Bullet_Theory.html:
“It is too bad Specter didn’t ask Carrico to specify: Do you mean above the collar line or did the bullet exit through the collar and damage the tie? Or some variation to bring essential clarity to this critical issue.”
Exactly. The only people claiming “absolute clarity” here are Bugliosi and Vaughan, parroted by yourself and McAdams. But this supposed clarity is based on nothing but inference.
ME: “Your statement “Carrico told the Commission the small wound in the throat was above the collar” is not verbatim…”
JEFF: “I have not ever said what you place in quotes.”
Look above — Oct. 5, 2014 2:50pm, last paragraph, you wrote, “And Parkland doctor Carrico told the Commission the small wound in the throat was above the collar.”
“What you don’t seem to grasp is the point that Carrico does not either say specifically the wound was below the collar.”
The difference is that I didn’t write, “Carrico told the Commission the wound was below the collar.” I quoted what he actually said.
“The claim you are parroting, originally made by author Vaughan, is that the phrase “just about where your tie would be” means below the collar, which is Vaughan’s interpretation.”
And your interpretation is what? That JFK wore his tie above his collar?? Please show me a photo of that.
Yes, I’m happy to quote Todd Vaughan, a careful researcher, as you’ve been quoting McKnight. I’m “parroting” and you’re not?
The Dulles/Carrico exchange is puzzling for several reasons. Dulles had just heard Carrico place the wound “just about where the tie would be,” yet he quickly contradicts him (or Carrico contradicts himself by pointing above the collar). Even weirder, no one acknowledges that the witness has changed his story. Nobody tries to clarify by adding “But I thought you said” or “I meant to say” or anything like that. They just go on as if nothing had changed.
It finally occurred to me there may be a simpler explanation that makes sense of all this. What if there was a transcription error and Dulles simply repeated what Carrico had just said, like this:
“DULLES – I see. And you put your hand right ABOUT where your tie is?
CARRICO – Yes, sir; **JUST WHERE THE TIE —
DULLES – A little bit to the left.
Suddenly it makes sense, at least to me. It explains why Carrico said, “Yes, sir,” and why no one seemed to notice a contradiction: (there wasn’t one).
I don’t know if the stenographer took shorthand or used a stenotype machine, but I’ve found that the shorthand symbols for “about” and for “above” are virtually the same:
Holy cow. Could this longtime controversy be based on a one-word transcription error??
Does anyone know if the original notes for this testimony are in the record?
“But above the shoulder is the neck.”~McAdams
Not so, above the shoulders also includes the middle trapezius, which is considered a part of the back.
The neck is not like a tube sitting on a flat table-top. There is a contour: From the posterior view the back meets the neck at C4 and curves around to the front flowing downward to the sternum. The fit of a shirt collar should give the proper idea of what is the back and what is the neck.
The bullet hole said to be 5.5 in below the right mastoid process, this is the back.
A bullet entering from the trajectory the height of the claimed snipers nest is extremely unlikely to exit from the throat.
Add to this the undeniable evidence that the throat wound was one of entry and you have the dilemma of the Warren Commission; to take their leap into the fantasy world of the Magic Bullet.
Ford had seen this drawing:
The fact that you don’t consider the hole to be in the neck doesn’t change the fact that Ford would have characterized it that way.
Apparently, he did it to make the text consistent, since it originally said:
But above the shoulder is the neck.
Then there is the fact that he would have seen the Rydberg drawing:
. . . and probably would not have known where “14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process” (the location on the autopsy face sheet) was.
There was nothing sinister about what he did:
But this was another example of the WC getting itself in trouble by not insisting on seeing the autopsy photos and x-rays. Specter urged Rankin that they be gotten.
You can read his memo to Rankin here:
I think Ford was under heavy pressure from Jedgar Hoover to change the wound location.
Although I believe there was more than one gunman, I also believe that it is PLAUSIBLE that a FMJ bullet could have passed through both JFK and Connolly based on the position of their bodies. I dont think anyone can credibly say it is impossible. Whether it is POSSIBLE (50% probabiluty) or LIKELY (more than 75% probability) depends on the precise downward trajectory of the bullet.
There seems to me to be more evidence than not that the president’s wound was in the back and that the trajectory that would have caused it to exit too low to hit Connolly in the spot where his entry wound is located. On the otherhand, his entry wound was oblong and not typical of an entry wound unless it was an extreme downward trajectory.
“In fact, it is more likely that in in the ride to Parkland she simply held and cleaned her husbands face as best she could. ”
Is that a fact?
In fact, it is more likely that the boys cleaned her husbands car@ Parkland as best they could.
Bill’s statement is one of the crudest in the History of JFK’s assassination. “simply held and cleaned” What could she do with his brains blown out but hold his head. Cleaning the blood and brain matter splattered all over her and him, beyond, ridiculous. Cleaned his face? With what!!!
As best she could ? This is nutty as a fruitcake.
Actually Ronnie….you and the nitwit who posted under anonymous have totally mischaracterized my comments and I feel sorry for both of you. Talk about over-zealous. What IS wrong with you??
Here is what Mrs. Kennedy said:
“I was trying to hold his hair on. From the front there was nothing —
I suppose there must have been. But from the back you could see,
you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on. ….
I could see a piece of his skull sort of wedge-shaped, like that, and
I remember that it was flesh colored with little ridges at the top.”
You seem to have settled on the use of the word ‘cleaned’. Ok then, maybe I should have said ‘protected’, or tried to hide it from others to see. Is that better. The fact is that Mrs. Kennedy herself, did have contact with the wound to JFK’s skull and she did admit to trying to put material back in. And she did provide a small piece of brain material to an attending physician. Feel better???? I hope so.
As far as anon goes….Did I say FACT? Or use the expression, ‘In Fact’, to describe the likelihood of Jackie doing what she admitted she did, as she admitted when questioned later. Boys…get a grip and don’t be so quick to attack what you have not read completely through and or are somehow incapable of understanding.
It is pretty clear that Jackie Kennedy was in the middle of a trauma, and really….had no idea of what ws going on…or what she had done. While it was true that she (apparently) did provide a small piece of brain matter to the Dr. at Parkland, there is nothing to say that she didn’t pick up that material as she took the ride to the hospital and formulated the idea to keep her shattered husbands head covered with her body…and later Hill’s jacket. In fact, it is more likely that in in the ride to Parkland she simply held and cleaned her husbands face as best she could. We’ve read the movements as being ‘scooping up a piece of skull which was sliding off of the limo’…etc. High doubtful. The ‘witnesses’ in the car cannot really be helpful as too many disagree on what occurred. Kellerman swears jfk said he was ‘hit’. Yet Jackie heard nothing…neither did Connolly. So chuck them.
As far as shot sounds: Zapruder’s secretary provides a lot of answers: Sounds….bottles crashing, missing African Americans…and common sense responses.
Hey Photon and Mcadams, what about the Connally’s? You conveniently are only focusing on Jackie’s clouded memory and trauma-based confusion…..yet have made no reference yet (on this posting/string) about their views, statements or beliefs of the SBT. Why again is that?
Want to change the subject? OK, here goes:
John Connally’s testimony is perfectly consistent with the Single Bullet Theory. He testified he heard a shot, turned to his right to see JFK, failed to see him, and then was turning back to his left when a shot hit him. We see him doing that in the Zapruder film, with the second shot hitting him at Z-223.
The real anti-SBT witness here is Nellie. She said she saw that Kennedy had already been hit while her husband remained unhit.
Here is what I say about that in my book:
McAdams, you ignore all the recorded interviews of John Connally, who was certain he was hit by a different bullet than the SBT/Magic Bullet. No need for lip readers there.
Connally admitted in a CBS interview that his recollections were consistent with the SBT if it was the second shot.
But he added “the best witness I know” (Nellie) disagrees.
That’s the thing…since Conally was indeed hit by a different bullet than JFK, there WAS no “magic bullet”. It didn’t help the WC that a bullet missed the limousine and debris from it struck James Tague, who made sure the WC knew about that.
Interesting commentary, but John Connally said he was not hit by a shot that also hit JFK, and the former never changed his opinion of that. Did Nellie tell John to say that???
Actually, he said he heard a shot, turned to his right to try to see JFK and failed, and then as he turned back, was hit by the second shot.
No, he just believed his wife.
That makes him a loyal husband, but not a good anti-SBT witness.
From John McAdams’ book:
John, what evidence do you have that indicates they were
“professional lip readers?”
Shackelford simply described them as experienced lip readers.
I think I assumed that, since it was a couple (James and Kimberly Petrimoulx), they must be professionals working with deaf people, rather than two deaf people with extensive experience.
I’ve found Kimberly on Facebook, so I’ll see if she responds and what she says.
John, that doesn’t seem like a very scholarly approach.
To publish an assumption with no factual basis is the very thing that you habitually charge conspiracy authors with doing. Why shouldn’t you be held to the same standard?
In another thread you wrote:
How would you characterize your own “willful sloppiness?”
Whether they were “professional” or merely “experienced” doesn’t matter a lot.
Either way, they were qualified to judge the issue.
Shackleford, remember, is a conspiracist.
Whether the draft Ford changed said “above the shoulder” or “below the shoulder” is hugely important. The former makes Ford’s revision a matter of attempted good faith correction. The latter makes him a liar.
John, I get it.
The Shackelford piece was important enough to be included in your book, but it wasn’t important enough to be reported accurately and honestly by you.
As Einstein wrote:
Michael, the difference between “professional” lip readers and “experienced” lip readers is trivial.
It’s obvious you simply don’t like my debunking conspiracy factoids and look for excuses to attack me.
The words do mean different things, as a simple trip to the dictionary demonstrates.
I’m not attacking you, John. When I pointed the mistake out the first time, you yourself replied, “Good catch.”
All I’m doing is fact-checking.
“Zapruder frames 240–60 …Her husband’s face, contorted with pain, is turned away from her.”~McAdams
The term, “contorted with pain” is a subjective call, in the lack of detail of all the faces in this film, it could be interpreted differently. My interpretation is that Connally’s face portrays shock and surprise when he sees that Kennedy has clearly been shot. The Zapruder film shows Conally’s actual reaction to the shot just a fraction of a second before the head shot to Kennedy.
The audio of the rifle shots have been synced to the Z-film, and the last two shots micro-seconds apart match perfectly with Connally reacting just before Kennedy is hit in the head.
You should really pay attention to the fact that Connally is still sitting in an upright position until he was finally hit.
You should actually pay attention to Connally’s own testimony that he was absolutely positive he was not shot by the same shot that hit Kennedy.
I tend to agree with John McAdams that this post was over-reach. the quote is not definitive statement and even if she had made such a statement, given her inability to remember crawling on the back of the car, her testimony about anything that happened lacks veracity. This is another example why eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. The shock of seeing her husband’s head blown up could certainly impair her memory.
However, it is fairly clear that RFK privately doubted the WC conclusions. Multiple sources have confirmed his doubts. His public statements were likely to protect the family and preserve his political career since any meaningful investigation would have involved exposing our nation’s dealings with the mafia/exile castro assassination planning that was done under RFK’s direction or knowledge.
But also keep in mind that it would be irresponsible to fan the flames of conspiracy talk if he did not actually have any hard evidence of conspiracy. There is no evidence that he had any such hard evidence. Suspicion is not hard evidence.
In fact, he was casting about for people to blame: Castro, the CIA, etc.
One source (which I can’t use on my website because I can’t find the primary source) has him blaming Nixon and Howard Hughes!
So I think he behaved responsibly under the circumstances.
Hmmm… on the one hand, we have the recollections of witnesses who were on the scene. On the other, we have extraordinarily biased partisans espousing a pre-determined point of view. Who should we go with here? Tough choice…
It doesn’t matter whether Jackie expressed disbelief in the SBT. What matters to history is that both she and RFK were content to let the official story prevail.
My guess is that they were clueless as to why JFK was killed and by whom. It’s impossible to believe either had knowledge of who killed JFK and why. Impossible because the knowledge could not have been confined; it would have leaked out some how by its own force.
The key thing about the official story is that there is no other comprehensive story of the assassination. The most persuasive arguments that Oswald didn’t do it are dead-end roads; they lead to blank walls in the search for the killer(s).
My tentative conclusion is that not only was Oswald set up but also were the CIA and FBI, because of their relationships with Oswald. My tentative conclusion is also that there were turncoats in the Secret Service, in the military, and in the civilian governments of of the U.S. and Dallas. My tentative conclusion is finally that a close examination of the ways LBJ changed JFK’s foreign policy, not just as to Viet Nam, is worthwhile for assassination scholars.
Immediately after the quote (above) was this:
So the point of the article was that Jackie’s memories varied from what the photographic evidence showed.
Given the trauma of the situation, this would be utterly understandable.
But Jeff seems to have taken this quote entirely out of context. The issue is not whether Jackie believed the SBT, but rather how her memories varied from what she was told and what she had seen reported.
“Similarly disorienting had been film stills of Jackie crawling on the rear of the presidential limousine. Try as she might, she could recollect no such episode.”
J. McAdams: “So the point of the article was that Jackie’s memories varied from what the photographic evidence showed.”
Was photographic evidence tampered with?
Other eyewitnesses , Mary Moorman , Jean Hill , John Connally and Charles Brehm do not say anything about Jackie crawling on the rear of the limousine in these radio and television interviews:
McAdams & Photon continue to support the lone gunman theory that was rubber stamped by the Warren Commission. The reason why the Commission rubber stamped their conclusion is that J. Edgar Hoover had already stated that Oswald was the lone shooter on the afternoon of the murder – BEFORE all the evidence could possibly have been objectively evaluated.
It is quite clear from studying the available Warren Commission evidence that the staff & Commission members were reluctant to challenge Mr. Hoover. Mr. McCloy, Mr. Russell, & Mr. Cooper are all on record as having their doubts as to the veracity of the single-bullet theory. That is why Mr. Ford offered up the phrase that the evidence was “very persuasive” so it would appear to be a unanimous conclusion by the Commission.
However the Warren Commission (& Hoover) & Photon & McAdams continued to ignore evidence available to the Warren Commission which destroys those very conclusions.
Dr. Joseph Dolce was asked by the Commission to supervise ballistic tests & he stated:
“So they gave us the original rifle – The Mannlicher Caracano, plus 100 bullets, 6.5 millimeters, & in every instance (of firing into cadavers wrists) the front of the bullet was smashed. It’s impossible for a bullet to strike a bone, even at low velocity & still come out with a perfectly normal tip … under no circumstances do I believe that this bullet could hit the wrist ( & rib) & still not be deformed. We proved it by our experiments”.
Dr. Robert Shaw – who operated on the governor told the Commission “the examination of the wrist by x-ray & at the time of the surgery showed some fragments of metal that made it difficult to believe that the same missile could have caused these two wounds”. There were also fragments found on the chest x-rays.
Dr. Pierre Finck – autopsy surgeon at Bethesda – was asked by Arlen Specter, “And could it have been the bullet (399) which inflicted the wound on the Governor Connally’s right wrist? Finck replied “No: for the reason that there are too many fragments described in that wrist.”
Fellow autopsy surgeon Dr. James Humes was also asked by the Commission in relation to 399 causing the thigh wound in the governor – Humes replied “I think that extremely unlikely … Exhibit 392 from Parkland tells of an entrance wound on the lower mid-thigh of the Governor, & x-rays taken there are described as showing metallic fragments in the bone, which apparently were not removed & are still present in the Governor Connally’s thigh. I can’t conceive of where they come from this missile”.
The Warren Commission’s conclusions are not supported by even their own evidence. This is consistent with the 26 volumes of exhibits not supporting the single volume of their conclusions. Sylvia Meagher proved this this over 40 years ago in her book “Accessories After the Fact” & Gerald McKnight & has done the same with his book ‘Breach of Trust” on the Warren Commission.
Photon & McAdams – the only thing you two are good for in this area of research is allowing researchers to defend our views – I have done that – & you cannot dispute that the evidence presented should create SOME doubt as to the veracity of the single-bullet theory. If it doesn’t then you cannot be taken seriously – because no researcher knows exactly what happened on November 22, 1963.
This is simply a mistaken interpretation of the x-ray (although Shires did that too).
The HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel said there was no fragment in the bone, but rather it was just under the skin.
See paragraph 411 here:
Did he actually experiment with hitting a wrist at a reduced muzzle velocity (say: 1100-1300 fps.)?
Fackler did, and got this:
Then there is the fact that the bullet that hit Connally’s wrist did not hit straight on, but was tumbling, apparently hitting the radius bone sideways.
And what happened?
So the bullet is deformed.
Let’s be clear, Fackler’s bullet was not travelling between 1,100 and 1,300 fps. It was travelling at 1,100 fps.
But the tests performed for the Warren Commission by Dr. Alfred Olivier showed that CE399 would have had to have been flying at a much greater velocity than 1,100 fps when it struck bone. At 60 yards, the approximate distance from the depository to the limo at Z-224, the average striking velocity for Oswald’s rifle was 1,904 fps. It would have lost around 132 fps passing through Kennedy’s neck and, therefore, struck Connally at approximately 1,772 fps. The precise amount of velocity lost before it reached the rib was not determined, but if we overestimate and use double the velocity lost passing through Kennedy (giving us a figure of 264 fps), this still means that CE399 would have had to have been travelling at 1,508 fps when it supposedly smashed 10 cm of rib. Which means it should have been significantly deformed according to Larry Sturdivan who told the HSCA that a Carcano round would deform at 1,400 fps nose-on, and 1,000 fps if hitting sideways. Which brings us to the wrist.
The total amount of velocity lost on passing through Connally was around 400 fps according to both Sturdivan and Olivier. If the bullet struck at 1,772 fps then it exited at 1,372 fps. It was at this velocity, then, when according to you it struck the wrist “sideways”. Which means it hit at almost 400 fps greater than the velocity at which Sturdivan said it would deform hitting sideways. So, having already suffered distortion from pulverizing the rib, CE399 should have suffered even greater deformation on the wrist. And yet CE399 looks almost exactly the same as Carcano rounds that Henry Hurt fired straight into water:
So it’s little wonder that the chief consultant in wound ballistics for the U.S. Army, Dr. Joseph Dolce, said that CE399 “could not have caused all the wounds.”
You are overlooking the fact that the bullet tumbled through Connally’s chest, striking only relatively soft rib bone.
(If even that. Some of the Dallas doctors said it was a “slap fracture.”)
It would have lost vastly more velocity than during the straight through penetration of Kennedy’s torso.
So the real issue is how fast it would have been going when it hit Connally’s radius, which was hard bone.
Hard enough to deform it as seen here:
I’m not overlooking anything, John.
Your claim that “the bullet tumbled through Connally’s chest” is, to use your charming catchphrase, a “factoid”. The available evidence does not prove such a contention. Connally’s thoracic surgeon, Dr. Robert Shaw, testified that the entry wound in the back measured 1.5 cm. (6H85) Shaw’s testimony is supported by the holes in Governor Connally’s jacket and shirt which measured 1.7 cm and 1.3 cm respectively. (7HSCA138-41) Although lone assassin theorists have claimed that the slightly elongated 1.5 cm wound is evidence of a tumbling bullet, Dr. Shaw explained that the type of elongated or “elliptical” wound seen in the Governor’s back often occurs when “the bullet enters at a right angle or a tangent. If it enters at a tangent there will be some length to the wound of entrance.” (6H95) One of the Commission’s wounds-ballistics experts, Dr. Frederick Light, agreed that the bullet “could have produced that wound even though it hadn’t hit the President or any other person or object first.” (5H95) He explained that the “obliquity” might just be the result of “the nature of the way the shoulder is built.” (Ibid 97)
In any case, I gave you the figure derived from the Edgewood tests. Passing through Connally the bullet would have lost around 400 fps. Which means it hit the wrist at approximately 1,372 fps.
The HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel, using Shaw’s actual description of the wound (and not his mere opinion) concluded the bullet was tumbling.
A bullet entering tangentially would leave an abrasion collar at one side of the wound, and undermining of the contralateral margin.
So why are you going with the opinion of a thoracic surgeon, rather than the opinions of nine of the top forensic pathologists in the country?
What are you talking about, John?
Dr. Shaw testified that the wound was 1.5 cm. That’s his “actual description”, not his “mere opinion”. You said, “A bullet entering tangentially would leave an abrasion collar at one side of the wound, and undermining of the contralateral margin.” Here we see you following the FPP’s lead by attempting to use an absence of evidence as evidence of absence. Dr. Shaw was never asked about either of these factors by the Warren Commission or the HSCA. Does that mean that the wound did not have an abrasion collar? Of course not. Anyone who knows anything about wound ballistics knows that entrance wounds almost always have an abrasion collar; it’s one of the most important factors in distinguishing entrance from exit. So we know the wound had to have had an abrasion collar we just don’t know whether it was larger on one side or not because Shaw never said. He may not even have noticed because, let’s face facts, he wasn’t there to document the wounds, he was there to save Connally’s life.
You asked me, “why are you going with the opinion of a thoracic surgeon, rather than the opinions of nine of the top forensic pathologists in the country?” Your question contains an obvious misstatement of fact since not all nine members of the panel agreed that the wound was caused by a tumbling bullet. You are also overstating the panel’s majority conclusion as it only said that the wound was “*probably* inflicted by a missile which…had yawed or tumbled…” whilst conceding the possibility that the wound “could have resulted from the missile striking the wound surface on a tangential plane.”
Your attempt to undermine Dr. Shaw’s opinion on the grounds that he was only a thoracic surgeon is laughable. Anyone who takes the time to actually read Dr. Shaw’s Warren Commission testimony for themselves will see that he spent three years in the medical corps of the U.S. Army during World War II where he treated “well over a thousand” gunshot wounds. (6H85) It’s likely that he had as much if not more experience with rifle wounds than any member of the FPP. And the fact of the matter is that, as I wrote before, his opinion is buttressed by that of one of the Warren Commission’s own ballistics experts, Dr. Frederick Light, who agreed that the bullet “could have produced that wound even though it hadn’t hit the President or any other person or object first” (5H95) and stated that the “obliquity” might just be the result of “the nature of the way the shoulder is built.” (Ibid 97) But you ignored Dr. Light’s opinion before and will probably continue to do so as it conflicts with your theory.
Another reason not to believe that the bullet was tumbling comes from the Discovery Channel’s attempted recreation of the SBT for their TV special “Beyond the Magic Bullet”. Their bullet tumbled it’s way through the Connally torso and in so doing struck two ribs, not one.
You know, you can repeat the “tumbling bullet” factoid as many times as you like, John. That won’t make it a fact.
What do you think of Dr. Dolce’s opinion that the first shot exited JFK’s neck and somehow became the “pristine bullet” without hitting Connally?
Apparently he believed the bullet stopped in midair and fell into someone’s lap?
I don’t know what Dolce’s thinking was and I have no desire to speak for him. But he certainly doesn’t say anything on that document about believing “the bullet stopped in midair and fell into someone’s lap”. Clearly, that’s just your invention. It’s also a distraction from discussing the actual evidence and how it disproves the SBT. So I’m not interested.
I didn’t invent anything, I asked a question:
“Apparently he believed the bullet stopped in midair and fell into someone’s lap?”
I’m not asking you to speak for him, Martin, I wanted your opinion about his shooting scenario. After all, WC critics often quote him as a ballistics expert.
Produce some evidence of that, if you can.
Usually, when Wecht disagreed, that is noted in the report of the FPP (in Volume 7).
And you can selectively use evidence all you want, but the best assessment was from the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel.
By the way, what sort of trajectory would produce an oblique entry into Connally’s back? Where would the shooter have to be?
John McAdams writes: “Produce some evidence of that, if you can.”
Erm, John, do you even read the reports and documents you cite? From HSCA Vol. 7, p. 144:
“The panel (except for Dr. Wecht) concludes, therefore, that the missile wound in Governor Connally was probably inflicted by a missile which was not alined with its trajectory but had yawed or tumbled prior to entry in the Governor.”
John McAdams writes: “And you can selectively use evidence all you want, but the best assessment was from the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel”
The best assessment is not made by the doctor who saw and treated the actual wound but by a panel working solely from that doctor’s descriptions 15 years later? Of course, silly me.
John McAdams writes: “By the way, what sort of trajectory would produce an oblique entry into Connally’s back? Where would the shooter have to be?”
From the HSCA testimony of Cyril Wecht:
Mr. PURDY. Dr. Wecht, earlier today Dr Baden testified on behalf of the forensic pathology panel that the wound in Governor Connally’s back was such that the majority of the panel concluded that the bullet which struck him had struck something else first. Do you agree with that interpretation?
Dr. WECHT. No. I do not feel that there is any such definitive evidence, although is a possibility that the bullet might have struck a small branch or some leaves coming in. I cannot rule that out, but I think that the fact that the scar on Gov. John Connally s back is in a horizontal plane is more consistent with the shot having been fired from the right side, the right rear, entering with some degree of a tangential nature.
OK, so it was eight to one, and you are going to blow off the entire remainder of the panel and go with Wecht.
And did you notice that Wecht, in the testimony you quoted, not just said “right side?” What possible shooting position was sharply to the right?
Maybe one of the spectators on Elm Street?
OK, so it was eight to one, and you are going to blow off the entire remainder of the panel and go with Wecht.
And did you notice that Wecht, in testimony you quoted, said “right side?” What possible shooting position was sharply to the right?
Maybe one of the spectators on Elm Street?
And did you notice that he said the bullet might have been tumbling? And you are trying to use him as evidence that it didn’t?
John McAdams writes: “OK, so it was eight to one, and you are going to blow off the entire remainder of the panel and go with Wecht.”
That’s right, John, you just keep on ignoring the fact that the FPP only said the bullet was “PROBABLY” tumbling whilst conceding the possibility that the wound “could have resulted from the missile striking the wound surface on a tangential plane.” I’m sure it makes you fell better. As does ignoring the opinion of the actual attending physician who had experience treating over a thousand gunshot wounds in WWII. And the wound ballistics expert for the Warren Commission who also stated that the “obliquity” might just be the result of “the nature of the way the shoulder is built.” And while you’re at it, you might as well ignore the results of the attempted re-enactment which showed how a tumbling bullet would likely have struck two ribs and not one. After all, we don’t want to let anything get in the way of you repeating that FACTOID of yours, do we, John?
John McAdams writes: “And did you notice that Wecht, in testimony you quoted, said “right side?” What possible shooting position was sharply to the right? Maybe one of the spectators on Elm Street?”
What did Wecht say, John? Let’s have a look at that again: “the fact that the scar on Gov. John Connally s back is in a horizontal plane is more consistent with the shot having been fired from the right side, the RIGHT REAR, entering with some degree of a tangential nature.”
John McAdams writes: “And did you notice that he said the bullet might have been tumbling? And you are trying to use him as evidence that it didn’t?”
So he basically said the same thing as the rest of the FPP then, right? The bullet might have been tumbling or it might have entered at a tangent. So the evidence is not as conclusive as you made it out to be when you claimed that I was “overlooking the FACT that the bullet tumbled through Connally’s chest.” [my emphasis]
It’s not actually a FACT is it, John? It’s just that you and your fellow Commission apologists have repeated it so much that you’ve convinced yourselves it is. Which makes it another lone nut FACTOID.
Yes, they decided it was probably tumbling.
And you conclude from this that it wasn’t.
Let me repeat again what they said:
So clothing evidence, as well as the lack of an abrasion collar and undermining, says it was tumbling.
But to create such an elongated wound, it would have to strike at a fairly sharp angle.
So I ask you again: a shooter among the spectators standing on Elm?
Shaw was not a wound ballistics expert, nor a forensic pathologist. No doubt he was good at patching people up and keeping them alive, but it was never his job to make forensic determinations.
John McAdams writes: “Yes, they decided it was probably tumbling. And you conclude from this that it wasn’t.”
You make too many assumptions, John. I never expressed a belief either way. What I actually said was that the evidence does not prove the bullet was tumbling.
John McAdams writes: “So clothing evidence, as well as the lack of an abrasion collar and undermining, says it was tumbling.”
The FPP said “the defect in the clothing would have been a more uniformly round hole” but what evidence did they produce in support of this contention? Such claims mean little without proof. As for the abrasion collar and undermining, if you’re just going to repeat points that I’ve already responded to then I’ll just repeat my response:
Dr. Shaw was never asked about either of these factors by the Warren Commission or the HSCA. Does that mean that the wound did not have an abrasion collar? Of course not. Anyone who knows anything about wound ballistics knows that entrance wounds almost always have an abrasion collar; it’s one of the most important factors in distinguishing entrance from exit. So we know the wound had to have had an abrasion collar we just don’t know whether it was larger on one side or not because Shaw never said. He may not even have noticed because, let’s face facts, he wasn’t there to document the wounds, he was there to save Connally’s life.
John McAdams writes: “But to create such an elongated wound, it would have to strike at a fairly sharp angle. So I ask you again: a shooter among the spectators standing on Elm?”
Oh, I thought it was a rhetorical question, how silly of me. Obviously you genuinely wanted to know whether or not there really was a spectator with a gun on Elm Street. No, John, there wasn’t. I would have thought you would have known that by now.
Using solely the wound itself to determine the position of the shooter is an impossibility without knowing the PRECISE angle of the wound (simply saying “horizontal” is not enough) and the PRECISE position of Governor Connally at the instant he was struck. I know neither of those things and have no interest in speculation.
John McAdams writes: “Shaw was not a wound ballistics expert, nor a forensic pathologist. No doubt he was good at patching people up and keeping them alive, but it was never his job to make forensic determinations.”
Oh please. Have you ever heard the phrase “hands-on experience”, John? Don’t you think it’s possible that Shaw learned a bit about wound ballistics whilst he was treating those 1000+ gunshot wounds? I must admit that I find it rather amusing that while you attempt to undermine the importance of Dr. Shaw’s testimony, you continually ignore the fact that one of the Commission’s wound ballistics experts agreed with him and that the Discovery Channel’s physical experiment demonstrated that a tumbling bullet would have struck two ribs and not one.
But you were touting estimates of the velocity of the bullet that assumed it was not tumbling through John Connally’s chest.
That was the professional opinion of the top forensic pathologists in the country.
But what did they know, as compared to authors of buff books.
Probably not, because that wasn’t his job, and further to make those assessments you need the kinds of additional information that forensic pathologists get, but surgeons don’t.
As for “hands on experience,” the members of the HSCA FPP had performed or supervised over 100,000 autopsies.
John McAdams writes: “But you were touting estimates of the velocity of the bullet that assumed it was not tumbling through John Connally’s chest.”
I gave you the estimate of around 400 fps which was provided by Olivier and Sturdivan. Neither gave a more precise estimate than that although Sturdivan did say that if the bullet passed though Kennedy’s neck first, it would lose “400-plus feet per second”. Even if we assume that “400-plus” actually means 500 fps then the bullet would have struck the wrist at approximately 1,272 fps which is nearly 300 fps greater than the velocity at which Sturdivan said a Carcano round would deform hitting bone sideways. And that’s after smashing the rib at a velocity considerably greater than 1,400 fps. The cumulative effect should most certainly have distorted the bullet far more than the bullet Henry Hurt fired into water. And yet it looks almost identical to CE399.
John McAdams writes: “That was the professional opinion of the top forensic pathologists in the country. But what did they know, as compared to authors of buff books.”
Why on Earth are you bringing up “authors of buff books”? What do they have to do with this discussion, John? I certainly never cited one. Are you trying to change the subject because you recognize the fact that the FPP offered no evidence to back up its opinions?
John McAdams writes: “Probably not, because that wasn’t his job, and further to make those assessments you need the kinds of additional information that forensic pathologists get, but surgeons don’t. As for “hands on experience,” the members of the HSCA FPP had performed or supervised over 100,000 autopsies.”
Indeed. The vast majority of which likely did not involve rifle wounds – something Dr. Shaw had plenty of experience with.
I see you’re still ignoring Dr. Light and the Discovery Channel’s two smashed ribs. No surprise there.
Any physician who reads the Connolly operative report and has basic knowledge of anatomy and firearms injuries .can see that the Governor did not have a tangential wound Shaw never said he had a tangential wound- only that the wound of entrance appearance could be consistent with a tangential shot. His operative report clearly states that the trajectory through the Governor would not be consistent with that hypothesis.
But it did hit the radius bone sideways, and it did deform.
You do know what it looked like end on, right?
But rib is relatively soft bone, and it probably didn’t smash nose first into rib bone. Remember, some of the Dallas docs said it was a “slap fracture.”
My copy of Hurt is at work. Did he fire into water at full muzzle velocity?
See what Sturdivan said about that:
Hitting water would be like hitting soft tissue, and he would expect a bullet to deform at 2,000 fps.
So what? Changing the aiming point by a quarter of an inch could make the difference between two ribs and one.
John McAdams writes: “But it did hit the radius bone sideways, and it did deform. You do know what it looked like end on, right?”
Yes, John, I know what it looked like. It looked just a like the bullet Hurt fired into water.
John McAdams writes: “But rib is relatively soft bone, and it probably didn’t smash nose first into rib bone. Remember, some of the Dallas docs said it was a ‘slap fracture.’”
I believe you’re getting that from the HSCA testimony of Dr. Charles Petty – who was not even present for the operation – who based his opinion that the shattering of the rib was caused by the bullet “slapping against” it on his conversation with Dr. Shaw. What Shaw actually told Petty was that the bullet “struck the fifth rib in a tangential manner”. (7HSCA324)
John McAdams writes: “Hitting water would be like hitting soft tissue, and he would expect a bullet to deform at 2,000 fps.”
Right. So a bullet hitting water at full velocity would be like a bullet hitting soft tissue at full velocity. What you’re saying, then, is that the very slight damage to CE399 – that Dr. Alfred Olivier described as a “suggestion of flattening” (5H80) – is easily attributable to the bullet’s passage through the soft flesh of Kennedy’s neck. I wouldn’t disagree with that.
John McAdams writes: “So what? Changing the aiming point by a quarter of an inch could make the difference between two ribs and one.”
Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps one day someone will conduct or organize an experiment showing that a tumbling bullet could effect only one rib, then we’ll know. Until then we have the results of an experiment showing that a tumbling bullet would likely smash two ribs.
One other point that falls in favour of a non-tumbling bullet is what Dr. Shaw described as “the neat way in which it stripped the rib out without doing much damage to the muscles that lay on either side of it.” (4H116) A yawing bullet would clearly be expected to penetrate further into the surrounding muscles.
I see you’re still ignoring Dr. Light.
Photon writes: “Any physician who reads the Connolly operative report and has basic knowledge of anatomy and firearms injuries .can see that the Governor did not have a tangential wound Shaw never said he had a tangential wound- only that the wound of entrance appearance could be consistent with a tangential shot.”
Dr. Shaw said in his Warren Commission testimony “there MIGHT have been some tumbling…Now, you have to also take into consideration, however, whether the bullet enters at a right angle or at a tangent. If it enters at a tangent there will be some length to the wound of entrance.” (6H95) That he favoured a tangential strike is made clear by the fact that he told Dr. Petty that “The wound in the back was shaped as if the bullet had entered at a slight declination.” (7HSCA324)
Photon writes: “His operative report clearly states that the trajectory through the Governor would not be consistent with that hypothesis”
Absolute nonsense. The HSCA FPP studied that report and clearly stated that the panel members “cannot conclude solely on the findings on the internal injuries whether the missile that injured Governor Connally had struck an intervening target.” (7HSCA150)
@ Martin Hay
I’m not sure what your point is. Hitting water at 2,000 fps. would deform a bullet a lot like it would be deformed hitting hard bone sideways at 1,100 or 1,200 fps.
And indeed, CE 399 is about as deformed as the bullet Hunt got.
As for your “two smashed ribs:” it seems the Forensic Pathology Panel didn’t see a problem with only one smashed rib.
As for Light: what is your point?