Note: The audiotapes used by Mr. Backes in preparing this report were provided courtesy of Mr. Mark Rowe
The Fourth Decade Conference
at Fredonia, New York, July 19-21, 1996
by Joseph Backes
There was a small gathering of the faithful on the S.U.N.Y. Fredonia Campus. They were called together by an invitation of Dr. Jerry Rose, editor of The Fourth Decade, to give up some of their summertime and discuss the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Though sparsely attended the conference went well.
It is a small college town and I think well out of the way for most folks so those that showed, thank you. I was very happy to see many familiar and friendly faces, Malcolm Blunt, Peter Whitmey, Jerry Robertson, Ian Griggs, Ed Sherry, Walt Brown, John Armstrong, Andy Winiarczyk, Lise Kirkham, Mark Rowe, and Deanie Richards. And I was grateful to make new friends.
Some of the presentations were so good, like George Michael Evica's "These were Knife Wounds" and John Armstrong's presentation on Marguerite Oswald's addresses that I decided to copy them as close to verbatim as I could. This is why this review is rather long.
I was greatly honored to be on the first panel and to be the first presenter. George Michael Evica gave a quite flattering introduction, mentioning that "there is no better person to get you through what Archives II is all about". Mr. Evica also remarked that I am one of two or three people who knows the most about the records that have been released. The panel was called, "Records, Reviews, History and Truths". The panel consisted of Peter Dale Scott, Ulric Shannon and myself.
I started off by pointing out that Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko was my guide to Archives II and that was when Archives II was brand new and many places were not open to researchers yet because the rooms were still being built. So I'm passing along the expertise, help and friendship I got. I also mentioned Fair Play and that it is John Kelin's web page, not mine. I wanted to give credit where it's due.
I urged people to visit their local libraries, to read the Federal Register, and use the Internet. I would urge people that if they do not have Internet capabilities themselves to go to a public library or university library. They may be hooked up to the Internet and you should be able to use their computer for free. If they are not hooked up to the Internet pester them until they are.
I pointed out that Fair Play now has back issues available. The ARRB reads Fair Play, the National Archives reads Fair Play, and it is accessible from Colby's CD-ROM game "Spycraft".
The first item of interest in what the ARRB is declassifying are what I call the "intercept" documents. These are documents that relate to the CIA's interception of telephone calls going into and out of the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City. John Newman and Peter Dale Scott have been the driving forces behind the ARRB's concentration in the Mexico city aspects of the case. And I used some of their analysis in my presentation. Now students of the case know that Lee Harvey Oswald, or someone using Oswald's name, made some telephone calls in Mexico City to the Soviet and Cuban embassies that the CIA intercepted. These intercepted tapes were recorded on audiotape and were listened to in Mexico and elsewhere. The tapes existed after the assassination because we know that FBI agents Fain and Hosty listened to them. Both Hosty and Fain said the person on the tape was not Oswald. The Warren Commission asked for the tapes and were told a lie, namely that the tapes were routinely destroyed within a matter of weeks of being recorded, supposedly as a cost cutting move.
Imagine, the CIA pioneering the concept of "recycling". Imagine also the CIA needing to save money. Imagine pigs flying out of your.........
The newly released documents show us that this was not actually done by CIA personnel but was contracted out and actually done by Mexicans, Mexicans working for the DFS, the Direccion Federal de Seguridad, Mexican Intelligence. I recommend a good reading of Peter Dale Scott's book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK for more information on the DFS.
The documentary record is now overwhelming that these tapes, of more than one phone call, existed well after the assassination, and might still exist. I recommend a reading of John Newman's Oswald and the CIA for great analysis of this whole intercept aspect of the case.
People's exhibit one is a page from "The Lopez Report". This is Addendum to Footnote #614 of "Lee Harvey Oswald, The CIA, and Mexico City". This document refers to a Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to James J. Rowley 11/23/63 pp. 4-5 in which Hoover writes, "The Central Intelligence Agency advised that on October 1, 1963, an extremely sensitive source had reported that an individual identified himself as Lee Oswald, who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City inquiring as to any messages. Special Agents of this Bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Texas, have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to a recording of his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald."
The same page from the Lopez Report continues with the HSCA believing that this statement of Hoover's was probably based on another FBI memorandum which said, "Inasmuch as the Dallas agents who listened to the tape of the conversation allegedly of Oswald from the Cuban Embassy to the Russian Embassy in Mexico and examined the photographs of the visitor to the Embassy in Mexico and were of the opinion that neither the tape nor the photograph pertained to Oswald, I requested Shanklin to immediately send a photograph of Oswald to our Legal Attache." That was a memorandum from Belmont to Tolson, 11/23/63 p. 1.
Now there are several items of interest here. Exactly when Hosty and Fain listened to the tape is not explicitly stated. It has to be after the assassination which would prove the "routinely destroyed" story is a lie. Why would it be prior to the assassination? If it is prior, then that is even more interesting.
Please note that one intercept is described as the October 1, 1963 intercept and another one is referred to as from the Cuban Embassy to the Russian Embassy. Two separate and distinct phone calls. Two separate and distinct intercepts.
People's exhibit number two is from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. This is a page from telephone conversations relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. This is Johnson talking to Hoover, also on Saturday, November 23, 1963. John Newman thinks it is astounding that Johnson is raising the issue and this early. This is the day after the assassination. One of the busiest 24 hour periods in LBJ's life. As yet, at least to my knowledge, there is no documentary record of anyone telling LBJ about Mexico City and LHO's visits to the Soviet and Cuban embassies prior to Johnson having this talk with Hoover. We have to assume someone did tell him. It will be very interesting to find out how, when and who told him.
Johnson, "Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico in September?"
Hoover, "No, that's one angle that's very confusing for this reason. We have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet Embassy, using Oswald's name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there."
People's exhibit three, Document 104-10015-10359, released by the ARRB September 20, 1995. The ARRB's Final Determination Notice for this document in Postponement # 5 which uses a new procedure of "substitute language" states, "The redacted information references "the 1 October intercept on Lee Oswald" and the possible existence of another copy of that "intercept" that was discovered after the assassination." Page two of the actual document mentions that "our expert monitor says the voice is identical with the voice of the 1 October known to be Oswald's". Well, that doesn't prove the tape was in existence after Nov. 22 but it does prove two tapes if they are comparing one to the 1 Oct. tape. However, the postponement does prove a tape being discovered after the assassination.
People's exhibit four, document # 104-10018-10103. This is a very interesting document. There is fear in the CIA that the 5 volume FBI report on the assassination, Warren Commission Document #1, will be released to the public. CIA fears this because it would compromise the CIA's telephone tap operation in Mexico City on incoming and outgoing calls made to the Soviet and Cuban embassies. "Mr. Scelso" (a fictitious name --- more on that later) writes, "the Soviets would see that the FBI had advance information on the reason for Oswald's visit to the Soviet Embassy."
What does this mean? Advance information? Did the FBI know why Lee Harvey Oswald, or the guy using Oswald's name, went to the Soviet Embassy before he went? What about the Cuban Embassy? Does advance information mean prior to Oswald going to the Embassy, or prior to the assassination?
This document is dated December 11, 1963. There is marginalia on the right hand side which states that Mr. Helms phoned Mr. Angleton that morning, presumably about this.
Page two is also very important. It tells us that "Mr. Scelso" is offering to summarize everything the CIA gave the Warren Commission that the CIA does not want made public. In order to do this, however, "Mr. Scelso" wants relief from his job as Chief of WH/3. He writes, "I cannot handle GP/FLOOR and at the same time run my Branch which has about 45 people in headquarters and well over 100 in seven Central American countries." GP/FLOOR is CIA code for Oswald, or the Oswald case, meaning the assassination investigation. This tells me that GP/FLOOR is very important to the CIA and it gives a clue as to who "Mr. Scelso" might be.
"Mr. Scelso" is all over the CIA documents. He writes many of them and signs off on many. Dr. Anna Nelson said in Chicago that the ARRB is "eager" to tell us who he is but there is "a problem".
People's exhibit number 5, document # 104-10125-10001, this is a newspaper clipping dated October 21, 1964. The newspaper clipping is not important. The marginalia is crucial. "The caller from the Cuban Embassy was unidentified until HQ sent traces on Oswald & voices compared by Feinglass." Feinglass is another phony name, but he is a transcriber.
People's exhibit number 6, document # 104-10015-10114 this is a document originating from Birch O'Neal the Chief of Counterintelligence, Special Investigations Group. It is from the Director of the CIA to Mexico City. This is a request for all LIENVOY (that's code for the intercept) tapes and transcripts since September 27 to locate all material possible pertinent to subject. "Dispatch soonest by special courier, staffer if necessary, full transcripts and original tapes if available all pertinent material. Are original tapes available?" This is dated November 23, 1963. This culminated in Dr. Hall of the ARRB saying at the ARRB's presentation at the Organization of American Historians in Chicago, "Clearly, there were tapes." Copies clearly existed but the Director of the CIA wanted to know if the originals existed.
In Liverpool John Newman told me that though the ARRB is looking for these intercept tapes there might be big problems. Clearly copies existed and these copies may very well be available somewhere in Mexico. According to John, the ARRB and in particular T. Jeremy Gunn goes white when Mexico is mentioned. The problem is that this "intercept" program was contracted out to Mexicans in the DFS. Many of these Mexicans are still alive and in positions of power in Mexico, and might still be on the CIA payroll in other active CIA operations. My response was and is, too bad. I don't care. The CIA and the Mexicans should have thought about the repercussions of getting caught or exposed long ago. Whatever is going on now that they want covered up should in no way be allowed to prevent the release of information relating to the assassination of President Kennedy.
I pointed out in my Fredonia presentation that the ARRB put a notice in The Federal Register / Vol. 61, No. 108 / Tuesday June 4, 1996 /p.28160. They list many documents that contain the name "Scelso". The ARRB will reveal the true name of "Mr. Scelso" on May 1, 2001, or three months after the death of "Mr. Scelso," whichever comes first. If you are not satisfied with this please write to the ARRB.
I also showed the subpoena the Board served on Connick.
I went into my attempt to get the "new" JFK film. The ARRB sent this to me while I was away. I have a separate article on that.
I showed from an early transcript of an ARRB meeting where Dr. Joyce created a list of agencies the ARRB should contact to see if they have assassination records. I asked the ARRB for this list and to my great surprise got it. I then showed it.
I spent some time detailing how I got involved in following the ARRB, trying to point out how one person can make a difference. I testified to the ARRB for the first time at their Dallas Public Hearing. I showed how I gave a tape of Det. Jim Leavelle saying he has notes on the interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald. This is from the Eyewitness panel from A.S.K. '92. I did some research on this and found where Dulles is asking Secret Service agent Winston Lawson about the interrogation sessions of Oswald. In volume 4 p. 335 Lawson states, "We were given information from Mr. Max Phillips, who was in our PRS section, and I believe it was during this that someone, an agent, was wanted on the phone, and I went out and answered this, and they gave us information on people that it might have been a case that wasn't Oswald." I also showed two documents from the Dallas Public Library on their photographic collection. These photographs are from The Dallas Times Herald, a now-defunct Dallas evening newspaper. They were obtained by the Dallas Morning News and donated to the library. The library's document states that "original photographs may not be copied". It refers you to a document from the Dallas County Historical Foundation, the Sixth floor people, on how to obtain copies of the photographs. This other document asks for a Xerox of the photograph with your request. That got a laugh.
I pointed out my Fourth Decade article "March Madness at the ARRB". I think that article was a turning point in the research community's interest and awareness of the ARRB. It is through that article that I met John Kelin and got on his web page. It is through that article that the research community took a more active role in learning about and interacting with the ARRB.
I showed some letters I got from T. Jeremy Gunn about the October 25, 1995 meeting the ARRB had with Dept. of Defense personnel. They would not tell me by name the Dept. of Defense people who were there but they did list by agency.
Hopefully, the documents I used in my presentation will be published along with the text of my presentation by Dr. Jerry Rose shortly.
The next presenter was Peter Dale Scott. Mr. Scott picked up on a point I raised on the importance of interaction with the Board. He told the audience to do their homework first and, "if you know what you are talking about you can force them to reverse themselves on bad decisions. I've done it. They allowed the CIA to persuade them that they could delete something in a cable from Mexico City, deleting a phrase that had already been released by the CIA in 1992." Mr. Scott thought that was totally off the wall. He wrote to them and they re-released the document and supplied what was missing. Mr. Scott also pointed out that there was a whole category of documents that they were protecting as a "source and method" which refers to the DFS. Mr. Scott categorized the DFS as a highly criminal organization heavily involved in drug trafficking and even murder. Its successor organization has some involvement in the Collosio assassination. Mr. Scott pointed out that such postponement is illegal because "source and method" has to be active. The DFS no longer exists; it was closed down after its involvement with the murder of a DEA agent. And as a result Mr. Scott got several documents re-released. Mr. Scott read one of them because it bears upon what I was talking about.
I was extremely flattered by Mr. Scott, needless to say. He pointed out that the intercept operation was not run by CIA personnel but by Mexicans in the DFS. The document Mr. Scott quoted stated that both of the Mexican monitors, according to Earheart (sic?), (I'm guessing because I didn't see the document), which is a false name of the CIA agent who worked with the Mexicans on this, the caller who called himself Oswald had difficulty making himself understood in both English and Russian.
Mr. Scott's topic was "Lee Oswald, Marine Intelligence and the assault on the State Department". Mr. Scott stated that there were Marine G-2 records on Lee Harvey Oswald that the Warren Commission never saw and the HSCA never asked for. We now know there were such files. ONI and Marine G-2 were exchanging a lot of paper trying to find out what the people in the State Department were doing about Oswald. This is where you get into Otto Otepka and State Department Security.
Mr. Scott referenced his article in The Fourth Decade Vol. 3 No. 3 March 1996, "Oswald and the Hunt for Popov's Mole". This is a crucially important article and must be read and understood to understand the documents we are now seeing on Oswald. This article is like a beacon pointing the way the research is now headed.
Upon re-reading this article it is amazing how it dovetails into a presentation John Armstrong made on Marguerite's many addresses.
Mr. Scott's presentation was an outgrowth of his Fourth Decade article. He mentioned that he interviewed Otto Otepka for the Canadian Broadcasting Company. The interview was not aired. Mr. Scott expected Mr. Otepka to be a reactionary type of person but was surprised to find he was not. Otepka was amazed that Oswald got his passport after his "defection" to Russia in just one day. Otepka stressed that that should never have happened.
Mr. Scott referenced some documents he got in 1978 that he know understands much better with newer releases. Lee Harvey Oswald's records were being shuffled around various agencies by CIA Counterintelligence operation officials, or as they are known in ONI, counterintelligence programmers. OP/921E-2, 92 is ONI, 921 is ONI security, 921E is counterintelligence, and 921E-2, is counterintelligence programmers . The primary point is that they had an investigatory side and they had an investigatory file on Lee Harvey Oswald. The key documents were handled by counterintelligence programmers.
Now the interesting thing is that no one seemed to care when LHO offered to commit espionage for the Russians, at the same time there were counterintelligence files on Oswald. Now on November 22, John McNaughton, the legal counsel for the Dept. of Defense, asks the Navy for files on Oswald; this goes to the Director of Naval Intelligence. Admiral Taylor's first reaction is "we can't give them this". And it comes through General Caroll of the DIA. Peter Dale Scott referenced a document, wherein Admiral Taylor is quoted as saying "Prepare a file on Oswald", this is referred to as the ONI file on Oswald. It is that but it was prepared on November 22 and it contains information from three other files, an investigatory file, a supplementary file, and yet another file. Now I think it is safe to assume that they are hiding something.
McNaughton saw a different file than what we have today because he saw a reference to two confidential records and he asked for them. Apparently they refused to show those to McNaughton saying they were only transmittal documents. Paul Hoch filed a FOIA, Freedom of Information Act request for these two confidential records in 1978. An assistant to McNaughton asked for them again and was refused. Paul Hoch got them. One of them says, "Subject: Oswald, Harvey Lee". Mr. Scott pointed out that of the 40 or so Oswald, Harvey Lee documents that we have this is the only one that is pre-assassination. And it is an intelligence file. It is addressed to the Marines at the Glenn cue (sic?) 9th Naval district. Then it says ATTN: G-2. So the cover story that these were just transmittal documents belies the fact that Marine G-2 had files on Oswald.
You might say, "Well of course Marine G-2 had a file on Lee Oswald, a Marine who 'defected' to Russia." The problem is that when Col. Folsom went to the Warren Commission (testimony begins Volume 8 p. 303) and said here is the official file on Oswald it was an unclassified personnel file. There was a reference to the two confidential records McNaughton wanted to see, perhaps a slip up but no longer in the ONI file.
Mr. Scott noted that there were at least 4 telephone calls on Lee Oswald G-2 records.
The relationship of Marguerite Oswald with John Fain and the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram is astounding. Read Mr. Scott's article in The Fourth Decade. The Marine G-2 preferred the earlier Marguerite version, based on a newspaper report, that Lee Oswald did defect, despite the fact that that is a State Department determination and that they said he did not defect.
Marguerite wrote another letter saying that Lee was still a United States citizen, again based on a newspaper article. Marguerite wrote a letter on March 6, 1960 to Congressman Jim Wright saying that according to a UPI Moscow report Lee appeared before the U.S. Embassy and renounced his citizenship. On March 7, 1960 she wrote to Secretary of State Christian Herter saying that according to what she read in the papers the Russians refused his request but said he could stay as a Resident Alien. "As far as I know he is still a U.S. citizen."
I think the intelligence apparatus was mad as hell that the State Dept. was ruining an operation by saying Oswald did not defect. I think it was imperative that all believe he did indeed defect but for Oswald and those running this scheme, whatever it was, no legally Oswald did not defect. The civilians in the State Dept. were not clued in on whatever the operation was, thus they said he did not defect. This led to the conflict. The intelligence community is not interested in investigating Oswald, they are investigating the State Dept. and why the said he did not defect.
There is a memo from a Mr. Vacek, of Marine G-2, warning the State Dept. that there might be Congressional interest in Oswald. This would be the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee.
I think Mr. Scott made a reference to me that the ARRB asked the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for SISS records and the ARRB was told there were no records from the SISS. According to John Bevilaqua, he asked the ARRB to look into the SISS and was told that the SISS is outside the ARRB's purview, same with the HUAC. Now I might have mentioned this somewhere along the line in my coverage of the ARRB but it was not in my Fredonia paper. Anyway, Peter was astounded and finds this inconceivable that there are no records as the SISS was extremely interested in Lee Oswald and extremely well informed. They wanted to know how Oswald got a passport in 24 hours!
Mr. Vacek memo was in May 1962. SISS was very interested in this case in 1964. Mr. Fain writes a report that ends up in HUAC in June '62. When did the SISS first learn things about Oswald? The second passport was issued in June of 1963. Within days of Oswald getting this second passport, June 27, 1963 Otepka is walked out of his office by Kennedy administration appointees In September '63 Otepka is reprimanded for sharing things without authorization to Congressional authorities. In June his safe is drilled and removed are Oswald records. In 1964 Otepka told this under oath to the SISS. From 1959 until June 1963 Otto Otepka kept files on defectors. Otepka was trying to spy on what the U.S. or the U.S.S.R was doing with Lee Oswald.
Revilo P. Oliver criticized the Warren Commission and said the investigation should be in the hands of the SISS.
The next speaker was Ulric Shannon. His paper is a critique of the research community. Ulric feels that the research community's agenda is being set by its least knowledgeable and least objective members. Ulric praised Dennis Ford, James Folliard and others. Ulric feels that the research community doesn't have a common goal. He doesn't feel the research community should spend time on whether Lee Oswald was guilty or innocent and what would happen in a trial then or today. We should do more than just acquit Oswald posthumously.
He talked about the difficulty of reducing Mexico City aspects of the case to a soundbite when dealing with the media. I had this problem in England. It can lead the research community to presenting evidence to visual media. This may be why the "new" film got such play from Dan Rather, also because it was "safe", nothing to add to the conspiracy crowd, nothing to subtract from the lone nut assassin official story.
Ulric said that the only thing we can say about Oswald is he was a wife beater and a pathological liar. There was near unanimous disagreement on that. Ulric is woefully ignorant of many files recently released.
Ulric feels there is no incontrovertible proof of conspiracy.
Unfortunately, Ulric's presentation did not record as well as mine or Mr. Scott's. I believe this is largely due to Ulric not speaking at a clear and loud enough level and the capabilities of a small hand held audio recorder.
Ulric seemed to mock the idea of mysterious deaths of key witnesses and others who have some connection to the case. Ulric said at one point that the research community has a misguided wish to prove a conspiracy.
This was a surprisingly negative and insulting presentation from a young man who has done some excellent work in the case, especially with maintaining an audiotape collection and offering it to researchers as well as doing original interviews.
Monte Evans served as a "discussant." A discussant is a Jerry Rose creation; such a person is to listen to the presentations of a panel, critique them and apparently serve as someone to start the debate going before Q&A. Mr. Monte Evans believed that what was being released by the ARRB is still heavily redacted. He did not understand the extraordinary powers of the ARRB and of the new legislation that created it.
Monte mentioned Oswald's nickname of being "Rabbit." At Atsugi his nickname was Bugs. This was in response to Harvey Lee Oswald being mentioned as one of the versions of Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Evans thought this was because of the popularity of the movie "Harvey".
Monte Evans brought up the story of Dan Rather on the Larry King show wherein Mr. Rather with a complete straight face said that best that could happen is a shooter in front and one behind. I put that on on alt.conspiracy.jfk the night of that program. I have it on videotape.
The Dallas Public Library had a small safe that they would unlock and give you a book back in 1968.
Mr. Evans then criticized Mr. Shannon's presentation, Ulric praised Mr. Ford and Mr. Folliard but if we were hunter gathers we would all have more to eat from what Mr. Marrs brought to the table then whatever Mr. Ford brought. Mr. Evans found Mr. Zaid, Mr. Folliard and Mr. Ford to be very obfuscatory and a waste of time. Mr. Evans did agree with Ulric's opinion that wondering what a jury would decide is a waste. However, Evans criticized the idea that Billy Nolan Lovelady is a dead horse. Ulric raised this in the context of who is it in the doorway in the infamous Altgens photograph. Evans considers Lovelady a very suspicious character, for the following reason. Lovelady is a near duplicate of Oswald, physically, they look remarkably alike. Also, Lovelady is working in the TSBD putting in the flooring. Two weeks before the shots he was putting in the flooring on the 5th floor, two days before the shots they move to the 6th floor. Any honest investigation would want to know who these guys are.
Mr. Evans believes the research community's goal is to catch the killers and make sure this never happens again. For once it is proven that it is a conspiracy, it's a federal case --- not Texas jurisdiction, as some like to believe, but federal.
As to the mysterious deaths, 6 FBI agents were on a list to be subpoenaed before the HSCA. All of them died before they got to the HSCA. Also there were the two reporters in Jack Ruby's apartment, etc. Something was happening.
Mr. Evans believes that internal criticisms weaken the research community, especially in the eyes of the rest of the world, in particular media rather than strengthens.
I pointed out that the Failure Analysis did not convict Oswald, it was a hung jury. Failure Analysis used its computer analysis for the defense and prosecution.
George Michael Evica then had a very annoying way of asking the audience for Q&A. Truly bizarre. I think it irritated people and stifled questions. People were not allowed to raise their hands and be recognized, he went row by row and questions were asked but not immediately answered by the panelists. Several questions were asked before GM returned to the stage for panelist response.
Peter Whitmey then wanted people asking questions to identify themselves. Okay, but it then became an interruption of people asking their questions.
Ulric irritated people so much that the important information Peter Dale Scott and I had to offer was nearly totally ignored in favor of trying to set Ulric straight. If this panel had been Peter Dale Scott and myself with John Newman, Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko, or Carol Hewett, people who have been in Archives II, are familiar with the documents coming out, have worked with the ARRB, I think this could have been a great panel.
Peter Dale Scott mentioned in response to a question that Bobby Kennedy is a person who mangled Oswald's name and referred to him as Harvey Lee Oswald. This is in Schlesinger's book on RFK. After the assassination when Robert Oswald was taken to the Dallas Police Station he was asked by an FBI agent, probably Charles Brown, whether his brother's name was Lee Harvey Oswald or Harvey Lee Oswald, they had it as both. That is in Lee: A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald by Robert Oswald. Peter Dale Scott said that while there are Harvey Lee Oswald documents from Tampa, Florida, and California, the one place you will not get a Harvey Lee Oswald FBI document is Dallas because in Dallas they cleaned it up. The Review Board should interview FBI agent Charles Brown and ask him what did you mean, We have it here as both?
Harrison Livingston was very concerned about the ARRB's medical investigation. They have deposed Dr. Humes and Dr. Boswell. They brought in Dr. Finck from Europe. They are interviewing other medical people and subpoenaing materials. Livingstone wants to know what is going on. He wants to know exactly who David Marwell and Jeremy Gunn are, what are their backgrounds. These are legitimate questions. Unfortunately, I don't think we will get any answers until the ARRB releases the depositions they took from the three Drs. from Bethesda.
Kathlee Fitzgerald served as the moderator for the medical evidence panel. She explained that one of the reasons why the medical evidence is confusing is because it is written in Greek. One way to overcome this and learn the terminology is to get a copy of Gray's Anatomy. Also, there are gaps in the evidence.
The first presenter was Robert O'Rouke, who criticized David Lifton. Mr. O'Rouke mentioned that some criticism of Lifton is not valid. Michael L. Kurtz criticized Lifton for not using rigor mortis, algor mortis or livormortis. These conditions can all be used to determine when death occurred. And rigor mortis can be used to determine the position of the body at the time of death. There is no dispute as to the time of President Kennedy's death or the position of his body so it is hardly a valid criticism to say that Lifton says nothing about these conditions.
However, Kurtz was trying to point out that the above conditions can be used to determine if wounds were inflicted on President Kennedy's body after death and whether that would confirm or destroy Lifton's theory of body alteration after death.
Jim Moore copies this same argument from Kurtz.
O"Rouke explained where Lifton got the title for his book. Lifton took it from Wesley Leibler, who ranked testimony according to its reliability. There is a federal rule for evidence which is rather different.
Lifton came to his theory of body alteration after believing in the description of the wounds in the Sibert-O'Neill report as being accurate. He believes in Humes' description of the wounds, especially the back wound. He did not come to this theory until realizing that Humes moved the position of the back wound upward so as to correspond with the neck wound, and changing the conclusion that the wound in the back did not penetrate through the body to a transiting wound through the neck. Lifton believes Humes did this when Humes learned of the neck wound being more than a tracheotomy incision on the Saturday following the assassination. Lifton was right about the timing of the changed conclusion but wrong about the changed location.
"Humes wrote in the second draft of the autopsy report that there was a wound in the posterior thorax, or back, that the bullet that entered at this wound exited at the throat wound and that this bullet was on a downward trajectory with respect to the President's body. If the bullet did indeed enter at the back wound and exit at the throat wound, and if the former was higher than the later then this conclusion about the bullet's trajectory is quite reasonable. When Humes revised the draft, however, he did not change the wounds locations, or its conclusions about entry or exit, rather he now wrote that the bullet was on a downward trajectory without respect to the position of the body", said O'Rouke. Now Humes testified to the Warren Commission that he did not know the position of the body when President Kennedy was shot.
Humes met with Arlen Specter on March 11, 1964 and described a wound in President Kennedy's back, describing the trajectory as downward. When Humes appeared before the Warren Commission he now described a wound in the back of President Kennedy's neck, higher than the throat wound, and submitted a drawing to demonstrate this.
Why the change? It may be that at the meeting with Specter, Specter pointed out some problems and some photographs to Humes. He may have learned that the photographs and X-rays taken at Bethesda would not be introduced into evidence.
O'Rouke then discussed what he called errors in the back of President Kennedy's head. "A fake bullet wound here is as essential to Lifton's theory as an authentic wound is to the Warren Commission's conclusions." O'Rouke referred to a wound in the skull which Dr. Wecht could not find in the X-rays until Lifton browbeat him into doing so. (What is this about?) "Apparently, Lifton thought that the Clark Panel and Dr. Lattimer could do no wrong," said O'Rouke. A bullet entry into the cranium should leave a beveling hole. The HSCA pathology panel reported that in the back of President Kennedy's head there was a semi-circular beveled defect. O'Rouke thought it odd that a bullet wound was semi-circular. Dr. William I Seaman did not note the beveling at the back of the skull. Another radiologist, Dr. Gerald. M. McDonnel, submitted a detailed report to the committee. He described a wound at the back of the skull as a depressed fracture, part of the bone was pressed inward. O'Rouke believes he can see this in the lateral X-ray. The other two radiologists did not contradict what Dr. Seaman and Dr. McDonnel said. Dr. McDonnel's report does not in fact mention any bullet entry wounds in the skull.
O'Rouke explained that there are two ways a person could be shot in the skull without leaving any entry wounds. There could have been two shots, the second entering in the exit wound of the first shot and exiting through the entry wound created by the first shot. Or the body could have been tampered with.
O'Rouke then went into the nature of the two wounds, the one in the skull and the one in the scalp. According to the autopsy these wounds were slightly above the external occipital protuberance, but the Clark panel and the HSCA panel put the wounds higher, about 10 centimeters higher. Lifton has taken this as proof of body reconstruction at some point. This is part of his theory of several lenses of the assassination.
O'Rouke feels that this is a weakness in Lifton's theory for he does not explain how this discrepancy creates wounds in one location and destroys or erases them in another. O'Rouke theorizes that Humes may have described the nature of the scalp wound accurately and the Clark Panel and the HSCA described the nature of the skull wound accurately and that Lifton should have considered this possibility. In fact the forensic pathology panel stated that they located the scalp wound by the position of the skull wound as determined by the X-rays. O'Rouke questions if the skull wound is underneath the scalp wound. Dr. Joseph Riley wrote in The Third Decade that it is not. Photographs of the rear of the head were taken at the autopsy. Ida Dox based a drawing on one of these photographs. Lifton assures us that this drawing is accurate. O'Rouke prefers the photograph.
Well, we didn't have those photographs in 1979-1980 when Best Evidence was written.
Dr. Baden testified that the wound was an area of discoloration. O'Rouke showed a copy of the black and white photograph. it is not a solid area of black but of grey and white. O'Rouke feels that it represents not so much an area of a bullet entry wound as an area where a bullet glanced off braising the scalp in the process.
In the Sibert and O'Neill report there is no mention of the discovery of a wound in the back of the head. On the autopsy face sheet, Dr. Boswell wrote "ragged, slanted." In the draft of the autopsy report Dr. Humes described the wound as a puncture wound tangential to the surface of the scalp; later this was revised to say lacerated.
If the rear wound was not a bullet entry wound then the evidence of the fatal shot coming from the rear disappears. Then that means another bullet caused the fatal wound, two bullets to the head. It follows then that there were two shooters from two different directions.
O'Rouke feels that there are four areas for further study.
Was the rear wound caused by a bullet that glanced off? If so from where and when was it fired?
Is tampering the reason there is no apparent entry wound in the skull?
Why did Humes state that a bullet that entered in the back and exited from the throat was on a downward trajectory? Why does the Ida Dox drawing fail to accurately depict the wound at the rear of the scalp?
The next presenter was George Michael Evica. His presentation was part of a larger examination of the contradictions in the medical evidence, primarily between Parkland and Bethesda.
"The Warren Commission ignored or dismissed the observations of every Parkland Doctor and Nurse who saw and reported on the President's front neck wound and described that wound as a small, round, neat hole of entry above JFK's necktie knot and below his Adam's apple. Reports of a ragged tracheal wound and of a deviated trachea were accurate but that description was of the wound to the trachea underneath the skin surface at the neat hole of entry in the front of the throat." GM referred to Dr. Carrico's testimony in volume 6.
"Immediately after John F. Kennedy was brought into trauma room one, Dr. Carrico began his examination of the President. Dr. Carrico made a close examination of JFK's trachea. He found a ragged open hole on the right side of the President's windpipe, 'immediately below the larynx I saw the ragged tracheal injury' --Dr. Carrico. Because of JFK's inadequate respiration and apparent airway injury a cuffed endotracheal tube, that is intended to substitute for the damaged open trachea, was introduced by Dr. Carrico into the President's mouth and down his throat. According to Dr. Carrico, the endotracheal tube was inserted past the tracheal injury, the cuff inflated and the tube connected to a respirator to assist the President's inadequate respiration. Dr. Carrico testified that this procedure should have prevented leakage of air around the tube ensuring an adequate airway in place of the torn trachea.
"If the sole trauma to JFK's breathing apparatus had been the tracheal tearing the cuff and tube placement would have been enough to ensure the adequacy of the President's breathing. But having completed the endotracheal procedure Dr. Carrico listened to the President's chest and found that JFK's breathing was at best 'still inadequate, especially on the right side, JFK's respiration was still ineffective', he said, 'even with the endotracheal tube and with oxygen. His breathing system had apparently been damaged by a second wound below the trachea. His symptoms had an indication of a wound in the right hemothorax.
His breathing system had apparently been damaged by a wound to the right hemothorax, according to Dr. Perry. Dr. Carrico noted in his Warren Commission testimony that 'despite the endotracheal tube some air leakage around the tracheal wound could be observed'. Dr. Malcolm Perry examined the President's throat wound, remember the endotracheal tube had been inserted into JFK's mouth, not into his throat wound, noted the inadequacy of the mouth inserted endotracheal tube and judged a tracheotomy was necessary. In fact when Perry had entered trauma room one he had 'asked Dr. Carrico if this was a wound in his neck or had he, that is Dr. Carrico, already begun the tracheotomy.' That is a statement also emphasizing the smallness of the front of the throat missile wound as first witnessed.
"Dr. Perry performed the tracheotomy in the deep natural skin folds in the front of the President's neck making a short transverse, that is a horizontal, incision across the small round throat wound.
"Dr. Charles Baxter observed that Perry made the incision 'in the second tracheal ring' The wound in the trachea was enlarged to admit a cuffed tracheotomy tube to support respiration.
"Dr. Clark testified, 'I assisted in withdrawing the endotracheal tube as Dr. Perry was ready to insert the tracheotomy tube'. In the process of performing this procedure Dr. Perry observed the President's trachea was deviated slightly to the left. The doctor also observed bubbling blood around and coming out of the front throat wound.
"Dr. Peters reported according to Perry, 'There appeared to be a bubbling sensation in JFK's chest'. When Perry made the tracheotomy incision the doctors 'thought they saw a gush of air' blow out of the President's throat, according to Dr. Ronald C. Jones. After the procedure, Dr. Perry noted that free air and blood were originating in the right superior mediastinum, that is in the space between the heart and the lungs. Perry testified that this presence of blood could have been indicative of an underlying traumatized condition. For Dr. Perry the symptoms of free blood, free air, frothing, and bubbling all suggested 'an underlying injury to the lung itself even more serious than the throat and tracheal damage'. A possible missile induced trauma, Perry suspected. In fact a bullet was lodged in the President's right lung --- that is what he suspected. All of these conditions pointed to a probable collapsed right lung, what several of the Dallas doctors believed was serious chest damage. Dr. Jenkins testified that these were conditions of a pneumothorax, air in the chest cavity. The Parkland doctors cited early in the national media on JFK's wounds indicated strong evidence of a bullet present in JFK's chest.
Dr. Clark was quoted in the New York Times on November 27, 1963 as saying, 'a missile had struck the President, Clark had reported in the throat and ranged downward in his chest and did not exit'. Clark later attributed this observation in fact to Dr. Perry who came to this conclusion after observing JFK's throat and chest symptoms and who later reported his observation at the Parkland press conference on November 22, 1963. Dr. Kemp Clark testified to what Dr. Perry had announced at the Parkland press conference. 'Dr. Perry stated that there was a small wound in the President's throat and that he had made the incision for the tracheotomy through this wound, he discovered that the tracheotomy was deviated so he felt that the missile had entered the President's chest. He therefore asked for chest tubes to be placed in the President's pleural cavity.'
"Clark's Warren Commission testimony, although by the time he appeared before the Commission, [he was] marked by extreme caution, still gave ample reasons for placing chest tubes. Assuming that a missile had entered the pleura space, and if there had been bleeding into the pleural space the trachea would have been deviated or had there been a leakage of air into the pleural cavity, the trachea would have been deviated as it is the main conduit of air to the two lungs. Collapse of a lung will also produce deviation of the trachea. There being a wound in the throat, there being blood in the strap muscles and there being a deviation of the trachea in a grievously wounded patient without X-ray or other diagnostic measures Dr. Perry assumed that the findings in the neck were due to the penetration of the missile into the chest. For this reason he requested chest tubes to be placed.
In his Warren Commission testimony Dr. Jenkins, despite counsel Arlen Specter pressuring the post-Parkland doctor autopsy findings, thought that because of the President's pneumothorax a bullet had traversed his pleura.
Dr. Carrico further testified that 'Perry instructed physicians in the room to insert chest tubes and Carrico reported that chest tubes were then inserted. Following Dr. Perry's orders Dr. Paul Peters was the one who made the incision on the right side into JFK's chest and Drs. Peters and Charles Baxter assisted by Drs. Jones and Robert McClelland inserted the right chest tube attaching it to underwater drainage of the observed pneumothorax. As an added precaution a chest tube was also introduced on the President's left side by Dr. Jones who did the incision on the left side. According to Dr. Baxter, Dr. Jones placed the left anterior chest tube in according to Dr. Jones in the second intercostal space between the ribs, assisting Dr. Jones was Dr. McClelland.
"Parkland Hospital hand written and typed admission notes made out immediately after the President was declared legally dead were collected by Dr. Kemp Clark, summarized by him and ultimately submitted to the Warren Commission. The following are crucial excerpts from Drs. Clark, Carrico, Perry, Baxter and McClelland admission notes. These are in appendix eight.
"Clark, 'because of the lacerated trachea an anterior chest tube was placed in both pleura cavities, these tubes were connected to sealed underwater drainage.'
"Perry, 'I directed placement of sealed drainage tubes.'
"Carrico, 'bilateral chest tubes were inserted.'
"Baxter, 'a chest tube was inserted into the right chest second intercostal space anteriorly'.
"McClelland, 'Dr. Jones on the left side, Dr. Paul Peters on the right side inserted bilateral anterior chest tubes for pnuemothorasis secondary to the tracheal meniastimal injury'.
"All are quotes from their admission notes. Note that Drs. Clark, Carrico, Perry, and McClelland all verified in their admission notes that chest tubes were in fact inserted in both the right and left sides of the President's chest.
"Two early and overlooked chest tube reports further support the evidence of tube insertions into the President's chest. First, Dr. Marion T. Jenkins delivered a memorandum to a Dr. A.J. Gill, Dean of the University of Texas Southwest Medical School dated 11/22/63. A document which may be the earliest evidence of chest tube placement because of suspected interior chest damage. 'Drs. Charles Baxter and Robert McClelland started the insertion of the right chest tube since their was obvious tracheal and chest damage. Dr. Paul Peters and Dr. Kemp Clark assisted.' That is in the 20th volume buried on p. 252.
"Second, Dr. Ronald C. Jones delivered a separate memorandum for the 'Dallas County Hospital District', a handwritten summary on a staff progress notes form dated 11/23/63, 'I inserted a left anterior chest tube using a trochar and heavy rubber tubing' That's again in the 20th volume buried on page 333.
"Several later sources based on the earlier released Parkland doctor statements support the initial Parkland reports. Take a look at, for example, Earl Ubell, Science Editor, New York Herald Tribune, November 23, that's buried in volume 22 p. 832. 'Against the possibility that air might have infiltrated the President's chest between the lungs and the chest wall, the doctors insert tubes to help him breathe.'
"Dr. Crenshaw, present in trauma room one during the making of these chest penetrating incisions, and the subsequent chest penetrating tube insertions, has provided the clearest description of these surgical procedures at Parkland, and this follows precisely the admission notes, 'Drs. Baxter and Peters began inserting an anterior chest tube on the President's right side, and Drs. Jones and McClelland were doing the same thing on the left side to further assist in his breathing by expanding his chest cavity. The doctors inserted the chest tubes in the President's body by making incisions between the ribs on both sides of his chest in the mid-clavicular lines which are located at the shoulder blade level. Trocars, which are blunt oblong instruments surrounded by metal tubes were then plunged through the incisions into his chest cavity. The trocars were then pulled out, latex rubber tubing with holes in the sides to allow air to pass were fed down through the metal sheaves into the chest cavity. The other ends of the rubber tubbing were put into water sealed drainage to create negative pressure to expand the lungs.'
"To summarize, the Parkland doctors in an attempt to save the President's life, whether he was alive or not, made bilateral incisions into his chest and inserted tubing through those incisions into the president's right and left pleural cavities.
"The Bethesda autopsy doctors, James Humes, J. Thorton Boswell and Pierre Finck, report they examined the pleural cavities of the body at Bethesda during the official autopsy. The Autopsy doctors reported on pleural cavity 'contusions'. See also Hu mes' hearing testimony. I [Evica] took that from the Report, (the word contusions is found on p. 543 of the Warren Commission Report) initially he also said that in the second volume, which could only have been observed after the doctors made a Y-incision. You can't see pleural cavity contusion unless you open up the body.
"I quote, 'In the apex supra-clavicular portion of the right pleural cavity there is contusion of the parietal pleura and the extreme apical portion of the right upper lobe of the lung. In both instances the diameter contusion and ecchymosis, (I believe, that's Evica, that's puffiness, someone from the audience or a panelist offered, bruising, yeah bruising, thank you) at the point of maximal involvement measures 5 centimeters. Both the visceral and parietal pleura are intact overlying these areas of trauma.' That's Commission Exhibit 387, (p.982) it's cited in the Report. Also from that same document a 5 centimeter diameter purplish-red discoloration and increased firmness to palpation is situated in the apical portion of the right upper lobe.' This "contusion" corresponds to the similar area described in the overlying parietal pleura.'
"Note the visceral and parietal pleura are both intact overlying these areas of trauma. Did Humes Boswell and Finck take note of the Parkland anterior surgical incisions? According to their autopsy report, I quote, 'Incisions were made by the Parkland doctors in the upper anterior chest wall bilaterally to combat possible subcutaneous emphysema'. From where did the Bethesda doctors get this information? Certainly not from Dr. Perry. Certainly not from the Parkland admission notes. Certainly not from Dr. Kemp Clark's summary. No such so called "subcutaneous emphysema" was reportedly observed, or reportedly noted by any Parkland doctor. Did Humes, Boswell, and Finck describe the Parkland anterior surgical incisions? Quote, 'situated on the anterior chest wall in the nipple line are bilateral 2cm. long recent transverse surgical incisions into the subcutaneous tissue. The one on the left is situated 11 cm. cephalad (that's towards the head) to the nipple and the one on the right 8cm cephalad to the nipple. There is no hemorrhage or ecchymosis associated with these wounds'.
"Did Humes describe these surgical incisions in his Warren Commission testimony? I quote, 'The two smaller wounds on the chest did not enter the chest cavity'. They only went through the skin. 'I presume', he said 'that they (the Parkland doctors) were performing that procedure, it was obvious the President had died and they didn't pursue this.' According to his Warren Commission testimony Humes checked with the Parkland doctors about these surgical incisions. Humes testified, 'Dr. Perry told me in telephone conversations, (in response to Humes being asked by the Warren Commission did you introduce surgical wounds to the chest) that there was bubbling of air and blood in the vicinity of this anterior throat wound. This air and blood bubbling caused Dr. Perry to believe that perhaps there had been a violation, that is traumatic blunt penetration of one or the other pleural cavities by a missile. That's Humes telling us what Perry told him. He therefore asked one of his associates, here's Humes, 'and the record to me is so confused as to which of his associates, 'why the admission notes are quite clear to put in a chest tube?' 'Quite logical.' Humes says, 'under the circumstances and which would if a tube that were placed through all the layers of the wall of the chest and the chest cavity had been violated, that is traumatically penetrated, one could remove air that had gotten in there and greatly assist respiration'.
"But, had Humes, Boswell and Finck found such evidence of chest penetrating surgery? No. The Bethesda doctors examining the Bethesda body including its pleural cavities found no evidence whatsoever of chest penetrating surgery. No. I quote, 'These incisions were only knife wounds. They were incised wounds on either side of the chest'. Again quote, 'They were wounds of the chest which were going to be used by the doctors there at Parkland to place chest tubes.' But according to Dr. Humes they were not used.
"Harrison Edward Livingstone interviewed Paul O'Connor, a Bethesda medical technician present at the autopsy, several times on the observable scalp wound and cuts to the upper chest of the body at Bethesda. Livingstone asked O'Connor, I quote, 'Did the Bethesda doctors probe the apparent knife cuts in the chest?' O'Connor answered, 'No.' Then Livingstone asked an odd but relevant question, 'Did they, (that is the Bethesda autopsy doctors) know what penetrated the chest? Again, O'Connor replied, 'No.'
"The unexpressed logic of this Livingstone-O'Connor exchange had to be 1) if the body that the Bethesda doctors were observing had only superficial cuts in its chest and 2) the so called back wound was a non-penetrating wound devoid of ballistics, but 3) the body had clearly observable pleural cavity damage as the Bethesda doctors indeed reported what did the Bethesda doctors surmise was the cause of that interior damage?
"Harrison Edward Livingstone asked the logical question of O'Connor. After O'Connor answered 'No' O'Connor added, 'no probing of these chest cuts was made.' That was at Bethesda. 'The cuts were two small incisions one above each breast nipple. What they were for I will never know.' These incisions, says O'Connor, were superficial cuts and did not penetrate the pleura. As for any incisions for chest tubes, 'I never saw these incisions, which is not to say that they were not there.'
"Note that a presumably competent medical technician clearly differentiated between chest penetrating incisions for drainage tubes and superficial cuts, as he called them, he observed which did not extend into the Bethesda body's pleural cavities. In a second interview with Paul O'Connor apparently examining reputed autopsy photos the medical technician remarked, 'these incisions above each breast, I can see the incisions, but I never knew what they were for.' Livingstone explained that they put drainage tubes in there. And O'Connor replied with certainty, 'No, they didn't. That's a bunch of shit.' And Livingstone then queried, 'Do you think they could have been painted on, on the photo or something?' And O'Connor responded with conviction 'No, no, no, no. I saw them that night at the Bethesda autopsy. I said why the hell did they put these things in? It looks like somebody took a scalpel and just gently opened a little incision just above the breast.
"Did Humes and Boswell, Finck was not present, when they were asked by the Justice Department to 'examine, identify, and inventory' the alleged autopsy photos on November 1, 1966. See the Clark Panel Report, it was withheld until January 16, 1969. Did they again describe the reported Parkland anterior incisions? Humes and Boswell reported their January 1, 1966 archives visit in a document dated November 10, 1966 they described so called autopsy photo 13 showing anterior aspect of head and upper torso including tracheotomy wound. Humes and Boswell further stated about photo 13 that 'two superficial stab wounds on each side of the chest are able to be seen.
"Researcher Joanne Braun, I'm sorry that we haven't seen her recently, researcher Joanne Braun, in "New Evidence of Body Tampering" in The Third Decade, March 1991, commented in one of her article's notes, 'I can't make these incisions out in autopsy photograph 13'. Ms. Braun is not alone. The so-called chest wounds in those photos are barely visible in autopsy 13 if they exist at all.
"The House Select Committee on Assassinations, and more recently the Journal of the American Medical Association ignored these major contradictions in the testimony, statements and reports of the Bethesda autopsy doctors. In the JAMA article Dr. Humes was quoted directly, and again, 'we noticed that the Dallas doctors had tried to place chest tubes in the front of the President's chest but the tubes had not gone in.' This JAMA article statement by Humes echoes the position that Humes, Boswell and Finck had maintained for 33 years, but given the overwhelming medical opinion at Parkland that the President indeed had air and blood in his thorax resulting most probably from a traumatic injury to his right lung, Humes made a second and startling statement in the JAMA interview, 'WE found no increase in blood, no increase in fluid from the body's pleural cavity.'
"What are the logical options for resolving these contradictions between the Parkland medical staff and the Bethesda Naval autopsy team. Either, 1.) the Parkland doctors lied about their attempt to save JFK. Why? Because a.) they made superficial subcutaneous wounds in JFK's chest to begin chest procedures but thereafter called off those procedures and then subsequently lied about the extent of their procedures.
"For me an extremely unlikely scenario, or because b.) they had made these superficial so called "subcutaneous wounds" after the president's death to ensure their rescue efforts were credible and then lied about the extent of their procedures, again a, for me, extremely unlikely scenario. Remember, seven doctors making seven separate admission reports would have had to agree to lie, assigning false roles to no fewer than ten doctors present in trauma room one and enlisting the support of several other doctors and as far as I know at least three nurses also present in trauma room one in their massive fraud. Had the Parkland doctors, in fact not gotten as far as they maintain they did in both their admission notes and sworn Warren Commission testimony they needed to do only two things, make two quick chest penetrating insertions to ensure that their false story of chest tube insertions would be accepted as fact, making only skin penetrating insertions would have assured that their emergency procedures would have been seriously questioned.
"The first option then is that all the Parkland doctors repeatedly lied.
"Or, number two, the Parkland doctors told the truth about their procedures specifically concerning the intercostal surgery necessary to introduce the trocars and tubbing into the President's chest.
"One or two, note there is no in between position possible here. Either the Parkland doctors penetrated the President's pleural cavities surgically or they did not. Either they went into his chest or they did not.
"Therefore, if the Parkland doctors lied then Humes and Boswell and Finck in fact observed superficial stab or knife wounds on the Bethesda autopsy body presumably of the President which were indeed consistent with these Parkland falsehoods. But if the Parkland doctors told the truth that they actually used chest penetrating medical technology on JFK's body as every piece of immediate evidence and later testimony from the Parkland doctors unanimously supports then three possible explanations present themselves.
"Either A.) the Bethesda autopsy team members including experienced medical technician Paul O'Connor were incompetent and did not observe such Parkland intercostal, chest penetrating, pleural cavity surgery therefore calling into question all of their autopsy observations. Or B.) the Bethesda doctors indeed observed such chest penetrating surgery but made both false reports and gave false testimony for whatever obscure justice obstructing reasons, those false reports including the statements of medical technician Paul O'Connor and the statements that were made to Harrison Edward Livingstone. Or C.) the Bethesda doctors also told the truth. The Bethesda body they dissected and the body observed by Bethesda autopsy medical technician Paul O'Connor did not have observable chest penetrating surgery because the body they observed at Bethesda was not the body of President John F. Kennedy.
"Now a footnote, and I will repeat here what I said. Dr. Charles Wilber, this is my last part of my paper, Dr. Charles Wilber was apparently the first to publish serious questions concerning the chest cavity contradictions between Parkland and Bethesda. Wilber concluded, this is 1978, 'the inability of the pathologists to find evidence of perforation of the inner chest wall by drainage tubes inserted before death by skilled surgeons raises questions about the surgeons or the pathologists. Either the emergency room surgeons botched a routine life saving procedure or the autopsy pathologists were less than thorough. Notice that he doesn't examine all of the possible logical options. Wilber, however, in fact misses the full and ominous conclusions to be drawn from these contradictions. Livingstone cited Wilber by the way in High Treason 2 and quotes him directly.
"In 1992 I published a short introductory version of "These were Knife Wounds" in Dateline Dallas. Later that same year Livingstone took a critical look at "the chest tubes" in High Treason 2, making an extremely important point, 'Everyone at the Bethesda autopsy says the Bethesda body's pleural cavity was not violated, not by anything, even a bullet.' That is the Bethesda autopsy do ctors said that the cuts where the chest tubes would have gone in were superficial. In '95 Livingstone summarized the contradictions, 'Were chest tubes inserted in Dallas to drain the chest? This isn't some dispute. The evidence seems clear that from the Dallas doctors that the tubes went all the way into the chest and fluid was pumped out. But the autopsy doctors dispute this and say that the incisions were merely started and did not penetrate into the Bethesda body's chest. That's my phrase "Bethesda body". Livingstone has therefore not drawn for me the inevitable dark conclusion, though he has entertained it momentarily, I quote him from High Treason and that is 'So one might wonder just whose body was autopsied but I am only half serious when I say this.'
"I conclude, if both the Parkland trauma room one doctors and the Bethesda autopsy team told the truth then the Bethesda body was not the body of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy."
Kathlee then introduced Mr. Livingstone.
Harry was very interested and concerned about the medical investigation by the Review Board. He mentioned prior to his presentation that he wanted to discuss the Board's medical investigation with the audience at sometime during the conference. He wanted a letter drawn up to the Board expressing his concern of another cover-up on the medical evidence. He thanked George Michael for taking notice of a lot of his research. He pointed out that he has always wondered if the Bethesda body was indeed John F. Kennedy. They did have a lookalike for him for certain kinds of public functions. They may have shot somebody that night and part of the whole deal at Bethesda said, "For all of you sailors concerned this is John F. Kennedy and nobody is going to say anything different." And then they went ahead with an autopsy and made it look as good as they could. Livingstone did not think that that was beyond the realm of possibility because this was an overthrow of the government of the United States. These kinds of things are very brutal and repeat throughout history.
Livingstone thought there was another possibility and that was that the game from the beginning was to discredit the Parkland doctors. By saying they didn't get the tubes in right, the Bethesda doctors have already ripped their observations, so it makes the Parkland doctors look like liars. The Parkland doctors changed their opinions when shown the autopsy record and then they shut up. They could not be allowed to publicly contradict what the Warren Commission came up with.
Livingstone then read, badly, a poem about JFK's death.
Livingstone's paper was a history of the Clark Panel. He did a check of the JFK database for key names. A lot of people think that it was Boswell's letter in 1968 that led up to the Clark Panel. There was actually two or three years of discussion leading up to it. Liebeler was in touch with the NYT and he and Slawson were talking, because Harrison Salsbury of the NYT was saying that they are going to have to have another investigation because there is something wrong with the evidence. So Liebeler wrote a 13 page memorandum on November 8, some of you know about it it is called "Autopsy photographs and X-rays of President Kennedy" November 8, 1966.
"It does not appear from the Commissions records that these pictures and X-rays were ever examined by any member of the President's Commission or by any of it's counselors. There is strong feeling that the Commission should have examined them in connection with it's investigation." This apparently was from the Liebeler memorandum which also discusses "the lunatic fringe'. Slawson writes that Liebeler feels strongly that public opinion will soon force the Dept. of Justice and Burke Marshall to permit some kind of unofficial access to the photographs and X-rays and it is better that such permission be granted as soon as possible. The dangers in waiting are that we will have then looked like we consented only under pressure especially if by then the New York Times has joined the chorus. There is still a chance of respiking this thing be a reinvestigation limited to aspects of the autopsy. For if public opinion continues to develop as it has over the past few months we may soon be faced with a politically unstoppable demand for a free wheeling investigation of all aspects. The lunatic fringe already allege the involvement of the highest echelons of the government in the assassination and the hiding of the photographs and X-rays dangerously lends credibility to them.
Livingstone offered that the lunatic fringe would include Jacqueline Kennedy. After all her descriptions of the wounds was deleted from her Warren Commission testimony. This letter ends with Liebeler, Burke Griffen and Arlen Specter being glad to talk this over. Livingstone wondered how come the staff counselors were willing to defend the Commission's work and not the actual members.
Cliff Sessions wrote to Carl Early, who is a key figure in all of this because he is going into the National Archives with Dr. Finck, Boswell and Stringer and he is getting them to sign statements that they wrote that their view of the autopsy photographs does not change their views in the autopsy report. Livingston called this double talk. Because what does that mean that their opinion did not change? Compare this with the statements made to the HSCA when the Bethesda doctors saw the photographs and X-rays. This is the Justice Department in 1967 telling Dr. Humes what he is going to say to the public. And this is what we are hearing today. "This is the Justice Dept. controlling the cover-up at this point," said Livingstone. Livingstone also wanted the audience to consider the Texas influence in all of this. "Please ask Dr. Humes to follow in essence the attached statement. However, we should not insist that he read it. If he chooses he may want to do it in a question and answer form. He might display exhibit 397 to make this poiint. There is no reason for Dr. Humes to go into great detail. CBS would like answers to the following four question and I am sure Dr. Humes would want to provide answers.
1) How many bullets were there? How many bullet wounds? 2) Were they both fired from the rear? ("Both fired", they seem to answer their own question) 3) What is the explanation to exhibit 397?, and 4) Have the pictures been examined and do they confirm the autopsy report."
"You see they are scared, this is the NYT. They don't know where the next blow is going to come from and Johnson is already sensing that he cannot run for re-election. This is the statement that they wrote for Dr. Humes and what he is going to say though not read it. " 'I am Dr. James J. Humes, certified pathologist and Director of Laborotories at Naval Medical Hopsital at Bethesda, Maryland. I was in charge of the autopsy performed on the body of President Kennedy performed the night of November 22. Two other certified pathologists assisted me. We found that two bullets struck the President, both from the rear. One entered the back of his skull and exited through the right front. The other entered the back of the neck and exited through the throat. Some public confusion about the location of the neck wound has resulted from the drawing prepared for the Warren Commission. This free hand drawing shows the wound to be lower than it was. However, the location of the wound was accurately described in the notation on the magin of the drawing as '14cm below the tip of the right mastoid process and 14cm from the right chronium (sic?). There were no other bullets. The large number of photographs and X-rays taken during the autopsy are now in the possession of the National Archives and Records service. I have thoroughly examined them. I can report that they support every detail of our autopsy findings which were reported to the Warren Commission.'"
"That's bassically where it's coming from. They are telling the doctors what they are going to say."
Livingstone then ended his presentation and seemingly in violation of the procedures invited audience discussion in an open manner when Milicent Cranor still had to give her presentation and Kathlee Fitzgerald should have been the one to field questions and serve as moderator. Livingstone gave his thoughts on the political climate then and now. Dr. Jerry Rose asked a good pointed question that goes back to what Livingstone was supposed to have talked about, "What do you have on Barefoot Sanders?" Livingstone admitted to short changing the audience on that as he became preoccupied with the medical investigation of the ARRB and trying to feel out the audience on that on more than one occassion. He did say that he traced Barefoot Sanders' background. William Manchester has some long interviews with him while the Warren Commission was in progress and those are in the National Archives. He told his own background. He was quite liberal, he still is involved in Democratic politics in Dallas. I traced him all the way through the Jim Garrison period. First, Sanders was involved as the United States Attorney in Dallas as they were getting ready to put Ruby on trial. Barefoot was a family name, Sanders was in charge of helping the FBI get through the Ruby trial. And there were about 13 to 18 FBI interviews and it was decided that they would be shared with the Dallas District Attorney in the prosecution of Ruby and SAnders was involved in that. Stuff was censured. He defended the FBI's interest So he was intimately involved with that. Then he goes to the Dept. of Justice he is gradually involved in the whole medical evidence thing. When the Jim Garrison thing heats up he has an intense interest.
There was then a discussion of why some fiddling with the body, photographs and X-rays might have been made.
George Michael Evica explained that when you look at the medical evidence you have to make a choice but he doesn't want to do that because he said, "There are people at Bethesda who saw the Parkland wounds, do you hear what I'm saying, but some of them saw wounds other than Parkland, allright, so we want to lump them altogether and say as Gary does they are all the same wounds they are just looking at them from different angles, above, below, scalp, etc. And Harrison knows there are contradictions that seem to be unresolvable. That's why I quoted him when he said you know you would almost think they are examing another body. That is one of the options. Look at Gary Aguilar's arguments. The material is wonderful but after resifting it all and relooking at it all you have to say that yes it's not impossible that at some point during the night at Bethesda mdeically competent people, I don't mean they were great, medically competent people were looking at a body that indeed had the Parkland wounds on it, but other medical people saw a body that did not have, accept that possibility and try to work through it, don't go to a conclusion, work with what you have. And there are things that we just can't; the Ebersole thing, "neatly sutured" or not. Robert Cutler and I wrote to Ebersole. Dr. Perry would not speak to anyone about the assassination, so I said, Robert, we are going to send him a form, and we are going to say 'Dear Dr. Malcom Perry, please check yes or no, we nade two boxes adn then a line, signature here, did you neatly suture John F. Kennedy's throat wound?' He signed no, signed the form, and sent it back to us. Now that is an absolute contradiction of the earliest thing that Ebersole said and we have something that Dr. Malcolm Perry signed his name to. Accept the contradiction and then work through it. What does that mean? Did Ebersole tell the truth? Why did he change his story? He told us publicly there was a neatly sutured wound in the President's throat. Later he said there wasn't, it wasn't neatly sutured. Ebersole contradicts himself."
Humes, according to Livingstone did the same thing, saying one thing publicly in fornt of the cameras for the HSCA, and then what he says in the private panel discussions is entirely conflicting.
Kathlee then introduced Milicent Crannor. Milicent claims to have found some of the "missing" Zapruder frames. "Between frames 312 and 313, I have some of the Nix, I have evidence of multiple head shots on the Nix film." [My apologies that her presentation was largely visual and I cannot reproduce those visuals here -- JB.] She believed that a shot into the throat, bruising the right side of the trachea and upper lung on the right side had to have come from the left side of the street. This I believe matches a figure Edgar Tatro talked about at the Boston hearing. It is a blow-up from the Chancellor film. She was asked if the throat wound was a bullet from the left where did the bullet go, and was she sure the bruising to the right lung was caused by a bullet, couldn't it have been something else? Ms. Cranor doubted it could have been caused by anything other than a bullet.
She based her film discoveries, if that's what they were, on various videotapes of the Nix and Zapruder from various sources.
In Q&A Livingstone offered his ideas on where shots could have come from, concentrating on a man hole cover. George Michael Evica said that Sibert and O'Neill theorized on an ice bullet at one time. GM also mentioned that several witnesses thought that there was an "explosion" for the first shot. This goes back to a presentation he gave at COPA and ASK. Somewhere in the HSCA a motorcycle policeman thought something was thrown at the motorcade and fragmented. He thought a grenade of some type was thrown.
On Saturday Andrew Winiarczyk was the moderator. The panelists were Walt Brown, Raymond Carroll, Martin Shackelford and John Armstrong.
Walt Brown spoke first. He started with some jokes about the Olympics which started the day he spoke. "Today's events that you are going to miss because of this conference are synchronized shooting, and the 4 mile an hour limousine relay. The American team is not a heavy favorite because the driver, William Greer is a lead suspect. The good news is that both Ruby and Oswald will be able to perform this year because this year they are allowing amateurs and professionals. But the bad news is they will not be allowed in relays because we know they work alone."
Walt mentioned that in England they do not have as much access to the material. They also have a wonderful sense of curiosity.
Walt took a survey before he got started. He asked how many read 5 conspiracy books in the last 4 years? How many of you have read the Warren Commission report? How many have written 5 conspiracy books in the last 4 years? (Laughter)
"Why didn't the Warren Commission tell us the truth? Well, they didn't know it. They sure didn't look for it. They didn't look for it so they are not going to find it. If they told us anything even remotely resembling the truth it would have been trouble....So people took it upon themselves to look where the Warren Commission didn't."
Walt then somewhat despairingly said that "we" found 54 identifiable shooters that shot 5 or 6 shots. Someone posted on the Internet that there are now more shooters than eyewitnesses to the event. "If you look at who they (the alleged gunmen) are, you can almost do this to the tune of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas:' 6 CIA, 5 Golden mobsters, 4 Dallas police, 3 hapless tramps, 2 Corsicans, and 1 "lone nut" in the TSBD.
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