The Murder of JFK—Part II

Certainty that JFK’s assassination was the product of powerful meta-national conspirators hinges on garnering proof that there was more than one gunman and that this fact was covered-up at the highest levels of government. 

We will not attempt to reanalyze the numerous testimonies or further evaluate the correctness of anyone’s specific perceptions of the events as they unfolded in Dealey Plaza. Many entire books have examined and reexamined the immense mass of data collected, the conflicting opinions, and the authoritative contentions. Although the arguments are important to study and consider—as was my practice from the time of Kennedy’s death and throughout the ensuing decades—the “smoking gun” is not to be found there. Ironically, even the seemingly authentic report of an actual smoking gun on the Grassy Knoll has been called into question! As quantum theorist Heisenberg might have put it: The closer you look, the less you can honestly claim to know. 

The matter of whether there was more than one gunman comes down to one compound question: Did all of the bullets that entered Kennedy’s body come from one direction, and who would know? The perceptions of people on the scene have proved unreliable by absence of consensus. Even the Zapruder film, which clearly shows a bullet striking the President’s forehead, has been challenged by a professional opinion to the contrary! The challenge is ridiculous, but it has been sufficient to obfuscate the matter. However, while attention continues to focus on conflicting witness reports, machinations of cover-up artists, and imaginative ideas of conspiracy theorists, there is at least one person who held the plain and unassailable truth: Kennedy’s personal physician. 

Admiral George G. Burkley, M.D., was that physician. He pronounced the President dead, signed the death certificate, and supervised the autopsy. In the Oral History Review by William McHugh for the John F. Kennedy Library, McHugh asked: “Do you agree with the Warren Report on the number of bullets that entered the President’s body?” Burkley replied, “I would not care to be quoted on that.” Then, in response to McHugh’s questioning whether Burkley’s conclusions differed from the Warren Report with respect to cause of death, Burkely’s response managed to blur the crucial detail: “My conclusion in regard to the cause of death was the bullet wound which involved the skull…” Involved? This “blurring”—dissimulative but not deceptive—sidestepped the matter of whether that bullet entered from back or front. 

At a filmed Parkland Hospital press conference, a distraught doctor described the fatal wound by pointing his right index finger at the right side of his forehead, his tongue visibly coping with a dry mouth. The consensus of six doctors at Parkland was that the wound toward the back of JFK’s head was an exit wound and the wound at the neck was an entrance wound. Having the later benefit of film footage and other facts, in addition to the corporeal evidence, we see that while at least one bullet entered Kennedy’s body from the rear—and possibly two—two entered from the front: one at the neck and one at the forehead, indicating to us the likelihood of three shooters triangulating their shots. 

Dr. Burkley was never asked to testify before the Warren Commission although he was the physician who supervised the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital and had been present at Parkland. Burkley knew the truth. On the death certificate he had drawn a picture of the back wound in a location too low to match up with the throat wound, which fits with the statements of Parkland Hospital’s doctors who called the throat injury an entrance wound; the autopsy report indicated otherwise due to obliteration of the small round hole by the Parkland tracheostomy performed at that exact same spot. We see no reason to think Dr. Burkley—a Catholic and non-Mason—was party to the cover-up. Perceptions of a complex injury under emergency treatment (skull fractures emanated from two points) can be expected to differ from those gained during a slow and careful autopsy, and the damage was interpreted without benefit of the Zapruder film footage available today for augmentation. 

In 1977, Dr. Burkley’s attorney contacted the then newly-established House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to report that Burkley had information indicating that Oswald had not acted alone. The opportunity for Burkley to speak and for his testimony to be heard had finally arrived, but the HSCA declined to interview this most important witness. As a result, although the committee concluded that Oswald had probably not acted alone, the matter was not settled and no individual perpetrator was brought to justice. At this point in time, it is too late to hope for that, but it is never too late for the truth to be made known.

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2 Responses to “The Murder of JFK—Part II”

  1. PluribusOne™ Says:

    While in pursuit of JFK’s assassins, District Attorney and WWII veteran Jim Garrision said, in a 1967 Playboy Magazine interview:

    “What worries me deeply, and I have seen it exemplified in this case, is that we in America are in great danger of slowly evolving into a proto-fascist state. It will be a different kind of fascist state from the one of the Germans evolved; theirs grew out of depression and promised bread and work, while ours, curiously enough, seems to be emerging from prosperity. But in the final analysis, it’s based on power and on the inability to put human goals and human conscience above the dictates of the state. Its origins can be traced in the tremendous war machine we’ve built since 1945, the “military industrial complex” that Eisenhower vainly warned us about which now dominates every aspect of our life. The power of the states and Congress has gradually been abandoned to the Executive Department, because of war conditions; and we’ve seen the creation of an arrogant, swollen bureaucratic complex totally unfettered by the checks and balances of the Constitution… I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.”

    The full interview is found at: http://www.jfklancer.com/Garrison2.html.

    Garrison’s premonitory Orwell-like message of half a century ago rings all the more true today in the wake of 9/11 and the misguided subsequent war to neutralize Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction while wealth-disparity has become extreme in tandem with emerging elements of a police state (because of “war conditions”). How has this evolution happened? Among Garrison’s other statements, he said, “…the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective [than swastikas on government buildings] in keeping the populace in line.”

  2. PluribusOne™ Says:

    With the further release of previously secret JFK assassination files on Thursday, Newsweek published an article titled: “JFK Assassination Files: FBI Director Hoover Wanted Public Convinced Oswald Was Real Assassin as Soon as Possible.”

    A memo from J. Edgar Hoover, written soon after Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby, explained that he and Nicholas Katzenbach, Attorney General, were concerned that Oswald be immediately established as having been the assassin. Hoover said, “The thing I am concerned about, and so is Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”

    Bottom line: Hoover knew that Oswald was not the real assassin. Period.

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