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Guest James H. Fetzer

SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS: Truth or Obfuscation?

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There is a more profound difference between Josiah Thompson and myself (and probably many others) who have researched this case. And that is his apparent inability to believe (or unwillingness to believe) that evidence could be planted in advance to promote a completey false story of the assassination. This goes beyond the question of whether a rifle and three shells could be placed in the vicinity of a sniper's nest. This goes to the question of whether it could be planned, in advance, to falsify the autopsy.

This became most apparent to me when I appeared with Thompson (and others) on a Chicago radio station WLUP on April 3, 1993, hosted by one Steve Dahl, in connection with what was called the "Midwest Symposium" on the assassination, organized by one Doug Carlson. Appearing on the program, in addition to Thompson and myself, were Gus Russo and Robert Tannenbaum. About a year ago, I was able to obtain a tape of the show, from JFK researcher Rick Anderson, who happened to have recorded it.

On the show, a tape was played of a conversation Dahl had had with House Speaker Tip O'Neil, and a lively discussion then ensued. After I summarized my thesis--that the wounds had been altered between Dallas and Bethesda--the following dialogue ensued, and Josiah Thompson made the following remarks--remarks which not only illustrate the extent to which he will go to indulge in "innocent explanations" for serious contradictions in the evidence, but also his fundamental inability (or unwillingness) to consider the plausibility of a sophisticated plot which falsified the most critical evidence. I am uploading to this post a pdf of the transcript I personally made of the tape, but here is what is to me the most relevant part:

Dahl Mr. Thompson, you disagree with this (DSL's description of Parkland/Bethesda contradictions)?

Tink Yes. Its clear that there is a discrepancy between the descriptions of the wounds to Kennedy’s head as given in Parkland Hospital, and the description as given in the autopsy later that night. I think a lot of this can be ascribed to confusion; to doctors in Parkland working under great stress, not having either the time, the interest, or the energy to do a full examination of the body.

(Thompson. . continuing. . . ) The real problem with, I think, David’s thesis is that altering evidence is (now speaks very slowly) an enormously dangerous thing to get into. It is especially dangerous to get into before you know (now laughs) exactly what you have to have.

And I think, at this point in time, the point in time we’re talking about are the hours say, between 4 P.M. on that Friday, the 22nd, and midnight of the 22nd. At that time, you simply do not know enough as to what your altered evidence is supposed to show. To go about doing that, with any degree of success or intelligence.

So I think the basic problem with the thesis is the time when its supposed to have (occurred).

* * *

Tink (continuing to address me) Your fallacy is simplicity. You say this is a very simple thing to do. And its simple when you put it in its generality. Its not simple at all when you [have t] decide what particular details to carry out. What particular alterations to make in the head. What particular alterations to make in photographs, etc. etc. Your making the same mistake that (now speaking slowly) many many criminals make when they think that they can alter the evidence and get away with it.

DSL COMMENT: Of course, I thoroughly disagree with all of this--in fact, I find these objections preposterous--but I think this really does focus on why Thompson behaves as he does. For whatever reason, it is beyond Thompson's conception that a sophisticated plot of the kind that I believe took JFK's life could ever have existed, or functioned as I believe it did. I'm not talking here about multiple shooters, or where they were hidden. That's almost irrelevant. I'm talking about a sophisticated scenario in which evidence was falsified and information manipulated so as to create the false appearance, at the time of the shooting (and in the aftermath, as necessary) that the story of President Kennedy's assassination was simply that of "a man in a building who shot a man in a car." This is very similar to the production of a movie. A good friend of mine, who studied the JFK assassination very carefully, and who himself produces very important commercials that air nationwide, once opined aloud: "Do you think the assassination had a 'producer'?"--to which my answer (and his, too) was (and still is): most definitely. And understanding that is critical to understanding both how the trip to Dallas was arranged, and how events unfolded that day; and what happened in the aftermath. As I have said on many occasions, anyone who believes that "conspiracy" in this case simply means "multiple shooters" and is unwilling to go further than that, is swimming in the shallow end of the kiddie pool. Such folks do not understand (or are unwiling to conceive of the possibility) that this entire event was a grotesque manipulation. The key to unraveling this case is to focus on fraud in the evidence. That has been my position for many years--indeed, decads--and it has not change one bit.

DSL

1/2/2010

12:30 PM PST

Xcrpt_of_DSL_Thompson__WLUP__4_3_93.pdf

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Cool David.

The medical evidence in this case is an unbelievable mess. I don't claim to this day to understand it. I do, however, understand a couple of things. These are things I've learned from Cyril Wecht.

Wecht does not believe David Lifton's "body alteration" view is correct. The points I made in this 1993 radio broadcast were drawn from discussions with Wecht over the years. It is Wecht's view (repeated by me) that not enough was known between the hours of 4:00 PM and 12:00 midnight on November 22nd for medical personnel to set about altering the wounds in JFK. In addition, there is the problem that alteration of wounds post-death is quite different than alteration of wounds pre-death. Things look different depending on when cuts or changes were made.

David Lifton is a valid expert on the medical evidence. I am not. I am simply pointing out that the opinions he quotes as mine were drawn from conversations with Cyril Wecht. And Wecht, no one doubts, has opinions that are worth paying attention to.

Josiah Thompson

There is a more profound difference between Josiah Thompson and myself (and probably many others) who have researched this case. And that is his apparent inability to believe (or unwillingness to believe) that evidence could be planted in advance to promote a completey false story of the assassination. This goes beyond the question of whether a rifle and three shells could be placed in the vicinity of a sniper's nest. This goes to the question of whether it could be planned, in advance, to falsify the autopsy.

This became most apparent to me when I appeared with Thompson (and others) on a Chicago radio station WLUP on April 3, 1993, hosted by one Steve Dahl, in connection with what was called the "Midwest Symposium" on the assassination, organized by one Doug Carlson. Appearing on the program, in addition to Thompson and myself, were Gus Russo and Robert Tannenbaum. About a year ago, I was able to obtain a tape of the show, from JFK researcher Rick Anderson, who happened to have recorded it.

On the show, a tape was played of a conversation Dahl had had with House Speaker Tip O'Neil, and a lively discussion then ensued. After I summarized my thesis--that the wounds had been altered between Dallas and Bethesda--the following dialogue ensued, and Josiah Thompson made the following remarks--remarks which not only illustrate the extent to which he will go to indulge in "innocent explanations" for serious contradictions in the evidence, but also his fundamental inability (or unwillingness) to consider the plausibility of a sophisticated plot which falsified the most critical evidence. I am uploading to this post a pdf of the transcript I personally made of the tape, but here is what is to me the most relevant part:

Dahl Mr. Thompson, you disagree with this (DSL's description of Parkland/Bethesda contradictions)?

Tink Yes. Its clear that there is a discrepancy between the descriptions of the wounds to Kennedy’s head as given in Parkland Hospital, and the description as given in the autopsy later that night. I think a lot of this can be ascribed to confusion; to doctors in Parkland working under great stress, not having either the time, the interest, or the energy to do a full examination of the body.

(Thompson. . continuing. . . ) The real problem with, I think, David’s thesis is that altering evidence is (now speaks very slowly) an enormously dangerous thing to get into. It is especially dangerous to get into before you know (now laughs) exactly what you have to have.

And I think, at this point in time, the point in time we’re talking about are the hours say, between 4 P.M. on that Friday, the 22nd, and midnight of the 22nd. At that time, you simply do not know enough as to what your altered evidence is supposed to show. To go about doing that, with any degree of success or intelligence.

So I think the basic problem with the thesis is the time when its supposed to have (occurred).

* * *

Tink (continuing to address me) Your fallacy is simplicity. You say this is a very simple thing to do. And its simple when you put it in its generality. Its not simple at all when you [have t] decide what particular details to carry out. What particular alterations to make in the head. What particular alterations to make in photographs, etc. etc. Your making the same mistake that (now speaking slowly) many many criminals make when they think that they can alter the evidence and get away with it.

DSL COMMENT: Of course, I thoroughly disagree with all of this--in fact, I find these objections preposterous--but I think this really does focus on why Thompson behaves as he does. For whatever reason, it is beyond Thompson's conception that a sophisticated plot of the kind that I believe took JFK's life could ever have existed, or functioned as I believe it did. I'm not talking here about multiple shooters, or where they were hidden. That's almost irrelevant. I'm talking about a sophisticated scenario in which evidence was falsified and information manipulated so as to create the false appearance, at the time of the shooting (and in the aftermath, as necessary) that the story of President Kennedy's assassination was simply that of "a man in a building who shot a man in a car." This is very similar to the production of a movie. A good friend of mine, who studied the JFK assassination very carefully, and who himself produces very important commercials that air nationwide, once opined aloud: "Do you think the assassination had a 'producer'?"--to which my answer (and his, too) was (and still is): most definitely. And understanding that is critical to understanding both how the trip to Dallas was arranged, and how events unfolded that day; and what happened in the aftermath. As I have said on many occasions, anyone who believes that "conspiracy" in this case simply means "multiple shooters" and is unwilling to go further than that, is swimming in the shallow end of the kiddie pool. Such folks do not understand (or are unwiling to conceive of the possibility) that this entire event was a grotesque manipulation. The key to unraveling this case is to focus on fraud in the evidence. That has been my position for many years--indeed, decads--and it has not change one bit.

DSL

1/2/2010

12:30 PM PST

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Cool David.

The medical evidence in this case is an unbelievable mess.

Only the head wound evidence. The back wound and throat wound evidence

is abundantly redundant and irrefutable.

I don't claim to this day to understand it.

The head wound discussion is absurd, burning up bandwidth and leveling

forests for a conversation rendered meaningless by Humes declaration

that there appeared to have been surgery performed on the head.

After that, the discussion is radioactive and can only lead to dead ends.

The back and throat wound evidence, on the other hand, is quite clear:

JFK was shot in the back at or just below the level of his 3rd thoracic

vertebra and the wound was shallow with no bullet recovered; JFK was

shot in the throat from the front by a projectile which left an air pocket

and no bullet.

The night of the autopsy Finck et al seriously considered the possibility

JFK was struck with blood soluble rounds, which in fact had been developed

for the CIA to paralyze guard dogs in two seconds, and which were tested

on humans.

The Zapruder film clearly shows JFK becoming paralyzed in little more than

two seconds after Z190.

What else would you like to know?

I do, however, understand a couple of things. These are things I've learned from Cyril Wecht.

Wecht does not believe David Lifton's "body alteration" view is correct.

Sorry, but the "alteration view" doesn't belong to David Lifton. It is part

of the historical record researched by David Lifton. I thank David for his

great work on the medical evidence, but this alteration view originated with

Commander Humes. This view is part of a properly prepared FBI autopsy

report by FBI SAs Sibert and O'Neill.

This researcher-centric view of the JFK assassination evidence is counter-productive,

in my view.

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Sorry, but the "alteration view" doesn't belong to David Lifton. It is part

of the historical record researched by David Lifton. I thank David for his

great work on the medical evidence, but this alteration view originated with

Commander Humes. This view is part of a properly prepared FBI autopsy

report by FBI SAs Sibert and O'Neill.

Are you kidding me?

The body alteration view belongs 100% to David Lifton and David Lifton alone, so you think Humes would have ever brought it up? Or someone might have found Sibert and O'neils report of surgery to the head, but we all know that someone was David Lifton

I have believed in Liftons theory from the second I finished his book over 20 years ago

Lifton is correct and is now being backed up by Doug Horne's master work

Cliff the things that you say just leave me shaking my head

Edited by Dean Hagerman

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The medical evidence in this case is an unbelievable mess. I don't claim to this day to understand it. I do, however, understand a couple of things. These are things I've learned from Cyril Wecht.

Wecht does not believe David Lifton's "body alteration" view is correct. The points I made in this 1993 radio broadcast were drawn from discussions with Wecht over the years. It is Wecht's view (repeated by me) that not enough was known between the hours of 4:00 PM and 12:00 midnight on November 22nd for medical personnel to set about altering the wounds in JFK. In addition, there is the problem that alteration of wounds post-death is quite different than alteration of wounds pre-death. Things look different depending on when cuts or changes were made.

David Lifton is a valid expert on the medical evidence. I am not. I am simply pointing out that the opinions he quotes as mine were drawn from conversations with Cyril Wecht. And Wecht, no one doubts, has opinions that are worth paying attention to.

Pat Speer writes this about Wecht:

The Power of Suggestion

The realization that Wecht's errors were quite possibly related to a misapplication of his extensive experience led me down a dark road of thought. I began to question whether it's possible for those "with knowledge" to ever learn anything new. Does our frame of reference frame our reality?

Let's use Wecht as a case study. On August 23 and August 24, 1972, Dr. Cyril Wecht became the first fully independent pathologist to inspect the autopsy materials. He also became the first conspiracy theorist to see these materials. He reported his findings in a 1974 article in Forensic Science.

As a long-time critic of the original autopsy, and as a long-time proponent of forensic science, Wecht undoubtedly had a chip on his shoulder. He resented, justifiably, that military doctors with little forensic experience were chosen to perform the most important autopsy of the century. It was indeed an insult to his profession. When the Clark Panel, made up of better-qualified civilians, had its report released in 1969, and concluded that the autopsy doctors had indeed made major mistakes, one can only assume Wecht shouted "Told you so!" There can be little doubt then, that he went into the Archives prepared to confirm the Clark Panel's basic findings.

Sure enough, in section 3.3 of the 1974 Forensic Science article discussing his findings, Dr. Wecht concluded "Generally speaking, the author's observations and measurements of the wounds and locations of bullet fragments are in agreement with the findings of the Clark Panel in 1968." At no point in his paper does Wecht side with the interpretations of the original autopsists over those expressed by the Clark Panel.

Wecht's failure to question the Clark Panel becomes painfully clear when one inspects Fig. 3 in his article. This is a drawing of a skull, purportedly showing the locations of the bullet fragments visible on Kennedy's x-rays. Wecht failed to properly assess the forward tilt of the skull in the x-ray. As a result the fragment in the middle of the forehead on the x-rays was depicted just above the right eye on his drawing. Wecht described: "A fragment from this location is reported to have been removed surgically and later subjected to spectrographic analysis." This helped fuel the mistaken and ongoing belief that the forehead fragment on the x-ray was the one recovered at autopsy. Far worse, Wecht's drawing depicted a large fragment on the back of the head by the Clark Panel's entrance. A close look at the x-ray purportedly studied by Wecht, however, shows THERE'S NOTHING THERE.

Even more intriguing, Wecht KNEW there was nothing there. In his best-selling book, Best Evidence, David Lifton reveals that he accompanied Dr. Wecht to the Archives, and that they discussed Wecht's findings both during and after his examination. Lifton recalls: "During the afternoon session, it became quite obvious that Wecht had great difficulty reading the X-rays--that he couldn't find the entry wound reported by the Clark Panel or by Dr. Lattimer. There was no hole there at all, said Wecht." Lifton then recalls that he discussed this with others and told Wecht that he shouldn't be looking for a "hole", but for a "subtle shading". He then recalls that Wecht "was still not able to locate the entry wound." Lifton then recalls that he measured out the length of thread the supposed entrance would be from the external occipital protuberance and gave this to Wecht to help him find the entrance on the x-rays. He recalls "Wecht did this, and that was how he found the entrance wound in the back of President Kennedy's head." (Unstated by Lifton but clear from his account is that Wecht was unable to locate the large fragment purportedly just below this entrance wound; if he'd seen the fragment, after all, he would not have needed to use this thread to find the location of the "hole.") Lifton then cites Wecht's dictation on the "finding" of this entrance. Wecht said "This is a change in density which apparently is what is referred to in the previous panel as a 'hole.' This either takes imagination or some very sophisticated radiological expertise because it is difficult for me to consider this a hole. In any event, it has to be because it fits the measurements that they give about 100mm from the external occipital protuberance."

Thus, Dr. Cyril Wecht, under pressure from David Lifton to confirm that the autopsy doctors were wrong, and unable to conceive that the civilians on the Clark Panel were so badly mistaken, ignored his own better instincts and came to not only accept that the cowlick entrance he could not find was there, but to depict the bullet fragment purportedly just below this entrance in his exhibits.

But this was not the only point on which Wecht wrongly deferred to the Panel. When discussing the angle of descent from the back wound to the neck wound, Wecht announced "Adopting also the Clark Panel's measurement of the vertical position of the exit hole, namely 9 cm below the same crease (although the author was unable to corroborate this measurement from his own observations) we are able to compute the trajectory of the bullet relative to the horizontal and sagittal planes through the President's body at the time he was struck. The downward angle works out to be 11 1/2 degrees..." As a more accurate measurement would have helped Wecht in his efforts to debunk the single-bullet theory, Wecht's acceptance of the Clark Panel's measurements made little sense, and suggests he'd given the Clark Panel's measurements and conclusions undue weight.

To his credit, Wecht seems fully aware the influence an "expert" can hold over another "expert." An April 19, 1975 memo in the files of the Rockefeller Commission reveals that when Dr. Wecht spoke to the Commission's Robert Olsen, he voiced his displeasure with the make-up of the commission's medical panel. Olsen related "Dr. Wecht was very unsettled by the identity of the members of the panel. Indeed, he was very angry to the point of shouting and indulging in frequent profanity. He said that almost the whole panel is made up of people from the Washington-Baltimore community; that all of them are under the control and influence of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland, Dr. Russell Fisher; that we should have looked elsewhere for impartial experts; that Dr. Fisher is a very strong-willed and influential man who has succeeded in getting more Federal grants in the field of forensic pathology than all other doctors in the United States combined...Dr. Wecht readily acknowledged the professional qualifications of all members of our panel. He said that among their fellow professionals each enjoyed a high standing. He stated, however, that it was wholly unrealistic to expect that anybody on this panel would express views different from those expressed by the Ramsey Clark Panel in 1968, which included Dr. Fisher and a radiologist from John Hopkins, Dr. Russell Morgan." It seems Wecht knew of which he spoke......

Full chapter: http://www.patspeer.com/chapter20:conclusionsandconfusions:

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Guest James H. Fetzer

It's a simple question, Josiah. Is this the same paragraph that upset Vincent Salanadria or not? If it is not, please publish the paragraph that did upset him. This is not a trick question and I dare say you are in the position to answer it. I understand why you are trying your best to distract us from the fact that you have not answered my questions either about the Zapruder frames you did not sketch or the blatant inconsistency between the medical evidence from Parkland and the hit sequence shown in the film. In fact, I have already dismantled your defense of your abandonment of the "double hit" theory. When are going to begin to come clean? You are looking devious and dishonest. Yawn all you want, but these are serious questions and you are not being forthcoming. Answer them!

Since Professor Fetzer has now started posting in boldface. My reply is posted in boldface, italics:

Yawn!!! To make a scurrilous point, Professor Fetzer simply quotes the beginning of a sentence and lops off the end. When this is exposed he shifts gear and asks me whether this was the paragraph that made Vincent Salandria in 1967 start the rumor that I was a government agent.

This whole sad, little incident is chronicled in John Kelin's book where Kelin quotes extensive correspondence. Kelin points out that when Vince Salandria started saying this he was roundly dumped on by Sylvia Meagher and Arnoni (whose first name I have forgotter but who was the editor of the Minority of One that first published Salandria.) Like Kelin, I find the whole little incident sad and weird. It's not something that keeps me up at night forty years later.

I have no idea what was running through Salandria's mind when he started attacking someone who had earlier worked with him. Why don't you ask him? Maybe you'll come up with something to continue your attempted smear of me.[/u]

I quoted the paragraph in full in an earlier post on another thread, which, apparently, like so many others, you didn't bother to read or are now misrepresenting. What I would like to know--given you are making so much of it--is this: Is this not the same paragraph that led Vincent Salandria to conclude that you were a government agent? He has written that he was so outraged by your dismissive attitude that he confronted you personally and accused you of whitewashing the case. What I want to know is whether you are prepared to admit that this paragraph has raised the most serious doubts about your integrity, not only in my mind but also in the minds of other qualified students of JFK. If it was not this paragraph, kindly quote the one that so upset him. Thank you.
I hope this might be relevant to your post, Mr. Cohen.

Professor Fetzer concludes a confused blast against me on another thread by writing, “How could he possibly conclude his book by asserting, ‘It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy?’ I think Tink owes us an explanation.”

Here’s the explanation.

The quote does not come from the conclusion of Six Seconds but from a catch-all chapter entitled, “Answered and Unanswered Questions.” He pulled one sentence out of a larger quote that makes clear what is being said.

The book ends with a chapter called “The Warren Report.” This chapter summarizes the points made earlier against the background of the Warren Report. The book ends with this summary paragraph:

"This book has attempted to perform a task of archaeology, to lay bare a whole level of contradictory evidence buried beneath the facile conclusions of the Commission’s Report. This evidence (much of it never published) was either ignored, disregarded, or misrepresented by the Commission. Now it has been brought to light. If its introduction makes necessary the emergence of new conclusions, then so be it." (213)

This was then followed by a catch-all Chapter X entitled “Answered and Unanswered Questions.” This chapter picked up the various pieces of information learned over the course of writing the book that could find no place in the books structure. The questions were things like, “Are the ‘missing frames’ from the Zapurder film still missing?” “Was the rifle found in the TSBD a Mauser or a Mannlicher-Carcano?” “Were the President’s coat and shirt bunched at the time he was struck in the back?” “Does the Altgens photo show Oswald or Billy Joe Lovelady in the doorway of the TSBD?” “Who is the ‘umbrella man’?” “Who owned the jacket discarded by Officer J.D. Tippit’s assailant?” “Which shot caused the ‘Tague hit.?” This chapter then ends with a sixteen-page discussion of whether Oswald shot the President. Included in this section are numerous witness reports I discovered in the Archives detailing movements of various people near the Depository. The last several pages of this section are devoted to enlargements from the Hughes film and Weaver photo concerning the vexed question of whether in the film and photo the outlines of two people can be seen near the sixth floor corner window. The chapter ends with a short paragraph commenting on the miscellaneous evidence put forward in the final sixteen page section:

What does this collection of new evidence prove? It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy and that two men were together on the sixth floor of the Depository at the time the shots were fired. Nor does it prove Oswald’s innocence. What it does suggest is that there are threads in this case that should have been unraveled long ago instead of being swept under the Archives rug. It also shows that the question of Oswald’s guilt must remain – nearly four years after the event – still unanswered. (246)

The sentence that Professor Fetzer wants to make much of could have been written just as well as “It does not prove that the assassination was a conspiracy because two men were together on the sixth floor of the of the Depository at the time the shots were fired.” Then this closing paragraph of the section refers back to the topic of the section, “Did Lee Harvey Oswald shoot the President?” The last sentence of the paragraph affirms that that question “must remain – nearly four years after the event – still unanswered.”

By cutting off the front of a sentence from its tail, Fetzer wants to press the idea that I said in Six Seconds that I hadn’t shown a conspiracy in the death of John Kennedy. What I said was that the photo and ancillary evidence concerning two men at the sixth floor window was not dispositive whether a conspiracy existed and whether Oswald was innocent. This statement remains as true today as it was in 1967.

A final word. It is difficult now to get back into the ambience 1967. I can say only that I made a determined effort to write toned-down prose with a scholarly edge to it. Given the temper of the times and the often shrill claims of assassination related writings, a quieter, more objective, more scholarly approach seemed better. But that tone should not mislead anyone as to the robust and serious aim of the book. It was to show that the best reconstruction that can be made of the event shows that shooters fired from three locations. Does this mean a conspiracy was involved in the assassination? Are you kidding?

Josiah Thompson

>Taking a fresh look at SSID, which I am now doing, it is occurring to me that it might be valuable to ask whether or not this book was intended as some sort of >limited hang-out for the CTs, appearing to give new information but concealing more than it revealed.

I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the accusations being leveled at Josiah Thompson on this board over the past several days. Pamela, are you actually suggesting that Thompson intentionally tried to deceive his readers with "Six Seconds in Dallas?" What could possibly be the point of giving "new information but concealing more than it revealed?" What a waste of time! And do we really expect him to have to stand by every claim or theory he espoused 40 years ago? Isn't it possible that he simply made some mistakes, without there being some sinister overtone in play?

Edited by James H. Fetzer

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Sorry, but the "alteration view" doesn't belong to David Lifton. It is part

of the historical record researched by David Lifton. I thank David for his

great work on the medical evidence, but this alteration view originated with

Commander Humes. This view is part of a properly prepared FBI autopsy

report by FBI SAs Sibert and O'Neill.

Are you kidding me?

The body alteration view belongs 100% to David Lifton and David Lifton alone, so you think Humes would have ever brought it up? Or someone might have found Sibert and O'neils report of surgery to the head, but we all know that someone was David Lifton

Yes, I'm giving him credit for the original research. But the view

is from the historical record, that belongs to us all.

I have believed in Liftons theory from the second I finished his book over 20 years ago

I do my level best to engage in theory very sparingly.

It is not David Lifton's "theory" -- it is part of the historical record and is

unfortunately labeled "theory" and assigned as one would property rights

to the original researcher.

I don't believe elements of the historical record "belong" to anyone.

Lifton is correct and is now being backed up by Doug Horne's master work

Cliff the things that you say just leave me shaking my head

Humes observation of surgery to the head wound is the salient fact.

I'm a gambling man -- I'll give you 2 to 1 odds David agrees with me!

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Or someone might have found Sibert and O'neils report of surgery to the head, but we all know that someone was David Lifton.....

Paul Hoch deserves credit for being the first researcher to obtain the Sibert and O'Neil report from the National Archives. (Best Evidence, Pages 101-102, Macmillan 1980)

Edited by Michael Hogan

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Read carefully what David Lifton, whom Josiah Thompson qualifies as an expert on the medical evidence, which by his own admission he is not, has to say about him:

On the show, a tape was played of a conversation Dahl had had with House Speaker Tip O'Neil, and a lively discussion then ensued. After I summarized my thesis--that the wounds had been altered between Dallas and Bethesda--the following dialogue ensued, and Josiah Thompson made the following remarks--remarks which not only illustrate the extent to which he will go to indulge in "innocent explanations" for serious contradictions in the evidence, but also his fundamental inability (or unwillingness) to consider the plausibility of a sophisticated plot which falsified the most critical evidence.

Once more, with feeling: Josiah Thompson made the following remarks--remarks which not only illustrate the extent to which he will go to indulge in "innocent explanations" for serious contradictions in the evidence, but also his fundamental inability (or unwillingness) to consider the plausibility of a sophisticated plot which falsified the most critical evidence.

So I suppose we could consider an alternative to hypothesis (h1) of Josiah as obfuscationist extraordinarie, which is (h2) that Josiah is, instead, some kind of nitwit with a closed mind who is incapable of grasping the sophistication of the deceit and deception at the core of the case.

Some choice.

Cool David.

The medical evidence in this case is an unbelievable mess. I don't claim to this day to understand it. I do, however, understand a couple of things. These are things I've learned from Cyril Wecht.

Wecht does not believe David Lifton's "body alteration" view is correct. The points I made in this 1993 radio broadcast were drawn from discussions with Wecht over the years. It is Wecht's view (repeated by me) that not enough was known between the hours of 4:00 PM and 12:00 midnight on November 22nd for medical personnel to set about altering the wounds in JFK. In addition, there is the problem that alteration of wounds post-death is quite different than alteration of wounds pre-death. Things look different depending on when cuts or changes were made.

David Lifton is a valid expert on the medical evidence. I am not. I am simply pointing out that the opinions he quotes as mine were drawn from conversations with Cyril Wecht. And Wecht, no one doubts, has opinions that are worth paying attention to.

Josiah Thompson

There is a more profound difference between Josiah Thompson and myself (and probably many others) who have researched this case. And that is his apparent inability to believe (or unwillingness to believe) that evidence could be planted in advance to promote a completey false story of the assassination. This goes beyond the question of whether a rifle and three shells could be placed in the vicinity of a sniper's nest. This goes to the question of whether it could be planned, in advance, to falsify the autopsy.

This became most apparent to me when I appeared with Thompson (and others) on a Chicago radio station WLUP on April 3, 1993, hosted by one Steve Dahl, in connection with what was called the "Midwest Symposium" on the assassination, organized by one Doug Carlson. Appearing on the program, in addition to Thompson and myself, were Gus Russo and Robert Tannenbaum. About a year ago, I was able to obtain a tape of the show, from JFK researcher Rick Anderson, who happened to have recorded it.

On the show, a tape was played of a conversation Dahl had had with House Speaker Tip O'Neil, and a lively discussion then ensued. After I summarized my thesis--that the wounds had been altered between Dallas and Bethesda--the following dialogue ensued, and Josiah Thompson made the following remarks--remarks which not only illustrate the extent to which he will go to indulge in "innocent explanations" for serious contradictions in the evidence, but also his fundamental inability (or unwillingness) to consider the plausibility of a sophisticated plot which falsified the most critical evidence. I am uploading to this post a pdf of the transcript I personally made of the tape, but here is what is to me the most relevant part:

Dahl Mr. Thompson, you disagree with this (DSL's description of Parkland/Bethesda contradictions)?

Tink Yes. Its clear that there is a discrepancy between the descriptions of the wounds to Kennedy’s head as given in Parkland Hospital, and the description as given in the autopsy later that night. I think a lot of this can be ascribed to confusion; to doctors in Parkland working under great stress, not having either the time, the interest, or the energy to do a full examination of the body.

(Thompson. . continuing. . . ) The real problem with, I think, David’s thesis is that altering evidence is (now speaks very slowly) an enormously dangerous thing to get into. It is especially dangerous to get into before you know (now laughs) exactly what you have to have.

And I think, at this point in time, the point in time we’re talking about are the hours say, between 4 P.M. on that Friday, the 22nd, and midnight of the 22nd. At that time, you simply do not know enough as to what your altered evidence is supposed to show. To go about doing that, with any degree of success or intelligence.

So I think the basic problem with the thesis is the time when its supposed to have (occurred).

* * *

Tink (continuing to address me) Your fallacy is simplicity. You say this is a very simple thing to do. And its simple when you put it in its generality. Its not simple at all when you [have t] decide what particular details to carry out. What particular alterations to make in the head. What particular alterations to make in photographs, etc. etc. Your making the same mistake that (now speaking slowly) many many criminals make when they think that they can alter the evidence and get away with it.

DSL COMMENT: Of course, I thoroughly disagree with all of this--in fact, I find these objections preposterous--but I think this really does focus on why Thompson behaves as he does. For whatever reason, it is beyond Thompson's conception that a sophisticated plot of the kind that I believe took JFK's life could ever have existed, or functioned as I believe it did. I'm not talking here about multiple shooters, or where they were hidden. That's almost irrelevant. I'm talking about a sophisticated scenario in which evidence was falsified and information manipulated so as to create the false appearance, at the time of the shooting (and in the aftermath, as necessary) that the story of President Kennedy's assassination was simply that of "a man in a building who shot a man in a car." This is very similar to the production of a movie. A good friend of mine, who studied the JFK assassination very carefully, and who himself produces very important commercials that air nationwide, once opined aloud: "Do you think the assassination had a 'producer'?"--to which my answer (and his, too) was (and still is): most definitely. And understanding that is critical to understanding both how the trip to Dallas was arranged, and how events unfolded that day; and what happened in the aftermath. As I have said on many occasions, anyone who believes that "conspiracy" in this case simply means "multiple shooters" and is unwilling to go further than that, is swimming in the shallow end of the kiddie pool. Such folks do not understand (or are unwiling to conceive of the possibility) that this entire event was a grotesque manipulation. The key to unraveling this case is to focus on fraud in the evidence. That has been my position for many years--indeed, decads--and it has not change one bit.

DSL

1/2/2010

12:30 PM PST

Edited by James H. Fetzer

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Guest James H. Fetzer

In order for you to advance the position you have defined here, you must (1)

be unfamiliar with David W. Mantik's studies of the X-rays, which were published

in ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (1998), (2) have never read his brilliant synthesis

of the medical evidence published in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000), and (3)

be unfamiliar with frame 374 of the Zapruder film, which I accented in the color

photo section of THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003). That is stunning.

From (1) we know the outline of "Area P", which was used to conceal the massive

blow-out at the back of the head. From (2) we know that JFK was hit twice in the

head, once from in behind and once from in front, which was a frangible (exploding)

bullet that blew about half his brains out the back of his head with enormous force.

From (3), we can actually see the blow out to the back of his head in a frame that

appears to have escaped the notice of those who were engaged in faking the film.

They, of course, were preoccupied with frames 313, 314, 315, and 316, which is

entirely understandable. The question that arises for Josiah Thompson is how he

could possibly have undertaken his study and not even sketched three of those

crucial frames and only an opaque version of the fourth. The question that arises

for you is how you could be so massively ignorant about the head wound(s) that

you appear to know nothing about some of the most important research on them.

Cool David.

The medical evidence in this case is an unbelievable mess.

Only the head wound evidence. The back wound and throat wound evidence

is abundantly redundant and irrefutable.

I don't claim to this day to understand it.

The head wound discussion is absurd, burning up bandwidth and leveling

forests for a conversation rendered meaningless by Humes declaration

that there appeared to have been surgery performed on the head.

After that, the discussion is radioactive and can only lead to dead ends.

The back and throat wound evidence, on the other hand, is quite clear:

JFK was shot in the back at or just below the level of his 3rd thoracic

vertebra and the wound was shallow with no bullet recovered; JFK was

shot in the throat from the front by a projectile which left an air pocket

and no bullet.

The night of the autopsy Finck et al seriously considered the possibility

JFK was struck with blood soluble rounds, which in fact had been developed

for the CIA to paralyze guard dogs in two seconds, and which were tested

on humans.

The Zapruder film clearly shows JFK becoming paralyzed in little more than

two seconds after Z190.

What else would you like to know?

I do, however, understand a couple of things. These are things I've learned from Cyril Wecht.

Wecht does not believe David Lifton's "body alteration" view is correct.

Sorry, but the "alteration view" doesn't belong to David Lifton. It is part

of the historical record researched by David Lifton. I thank David for his

great work on the medical evidence, but this alteration view originated with

Commander Humes. This view is part of a properly prepared FBI autopsy

report by FBI SAs Sibert and O'Neill.

This researcher-centric view of the JFK assassination evidence is counter-productive,

in my view.

Edited by James H. Fetzer

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David Lifton is a valid expert on the medical evidence. I am not. I am simply pointing out that the opinions he quotes as mine were drawn from conversations with Cyril Wecht. And Wecht, no one doubts, has opinions that are worth paying attention to.

No doubt Cyril Wecht is a forensic pathologist, a smart man and a great guy, but I have never seen where he offered anything substantial in rebuttal of Lifton's thesis. Dr. Wecht himself never examined the body of JFK and the reason we are all so conscious that the autopsy doctors were unqualified is because Wecht keeps on reminding us, as he did so eloquently just recently.

So even if Dr. Wecht is right that competent pathologists SHOULD have noticed post-mortem wounds, why should we rely on the opinions of autopsy doctors who -- Dr. Wecht keeps on reminding us -- were unqualified.

On the one hand we should rely on the autopsy doctors and reject Lifton's thesis, (because it is too Machievellian for US), but on the other hand KNOW THAT the autopsy doctors were hopelessly under - qualified for the job at hand.

I think Dr. THompson is a man who values friendship, as well he should, but friendship should not dim our objectivity in investigating a homicide. Over on the

thread entitled WHO NEEDS THE ACOUSTICS? I am awaiting Josiah's response to my question whether his personal friendship with Don THomas is coloring his judgment in the matter of the acoustics.

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In order for you to advance the position you have defined here, you must (1)

be unfamiliar with David W. Mantik's studies of the X-rays, which were published

in ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (1998), (2) have never read his brilliant synthesis

of the medical evidence published in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000), and (3)

be unfamiliar with frame 374 of the Zapruder film, which I accented in the color

photo section of THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003). That is stunning.

Perfect reply Prof Fetzer

I love Mantik's section on the medical evidence in "Murder In Dealey Plaza" its one of my favorite parts

As of late I have been reading alot of MIDP, and while I still hold TGZFH as your best volume Jim, MIDP is creeping up my top 10 book list very quickly

I find myself reading Doug Hornes Vol 4 and going back to MIDP (I already know all 3 volumes from cover to cover) and putting it all together

This is a very exciting time, I have been doing the same thing with David Liftons "Best Evidence"

I can already see other researchers jumping aboard the alteration wagon, its only a matter of time before that wagon leaves the researchers who for whatever reason fail to see the truth behind Fetzer's and Lifton's work in the dust

Im proud to have been aboard from day one (Bloody Treason and Assassination Science 1997 and 1998, when I became a believer in alteration)

Edited by Dean Hagerman

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James,

I happen to own a copy of "Murder in Dealey Plaza",but unfortunately do not own a copy of "The Great Zapruder Film Hoax".Is there any chance of producing an enlargement of Zapruder frame 374 for the forum? It would be very much appreciated.

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The medical evidence in this case is an unbelievable mess. I don't claim to this day to understand it. I do, however, understand a couple of things. These are things I've learned from Cyril Wecht.

Wecht does not believe David Lifton's "body alteration" view is correct. The points I made in this 1993 radio broadcast were drawn from discussions with Wecht over the years. It is Wecht's view (repeated by me) that not enough was known between the hours of 4:00 PM and 12:00 midnight on November 22nd for medical personnel to set about altering the wounds in JFK. In addition, there is the problem that alteration of wounds post-death is quite different than alteration of wounds pre-death. Things look different depending on when cuts or changes were made.

David Lifton is a valid expert on the medical evidence. I am not. I am simply pointing out that the opinions he quotes as mine were drawn from conversations with Cyril Wecht. And Wecht, no one doubts, has opinions that are worth paying attention to.

Pat Speer writes this about Wecht:

The Power of Suggestion

The realization that Wecht's errors were quite possibly related to a misapplication of his extensive experience led me down a dark road of thought. I began to question whether it's possible for those "with knowledge" to ever learn anything new. Does our frame of reference frame our reality?

Let's use Wecht as a case study. On August 23 and August 24, 1972, Dr. Cyril Wecht became the first fully independent pathologist to inspect the autopsy materials. He also became the first conspiracy theorist to see these materials. He reported his findings in a 1974 article in Forensic Science.

As a long-time critic of the original autopsy, and as a long-time proponent of forensic science, Wecht undoubtedly had a chip on his shoulder. He resented, justifiably, that military doctors with little forensic experience were chosen to perform the most important autopsy of the century. It was indeed an insult to his profession. When the Clark Panel, made up of better-qualified civilians, had its report released in 1969, and concluded that the autopsy doctors had indeed made major mistakes, one can only assume Wecht shouted "Told you so!" There can be little doubt then, that he went into the Archives prepared to confirm the Clark Panel's basic findings.

Sure enough, in section 3.3 of the 1974 Forensic Science article discussing his findings, Dr. Wecht concluded "Generally speaking, the author's observations and measurements of the wounds and locations of bullet fragments are in agreement with the findings of the Clark Panel in 1968." At no point in his paper does Wecht side with the interpretations of the original autopsists over those expressed by the Clark Panel.

Wecht's failure to question the Clark Panel becomes painfully clear when one inspects Fig. 3 in his article. This is a drawing of a skull, purportedly showing the locations of the bullet fragments visible on Kennedy's x-rays. Wecht failed to properly assess the forward tilt of the skull in the x-ray. As a result the fragment in the middle of the forehead on the x-rays was depicted just above the right eye on his drawing. Wecht described: "A fragment from this location is reported to have been removed surgically and later subjected to spectrographic analysis." This helped fuel the mistaken and ongoing belief that the forehead fragment on the x-ray was the one recovered at autopsy. Far worse, Wecht's drawing depicted a large fragment on the back of the head by the Clark Panel's entrance. A close look at the x-ray purportedly studied by Wecht, however, shows THERE'S NOTHING THERE.

Even more intriguing, Wecht KNEW there was nothing there. In his best-selling book, Best Evidence, David Lifton reveals that he accompanied Dr. Wecht to the Archives, and that they discussed Wecht's findings both during and after his examination. Lifton recalls: "During the afternoon session, it became quite obvious that Wecht had great difficulty reading the X-rays--that he couldn't find the entry wound reported by the Clark Panel or by Dr. Lattimer. There was no hole there at all, said Wecht." Lifton then recalls that he discussed this with others and told Wecht that he shouldn't be looking for a "hole", but for a "subtle shading". He then recalls that Wecht "was still not able to locate the entry wound." Lifton then recalls that he measured out the length of thread the supposed entrance would be from the external occipital protuberance and gave this to Wecht to help him find the entrance on the x-rays. He recalls "Wecht did this, and that was how he found the entrance wound in the back of President Kennedy's head." (Unstated by Lifton but clear from his account is that Wecht was unable to locate the large fragment purportedly just below this entrance wound; if he'd seen the fragment, after all, he would not have needed to use this thread to find the location of the "hole.") Lifton then cites Wecht's dictation on the "finding" of this entrance. Wecht said "This is a change in density which apparently is what is referred to in the previous panel as a 'hole.' This either takes imagination or some very sophisticated radiological expertise because it is difficult for me to consider this a hole. In any event, it has to be because it fits the measurements that they give about 100mm from the external occipital protuberance."

Thus, Dr. Cyril Wecht, under pressure from David Lifton to confirm that the autopsy doctors were wrong, and unable to conceive that the civilians on the Clark Panel were so badly mistaken, ignored his own better instincts and came to not only accept that the cowlick entrance he could not find was there, but to depict the bullet fragment purportedly just below this entrance in his exhibits.

But this was not the only point on which Wecht wrongly deferred to the Panel. When discussing the angle of descent from the back wound to the neck wound, Wecht announced "Adopting also the Clark Panel's measurement of the vertical position of the exit hole, namely 9 cm below the same crease (although the author was unable to corroborate this measurement from his own observations) we are able to compute the trajectory of the bullet relative to the horizontal and sagittal planes through the President's body at the time he was struck. The downward angle works out to be 11 1/2 degrees..." As a more accurate measurement would have helped Wecht in his efforts to debunk the single-bullet theory, Wecht's acceptance of the Clark Panel's measurements made little sense, and suggests he'd given the Clark Panel's measurements and conclusions undue weight.

To his credit, Wecht seems fully aware the influence an "expert" can hold over another "expert." An April 19, 1975 memo in the files of the Rockefeller Commission reveals that when Dr. Wecht spoke to the Commission's Robert Olsen, he voiced his displeasure with the make-up of the commission's medical panel. Olsen related "Dr. Wecht was very unsettled by the identity of the members of the panel. Indeed, he was very angry to the point of shouting and indulging in frequent profanity. He said that almost the whole panel is made up of people from the Washington-Baltimore community; that all of them are under the control and influence of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland, Dr. Russell Fisher; that we should have looked elsewhere for impartial experts; that Dr. Fisher is a very strong-willed and influential man who has succeeded in getting more Federal grants in the field of forensic pathology than all other doctors in the United States combined...Dr. Wecht readily acknowledged the professional qualifications of all members of our panel. He said that among their fellow professionals each enjoyed a high standing. He stated, however, that it was wholly unrealistic to expect that anybody on this panel would express views different from those expressed by the Ramsey Clark Panel in 1968, which included Dr. Fisher and a radiologist from John Hopkins, Dr. Russell Morgan." It seems Wecht knew of which he spoke......

Full chapter: http://www.patspeer.com/chapter20:conclusionsandconfusions:

Thank you, Michael. I was hesitant to bring it up, but since you have taken the liberty of doing so...

My extensive study of the medical evidence has convinced me there was no entrance wound in the cowlick area adjacent to a large fragment, as purported by Fisher and the Clark Panel.

When Dr. Wecht studied the lateral x-rays, he also failed to see this hole and large fragment, but caved into both his bias against the autopsy doctors, and pressure from David Lifton, and ended up confirming the Clark Panel's findings there was a hole adjacent to a fragment.

Dr. Wecht now concurs with Dr. Mantik that there was in fact no hole or fragment in the cowlick area visible on the lateral x-rays.

So... to be consistent with his attacks on Thompson, shouldn't Dr. Fetzer be accusing Lifton of "obfuscating"? I mean, Lifton knew the entrance wound had been re-interpreted by the Clark Panel. He knew as well that Wecht couldn't find it on the lateral x-rays. Shouldn't he have immediately suspected the Clark Panel was a sham, or that the A-P x-ray showing the large fragment was a sham, and have pressured Wecht to expose this sham?

Of course not. Such Monday morning quarterbacking gets us nowhere. Which only serves to show the silliness of Fetzer's accusation of Thompson.

Edited by Pat Speer

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In order for you to advance the position you have defined here, you must (1)

be unfamiliar with David W. Mantik's studies of the X-rays, which were published

in ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (1998), (2) have never read his brilliant synthesis

of the medical evidence published in MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000), and (3)

be unfamiliar with frame 374 of the Zapruder film, which I accented in the color

photo section of THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM HOAX (2003). That is stunning.

Yes Dr. Fetzer, there are vast rabbit holes in the John F. Kennedy

Assassination Critical Research Community I don't go down. I'm

unfamiliar with the NAA, the acoustic evidence, 95% of the head

wound evidence, 95% of the Zap film alteration evidence, and 100%

disinterested in all the witness bashing I see from all quarters of various

debates.

I specialize in evidence that doesn't require a college degree to verify.

I specialize in advancing the case for conspiracy a 5 year old could

grasp.

I try very hard not to argue anything not perfectly evident in the

historical record.

I find any argument that seeks to establish the case for conspiracy

on evidence it takes an "expert" to verify is inherently weak as

primary evidence.

The back and throat wounds don't require "expertise" to understand.

I know that brilliant work is being done making mountains out of

evidentiary molehills...meanwhile, the historical record clearly

points to CIA Technical Service Division chief Dr. Sidney Gottlieb

as a bona fide Person of Interest...oh, shoot, he just died early

last year. I didn't try to get a crack at interviewing him, either...

From (1) we know the outline of "Area P", which was used to conceal the massive

blow-out at the back of the head. From (2) we know that JFK was hit twice in the

head, once from in behind and once from in front, which was a frangible (exploding)

bullet that blew about half his brains out the back of his head with enormous force.

From (3), we can actually see the blow out to the back of his head in a frame that

appears to have escaped the notice of those who were engaged in faking the film.

This is consistent with the 5% of the head wound evidence with which I am

familiar.

My argument is that JFK was killed earlier between Z186 and Z255 -- struck

first with a blood soluble paralytic and then struck with a blood soluble toxin.

The shots to the head (three makes sense to me) were part of the cover-up

as much as the killing...JFK was for all intents and purposes doomed by Z255.

The simultaneous head shots were for show.

They, of course, were preoccupied with frames 313, 314, 315, and 316, which is

entirely understandable. The question that arises for Josiah Thompson is how he

could possibly have undertaken his study and not even sketched three of those

crucial frames and only an opaque version of the fourth. The question that arises

for you is how you could be so massively ignorant about the head wound(s) that

you appear to know nothing about some of the most important research on them.

All I need to know is that there was surgery done to the head.

I'll argue that this is a massive distraction from clear evidence that

someone CIA-connected struck JFK and paralyzed him in the throat.

That is the salient fact of the entire case, imo.

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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