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The Kennedy Autopsy, Parts 1-12

Guest James H. Fetzer

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Guest James H. Fetzer


The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 12

by Jacob G. Hornberger, December 15, 2011

The Kennedy Assassination Series:

The Kennedy Casket Conspiracy by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Shot That Killed Kennedy by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 1 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 2 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 3 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 4 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 5 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 6 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 7 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 8 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 9 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 10 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 11 by Jacob G. Hornberger

Under the national-security paradigm that we examined in Part 11, Lyndon Johnson and the national-security establishment knew that the surefire way to shut down an investigation into the assassination was to employ the two most important words in the lives of the American people in our lifetime — "national security." Those two words, along with the almost-certain prospect of a nuclear war, were guaranteed to secure cooperation in the cover-up by everyone within the circles of power. Citing national security also guaranteed that a hush of silent and trusting acquiescence would sweep across America when a shroud of secrecy was placed over an official investigation into an assassination of a U.S. president supposedly committed by a lone nut.

Let’s now overlay a new paradigm on our situation, one that is also based on national security — a paradigm in which shots are intentionally fired at the president from the front, while the supposed shooter is in the rear, for the express purpose of ensuring a national-security shutdown of any investigation into the assassination and a willingness to cooperate with a subsequent cover-up, especially with the autopsy.

Douglas P. Horne, who served as chief analyst for military records for the Assassination Records Review Board, summed up the tenets of this national-security paradigm in this excerpt from his five-volume book on the assassination, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board, a book that (along with David Lifton’s 1981 book Best Evidence) inspired this series:

It is an inconvenient truth that President Kennedy was essentially at war with the conservative establishment — the power elites if you will — within both the American intelligence community and the American military … that his Vice President, perhaps the most unscrupulous, power-hungry, and corrupt politician ever to come out of the state of Texas, was placed on the ticket by JFK in 1960 as a result of blackmail … that JFK planned to drop Lyndon Johnson from the Democratic ticket in 1964, and replace him with a different Vice Presidential running mate … that the investigations of the two major scandals that were chasing LBJ in 1963 were immediately quashed following his assumption of the Presidency, but that is the case.

It is an inconvenient truth that if JFK had still been alive in January 1965 — whether he had won the 1964 Presidential election or not — that J. Edgar Hoover would have been forced to step down on the mandatory retirement age on New Year’s Day, 1965 … that the new President, LBJ, waived the mandatory retirement age for Hoover — something Kennedy did not intend to do — one week before Hoover testified before the Warren Commission and blamed the assassination of JFK on a lone nut, but that was the case.

It is an inconvenient truth that the planned U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam directed by President Kennedy, and being implemented by his Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, was almost immediately reversed after the assassination by LBJ and that same Robert McNamara … that the arms control agreements and détente with the Soviet Union that President Kennedy had planned on pursuing after the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty never came about, but instead were replaced by a massive nuclear arms race, but that is the case.

It is an inconvenient truth that the Kennedy family sent a secret emissary to the Soviet Union immediately after JFK’s death to tell the Soviet leadership that they knew the Soviet Union was not involved in the assassination, and that they believed that JFK had been assassinated by a right-wing domestic conspiracy … that the KGB secretly instructed the staff of its Residency in New York City in September of 1965 that President Lyndon Johnson was responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but that is the case.

It is an inconvenient truth that President Kennedy’s poor health, progressive foreign policy, and his reckless addiction to promiscuous sex — his alleged immorality — were probably used as leverage to recruit insiders with the Secret Service White House Detail to assist with “security stripping” during the Dallas leg of his Texas trip, as well as with the subsequent coverup of the assassination … that President Kennedy’s two closest personal aides, Kenneth O’Donnell and Dave Powers, both withheld from the Warren Commission that they heard shots emanate from the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza, because the FBI asked them not to say it, but that is the case.

It is an inconvenient truth that there is scientific evidence indicating that Lee Harvey Oswald shot no one on November 22, 1963 … that both the “magic bullet” and the two bullet fragments found in the front seat of the Presidential limousine appear to have been planted evidence designed to implicate Oswald, but that is the case.…

It is an inconvenient truth that JFK’s assassination and the ensuing coverup were “an inside job,” but how can an open-minded person who has studied the evidence in the Kennedy assassination conclude otherwise? Missing autopsy photographs, missing autopsy x-rays, forged skull x-rays, fraudulent autopsy photographs that misrepresent wounds and conceal (rather than reveal) the actual damage, a missing brain, two brain exams, dishonest photographs of a substituted brain, a rewritten autopsy report, missing skull bone fragments, seized videotapes of the hospital press conference about the President’s death, security stripping of the Dallas motorcade, a Presidential Commission and an FBI that both pointedly ignored overwhelming eyewitness and earwitness testimony of shots from multiple directions, planted bullets that ballistically “match” the assassination weapon, an interrupted chain of custody on the President’s body, altered wound on the President’s body, and the alteration and suppression of a shocking motion picture film of the assassination, all lead to the inescapable conclusion that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was an inside job.

No, it does not make us feel good to acknowledge this — but it is the only way to regain our self-respect as a people.

The uncertain or skeptical reader will hopefully obtain a better feel for the existence of the cabal that removed President Kennedy from office, and the motivations driving its different elements, as I explore in this final chapter the overwhelming evidence that it was the national security establishment — and by this I mean the power elites that really ran this country in 1963 — that got rid of President Kennedy, not just a few rogue elephants. In every true sense of the word, the assassination of President Kennedy was a coup d’etat, but it was a coup “by consensus, ” not the isolated act of two or three principled individuals. Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover were simply the principal ‘enablers’ of the plot; its genesis and growing motivation was found in the strong opposition of the conservative power elites in the United States to JFK’s foreign policy, which they believed strongly threatened both their interests, and the future survival of the nation…. (Horne, volume 5, pages 1470–1471; emphasis in original)

During the 1970s the official investigation into the Kennedy assassination was reopened by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), owing to widespread public skepticism surrounding the Warren Commission Report. The attorney who was selected to lead the investigation was Richard Sprague, a brilliant, fiercely independent, and honest prosecutor from Philadelphia, who was assisted by an attorney of equally high caliber, Robert K. Tanenbaum.

In his new book Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK, which includes an introduction by Tannenbaum, attorney Mark Lane explains what then happened. (Lane, pages 217–223.)

Before Sprague was able to launch his investigation, the CIA insisted on his signing a secrecy agreement in which Sprague would vow to never reveal anything he learned from the CIA during the course of the investigation. Sprague refused to sign the agreement, given his ethical obligation to go wherever the investigation might lead him, including the possibility of having to make the CIA a target of the investigation.

Immediately, a campaign to oust Sprague was launched in Congress, creating a political furor in which Congress refused to fund Sprague’s investigation. Unable to proceed, both Sprague and Tannenbaum resigned, being replaced by a man named Robert Blakey.

Blakey ended up signing the CIA’s secrecy oath. At the end of the investigation, the HSCA concluded that shots had, in fact, been fired at Kennedy from the front but intimated that the conspiracy to kill the president involved the Mafia.

There was at least one big problem, however, with that intimation: The Mafia had absolutely nothing to do with the autopsy of President John F. Kennedy. The autopsy was controlled entirely by the U.S. national-security state, specifically the U.S. military.

Obviously, the Warren Commission never seriously considered the possibility that the CIA had engineered Kennedy’s assassination, for three reasons:

First, sitting as a member of the Warren Commission (and appointed by President Johnson) was Alan Dulles, the former director of the CIA whom Kennedy had fired after the Bay of Pigs disaster. There was no possibility that the CIA would be made a target of investigation so long as its former director was serving on the commission.

Second, the circumstantial evidence indicates that the Warren Commission was fed the national-security, nuclear-war rational (as set forth in Parts 10 and 11 of my series) that was used to immediately shut down the investigation and pin the assassination solely on Oswald.

Third, the Warren Commission was composed entirely of mainstream establishment figures who would have considered it inconceivable that such a regime-change operation could have been effected in the United States.

In other words, people could accept that the U.S. national-security state would go broad with brilliant, even ingenious, plots to oust the prime ministers or presidents of other countries who threatened U.S. national security (e.g., Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, and Cuba), but it was simply considered inconceivable that it would ever effect a regime-change operation domestically to protect America from a president whose supposed naïveté, inexperience, and bumbling was threatening national security at home at the height of the Cold War.

Ironically, however, when he was alive, Kennedy himself considered such a scenario conceivable. Horne quotes Kennedy telling his friend Paul “Red” Fay, undersecretary of the Navy, the following: :

It’s possible. It could happen in this country, but the conditions would have to be just right. If, for example, the country had a young President, and he had a Bay of Pigs, there would be a certain uneasiness. Maybe the military would do a little criticizing behind his back, but this would be written off as the usual military dissatisfaction with civilian control. Then if there were another Bay of Pigs, the reaction of the country would be, “Is he too young and inexperienced?” The military would almost feel that it was their patriotic obligation to stand ready to preserve the integrity of the nation, and only God knows just what segment of democracy they would be defending if they overthrew the elected establishment … then, if there were a third Bay of Pigs, it could happen … but it won’t happen on my watch. (Horne, volume 5, pages1501-1502.)

We must also bear in mind the prime directive of the national-security state: to protect our nation’s national security and that they have all taken an oath to defend America from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. To this day, there are people who defend the CIA-supported coups in Guatemala (1954) and Chile (1973) by arguing that a constitution is not a suicide pact — that if the regime-change operations in those countries had not occurred, both nations would have definitely fallen to the communists. Moreover, even today — almost 50 years after the assassination, the CIA steadfastly refuses to open all its files relating to the Kennedy assassination to the American people. As former Washington Post and current Salon.com editor Jefferson Morley stated in a November 22, 2011, article entitled "The Holy Grail of the JFK Story,”

In 2003 I sued the CIA for the records of George Joannides, a secondary character in the JFK story. Eight years later, the Agency is still fighting the release of some 330 records on him, a legal defense that the New York Times aptly described in 2009 as “cagey.” Agency lawyers are scheduled to appear in federal court later this year to argue that none of this antique material can be made public in any form — supposedly for reasons of “national security.”

There you have them again, the two words that have played the most important role in the lives of the American people in our lifetime: national security! In a 2009 New York Times article entitled “C.I.A. Is Still Cagey About Oswald Mystery” about the CIA’s continued refusal to open its records on Joannides to the American people, Minnesota federal judge John R. Tunheim, who served as chairman of the Assassination Records Review Board, referred to the CIA’s deception of the ARRB regarding Joannides’ role in the Kennedy assassination investigation: “I think we were misled by the agency. This material should be released.”

Even Robert Blakey, who replaced Sprague at the House Select Committee on Assassinations, later accused the CIA of obstruction of justice regarding Joannides. “I now believe the process lacked integrity precisely because of Joannides,” he told PBS.

Several questions naturally arise: Was Kennedy’s foreign policy, including his secret overtures to the Soviet Union and Cuba at the height of the Cold War, endangering America’s national security? Did the national-security establishment construe Kennedy’s foreign policy to be a threat to national security? Did the national-security state act to protect our nation’s national security with a regime-change operation on November 22, 1963? Was national security used to shut down the investigation into the assassination, including through concealment of shots fired from the front by the military-controlled autopsy of the president’s body? Has the CIA engaged in deception and does it still refuse to disclose information for reasons of national security or some other reason?

Some would say that the Kennedy assassination is irrelevant, given the long passage of time and the fact that all the actors in the assassination are probably dead.

I hold otherwise. I say that America made a grave mistake at the end of World War II in overlaying our constitutional republic with a national-security state. At the end of the war, America should have come home, brought all the troops home, and demobilized. The CIA should never have been established. The United States should never have adopted a Soviet-style system in order to fight a Cold War against the Soviet Union.

At the end of his term, President Eisenhower obviously started to recognize the danger of the military-industrial complex to American democracy. That’s what his farewell address was all about — warning the American people of the monster that the military-industrial complex was becoming.

He wasn’t the only one. A month after Kennedy’s assassination, the Washington Post published an op-ed by former President Truman stating that the CIA had become a sinister force in American life. Truman’s timing, while America was still grieving Kennedy’s death, could not have been a coincidence.

Adopting the national-security state to wage a Cold War against the Soviet Union ended up changing America — for the worse, to the point where our nation now openly embraces such Soviet-like actions as assassination, torture, Gulags, arbitrary arrests, indefinite military detention, kangaroo tribunals, and support of foreign dictatorships.

The Cold War is over. It’s time for America to restore its status as a constitutional republic. It’s time to dismantle the national-security state.

What better way to honor the foreign-policy legacy of President John F. Kennedy?

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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