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DiEugenio, Cranor, and the mole (my mole) - 3/31/20


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On 4/4/2020 at 8:26 AM, W. Niederhut said:

I would also like to hear Mr. Lifton's answer to my question on Page 1 of this thread.

Does he really believe that Allen Dulles and J. Edgar Hoover did not conspire to alter and withhold evidence from the Warren Commission?

I find that hard to believe.

In any deception operation, a most important question is understanding where the line is located between the deceiver and the deceived.  Addressing that question is vital to understanding what happened in the Kennedy case, and why we still don't know the truth about Dealey Plaza. 

Breaking your question into two parts:

(1) I do not believe that FBI Director Hoover conspired with anyone to alter evidence or to withhold evidence.  To the contrary, the FBI (through its 50-plus Field Offices throughout the U.S.) collected (and provided to the Warren Commission) thousands of pages of detailed FBI reports. Just peruse the Warren Commission's LBSM ("List of Basic Source Materials") --over 1500 detailed FBI reports from FBI Field Offices around the U.S. --and you will see the extent of the FBI investigation.  The simple and direct answer to your accusatory question is that the FBI investigation was apparently deceived by its focus on "the sniper's nest." At this late date, I can state that such an incorrect focus is a matter of record. Could the FBI have performed a more competent investigation? Yes, absolutely. But they didn't.

(2) Regarding the CIA, my answer is similar, but my sources are different.   If you read Best Evidence, you know (for example) that I had a detailed interaction with Allen Dulles at UCLA in December 1965.  FWIW: Dulles (then 69, I believe) was not in a position (re the medical evidence) to either "withhold evidence" to to "alter evidence". Furthermore, Dulles (a Wall Street lawyer) didn't seem to understand -- until I showed him the Zapruder frames -- that it was very significant that JFK's head and shoulders were slammed "backwards and to the  left" by the impact of the fatal shot.  (See Chapter 2 of B.E. for a detailed description of Dulles's  argument with me; at UCLA, circa Dec. 1965); and, in general, his reaction to the head-snap.)

You raise the issue of whether Dulles and Hoover "conspire[d] to alter and withhold evidence."  In fact, its not at all clear just what you have in mind, because you don't spell it out. Generalities won't work.  Just how would Allen Dulles "alter" any evidence?  Or "withhold" evidence?  (Would you care to elaborate?) As a writing teacher  of mine used to say, "Be specific!"  If you follow that dictum, you will find that the path always goes back to "the body" --i.e., JFK's body-- which is what Best Evidence is all about.  The false autopsy is nothing more than a "word picture" of what was on the body. Alter the wounds and you have altered the trajectories (i.e., the conclusions re trajectory). Alter the trajectories and you have, in effect, altered history. 

INFORMATION FLOW

From the standpoint of information flow, the President's body can be viewed (metaphorically) as being situated at the mouth of a river.  If the wounds were altered--and the trajectories falsified --that is a polluted source, i.e., a source of false information (or "dis-information.")  

Should anyone wish to pursue this further, then please follow this dictum: "be specific."   Unfortunately, you seem to be looking for individuals to blame; but the problem is more fundamental, it is "systemic", and goes back to falsified evidence -- specifically, an altered body (or more specifically, altered wounds); along with a pathetically weak investigative methodology --largely the result of the Commission's key attorney (in the medical area) not recognizing that JFK's wounds, as observed at Parkland Hospital, were decidedly different from what was observed at Bethesda (i.e., at autopsy).  

About your "blame game": The individuals you seem to want to blame are, for the most part, simply "transmitting" (via their reports and testimony) false data from an altered body. Did they know? Yes, I think that Dr. Humes (the Bethesda autopsy doctor), certainly did know.  And that's why, in responding to my "cross examination", and my forcefully stressing (to Humes) that the two FBI agents reported there had been "surgery of the head area," he was (initially) evasive, but then seemed to concede the point when-- apparently exasperated-- he blurted out: "I'd like to know by whom it was done, and when, and where!" (See Best Evidence, Chapters 7-9).

Mr. Niederhut: If this were a financial crime. I'm sure you'd have no trouble understanding the importance of forgery of financial records.  Such forgeries would be the means for stealing money.  By analogy, and applying the same concept to this murder:  An autopsy based on an altered body (a body that was tantamount to a medical forgery) enabled those who committed this murder to hide the truth. If Detective Columbo were investigating this crime, I think he'd understand that immediately.  I do not understand your difficulty in comprehending the importance of falsifying the autopsy.

DSL  (4/25/22, 7 PM PDT)

 

 

Edited by David Lifton
Improving clarity.
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On 4/1/2020 at 11:32 PM, Matt Allison said:

David Lifton can try to imagine possible scenarios all he wants, that doesn't make his crazy theory any more plausible or connected to reality.

Exactly. It's important to note that Lifton's claim in Best Evidence is not just that some sort of ad hoc jiggery-pokery went on with JFK's body before the official commencement of the autopsy. Although it's far from certain that anything like this happened, it wouldn't be an outrageous claim to make. Lifton goes much further; he claims that the alteration of the body was an integral part of the assassination plot:

Quote

 

Ideally, what I wanted on the rear surface [of JFK's body] were entry wounds positioned exactly where they were needed, without the problem of having to extract any bullets which caused them. The simple way to accomplish this would be to leave the rear surface clear and create the rear entries, as needed, after the shooting. ...

If I were a plotter, I could arrange to leave the rear surface free by firing only from the front, using hollow-point ammunition. The body, after the shooting, would have entry wounds on the front and bullets inside. By enlarging the frontal entries, I could retrieve the metal, leaving holes which could pass for exits. Then I could put whatever entries were necessary on the rear surface. ...

To be able to shoot the President, retrieve the bullets, and insure that afterward it appeared the shots came from behind, the real bullets had to be fired from the front. ...

As part of the murder, it could be planned to shoot from the front and then, by altering the body, make it appear that the shots came from behind, from the direction of a pre-arranged sniper's nest.

(Best Evidence, Signet edition, 1992, pp.399-400)

 

Lifton's imaginary plotters decided in advance that all the shots would be fired from the front, and that the body would be altered to make it look as though all the shots came from behind.

Problems

There are several objections to this preposterous notion. The most obvious one, which anyone familiar with the basic facts of the assassination will be able to work out, is that we know for certain that not all of the bullets were fired from in front. The only bullet whose trajectory is beyond dispute is the one which hit Governor Connally in the back and came out of his chest. That bullet was fired from behind, not from in front.

So much for Lifton's theory. It falls at the first hurdle.

Lifton's Response

You're probably asking yourself: How did Lifton deal with this rather severe problem? Why was there a sniper to the rear? Was it the sniper's job to miss Kennedy and hit Connally? If so, what purpose would this serve? If not, how did that sniper fit into the scheme?

You're probably also asking yourself: How many of Lifton's 800-plus pages are spent reconciling the contradiction between his theory and the known trajectory of the bullet which struck Connally? One of the early reviews tells us the answer:

Quote

 

Lifton makes no attempt to explain Connally's wounds within the terms of his theory. He does not seem to notice the problem at all.

(Thomas Powers and Alan Rich, 'Robbing the Grave', New York Magazine, 23 February 1981, p.46)

 

More Criticism

Plenty of people have pointed out this and other problems with Best Evidence over the past four decades. For example, there's a short but thorough debunking of Lifton's body-alteration nonsense on pages 134-138 of David Wrone's The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination (University Press of Kansas, 2003).

For a more in-depth debunking, see Roger Feinman's Between the Signal and the Noise: The 'Best Evidence' Hoax and David Lifton's War Against the Critics of the Warren Commission. Anyone who doesn't yet have a copy of this essential text can find it online in several formats:

- In HTML format: https://www.kenrahn.com/JFK/The_critics/Feinman/Between_the_signal/.

- In .txt format (within a zip file which you'll need to unpack): https://the-puzzle-palace.com/etcetera.htm.

- There are also PDF and ebook versions kicking about which many researchers will be pleased to share if you ask them nicely.

- This article includes an excerpt from chapter one: https://www.kenrahn.com/JFK/The_critics/Lifton/Liftonbio.html.

No doubt Mr Lifton will be happy for the late Mr Feinman's work to be distributed as widely as possible, so that Mr Lifton's theory can receive the scrutiny it deserves.

The Effect on Public Opinion

It's important to note the subtitle of Feinman's work: Lifton's War Against the Critics of the Warren Commission. As well as debunking Lifton in depth and giving an interesting insight into his character, Feinman points out the harm that far-out speculation like Lifton's can do to public opinion of the assassination, and consequently the harm it can do to rational criticism of the lone-nut theory.

The press and other media, which for obvious institutional reasons have consistently promoted the lone-nut theory, promoted Lifton's book enthusiastically. Imagine that the media succeeded in persuading the general public that the only alternative to the lone-nut scenario is this ridiculously elaborate plot:

1 - a team of snipers is under instructions to shoot JFK only from in front;

2 - an unknown number of unidentified operatives are hired to kidnap the president's body from Air Force One (possibly at Love Field airport in Dallas, possibly at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington DC, but Lifton isn't certain), a task which, miraculously, they manage to perform without being noticed by any of the people inside the plane or any of the journalists, ground crew or sightseers at whichever airport the heist took place;

3 - the unidentified operatives deliver the kidnapped body to some undetermined location (possibly Walter Reed Hospital in DC, but Lifton isn't certain), by undefined means (possibly by plane, possibly by helicopter, possibly by ambulance, but Lifton isn't certain), also without anyone noticing;

4 - an undefined number of unnamed surgeons at the undetermined location are able in double-quick time to construct wounds to the president's back and head which mimic shots from behind, a task they perform so skillfully that they fool the pathologists at the autopsy, although the fake entry wounds they created in the back and the head were too low to implicate a lone gunman firing from the sixth floor, thereby messing up the whole purpose of the body-alteration plot ("entry wounds positioned exactly where they were needed");

5 - the unidentified operatives take the kidnapped body away from the undetermined location, again without anyone noticing, and deliver it to Bethesda for the autopsy.

As Matt points out, it's a crazy idea. Even the lone-nut theory is more credible than Lifton's, and that's saying something. Given the choice, which theory would the average person be inclined to believe? "Hey, Wilma! You hear about those conspiracy theorists? They're all living in crazy world! Looks like Oswald must have done it after all."

If enough people can be persuaded to believe that anyone who questions the Warren Commission must be a paranoid fantasist, there will never be enough popular pressure to get the case properly investigated.

Further Reading

- A pre-Best Evidence theory of body alteration: https://www.kenrahn.com/JFK/Issues_and_evidence/Alteration_of_wounds/Newcombe-Perry/Newcombe-Perry_text.html.

- Chapter 27 ('Trust Me - I'm a Thief') of Harold Weisberg's unpublished book, Inside the Assassination Industry, backs up Feinman's account and shows that there's more to Lifton than the ability to make up ridiculous theories: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/HW%20Manuscripts/Inside%20the%20Assassination%20Industry/Itai-27.pdf (PDF: 50 KB). The rest of the book is worth reading too: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/HW%20Manuscripts/Inside%20the%20Assassination%20Industry/.

- On the subject of making up ridiculous theories, there's also an article in which Lifton seriously proposed that gunmen hid on the grassy knoll in artificial trees made from papier-mâché, but I haven't been able to find that one online. If anyone can track it down, please let us know so that we can all have a good laugh. Papier-mâché trees! Maybe James Files, Hungarian Harvey (and his doppelganger) and Elvis Presley were hiding in the trees too.

- More about Lifton's next work of imaginative fiction: https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t1251-lifton-on-his-new-evidence.

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10 hours ago, David Lifton said:

N

Breaking your question into two parts: (1) I do not believe that FBI Director Hoover conspired with anyone to alter evidence or to withhold evidence.  To the contrary, the FBI (through its 50-plus Field Offices throughout the U.S.) collected -- and provided --thousands of pages of detailed FBI reports to the Warren Commission. Just peruse the Warren Commission's LBSM ("List of Basic Source Materials" --over 1500 separate detailed FBI reports from FBI Field Offices around the U.S.  (2) Regarding the CIA, my answer is similar, but my sources are different,  If you read Best Evidence, you know that I had a detailed interaction with Allen Dulles at UCLA in December 1965.  FWIW: Dulles was not in a position to either "withhold evidence" to to "alter" evidence.  In fact, its really not at all clear what you have in mind.  Also: Just how would Allen Dulles "alter" any evidence?  Or "withhold" evidence.  As a writing teacher  of mine used to say, "Be specific!"  If you follow that dictum, you will find that the path always goes back to "the body," which is what Best Evidence is all about.   The President's body is, in a way, at the mouth of a river of information --or, if the wounds were altered, a polluted source, i.e., the source of false information (or "dis-information.")  Should you wish to pursue this further, its necessary to "be specific."   You seem to be looking for individuals to blame; the problem goes back to falsified evidence -- an altered body.

There are so many flaws in your argument that one scarcely knows where to begin.

The autopsy data is merely one "tree" in the "forest" of forensic and historical evidence in the JFK assassination case.  It's an important tree in a vast forest of data.

Firstly, J. Edgar Hoover shut down a proper investigation of JFK's murder shortly after Oswald's arrest-- declaring, "We've got our man."  Correct?

How did that deeply flawed Hoover decision impact the proper collection and evaluation of the evidence in the case?

Secondly, a vast array of the eyewitness evidence from Dealey Plaza was suppressed and altered "en route" to the rigged WC hearings, and multiple key witnesses were murdered.  Correct?

Thirdly, a great deal of the FBI data was deliberately altered and suppressed-- e.g., the delayed placement of Oswald's fingerprints on the Carcano, the botched labeling and spectroscopic analysis of the bullets and bullet fragments, etc.

Why were William Sullivan and several FBI lab personnel offed before their Congressional testimony?

Why did Hoover wiretap the WC hearings?

As for the CIA, why was James Angleton seen (by Ben Bradlee) rifling through Mary Pinchot Meyer's apartment and confiscating her diary the day she was murdered?

Would you consider that a withholding of evidence by the CIA?

Why did former OSS Psy Ops Chief C.D. Jackson purchase the Zapruder film and lock it up for 12 years?

Would you consider that a withholding of evidence by the Old Friends of Allen Dulles?

Wouldn't you concede, at the least, that Dulles worked overtime to insure that the WC "arrived" at the pre-arranged "Lone Nut" narrative of the assassination?

Furthermore, why did the CIA issue an executive order in 1964 directing all agency personnel do whatever was necessary to promote public acceptance of the WC narrative?

 

Edited by W. Niederhut
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The FBI Lied, and Lied, and Lied...

For more than half a century, it has been demonstrated that the FBI fabricated, altered, and destroyed evidence in this case. 

In the 3 minute YouTube video linked below, Gil Jesus and Mark Lane demonstrate quite clearly how the FBI altered the observations of three critical Dealey Plaza witnesses who believed shots may have been taken at JFK from outside of the Texas School Book Depository, thus contradicting the official story. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODXoISgU-0M

The FBI went to extraordinary lengths to suppress evidence of what CIA accountant James Wilcott called the “Oswald Project,” including sending out agents within hours of the assassination to confiscate original school and teen-aged employment records of “Lee Harvey Oswald.” In the wee hours of the night of Nov 22-23, 1963, the FBI quietly took Oswald's possessions from the Dallas Police Department, transported them to Washington, D.C., altered them, and then secretly returned them to Dallas, only to publicly send them to Washington. D.C. a few days later. Among a great many other alterations, a Minox “spy camera” became a Minox “light meter.” Tax records, not found by Dallas police who said they initialed each scrap of paper, magically appeared without DPD initials.  FBI agent James Cadigan inadvertently spilled the beans about the secret transfer during his sworn WC testimony, which was altered by the FBI and WC.

Cadigan_Altered.jpg

The FBI falsified so much testimony that it even had a process in place for routinely doing so, including over the objections of Warren Commission attorneys.  

Dingle.gif

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  For example, to see how the FBI fabricated the "evidence" for the rifle that allegedly killed JFK, see this link:

Oswald Did NOT Purchase a Rifle from Kleins

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16 hours ago, David Lifton said:

You seem to be looking for individuals to blame; the problem goes back to falsified evidence -- an altered body.

 

This is where what I believe parts with what David believes. He apparently believes that only the body was altered.

I believe that not only was the body altered, but so were some of the photos, x-rays, and FBI reports. There are instances among all these where alteration is clearly detected. Most of these alterations were performed as needed by individuals at the FBI tasked with the government cover-up. The body alteration, on the other hand, occurred so early on and quickly that it seems to have been planned before the assassination

I believe that the CIA planned the assassination and the FBI covered it up in an ad hoc fashion in an attempt to thwart part of the CIA's goal, which was to blame Cuba and Russia.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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6 hours ago, Daniel Rice said:

While this thread has evolved to a body alteration debate, the initial post was more or less an accusatory attack on James DiEugenio by another researcher/author.  I didn't think that was allowed here.

100% agree. At a minimum the thread title should be changed or this conversation should be merged into a different thread. Jim D amd M Cranor deserve better than this.

Edited by Matt Allison
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On 4/5/2020 at 5:13 PM, Matt Allison said:

100% agree. At a minimum the thread title should be changed or this conversation should be merged into a different thread. Jim D amd M Cranor deserve better than this.

Jim DiEugenio falsely claimed that I did not originate the theory of body alteration.  That is just plain false, and absurd. Its worse than that: its a malicious falsehood, and an attempt to muddy the public record.  Best Evidence was published in January 1981, when it was a Book of the Month Club Selection and a national best seller.  Those facts alone render DiEugenio's statement absurd. Then (after the original hardcover publication)  my book was republished by three additional publishers--with updates as necessary: Dell (paperback, 1982); Caroll and Graf (1988) and Signet (paperback, 1993).  After reading DiEugenio's false statement, I replied, defending my work. And now, your response is to say that "Jim D[ieugenio] and M[ilicent] Cranor deserve better than this?"   Get real, Matt Allison.  DiEugenio's false statements deserved a response, and that's exactly what I wrote.  The problem is not --or should not be-- my defending the originality and integrity of my work.  The problem is with DiEugenio making false statements about my authorship, and that has always been troubling.  I have never understood whether its the result of ignorance or malice. In either case, its irresponsible,  and ought to stop.  (Revised and amended, 6/28/20)

Edited by David Lifton
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On 4/5/2020 at 2:28 PM, Sandy Larsen said:

 

This is where what I believe parts with what David believes. He apparently believes that only the body was altered.

I believe that not only was the body altered, but so were some of the photos, x-rays, and FBI reports. There are instances among all these where alteration is clearly detected. Most of these alterations were performed as needed by individuals at the FBI tasked with the government cover-up. The body alteration, on the other hand, occurred so early on and quickly that it seems to have been planned before the assassination

I believe that the CIA planned the assassination and the FBI covered it up in an ad hoc fashion in an attempt to thwart part of the CIA's goal, which was to blame Cuba and Russia.

Sandy, we have not been in touch for many years, and my position has evolved.  Although there's no question in my mind that President Kenned's wounds were altered (which explains the autopsy report and testimony, upon which the Warren Commission, as well as the Bethesda accounts of those who knew that the cranium was empty), I long ago realized the likelihood that some of the autopsy photos were altered, which would explain the "back of the head photos"; and the same may well be the case with the X-rays.  also note: If the photos and X-rays were altered, that was certainly done by the time the autopsy doctors were called to the National Archives to examine these materials in January 1967.

DSL ADDENDUM (6/28/20): Perhaps I should spell this out with additional detail.  When it comes to the medical evidence, the plotters faced two challenges:  (1) to remove bullets and alter wounds so as to create the basis for a false autopsy;  (2) To create X-rays and photos that would support (i.e., be the basis for) that false autopsy.  Had the President's body been altered in Dallas (and had the autopsy been conducted in Dallas), all of that would have been one "seamless" operation.  A Dallas pronouncement of death, immediately followed by a Dallas autopsy. Only because the Secret Service --on LBJ's orders--took possession of the body and brought it back to Washington, do we have these problems of "political interference" in the autopsy.  

Edited by David Lifton
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Throughout this thread, there has been some discussion about what constitutes a reasonable plan for a special op.

I have some insight into this. One of my best friends was a Lt. Col.in U.S. Special Forces. He lectured me numerous times about the importance of P.A.C.E.

P.A.C.E. is the bedrock of a special op. It holds that you not have one plan for your op, but four: your Primary plan; your Alternative plan; your Contingency plan; and your Emergency plan. If the first doesn't work, you move to the second, and so on.

While one should doubt--strongly doubt--that the assassination called for a shot from the front and body alteration afterwards,  one can not rule out that a shot from the front was part of an emergency plan--that only became necessary when the first shot failed to kill Kennedy.

 

 

 

 

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 I wonder how exactly the conspirators would have considered the possibility of Kennedy getting away. If he had lived through it would the entire force of the government then come down on the conspirators? If they considered that outcome they would have to be absolutely sure that they can finish him off in the plaza. So  placing a rifle in front with a contingency plan to hide the evidence may have been necessary.

Edited by Chris Bristow
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James Jenkins who assisted in the autopsy of JFK on 22nd November stated that Humes remarked "the damn thing fell out in my hands"  referring to JFK's brain.  In his 2018 book 'At the cold shoulder of history' Michael Chesser M.D. contributes a full chapter on his research of the autopsy photos & x-rays.  He has no doubt that original & enhanced films were altered to fit-up Oswald with 'shots from the rear scenario'.  Changes to enhanced x-rays were done to obscure images.  Secret Service agent in the morgue exposed film.  With the coffin shell game prior to autopsy at Bethesda it is very difficult not to believe in alteration of head wounds.  How, when & where remain a mystery.

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52 minutes ago, Chris Bristow said:

 I wonder how exactly the conspirators would have considered the possibility of Kennedy getting away. If he had lived through it would the entire force of the government then come down on the conspirators? If they considered that outcome they would have to be absolutely sure that they can finish him off in the plaza. So  placing a rifle in front with a contingency plan to hide the evidence may have been necessary.

 

That seems reasonable to me, Chris. I'd like to elaborate on your theory here and hopefully show Matt Allison et. al. that something like what David Lifton describes is conceivable:

The plan is for all the shooters -- from behind -- to shoot simultaneously... thus the "flurry of shots." An observer has been assigned to confirm that at least one shot hits the head squarely. None do and he gives the negative signal. A couple seconds later a contingency shot is taken from the front. This creates a head wound from the front, and so it requires the second part of the contingency plan to take place... removal of evidence of this shot.

The body is snatched and the hole in the back of the head is observed. A surgeon (or just a guy with tools) lacerates the scalp and breaks the top of the cranium open with a chisel and hammer. What's left of the brain is quickly removed and replaced with a brain that has damage to it and bullet fragments consistent with shots from behind. (This brain had been prepared beforehand as part of the contingency plan.) Scalp fragments are put back in place and the scalp is stitched here and there to hold the head together.

This isn't done as an attempt to fool the autopsists... it is done to allow the autopsists to follow orders and toe the official line without having to flat out lie.

When Humes sees the stitches he immediately knows that some official hanky panky has been going on with the body. He briefly notes the surgery, but then moves on to write an autopsy report that describes what he is supposed to be seeing.

 

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7 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

one can not rule out that a shot from the front was part of an emergency plan--that only became necessary when the first shot failed to kill Kennedy.

Does it likely then follow that DCM and UM in their positions to observe were signaling with their gestures (raised hand, pumping open umbrella) that the emergency plan was needed?

 

 

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