Dr. Lance Moore is an ordained United Methodist minister and author of Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies–From the Warren Commission to Bill O’Reilly, A History of Deceit in the Kennedy Assassination.
A few days after the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, my wife and I chatted with a new acquaintance in an upscale bar in D.C., a spot frequented by Congressmen. Leaning toward us across the table, a dapperly-dressed man confirmed my suspicions about the CIA and a certain magazine. His wife, he confided, works for the internationally-prestigious magazine, and she had told him the CIA frequented her workplace to spy on a nearby embassy–with full cooperation by her employers. I found her story credible, in part because it is now well-established that the CIA infiltrated and influenced a long list of newspapers and magazines.1 Initially, I had been surprised that the magazine in question, an organization with great credibility in the academic community, risked their reputation to broadcast blatant lies about the JFK shooting. Why fib about something that happened half-a-century ago? The answer is astounding: the CIA –fifty years on–still believes it cannot afford the hit to its credibility… it refuses to admit that Lee Harvey Oswald was a company man. And it still has a vise-like grip on the mainstream media.
I am not a kook. Several parchments from prestigious institutions hang on my wall to assure me that I’m not crazy. I’m not a 911 “Truther” or a “Man didn’t land on the moon” conspiracy nut. Yet, when I began promoting my book about the JFK assassination, I observed some curious things. Major news outlets circled their wagons around the “official” government story that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone nut, nixing any dissenting opinions. Pro-Warren Commission, pro-lone-gunman pundits (a dying breed) were trotted out on CBS, ABC and even PBS. Credible experts who offer proof of government complicity were disinvited. Others in the assassination-research community told me similar stories of how they had been scheduled for cable news/network appearances, but were cancelled at the last minute–without explanation. Even my local city newspaper, which has featured my writing on other topics, refused to print a rebuttal I had written to counter a “lone-gunman did it” fluff-piece they ran in November 2013.
I have been harassed. Nasty, over-the-top attacks were posted on the Amazon review page of my JFK book (despite four and five star reviews by 95% of readers). Correspondence between myself and Vince Palamara (a Secret Service expert who has been featured on C-SPAN, the History Channel, etc.) was sliced open and contents stolen, apparently with the blessing of the U.S. Postal Service.2 At the 50th anniversary event in Dealey Plaza November 22nd, an ABC-TV cameraman pulled out his iPhone and snapped a picture of my book’s cover, saying he was personally interested in it… but made it clear his network was not. A CBS reporter and his cameraman interviewed me, but the footage never aired. At the end of the day, outside the Dallas JFK museum in the Texas School Book Depository, I was assaulted–choked without any provocation–by the bodyguard of former Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, as I tried to shake hands with Hill after his book-signing.3 These are things happening now, not 50 years ago.
But let’s back up and look at the long media history. The few times the networks dared examine the topic, the reporting was one-sided. CBS, for example, gave extended screen-time to so-called “conspiracy debunker” Gerald Posner, but allowed only short, benign snippets from lone-gunman critics like Dr. Cyril Wecht (and Dr. Wecht is a top-notch forensic scientist; Posner is not). I challenge doubters to put a stopwatch on any major network’s coverage of the JFK assassination and see how much time is afforded the debunkers vs. the conspiracy “nuts.” (one man’s “nut” is another’s “credentialed expert.”) Though I am personally convinced that the CIA helped kill Kennedy, I concede there are two sides to this debate. So, mainstream media, give us both sides! The one-sided press coverage should scare the hell out of us.
For those who have only heard the propaganda, allow me this brief rebuttal. One of the few intelligent debunkers is attorney and author Vincent Bugliosi. But he squanders his credibility by repeatedly insisting: “There is not a shred of credible evidence of conspiracy.” If he had argued his side calmly and honestly, he might deserve our ears. He is, in the end, no different than most debunkers: shrill, uninterested in truth, stretching logic just for the sake of winning–as if this were a High School debating club. He stands in front of a mountain of credible evidence, countering each challenge with clever but speculative workarounds, a hundred times repeating the mantra “there is not a shred of evidence….”An ironic choice of words: a shred. We have amountain of stench and garbage that stands as a sick monument to the conspiracy, and a lot of that evidence was, literally, shredded! Despite the concerted cover-up, facts have trickled out. Below are five huge indications of government complicity in the murder of our President, all based on established facts, many from the government’s own documents:
1. The Impersonation of Oswald: The strongest proof of a conspiracy is also the least reported: someone was impersonating Oswald six weeks before cameras in Dallas made him infamous. This is not rumor or speculation. White House tapes, FBI memos, and CIA photosoffer irrefutable, solid proof that someone was trying to forge the appearance that Lee Harvey Oswald had been in Mexico chatting with communists. In a still-available White House tape of a phone call between LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover the day after JFK’s death, the FBI Director revealed that “we know for a fact” that while “a man… was using Oswald’s name” in Mexico, the real Oswald was in New Orleans. This “Mexico thing,” as Hoover called it, was “puzzling” because his agents and Dallas police had reviewed the recording and all said the voice on the CIA tape was not Oswald’s.4 If Oswald was a loner and a “nobody,” as the government portrayed him, why would anyone be pretending to be him at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico? The obvious answer is that the initial frame-up plan had included painting Oswald as a traitor in league with Soviets or Cubans. That constitutes a conspiracy. Moreover, President Johnson showed no surprise at this blockbuster news, and no interest in pursuing it. Perhaps at first Johnson wanted to blame the killing on the Soviets, but upon reflection, realized this would be flirting with nuclear war. So he changed tactics: LBJ began using that threat–a thermonuclear battle with Russia–as a rationale for persuading innocent folks (Chief Justice Earl Warren, for example) to assist him in a whitewash, making Oswald a lone scapegoat. Posner, Bugliosi and the other debunkers have no explanation for this “Mexico thing.”
2. The Head Wounds: An exiting bullet caused a massive rear head wound, so the fatal shot came from the front. This required a second gunman, a conspiracy, and a cover-up. The government released autopsy sketches, and later a fake photo, showing the back of JFK’s head nearly-undamaged, with short hairs all neatly in place. This is in stark contrast to the other photos showing a tangle of very long hair at the back of his crown, and in conflict with the best and earliest witnesses, all who reported a “gaping” occipital (rear) wound over 4″ across and frontal entrance wounds. The proof is found right in the pages of the Warren Commission Report itself, in the testimony of doctors and of two Secret Service agents. Special Agent Clint Hill was spread-eagled on top of the Kennedys as they sped to the hospital. Other than doctors, Hill was the closest observer of JFK’s rear head wound as he hovered over the President as they sped to Parkland–the closest in proximity and in time (before any medical person or mortician altered the look of the wounds). And Hill’s sworn testimony is unequivocal: he saw a gaping rear head wound of exit. Counsel Arlen Specter led the WC interview:
Mr. Specter: “What did you observe as to President Kennedy’s condition on arrival at the hospital?”
Mr. Hill, under oath: “The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car…. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head.”5
What Hill saw–“a gaping wound… in the right rear” –is consistent with the location of the large wound described by over a dozen of the Parkland medical staff. Doctors described specifically the occipital, or lower rear of the skull. This should not be confused with theparietal or temporal, terms which could apply to another wound on the side of JFK’s skull. The parietal can also refer, in part, to the rear, but it extends forward toward the side/ temporal region, where the WC wants you to think the bullet “exited” –on the right side. Thus the WC favored the word “parietal” rather than “occipital” whenever possible, since it was less specific. The separate right-side wound is visible in the Zapruder film, and was also a gruesome wound. But five Secret Service Agents and a flock of doctors described a larger wound at the back of the head, fully in the rear. Here’s a partial list of Parkland medical personnel who described a wound irreconcilable with the autopsy photo: Nurse Diana Bowron, Nurse Doris Nelson, Dr. Charles Baxter, Dr. James Carrico, Dr. Robert McClelland, Dr. M. T. Jenkins, Dr. Ronald Coy Jones, Dr. Gene Akin, Dr. Kemp Clark, Dr. Charles Crenshaw, Dr. Malcolm Perry. A dozen doctors wrote immediate reports and/or gave sworn testimony. They had no reason to lie, and they certainly qualify as expert witnesses trained to be careful observers. (The Bethesda autopsy, by contrast, was done by three inexperienced military autopsists under pressure to do and say as little as possible.) No reasonable explanation has ever been offered for this irreconcilable difference, other than conspiracy. The WC simply ignored the clash between the Washington version vs. the Dallas version of JFK’s skull, hoping that the few Americans who actually read the Warren Report would not realize that “occipital” means “rear.” Dr. Crenshaw summed it up best by stating that the WC Report is “a fable,” an “insult to the intelligence of the American people.”
To pour salt on the wound, so to speak, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that it re-interviewed most of the medical personnel, who clarified earlier statements so that now, the HSCA claims, there is a consensus: no large exit wound on the rear of JFK’s skull. A lie. Their own records prove otherwise. There was no consensus or consistency. One quick example: look at the testimony of Dr. John Ebersole from Bethesda. Dr. Ebersole plainly told the HSCA that he had seen a gaping occipital wound. The HSCA ignored him and several other dissenters to falsely claim that everyone at Bethesda verified the autopsy photos. The HSCA continued the cover-up begun by the Warren Commission. Over 25 medical personnel (most at Parkland but several at Bethesda) and 5 Secret Service Agents are on record stating there was a large wound at the rear (mostly occipital).6 The alteration of autopsy photos to hide that fact required government complicity.
3. Every single piece of evidence used to indict Oswald is problematic. I’m not exaggerating. Every major and minor bit of evidence has a puzzle or flaw in it. We expect all criminal cases to have some evidentiary blemish, some i not dotted or t not crossed, and certainly eye-witnesses get details wrong. But cut into the Swiss-cheese case against Oswald (which includes the murder of Police Officer J.D. Tippit), and every slice is riddled with holes:
Witnesses described men on the sixth floor who did not match Oswald’s description, as well as different men at Tippit’s shooting–balding, dark-complected, stocky suspects wearing different colored clothes than Oswald. Oswald was near the scenes of both crimes (necessary for framing a patsy), yet the timing doesn’t work right for Oswald to be at either location at theexact time. Within two minutes of each crime, he was seen by credible witnesses, standing calmly: a) five floors down in the Book Depository, near the Coke machine, and later, b) at a bus stop a mile away from the Tippit shooting.
For every witness saying shots were fired from the sixth floor, we have an equal or greater number saying shots were fired from the Grassy Knoll. Not a single line-up “I.D.” of Oswald would have stood up in court. Witnesses heard Oswald loudly complaining, while being herded into the police line-up, that of course the witnesses would point to him, dressed in a shabby T-shirt with a black-eye and unkempt appearance. He stood out like a sore thumb. Howard Brennan, the only witness to claim he could identify Oswald as the sniper, claims he saw Oswald in the shadows, through a window pane, six floors up, and from across the street. Brennan wrongly described the sniper as standing at the window (when the shooter had to be kneeling to clear the closed window). So not surprisingly, Brennan failed to I.D. him in the first line-up–despite seeing the efforts by law enforcement to “sore thumb” Oswald.