The Guns of Dallas
by L. Fletcher Prouty
"The reason for the assassination was to control the power of the presidency."
The following appeared in the October, 1975 issue of Gallery, a porno magazine which billed Fletcher Prouty as the "National Affairs Editor." Some people feel there is no credible way to justify associating oneself with such exploitative and demeaning media. Fletcher Prouty has told me that since the Ballentine paperback edition of The Secret Team was "disappeared" soon after it came out in February of 1974, it was very difficult for him to find publishers who would print his writings (from 9/74 to 7/75 he was able to get 7 articles published in Genesis (another porno magazine), and from 9/75 to 6/78 he got 14 articles printed in Gallery)
Up until the Ballentine paperback was squelched, he had been published in the likes of The Nation, The New Republic, (including cover-story features), and Air Force Magazine. It is a telling indictment of the reality of the lack of public access to the mainstream corporate press, that a man like Fletcher Prouty -- who:
. . . served in the Air Force for 23 years, rose to the rank of Colonel, was a briefing officer in the Pentagon from 1955 thru 12/31/63, serving also as Focal Point Officer where he set up and then ran the structures that supplied Air Force logistical (military hardware) support for CIA clandestine operations world-wide, then in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (1960 into 1961), and then in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1961 thru 12/31/63) where he ran the same support for all branches of the military -
. . . that a man possessing such critical first-hand experience and knowledge of the mechanisms, methodogy and factual history of CIA covert operations in this seminal period, would find his writings and analysis of these important issues essentially barred from the most generally accessible publications.
As long as the conglomerate press in this country continues to increasingly restrict the range and variety of points of view being published, writers will resort to certain types of publishers they would not choose to go to if they had a better alternative.
THE GUNS OF DALLAS
© 1975 by L. Fletcher Prouty
The shocking nature of what you are about to read in this article makes it imperative that you be aware of some of the credentials and experience of the author.
From 1955 to December 31, 1963, Col. L. Fletcher Prouty was the Focal Point (liason) officer between the Pentagon and the CIA. During 1962 and 1963 he was Director of Special Plans (clandestine operations) in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In 1971 he was the president of the Financial Marketing Council, Washington, D.C.
He is the author of numerous articles and of The Secret Team, published by Prentice Hall (1973) and Ballantine Books (1974).
How was the Warren Commission kept from investigating and seeing evidence? This is the real issue. This is a crime to top the crime.
As we prepare now to celebrate the beginning of the third century of the founding of this country, we wonder if we live in the land of the free. We wonder if at least we still have a government of the people and by the people. Certainly, it is no longer a government for the people. The sound throughout the land is ugly: there is frustration, hate, and fear. We must act while there may still be time.
There is a grave conspiracy over the land. The people have come alive because of Vietnam and Watergate; but they have scarcely scratched the surface. A President and a Vice-President have been forced to resign. A President has been shot to death. Two Presidential candidates have been shot, one of them killed. Many of the President's men have been forced to leave, some have gone to jail; others are still under indictment.
Yes, history has been made by a series of murders, but not enough has been done to solve them. The trial of Watergate was the trial of the cover-up. There has been no trial about the real crime of Watergate. There has been no trial of the big power behind Watergate. The Hunts, Liddys, McCords, and the Cubans were not drawn into that drama solely for their own interests. They were working for someone much higher up. They were all pawns, just like Nixon was.
This is a game for the biggest stake of all -- absolute control of the government of the United States of America; and, with control of this government, control of the world. And yet the real crime underlying all of this has not even been identified, stated, and charged. The real criminals still walk the streets, run their corporations, control their banks, and pull strings throughout their political and financial machines.
This control mechanism did not start in 1972 with Watergate. It began, in a tentative way, in the Korean War era, when the military and the executive branch found out how easy it was to fool the Congress and the American public. And with that recognition, power-hungry and money-mad industrialists began to usurp more and more power. And when those rifles crackled over Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 and John F. Kennedy's brain was splattered across the road, they had made their move into the big time.
They took over control of the President and of the Presidency. The man they had killed was no longer a problem and they had made certain that his successor, Lyndon Johnson, heard and remembered the sound of those guns. It is the sound of those guns in Dallas, and their ever-present threat, which is the real mechanism of control over the American government.
It is possible now to reconstruct the scenario of that day, and, with new information, to show why the murder of JFK may properly be called the "Crime of the Century." If we the people of the United States do not demand its resolution this year, it will stand in the way of a free election in 1976. It will doom a third century of democratic government in this country.
Almost everyone who has taken the time to do any reading and thinking about that crime knows by now that John Kennedy was killed not by a lone assassin, but by a group of hired "mechanics." Let's look at some of the hard facts of this murder and put to rest once and for all the "cover-up" report of the Warren Commission.
The Warren Commission categorically stated that Lee Harvey Oswald was the killer of JFK and that he acted alone. The Warren Commission says that Oswald fired three shots, only three shots, from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building and that his lair was at a window, number one from the right (eastern-most on the south side) on that sixth floor.
If one breaks this contrived Warren Commission story, then the fundament of the "lone assassin" theory is undermined. Break this weak theory and you are confronted immediately with an awareness of the existence of a massive conspiracy. And we are equally convinced that this group hired at least four expert "mechanics" (assassins). This group wielded control over elements of the Dallas police, the Sheriff's office, the FBI, the Secret Service, and the CIA. This great cabal had control high enough in government, or at least in the councils of government, to be able to influence the travel plans of the President, the Vice-President and a Presidential candidate (Nixon), and all members of the Kennedy cabinet. They were powerful enough to have orders issued to the Army, and they were able to mount a massive campaign to control the media during and after the assassination. They were able to have Jack Ruby kill Oswald and to transfer jurisdiction of the murder from Texas and then to effectively control the outcome of the Warren Commission review.
Then as soon as JFK was dead, they began an even larger campaign to cover up that crime forever. Penn Jones, the tenacious editor of the Midlothian, Texas, Mirror, has devoted his life to "researching the hell" out of this conspiracy. He has a list of some eighty-five people who, because they knew too much or got too close, have died sudden and unnatural deaths since the JFK murder.
This great cabal had seen to it that Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was in the Kennedy procession, and they saw to it that he heard those hired guns, that he saw Kennedy die, and that he lived through that terrible nightmare of the trip back to Washington on Air Force One. From that day on, LBJ never again was that self-confident, swash-buckling, free-wheeling Texan. Before he died, LBJ told his old friend Tom Janos that he knew Oswald had not killed JFK alone.
The American public is now ready enough to have the cloak torn from the lies about the Kennedy murder and the cover-up; but the American public has not had the guts to face the fact of the massive conspiracy that arranged for that murder and which to this day perpetuates its cover-up.
Many of us have been convinced, as a result of careful and detailed study that the first of these glass barricades, the Warren Commission report, is a lie. And, we are equally convinced that the cover-up of the murder can be smashed and the conspiracy exposed. But if we don't act now, there will be consequences. These will begin with either the cancellation of elections in 1976 or with elections that will be a total sham. For who will dare run against the candidate of the conspiracy? Will it be Wallace with his wounds and from his wheelchair, or another Kennedy, or Ed Muskie, who was badly roughed up in 1972, or George McGovern, who was twice scheduled for assassination in 1972?
Who, unless he sells his soul to the cabal, can face those hired guns?
Today, our country is being run by a President and a Vice-President who have not been elected to office. This is merely a process to condition the American public.
Let's begin here by breaking apart the whole fabric of the lone-killer thesis. On November 28, 1963, less than one week after Kennedy's death, the Secret Service, the agency closest to the scene, reported that three shots were fired. The Secret Service said that the first hit the President, the second hit Governor John Connally of Texas, and the third struck the President. There were no other shots according to the Secret Service. The Secret Service was wrong!
On December 9, 1963, the FBI reported that three shots had been fired and that two hit the President and that one hit John Connally. The FBI says there were no other shots. The FBI was less specific than the Secret Service. The FBI was wrong.
Then, much later, on September 27, 1964 (ten months after the crime), the Warren Commission issued its report along with twenty-six huge volumes of random data. This report states that there were three shots. The Warren Commission was wrong.
According to the Warren Commission, the first shot, the "miracle bullet" designed and dreamed up by one of its lawyers (Arlen Specter), is one of the most fascinating contrivances of our generation. Forced to account for a series of unrelated events, Arlen Specter came up with a weird solution. He says the first bullet hit JFK, passed through the muscle of his upper back exited from his lower throat, traveled a few feet in the air, changed course, and entered Connally's back, plunged through his body, broke about five inches of one of his right rib bones, came out again, and then slammed into his right wrist, where it broke two more bones, exited again, and then pierced his thigh and ended its strange journey embedded in his thigh bone.
An interpretation of this thesis, based on photographic and medical evidence, means the bullet would have had to have made a right and upward turn upon leaving JFK's throat, paused in midair for more than two seconds, made a left and steep downward turn as it entered Connally's back, made a right and upward turn as it left Connally's chest, passed through Connally's wrist in the direction backward from the way his wrist was facing, made another left and downward turn, then wound up in Connally's left thigh.
Right here we see the brazen, "To Hell with the Public" character of the Commission report. Can you imagine some lawyer, even the persuasive and imaginative Specter, selling that bullet and its bumble-bee flight to any jury of intelligent Americans? The Commission was stuck with a "three bullet" crime because the Secret Service and the FBI had both reported three bullets, because there were only 6.8 seconds of shooting, as proven precisely by a film of the event made by Abraham Zapruder, and because the character who planted the shells at the "Oswald lair" had only put three there. Furthermore, if they were going to stick with the "lone assassin" solution, they were faced with the hard task of making it appear feasible that Oswald alone could have gotten off just three bullets in 6.8 seconds, let alone four, five, or six.
The Zapruder movie film, which shows the entire scene from beginning to end, became invaluable as a master clock of the whole affair. It established a foolproof chronology of the crime. It is not too difficult to determine precisely when (what frame of the movie film) the first shot was fired; and it is equally simple to determine exactly the elapsed time until the last shot was fired. So, unless the Commission could accept that there might have been other gunmen who fired during the same 6.8 seconds -- and this the Commission categorically denied -- it was going to have to show that Oswald could have fired three bullets from that sixth-floor window, and that he performed this feat in super-marksmanship time of 6.8 seconds. It is significant to stress here that the supposed murder weapon was a cheap Italian Mannlicher-Carcano mail-order rifle, a single-shot, bolt-action antique.
Another complication crept into the Commission's connivance. One of the bystanders at Dealey Plaza that day was a man named James Tague. He was hit by a fragment of concrete knocked off the curb by a bullet that had hit a curbstone near where he stood. He reported his injury to a hospital.
So there was another man on record as having been hit during these same 6.8 seconds. This forced the Commission to accept that one bullet, the second by their count, missed both JFK and Connally. This complicated their task. Remember, neither the Secret Service nor the FBI has accounted for that "missed" bullet and there were only three shell cases and no clips at Oswald's window. They both had said that three shots were fired and that two hit JFK and one hit Connally. The FBI later found the nick in the curbstone, took a section of it back to their labs in Washington, analyzed it, and decided that a bullet had indeed hit the curb.
The Zapruder film makes it abundantly clear that the top of the President's head was blown off and the skull and brain spattered as far as thirty-seven yards away by a third shot. Thus the Commission gives the "official" version: three shots. The third shot, the missed second shot, and none other than the contrived "Specter Miracle Bullet" -- the first shot.
As if this were not fantasy enough, and as if this were not carrying their "To Hell with the Public" role far enough, the Commission reports that this same miracle bullet was found forty-five minutes later in the Parkland Hospital more than three hectic miles from the scene of the murder. It was on a stretcher which "somebody" presumed Connally had been lying on.
This is the stuff of the Commission solution and this is what we have been asked and forced to believe for the past eleven years. Any ballistics expert worth his gunpowder would shrink from the task of developing the theory of that bullet. Pictures of that undamaged bullet show it as clean as a brand-new slug. It looks as though it had hardly been fired at all, let alone having traveled through two men, broken three bones, and lodged in a fourth.
How the Zapruder Film Created a Time Clock for the Assassination in Dealey Plaza
Abraham Zapruder's camera was running at a determinable speed: 18.3 frames per second. The camera had a governor control, so its speed was constant. Each frame of the film was 1/18th of a second apart. Since John Kennedy appeared in every frame of the relevant sequence of the film, the FBI was able to plot on a surveyor's map of Dealey Plaza, Kennedy's exact position at each frame number. This "map" perfectly coordinated two functions: time and place -- where Kennedy was at each moment, within 1/18th of a second accuracy, and a distance error of no more than 7.3 inches. The Zapruder film was used to determine the speed of the President's car, the elapsed time between events, especially between the first and last shots (6.8 seconds), and the timing of events in the background.
I have worked with the CIA and military officials in testing special rifles. I have seen countless bullets fired into gelatin and paraffin to simulate body hits on humans. I have seen goats shot under controlled conditions to show what impact will do. In my own experience, admittedly limited, I have never seen an undamaged slug, no matter what substance it had been fired into, except when fired carefully into cotton. But even then there are scars, lines, and even deformity. The "Specter Miracle Bullet" does not even show that much damage.
There is no point in dwelling on this in more detail here except for the most important fact that, if any of the major Commission conclusions are shattered, then the whole house of cards comes down and the whole Commission solution is exploded. And because this solution is wrong, then Lee Harvey Oswald was not the lone assassin, and because he was not the lone assassin, there was a conspiracy.
This incredulous miracle bullet, then, is the key to opening the whole can of worms. Let's look at bullet Number Two, the one which hit a curb and injured bystander James Tague. The Secret Service and the FBI ignored it and the Commission passed over it lightly. Now, if you were told that the assassin missed the President and that the bullet hit a curb; and if you were told that the assassin fired from high above from the sixth floor, you would not have been wrong to have concluded that this errant bullet hit the curb on the far side of the street beside the President's car. Wrong!
This bullet hit the curb on the far side of the next street and more than twice as far away as the car was from the sixth-floor window. The President's car was traveling down Elm Street, and Tague was standing on Main Street. If that bullet was fired by Oswald in the first window, then he missed JFK by twenty-one feet on the right and thirty-three feet overhead and the shot went 260 feet rather than ninety feet. This is a fantastic and unbelievable miss for a man who was supposedly able to fire the "Specter Miracle Bullet" on his first try and then to knock the entire right side of the President's head off with his third shot after pumping two bullets into that ancient single-shot rifle in 6.8 seconds!
It is much more plausible to believe that this missed shot was fired from a point much lower down and on a line with the nick on the curbstone and the President's head. In other words, a near miss. This would have placed the gunman's lair somewhere in the adjacent Dal Tex Building, perhaps under the second-floor fire escape. This establishes a second lair, a second gun, and a second "mechanic."
It is not hard to find another shot that Oswald could not have made. The Zapruder film clearly fixes the time of the first shot at frame Z-189. Also, the Zapruder film clearly fixes the location of the car -- and thus the President -- at Z-189.
There were broken white lines on the road and it can be shown exactly where the car was at the time of each shot by its position relative to these lines. Knowing this, it is possible to draw a line from the precise position of the President at Z-189 up to the Oswald "lair." In this process, another unexplained oversight of the Commission is discovered. There is a huge oak tree in front of the Book Depository building. In November 1963 that tree was so large that it made it impossible for anyone to have lined up a shot from the Oswald window at the President at Z-189.
The earliest time a shot could line up with the President was at Z-210. At that time the tree was no longer in the way. What did the Warren Commission think? Apparently, nothing. It ignored the tree.
Who then fired at Z-189? Was it the mechanic who missed later, and hit Tague? This is impossible.
At this point it is important to make certain that we have laid all of this out with reasonable credibility. I have been working on this problem since 1963. Many others have been working that long doing very specialized and very detailed work.
One of the best of these investigators is Richard Sprague [see Sprague's book, The Taking of America, 1-2-3 --ratitor], a most experienced computer technician and photographic analyst. We know of at least 510 photographs taken either before, during, or after the shooting -- all within the space of one hour. Sprague has accounted for seventy-five photographers on the scene, thirty of whom were professionals from newspapers, television studios, and photographic agencies. Other men, such as R.B. Cutler, Ray Marcus, Josiah Thompson, David Lifton, Fred Newcomb, and Jones Harris, working both independently and together with Sprague, have done the most professional work on this case. Ed Berkeley published much of this work in his magazine Computers and Automation, notably in the May 1970 and October 1973 issues.
It is astounding to learn that in their entire work the Commission was permitted to see only twenty-six of these pictures, and that the FBI limited its examination to some fifty of the 510. The Commission principals interviewed only four of the thirty professional photographers and saw only about a dozen of their several hundred photographs. Here was evidence enough to arouse the interest and curiosity of any investigator. How could all of this vital, most essential evidence have been kept from the Commission? Today, one of the members of this Commission is President of the United States. He is an intelligent and experienced man.
How could it have been arranged so that men such as Gerald Ford did not have the chance to see all of these photographs? In all there were more than 25,000 frames of pictures exposed within that crucial hour at Dealey Plaza. (This includes the frames of movie camera film, some of which have been so vitally important when studied frame by frame.)
Consider what real professionals can do with such evidence. It is possible to build a time-phased chronological moving panorama of all events on Dealey Plaza from five minutes before the murder to ninety minutes after it. Sprague and his associates have done this. It reveals some amazingly accurate sequences. For example, there is the "umbrella" man.
As the President's car rounds the corner from Houston Street turning left onto the fatal Elm Street, pictures show a man near a road sign, right next to where the President was killed. This man is holding a closed umbrella in a walking-cane position. It was high noon and no rain. No one else at Dealey Plaza had an umbrella.
As the shots are fired, this man is seen in several pictures with his umbrella open and over his head (some sort of signal). Then other pictures show him later with the umbrella lowered to his side. Although everyone else runs from the scene and races around in the excitement, the umbrella man stays there calmly, looking around. He is one of the last to leave the scene. [For a great more detail on this person and umbrella, see Sprague and Cutler's article written 3 years later, "The Umbrella System: Prelude To An Assassination" --ratitor]
This man shows up on a number of photographs. His actions certainly do arouse suspicion, and yet the Commission did not see these pictures, did not know about this strange man. He was never queried or identified in any way. This is no ordinary oversight. This is a strange and dangerous subversion of justice. Who did this? How could such evidence have been withheld from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and other singularly respected men who were serving with him? It begs credulity to attribute such gross errors to oversight. How was this Commission kept from investigating and "seeing" such things? This is the real issue.
When you arrive at this question you are facing the issue of conspiracy. A conspiracy that took over right from the beginning and began to control action even within the chambers of the Commission. It is ridiculous to say that all of the Commission members were that dumb. They were not. It is ridiculous to say that they did not have the authority to demand more assistance, more facts, more investigation, and more results. For too long, people have attributed such failings to the Commission. If you do, then you make the Commission part of the conspiracy. It is much more logical to recognize that the conspiracy controlled the Commission, too.
The single-bullet theory is overly contrived, especially when one is attempting to solve a major crime such as the murder of a President. Consider the following:
•The fact that the Secret Service and the FBI both state three bullets were fired, but account for no miss.
•The fact that the Commission states that three bullets were fired, including the near miss.
•The fact that the Warren Commission missed the back-to-left motion of JFK's head .
•The fact that only three members of the Commission ever saw the Zapruder film in motion.
•The fact that the Warren Commission missed seeing the evidence of three separate bullets hitting JFK and a fourth hitting Connally; and then disregarding the "umbrella man."
All of the discrepancies, one after the other, stagger the mind. Of course, the umbrella man could have been a perfectly innocent guy, why not find out?
Then there was the "communications man."
This man was in the crowd near Houston and Elm Streets at the time of the shots. The photo shows a two-way radio in the man's left hip pocket with a wire dangling down. This wire is an antenna. What did the Warren Commission say about this? Not a word. They did not see the pictures. This man is known. He is James Hicks, currently in an insane asylum.
There is no need to trace each error and oversight in the twenty-six volume report which was thrown together by the staff of the Commission. Once one sees the hand of the conspiracy and the evidence that Oswald was made the patsy and then murdered to cover his true role, it does not take too much deduction to see that the whole thing was the work of a major conspiracy and that the cover-up has been an even more weighty threat to our freedom.
Why an assassination conspiracy in the first place? Once you decide that it was not the work of a lone nut, then there is no turning away from the next step. Why was the President killed and who would want to do it? These questions must be faced, cost what they may, and then having faced them, they must be resolved. This is what we have a government for. Individuals cannot subpoena, cross-examine, or pursue for the sake of justice. It is up to an honest government to do this. But why has the government for all of these long years avoided this essential work? This conspiracy has the power -- in the face of public apathy -- to control investigation and prosecution, or the lack thereof.
I said earlier that it is now possible to trace the scenario of this master plot. I'll try as best one man can and I'll leave it to you to see how far you can go along this road with me. I'll say right now that the more we know about this, the more we begin to think of today's problems and the less we think of the JFK murder; but it takes an understanding of one to face squarely the issue of the other.
Kennedy had been in Miami in September 1963. Prior to that, a Miami police informer had uncovered the existence of a plot to kill JFK either in Miami or in some other city. The Miami police, in accordance with good practice, turned this information over to the FBI and the FBI informed the Miami Police that they had turned that information over to the Secret Service. When JFK went to Miami, he was well protected to and from the airport because he traveled by helicopter. This was the beginning of the plot and from that time on the FBI and the Secret Service should have been on maximum alert. Why weren't they? Who pulled them off the job? Certainly not Oswald. Certainly not Castro. Certainly not Khrushchev.
Before that time, plans were being made to have Kennedy visit Texas "for political purposes." In accordance with this plan, Eugene Zuchert, then Secretary of the Air Force, had suggested, perhaps unwittingly, that JFK should visit San Antonio and make a speech at the opening of an Air Force medical facility at Brooks Air Force Base. With this first step planned, someone else suggested that JFK should visit Fort Worth. A bitter multi-billion-dollar contest over the award of the TFX (F-111) airplane had ended with the contract being given to the General Dynamics Corporation's facility in that city. The idea was that it would make good sense for Kennedy to make political hay out of the "good will" that Fort Worth might have for the President. JFK went from San Antonio to Fort Worth.
Considering Texas politics, it would not have been right for the President to go to Fort Worth and not go to Dallas; so plans were made for the President to mend fences there, too, and there were a lot of anti-Kennedy fences in Dallas at that time. This was done despite the warnings from Miami and the Miami police. Jerry Bruno, Kennedy's advance man, went to Dallas. Kenneth O'Donnell, another Kennedy aide, worked on the trip, too. But somehow, after their initial work, the plans were changed. By whom? Who selected that unusual and devious route around Dealey Plaza? It was not Bruno or O'Donnell.
Then things began to get complicated. Someone decided that the Vice-President, Texan Lyndon B. Johnson, should go to Dallas with the President, and that he and his friend John Connally should be in the procession with Kennedy and other Democratic bigwigs. Also, someone else saw to it that another useful tool -- Richard M. Nixon -- should be in Dallas that day. Indoctrination and near-complicity is an excellent form of discipline, spelled BLACKMAIL. Here we must stop and begin another analysis.
The Secret Service was founded on June 23, 1860. It is an old, proud, and highly professional organization. I have traveled to foreign countries and have worked in support of the Secret Service. I am familiar with its operating procedures. I am familiar with what is called "Protection" in its most elaborate sense. I was at the Cairo Conference and the Teheran Conference, both in 1943. I participated in actions designed to safeguard the lives of the chiefs of state who attended those conferences. I traveled to Mexico City during the tenure of President Eisenhower as part of a mission to prepare for the security of his visit there. I was in Lima, Peru in 1964 while that city went through more than three months of preparation for a de Gaulle visit by the famous "gorillas" whose skilled work kept Charles de Gaulle alive in the face of repeated attempts on his life.
Because of my familiarity with these highly skilled and meticulous organizations, I have been doubly concerned over some of the events that did not take place in San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Dallas during and before the visit by Kennedy in 1963. This is of extreme significance. It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. It is even harder to keep an old dog from doing his old tricks.
How could it have happened that the Secret Service, contrary to all good sense and all professional "Protection" practice, permitted the President and the Vice-President to be in close proximity in the same city, in the same procession? This is unheard of. The Secret Service dates back more than a century and they had never permitted that to take place before. Why this time?
Here we must go back to our scientific and systematic perusal of the thousands of pictures available about this incident. One of the most remarkable and important pictures taken of the entire 25,000 was one taken by James Altgens, a professional photographer from the Associated Press. (See photo 8.) By cross-referencing this remarkable photograph with the Zapruder film chronology, it is possible to determine that this picture was taken 3.6 seconds after the first shot was fired and 3.2 seconds before the last shot.
This is very important. This picture clearly shows JFK beginning to clench his fists. It shows Jackie's gloved hand holding his left arm just above the wrist (she begins to sense something is wrong). It shows Connally sitting directly in front of JFK just beginning to turn to the rear as if to see what the trouble was. Then it shows a carload of Secret Service men immediately behind the Presidential car, and save for three of those eight men, one would say that they were, at that moment, unconcerned and more or less unaware that anything was happening. The three men are looking to the rear either because they had been looking to the rear, as they are supposed to do at all times, or because they may have heard something from that direction.
But then events in the third car show something quite startling. The third car was the Vice-President's automobile. The driver and Lady Bird Johnson are smiling and unconcerned at 3.6 seconds into the assassination; Lyndon and his bodyguard are sitting in their seats in this photo, but are partially obscured by the edge of the car on the left.
Then we look at the fourth car in the procession. This was the Secret Service car following the Vice-President. Here we can see that a Secret Service agent by the name of Jerry Kivett has already opened the door of that car and that he is preparing to jump out -- all by 3.6 seconds.
This one indelible record of a fragment in history tells a truer story than all twenty-six volumes of the Warren report. It is possible to place the first shot at Zapruder film frame 189 and the Altgens photograph at Z-255. It is interesting to note that nearly one half of the background of the Altgens photo is filled with that huge oak tree we mentioned earlier. It has keen carefully researched that a rifleman in the Oswald window could not possibly have shot at the President through that tree and thus could not have fired at the President until at least Z-210. In fact, under the prevailing physical conditions, no one could have fired from that window.
As important as this Altgens photograph is, it was found that it had been severely cropped when it was tucked into the Warren report. Why did someone go to that trouble? Here again is the tricky hand of the conspiracy reaching into the Commission chambers.
We have wandered a little because of the extreme importance of that Altgens photo. Our objective was to show the seriousness of the Secret Service oversight in permitting the President and Vice-President to be under the same guns.
These were not the only oversights. I have always been concerned about the failure of the Secret Service to act in accordance with their long-established and highly professional standard operating procedures on Kennedy's Texas trip. We know that the Secret Service does not have the numbers to permit it to cover every possible avenue and angle of danger; but what we also know is that over the years it has keen the practice of the Secret Service to call upon trained elements of the Armed Forces and other technical assistance to flesh out their strength in compliance with "Protection" policy.
In 1963 there was in Washington, D.C. the 113th Army Intelligence Unit, which was highly trained for this purpose. A counterpart of this unit was the 112th at 4th Army Headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The 112th had a detachment, the 315th, in San Antonio. Its commanding officer, among others, complained bitterly that his unit was not used in protection along with the Secret Service after he had keen told that the services of his unit would not be needed. On more than one occasion he called his headquarters and called Washington to correct this "oversight." Like the old dog, he and his men had keen well trained and they were ready to go into action. It takes strong and deft control from the top to keep a unit out of the action for which it has been trained.
After the assassination, some of the men of the 112th dug into the unit's files and found that they had note cards on a Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas. I do not know what other records they had; but failure to utilize this unit and its files was part of the conspiracy and an indication of how far up the hand of the conspirators went.
Not only did the Secret Service disregard experienced and qualified assistance from the Armed Forces, but they did not act in accordance with their own time-tested regulations. I recall, when we walked down Avenida Reforma in Mexico City before Eisenhower's trip, being told that if we found a place where Eisenhower could not be properly protected, the Secret Service "manual" stated that the "President's car must maintain not less than 44 mph until clear of any danger zones." I joked with the Secret Service officer about the "44 mph." Why not "45 mph" or "50 mph." He answered that tests had determined that a car traveling 44 mph was going fast enough to guarantee all but 100 percent assurance that the President would be safe. It was Secret Service men working under the provisions of the same manual who let the President's car creep around that corner at Dealey Plaza at 8-9 mph. Why?
Army Aid to Help Protect President Kennedy Was Refused
Trained U.S. Army Intelligence Units were told their assisstance was not needed in Dallas during the JFK visit. William McKinney, a former member of the crack 112th Military Intelligence Group at 4th Army Headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, has revealed that both Col. Maximillian Reich and his deputy, Lt. Col. Joel Cabaza, protested violently when they were told to "Stand Down" rather than to report with their units for duty in augmentation of the Secret Service in Dallas. McKinney said, "All the Secret Service had to do was nod and these units [which had been trained at the Army's top Intelligence school at Camp Holabird, Maryland] would have performed their normal function of Protection for the President in Dallas."
The 315th, the Texas unit which would have been involved if its support had not been turned down, had records in its files, according to McKinney, on Lee Harvey Oswald. The 315th had a Dallas office and its records were up to date.
McKinney added that, "Highly specialized classes were given at Camp Holabird on the subject of Protection. This included training designed to prepare this army unit to assist the Secret Service. If our support had not been refused, we would have been in Dallas."
Also, as we looked up at the high buildings on Mexico City's main street, he told me that agents would check and secure each floor and each window of each building. This is not as big a job as it may seem. The Secret Service knows the exact timing of the movements of the President and they see to it, using radios and men on rooftops, that his progress is covered all the way. This is their business and they are good at it.
But in Dallas, for some strange reason, someone picked a dangerous turn in the road. The procession passed slowly to the right, and then it turned slowly to the left, and all of the time the President's car was right under hostile windows. How simple and how correct it would have keen for Secret Service men, aided by all of the Armed Forces required, to have checked those buildings, to have sealed any unused floors (such as that famous deserted sixth floor), and then to have shut all of the front windows. Then, by placing a radio-equipped man in the Plaza, all he would have had to do was to watch if a single window opened. If it did, he would call to the man on the roof and have someone dispatched to check that window, and with that same call he would have alerted the whole force, especially those with the President's party.
This chronology and theme need not be pursued further here. What is important is to point out that trained and experienced organizations such as the Secret Service and the Army were somehow given instructions not to take part. In bureaucratic terms alone this is hard to do. Each organization fights for its prerogatives and for its role. Yet someone ordered them to stand down. The power to keep units from operating automatically would have to have been extreme and must have originated close to the top. Someone had to put out the word to the Secret Service and through them to the Army; and then that same power was able to rebuff repeated attempts to right that wrong.
Recognition of this fact leads to the delineation of the origin and source of the conspiracy, which was strong enough to directly influence the role of major government organizations even before the President was shot. I have spoken with men of these units. Many had keen trained at Fort Holabird, the Army's top intelligence school. There can be no interpretation of this suppression of the forces created to protect the President other than that it was a part of the whole conspiracy.
Turning once more to the infallible evidence of press photographs, we find an excellent picture of the Texas Book Depository Building taken by Thomas C. Dillard.
In the procession, he was in camera car number three. He took the picture only three seconds after the shooting, about ten seconds after the first shot. In this one picture one can see which windows were open and which were closed at that time. Actually, the Commission severely cropped this picture before it went into the report; however, Richard Sprague was able to obtain a copy of the full original. Again, why did the Commission see a cropped photo rather than the full original?
The importance of this picture is that it shows how easily and how effectively the role of the Secret Service can be performed when it is done correctly and in accordance with "Protection" doctrine. An agent or an Army man placed properly in the Plaza could have observed all of the buildings around the Plaza and all of their windows.
Further evidence of the hand of the conspiracy is found immediately after the shooting. Security on the scene was almost nonexistent. Photographic evidence, including the famous "tramp" photographs, show that ten men were "arrested" at Dealey Plaza. No record of these arrests exists and there is none in the Warren report.
In the case of the "tramps," those three men who were rounded up on orders of Police Inspector J. Herbert Sawyer (the man in charge of security activity at Dealey Plaza), we find a sequence of astounding actions. A Sergeant D.V. Harkness was ordered to stop a freight train and remove the men. Harkness arrested the three men and turned them over to policemen Marvin Wise and Billy Bass, who marched them all the way from the west side of the Book building, around the north side of the Plaza, and into the vehicle entrance of the Sheriff's office.
Few people realize this entire procedure took place almost on the steps of the Sheriff's office. While Wise and Bass were marching these men to the Sheriff's office, William Allen, George Smith, and Jack Beers of the Dallas Times Herald, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and the Dallas Morning News, took several pictures of them. Their remarkable pictures show clearly that Wise and Bass took them to the Sheriff's office. Yet Harkness and Sheriff Harold Elkins couldn't remember that there were any other policemen with Harkness. This is utterly ridiculous in the face of so many clear pictures.
Why was this done? And why weren't these amazing pictures shown to the Commission so that it could order the men before them. And worse still, there is absolutely no record anywhere that these men were booked that day. There are no "blotter" records at all. The men have simply vanished.
I have been given a list of the names of these men. Also, the pictures show three policemen. Did the Sheriff, or someone in that office, spirit them away? And why did the Sheriff, who had all of these men in his custody, permit them to get away within minutes of the time that the President of the United States had been shot and killed on his doorstep? These are tough questions, but let's go a bit further. Why didn't the all-powerful Warren Commission -- which included the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the former Director of Central Intelligence, the man who is now our President, etc. -- why didn't they have an opportunity to see these pictures? The photos would have led them to ask these questions and then to demand answers.
It is this type of grossly irrational action that leads any concerned and level-headed person to conclude that a massive conspiracy had taken over and was strong enough during 1964 to control the Warren Commission. No one can buy the idea that the Warren Commission was that incurious, that inexperienced, and that stupid. Having gone this far, it is not a long step to realize that this same cabal has been able to control these things for the past eleven years. This is the greater crime.
I happened to be far away in New Zealand at the time of JFK's murder. I was on my way to breakfast (the crime occured at 6:30A.M. on the 23rd of November there) with a member of Congress from Ohio. As soon as possible, we purchased the first newspaper available -- the Christchurch Star. It is amazing to re-read the front page of that paper today and find all of the detail, the remarkable detail, about Lee Harvey Oswald, about his service in the Marine Corps, about his living in Russia, about his Russian wife, and then the full scenario of the crime.
Then one begins to wonder -- understanding full well the capability of modern-day communications and reporting -- who it was that was able in so short a time to come up with such a life history of so obscure a twenty-four-year-old "loner." Even the Dallas police had not charged him with any crime by the time that paper had hit the streets. In the crime scenario it states that two Dallas cops, J.D. Tippit and M.N. McDonald, had chased Oswald into a theater and that Tippit was shot dead "as he ran into the cinema." Who fabricated all of that news? Who was at the right place at that moment to flood the whole world with all of this news about Lee Harvey Oswald, when even the Dallas police weren't too sure of their man, they said, because he carried two identities (Oswald and Alek Hidell) in his pocket.
Actually fifteen policemen, one of them the Chief of Police for Personnel (a man who had never made an arrest before), and an FBI man stormed the theater in that strange episode, and Tippit did not. He was dead outside.
All of this proves that the American people, in their desire to be "loyal," can be had. For eleven years we have been fed this pap. The Warren Commission report is trash. Because it is trash, the Warren Commission either was part of the conspiracy, and as part of the conspiracy they used their report to cover and obfuscate the crime, or they, too, had been put under the control of that powerful cabal.
I prefer to believe the latter. I have known some of the men of that Commission and I have known about many others. There was not an ignorant or stupid man on that Commission. So they may have been persuaded that the better part of discretion was to put out the report "to soothe the public." But is that the way to solve a crime or to prevent others? Did that Commission agree, nobly, to let a whole team of criminals walk the streets? This is a big question.
By the end of 1964, LBJ was President and he was being carried along on the crest of a surging wave called Vietnam. Few people have ever been able to understand our involvement in Vietnam. It may be that clearing up the mystery of Dealey Plaza will help to clear up the mystery of Vietnam. By 1968, Lyndon Johnson had had all that one man could take of his ordeal. Uncharacteristically, he announced that he was through and that he would "devote his time to ending the war."
Then the guns rang out again. Martin Luther King was shot dead on a motel balcony in Memphis and again we have had doubtful treatment about that crime. Hardly had the dust, the flames, and the seething anger settled over the country when Bobby Kennedy was ambushed in Los Angeles. It was becoming harder and harder to get good men to run for President. Then out of the wreckage of 1968 came Richard M. Nixon, the man who had been kicked around but who was ready when called. He became President because his real opposition had recently been buried in Arlington.
After a defeat in the mid-term elections during that winter of our discontent in 1970-71, Nixon faced a panel of reporters on an ABC broadcast in January 1971. When asked why he had been unable to bring the country "the lift of a driving dream" he had promised during the New Hampshire primaries, Nixon -- in one of his rare human moments -- looked at the reporters and then mumbled, "When you have inherited nightmares you are unable to bring the country the lift of a driving dream." A few years later that lonely, abused and -- quite properly so -- captive man won one of the strangest elections this country has ever seen, and then was driven from the White House by a nightmare of tapes spun by someone with the power to plant tape recorders in the White House without giving the President a switch that would at least enable him to turn them off when he swore at his brood of worldbeaters.
It is fitting to note that Nixon's own prosecutors were from among the old gang who worked with the Warren Commission, and that he was replaced as President by a man who was the most vociferous member of the Warren Commission and who had the best attendance record at the Commission's meetings. All of these things are not random. All of these things did not just happen accidentally. We are caught up in this maelstrom and we must rise and rend this cloak. Like the great magician, conspiracy is only effective as long as the trick is a secret. We have the knowledge, we have the facts, we have the desire, and we have the power. It is now up to the American people to throw off this dreaded bondage. We have work to do. We want free elections in 1976 and we want to begin a glorious new century of the free.
1.Even the tests which "prove" it could have been done in 5.7 seconds are faulty. The shots in Dallas were not fired evenly; this is proved by the Zapruder film and by the Commission's own figures -- Zapruder film frames 186-215-313. Tests were made with a "clip" of three bullets. No clip was found in the Book Depository Building.
2.The Warren Commission allowed even less time; according to their report, the elapsed time was 5.7 seconds.
3.X-rays show a piece of the bullet is still in Connally's thigh bone, yet there is no fragment that size missing from that bullet.
4.It is entirely possible that some technician did fire that bullet in this manner from that gun in order to obtain a "laboratory perfect" ballistics specimen. Then, when some eager conspirators' accomplice got it, he "planted" it as the "Miracle" bullet.
5.This is a highly technical point. Strangely, in its manipulations, the Commission "notes" that a "gap occurred in the leaves of the tree at Z-186," then says nothing. If there was this split-second gap, then the gun would have had to have been aimed and fired in that split second (about 1/20th of a second), and the Zapruder film tree would have to confirm that possibility. It does not!
6.Edmund C. Berkeley is the publisher of the magazine People and the Pursuit of Truth, Newtonville, Mass.
7.First news reports that day said, "There were three bursts of gunfire from automatic weapons." These reports were nearly correct.