Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Another JFK assassination casket issue...
The Kennedy Casket Conspiracy
The purpose of this article is simply to focus on what happened at Bethesda Naval Hospital on the evening of November 22, 1963, and, specifically, the events that took place prior to Kennedy’s autopsy. What happened that night is so unusual that it cries out for truthful explanation even after 47 years.
U.S. officials have long maintained that Kennedy’s body was delivered to the Bethesda morgue in the heavy, ornamental, bronze casket in which the body had been placed at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
The problem, however, is that the evidence establishes that Kennedy’s body was actually delivered to the Bethesda morgue twice, at separate times and in separate caskets.
How does one resolve this problem? One option, obviously, is just to forget about it, given that the assassination took place almost a half-century ago. But it seems to me that since the matter is so unusual and since it involves a president of the United States, the American people – regardless of which side of the divide they fall on – lone-nut assassin or conspiracy – are entitled to a truthful explanation of what happened that night at Bethesda. And the only ones who can provide it are U.S. officials, especially those in the Secret Service, the FBI, and the U.S. military, the agencies that were in control of events at Bethesda that night.
The facts of the casket controversy are set forth in detail in a five-volume work that was published in 2009 entitled Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK. The author is Douglas P. Horne, who served as chief analyst for military records for the Assassination Records Review Board. The ARRB was the official board established to administer the JFK Records Act, which required federal departments and agencies to divulge to the public their files and records relating to the Kennedy assassination. The act was enacted after Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie, JFK, produced a firestorm of public outcry against the U.S. government’s decision to keep assassination-related records secret from the public for 75 years after publication of the Warren Commission Report in 1964 and for 50 years after publication of the House Select Committee on Assassinations Report in 1979.
Horne’s book posits that high officials in the national security state – i.e., the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and U.S. military – planned and executed the assassination of John F. Kennedy and that the man who replaced Kennedy as president, Lyndon B. Johnson, orchestrated a cover-up of the conspiracy by telling officials that national security (i.e., a potential nuclear war, citing Oswald’s activities relating to the Soviet Union and Cuba) necessitated shutting down an investigation into determining whether Kennedy’s murder involved a conspiracy. Horne’s book focuses primarily on the events surrounding the autopsy of Kennedy’s body on the night of the assassination. As he himself acknowledges, his book expands upon the thesis set forth in a book published in 1981 entitled Best Evidence by David Lifton, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and reached Number 4 on the New York Times best seller list.
It was Lifton who originally challenged the official story that Kennedy’s body was delivered only once to the Bethesda morgue. It is Horne who has set forth in more detail the evidence that establishes that Lifton was right.
When Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base from Dallas, Kennedy’s casket was placed into a gray Navy ambulance in which Kennedy’s wife, Jacqueline, was traveling. Proceeding in a motorcade, the ambulance arrived at the front of the Bethesda Naval Hospital at 6:55 p.m.
At 8:00 p.m., a little more than an hour later, the casket was carried into the Bethesda morgue by a military honor team called the Joint Casket Bearer Team, which consisted of personnel from all the branches of military service, all of whom were in dress uniform and wore white gloves.
However, the evidence also establishes that at 6:35 p.m. – 90 minutes earlier than when Kennedy’s Dallas casket was carried into the morgue at 8:00 p.m. by the Joint Casket Bearer Team – another group of military personnel carried the president’s body into the Bethesda morgue. That casket was a plain shipping casket rather than the expensive, heavy, ornamental, bronze casket into which the president’s body had been placed in Dallas.
Equally strange was the fact that the president’s body at the 6:35 p.m. delivery was in a body bag rather than wrapped in the white sheets in which the medical personnel in Dallas had wrapped it before it was placed into the heavy, bronze casket in Dallas.
Have doubts? Let’s look at the evidence...