Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Did Single Bullet Sink Specter


Was Arlen Specter shot down by a still rickocheting single bullet from Dealty Plaza?

The Single Bullet Theory (SBT) is still a theory Specter tries to pawn off as a fact, a small point in a long and powerful political career that’s spanned decades, generations and political parties.

While Specter has done many notable things, he will always be best remembered by most people as the proponent of the “Single Bullet” theory that allows the Warren Commission to officially conclude that President John F. Kennedy was killed by one lone assassin from above and behind in a three shot fuselage that also wounded Texas Governor John Connally.

Specter is the man who crafted the legal prerogative that frames Oswald and allows those really responsible for the assassination to go free.

If it didn’t happen according to the Single Bullet Theory then there had to be more than one shooter and thus a conspiracy, with the co-conspirator(s) gone free, since nobody’s bothering to purse them, having officially rested the case on the lone assassin scenario as conceived by Specter.

While polls consistantly show only 20% of the people actually believe one lone-assassin killed the President in Dallas, they seem to be the people who have the most to loose by determining the truth – politicians, law enforcement and those in the mainstream media who failed to get the real assassins when they could have and whose reputations are on still on the line.

While the 80%ers have always pretty much blamed Specter for the bogus official position on the assassination, it was never a issue that actually hurt Specter before, and only recently became an election issue under the general umbrella of distrust in government and the emergence of the Tea Party factions.

But distrust in government didn’t suddenly begin at the Tea Party, it began at Dealey Plaza.

For Specter, it isn’t just a matter of reputation, but his whole career is based on public trust, and he has to take it personally.

Specter said that he is normally asked about the Single-Bullet theory about once a week, and that typically he agrees to disagree, like water off the back of a duck.

But one reporter really phrased the question with a tie into to the trust in government issue – which struck a sore nerve in Specter.

 As recounted by Specter in the “Prologue: The Single Bullet Conclusion” of his book (Passion for Truth – From Finding JFK’s Single Bullet to Questioning Anita Hill to Impeaching Clinton, by Arlen Specter, with Charles Robbins. William Morrow/Harper Collins, 2000)  he claims he cannot go an entire week without having someone ask him about it.

But one particular incident stands out for Specter - the time he was confronted by a newspaper reporter with the allegation that, “Cynicism in
America all began with your Single-Bullet Theory and was flamed by Watergate.”

Indeed, as Arlen says, “It was a heavy charge. I had developed the Single-Bullet Theory more than thirty years earlier as a staff lawyer on the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, more commonly known as the Warren Commission. It began as a theory, but when a theory is established by the facts, it deserves to be called a conclusion. The conclusion is that the same bullet sliced through President John F. Kennedy’s neck and then tore through Texas Governor Connally’s chest and wrist, finally lodging in the governor’s thigh, as the presidential motorcade wound through downtown
Dallas on November 22, 1963. The Warren Commission adopted the Single-Bullet Conclusion as its official explanation. Essentially the reporter was accusing me of bringing cynicism to American government, with Richard Nixon as an accomplice years after the fact.”

As Specter did with that reporter, we also must endure, as he explains: “I gave him the same basic discourse I had given to Chief Justice Earl Warren several blocks away at the Texas School Book Depository Building on an equally torrid Dallas day thirty-one years earlier…I do not know how much my explanation impressed the journalist…But the reporter who raised the issue about cynicism in government struck a raw nerve, far more important to the public dialog than any budget blueprint or crime control formula.”

Specter himself hits the nail on the head.

“A central problem in
America today is distrust of government,” he continues. “It goes beyond cynicism. Many Americans believe that their elected representatives are for sale and that their government lies to them. When momentous historical events occur, such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the popular reaction is that the government deceives and covers up through an explanation like the Single-Bullet Theory….In the three decades since President Kennedy’s assassination, voter participation has plummeted, threatening our democratic process; militias have sprouted in more than forty states; and public confidence in America’s institutions has gone into free fall.”

On the 35th anniversary of the assassination at Dealey Plaza, Washington attorney Dan Alcorn said, “We have experienced a decline in the public’s trust in government since November,1963, a blimp in the charts that notes the significance of these events. Today a majority of people don’t even bother to vote. The largest turnout of voters in American history was in 1960. The decline in public confidence in the government began with the ambush at Dealey Plaza and has continually declined since then. These trends are very troubling.”

The decline in the public trust in government can be directly tied to Dealey Plaza because it was the assassination that sparked the decline, as routinely noted in the Pew polls that show the majority of people had faith in the government until that time, and the trust has been in decline ever since. After Dealey Plaza, the public’s faith was shaken a second time shortly thereafter, in September 1964 with the Warren Report’s conclusion that a Lone-Nut was responsible, an unbelievable contortion of reality and false fact anchored and pillored by Specter’s Single Bullet theory.

So it’s not a coincidence that the same percentage of people – 80% - distrust the government and disbelieve the official government proclamation that the President was killed by a Lone Nut. They can’t be different people.

Most of those 80% who believe the President was killed by a conspiracy don’t have radical, fanciful or fringe beliefs about who was behind that conspiracy, and they are united only in the idea the government was behind the murder, responsible for covering it up and allowing the guilty to go free.

While the Tea Partiers would like to harness that 80% who distrust the government to wield as a political football, it is difficult to make distrust in government or the assassination of President Kennedy a campaign issue, except with Specter.

Specter was just another Philadelphia lawyer until he got a New Year’s eve 1964 phone call from Howard Willins, a former law school chum to work on the Warren Commission, where he would make his name and reputation, thanks mainly to Willins, W. H. Adams and George Ball. 

Even if you know all about the Single Bullet Theory you probably never heard of Willins, Adams or Ball. Willins offered him the job, but Specter only got a big role on the commission because the senior lawyer W. H. Adams decided not to be a part of the cover-up. On recognizing the whole commission idea was a raw deal, he didn’t bother to show up and let Specter fill in for him, and it was Ball who Specter credits with actually devising the Single Bullet Theory.  

Establishing the template for how not to properly investigate a political homicide, as explained by Specter, “The Commission had divided the investigation into six major areas…..Area 1 Covered President Kennedy’s activities from his departure by helicopter from the White House lawn on November 21,1963, to his body’s return to the White House early in the morning of November 23, after the autopsy. Area 2 covered the identity of the assassin [Lee Harvey Oswald]. The Area 2 team would treat it as an open question, despite Oswald’s arrest. Area 3 covered the life and background of Lee Harvey Oswald, except for his foreign travel and his activities the day of Kennedy’s assassination. Area 4 picked up Oswald’s foreign travel. Area 5 covered the background and activities of Jack Ruby, who shot Oswald to death in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters on Sunday morning, November 24, 1963, two days after the Kennedy assassination. Area 6 covered presidential protection for the future.”

Mark Lane pointed out when he addressed the Warren Commission, these six panels cover everything, except “Who killed John Kennedy.” There was no panel established to review any evidence that anyone other than Oswald was responsible for the murder.

As Specter recalls, “….I chose Area 1, the president’s activities. It seemed the most compelling. Obviously, John F. Kennedy was the focal point of the entire event. I had no idea at that point of the turns the medical evidence would take or where Area 1 would lead…”

“At the first staff meeting,” Specter specifically recalls how, “
Warren stressed that our mission, and our obligation, was to find the truth and report it. From the very start, the commission understood that we should not be advocates out to prove a case but must act as independent, disinterested professionals with a duty to find and disclose all the facts, regardless of their implications. ‘Your client is the truth,’ the chief justice told us.”

Well, the truth was badly misrepresented, as was Oswald, whose official legal representative from the American Bar Association was offered the opportunity, but declined to question or cross-examine witnesses.

In addition, it is hard to accept
Warren’s client as the truth with the other revelations in his book, including the facts that, “Allen Dulles may have withheld vital information from the commission, the type of vital information we were counting on him to supply. Dulles, for example, did not tell other commission members about CIA plots against Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Attorney General Katzenbach later testified before the House in 1978 that he was ‘astounded’ by the omission.”

Later, Specter writes, “In general, the various intelligence agencies hoarded information rather than sharing it. ‘It really was set up to the contrary, not to share information but to impose barriers to the attainment of information, one from the other,’ recalled Sam Stern, who dealt extensively with the agencies.”

Once he got to Washington however, Specter learned that his boss, F. W. Adams, wasn’t going to do any work, and one would be hard pressed to determine why his name is on the Warren Report.

Francis William Holbrook Adams, a former New York City police commissioner (1954-1955), was quoted in the New York Post as calling the Kennedy assassination, “just another first-degree murder case.” Specter himself acknowledges that, “Adams thought the commission should conduct an incisive, piercing investigation, wrap up the matter, and file its report.”

According to Specter, “Frank Adams had been New York City police commissioner and had been asked to join the Warren Commission staff when Mayor Wagner sat next to Chief Justice Warren at the funeral of former Governor and former Senator, Herbert Lehman. Mayor Wagner told Chief Justice Warren that Frank Adams, the police commissioner, knew a lot about Presidential protection and had designed protection for motorcades in New York City, with dangers from tall buildings, which was an analogy to what happened to President Kennedy.”

“Of course,” as Specter said Adams usually began a sentence, when Abrams realized that no such incisive, piercing, first-degree homicide investigation would take place, he left most of the work up to the junior attorney, who wrote in his book Passion for the Truth that, “The commission had hired a team of lawyers from around the country, accomplished but with limited courtroom and investigative experience. The commission deliberately chose a geographically diverse team with limited government connections to avoid any appearance of a whitewash. We lawyers used to laugh that many documents were marked ‘Top Secret,’ even though we would not get our security clearances for more than a month.”

Since it was Specter who made the pitch to the commission, and the American people, he is always given credit for the Single-Bullet theory, but he actually much of the credit to another Warren Commission attorney, Joe Ball. 

Shortly after the death of Joseph Ball, Specter rose in the Senate chambers and read the following into the Congressional Record. “…It was on the Warren Commission staff that I came to know Joe Ball. The original complexion of the Warren Commission on staffing was that there were six senior counsel who were appointed and six junior counsel. That distinction was replaced by putting all of the lawyers under the category of assistant counsel. But if there was a senior counsel, it was Joe Ball.”

”Then, in his early sixties, he was a tower of strength for the younger lawyers. When the commission began its work, I was 33. Most of the junior lawyers were about the same age. We looked to Joe Ball for his experience and for his guidance…”

“…And on Friday afternoon, Joe Ball and I went out to Bethesda to talk to the autopsy surgeons. It was a Friday afternoon, much like a Friday afternoon in the Senate. Nobody else was around. It was my area, but I was looking for some company, so I asked Joe Ball to accompany me -- the autopsy surgeons falling in my area. We took the ride out to Bethesda and met the commanding admiral and introduced ourselves….So when Commander Humes and Commander Boswell came down to be interviewed, Commander Humes was very leery about talking to anybody. He had gone through some travail with having burned his notes and having been subjected to a lot of comment and criticism about what happened at the autopsy, and there were FBI agents present when the autopsy was conducted…At any rate, as Joe Ball and I went through it with the autopsy surgeons, we found for the first time -- because we had only seen the FBI reports -- that the bullet did go through President Kennedy and decreased very little in velocity. It was at that moment when we talked to Dr. Humes and Dr. Finck that we came to hypothesize that that bullet might have gone through Governor Connally. We didn't come to a conclusion on that until we had reviewed very extensive additional notes, but it was on that occasion that Joe Ball and I had interviewed the autopsy surgeons. It was a marvel to watch Joe Ball work with his extensive experience as a lawyer and as a fact finder…”  

So unlike Oswald, who killed Kennedy alone, Specter didn’t come up with the Single Bullet Theory all by himself, but acknowledges the leading contributions by Joe Ball.

According to Sen. Specter, “To combat distrust in
America, senators – along with all others in government – must simply tell the people the truth. Sometimes this is tough. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. There is never a time when the alternative is better. I there is cause to suspect a governmental cover-up, the Senate or the House, through prompt oversight, should ferret out the facts. Had congressional oversight on Waco been as effective as it was on Ruby Ridge, the militia movement would have been less motivated to mobilize. It is even conceivable the Oklahoma City bombing could have been avoided.”

On the same token, I make the proposition that if the murder of JFK had been properly investigated and those responsible prosecuted, the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King and most of those that have followed could have been avoided, and assassination remains a political threat as long as the JFK case is left a mystery.

I agree with Sen. Specter when he says: “Congress should work to restore public trust by acting on key problems of public concern in a bipartisan way. People are sick of partisanship and politics as usual. President Kennedy said it best: ‘Sometimes party asks too much.’ I am thoroughly convinced that trust is the glue that holds a democracy together. Public trust must be earned, nurtured, and insulated from the effects of a sound-bite society that too often encourages the white lie or the whitewash.”

Now the first step towards the restoration of public trust is for the government, beginning with Congress, through public hearings, to review the JFK Act, the work of the Assassinations Records Review Board and the reactions of the various government agencies to the law.

The public’s confidence cannot be regained until all of the questions are answered as to what began the decline - the circumstances surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Only the truth will vanquish the distrust. Let’s have it.

When COPA attorney Dan Alcorn testified at the first public hearings before the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB), assembled to declassify the government records regarding the assassination of President Kennedy [Oct. 11, 1994], he cited [Kevin Phillips’ Arrogant Capital as the source of] the public opinion poll when he said, “…In terms of public confidence in the Federal government, what is striking to me is how the confidence had peaked out in 1964 on this graph, and it has been a rather startling, serious and troubling deterioration in the polling data from 1964.”

An LBJ biographer from Boston, interviewed during this Great Impasse on National Public Radio (NPR), drove the significance of this point home when he chronicled the decline in public confidence in government directly back to the assassination of President Kennedy, then followed it’s continued fall through the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair. Then clicking off the primary suspects in the assassination of Kennedy – he named the CIA, Mafia and Cubans, and concluded, “of course, that’s all nonsense.”

But the Gulf of Tonkin [The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed thru the Senate with only one dissenting vote], Watergate and Iran-Contra were confirmed conspiracies, as was the event that remains the origin of our primary problem – the shifting in Constitutional powers that occurred at Dealey Plaza, where one bullet counted more than all of the ballots cast in the election.

If the Constitutional Crisis brought on by the assassination of President Kennedy was sparked by a deranged, “lone-nut” madman, then that indeed would be nonsense, but the more we learn of the details of the murder of President Kennedy, the more it makes sense. Rather than accepting that it was the action of a lone-nut,  the first step in bringing the murder of JFK to a final resolution is to recognize that the assassination was the result of a well planned and successfully conducted covert operation, carried out by a domestic intelligence-security network.

“Public confidence is very, very important,” Sen. Arlen Specter (Rep. Penn.) said when he testified before the Congressional hearings on the JFK Act. “I am personally confident that the Warren Commission conclusions will stand, but if they don’t, so be it. I knew that when Chief Justice Warren was importuned to take the Commission Chair under very unusual circumstances. President Johnson had first sent the Solicitor General, Archibald Cox, to ask him, and then he had sent the Deputy Asst. Attorney General, Nicholas Katzenback, to see him, and Chief Justice Warren declined…It was only after President Johnson called the Chief Justice into the Oval Office and asked him to take on the job (that)…the Chief Justice explained the reasons why he thought he should not…The President, as the Chief Justice related it, said, ‘Would you turn down the Commander-in-Chief’s request to put on the uniform of your country in time of national peril?’”

According to Specter, “Chief Justice Warren told the (Warren Commission) Staff, ‘I could not decline to undertake the job.’ But he didn’t have any concerns where the investigation would lead, where ever it would lead, so be it. ‘The truth is our only client,’ he said.” 

            One truth that had to be established, in order for the assassination to have happened the way the official version of events describes, is for one bullet to have inflicted non-fatal wounds to both John F. Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connolly. It is a theoretical possibility attributed to Asst. Counsel Specter, who said, “The Single-Bullet-Theory has been debated…and I think it is correct,…but if it isn’t, so be it. Let someone come forward and disprove it. Was there a conspiracy? It is not possible to prove a negative, it can’t be done conclusively.”

After the issuing the official verdict of the assassination of President Kennedy - the Warren Report, Chief Justice Earl Warren was asked if we will ever know the truth, to which he replied, “Yes, there will come a time. But it might not be in your lifetime…”  The Warren Commission records were then secreted away until 2039, and an Act of Congress was required to open the JFK assassination records to the public.

In that regard Sen. Specter said, “I believe that public confidence requires full disclosure of all the Warren Commission records, and have felt that way since I served as assistant counsel to the Commission in 1964. I personally know of no material which ought not to be released,…though perhaps there is something that ought not to be released.” 


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