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«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»

-- [ Page 66 ] --

October 3, 1966 On a White House tape recording today, LBJ states that he believes Sen. Robert Kennedy has authorized polls questioning the credibility of the Warren Commission findings on the assassination of his predecessor, President Kennedy. “He’s got Lou Harris running a poll, and the majority of them doubt that this is the whole story on Kennedy,” LBJ says. “... And 2 percent of them think that I did it.” October 5, 1966 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reverses Ruby’s conviction and orders a new trial -- with the venue of the new trial to be changed to some county other than Dallas.

October 9, 1966 US reports Vietnam War now costing $2 billion per month.

October 10, 1966 Arlen Specter is interviewed by U.S. News & World report during which he says that “the complete set of pictures taken at the autopsy was not made available to me or to the Commission. To the best of my knowledge, the Commission did not see any photographs or X-rays.” October 26, 1966 Lt. Cmdr. William Bruce Pitzer -- works at Bethesda Hospital, trained as an x-ray technician -n found shot to death in his Bethesda office. Ruled a suicide. Shot with a.45 caliber pistol. Dennis David, a medical corpsman present at the JFK autopsy said that Pitzer “filmed in detail the Kennedy autopsy.” The government refuses to give up a copy of his autopsy report.

On this date, the Kennedy family transfers the photographs, X-rays, and all other autopsy material in their possession to the National Archives by deed of gift dated this day under special conditions restricting access for five years. Burke Marshall, a lawyer

representing the Kennedy estate, orders the transfer. Marshall states:

“the family of the late President John F. Kennedy shares the concern of the government of the United States that the personal effects of the late President which were gathered as Evidence by the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, as well as certain other materials relating to the assassination, should be deposited, safeguarded and preserved in the Archives of the United States as materials of historical importance. The family desires to prevent the undignified or sensational use of these materials (such as public display) or any other use which would tend in any way to dishonor the memory of the late President or cause unnecessary grief or suffering to the members of his family and those closely associated with him. We know the government respects these desires.” The actual transfer of the material is made several days later. It is at this point, according to the HSCA, that the steel container containing JFK’s preserved brain and certain other materials are found to be missing.

November 1, 1966 Humes, Boswell, Stringer, and Ebersole examine and create inventory of JFK collection at Archives.

November 5, 1966 FNU Levens dies today of “natural causes.” Levens operated a burlesque theater in Fort Worth that n employed some of Jack Ruby’s girls.

November 9, 1966 James R. Worrell, dies in a car-motorcycle accident, He is 23 years old. Said he saw the assassin n run from the School Book Depository. The man did not fit Oswald’s description.

November 10, 1966 Carl W. Belcher of the U.S. Justice Department signs a document which reads: “On the afternoon of November 10, 1966, I took the original and one carbon copy of the document entitled ‘Report of Inspection by Naval Medical Staff on November 1, 1966 at National Archives of X-Rays and Photographs of Autopsy of President John F. Kennedy’ to the Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, M.D., where it was read and signed by Captain Humes, Dr. Boswell, Captain Ebersole and Mr. John T. Stringer. Certain ink corrections were made in the document before they signed it.” Boswell, at the urging of the Justice Dept., will eventually ask for an independent reexamination of JFK’s autopsy evidence. Humes will also say that there are two photos missing from the autopsy evidence. Thus although they affixed their signatures attesting to the completeness of the photo file in 1966, powerful evidence suggests that Humes, Boswell and Stringer are now fully aware the declaration is not true. MIDP November 15, 1966 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- Texas Court of Criminal Appeals turns down the State of Texas’ motion for a rehearing on court’s October 5 decision.

November 25, 1966 Richard Billings, Life magazine’s associate editor in charge of investigative reporting has been looking into certain aspects of the JFK assassination, particularly the “single-bullet” theory. Billings’ staff has concluded after analyzing the Zapruder film that the one-bullet theory is untenable and, in today’s issue “Life” magazine calls for a new investigation. However, in its November 25, 1966, issue, “Time” magazine - also a part of Time-Life Corporation - today editorializes against the “phantasmagoria” of Warren Commission critics and concludes: “...there seems little valid excuse for so dramatic a development as another full-scale inquiry.” Asked about these conflicting editorial postures, Hedley Donovan, editor in chief of both “Time” and “Life,” responds: “We would like to see our magazines arrive at consistent positions on major issues, and I am sure in due course we will on this one.” This reconciliation occurs two months from now when Billings says he is told by a superior: “It is not “Life’s” function to investigate the Kennedy assassination.” Crossfire November 26, 1966 J. Edgar Hoover issues an official statement saying: “While there is a difference in the information reported by the FBI and the information contained in the autopsy report concerning the wounds, there is no conflict... The FBI and the Warren Commission each received a copy of the official autopsy report of December 23, 1963... Its contents were not repeated in an FBI report” (of January 13, 1964) December 5, 1966 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- Judge Holland selects Wichita Falls, Kansas, as the site for the retrial of Jack Ruby.

December 7, 1966 Bell & Howell transfers Abraham Zapruder’s camera and leather carrying case to the National Archives.

December 9, 1966 Jack Ruby is moved from the Dallas County Jail to Parkland Hospital after complaining of persistent cough and nausea. Doctors diagnose his problem as “pneumonia.”

–  –  –

Bill Moyers has just read the Look galleys of The Death of A President. He writes: “the book is permeated by a malignancy I find dishonest, disgraceful, and distorted... I would sue the magazine to prevent publication of the serialization, and I would withhold publication of the book for many years to come... I believe both of these proposals are feasible.” TKAT December 14, 1966 Jacqueline Kennedy petitions a state supreme court justice in New York to block publication of The Death of a President and its serialization. TKAT December 15, 1966 LBJ and Abe Fortas discuss the advisability of sending Jacqueline Kennedy a brief note regarding the controversy surrounding the publishing of The Death of A President. TKAT Post magazine publishes an editorial stating that it “is impossible to agree with the legal steps [Mrs. Kennedy] has taken” against William Manchester and his publishers. TKAT December 16, 1966 Word of Jacqueline Kennedy’s being upset about negative passages in William Manchester’s upcoming book The Death Of A President, regarding the Lyndon Johnsons, appears in newspapers. LBJ writes to her, as per his discussion with Abe Fortas: “Lady Bird and I have been distressed to read the press accounts of your unhappiness about the Manchester book.

Some of these accounts attribute your concern to passages in the book which are critical or defamatory of us. If this is so, I want you to know while we deeply appreciate your characteristic kindness and sensitivity, we hope you will no subject yourself to any discomfort or distress on your account... your own tranquility is important to both of us, and... We are both grateful to you for your constant and unfailing thoughtfulness and friendship.” Hours after Jacqueline Kennedy’s lawsuit is actually filed today, LBJ confers with Abe Fortas. Fortas is dubious about the likelihood of the Kennedys’ winning a permanent injunction against publication. TKAT December 21, 1966 Jacqueline Kennedy drops her suit against Look magazine. The publication, in turn, agrees to excise a few pages from a serialization of “The Death Of A President.” In William Manchester’s original version Mrs. Kennedy is described as wrestling with a nurse to gain entry to her husband’s hospital room after he had been shot.

January 31, 1966 In a major peace-seeking effort, LBJ has suspended bombing raids to North Vietnam late in 1965.

He has sent personal representatives on peace missions to capitals throughout the world. North Vietnam’s rejection of these efforts now leads to the resumption of bombing on this date.

January, 1967 Justice Department requests Secret Service establish chain of possession on JFK X-rays and autopsy photos.

This month, Dr. Pierre Finck is ordered back to Washington from Vietnam and shown the autopsy photographs and X-rays of JFK. The Department of Justice prepares a statement for the doctors to sign which says: “The photographs and X-rays corroborate our visual observations during the autopsy and conclusively support our medical opinion as set forth in the summary of our autopsy report.

It was then and is now our opinion that the two missiles which struck the President causing the neck wound and the head wound were fired from a point behind and somewhat above the level of the deceased. Our examination of the photographs and X-rays lasted approximately five hours, and at its conclusion the photographs and X-rays were returned to the Archivist of the United States.” The person who asks the doctors to sign this document is Barefoot Sanders, a close friend of President Lyndon Johnson.

This year, Life magazine will explain a splice in the Zapruder by saying that an unnamed technician accidentally broke the film. (Frame 207 is crudely spliced to frame 212). In 1969, it will be discoverd that there is a second splice in the film - (frames 155The first obvious splice appears as JFK’s limo disappears behind the Stemmons Freeway sign. It has been further suggested that the Stemmons sign has been superimposed in what the public has come to know as the Zapruder film. David Lifton asserts that “...if someone altered a wound on the President’s body, then that was a crime not because it violated some law about desecrating the dead - but because, as an alteration of evidence, it represented an obstruction of justice.” This is “a new way of looking at the Warren Commission and its evidence, and the political process in which - implicitly at least - it was involved: sanctioning the legitimacy of the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson; verifying that the story told by the authorities as to the way JFK had met his death, that it was all about a man in a building who shot a man in a car, was true and correct.” Lifton further elaborates that “...this was no longer about a ‘second shooter’;

this was about fraud in the evidence. Fraud in the evidence presented to a Presidential Commission, a Presidential Commission that had decreed - based on the evidence submitted to it - that Oswald has shot Kennedy, conclusions which were at the heart of explaining the transition from Kennedy to Johnson that were largely denuded of political meaning.” It is also significant to understand that “a splice in the most important film evidence utilized by the Commission - evidence relied upon as being a ‘clock’ - apparently went unnoticed by the entire staff and all members of the Warren Commission.” Lifton further states that: “...the splice is one of the important clues that the 8 mm film held in the vault at Life magazine is almost certainly a forgery and not the camera original.” TGZFH The 25th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in February of this year, finally settles questions that were unresolved when LBJ succeeded JFK. It clarifies the role of a vice-president in the event of a president’s death or disability and that of a president in filling a vice-presidential vacancy.

This year, pressures are building within the CIA to resolve, in one way or another, the fate of Yuri Nosenko. The CIA has had no precedent for incarcerating a person inside the United States, but in this case the suspect could not be turned over to the Department of Justice for prosecution without precipitating an international crisis. If Nosenko is brought to trial by the United States government, he will be accused of having been sent over by the Soviet government to misinform the Warren Commission about Oswald’s relationship with Soviet intelligence agencies. The collapse of Nosenko’s story could, moreover, force a reopening of the investigation into Oswald’s relations with Soviet intelligence prior to the assassination. J. Edgar Hoover knows that the FBI is vulnerable to criticism for not having fully investigated Oswald when he returned from Russia, especially since, as Assistant Director J. H. Gale of the Inspection Division puts it, “we did not know definitely whether or not he had any intelligence assignment at that time.” As the year progresses, LBJ is having difficulty sleeping. Late at night he has his aide Marvin Watson telephone the FBI’s Cartha DeLoach at home. LBJ has suddenly become convinced that the murder of JFK has been a conspiracy and wants more information from the FBI. J. Edgar Hoover isn’t about to reopen this can of worms. DeLoach quickly replies that the White House already has all of the FBI information on Maheu, Sam Giancana, and the CIA’s plots. In 1975, DeLoach will tell the Church Committee that “The President was obsessed with fear concerning possible assassination.” This year, LBJ will also tell his aide Marvin Watson that he feels “the CIA had something to do with this plot [to assassinate JFK.]” O&C Section 3 of the 25th Amendment, is approved this year, four years after President Kennedy’s assassination, and provides for the temporary or permanent transfer of presidential power in case the president is unable to fulfill the duties of the office. In July 1985, President Reagan has colon cancer surgery and turns over power to his vice president, George H.W. Bush. During the George Bush’s colorectal screening on July 29, 2002, Bush relinquished powers to Dick Cheney for more than two hours and again in 2007.

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