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Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK - Volume 1 Paperback – November 24, 2009
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So now I have a new hero - the author, Douglas Horne. This review is based only on the first of the five volumes of his report on the ARRB's (Assassination Records Review Board) work - attempting to secure the remaining undestroyed (or un-altered, as well as the obviously altered) documents and evidence that still exist. Douglas Horne is like a second generation conspiracy theorist picking up on the seminal work of David Lifton and progressing it further and in more detail in an attempt to clarify the true workings of the conspiracy, particularly the cover-up (at least in this first of five volumes). He has done a masterful job of first securing a position on the ARRB, then developing a working relationship with his immediate supervisor and finally exerting a major influence on both the selection of people to interview (both under oath and not) and on the direction and focus of the questioning. I can't wait to read the other four volumes and have already ordered them based on my reading of the first volume. This book is probably the most currently definitive work on un-covering the conspiracy and the subsequent cover-up. Bravo Douglas Horne!
The huge strengths of Mr Hornes compellingly-argued and wide-ranging evaluative work are both his intimate knowledge of and his objectivity towards the background evidence,especially the medical evidence, built up over many years, to which has been added an equally detailed knowledge and understanding from released records and new interviews especially from those who took part in JFKs highly compartmentalised autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital which Mr Horne is therefore able to meticulously put together with a minimum of speculation and a maximum of reasoned and logical inference from the known and uncovered facts.In most cases these facts speak for themselves such is the precision, depth and overview of Mr Hornes research and his deep concern and honesty over the evidence itself.Where the evidence is not 100% for any judgment or opinion Mr Horne reaches, and he is right to presume his readership wants such evaluation ,he tells the reader this is so, and always allows the reader space to reach his/her own deductions,true marks of a liberal historian of deep scholarship and personal integrity.
These would be reasons enough to buy these volumes,but the above paragraphs merely scratch the surface of Mr Hornes immense achievement in that with gentleness of touch and with true grace towards those who came before him he has moved on and focused many vital and difficult aspects of the case - too numerous to mention here- which have been floundering over the years and have needed the light and objectivity of a firm redirection and reassessment and more importantly still he has developed and exposed 2 vitally important paradigm shifts/revolutions in the interpretation of evidence, not only of what happened at the autopsy proving- again the word "proving" is used very carefully- that there were 3 casket entries that evening and that the Dallas casket was empty when it travelled from Andrews Airforce Base to the Naval Hospital and in fact the Presidents body arrived there in a bodybag in a cheap shipping container some 30-40 mins earlier than official FBI records have shown ,but also in an elucidation of the most currently contentious aspect of the case, the authenticity of the Zapruder film.
Here Mr Horne moves away from the intricacies of film processing which he has nevertheless mastered towards a highly persuasive tour de force of special visual effects through aerial imaging on an optical printer thus moving the debate into a new orbit,utterly wrongfooting the Zavada Study,and establishing a vital new freshness and relevance,a reevaluation of methodology which has found a close new ally in the specialist Hollywood Research Group ,all experts in film restoration,where initial results are entirely corroborative of the use of special effects ,in particular the use of applied patches to parts of the film,especially to cover JFKs severe rear head wound, evidence of a Grassy Knoll frontal shot,the same wound as seen shortly afterwards by doctors at the Parkland Dallas hospital, but later entirely and perversely contradicted by the 3 pathologists at Bethesda.
Additionally in this Chapter in Vol 4 Mr Horne exposes severe weaknesses in the films chain of custody and reveals two separate film events which took place on successive evenings at the National Photographic Interpretation Centre during the weekend immediately after the assassination,interviewing witnesses who participated separately in these compartmentalised events ,each group acting in complete ignorance of the other event,and persuasively leads the reader through the testimony of a main witness from the 2nd event on the Sunday night of where the film from which he was preparing blow-ups for briefing boards had come from that very night , into a compelling examination of where the aerial imaging was carried out, at a secret CIA facility attached to Kodak in Rochester,which the witnesses from both events said "could do anything" with film.
That these are dynamic and shattering deductions leading us towards a much fuller understanding of the coverup of the JFK assassination is self-evident.That apologists of the official fiction that one lone nut had 2 lucky shots which no expert could ever replicate have been left gasping for breath by Mr Hornes boldness and empirical self-criticism is equally so,their response again being a feeble populism which may continue to fool some,but the truth will out,and Mr Horne has put that truth out there,at serious personal cost , and demands our admiration and sincere gratitude for his labour of love over 13 years.
Liberals who saw 3 of their world leaders ,JFK.MLK and RFK all killed by "lone nuts"over a period of 5 years from 63-68 may now know at least that the first of these, a US President who coolly defused the greatest ever world crisis in Oct 1962,when World War 3 was literally a hairs breadth away,was most certainly not the victim of 2 impossible shots by the patsy Lee Harvey Oswald but indeed was murdered by forces within the National Security State which combined to engineer both a Secret Service stand-down in Elm Street and an autopsy which was far more than merely negligent, as one limited hangout would have us believe, but involved a deliberate suppression of evidence of frontal shots by pathologists who like all the technicians present that evening,except the morticians who provided valuable new evidence to the ARRB, were under military orders and were warned in writing in documents they had to sign that they would be court-martialled "and live to regret it" ,should they ever speak openly about what they had witnessed on that fateful night.
But don't take this writers word for it- read the books and see for yourself whether a Liberal or not