Thursday, November 21, 2013

Debunking 'JFK: The Smoking Gun' - A Response to Questions about the Film

In an online discussion I was told to watch the documentary JFK: The Smoking Gun which some friends thought provided a good explanation to the killing - that Secret service Agent Hickey accidentally fired the fatal head shot . Having some understanding of the case I ventured the following reply:

I just watched the doco and I have report it is another railroading of material. You can check what I am saying by Googling the Warren Commission testimony to see if the doco is being truthful. It's not all bad because the show states that the official account cannot be true. That's a good starting point.

The present McLaren case is based closely on the work of the Howard Donahue hypothesis. McLaren claims he 'forensically' examined the Warren Commission data but this looks to be false because he should have recognised multiple witness testimony to 4 shots - whereas he says there were only three in the scenario presented. He tells us the witnesses should lead us to solving the case but I don't think he followed his own advice. Implicitly he also fully believes much of the official account - key aspects of which have been shown to be highly improbable, if not false. [like the Magic bullet theory]

At the start of the show we see that both McLaren and CBS TV (via their shooting recreation) doubt Oswald could have fired the three shots that the Warren Commission says were fired. The CBS recreation itself has problems because their 'car' does not slow down during the test firing. Anyway, like the testimony in the WC, the doco says that two of the shots were fired in quick succession - too fast for Oswald. The problem we face is that the show wants us to think that Oswald only fired twice and the Secret Service guy once. It says one shot missed because all researchers agree, including the WC - that a bullet struck the sidewalk. Consequently we are now stuck with ONE bullet hitting both JFK in the back and then Connelly - the magic bullet - to cause all the injuries.

McLaren and Donahue believe the magic bullet tale and that the bullet, Exhibit 399, smashed through tissue and bone to be only slightly deformed. E399 is clearly planted evidence. There is no way that bullet broke bone. Watch Mythbusters shooting stuff with various rounds, or even water with a high powered rifle, and see what happens. That slug didn't hit anything like bone.

Also, Governor Connelly clearly recalls that he heard gunfire, that the President had already been hit, when he was turning in his car seat and was THEN hit. The Zapruder film actually backs up his account. This means there were at least two separate hits and the miss into the sidewalk (3 shots) up to this point.

Furthermore, Oswald could not have shot Kennedy in the back and Connelly with the same bullet.

The actual location of the wound in JFK's back was at least 5 inches below the bottom of his collar, NOT in his lower neck. Even [with JFK] leaning forward Oswald's shot could not possibly line up with Connelly. Google image JFK jacket and then JFK shirt. It has been claimed that JFK's jacket rode up so that it only looked like he was struck low but his shirt could not have performed the same manoeuvre if it was tucked into his pants. In any event the folding -especially the shirt- cannot make up four or five inches of distance.

The show has serious problems with how it handles the witnesses they highlight and how they don't fully relate what they say to railroad their hypothesis.

The testimony of James Humes M.D. represents the material put out by the Bethesda examination that was by all accounts very poorly handled - it appears to be a fraud. The show mentions the gag order placed on people in attendance which the radiologist later in show, Jerrol Custer, recalls. Custer in other interviews points to a cover-up of the forensic data and indicates a large wound to the rear of JFK's skull.

Humes' account conflicts with those at Parkland who saw a large exit wound in the right rear portion of JFK's skull. This is one of the main problems with the show in relation to the forensics - it takes the overall WC conclusions at face value in terms of vetting/accepting evidence. It ignored conflicting testimony and photographs including those conflicting pictures from the autopsy (ie the shirt and the head taken from the side pic). 

The show completely ignored what occurred at Parkland beyond the argument with the Secret Service. No mention is made of the accounts by the medical staff who viewed the body of the President.

When it came to linking the head shot to Secret Service agent Hickey the show makes only one claim it supports with testimony - that of Sam Holland who said he saw the SS agent pull a weapon after the first shot. The show leaves out the fact that this is the same Sam Hickey who stood on the overpass with other witnesses and stated he saw a white puff of smoke coming from the grassy knoll. The affidavit read by the actor playing Hickey only spoke the last three or four sentences from his Dallas testimony. They left out the fact that he said he heard 4 gunshots and saw the smoke from the knoll.

The other two witnesses appearing in the show, the police officer and Senator Ralph Yarborough say they saw the SS gun pulled at a time after the last shot. These people do not say they saw any gun before this point. We are then told that there are other witnesses to the gun being pulled before the final shot. This is not a convincing argument in light of these examples.

One point that comes out in the doco is the fact that gunsmoke was smelt by many at ground level - indicating at least one shooter in relatively close proximity.

Final point. All the evidence coming directly from the authorities, who were shown in the doco to be involved in a cover-up of some kind, must be suspect and their material treated carefully. Even the Zapruder film appears to be altered. A witness to an early screening before it was confiscated says that their was white spray all over the place during the head shot and that it lasted for a while - much longer then the red blotch we see today. Also the cop on the bike got blasted with brain matter and so did the SS agents in the car behind (the latter example clearly mentioned in the doco). This seems indicative of a substantial rear exit wound.

The 'JKF: Smoking Gun' doco does not substantiate its hypothesis. Some its claims are refuted or are impossible considering a fuller account of the specific points it raises. Apologies for the long winded reply, but if I just made a short retort that would not help much in understanding the problems with such a slick production. 

I found a very short and concise refutation of the Howard Donahue hypothesis that can be found at the following link:

Did a Secret Service Agent Accidentally Shoot JFK in the Head?

It's a quick read that respectfully addresses the failings of Donahue's analysis. Thanks for making it this far if you have read to the end! :) 

Related Info:

The Men Who Killed Kennedy - Part 7 - The Smoking Guns
Excellent eyewitness recounting of the evidence of multiple shooters and frontal shots plus the cover-up.

JFK: The 'Official' Conspiracy Theory
Why is the establishment so desperate to reinforce the official narrative behind the assassination of JFK 50 years later?

The truth about JFK will open a very large can of worms - and has already done so to a degree.