Experts Gather at Dealy Plaza to Discuss the Latest Theories on JFK Assassination
By Mark Anderson
The Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA) and the JFK Lancer Group both held conferences Nov. 21-22, on the 46th anniversary of the killing of John F. Kennedy. COPA President John Judge said a “coup” took out Kennedy because he resisted construction of a global empire enforced by America.
Weekend highlights in Dallas included a special award presented to perhaps the only surviving surgeon who operated on both JFK and his accused “lone nut” shooter Lee Harvey Oswald at Parkland Hospital; and a strong rebuttal against noted “Manson” prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s book Reclaiming History, which worships the long-disputed Warren Commission report. Standing on the world-famous grassy knoll, Judge’s strong oratory on JFK’s resistance to American imperialism admonished the 300 people at a special memorial to wake up.
“They continue to bury history at a rate we can barely reverse,” Judge told the audience at Dealey Plaza along Elm Street—the scene of the JFK shooting on that date in 1963 in the shadow of the former Texas School Book Depository. Judge spoke before and after a moment of silence. The weather was just like it was on that dire day long ago. The shadows on the grass looked the same. While other speakers such as UK researcher Ian Griggs lamented that the JFK incident still has not been completely and definitively solved—as key witnesses pass away due to the relentless passage of time—Judge said that, once and for all, Americans need to get past mourning JFK and win back their eroding freedom for JFK’s sake.
“We are allowed to know nothing and believe everything,” he stated, saying that people who do not truly know cannot act.
Judge said the Nov. 22, 1963, event “was not a lone gunman in a window; it was a military coup d’ etat. . . . They reversed the course of the Kennedys to have détente with the Soviet Union, to end the Cold War, to stop the arms race, to quit nuclear testing, to pull out of Vietnam . . . to get rid of the oil tax depletion allowance . . . to scatter the CIA to the four winds—these are the reasons that Kennedy was killed—not by a lone nut. But by a well-organized conspiracy and cover-up that went right to the top of the power systems of this country.”
Also, Russ Vandeveerdonk, who portrayed the president in Oliver Stone’s 1991 JFK movie, appeared on the knoll as a celebrity of sorts, recalling the unsettling feeling of riding down Elm Street slowly in the presidential limo, just as JFK did. An awkward incendiary device was tried as a shoulder-mounted means of imitating a fatal gunshot, he recalled for AFP.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW WITH JFK ACTOR
VANDEVEERDONK BY CLICKING HERE
Judge added: “You can call us conspiracy theorists if you call everyone else coincidence theorists,” speaking of how some people mock COPA’s quest to look into various assassinations, including Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.
“John F. Kennedy was someone who stood up to this system and where it was going in those critical years,” Judge added.
He said JFK would not waste U.S. resources in Vietnam and respected other nations’ sovereignty, refusing to topple foreign leaders.
Judge claimed that in Suitland, Md., near his home, is a National Archives location with a vast records center, containing “the military-history records of the United States, from World War II until now. These records are for the most part classified. They are stored in underground buildings at that site in Suitland . . . each of those buildings is an acre in size; there are 27 of those buildings in Suitland—27 acres of papers and classified documents of your military history. Do you think you own America? If you don’t own your own history, you are a conquered people. . . . Because that’s what conquerors do—they take the history away from the people.”
Notably, there are various National Archives locations including in College Park, Md., where JFK’s suit jacket, tie and shirt he wore on that fateful day are stored, as AFP confirmed. All presidential libraries are part of the National Archives system, including JFK’s library in Boston.
Jim DiEugenio, author of Destiny Betrayed and editor of Probe, attended both conferences at the Lawrence and Adolphus hotels to rebut Vincent Bugliosi’s 2,000-page tome that DiEugenio says is as much a nasty diatribe against anyone who disbelieves the Warren Commission as it is a flimsy “investigation” into what happened to JFK. Concerned that someone with Bugliosi’s reputation will have the final say on JFK, DiEugenio said that on any other subject, Bugliosi is well-versed and pleasant to speak with, but when it comes to JFK, “it’s like flying into the Bermuda Triangle,” where nothing makes sense anymore.
He warned that this huge book’s many flaws need to be exposed since Bugliosi is reportedly working with actor Tom Hanks to produce a major “docu-drama” in time for the 50th anniversary in 2013, which could be highly influential in re-selling the lone-gunman yarn to younger generations.
Known for posting a highly detailed rebuttal online of Bugliosi’s book, DiEugenio told AFP that Bugliosi had helpers in writing it, which partly explains why this book, in his view, is far worse than any of the famed attorney’s other books, including Helter Skelter about the Manson crimes and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder about the Iraq war.
No one in the two groups that met in Dallas believes the Warren Commission, regardless of other differences of opinion they may have. For instance, another noted researcher, Robert Groden, appeared at the COPA conference and later sold his literature on the grassy knoll next to the famous picket fence from which extra shooters are said to have fired at JFK. Groden, a major figure during the House Select Committee on Assassinations probe, believes the Zapruder Film is genuine.
But respected researchers Jack White and Jim Fetzer, who were not in Dallas for these events, contend the film was doctored to misconstrue the events of Nov. 22, 1963. The common denominator of the two research groups is that no one thinks Oswald acted alone, if he took part at all.
AFP’s Michael Collins Piper wrote in his highly regarded book Final Judgment that the Israeli Mossad had a strong hand in JFK’s demise. Unfortunately that angle was not explored by conference speakers. A bookseller at Hotel Lawrence during COPA’s event, sells books on every conceivable angle of this subject, including Piper’s.
An honored Lancer guest, Dr. Robert McClelland, addressed that group at the Adolphus Hotel, saying he thinks the fatal shot came from behind the picket fence. In his view, Oswald did play a minor role, shooting JFK once through the back and that a fragment of that bullet went through Kennedy’s neck and exited out the front—but did not hit Texas Gov. John Connally.
However, another Parkland physician who tried to save JFK, Dr. Malcolm Perry, had spoken with Bethesda coroners and later told McClelland that he felt the small bullet hole at the base of the front of Kennedy’s neck was an entry wound, not an exit wound.
The Mary Ferrell Pioneer Award—“In appreciation for your dedication to the true history of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy”—was presented by the Lancer group to McClelland.
“Lancer was President Kennedy’s Secret Service code name,” Debra Conway, who heads the Lancer group, told the Dealey Plaza crowd the morning after McClelland’s speech. “We thought that would be a wonderful and unique way of saying we don’t want secrets anymore. ... So JFK Lancer became our standard and our name, and we are open-document activists.”
Griggs looks forward to the day “when we won’t be here on the 22nd of November. We will have solved this thing and it will have gone away. This is the 46th anniversary—
46 years—and we still don’t know. When is it going to end?”
MARK ANDERSON is the corresponding editor for American Free Press.