Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A video promo for the new book 'Praise from a future generation: The Kennedy assassination of John F. Kennedy and the first generation critics of the Warren report' by John Kelin.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oswald 'had no time to fire all Kennedy bullets'

Oswald 'had no time to fire all Kennedy bullets'
By Tim Shipman in Washington, Sunday Telegraph
Lee Harvey Oswald could not have acted alone in assassinating President John F Kennedy, according to a new study by Italian weapons experts of the type of rifle Oswald is alleged to have used in the shootings.
In fresh tests of the Mannlicher-Carcano bolt-action weapon, supervised by the Italian army, it was found to be impossible for even an accomplished marksman to fire the shots quickly enough.
The findings will fuel continuing theories that Oswald was part of a larger conspiracy to murder the 35th American president on 22 November 1963.
The official Warren Commission inquiry into the shooting concluded the following year that Oswald was a lone gunman who fired three shots with a Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle in 8.3 seconds.
But when the Italian team test-fired the identical model of gun, they were unable to load and fire three shots in less than 19 seconds - suggesting that a second gunman must have been present in Dealey Plaza, central Dallas, that day.
Two of the bullets hit Kennedy, with the first - the so called "magic bullet", ridiculed by conspiracy theorists - also wounding the governor of Texas, John B Connally, after it had struck the president.
In a further challenge to the official conclusions, the Italian team conducted two other tests at the former Carcano factory in Terni, north of Rome, where the murder weapon was made in 1940.
They fired bullets through two large pieces of meat, in an attempt to simulate the assumed path of the magic bullet. In their test, the bullet was deformed, unlike the first bullet in the Kennedy assassination, which remained largely intact.
The second bullet is thought to have missed its target. According to the commission, the third disintegrated when it hit Kennedy's head. The new research suggests, however, that this is incompatible with the fact that Oswald was only 80 yards away, in a book depository, when he fired. The Italian tests suggest that a bullet fired from that distance would have emerged intact from Kennedy's head, implying that the third shot must instead have come from a more distant location.
The findings will encourage conspiracy theorists who hold that Oswald could not have fired three shots in time. For each shot, he would have had to push up the gun's bolt handle, pull the bolt backwards to eject the spent cartridge case and then forward to slide the next round into the chamber, before turning down the bolt handle to lock it in place.
Nearly seven out of 10 Americans believe that Kennedy was murdered as a result of a plot. Depending on which theory they back, the participants supposedly included any or all of the CIA, the Mafia, the Cubans, the FBI chief J Edgar Hoover, the military-industrial complex and Vice-President Lyndon B Johnson.
It is the second challenge in two months to the view of the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone. In May, researchers at Texas A&M University argued that the ballistics evidence used to rule out a second gunman had been misinterpreted.
The findings will be a frustration to Vincent Bugliosi, the author of a 1,600-page book, also published in May, which claimed to put to rest all the conspiracy theories of the past 44 years.
The Italian findings will be hotly contested by those who believe that Oswald was a lone gunman - not least because they contradict firing tests previously conducted, using Oswald's actual rifle, by the FBI and the US Marines, and another study by Washington police marksmen using an identical gun.
Oswald would only have needed to reload the weapon twice in the eight seconds to get off all three shots, since the time was measured only from the moment he fired the first shot. The FBI concluded that a marksman could have fired a shot at least every 2.3 seconds.
In his book, Mr Bugliosi details how after just two or three minutes' practice with the gun in 1979, three police marksmen aiming at three targets representing Kennedy at the same distance from Oswald, got away three shots in less than eight seconds.
One marksman hit the targets twice and missed the third shot by an inch. A second shooter scored a "kill" with his second shot.
Mr Bugliosi recounts three separate ballistics tests that found that the magic bullet could have wounded Kennedy and Connally and emerged in similar condition to the real bullet. But that is unlikely to stop the Italian research fuelling another generation of conspiracy writers.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Evidence in assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. goes to museum

Although this article is from 2000, it may still be of interest and use today.

Evidence in assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. goes to museum
October 4, 2000Web posted at: 10:48 AM EDT (1448 GMT)
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) -- Twenty-three boxes of evidence in the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. have been moved to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Among the items were the .30-06 hunting rifle allegedly used to kill King, confessed assassin James Earl Ray's transistor radio, and gum wrappers from King's room at the Lorraine Motel -- where the killing occurred and now the site of the museum.
The boxes, containing more than 300 items, have sat in a vault for 32 years. The items will be on display next spring when an expansion of the museum is completed.
"This has been a long time coming," said Barbara Andrews, the museum's curator. "We have all the evidence. The only things we don't have are the personal effects, such as Dr. King's clothes and his jewelry and the autopsy photos. That was all given to the King family, and we respected their wishes."
Ray's brother, Jerry, filed a claim for the Remington rifle and other personal items.
On March 17, a judge declared all the evidence state property and ruled the state could transfer custody, but not ownership, of it.
Ten boxes of files from Ray's 1969 court proceeding at which he pleaded guilty were also turned over to the museum.

Scientists Cast Doubt on Kennedy Bullet Analysis

Scientists Cast Doubt on Kennedy Bullet AnalysisMultiple Shooters Possible, Study Says
By John SolomonWashington Post Staff WriterThursday, May 17, 2007; A03

In a collision of 21st-century science and decades-old conspiracy theories, a research team that includes a former top FBI scientist is challenging the bullet analysis used by the government to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot the two bullets that struck and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James.
The researchers' re-analysis involved new statistical calculations and a modern chemical analysis of bullets from the same batch Oswald is purported to have used. They reached no conclusion about whether more than one gunman was involved, but urged that authorities conduct a new and complete forensic re-analysis of the five bullet fragments left from the assassination in Dallas.
"Given the significance and impact of the JFK assassination, it is scientifically desirable for the evidentiary fragments to be re-analyzed," the researchers said.
Tobin was the FBI lab's chief metallurgy expert for more than two decades. He analyzed metal evidence in major cases that included the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island.
After retiring, he attracted national attention by questioning the FBI science used in prosecutions for decades to match bullets to crime suspects through their lead content. The questions he and others raised prompted a National Academy of Sciences review that in 2003 concluded that the FBI's bullet lead analysis was flawed. The FBI agreed and generally ended the use of that type of analysis.
Using new guidelines set forth by the National Academy of Sciences for proper bullet analysis, Tobin and his colleagues at Texas A&M re-analyzed the bullet evidence provided to the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations to support the conclusion that only one shooter, Oswald, fired the shots that killed Kennedy.
Now-deceased University of California at Irvine chemist Vincent P. Guinn. told the committee that he used bullet lead analysis to conclude that the five bullet fragments recovered from the Kennedy assassination scene came from just two bullets, which were traced to the same batch of bullets Oswald owned. Guinn's conclusions were consistent with the 1960s Warren Commission Report that found Oswald had acted alone. The House assassinations committee, however, concluded that Oswald probably was part of a conspiracy and that it was possible a second shooter fired one shot that missed the president.
Tobin, Spiegelman and James said they bought the same brand and lot of bullets used by Oswald and analyzed their lead using the new standards. The bullets from that batch are still on the market as collectors' items.
They found that the scientific and statistical assumptions Guinn used -- and the government accepted at the time -- to conclude that the fragments came from just two bullets fired from Oswald's gun were wrong.
"This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets," the researchers said. "If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely," the researchers said. If the five fragments came from three or more bullets, that would mean a second gunman's bullet would have had to strike the president, the researchers explained.
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Tillman death- 3 shots in close proximity

AP: New Details on Tillman's Death
By MARTHA MENDOZAThe Associated PressFriday, July 27, 2007; 1:48 AM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.
The doctors _ whose names were blacked out _ said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.
Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.
The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Among other information contained in the documents:
_ In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."
_ Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.
_ The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.
_ No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene _ no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman's death. The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers.
With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached, Congress is preparing for yet another hearing next week.
The Pentagon is separately preparing a new round of punishments, including a stinging demotion of retired Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., 60, according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public.
In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general's office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers' testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something.
At one point, he said: "You've got me really scared about my brain right now. I'm really having a problem."
Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.
"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It's about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.
The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.
"He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified.
Also according to the documents, investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs. Tillman has been asking all along.
"Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl. Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?" an investigator asked then-Capt. Richard Scott.
Scott, and others who were asked, said they were certain the shooting was accidental.
Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked, whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity, or if he was considered arrogant. They said Tillman was respected, admired and well-liked.
The documents also shed new light on Tillman's last moments.
It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O'Neal, who was at Tillman's side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again.
But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.
The chaplain said that O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, `Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."
Associated Press reporters Scott Lindlaw in Las Vegas and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this story.

Suspects arrested in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya

Arrests over Russia writer murder

Anna Politkovskaya was killed as she left her apartment buildingRussian police and security officers are among 10 suspects arrested over the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Russian authorities say.
Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika said the suspects included an officer in the FSB secret service and the leader of a Chechen organised crime gang.
The journalist, a vehement critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead near her Moscow apartment last October.
Mr Chaika said the evidence pointed to a conspiracy planned outside Russia.
Plotters 'beyond Russia'
"The individuals interested in eliminating Politkovskaya can only be ones living beyond Russia's borders," he told reporters.

The chief prosecutor was shown briefing President Putin on the case"Above all, people and structures interested in destabilising the country, changing its constitutional order, in stoking a crisis in Russia... could gain from this crime," he said.
The murder of Politkovskaya drew international condemnation, including allegations that President Putin was failing to safeguard freedom of speech.
Mr Chaika was shown on TV telling the president of the arrests, informing him that those held would soon be charged.
Careful planning
"The group was headed by a leader of a Moscow criminal group of Chechen origin," Mr Chaika said.
"Unfortunately, this group included retired and acting interior ministry and FSB (Federal Security Service) officers."
Mr Chaika said the same group may have been involved in two other high-profile murders: the 2004 killing of Paul Klebnikov, who edited the Russian version of Forbes magazine, and last year's killing of Andrei Kozlov, deputy head of the Russian central bank.
The arrested FSB officer was named as Lt Col Pavel Ryaguzov.
Mr Chaika said the Politkovskaya murder had been planned very carefully and had involved two groups keeping her under surveillance.
She was killed as she left for work. Closed circuit television footage showed a single gunman carried out the murder.
The Russian government has always strenuously denied any connection to the murder.
Politkovskaya made her name reporting from Chechnya for Russia's liberal newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.
She was also the author of two books in English, A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya (2001), and Putin's Russia (2004).
Her writing was often polemical, as bitter in its condemnation of the Russian army and the Russian government as it was fervent in support of human rights and the rule of law.
Novaya Gazeta chief editor Dmitry Muratov, quoted by Interfax news agency, described the investigation's findings as "very convincing and professional".