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Myra Bronstein
bla bla bla...

Too bad the Dems didn't insist he come clean about his duties on the Warren Commission if he wanted to enter the promised land.

Just kidding, the Dems would never do that.
Ya beat me to it, I was just about to post this story. Very errie to imagine darlin arlin a dem. (Even though there's not a dime's worth of difference I still see and hear a difference ).

[Image: Specter.jpg]
Specter's JFK Specter

By Lisa Pease
April 29, 2009

Given that Arlen Specter has decided to leave the Republican Party, I think it's worth examining Specter's history to see if he will be an asset or a burden for the Democratic Party.

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While Specter is perhaps most famous for coming up with the "single bullet theory" which purports that one bullet entered and exited two people (President Kennedy and Governor Connally) seven times, only to emerge nearly intact, his legislative efforts of late also give cause for concern.

I had a personal experience with Specter, in a way. When the Internet was first opened to the public, I found, by pure chance, a newsgroup discussing the Kennedy assassination. I jumped in with no data whatsoever to voice my completely uninformed opinions, and was roundly criticized.

Properly chastised, I decided I should actually learn some facts before I could contribute in any meaningful way. I went to a local library and found a full set of the Warren Commission volumes.

The first volume was the now infamous "Warren Report," but there were 26 other volumes filled with witness testimony, photos, Dallas Police reports from eyewitnesses, FBI files, and many other items I'd never seen before.

Having no clue where to begin my research, I pulled a volume out at random and flipped it open. It was Volume VI, and I had flipped to Arlen Specter's questioning of Malcolm Perry, a doctor who had operated on Kennedy in Dallas in a fruitless attempt to save his life.

I started reading, and instantly had this queasy feeling. It was obvious to me that Specter was not trying to ascertain the truth; he was trying to craft it.

That experience, more than any other, convinced me that the Warren Commission's version of the Kennedy assassination was open to serious questioning, and started me on a multiyear quest to ascertain the real history of the event.

Dr. Perry had originally been quoted in the media as having identified Kennedy's throat wound as an entrance wound. Perry, under Specter's questioning, denied having ever taken a specific position on that matter.

Regardless of what Perry had said, it is clear, from reading the transcript, that Specter was not interested in pursuing this possibility, and clearly wanted to get a statement from Perry in support of the throat wound being an exit wound.

Specter’s Leading Question

During the questioning, Specter asked Perry a bizarre question. Specter started by referring to a purported wound in the back of the neck, a point to which we'll return shortly. Specter than asked Perry this:

"Assuming that was a point of entry of a missile, which parenthetically was the opinion of the three autopsy surgeons, and assuming still further that the missile which struck the President at that spot was a 6.5-mm. jacketed bullet shot from a rifle at a distance of 160 to 250 feet, having a muzzle velocity of approximately 2,000 feet per second, and that upon entering the President's body, the bullet traveled between two strap muscles, through a fascia channel, without violating the pleural cavity, striking the trachea, causing the damage which you tested about being on the interior of the President's throat, and which exited from the President's throat in the wound which you have described in the midline of his neck, would your findings and observations as to the nature of the wound on the threat be consistent with the set of facts I have just presented to you?"

Perry's answer was guaranteed by Specter’s complete framing of the situation: "It would be entirely compatible."

Perry noted that he did not have enough information to determine whether the wound was one of entry or exit, from the facts he had been able to personally ascertain, and that all answers he had given anyone were in answer to hypotheticals. Specter then asks:

"And in the hypothetical of the rather extended nature that I just gave you that your statement is consistent with what you found, is that also predicated upon the veracity of the factors, which I have asked you to assume?"

Perry answers, "That is correct, sir. I have no way to authenticate either by my own knowledge."

Perry had never turned the President over, so he never saw the actual placement of the wound in Kennedy's back, which would have put the lie to Specter's hypothesis.

Warren Commission member and eventual President Gerald Ford, as the AP reported (July 2. 1997), personally moved the wound, with a stroke of the pen, from "his back" to "the back of his neck." Ford claimed he made the edit to be more precise. But the evidence of Kennedy's coat makes this claim specious. Kennedy's jacket has a hole in it about five inches below the neck.

Gaeton Fonzi, then a reporter for Philadelphia Magazine and later an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, questioned Specter in 1966 about the difference between the Commission's assertion that the wound was in the "back of the neck" vs. the physical hole placement in the coat.

How, Fonzi asked Specter, could a shot have entered the back and exited the neck if the shot had come from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository where Oswald was supposed to have been firing from?

The Bunched-Up Coat Theory

The only path from the hole in the shirt to the wound would have been an upward trajectory, not the necessary downward trajectory had the shot been fired from behind and above. Fonzi was surprised, and a little unnerved, to see a man he had until then respected and admired start to hem and haw.

"I still remember Specter hesitating, stuttering, making a few false starts in attempting to answer that question," Fonzi noted at a researchers' conference in 1998. "Finally, he got up from his desk and came around to stand behind me. Well, he said, it was because the President was waving his arm, and then, trying to illustrate why the jacket would ride up, Specter pulled my arm high over my head - far higher than the Zapruder film showed Kennedy waving his hand.

"'Wave your arm a few times,' Specter said, 'wave at the crowd.' And then jabbing a finger at the base of my neck - not six inches below my collar, where the holes in Kennedy's jacket and shirt were - Specter said, 'Well, see, if the bullet goes in here, the jacket gets hunched up. If you take this point right here and then you strip the coat down, it comes out at a lower point.'

"'A lower point?' I repeated, wondering if Specter were trying to confuse me or was confused himself.

"If the entrance holes were at a lower point than the exit hole, how could Oswald have shot Kennedy from the sixth floor window of the Book Depository?

"In the end, Specter admitted they had what he described as - quote – 'some problems with that.'"

Fonzi also asked Specter about how a bullet could go through seven wounds and two people and emerge nearly intact. As Fonzi noted in his 1966 article, the conversation went like this:

"'The way the bullet went through the Governor’s wrist,' explains Specter, 'it really tumbled through his wrist.'

"Were any tests made to determine the results of a bullet tumbling through a cadaver wrist?

“'You can’t fire a bullet to make it tumble,' says Specter.

"Wouldn’t a tumbling bullet be more likely to be deformed than one hitting at a higher velocity on its streamlined nose?

“'I think it was unusual for the bullet to come out in such perfect shape,' Specter says, 'but very plausible.'

"Did any of the test bullets come out in such shape?


Fonzi later came to regret his shyness in directly labeling the Warren Commission's conclusion as what he knew it to be: a deliberate lie. Not so, Specter.

Judging Specter

If Specter ever had any doubts, he's never aired them, leading me to conclude one of two possibilities: 1) Specter truly believes that Oswald, alone, was guilty, or 2) Specter is still aiding and abetting a cover-up of the facts surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy.

To judge which answer is closer to the truth, I suggest one look at Specter's more recent behavior regarding the NSA's taps on Americans.

When the illegal taps were revealed, Specter immediately called for hearings. While some praised him for his stand, knowing his history, I was instantly skeptical. He was putting himself out front so he could control the debate, I assumed.

My assumption seemed justified when Specter proposed a bill which was widely regarded as providing legislative cover to the Bush administration, despite Specter's public pronouncements to the contrary.

Specter's bill removed FISA as the sole authority for wiretaps and left the door open for the executive branch to make their own decisions independently. In addition, his bill would have amended existing law to prohibit the prosecution of any companies who were illegally wiretapping if they had presidential authorization.

Other provisions further weakened existing FISA safeguards protecting Americans from being the subject of warrantless wiretaps.

So why would the Democrats want Specter in their corner? The magic number. Sixty votes. A filibuster-proof majority, the holy grail of any administration.

I can understand why President Obama himself has said he'll raise money for Specter. But given Specter's history, I can't help but feel the Democrats are welcoming the fox into the hen house.

Lisa Pease is a historian and writer who specializes in the mysteries of the John F. Kennedy era.

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Arlen Specter: Opportunist to the End
by James DiEugenio


The announcement came down on April 28th. Former Warren Commission counsel and longtime Senator Arlen Specter decided to switch parties. He will run for re-election next year as a Democrat, not as a Republican. This surprised many. But it shouldn't' t have. Especially if you know Specter and have contacts on the ground in Pennsylvania. And as my review of Legacy of Secrecy showed, CTKA does.

President Obama with Sen. Specter

Specter had a difficult time getting through his GOP primary in 2004. In fact, he barely beat former Representative Pat Toomey, besting him by just 17,000 votes. In a state as large as Pennsylvania, that is a narrow victory. The so-called Club for Growth had backed Toomey. This is a very conservative and very wealthy group of businessmen who are fanatical free marketers of the Milton Friedman stripe. For them Social Security is socialism. Their ultimate goal is to repeal every aspect of the New Deal. Which is not very economically or politically practical. But if you have that kind of money, practicality doesn't matter. Someone will take up your marker. As Toomey did in 2004.

But here's where it gets interesting. According to our sources, Toomey had sworn off running this time around. But when Specter was one of the three Republican senators to back President Obama's stimulus package, the Club for Growth took notice and didn't like it. At all. To keep the Republican Party in check, they gave Toomey the OK to announce another run against Specter.

This put Specter in a difficult situation. In 2004, he had a tough time of it against Toomey. But now it would be even worse. Why? Because the Democratic primary for president in Pennsylvania last year lasted almost seven weeks. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama went at it mano a mano in every town, village and city across the state. In the process, they switched over 150,000 voters from the GOP ranks to the Democratic Party. This trend was evident even in traditionally conservative enclaves like Lancaster. Obviously, the great majority of those switching had to be moderates and not bedrock Rush Limbaugh type conservatives. Consequently, the defections hurt Specter and helped Toomey. What makes it worse is that Pennsylvania primaries are closed: Only Republicans can vote in the GOP primary. Specter saw the handwriting on the wall. He was going to have to face a very well funded challenger in a very hard fought primary. And now the make up of the electorate had drastically changed. An early Rasmussen poll had Toomey with a substantial lead.

Putting his finger in the wind, he nevertheless found a way to draw the defection as a matter of principle. (He always does.) Specter said, "I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party." Being a bit more candid, he added "I am not prepared to have my 29 year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate."

If you know anything about Specter's career, this is not really surprising. Here is a guy who really didn't care much about the death of President Kennedy. He saw very early what the heavy hitters on the Warren Commission wanted. He went ahead and gave it to them. And they sensed he was so eager to do their bidding that they gave him free rein over the medical and ballistics evidence. And after several meetings, Specter got the Kennedy pathologists to go along with the unbelievable and nonsensical Single Bullet Theory. Which he has stood by since, knowing the MSM will back him up on it. After that disgraceful performance, when he couldn't win the Philadelphia DA's office as a Democrat, he switched to the Republican Party. And he stayed on that side for forty years. As long as he stood a good chance of winning. But now he doesn't. So he tries to paper that over by saying its really about philosophical differences.

What is surprising to me though is that the Democrats seem eager to accept this guy. In addition to being a cover up artist in the Crime of the Century, here is a man who backed the shameful Vietnam War. Who voted for the disastrous war in Iraq. Who was the appointed attack dog in the absolutely nauseating Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings. Who was part of the GOP lynch mop in the goofy impeachment hearings against President Clinton. And in fact, just a little over a month ago, he told the Washington political newsletter The Hill that he would consider running for re-election as an independent, but not as a Democrat. Since if any GOP senator would switch, the Democrats would have control of all Congress, and he didn't find that an appealing prospect.

Yet Governor Ed Rendell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Obama are eager to get him on board. For instance, Reid said, "I welcome Senator Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus." (AP story, 4/28) And Rendell-a Democrat-- suggested a meeting in Washington this week so the party leadership could endorse Specter's candidacy. (ibid) What is incredible about this last statement is that it came from Specter. So Rendell and he have been talking about this at length. Which of course, tells you something about Specter. Here is a guy who will be 80 years old next year. Yet five terms in the Senate is not enough for him. He feels entitled to the seat for life.

My question to Obama, Reid, and Rendell is simple: Why? The ostensible reason seems to be that the Democrats are salivating at the chance to get a sixty-vote majority in the Senate. And when Al Franken is finally sworn in to the senate seat from Minnesota, with Specter, they will have the sixty votes. But at what cost? As one can see from the record above, Specter is not a Progressive dream of a Democrat. He is very damaged goods. Further, the Democrats will almost certainly win that Pennsylvania Senate seat next year, against either Toomey or Specter. So in actuality, Specter needs the Democratic Party more than they need him. Bottom line: Do the Democrats really want or need another Joe Lieberman in their party?

The answer apparently is: Yes. They would rather back someone like Specter than have an open Democratic primary. That would risk the prospect of having a progressive, e.g. Joe Hoeffel, Barb Hafer, or Chuck Penacchio win the race and beat Toomey. Rendell is an old style party boss in Pennsylvania-think Richard Daley. He backed Clinton in the primary last year and forced the major city mayors to jump on board, or he would cut them off from party funds. In 2006, he forced Hoeffel and Hafer off the senate ballot to clear the way for the moderate Robert Casey. And the early reports off of MSNBC, say he cut the same deal for Specter. Which is probably why Specter now finds running as a Democrat "an appealing prospect" when he didn't just a month ago. Imagine promising a free ride in the Democratic primary to a Republican with a track record like Specter's. So from the early indications, it appears that Rendell and Clinton probably worked behind the scenes to invite the Warren Commission mastermind inside the party he helped kill. And of which he was a member at the time.

This is the man the Democrats plan to back next year. In a race they could win easily on their own with a real Democrat. First, Kirsten Gillibrand and the NRA in New York. Now Arlen Specter and the Warren Commission in Pennsylvania.

The Democrats may have won the election. But thanks to the likes of Rendell, Reid, Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher, and Thom Hartmann, they are still in search of their souls.


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If the Democrats were not just the Republican-Light Party [i.e. oh so slightly left of the Far-Right Party] they'd tell him to go to hell and not have him....but they are all well-paid prostitutes and having another one doesn't phase them on jot.:aetsch:

Mark Stapleton

The 'story' of Specter's defection conveniently buried the far more important story that the Justice Department has dropped the espionage charges against the two former AIPAC operatives, Rosen and Weissman, who were accused of passing military secrets to Israel:

Nice, eh?
Mark Stapleton Wrote:The 'story' of Specter's defection conveniently buried the far more important story that the Justice Department has dropped the espionage charges against the two former AIPAC operatives, Rosen and Weissman, who were accused of passing military secrets to Israel:

Nice, eh?

Well Specter was caught passing magic single-bullshit lies to the Public, but no charges were ever brought....anyway, Circus is always more intesting than boring Truth and Justice. Nice.

Myra Bronstein

Peter Lemkin Wrote:If the Democrats were not just the Republican-Light Party [i.e. oh so slightly left of the Far-Right Party] they'd tell him to go to hell and not have him....but they are all well-paid prostitutes and having another one doesn't phase them on jot.:aetsch:

That's exactly right Peter. He has said he won't vote for critical things like health care but they welcome him anyway. He only switched to save his worthless hide for his reelection. Even if the Dems had something decent they wanted to accomplish, which they of course don't, that old bastard wouldn't help.

Myra Bronstein

Dawn Meredith Wrote:...
The Bunched-Up Coat Theory

Wow, I didn't realize that Specter concocted the bunchy coat cover up as well as the single bullet cover. Quite the creative talent he is.

Thanks for posting the great articles Dawn.
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