Thursday, February 16, 2017
Dr. Cyril Wecht on JFK’s Murder: A “Coup d’état in America”
Dr. Wecht, a very early critic of the Warren Commission, testified at the HSCA. At the annual JFK Lancer assassination research conference in Dallas, held in November, Dr. Wecht summarized the medical evidence against the lone-gunman hypothesis.
At the center of Dr. Wecht’s examination is what has become known as the “single-bullet theory” — or the “magic bullet,” as it is known to its detractors: the theory that one bullet can account for the multiple wounds (besides the headshot) of both JFK and Governor Connally. According to Dr. Wecht, the conclusions of the Warren Commission rest entirely on the single-bullet theory. If that theory fails, then there had to be more than one gunman. This, in turn, leads to questions about the history of the United States since 1963 that many people would rather not pursue.
With both passion and meticulous attention to detail, Wecht dissects the Warren Commission’s conclusions. Moving beyond the medical evidence, he then utters words unexpected from any former American elected official, and particularly powerful coming from a person with his credentials: “What we witnessed…my friends, in plain, plain English — was [a] coup d’état in America. The overthrow of the government. That’s what this case was all about.”
At a time when America again faces extraordinary political turbulence, what happened more than half a century ago takes on renewed significance.