Sunday, 14 March 2021 07:05

Truth Is the Only Client

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Matt Douthit reviews the 2019 self-produced documentary Truth Is the Only Client, streaming now on Amazon Prime, and finds it has essentially tried to take the modern and improved Oswald-did-it narrative from Vincent Bugliosi and Gerald Posner and then declare the Warren Commission way back in 1964 got it right after all.

Mainstream media has abandoned the most important murder case in world history. A Hollywood producer has personally told me, “They just don’t want to touch it anymore.” With a plethora of famous crimes being re-discovered by avid Netflix viewers, one might think JFK would be picked up somewhere. It has not. In other words, you have to “do it yourself” now. An example of this is the 2019 self-produced documentary Truth Is the Only Client, which features the surviving Warren Commission staff members. Yes, mainstream media didn’t even pick this one up. It can be watched for free on Amazon Prime.

The film starts off by resurrecting the late prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, who says the assassination is “the most complex murder case by far in world history. Nothing even remotely comes close.” This is true. But he follows this by saying that “conspiracy theorists” are the reason it is complex. This is not true, not even close. As journalist Jefferson Morley has said, “Suspicions of a conspiracy originated in the circumstances of the crime…It was the facts of the crime that made people think it happened in a different way than the way the Warren Report set forth.” (Jacob Carter, Before History Dies, p. 8) Also, we are researchers, not “conspiracy theorists.”

Warren Commission assistant counsel Samuel A. Stern then spewed the now common bit of it being “so hard to accept” that a nobody killed a somebody. Nice try, but not the case. Researchers have continually pointed out the holes in the evidence or, back in the sixties, the contextual chasms in the Warren Report. And much later, they began to fill in those chasms with new evidence supplied by the Assassination Records Review Board. For instance, if Kennedy was only hit from the rear, then why did over forty witnesses at both Parkland Hospital and Bethesda Naval Medical Center see a large avulsive hole in the rear of Kennedy’s skull? (See Dr. Gary Aguilar’s essay, “How 5 Investigations into JFK’s Medical/Autopsy evidence Got it Wrong,” Section Five) And as Aguilar discovered when the records were reviewed, the House Select Committee on Assassinations misrepresented this fact in its report. (See Volume 7, p. 37) As we shall see, the man who oversaw the writing of those volumes is later featured on this program.

Assistant counsel Burt W. Griffin declared, “If we could find a conspiracy, we’d all be national heroes!” Well, they did have 58 eyewitnesses who reported a frontal shot—but they buried them in their tens of thousands of pages of appendices and commission documents. They had the Zapruder film showing JFK being thrown to the rear—but they somehow missed that in the Warren Report. And it’s almost certain they saw the Moorman photo that seems to depict the grassy knoll gunman behind the fence—but they never published it. Maybe because as soon as you have a frontal shot, there’s a conspiracy. The staff members buried or omitted this vital evidence and, therefore, were not national heroes. However, first generation researchers Josiah Thompson, Sylvia Meagher, Harold Weisberg, and Mark Lane brought all this evidence to light and did get some national acclaim for their toil.

Bugliosi then outlines the Warren Commission’s supposed shooting scenario and does so rather nonchalantly, as if it’s absolute fact. What he doesn’t say is that this is not actually the Commission’s shooting scenario, but rather Gerald Posner’s shooting scenario. Assistant counsel Melvin A. Eisenberg claimed Oswald’s “prints” were found on the rifle—but there was only ONE print and the only person to see this print said it was an old print. (Gary Savage, First Day Evidence, p. 108) Assistant counsel Howard P. Willens claimed that “inside the [paper] package were found remnants of the carpet in which it was kept at the Paine garage”—but he apparently forgot that the FBI could not make a positive identification. (WC 4 H p. 81) And by the way, it was a blanket, not a carpet. Bugliosi touted the long-debunked myth that Oswald was “the only worker” missing from the Texas School Book Depository, when really 17 were never in the building after 12:30. (WC 22 H pp. 632–686) Bugliosi nonchalantly says Oswald killed Patrolman J. D. Tippit, but the late researcher Larry Ray Harris showed Oswald was most likely innocent of that crime. (“November 22, 1963: The Other Murder,” Dateline: Dallas, 11/22/93) Bugliosi says Oswald “told one provable lie after another, all of which, of course, show a consciousness of guilt”—but it only shows he was involved in some way and doesn’t mean he killed the President. Bugliosi also said that “six and a half months before,” Oswald attempted to murder Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker—but the alleged bullet could not be linked with the rifle (WC 3 H p. 439) and the two witnesses said the perpetrator was not Oswald. (WC 5 H pp. 446–447; 26 H p. 438) Also, it was actually seven months before, not six.

The film did a segment on Oswald’s life. The exposition was very similar to the 2003 Peter Jennings program Beyond Conspiracy. Like the 2003 version, this one comes out à la the official portrayal of him as a nobody, which has long been debunked in so many ways. There’s quite a remarkable and emotional interview with Ruth Paine, which, to me at least, helped seal the deal that she was not involved in the plot to kill JFK. But what she did say was striking—“I’ll help these officers in whatever way they need.” That she did.

The Commission’s Howard Willens (and later Bugliosi) spewed the usual “there was no way for the bullet to go after exiting from the President’s neck other than into Connally”—but of course it is highly unlikely that any bullet exited JFK’s neck. For at the autopsy the back wound was probed and found to not go anywhere. (CD 7, p. 284) The bullet lodged in the back and most likely fell out. (It also would’ve smashed the first rib had it traversed where the measurements place it.)

Willens then said something incredible:

Governor Connally insisted then, and until his death, that he had not been hit by the same bullet that hit the President. As I have said, he was the Governor of Texas, he wanted his own bullet.

This is an absolutely outrageous straw-man argument. In fact, there’s no evidence whatsoever to support this claim. Willens simply made it up. The truth is that, as an experienced hunter, Connally understood from the sound pattern that the bullet that struck Kennedy could not have struck him. He deliberately hid his own conclusions about what had happened and this actually helped the Commission! In 1982, Connally was at a political function in Santa Fe. Reporter Doug Thompson asked him if he thought Lee Oswald fired the gun that killed Kennedy. Without batting an eyelash Connally replied with: “Absolutely not. I do not, for one second, believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission.” Thompson asked him why he then never spoke out against the Commission. This is how Connally responded: “Because I love this country and we needed closure at the time. I will never speak out publicly about what I believe.” (Joseph McBride, Into the Nightmare, p. 418)

The film next turned to HSCA chief counsel G. Robert Blakey, who insisted Connally’s back wound was “oval…which is an indication that it hit something else”—but Connally’s doctor testified it was a neat entry wound and was oval only after he removed damaged skin. (WC 6 H p. 85, 88) In fact, just simply look at the holes in his suit coat and shirt and they are not oval. Blakey said that, since the left side of JFK’s brain was undamaged, there couldn’t have been a frontal shot—but this ignores the possibility of a tangential headshot. To explain the head snap to the rear, Blakey says this was a neuromuscular reaction—but that only occurs when the nerve centers (at the bottom of the brain) are inflicted and JFK’s were not. The film then flashes across the screen: “No witnesses saw a gunman shooting at the President from the Grassy Knoll.” Well, of course, everyone was looking at the President, not at some random fence in the corner! Snipers are trained to not be seen.

The film next does something amazing. It shows the apparent forward head movement between Zapruder frames 312 and 313 and acts as if this is the first time it’s being discovered! The Travel Channel had done the same thing a year before. In reality, of course, it was discovered over half a century ago by Ray Marcus. It was first written about in print by author Josiah Thompson, who has since changed his mind and concluded it was actually an optical illusion due to camera movement. (See his new book Last Second in Dallas)

The narrator tells us, “Clearly there is no evidence of anything striking the President from the front.” This is abominably incorrect. Kennedy was thrown to the rear, the blood went back and hit the motorcycle officers, and nearly 100 eyewitnesses felt the shot came from in front on the knoll. In a panic attack, Jackie Kennedy is seen retrieving a part of her husband’s skull off the rear of the limousine. A flash of light and smoke was seen on the knoll, fresh footprints and cigarette butts were found there—coincidently where a shape appears in the Moorman photo that’s not there in later photos. So that was a person. This is all JFK 101 and none of it is mentioned in the film.

The film touched a bit on the acoustics evidence, but ignored all the recent work that’s been done on it. Their argument was very dated.

The film did a segment on Jack Ruby and Blakey laid out what he saw as connections between Ruby, Oswald, and the Mob. But incredibly, the narrator dismissed it all by simply saying, “I disagree.” [!] The rest of the segment is again similar to the 2003 Peter Jennings program—à la the official portrayal of Ruby. There was also an interview with right-winger Bernard Weissman, but heavily downplayed his role all while having a cute fluffy dog in his lap!

Bugliosi avows that Oswald would’ve been “one of the last people” the CIA or Mob would pick to kill Kennedy—but of course, critics do not believe this. Critics believe Oswald was involved in the plot as a double agent who was double-crossed. Bugliosi also tells us that Blakey and ARRB chairman John R. Tunheim assured him that there was “no smoking gun” in the remaining sealed files, as if conspirators would leave behind a trace for all the world to see! Bugliosi then makes an absolutely disgusting straw-man argument: Critics “love and revere JFK, and yet they’ve devoted a good part of their life desperately trying to exonerate Lee Harvey Oswald, the very person who brutally murdered their hero JFK.” I can’t think of anything more disgusting. Critics are simply in search of the truth, NOT solely “desperately trying to exonerate” Oswald. Warren Commission staff attorney Lloyd L. Weinreb then repeated the common talking point of it being “much more acceptable to believe that there’s a conspiracy.” Staff historian Alfred Goldberg took it even further: “Belief in conspiracies is exciting…That’s what feeds their paranoia.” Again, disgusting. I repeat, people simply point out the HOLES IN THE EVIDENCE.

In sum, there is nothing new in Truth Is the Only Client. It just repeated the same old same old, while omitting so much more. It has essentially tried to take the modern and improved Oswald-did-it narrative from Vincent Bugliosi and Gerald Posner and then declare the Warren Commission way back in 1964 got it right after all. Sorry, but it does not work that way, folks.

The film was also way too long and quite frankly very boring. Astonishingly, it has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, you heard me correctly. 100%. To put that into perspective, here is a list of famous films that do NOT have 100% on Rotten Tomatoes:

- Casablanca

- The Godfather

- Gone with the Wind

- Lawrence of Arabia

- The Wizard of Oz

- The Graduate

- On the Waterfront

- Schindler’s List

- It’s a Wonderful Life

- Sunset Boulevard

- The Bridge on the River Kwai

- Some Like It Hot

- Star Wars

I think we all know what this is about.

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 March 2021 23:13
Matt Douthit

Matt Douthit became interested in Kennedy's assassination and history in 2008 at the age of 12. He is the author of the upcoming book "JFK: The Missing Witnesses", and runs the largest JFK assassination group on Facebook. He is an audio-visual specialist, and resides in Dallas, Texas.

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