Elliot: Maybe the NSA knows


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Fifty years after the assassination of JFK, as headline writers named him, we know less about the details of that slaying than we know about NSA’s current and recent snooping of pretty much everyone, including Mickey Mouse and the Tooth Fairy.

Mickey Mouse, the NSA tells us, used to hang with a cat whose street name was Goofy, though he was not actually a cat.

The Tooth Fairy got married, says the NSA. Well, stop the presses.

(And, the NSA whispers, Santa Claus secretly got divorced. You can only hope Ms. Claus had a good pre-nup clause.)

The NSA knows so much about everything that, these days, I copy all my emails directly to the agency. Save it the trouble of searching through the tangled spaghetti that is the web to find me.

(Speaking of the web, who had the foresight to call the web the web? Because we certainly have woven a tangled web.)

Oh, well. This week, as you probably couldn’t help but notice, will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s been pretty much wall-to-wall JFK in Media Nation.

Wandering through it all (I’ve never thought of myself as being masochistic, but …), I discovered a good story on the NPR website featuring T. Jeremy Gunn, who worked on the Assassination Records Review Board, set up by Congress in 1992 to sort out the Kennedy assassination. Yeah, I know — a guy named Gunn on the Assassination Board. You can’t make this stuff up.

NPR reports that one of the people Gunn talked to was James Joseph Humes, a physician who had worked on the Kennedy autopsy. When Humes took the autopsy material home, he noticed that the document(s) was bloodstained, so he copied his notes and burned the original in his fireplace. Gunn asked Humes if he had left out any items in the copy, and Humes said, “I don’t think so.”

Hmm. That inspires some confidence. Somewhere.

Then there are the official autopsy photographs. According to NPR, Humes told Gunn that when he saw the photos, he couldn’t tell how many bullet wounds there were.

So Gunn found former Navy warrant officer Sandra Spencer, who had processed the film. She told him the official photos didn’t look like the photos she developed, and, she pointed out, they were printed on different paper from what she had used.

Hmm. So the “official” autopsy photos are not the same as the ones a Navy tech originally developed and printed. That’s confidence-inspiring. Somewhere.

There’s plenty more. Go check it out.

And it’s not that I’m a conspiracy nut or anything, even though I live on a grassy knoll. And Gunn doesn’t appear to be, either. As he told NPR, “ ‘I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t have a theory about what happened.’ ”

So I don’t know.

Maybe the NSA knows. It seems to know everything else.

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