Testimony of Philip TenBrink

Dallas, Texas -- November 18, 1994 Hearing

[2:20 p.m.]

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: We will reconvene the hearing of the Assassination Records Review Board with our next witness.

MR. MARWELL: Dr. TenBrink, Dr. Philip TenBrink.

DR. TenBRINK: My name is Philip TenBrink, I am the emergency room physician from Terre Haute, Indiana, and I am here today to maybe provide some additional insights into your quest to unify all of the records and maybe provide more insights into this tragedy in America.

For 30 years, the American people really have not had an opportunity to have the full truth, and the basis of a democratic society is a trust relationship between its leaders, its intelligence officials, and its citizens, and without that trust it puts us at a grave disservice.

To look at the Kennedy assassination as a single event, instead of looking at all the geographical parameters and geopolitical things happening at the time is to kind of put on a very tunnel vision, and with four governments turning over within a 60-day period within the free world, it may represent other outside forces at work. But what I am really interested in this committee looking at, since you should have the ability to explore these records, is to look with regards to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which seemed to cause a great deal of concern around the world, and President Kennedy's decisionmaking was the one who was responsible for the decisions and the outcome, and not a lot of people were happy with the outcome.

If it happened that some of the information that was given was truthful and some wasn't fully revealed, it could give the impression to members inside of his own military counsel that he was a man of poor judgment. Specifically, what I would like you to look at is the briefings that were provided for the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Council with respect to the briefings on the convertability of the Cuban bases from a three-day period from a defensive site to an offensive site.

It seems that Kenneth Keating, the Senator from New York who was on the Committee, seems to take a great deal of conflict with Robert Kennedy over who knows what and who knows it when in response to that decisionmaking, but if the President wasn't informed that these defensive sites were convertible within three days to offensive sites, it might explain why we as a nation were not prepared to find offensive sites in place in October, six weeks later, and hadn't had any U-2 flights to look for that. But that is one where I think you might want to look to see if possibly conflict with the CIA had resulted in failure to properly inform the President. That would involve interpretation. The President wasn't a rocket scientist. He wouldn't understand the difference between the defensive pact and an offensive missile pact.

The second area at which I think it might be helpful to look is with respect to the missile crisis that was occurring in the Middle East at the same time where nuclear material from Germany was going to Egypt, and NASA was threatening to annihilate the Jewish state with chemical, biological and atomic weapons. This would put people who had just come through a great holocaustic experience under a great deal of stress, and when the President of the United States' response to what are you going to do about this is, well, we can send you some missiles to deal with B-52 bombers, it doesn't quite maybe address the situation enough to diffuse the problem.

But I think if you could look into the field of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and find out how it was that the Galen organization could get their hands on nuclear material to send it to Egypt, it might shed some insight into who was stimulating this kind of crisis.

The third thing I would like to talk about or have you explore is why the Secret Service would be responsible for repairing a leased car. The automobile in which the President was riding in was not U.S. Government property but was leased from Ford Motor Company, and why are they ordering parts to repair a car that has been damaged in an accident, and why did they order two windshields, why? By mistake? As an emergency room physician, I frequently take care of victims of gunshots, and it seems pretty clear to me from what I can see from the emergency room physicians' treatment and previous experience that any bullet that struck the President in his throat and exited in his back would have continued in a rearward direction, and the most likely object right behind him is the follow-up car, the Secret Service. It would be interesting to look at the order forms for where they ordered the new windshields to see if, indeed, the windshield that they should have returned but kept fit the backup car.

The fourth thing I think would be helpful would be to look at individuals that might have been out of the country during a particular time period where this might have been planned. If you were to plan an assassination of the President of the United States inside the U.S. or U.S. soil, you could be charged, but if you are offsite in another foreign country, the United States would have no legal jurisdiction.

It turns out that Nixon disappeared for three days in June on his World Peace Tour. He leaves Egypt on June the 24th and shows up in the Vatican on June the 27th, but where is he for those three days. Many people have suggested that he may have played a role in this, but if he disappears, where did he go? You folks have been given the trust and the authority of the United States Congress to investigate these issues and search for these records, and maybe finding those records could share some insight into this problem.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you, Dr. TenBrink.

Are there questions?

[No response.]

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you very much. We appreciate your testimony.

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